“If we can’t get political power, let us get economic power and that is the foundation that has been laid for all of us.”
Magnus Eze, Enugu
First Republic minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi, has charged Ndigbo to eschew self-pity and cry of marginalisation, saying only economic power will save Igbo.
Regardless, the 89-year-old and only surviving nationalist, urged Igbo to take their destiny in their hands, adding that he has no regrets struggling for the nation’s independence.
He said the pitiable condition of Nigeria would almost make him weep at night.
“I almost weep anytime I go to bed and I begin to wonder if those colleagues and comrades who have left this world see what is happening and how sad they would be in their graves.
“Unfortunately, I don’t see any sign of hope. It is said that Anambra, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi and Enugu-Igboland, is being marginalised and I say nobody is marginalising you unless you’re marginalising yourself. Power is not given; power is taken.
“If we can’t get political power, let us get economic power and that is the foundation that has been laid for all of us.
“That’s why we have the qualified men and women that God has given this part of the country, but, we are not using it well now because we hitherto have no direction,” he stated.
Speaking at a public event in Enugu, yesterday, the elder statesman described the present crop of politicians as opportunists and careerists, who think mainly about themselves.
He, however, declared that it is not late for the South East to rediscover themselves by developing the region economically.
“Let us grab that economic leadership. If political power eludes us and we are economically empowered in this country, politicians will respect us.
‘They cannot do without us; let us develop an eastern region, let us develop the South East zone, that this country cannot do economically, without us. If we do that, the so-called governmental power and people will come and beg you; saying ‘come and take power; come and show us how it was done in your place.’”
He regretted that state creation further divided the Igbo as people now talk of state of origin instead of merit.
“We are now talking of states. In our own time, we were not conscious of where you came from.
“The Igbo State Union was led by an Nnewi man, but the secretary general was from Oba, seven miles away.
“Today, we are talking, when Anambra man is the president general, an Imo man must be secretary general and an Ebonyi man must be the treasurer, whether they are qualified or not.”