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Ojukwu… courageous, people-oriented leader – Obiano

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ANAMBRA State Governor, Willie Obiano has described the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu as an evergreen leader and heritage of all Igbo race.

  Speaking during the second annual memorial lecture of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) in Igbariam, on Tuesday, the governor called the deceased head of the defunct state of Biafra a courageous and people-oriented leader. The lecture held under the theme: ‘Ndi-igbo in the Contemporary Nigerian Politics; Problems, Prospects and Way Forward, was held in commemoration of the great Igbo leader, on his posthumous birthday.

  Gov Obiano , who was represented by his deputy, Nkem Okeke, extolled Ojukwu’s virtues as a courageous and people oriented leader whose life reflected the need for ndị Igbo  to have an unanimous voice in decision making.

  Speaking further, Obiano emphasised the merits of having all sons and daughters of Igbo race invest within Igboland which will eliminate many forms of regret being experienced today by ndị Igbo in diaspora.

  Explaining that the legendary Ojukwu represented everything great for the Igbo nation, Gov Obiano urged ndị Igbo, both home and abroad, to emulate his attitude to life and ensure that  Igboland is well developed to become the toast of all nations.

Present at the Memorial Lecture were the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who was the chairman of the occasion; Amb Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu, wife of Eze Igbo Gburugburu; Prof Kinsley Moghalu, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, amongst many other distinguished dignitaries, including respected traditional rulers and revered religious leaders.

  In an address, Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremmadu appreciated the university community for additionally commemorating Ikemba’s legacies by way of the yearly lecture. “The theme resonates with not only Ndigbo but also the entire body polity of Nigeria. This is a subject that has agitated the minds of Ndigbo, including the mind of Ikemba himself before he left this world.

  Ekweremmadu noted that Ndigbo are not  happy with their place in contemporary Nigeria. “It is not in doubt that the Nigerian state has not accorded us our rightful place in the body polity. From the structural imbalances which inescapably count against the South East zone in particular in its voting power at the National Assembly, the distribution of national offices, revenue sharing, and other blessings of democracy such as infrastructure, to the defective federalism that has made it impossible for Ndigbo to fully harness their potentials. Ndigbo has many grounds to be dissatisfied.”

  The guest lecturer and presidential candidate of Young Progressive Party (YPP), Kingsley Moghalu stated that Nigeria’s treatment of Igbo people is the cause of persistent cry for secession.

  “Those who are condemning or are blaming Dim Ojukwu for the attempt for secession are those who thrive in naivety. Ojukwu answered the call to duty and rose to responsibility at that time as the leader of Ndigbo.

  Widow of the late Igbo leader, Bianca Ojukwu used the occasion to call for the sustenance of the legacies bequeathed by Ikemba Gburugburu Ndi-Igbo, her late husband to Igbo race.

  In her speech, the former Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain stated that Ojukwu’s secession attempt was borne out of selfless reasons and courage to stand up and fight for his people.

  “He was a brave man, roaring lion whose death has kept a vacuum that will be difficult to fill in Nigeria and Igboland.”

  The highpoint of the occasion was the cutting of the posthumous birthday cake in honour of Chief Ojukwu who was born on  November 4.

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