By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
To actualise it’s aspirations for a one united Igbo nation, with one strong solid voice, and as part of measures to bring sanity amongst it’s stock, all Igbo groups and associations in Niger state have agreed to subsumed their separate authorities into the apex Igbo cultural association, the Ohaneze Ndigbo to pursue common agenda for the good of all Igbo speaking extractions in the country.
In the past, there have been plethora of fragmented groups claiming pararell authority as bulwarks and ombudsman associations for the Igbo speaking extractions but lacking in unity and cohesion.
The consequences of this fragmentations, have resulted in a dilated and diluted Igbo speaking extractions with concomitant affects on the political fortunes of the Igbos in the country.
The decision to collapse all the various existing sub ethnic nationalities into one strong vocal chord was taken in Minna, the Niger state capital at a meeting of all Igbo stakeholder groups.
At the unification meeting, it was agreed that all issues affecting the Igbo speaking people in Niger state should be routed and tackled under the umbrella body of the Pan Igbo cultural association, the Ohaneze Ndigbo in line with the directives from the Ohaneze national headquarters which was ratified earlier in Enugu.
A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting and which was jointly signed by the state’s President and Secretary, High Chief Emmanuel Ezeugo and Chief Ben Ejiogu respectively, resolved unequivocally that, henceforth, all issues relating to Igbos in the state should be routed through the Ohaneze Ndigbo.
The meeting which was attended by various Igbo stakeholders from within and outside Niger state, including the leadership of the Ohaneze in the 19 Northern states and the FCT, Abuja, Chief A. C. Amaechi, was held at the Doko Hotels, Minna.
The communiqué also urged all Igbos in parts of Niger state to participate in political activities just as it encouraged all Igbos of eligible voting age to get registered, obtain their Permanent Voters’ Card, (PVC) and engage in partisan politics wherever they are.
The communique’ noted that peace and unity were very vital and the only panacea for development without which no purposeful progress could thrive. It therefore called for synergy amongst all Igbo speaking people wherever they are located.
It called for love, unity and solidarity amongst the Igbo stock, to speak with one voice on matters affecting their existence.
The communique’ also enjoined all Igbos to live and ensure peaceful co-existence between them and their host communities even as it urged all Ndi Igbo to shun criminal activities and such sharp practices that could taint the image of the Igbo speaking stock. It said, ”wherever you may find yourselves, the world over, remember your roots’.
Meanwhile, Niger state governor, Abubarkar Sani Bello has assured communities and associations in the state of his administrations’ preparedness to support associations and groups that would promote peace and contribute to the socio economic growth and development of the state.
Governor Bello gave the pledge at the opening ceremony of the unification meeting of all the Igbo associations organized by the apex Igbo cultural group, Ohaneze Ndigbo for all other Igbo groups and associations which was held in Minna.
Governor Bello who spoke through his Coordinator, Political Mobilization, Godswill George, said Niger state was in need of investors who could take advantage of the favourable business climate for the socio economic growth and development of the state.