Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has said that the greatest honour political leaders can accord the leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, is to build a united but restructured and just Nigeria, which he lived and died for.
Ekweremadu disclosed this yesterday in his opening remarks as chairman of the second Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Memorial Lecture at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Igbariam, Anambra State.
His words, “From the structural imbalances, which inescapably counts against the South East zone in particular in its voting power at the National Assembly, the distribution of national offices, revenue sharing, and other blessings of democracy such as infrastructure, to the defective federalism that has made it impossible for Ndigbo to fully harness their potential, Ndigbo have many grounds to be dissatisfied.
“This state of affairs has effectively reared two schools of thought in the South East region on the way forward. There are those, mostly the younger Igbo generation, who believe that the best way forward is total separation from the Nigerian state and the actualisation of a sovereign state of Biafra. This has resulted in agitations, which got to its crescendo in recent years.
“On the other hand is the school of thought, to which I belong, and which believes that Ndigbo can indeed blossom, actualise their potential and be happy in a restructured Nigerian state.”
The Enugu senator elaborated on this in his Position Paper entitled ‘Biafra: The Legal, Political, Economic, and Social Questions’, presented at the July 2017 meeting of the highest echelon of Igbo leadership at the height of the pro-Biafra agitations and military operations in the South East.
Ekweremadu added, “This position resonates with the thoughts of Ezeigbo Gburugburu, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, in the lecture entitled ‘Nigeria: The Truths that are Self-Evident’ he delivered on February 22, 1994 and was affirmed in the Awka Declaration where Ndigbo affirmed their commitment to a united, but restructured and just Nigeria.”On immortalising Ojukwu, he stressed: “Ikemba came ahead of his time, he lived ahead if his time, and he died ahead of his time because the laudable visions he longed for are yet to be realised.
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“Therefore, our nation and her leaders owe it to the memory of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to strengthen Nigeria as a political entity where justice, peace, love, and unity reign; where national interest is supreme and where every Nigerian and every part thereof are free and able to actualise its legitimate dream unmolested and irrespective of religious, political and tribal affiliations and origin. This is indeed the greatest honour and tribute he can get from us.”