Echos from World Igbo Day 2023, Igbo kunie

Voices of Igbo leaders at the 2023 World Igbo Day celebration(Igbo kunie),  held  on Friday, September 29 in Enugu.

Ndi Igbo were asked to come together and build a strong society.Excerpts:

Igbo leaders at the event

Gov. Soludo

“Igboland is ready for business . Let us come together and  get it done” says Soludo

Anambra state Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo has called on Igbo people to come together and build the south east zone, so as to have a liveable and a prosperous society 

He made the call in his speech at the World Igbo Day 2023  celebration organised by Ohanaeze Ndigbo (worldwide), an Apex Igbo socio- cultural group. 

At a colourful event held on Friday at the Michael Okpara Square, Professor Soludo noted that , “building projects is not enough, one must have a long term vision, you can do a thousand projects and they lead you nowhere.You must have a vision, a plan. So, South East needs a long term perspective plan. 

“We will come together . Ohanaeze you have a role to play. There is no Government of the South East, what we have is five governmrents but we agreed we will come together. With the help of Ohaneze,with the help of our professionals, we will brainstorm and think out how things would be in the next fifty years, in the next hundred years “, Soludo said.

He commended the Enugu state Governor , Dr. Peter Mbah for his support to Ohanaeze Ndigbo . He also commended  Ohanaeze Ndigbo for organising the program.

Soludo  noted that all Igbo people are one. “I am an East Central state boy. I schooled in NigerCem primary school and was taught by teachers from the entire south east. “

He urged ndi Igbo to be united to build a strong zone. 

He said that our heroes, captain of industries  ,who laid the foundation of what we have today, will not be forgotten; Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe,Akanu Ibiam, Sir Louise Ojukwu, M.I. Okpara. ,others.

“As we were talking about South East transformation, I began to miss M.I Okpara , the man who saw tommorow, the man who served selflessly. This man superitended the fastest growing regional  economy in the world and yet when he returned from exile, he had no but in his home. Selfless service. Our future is in our hands.

We should find out how our heroes led”, he said.

 “On security, we should keep sorting things out. There is no free society anywhere in the world, but this organised criminality, we, the governor’s , we have agreed to fight it together.We are determined to solve it as a people and we will do that.

“Inspite of all of those, the recent ranking of ease of doing business in Nigeria, Anambra state was first in the south east( 1 out of 17 ) states in the south east .Inspite of the insecurity.

“Two weeks ago ,I went to do a  ground laying ceremony for the second vehicle manufacturing company in Anambra state and many companies are coming, dozens of them lining up inspite of insecurity. So, let’s stop bemoaning. Igboland is ready for business .Let us come together and  get it done and our future,  we will build a liveable and prosperous society.

” Our future is in Nigeria, our future is s in Africa and our future is in the world. We must live amongst others’., Soludo said

Gov Mbah

Gov Mbah calls for establishment of  Igbo hall of fame  in Enugu

Enugu state Governor, Dr Peter Mbah has called for establishment of Igbo Hall of Fame in Enugu.

He made the call while speaking at the 2023 World Igbo Day, tagged,” Igbo Kunie”.

He said establishing the iconic centre will help to capture the stories and images of our past heros so that our coming generations can remember their

Dr. Peter Mbah, expressed happiness at the turnout , “from honoured royal fathers to our eminent spiritual fathers in the clergy and of course my fellow. governors and Ndi Igbo nine, whether here physically or following virtually as is normal nowadays”.

He said, “Our famous son Chinua Achebe once said in his bestseller book things

Fall Apart and I quote a man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather together in the moonlight village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound.

We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so’. And so it is that we the lgbo kith and kin have once more gathered to interact and reason together.

“I must quickly commend the choice of Enugu for this event. As we all know Enugu has played a central and consequential role in the history of not only the lgbo, but indeed the history of Nigeria. Firstly, Enugu essentially came into being in the early 1900s when coal was discovered around it. The City quickly evolved into an important administrative centre when it became the administrative headquarters of Nigeria’s Southern Provinces in 1929. Subsequently, it became the capital of the Eastern region, which encompassed today’s Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo, Abia, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States. After the civil war, it remained the capital of the current Southeast then called East Central States. 

“This essentially reconfirmed its positioning as the Political homeland of Ndigbo. In this light, it is my view that there is a need to establish iconic objects to commemorate the position of Enugu as our historical political center. A good first option for this would be to establish here in Enugu an Igbo hall of fame to capture the stories and images of our past heros so that our coming generations can remember their

heritage and value it.

“On this occasion, the theme for the World Igbo day is ‘Igbo Kunie’ a clarion call for Ndigbo to stand up as one. This call is apt and is coming at about the right time. 

