Daily Archives: October 13, 2010
An address by Chief Kpajie Nnamdi Onochie,
Chairman – All Progressives Grand Alliance USA (APGA-USA),
to the South East Political Summit
held 16th August 2010,
at Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria.
THE IGBO AGENDA IS:
THE SUSTENANCE OF IGBO WELFARE, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA.
To achieve the above, Igbos will have to
1) Resolve and increase internal cohesion
2) Continue progress on developing the Igbo hinterland
3) Devise methods to thwart external devices and aggression.
An internal cohesion agenda must seek to influence
1) Unity of Purpose within the Igbo – where all Igbo irrespective of geographical, political, economic, social or religious persuasion must be educated on the core Igbo issues – whatever we (Igbos) agree they are, and to use their wherewithal to further such agenda within whatever domain they find themselves. Igbos should be willing to educate other Igbos of their understanding and engagements when they feel misunderstood. Further to the above,
We (Igbos) must carry along our Igbo Brothers and kindred from Rivers state, Delta, and Cross River States. These people are not South-South, they are Igbos.
What is this nonsense about not recognizing that Mr. Mike Okiro is an Igbo from Egbema?. Why do we not recognize that we have had two (2) Igbos as Inspector Generals of Police (IGP) in quick succession?. And, what agenda was aligned with such strategic placement, when we finally got it? Rather, we are blinded by a Nigerian press which seeks to marginalize the Igbo in Nigeria more than we are prepared to marginalize ourselves.
An Igbo agenda cannot be limited for the South-East alone. What do we then say to the Aniomas, The Ikwerres or The Cross River Igbo? That they are not Igbo? Are we also ceding Igbo cities like Port Harcourt, Asaba or Agbor? Tufiakwa. God Forbid. Let us always remember that whenever we’ve had strife, others have been able to tap into a perceived discord between us and our riverine brethren to further widen the divide. Please, There is no problem with our riverine brothers that cannot be settled, and amicably, too.
Should we not recognize that The Chief of Defence staff, Gen Paul Dike is Igbo, or that Dr. Pat Utomi is Igbo, or that The Asagba of Asaba, Professor Edozien is Igbo?. Where are Chibudom Nwuche, Dr. Peter Odili, Rotimi Amaechi and Chief Austin Opara?. Are we throwing away Phillip Asiodu, Nduka Obaigbena, and The Osadebays. We cannot afford such waste. These people must know what we are talking about, whether they want to hear it or not. They cannot plead ignorance to the Igbo cause, whatever that is. Please, tell Nduka Obaigbena that if rain falls on my leaky roof tomorrow, I am coming straight to his house for refuge. We must be willing to tap into our Igbo sentiments and intelligence for the general Igbo good. The Riverine Igbos must have a seat at the table during our meeting. Whatever we decide as our agenda can also be carried on to their South-South meeting for the greater good of the Igbo brotherhood. We do not have any Igbos-at-will.
2) Continued progress on developing Igboland.
All our elected representatives/appointed officials in the Local Government, State Assembly, State Houses, Federal House of Representatives, the Nigerian Senate and at the Federal Government levels must be made to give an account of their stewardship to Igboland. We must know how they spent the respective Federal allocation given them to develop Ala-Igbo. We cannot keep crying Federal marginalization when our own representatives and appointed officials are locally marginalizing the Igbo electorate that either by vote or design put them in power. Our Igbo Leaders must be exhorted and tasked do something good for the people’s benefit by:
-Creating, Revitalizing and Stabilizing Local private and Government sponsored industries in their respective states, Local governments and communities.
-Creating employment and local service industries through above revitalizations.
-Building good roads and bridges linking Igbo communities, States and neighbors to increase local access, trade and communication.
-Tackling erosion and poor soil issues which affect our agricultural base.
-Building Health-Care centers/Hospitals and providing staff/Infrastructure to cater for such.
-Building, Repairing, Equipping and Maintaining our school buildings.
-Making Elementary and Secondary School Teachers/staff pay and welfare a topmost priority. Pay them promptly.Recognize that they are our link to the future.
-Revising the educational curriculum from Kindergarten to Secondary schools, with an aim to enabling all Secondary School graduates attain a standard and functional education which may be used in any Nigerian workplace.
Biko, Charity begins at Home.
Finally, We must
3) Devise methods to thwart external aggression.
Presently, external aggression is not physical, but stem from policies and non-executed policies which undermine Igbo interest. We must be on the alert, then publicize, contact, meet, action, publicize, contact, meet, action, publicize, meet, publicize, re-schedule meetings, then action on issues which are not to our interests, and find ways to thwart same. Further to this, all Igbo focus and end must be aimed towards the
Sustenance of Commercial security locally, and everywhere in Nigeria:
Recently, the Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, while receiving the Governor of Imo state – Dr. Ikedi Ohakim in Lagos, commented on how Lagos has now provided a secure environment for individual businessmen and businesses that were earlier sited in Aba, Owerri and Onitsha. I repeat, – Aba, Owerri, Onitsha! I cannot say too much about the above, but if Governments within these locations do not understand the implications of the above, We may be done as a people as we know it.
Any threat to the establishment, or the improvement of an established commercial interest anywhere in Igboland and in Nigeria is an attack on the Igbo welfare. For example, did the Late President Umaru Yar’ adua ever say that the Akanu Ibiam Airport had been upgraded and granted an International status? If the answer is Yes, why are we arguing with naysayers? Our job should be to put all hands on deck with all ministries concerned to dot the I’s and cross the t’s on same document, and lobby for actualization through responsible arms for adequate funding and construction. Rather than sit down, talk and rejoice on such unfulfilled promise, which could be taken away by bad-belle people because we lost the civil war and are not entitled to anything good.
Further to these, Governments of the South-East and the South-South should look to provide and advocate on policies which favor the security of businesses within their domain. If our local businesses are secure, they will readily tap into the educated manpower abundant in the South East to increase production, distribution and other service which encourage business growth, increasing much needed employment, decreasing participation in nefarious activities which militate against business.
To achieve focus on increasing commercial security, efforts should be placed on:
-Opening the Port Harcourt Seaport to its full capacity to receive and discharge shipments, just like the Lagos seaport.
-Reconstruction of all highways from the Igbo hinterland which lead and link the Port-Harcourt International Airport at Omagwa.
-Sustained Work on the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu to attain International status as granted and required.
-Continued upgrading and sustenance of the Sam Mbakwe Airport –Owerri.
-Devising a Proposal for an Abakiliki Airport in Ebonyi State.
-Building of access roads and bridges that lead to and from Igboland with the surrounding neighbors.
-Completion of the Niger Bridge Dualization Project at Onitsha.
-Dualization of the Calabar-Uyo-Ikot Ekpene-Aba-Owerri-Onitsha-Benin-Lagos Road.
-Maintainance of the Aba – PortHarcourt Expressway
-Zero tolerance for Kidnapping and Kidnap related activities.
-Provision of Sustained Electricity and Power to our Industrial cities of Aba, Onitsha, And Owerri.
Finally, Igbo political support should be provided to any and all men of goodwill who may aid the Igbo in the above pursuit and sustenance of their general welfare and interest.
Let us begin with the above and see how far we can go. Ndewo nu.
Chukwu Gozie Ndi Igbo. Igbo kwenu.