The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has set aside Wednesday, September 29, for the 2021 edition of Igbo Day celebration in Enugu.
President General, Amb Prof. George Obiozor who disclosed this at the inaugural meeting at the National Secretariat, Enugu, said the theme of the Celebration is “ONYE AGHANA NWANNE YA” , translated “DO NOT ABANDON YOUR OWN”.
He expressed optimism that the celebration will be very unique in several ways, including prayer in all Churches in Igbo Land on Sunday, September 26, 2021, public lecture at the International Conference Centre, Institute of Management and Technology, IMT, Enugu on Tuesday, September 28 2021; by Professor Osita Ogbu of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.
“Creativity Display by prominent Igbo Nollywood entrepreneurs, The Grand Finale which takes place at Michael Okpara Square, Independence Lay Out Enugu, on Wednesday September 29, 2021 under the distinguished Chairmanship of Chief Allen Onyema- Chairman/CEO of the renowned indigenous Airline, Air Peace,” he said.
Obiozor said other programmes lined up for the Grand Finale, will be Match Past by Cultural Troupes from all Igbo Speaking States and Communities in Igbo Land.
“The hallowed Event will also offer a unique opportunity for Individuals, Captains of Industry, Groups, Companies, Universities and States to showcase and advertise their local Produce and Innovations,” he added.
Obiozor further set up a Central Planning Committee(CPC) led by His Royal Majesty, Amb. Lawrence G.O.C Agubuzu, a retired Federal Bureaucrat and Traditional Ruler of Olo Community in Ezeagu LGA of Enugu State, and Chairman of the Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, as Chairman; and Hon. Chief Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia- National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, as Secretary to the CPC.
“The Chairman of the Central Planning Committee, Ambassador Agubuzu commended the concept of Igbo day and promised that the committee will do everything possible to deliver on its core mandate,” he added.
In his remarks, Ohanaeze Spokesman, Hon. Chief Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, hailed the choice of Enugu as the Igbo capital, saying it offers the necessary ambience, hospitality, peace and security.
Expantiating on the concept of Igbo Day Celebration and the reasons for September 29, Hon. Chief Ogbonnia revealed that the events of 1966, especially that of 29th September, that led to the Nigerian Biafran War, are very remarkable in the history of Igbo nation.
He said, “Sequel to the above, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, thus set aside September 29 every year as a special day. It is a day of sober reflection on one hand, and a day to celebrate the Igbo resilience, ingenuity, entrepreneurial skills and frontier spirit, on the other.
“Without sounding immodest, all Nigerians affirm that Ndigbo are endowed with the highest human creative potential, perhaps in the whole Africa.
“This is an ethnic Group that has suffered various kinds of lnjustice, Alienation and relative Deprivations, and have remained afloat in the Academia,Corporate world, Transportation, Tourism, Commerce and Industry, etc.
“Instead of mourning, we have chosen to celebrate the God’s love and kindness towards the Igbo.
“We celebrate the innate capacity and perseverance in the Igbo to break physical boundaries and achieve results where most fail.
“We celebrate that we passed through the valley of the shadow of death and bounced back; passed through the belly of the whale; traversed turmoil and hell and bounced back to glory and spendour.
We celebrate the Courage, Tenacity and Adaptability to live and thrive in all parts of the world.
We celebrate the promise of God that he fights for the oppressed.
Ndigbo are happy that the person in the stature of Amb. Prof. George Obiozor is at the helm of affairs as the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Obiozor, since he assumed office has deployed his wealth of experience and contacts to collaborate with the leadership of other ethnic groups in Nigeria. His profound intellectual prowess and exceptional diplomatic finesse have found expression in various issues that confront Ndigbo at this critical time.
Above all, his track record to selfless service to Ndigbo has earned him a treasure that is beyond the rust and tarnish of even the least charitable among humans.
Amb. Obiozor sees Igbo Day Celebration, Enugu 2021 as a turning point in Igbo history. It is a convocation of some sorts; a renewal of Igbo Spirit of Pragmatic Socialism, Oneness, shared Values and Onyeaghananwanneya.