“At this time when Ndigbo are continuing to excel in virtually every work of life and in virtually every country of the World, this is the right time for Ndigbo to pull together in one direction once again and realize the huge potential that we have always had as a people. This would provide a launchpad towards welding ourselves into a compact unit that would act for our benefit in areas of economic development, security operations and strategy as well as in sustaining

our culture: The Igbo Day conceot aligns with the resurgence in moves for improved unity and collaboration among Ndigbo.

” Some months ago, the Southeast Governors’ forum held its maiden meeting in Enugu where a number of landmark declarations were made. In addition, just today the lgbe Security and Economic Summit was concluded in Owerri, Imo State.

“These developments continue to strengthen our position as a people, hopefully this strengthening and consolidation will find expression in the area of our politics and encourage us to emulate our great forebears by building strong bridges with other ethnic blocs across the country when ever our best interests require it. In my view, such handshakes across the Niger (or benue as the case may bel would be a sign of strength and not weakness.

“This welcome trend and this event as well as others like it, will ultimately help us build capacity, which we can channel back to our homeland in the Southeast in many areas where there is room for improvement.

“For me this event is also unique in that it reminds us why we are Igbo by focusing on the things that unite us, our colourful culture and traditions. While there are many reasons for sober discourse in Igbo land at the moment, it is also important to remember that it is not all

doom and gloom. That while we still have so much to work on and repair, there is still plenty to be proud about in being Igbo.

“These are things that will continue to boost our self-beliefie. belief in Igbos and Igboland and will ultimately find expression in more tangible areas like our economy through economic growth and ultimately in increased appreciation of the need for peace and tranquility in Ana-igbo.

“Culture is also inextricably linked with societal values. Thus, as we put our culture in focus with events such as we are concluding today, we

are sure to experience salutary impact on the strength and relevance of our value systems, which recently appear more and more to be in need of a boost.

“Finally, culture as we have seen in many other parts of the World can constitute an economic asset, even to the point of becoming a foreign exchange earner for the owners of the culture in question. Countries like India, Egypt etc. entertain millions of visitors annually to cultural sites like the Taj Mahal and the oyramids respectively. Who says our culture cannot be elevated to such heights. With increasing development in the concept, even the World Igbo Day can become a

tourist attraction to Ndigoo at home and abroad as well as their friends and well wishers from across the World.

“Given the events so far, it is obvious to me that this episode has been a resounding success. On the strength of this, one can expect that the next episode will reach even new heights in attendance, splendor and overall impact, Gov. Mbah said.

Prince Dr Arthur Ezeh

“Leadership of Ohanaeze should positively engage the federal government for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu”- Prince Arthur Ezeh

Chairman of the occasion ,Prince  Dr. Arthur Eze, who was represented by Sir Izuchukwu Nwabueze , former Managing Director of Premier Breweries Plc, Onitsha., urged the leadership of  Ohanaeze to positively engage the federal government for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

He described the  theme “Igbo Kunie” as apt “and should be well-received by all Igbos”.

Ezeh expressed the confidence that  this year’s event within the administration of the , President General of Ohaneze Nidigbo Worldwide, Chief Engr. Dr Emmanuel |wuanyanwu (Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo) will yield positive results for the Igbo people.

“The 2023 Igbo Day Celebration is significant, being the first since the inauguration of the new administration at the federal level as well as in some southeastern states.

“Consequently, I use this opportunity to congratulate his Excellency President BolaAhmed Tinubu as well as the newly elected state governors at the polls.

It is my view that the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo should initiate potent measures aimed at resolving current socio-political issues negatively affecting Igbos as a people.

An important part of strategy will be to continuously engage the federal government as a united cultural block with a view.

“Igbos have made some cases relating to marginalization in the past. While some of the cases may have merit, I am of the view that long-lasting results can be achieved through round table discussions, strong undivided leadership and an organized political structure.

 “Based on this, it is necessary that the leadership of Ohanaeze should positively engage the federal government for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu whose reported health condition attracts huge sympathy.

Indeed, no number of meetings with the federal government or political consultations on the matter will be too much.

“I urge the newly inaugurated governors as well as the older ones to put in more energy and time aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere necessary for commerce to thrive in southeast, Nigeria. Already, insecurity has unleashed monumental misfortune upon the southeast economy. 

“If the governors fail to do something urgent to arrest the current financial and human capital flight currently experienced in southeast, the trend will continue to do an irreparable damage to the posterity of the people.

Therefore, I urge the governors to create more employment opportunities for our teeming youths as a way of reducing insecurity in the Region.

