2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
Nweke extols Late M.I Okpara; calls for shared vision for the Igbo race; addresses Biafran agitators
Frank Nweke Jr, former minister of information and national orientation and the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, on Thursday, January 19, 2023, delivered a lecture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
He was received in the school by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Arizechukwu Igwe, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Patrick Uchenna Okpoko, the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Professor Obi-Ani and the Head of the English and Literary Studies Department and Chairman, Local Organizing Committee for the lecture, Professor Stella Okoye.
The lecture themed “Reclaiming Our Identity: Politics and Development in Igboland” was the first edition for 2023 under the Distinguished Lecture Series of the Faculty of Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
In his detailed presentation, Nweke addressed the subject of Igbo marginalisation in Nigeria, the call for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction, agitations for a sovereign state of Biafra and the leadership vacuum in the southeast, which he claimed was responsible for the current challenges experienced by the region.
He opined that while the exclusion of the southeast from mainstream governance at the federal level was indisputable, it remained only a fraction of the cause of our current regional predicament. He took the audience through a history of southeasterners who had occupied several federal positions through the years without commensurate benefits to the southeast.
Nweke further buttressed his point by sharing the exploits of Dr Michael Okpara, and the successes recorded in the southeast in the late 1950s and early 1960s, calling on leaders and citizens to “demand and work for is another Michael Okpara moment.”
“We need the rebirth of vision and courage, determination and industry, ambition and success to create an Aladimma worthy of the potential that the Almighty has so generously endowed our people with.”
Nweke called for collaboration and a shared vision for ndigbo, a renewed appreciation for our history and a revival of the values that drove leaders such as Michael Okpara.
Addressing biafran agitators, Nweke stated that while the agitations for secession could be traced to logical reasons, the methods deployed by the majority of the separatists groups were counterproductive.
In his submissions, the guest lecturer recalled the devastating effects of the civil war, highlighted the loss incurred by the southeast for every day a sit-at-home order is observed and implored individuals demanding a secession to consider the effects continued agitations would have on the people they desire to liberate.
“The effects of your agitation today are not felt by those who govern us. Instead, the poor are getting poorer, being battered by a government that ignores them and a nonstate actor that keeps them in fear.
“The Southeast bleeds profusely every Monday that local businesses, schools, hospitals, and institutions are closed. We lose an average of N75.711 billion every day that a sit-at-home is observed”, he shared.
He urged them to pay attention to instituting a leadership structure that will be trusted and held accountable to deliver the dividends of democracy to our region.
“What is the quality of the leadership that will take over the reins of administration should a referendum be granted, and the new entity demanded with intense passion become a reality?
“I implore you to reconsider the motives and the strength of your pursuit. I speak to you as one that is unhappy with the current system and wants to see a change, that we sit down and re-evaluate our methods, our goals, and our values.”
The session ended with the bestowal of an award for Excellence in Leadership by the Faculty of Arts, presented by a former Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Nnanyelugo Okoro.
The Deputy Gubernatorial Candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Dr. Edith Ugwuanyi, the party chairman in Enugu, Ndubuisi EnechiOnyia, and the APGA House of Representatives candidate for Enugu North and South Federal Constituency, Nonso Nnamani were also present at the event.
Full text of the lecture is available here
Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.
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