Gov Mbah advocates economic integration in South-East zone

Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah’ has called on the leaders of the South Eastern zone of Nigeria to establish a common market in the zone, urging Ohanaeze Ndigbo to work towards achieving “economic  Biafra”, a Biafra  that will make the Igboland economically self sufficient.

He spoke Wednesday , in a keynote address he delivered at a One- Day retreat with the theme,”Ako bu ije” organized by Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide at the Old Government Lodge,Enugu.

Represented by the Deputy Governor, Ifeanyi Ossai, Governor Mbah said the Nigerian civil war is over and it’s time the Igbo people should come together and ,carry out economic revolution  in the zone

 Pix- Deputy Governor Ossai

He said he believes in Biafra  and the Biafra he wants is “an economic Biafra.

The war is over. I believe in Biafra.. The Biafra I want is to embrace is economic Biafra. The past Government amended the Constitution and moved Railway from the Exclusive list to a ConCurrent list. We must work towards having a common market. We must work towards an  economic integration. 60-70% of the containers brought into Nigeria, were brought by the Igbo people.

“The Ibom sea port is the deepest in the country.  We should stop crying of being marginalized .

In the 30s -40s, John Holt, UAC had a sea port . That water at Ogurugu is still there in Uzo-Uwani. If we have a growing economy, we should marginalize other people,” he said.

He spoke on education, noting that education is a tool to fight against poverty.. Governor Mbah said, ” Enugu state Government ‘has placed high priority  in education.and that’s why we are building 260 Smart schools in the 260 political wards in the state. It is beyond politics,. You

” We consider education as the best  tool to fight poverty.  We need Ohanaeze, we need parents, Let us all in our different  capacities give them all the support they wanted 

He commended all those who had worked and are still working for the development and progress of the Igboland . He thanked specifically, Monsignor Prof Obiora Ike, Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, Prof Chinedu Nebo, the President -General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Emmanuel Iwuayanwu and many others for their sacrifices  to the development of Igboland


In a Lead paper entitled, ,”Ako bu ije” presented by Prof Okey Ikechukwu , Igbo people were advised to apply wisdom in where they are, whatever they do and utilise every good opportunity available

Pix 1- President -General Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Iwuayanwu

Pix- Prof Monsignor Obiora Ike

Professor Monsignor Obiora Ike in his presentation on “Re-orientation of values: An Panacea to insecurity in Igboland called on parents and guardians to inculcate acceptable norms and values in their children..

“They should have respect for human life, respect for the elders, The family should show good examples to their children.”, he said .He added that pride has done harm to the Igbo people. ‘Let us learn to be humble and know what were given to us. ,”  Live and let’s live. Igbo people should accommodate one another.

He also spoke on” indigenous strangers”,   explaining that they are Igbo people who do / cannot speak Igbo. He suggested that they should set up Igbo centers in different parts of the world for Igbo people to go and learn Igbo language and culture..

” Jideofor”, go and do good, do not hurt anyone..If we know ourselves, know who we are, we will rule the world” he said.

On her part, the Vice- Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri, Prof. Nnenna Otti in a presentation on ,” Education ; Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Igboland”, said , Igbo  people should understand who they are .

She noted that Igbo people are creative, they are everywhere, wherever they are, they solve problems,” we are very special, Oti said ” She stressed the need for Igbo people to  have  regional agenda, promote skill acquisition , be hard working and lead the world

Professor Otti also called for an establishment of centers for innovation, noting that the new ala Igbo entrepreneurship is now. She called for an intensified fight against insecurity, so that people could move about freely and carry out their legitimate businesses.

In a brief remarks, immediate past Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Enugu Diocese(Anglican Communion) Most Rev Prof Emmanuel Chukwuma, decried that some group attracted fund for the development of Igboland and did not use it for the purposes they brought .

He said Northerners should apologize to Igbos for killing their people.

He urge President Tinubu to release Nnamdi Kanu, saying if the Federal Government had released Sunday Ogboho, released , Sowore, who were detained fthey should also release Nnamdi Kanu.