“I seize this opportunity to call on the federal government to address the many cases of erosion menace and damaged federal roads in the southeast. I also request His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to accommodate more Igbos in his administration.

“I congratulate the lgbos currently serving in the cabinet on their appointments, but I also urge them to continue to take the problems of the Igbos first hand to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who has demonstrated focus and open-mindedness.

It is appropriate to place on record, the fact that his Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu believes in and works with the Igbos since his political journey.

Our brothers – Pastor Ben Akabueze and Mr Joe Igbokwe are visible examples. The President equally appointed an Igbo man as Chief of Naval Staff which is first in the history of Nigeria as well as other key ministerial appointments such as Works, FCT etc.

“In a special way, let me appreciate the presence of the delegation of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Afenifere, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) etc,

for joining us in today’s Igbo Day Celebration. I enjoin the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo to work closely with the various Socio-Cultural organizations in the six geo political zones with a view to promoting national Unity and building a new Nigeria where our collective interest and peculiar diversities would be realized.


Dr. Iwuanyanwu


By President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, H.E. Chief Engr. Dr.

Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, (Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo)

Today is 29th day of September 2023, Igbos day to all Igbos is sublime. A day when Igbos In the busy and Bustle of life pause for a while, reflects on the past, examine the present and peep into the future.

A reflection in the past reveals a glorious and excellent record of achievements by our forebears in all aspect of our life. Our forebears made tremendous progress in education, commerce, industry, sports, social development and culture. Most of these gallant men and women have been recalled by the almighty God, they played a lot of parts in shaping our destiny and their memory lives on. Today the grateful Igboland will show their profound appreciation to some legendary Igbo sons and daughters.

 They will be honoured and from today. their name will be enshrined in the museum of Igbo history and Hall of Fame of Igboland which will be built here in Enugu state.

Today things are not as rosy as we expected, there is hardship in many families, many school leavers are unemployed, many businessmen are having difficulties, infrastructures required for good, quality of life and success in business such as electricity is at best epileptic. Many of the industries that created employment for our teaming youths and school leavers are moribund.

These industries include glass industry at Aba, Textile Mill at Aba, Ceramic industry at Umuahia, Poultry at Avutu Obowo, Paint and Rasen industry at Aboh Mbaise, Soft drink production in Onitsha, Steel industry at Enugu, Asbestos industry at Enugu, Coal industry at Enugu, Cement factory at Nkalagu in Eboni State, Donlope and Michelin factories in Port Harcourt Rivers State etc. On assumption of office, I was confronted by scepter of hopelessness in every part of Igboland.

I carried out a comprehensive study on Igboland, the study covered every aspect of economy including Agriculture, Commerce, Trade, Education, Culture, Youth Development, Employment and Skill Acquisition.

The outcome of the study was very promising and I was able to see from the rubbles of our past experience and mistakes, a new Igboland roaring in prosperity anchored in peace and unity.

I therefore set up the following Committees:

1. Committee on Education

2. Committee on Culture and Tradition

3. Committee on Youth Development, Employment and Skill Acquisition

4. Education Trust Fund

5. Council of Business Leaders

The Committee on Education is chaired by Prof.

Chinedu Nebo Former Vice-Chancellor University of Nigeria Nsukka and Former Minister of Power.

Education is the bedrock of the progress made by Eastern Nigeria in Economy, Agriculture and also in


The Committee on Youth Development and Skill Acquisition is chaired by His Excellency Sen. Chris Ngige Former Chairman Aka-Ikenga and former Minister of Labour and productivity. This is very important Committee which will help to create gainful employment for the Youths in other to arrest Youth’s restiveness. The Committee on Culture and Tradition is chaired by our hiHRM Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe the Obi of Onitsha. All Chairmen of traditional rulers in the five Igbo States of Southeast are members of this committee

The department of Igbo Studies in the University of Nigeria Nsuka, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Gregory University Uturu, and Imo State University have seat in this Committee.

This Committee will examine our festivals, our culture and tradition and harmonize Iri-li festivals and Kola nut breaking Rituals and set up a unified calendar for all festivals in Igbland.They will also carry out a deep study on the family and character education on our children according to Igbo Culture and Tradition.

We have set up a committee on the formation of Council of Business leaders. The Chairman of this Committee is Chief Sam Ohuabanwa. Many other prominent business men of Igboland are in this Committee.

Igbos are dispersed all over the world. I have therefore restructured Ohaneze Ndigbo.We now have Ohaneze Structures in the following Continents:

a). Continent of Europe with Ohaneze Headquarters in London. b). Continent of North America and Canada with Ohaneze Headquarters in Washinton. c).

