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Former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, Mrs Bianca Ojukwu, has called on Ndi Igbo, especially the political class, to close ranks and work together in order to move the Southeast region forward.
The wife of the late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, gave the advice on Friday when fielding questions from journalists on the sideline of Igbo Day celebration held at Okpara Square in Enugu State.
She also thanked Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu for the honours bestowed on her late husband, Dim Ojukwu; father-in-law, Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu; and father, Chief (Dr) C.C. Onoh.
She said; ‘The greatest problem we have is the lack of synergy and cohesion within our own socio-cultural and socio-political space, which is at best contradictory. There is a latent disconnect among the leadership and peoples across the South Eastern states.
‘An Igbo man from say, Imo State, even Enugu, cannot dream of vying for a political position in Anambra State. Even a woman that is married to a citizen of the state, pays her taxes in the state, will be buried in that same state upon death will still be hounded and reminded, when she contests for political office, that she is not a native of the state, and, therefore, should not aspire. If you suggest that an airport be named after Dr M.I. Okpara in recognition of his monumental contributions to the development of Eastern Nigeria, they will still remind you that he is from Abia State, forgetting that the international airport in Abuja is named after Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. If you suggest that it be named after an illustrious indigene of the state, for example, Sir Louis Ojukwu, that is when the real debate will begin because you will be reminded that Elon Musk is a better choice because he is far more ‘current’.
‘The double standards have bred nothing, but confusion and a deficit of cohesion and solidarity across our states. This is the bitter truth. It’s a regrettable and retrogressive attitude. Charity must begin at home if the zone is to make any appreciable progress.
‘This is not the situation among the Hausa and the Yoruba. We must bridge this gap first in order for a healthier, more progressive socio-political relationship devoid of prejudice, rancour and resentment to thrive across all Igbo-speaking states.’