By Abuchi Onwumelu
Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Saturday, 25 May, held its 2nd Annual Ohazurume Igbo Festival/Lecture Series. The event organized by the Directorate of Igbo Village and Centre for African Civilization, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, has “Industrial Revolution of Igbo and Nigeria: Naturecracy Option”, as its theme.
Addressing the gathering, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, described the event as worthwhile, even as called on Ndigbo to think home.
Earlier in a remark, the Dean Faculty of Arts, UNIZIK, Rev. Fr. Prof. Bonachristus Umeogu, enjoined all to participate in making Eastern Nigeria the technological hub of the nation.
Speaking during the occasion, the chairman of Rojenny Tourist Village in Oba, Anambra State, Chief Remmy Ezeonwuka, appealed to Ndi Igbo to stop the agitations for political independence, saying they should rather intensify agitations for their economic independence and freedom.
According to him, what an average Igbo man needed today in Nigeria was economic independence.
‘Our agitations for a Biafran State should be centred towards our economic independence and development. We should stop this agitation for political independence and work towards our economic independence by industrializing the Igbo land. This is what Taiwan did when China refused them political independence. They got their economic independence by building of factories in Taiwan.
‘Taiwan wants independence from China but China wanted to kill them; they abandoned their political independence agitations and moved toward economic independence; today, they are powerful in the world,’ he said.
According to Ezeonwuka therefore charged every Igbo man and woman to think on how to invest in Igbo land for their economic freedom and independence.
‘We can still produce our goods and write on them, ”made in Biafra” and we can still export them to all parts of the world. Nothing stops us from exporting our products to any part of the world. It has nothing to do with political independence but economic,’ he added.
He also said the fight for political independence might be wasteful in terms of resources and human, noting that he would not support any thing that would lead to killings.
‘I am not in support of agitations for political independence, but hundred percent in support of economic independence of Biafra. Look at what is happening in Syria, Asad’s family wants to kill all the Syrians because of political power and you wonder who they will lead if they kill everybody. We must take the one God has given to us, that is business, and develop our place economically,’ he said.
According to him, things that were happening in Nigeria today should readily tell every Igbo man that there was no place like home.
‘The Igbo man’s continuous investment outside Igbo land is just simply madness and this is time to correct this madness among ourselves,’ he added.
He also bemoaned the Igbo man’s style of what he called, ”me and my wife business”, saying that kind of business approach had killed many enterprise immediately the owner died, with their children overseas not being interested in staying in Nigeria to run their fathers’ businesses.
He therefore called on the Igbo to develop the culture of allowing their business to go public for perpetuity.