By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has advised South-East governors to make adequate preparation and put the necessary infrastructure to accommodate victims of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Ohanaeze has also planned to acknowledge Igbo sons and daughters that have played key roles in the economic development of the Igbo nation and Nigeria at large.
Briefing journalists yesterday in Abuja on the forthcoming Igbo Day celebration, President of Ohanaeze, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, chapter, Mazi Odozi Nwodo, flanked by the chairman of Igbo Day 2019 Planning Committee, Dr. Kachi Iheme, frowned at the attacks on Nigerians in South Africa despite the contributions of the country towards dismantling apartheid.
The Ohanaeze President challenged governors of the South-East geo-political zone to provide palliatives for Nigerians returning from South Africa.
According to him, “the South-East governors must put things on ground to assist those returning from South Africa, the bulk of whom are Igbo people. We call on them to use this opportunity to put infrastructure that will cushion the effect of their unplanned dislocation.
“However, with the return of our brothers and sisters, Ohanaeze is not empowered economically to assist. But I am sure the states and the Federal Government must have done things to make sure that those people coming back don’t feel the effect of their unexpected disengagement from South Africa.”
Nwodo explained that the events taking place in South Africa were not only a slight on South Africa, but a shame to the entire Africa.
He said: “In the 70s, Nigeria took responsibility in not only nurturing but empowering those leaders in South Africa today. I am also aware that Nelson Mandela in the heydays of his struggle was quartered in Igboland, precisely in the house of the one we call the Boy is Good, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, the only surviving minister of the First Republic.
“For South Africans to start behaving the way that they are doing is quite unfortunate.”
On the Ndigbo Day celebration, Nwodo said the group will be honouring prominent individuals from the South-East who have contributed immensely to the development of the Igbo nation and the country at large.
His words: “We are honouring our heroes past and remembering those that are present. Without doubt, a lot of Igbo have contributed immensely, not just to the good of Igbo nation, but beyond the Igbo nation. For a start, the peace we are talking about today; the Igbo are the cement that is holding Nigeria together.”