Continent of South America and Caribbean with Ohaneze headquarters in Brazil. d). Continent of Asia with Ohaneze Headquarters in China. e). Continent of Africa with Headquarters in South Africa. f). Continent of Australia and New Zealand and all the surrounding Islands with Ohaneze Headquarters in Australia. Our committee in Diaspora is under the Chairmanship of Chief Sam Obaji.

I must express my profound thanks to the chairman southeast Governor’s forum His Excellency senator Hope Uzodinma CON. I also thank all the Governors, the governor of Anambra state, His Excellency professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo CFR.

The Governor of Enugu State His Excellency Dr. Peter Mba the Governor of Abia State His Excellency Chief Alex Otti, the Governor of Ebonyi State His Excellency Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru. The Governors of southeast played a major part on my emergency as the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide I want to say that I have received maximum corporation from them.

Since I became the President-General, most of the states have taken steps to pursue programs which Ohanaeze Considers critical to the economic and industrial developments of Igboland.

 In Imo state, the Governor has already started the dredging of Oguta lake to the Atlantic Ocean in partnership with the Nigerian Navy. The Governors of Anambra and Enugu States, 

His Excellency Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo CFR and His Excellency Barr. Peter Mba, have held a successful economic and development summit in their states. The Abia State Governor His Excellency Alex Otti and Ebonyi State Governor Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru Are also pursuing a very laudable economic development programs in their various states. All the five Southeast Governors have commendable youth development programs.

Yesterday, I was part of a very important program by the Governors of Southeast Nigeria in partnership with the Ohaneze ndigbo.

 This program which took place at Owerri was a Summit on Development and Security. They made the project to coincide with Igbo Day Celebration to emphasize their support for Ohaneze Ndigbo and also their very keen desire for development and security of Igboland.

I have in addition commenced the following programs

1. The Incorporation of Ohanaeze Development and investment Company Ltd.

Hopefully the managing director of this company will be appointed before the end of the year.

2. In partnership with Dr. Emmanuel Mbaka an

Ohanaeze International markets will the built in Umuahia. Over 200 hectares of land have been acquired for this purpose.

3. We are carrying out studies for development of new cities in the following places (a) between Okigwe and Enugu (b) in Oguta adjacent to the seaport which Imo State Government and Nigeria Navy is currently Dredging (C) Enyi Mba City by Abia State Government is being revisited. (d)

During my visit to the USA, Ohanaeze Ndigbo In diaspora showed a lot of interest in development of transport system in Igboland. We are therefore considering seriously the development of seaport at Azumini and around Ihiala Okija area through Public, Private Partnership (PPP) arrengement (e).

Our people are commercially oriented and we are seriously committed to the construction of railway line that will connect all the state capitals to Port-Harcourt, Lagos and Abuja.

We are going to set up Ohanaeze relief agency. A committee will be inaugurated to handle the incorporation of this agency. Our research shows that Enugu Coal Is one of the best in the World. We are determined to encourage our Ohanaeze Business Council to get its members to get foreign partners to be able to expand the mining of coal.

We have carried out a study on lime stone, we have substantial limestone reserve in southeast that we

can provide raw materials for up to four cement industries. We encourage our Business Council to advise its members to apply for mining lease in order to get foreign partners and financiers for the cement


I have submitted a proposal for the building of Ohanaeze Cultural Center in all the seven states of Ohanaeze to the National Executive Committee

(NEC) the headquarters of this Cultural Center will be here in Enugu and this have been approved. 

I have subsequently submitted a request to all the seven state governors to assist us to acquire land in excess of I hectare at any prime location in the state headquarters for the building of cultural center. The world headquarters of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide which is scheduled to be built at Enugu will be discussed with His Excellency Dr. Peter Mba the Governor of Enugu State.

In the past few years, we have had a sad experience in Southeast, a group of people regarded as unknown gunmen have killed some of our people. They have declared sit at home, making it impossible for our people to go about their normal activities and businesses to look after their families. Many people have lost their homes and means of livelihood. Indeed, the amount of life and property lost in southeast is alarming. As the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, 

I want to remind the federal government that in our constitution the primary duty of government is the security of life and property of the citizens. Ohanaeze Ndigbo Supports the establishment of a well-equipped state police and until that is done, we cannot hold the state governors responsible as they don’t have control over the security forces. Most of those killing people claim that the reason is that they want Mazi Nnamdi Kanu released from detention.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo has carefully reviewed Nnamdi Kanu’s case and we cannot find any just reason why he cannot be released. Ohanaeze Has for several month pleaded with the Federal Government to release him. I hereby once again on behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide make the appeal to the federal government to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu More so when courts of competent jurisdiction In Nigeria have declared him innocent.

