From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The Igbo think tank, Nzuko Ndigbo, and other Igbo groups in the diaspora will converge on Umuahia on December 28, for the 4th edition of an International Christmas Retreat, where a decision on the 2023 election will be taken.
Also expected at the event are People’s Democratic Party (PDP) G5, clergy, traditional rulers, captains of industry, student leaders, youths and women leaders.
Organizers of the retreat said during the event, a decision concerning the Igbo on the 2023 general polls would be taken and a communique issued.
Disclosing these while addressing journalists in Umuahia, the Trustee of Igbo Think Tank, Prof Maduike Ezeibe and Mr Chuks Ibegbu, Local Organizing Chairman, and leader, Nzuko Ndigbo respectively, who are organizers of the event, explained that the “Igbos should be given the 1999 settlement which calmed the tension in the country.”
Prof Ezeibe, who is renowned for discovering drugs for the treatment of HIV, reasoned that the arrangements that produced Chief Olusegun Obasanjo which calmed the June 12 imbroglio, should be applied in 2023 for an Igbo man to become the President.
Prof Ezeibe pointed out that if 1999 is applied, the tensions in the country, especially the insecurity challenges in the South East may be a thing of the past.
“We know what happened in 1999. Our brother Ekwueme formed the PDP, but Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was brought out from prison and made the President under an arrangement to calm the tension in the West”.
He pointed out that the Igbo have sacrificed a lot for the country by living and developing every place they find themselves, noting that it was time for the nation to reciprocate their commitment.
The event which will hold at Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia, would also be used by the Igbo to decide on whom to support in the 2023 general elections.
The theme for this year’s International Christmas Retreat is “Ndigbo, yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” while the sub-theme would be “Ndigbo in Geo Politics of Nigeria, the case of 2023”.
The organizers noted that respected Igbo scholars like Prof Elochukwu Amucheazi, Prof Maduike Ezeibe, Prof Obasi Igwe and Prof Chris Osuagwu would deliver lectures on the way forward for the Igbos, at the event.