By Uche Amunike
Ndigbo have been advised to save their future generation by coming home to invest their wisdom, strength and wealth in the South East.
This call was made by the President of the Igbo Socio-Cultural Group, Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), Prof Uzodimma Nwala, during the occasion of their 5th Anniversary and Annual Congress, held at Umuchu in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The association which aims to build and develop the Igbo Nation by advancing her cultural and traditional values, embarked on what they called the ‘Akuluouno Crusade’. They hope to achieve this objective by visiting and holding seminars in every part of the world where Ndigbo reside.
This year, they chose to assemble at Umuchu because an indigene of the community, Chief Godwin Ezeemo, massively invested in the community, thereby meeting the expectations of the association, especially with the theme of their Congress titled ‘ADF Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow’.
Speaking to newsmen at the event, Prof Nwala explained that the foundation came into existence after the colloquium on the Igbo Question in Nigeria, before, during and after Biafra, held in Enugu in 2014 where many questions arose on the way forward for the emancipation of the Igbo Nation. He called on the Ndigbo to look inwards and remember their roots.
In his speech, the Board of Trustees Chairman of the group, Bishop Obi-Udeze Onubogu, urged Ndigbo to continue to show love and encourage one another through investments, job creation, being security conscious and also, by promoting peaceful co-existence.
The Keynote Speaker, Chief John Umeh, who threw a lot of light on the topic, ‘Ndigbo, their Tradition and the Way Forward’, maintained that the colonial masters converted the mind set of Ndigbo by charging them to reconnect to their ancestors, whom, he said, would not lead them astray, but instead, protect and promote them.
The host and Chairman of Orient Group, publishers of Orient Daily Newspaper, among others, Mr Godwin Ezeemo, for his part congratulated the group for making out time to champion the cause of the Igbo Nation. He advised them to work towards restoring the hope of meaningful existence in this part of the world by avoiding thriving on personal interests and being mindful of their utterances on national issues, while leaders should show transparency.
He regretted that the Igbo Nation had been denied a lot of opportunities while wondering why only businesses owned by those from Igbo extraction were either made to face difficulties like poor electricity, harsh operating environment, or shut down.
Other discussants included Professor Elochukwu Amucheazi; Mr Frank Nneji, Managing Director/CEO ABC Transport; the Traditional Ruler of Olo Kingdom in Enugu State, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu and other traditional rulers. They opinined that Ndigbo were known for developing all parts of the world, leaving their own region underdeveloped, even as they called for support and strengthening of the vigilante operation in all communities as a practical step to warding off insecurity.
The group had a facility tour of the various akuluouno projects sited by Mr Godwin Ezeemo.