“Ndigbo will never be victims again, of Nigerian tragic circumstances which they did not create nor can they control,” was the solemn vow of George Obiozor, former Nigerian Ambassador to the US, as he outlined his programme as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, if he finally lands the job this month.
Obiozor, who was also former ambassador to the State of Israel and Republic of Cyprus, who stated that the job of the leader of the apex umbrella body of Igbo organisations, required full commitment to the service of the people, told reporters in Owerri, Imo State that he would assemble Igbo talents and experts to cater and defend the destiny of Ndigbo if elected into the position.
The Igbo top job would leave Enugu to Imo State, this January, with Rivers in line in fulfillment of the rotational nature of choosing officers among the six states it covers, including Delta, which produced Ralph Uwechue.
Insisting that Ndigbo would revert to their preeminent position in Nigeria, rather than being concerned to the crying baby, which had been their lot for several years now, he argued that the problems only needed the right approach as they were not insurmountable.
Such approach, would include appreciable success and diplomatic dexterity, decency and decorum, the former Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), said, rather than being a career or a job or a position to fulfill personal ambition, Ohanaeze leadership should at this moment be a position that must come through inspiration and experience.
Calibrating the Igbo position in Nigeria, he said they represented the economic and business ingenuity bulwark, which had had earned them a mixed bag response of praise, jealousy and envy.
The accomplished diplomat and international personality, promised to elevate the ingenuity of Ndigbo from individual developments to a new era of prosperity using the Ohanaeze platform to drive the Economic Stabilisation Fund the area recently created.
“Where Ndigbo have found themselves, the team that represents them matters. That will determine much of the destiny of Ndigbo in Nigeria or what follows. Our position should therefore begin with efforts to effectively reintegrate Ndigbo into Nigerian political process effectively, significantly and relevantly. This will require a serious diplomacy and not confrontations or conflicts. Power elites reward their friends and frustrate or punish their enemies.
“For far too long, Ndigbo have been objects of stereotype and profiling which ended in being misunderstood and misrepresented in national politics or business, academia or artisans. Negative profiling has been an igbo cross to carry since Nnamdi Azikiwe’s emergence in Nigeria politics in the 1940s.
“Consequently, quite often Igbos were confronted with envy, anger, hostility and violence at any given crises in Nigeria and even outside Nigeria. But in the end, it is still better to envy Ndigbo than pity us.
“We’ve been known to be turning obstacles into prosperity. What Igbo are suffering today are not new. But we surmounted them in the past. Igbo were not the first graduates in Nigeria but we led the country in almost every sector. I maintain that success is the greatest revenge against injustice.
We’ve done well.
There is a chance for the Igbo to start on a new narrative. Ndigbo could be unified again closer to Igbo state union days, Many things unite us but we’re paying attention to few things that divide us. That’s our main problem and that can change.”
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