As the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, I consider myself a Father and it pains me so much when my children are killed on daily bases. It pains me when most of them have both their lives and livelihood destroyed, I will strongly appeal to the Federal Government that in view of the fact that over two years, this situation has persisted. We need to adopt a non-kinetic approach. | strongly believe that if Mazi Nnamdi Kalu is released and a non- kinetic approach is adopted, we will be able to reduce and even stop the unnecessary killings and destruction of lives and properties.

I wish to seize this opportunity to express our thanks and gratitude to the British High Commissioner in Nigeria. During his visit to the Governor of Enugu State, He also visited me at the Ohaneze Headquarters in Enugu. I received him in the presence of top Igbo Leaders. Our discussions were very satisfactory.

On that occasion we made a request for a British VISA office in Enugu. 

There is no VISA office in the entire Southeastern Nigeria. Our people travel a lot, as a result, we spend a lot of money and time travelling to Lagos and Abuja to get VISA. I want to inform you with profound gratitude, that the British High Commissioner has granted our request. We will be very grateful if the various communities will inform their people to patronize EnuguVISA office.

It is not possible to accomplish this program without finance.At the time I assumed office, Ohaneze Ndigbo finance was very poor. We have not yet made appeal for funds.

 I have decided at this Igbo Day Celebration to appeal to patriotic Igbos to donate to Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide.

We are however grateful to the following People who have so far made contributions to the Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide. 

His Excellency Sen. Hope Uzodinma CON, the Governor of Imo State funded the burial of our late deputy national president High Chief loel Kroham from Rivers State who passed on last year. His Excellency Governor Hope Uzodinma also funded the burial of my predecessor late Prof.

George Obiozor. He also has made several contributions even before he became the Governor of Imo State.

Prince Engr. Arthur Eze (OZOIGBONDU) made a very substantial donation to Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide. His Excellency Sen. Chris Ngige, Chief Mike Nwakalo, Chief Emmanuel Mbaka, have all made contributions to the Ohaneze Ndigbo. 

I sincerely hope that the spirit of patriotism of Igboland will inspire us to donate generously to Ohaneze to enable us realize our set goals and objectives.

In recent times we have lost the following leaders of Ohaneze. Prof. Joe Irukwu, former President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Prof. Geroge Obiozor former President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide and my predecessor, and the Deputy President General High Chief Joel Kroham from Rivers State. May their Souls rest in Peace.

I cannot end this speech without drawing our attention to some of the problems confronting us as a people. There is a new painful development rearing up its head among some of our people. There have been instances where people pirate the name of Ohaneze in other to extort money from people and this has become very common. Each time I tried to call them to order, they will abuse and issue threats to me.

There is also the case of the former President of Ohaneze Youth Wing from Ebonyi State, when Prof. Obiozor was the President General, the young man was the President of the Ohaneze youth Wing.

 The Youths unanimously passed a vote of no confidence on him and removed him from office. Prof. Obiozo subsequently requested the Ebonyi State Government to send a replacement. After my predecessor’s death, this young man came to me and insisted that his job should be given back to him. I made it abundantly clear to him that the decision was made by my predecessor as such, I don’t see a reason why I should change it. He has since continued to insult and abuse me.

I called a meeting of Ohaneze Youths, and requested them to elect a president who would be on acting capacity. They unanimously elected Mazi Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu who has been the Secretary of the youth Wing. I must say with joy that Chukwuma has so far shown leadership, discipline, respect for elders and indeed a hope that in Igboland we still have youths who can take responsibilities of leadership. He will remain in office until the Ebonyi State Government appoints a replacement for the former Youth Leader.

It is also important to observe that up till now,

Rivers State has not brought a replacement for the deputy president who died in office. Every effort made to invite leaders of Imeobi from Rivers State to meetings of Ohaneze have not received any positive attention. As soon as the leadership of Rivers State presents somebody whom the NEC considers capable to be Deputy President, this individual will be sent to Imeobi for consideration.

Finally. I want to wish you a very happy Igbo Day Celebration, and to remind Igbos that as Christians, we believe that with God all things are possible. I believe that in spite of the problems of the present, the future is luminously bright for us if we put our trust in God. I will therefore as your President-General direct all Igbos Worldwide to seek the face of God by observing Seven (7) days of prayers for Igboland from |” October to 7th October 2023, every Igbo person should pray for Igboland and Nigeria. Pray that insecurity and difficulties be reduced.

It is now my proud duty to present Award of Heroism to the deserving Heroes of Igboland, the names will be read by the master of ceremony.





President general

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