THE need for unity among the Igbo people in Nigeria took the centre stage yesterday in Enugu, as prominent Igbo leaders converged at the residence of Ikemba Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to celebrate his 78th birthday .
Although the former Biafran leader had been away in the past 11months due to ill health , but his absence was not a hindrance to Igbo leaders, religious leaders and friends who gathered to wish him more happy years and quick recovery.
Present at the event were the leader of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign States of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike , Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, his Anambra State counterpart, Peter Obi, National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh; former Governor of Imo State Ikedi Ohakim;
Others were the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof Charles Soludo, Publisher of Champion Newspapers, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, among others.
In his address, Okorocha declared that the day the Igbo decided to come together, other groups in Nigeria would bow for them stressing that disunity had torn the zone apart.
According to him, the problem of Ndigbo was themselves because they have not come together and work as one and queried what the Igbo were looking for that is hindering them from coming together.
Okorocha continued that day of the Igbo looking for pity and crying of marginalisation was over because no one can marginalise the Igbo, rather they are the ones marginalising themselves.
Okorocha advised the Igbo to shun violence or adopting methods by other Nigerians to achieve their aims because violence would not take the Igbo anywhere.
He described the celebration of Ojukwu’s birthday as a celebration of excellence and to give honour to whom honour is due.
Obi, observed that whatever progress Nigeria had made today was as a result of the sweat of the Igbo as it were the Igbo that spearheaded the struggle for Nigeria’s independence.
Obi noted that the Igbo were ahead of all other groups in Nigeria before and after independence and challenged the Igbo to reinvent themselves and take their rightful position in the scheme of things in Nigeria.
In her remarks, Ojukwu’s wife, Bianca, said she was overwhelmed by the show of love for her husband and the mammoth crowd that turn out for the event that was supposed to be a private one.