 Other speakers included, Dr Nnaemeka Obiaraeri, who spoke on “Agricultural Development and food sufficiency in Igboland.”

He said Igboland has fertile lands and can produce rice,yam,, vegetables others. He called on Igbo people to create Agro- economy, urging the states governors to provide security in the south East region so that people can go to farm and do other legitimate businesses.. 

We can produce enough garri, onions, cassava, rice and others

Pix:: Prof Otti, VC ,FUTO

In her brief remarks, President, Umuada Igbo Nigeria , Kate Ezeofor urged Igbo people to be united, so they could achieve their goals

On his part, , the chairman of the occasion,  Rear Admiral Allison Mmadueke, said the concept of “Ako bu ije” centers on wisdom.”Anybody  who travels or goes about should apply wisdom,” he said.

 Earlier in his welcome address, the President -General ,Ohanaeze Ndigbo ,Dr. Emmanuel Iwuayanwu  said his leadership stands for a restructured Nigeria, where power will be devolved from federal government fto the states to enable the state governments to have reasonable autonomy to develop at their own pace without any hindrance  from the federal government.

This, he said, would help the states have a reasonable autonomy to develop at their own pace without any hindrance from the federal government.

“It will enable us to build our own seaports, railways and other infrastructure to develop the zone,” he said.

While calling for the creation of an extra state in the region, the Igbo leader lamented that the South-east had lost trillions because of inadequate states like in other geopolitical zones.

He threatened to take legal action against the federal government if it failed to give the region an additional state equivalent to other zones in the country, saying “We are assembling Igbo lawyers to pursue it”.

Pix: Iwuayanwu

He said Ohanaeze Ndigbo . Is in support of the implementation of Orosaya report, but strongly object any attempt to merge PRODA with any other Science  institution . He said, “PRODA is a critical part of the Igbo and Nigerian history

“It is an institution  borne out of the experience of Nigerian Civil war”, he said..

Iwuanyanwu condemned hostility to Igbo people  outside Igboland and appealed to Nigerians to see Igbo people as their  brothers.

He called on the federal government to release the Leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra ( IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu 

On Enugu Visa office, he thanked the British High Commissioner for establishing a visa office in Enugu. He called on IG.o people to patronize the office inorder to justify the need  for opening  the office in Enugu.

 Iwuanyanwu said one of the difficulties he had in the course of his job was contending with acrimony and frictions in Ohanaeze both in Nigeria and in Diaspora

The President -General condemned the attitude of some people who were embarrassing the Igbo people by claiming to hold positions which they did not contest for and urged them to rescind their actions , ,warning that  if they insist, he will take  whatever action he can  to protect  the image and integrity of Ignos which they were damaging.

Pix- Ambassador Amaka Nweke

He said the Igbo Apex group had set up different committees which included education, business leaders, culture and tradition, employment, youths and skill acquisition, Ohanaeze national honours, peace and reconciliation, Advisory council, Agriculture and Committee on Diaspora, to help move the south east zone higher.

He announced that they will establish state elders’ council. “I will request the Governors of the five Eastern states to establish council of elders in their various states.Membetship  will be as specified in the Constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.,” Iwuayanwu said.

On Americans of Igbo descent, Iwuanyanwu said ,” many Americans who have discovered their ancestry from  Igboland  have requested to come for  pilgrimage to Igboland. I sincerely recommend that we must make it  possible for them to visit Igboland this year 2024. I am going  to  discuss with our Governors and Igbo will be notified subsequently”.

On sports, he said Ohanaeze Ndigbo will organize inter – state competition football, athletics and other sporting activities, in April,2024, noting that some of the sporting competitions will be used to immortalize some Igbo heroes like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. Michael Okpara, Dennis Osadebe, Akanu Ibiam, Chikwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu and others.

He thanked the South East Governors and Igbo sons and daughters for their support,appealing for additional support. to Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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