By Abuchi Onwumelu
The Apex Igbo Socio-cultural Organization, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Anambra State Chapter, led by its State President, Ichie Damian Okeke-Ogene, last Wednesday, hosted the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo women’s leaders from the 21 local government areas of Anambra State, female academia, leaders of Igbo women’s traders, and female stakeholders.
Addressing the women’s leaders, the state president of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo Anambra State Chapter, Ichie Damian Okeke-Ogene, commended the women for their resilience, steadfastness, patience, courage and role in society.
Chief Ogene who doubles as Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Association of Anambra State Town Unions (ASATU), described Anambra women as the best in Africa, noting that the role of women could not be overemphasized, as society would be incomplete without the women.
Ogene flanked by the administrative secretary, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Anambra State Chapter, Chief Luke Onyekaonwu; the national youth leader of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Chief Arthur Obiorah; and the Anambra State youth leader of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Comrade Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, urged the women to inculcate good morals in their children and wards and also be a shining examples to them.
Ogene enjoined the women to be vigilant and endeavour to report suspicious movements in their areas, noting that the issue of rape and wanton killings of women in the Southeast by suspected Fulani herdsmen was real.
He accused the Federal Government of Nigeria of harbouring evil plans against Christians, especially the people of Southeast Geopolitical Zone, emphasizing that Ndi Igbo would not accept the intimidation orchestrated by Fulani herdsmen.
‘These people that are calling Igbo people infidels are the real infidels. They are the worst people on earth. We will not keep quiet, we will continue to talk. These people are taking us for a ride. I’m waiting for their arrest. Let them come and arrest me. I am waiting. Let them take the cows to Sambisa Forest.
‘We are not interested in their dubious Islamic agenda. They want to deceive us with RUGA. We know their plans. No way for them. We will not accept RUGA, cattle colony or whatever. It has gotten to a point where we should have a rethink on how we eat cow meat. To tell you how wicked these people are, try buying a cow from them and maybe try to sell back to them; they will buy it at low price.
‘You buy a cow for 250,000, take it to a bereaved person; afterwards the same cow you bought for 250,000 will be sold for 50,000. That is the amount they will buy. We are enriching them on daily basis. The money they make from us is the same money they are using to buy weapons to wage war against us. Let us stop giving cows to mourners. We can present the rope as evidence while we present cash to the bereaved,’ Ogene concluded.
Appreciating the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Anambra State Chapter leadership, the State Women’s leader of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo Anambra State chapter, Lady Ekwenibe, thanked Ichie Ogene for piloting the affairs of the chapter very well, assuring him that they would take the message down to their various communities.
Lady Ekwenibe stated that they gathered for their July Assembly after which they would proceed for August Meeting, noting that part of the issue they would be deliberating on in this year’s August meeting would be the issue of new generation mothers not speaking the Igbo Language to their children and wards, adding that speaking the Igbo Language to one’s children and wards would not make them less intelligent.
Some of the women’s leaders who spoke during the occasion included, a Mass Communication expert and lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Chinyere Stella Okunna; former Commissioner for Women’s Affairs and immediate past Provost of Nwafor Orizu College of Education (NOCEN), Nsugbe, Dr. Cordelia Ego Uzoezie; the State President of Nigerian Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS), Lady Oby Obodoezie and the State President of Igbo Women’s Traders Association of Anambra State, Mrs. Chinwe Ezeigwe, enjoined the women to take the message seriously and also fight for their rights, noting that women were no longer pushovers.
According to Prof Okunna, the Igbo Language should not be allowed to die, and referred to UNESCO’s warning that if something serious was not done, the Igbo Language would go extinct by 2050.