Patience Igwe is not only one of the pioneers of Igbos For A Progressive Nigeria (IPAN), but is currently playing vital roles in both the national setup and Southwest zone. As the organisation, who fights for the rights of Ndigbo in a united Nigeria, is about to clock one, ONITSHAGRA.COM had a brief chat with Patience on how the group plans to celebrate their one-year anniversary.
Kindly introduce yourself to Nigerians.
My name is Igwe Patience.
For people who may not know. What’s the full meaning of IPAN?
Igbos for a progressive Nigeria.
We know you’re an important person in the organisation, but Nigerians will like to know your position in IPAN?
I am the treasurer and the deputy head of administration.
As IPAN is heading towards its one-year anniversary, would you say it has been a successful one year?
Sure, why not! We have really come real far in our quest and I’m so happy because we are heading to greater heights.
Tell us about IPAN’s essay contest.
The contest isn’t the first but the second we would be hosting. The first was a success and we know this one won’t be an exception. We felt having a contest would be a better way to impact lives and create more awareness of our existence to the public. The contest is a way of celebrating our anniversary and instead of having a party and spending money on frivolities, the contest came to us as more meaningful and more productive. Two hundred thousand naira will be shared amongst the winters. For details about the contest, people can just look at the flyers or visit IPAN’s twitter handle at @ipannigeria.
Who is funding IPAN?
We the members of IPAN are the ones doing the funding. This isn’t saying we haven’t gotten offers from prominent people who love what we do and want to associate with us in terms of funding, but we have decided we would keep it within ourselves in order to prevent us from bringing in people whose motives can’t be ascertained. IPAN is very serious about its aims, motives and objectives, and we aren’t going to allow people push us around because they want to sponsor us. We choose to remain independent.
How can interested people join IPAN?
IPAN has gone global and as such we are on most social media networks, from twitter, to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, telegram. We also have our website, and we have links which we share from time to time on all our handles for people to join us. IPAN is patriotic in the fight for one Nigeria, and as such, we have a group set aside for friends of IPAN on telegram and WhatsApp in which even non-Igbos can reach us or join us.
What advise do you have for Igbo women out there?
My advice is coming from the perspective of a wife and a mother. As women, it’s our responsibility to change the wrong narratives. Let’s train our kids to believe in themselves, eschew all arrogance and pride, tell them the truth about the Igbo race, not lies and propaganda. Let’s reach out to our husbands and plead with them to stop the bloodsheds, fake news sharing on WhatsApp or on social media. Let’s come together because women, since inception, have been known to effect change and make impacts, together we can make it work.
Thanks for speaking to onitshagra.com
Thanks for having me. God bless you all. God bless the Ndigbo. God bless the federal republic of Nigeria.