Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has advised the Igbo not to be tired of working for the unity of the country.
According to Gov Uzodimma, the past and current antecedents of the Igbo indicate they have always shown the way for others to follow as regards a united country.
The governor spoke on Saturday at the Imo Concorde Hotel Owerri at a lecture organized by Imo State Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in honour of Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu’s 80th birthday.
The theme of the lecture delivered by former President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo was ‘Igbo Quest for Nigeria’s Unity.’
In his remarks, Governor Uzodimma said the Igbo have demonstrated fidelity in the Project Nigeria, both in the past and now, hence it is not in doubt they love Nigeria passionately and will always love to be part and parcel of the country.
He insisted that what the Igbo have in abundance in terms of skills in different spheres of human endeavour they lack in the power of negotiation.
Governor Uzodimma explained that past and present day Igbo leaders like the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and the celebrant, Chief Iwuanyanwu believed in the unity of Nigeria.
He added that the experience from the Civil War which affected the Igbo adversely as well as the impact of the on-going war between Russia and Ukraine does not suggest that the path of violence to achieve a set goal by any group should be a better option to adopt.
In his lecture, Chief Nwodo highlighted the sacrifices the Igbo have made to keep Nigeria one and suggested that the Igbo, like other ethnic nationalities in the country, are qualified to occupy the highest political office in the country.
He also singled out Chief Iwuanyanwu as one of the great Nigerians of Igbo extraction who have sacrificed all they have in human and material resources to keep the country one.
Earlier, Chairman of the occasion and former President Goodluck Jonathan congratulated Chief Iwuanyanwu for attaining the 80 year milestone, describing him as one patriotic Nigerian who loves the country passionately and gave his all to keep it as one.
Jonathan who described Chief Iwuanyanwu as his father said he learnt a lot from him in his own political journey.
He said it is difficult to ignore the Igbo in the Project Nigeria and canvassed for a more united race with all the potentials to achieve their dream.
The Chairman of the Correspondents Chapel, Chris Njoku, while congratulating the celebrant poured encomium on Chief Iwuanyanwu as a rare Nigerian of Igbo stock who has contributed in all spheres of human endeavour for the good of the society.
Njoku also thanked Governor Uzodimma for accepting to host the occasion and lauded the governor for the giant strides he has recorded in Imo State in the area of infrastructure, security of lives and property among others.