Obasanjo urges Igbo ‘unity’

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo [Photo credit: dailypost.ng]
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo [Photo credit: dailypost.ng]

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged people of the South East zone to shy away from the spirit of individualism and unite to achieve the political aspirations that has eluded them for the development of the region.

Speaking on Thursday at the South East Security and Economic Summit in Enugu, Mr. Obasanjo said the zone would not achieve much with continued individualism and lack of cohesion amongst them.

He said the people of the area seemed to have forgotten their spirit of enterprise and communal efforts, which stood them apart from other ethnic groups in the country.

He said the zone was unique and that it needed to use its uniqueness to its advantage to negotiate the actualisation of their aspirations.

“The South East is known for their spirit of enterprise and adventure and you have to utilize it for improved development and security.

“You must work together and not be divided. You must shy away from the spirit of individualism and must earn solidarity with your neighbours,” he said.

Mr. Obasanjo urged the state governments to leverage on the abundant natural resources in the zone to improve the lives of their people.

He said the South East could be the food basket of the nation, adding that state governments needed to take the responsibility of engaging the youths to check restiveness.

“I don’t think I should be eulogized for facilitating this summit in the South East because I did the same thing when I visited Maiduguri because of the problem of Boko Haram,” Mr. Obasanjo said.

Earlier, the Chairman of the summit, Emeka Anyaoku, said the event was non-partisan and a commitment to the economic and security well-being of the region.

Mr. Anyaoku, who is a former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, said the South East felt neglected as it was experiencing the worst economic challenge in the country.

“Although every other zone in the country is experiencing economic malaise but that of the South East is more grievous.

“There is a sense of neglect and non-inclusion in this zone by the Federal Government and that is why coordination among the state governments is very necessary,” he said.

He, therefore, appealed to the state governors and the organised private sector to devote greater attention to building bridges of unity in the zone.

Mr. Anyaoku said there would be no need for the Federal Government to periodically bailout state governments if the country was restructured with fewer federating units.

“The summit is also working for the advancement of the entire country. If the Nigerian federation is restructured with fewer units this country will achieve greater stability,” Mr. Anyaoku said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by governors of Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi and the deputy governor of Anambra state.

Other dignitaries that attended the event include former vice president, Alex Ekwueme, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Azubuike Ihejirika.

The rest are government officials from the five South East states, members of the state houses of assembly and others. (NAN)


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  • Okey Okoye

    At the end, what was the outcome of the summit? Am quite aware, nothing will come out of it. Igbo’s must chart their owe course to move forward. For any other ethnic group to do it for them, be it the president or ex- president, impossible.

    • Peter Mokwuah

      ala uruala who allowed the adaka of oka to polute ala oma umu ala oma, ala akwual oduiopu ihem unwuuooo

  • Really

    Obasanjo please demonstrate unity to the Igbos by uniting yourself with your Yorubas. Alright.

  • GOK

    There are really very great potentials and talents in the region. It should be the hub of scientific innovation & discovery, engineering and commerce. I hope our leaders can see beyond the tribal sentiments and really invest massively in the Eastern region.

  • GOK

    The truth is that what sells a nation and makes it great is the quality of her human talents as demonstrated first in science and technology. No wonder why Japan, China, Korean(Norh & South), Taiwan and even India are now taking over the world stage! My take is that Nigeria as a country may not be able to develop to its full potentials if the Eastern bloc, who is highly talented in Science&Technology is not given prominence and attention it deserves. A serious president should make this region his first home.

    • NwaIgbo

      The only reasonable contribution here so far, others are baby talk.If the technology developed during the civil war was supported and developed, Nigeria today would be close to Malaysia or Taiwan but fear and hatred of the Igbos stopped that. By the way, OBJ told Igbos the truth, take it or leave it.

      • obiora

        That word IF is NIGERIA´S Problems and it is a very big word.Enemies can not work together. First fear for your life before talking of JAPAN or TAIWAN.

    • Yemi

      The SE is no more talented in science and technology than any other region. Ekiti for instance has the greatest number of academics than any other region. The only reason why the SE lacks behind is because they are divided and suffer an inferiority complex which holds them back. I would suggest that they are the victims of their own stupidity.

  • obiora

    Obasanjo Please we are no more intrested for Nigerian President BIFRA we want. Criminals wanted now to blackmail Igbo people with Nigerian President but we will reject it because of BIAFRA: Biafra will have too all the offices that Nigeria is Haveing now.

  • obiora

    Keep your Nigeria Politics to yourself WE want BIAFRA.

    • Arabakpura

      It is hereby approved!