By Emmanuel Nzomiwu, Daily Independent Reporter, Enugu
Group Politics Editor of Independent Newspapers Limited (INL), Sunny
Igboanugo; and distinguished Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike
Ahamba; were among eminent Igbo men who were awarded certificates of
recognition by the pan Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze
Ndigbo for their contributions to the cause of the Igbo nation.
Others who were recognised include Chief Enechi Onyia (SAN), Sir Chris
Okoye, Prof. Ben Obumselu,Prince( Engr.) Ralph Ndigwe and newly-
inaugurated Secretary General of Ohanaeze
Ndigbo, Chief Nduka Eya.
Outgoing President General of Ohanaeze, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, presented
certificates to these personalities at the weekend during the handing
over ceremony of Ohanaeze Ndigbo at Awka, Anambra State.
Delivering his valedictory address titled 'The Ethnic Group and the
Nation', Ikedife thanked the entire Ndigbo for electing him to the
high office and supporting him whole-heartedly during the difficult
years of his tenure.
In the address that contained some parting words to his successor,
Ambassador Ralph Uwaechue, he noted that the presidency of Ohanaeze is
ideally a full-time job, though people do not appreciate fully what it
entails presiding at
Imeobi (inner caucus) meetings, National
Executive Committee meetings and several other committee meetings.
The Igbo patriot recalled that the last two years under his reign were
exceptionally difficult characterised by problems, some of which arose
from the way the 2003 election was conducted.
According to him, in some South East states, the people knew which
parties won election but did not know who their candidates were while
the Houses of Assembly were torn by factional conflicts between Abuja
men and local men.
Also recalling that the tenure of the Governors was always in danger,
Ikedife noted that Senate presidents of Igbo extraction were also
liable to step on banana peels, all being manoeuvrings of the imperial
presidency in Abuja
which wanted to take personal control of politics
Pointing out that Ohanaeze believes in justice and equity in the
country, he demanded that there should be parity of states among the
geo-political zones and that South East gets a sixth state to bring it
at par with other zones that have at least six states each, though one
Ikedife regretted that Nigeria became a federation only in name but a
unitary state in reality, where economically, it narrowed the
perspective of government from many development issues which regional
issues used to address to petroleum only.
"Ohanaeze Ndigbo is convinced that the Nigerian economy will not be
diversified until the constitution is reviewed to provide for six or
eight federating units," he said.
Tony Otoiheoma Egbe
IWA Media & Publicity.