Igbo hold unity conference in Asaba, Delta State

A group under the umbrella of Ndigbo Cultural and Social Enlightenment for Unity Foundation has initiated moves to bring together all Igbo in Nigeria.

The move was discussed in Asaba, Dalta State at a gathering tagged Igbo unity conference, second edition where all Igbo-speaking communities from the South East and South South converged for their common goal.

Conveners of the event, Mr Onyenwemmadu Kayinebi and Chukwuemeka said they traversed nooks and crannies of Igbo-speaking areas in Nigeria to make sure that a good number of Igbo were brought to discuss the future and progress of the people.

Kayinebi in his speech said that only culture could unite the Igbo, adding that other ethnic nationalities like the Hausa and Yoruba had gone far in that regard leaving the Igbo behind. He named new yam festival as an event that could easily achieve the unification of the Igbo.

He said that the possibility of an Igbo man to become the president of Nigeria was not in doubt, if only Igbo could be in unity.

He cited a case of some legislators of Igbo extraction in the National Assembly who came from Anambra, Ebonyi, Abia, Imo, Enugu, Rivers, Delta and Edo States who never believed that they were one.

“If you say you are not Igbo, your enemy knows that you are. To unite Igbo is our personal business. We should all join hands together to achieve that. Let us project our own. We need to deconstruct whatever that holds our unity. We need to reawaken the Igbo consciousness in our families.

“We should know our culture and identify our cultural heritage. 

“A call to unify Igbo is not a call to fight Nigeria. We unite for economic and other benefits. We have to go back to our nature, “he said.

One of the traditional rulers in the gathering, Eze Ambassador CNN Nwajoagu from Enugu State said the Igbo should come back before it would be too late.

He noted that the Igbo had not valued their God given identity.

The traditional ruler who said he had written three books in Igbo language and culture warned against the dominance of Western culture in Igbo society and said that the cultural identity of Ndigbo must be kept alive.

In his speech, the National Chairman of Mbido Igbo Association, Anambra State, Chief Okaforuzu Ugochukwu said there would be no short cut other than for Igbo to embrace their culture and tradition which he described as a binding factor.

He briefly traced the genealogy of the Igbo and advised that those who deserved respect and recognition in Igboland should not be ignored in order to attract the blessings of the ancestors and peace to reign.

Various other Igbo associations including Igbo Global Network represented by Akunne Austin from Ebonyi State and Igbo Republican Movement with Wisdom Okpara as its leader were in the conference.

In his presentation, Mr Chukwuemeka said there was need for Ndigbo to be united in objective irrespective of the differences.

“There’s need to unify with our brothers and sisters across the Niger and fashion one Igbo family which has been the battle of our ancestors, and as rivers flows, so shall the unity flow with it.

“But one way to achieve this is by listening and answering the calls of our ancestors, and the Unify Igbo Now shall deploy the elements of our tradition and culture.

“This movement aims at achieving AlaIgbo unification through peaceful measures that ensure the prosperity of our people and the continuity of our positive values, “he said in part.

Scores of people who attended the conference were drawn from South East and South South of Nigeria.

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