Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
President General Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr Nnia Nwodo, has cautioned Nigerians against any form of discrimination against Igbo, recalling that Nigeria belongs to all ethnic nationalities living in it.
Nwodo stressed that the present composition of the country allows for the participation of all the ethnic and political groups, hence the need for Igbo to be given adequate opportunities to participate in various political activities wherever they live in the country.
Speaking at this year’s Igbo Cultural Day celebration held in Akure, Ondo State, Nwodo lamented that the Igbo ethnic nationality is the most marginalised ethnic group in the country.
The Ohaneze leader urged that the Igbo people should be allowed to hold political positions in any part of the state where they find themselves.
“As a student in the university of Ibadan, I contested for the post of the president of the Students’ Union and defeated a Yoruba man. Despite being an Igbo man, I enjoyed the support of the Yoruba people who are majority of the students.”
“I expect the same thing to happen in the larger society. I look forward to a country where an Igbo man will contest and win an election in Ondo or Osun State. And a Yoruba man will contest and win election in Imo or Enugu State,” he added.
Nwodo also enjoined Igbo people living outside their home states to respect the culture and traditions of their host communities and be guided by the laws of the land.
He lauded the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, for creating an enabling environment for Igbo to live and do their businesses, saying it was unprecedented.
He also stressed the need for business collaboration between the state and Igbo, adding that Igbo people are ready to partner Akeredolu to drive the economy of the state.
In his remarks, Mr Akeredolu solicited the support of the Igbo ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Akeredolu specifically called on Igbo living in the state to support his administration in his desire to transform the state and turn it to economic hub of the nation.
Similarly, the former governor of the state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, called on Igbo to ensure that they support credible candidates with good antecedents in the next year’s general election.
Mimiko who is contesting for the Ondo Central senatorial district election on the platform of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) said Igbo hold vital position in the country and urged them to ensure that they vote wisely during the forthcoming elections.
Describing Igbo ethnic nationality as an indefatigable force in the country, Governor Akeredolu who said they are lovers of good governance and democracy, assured that his administration would not discriminate against them.
He said Igbo living in the state benefit from all programmes of his government, adding that many of them are given contracts to execute like their Yoruba counterparts.
The governor urged Igbo to enjoy all the rights and privileges open to Yoruba in the state.
Also, he advised Igbo in the state to remain committed to
the course of advancing the economic frontiers of the state, promising that his government would continue to partner them for the progress of the state.