In order to commemorate its one year anniversary, an organization dedicated to protecting the interest of Ndigbo in Nigeria, Igbo For A Progressive Nigeria (IPAN) is conducting a one year commemorative essay competition open to youths of Igbo extraction.
Tagged: The Igbo Nation, Exploring and Attaining Her Full Potentials In A United Nigeria, Discuss, call for entries closes June 24
Speaking, the National Publicity Secretary of IPAN, Barr Arinze Odiari revealed that the essay is targeted at the youths who are the beacons of hope for development and progress noting that it is sad that unfounded stories of hopelessness and disenchantment among Ndigbo dominate the Nigerian news space.
“This essay will bring out the potentials in Igbo youths. Igbo are known for a lot of positive things including commerce. It is clear that even if the elders have made their mistakes, we can’t afford to let the youths to do same. This is the time to have them put their thoughts down on paper and retain same in their minds as they grow and make themselves worthy Igbo ambassadors in a united Nigeria. Interested youth should visit the website of IPAN at www.ipannigeria.com. For more details on the essay.”
Also speaking, Nollywood practitioner, Lawrence Onuzulike, National President of IPAN opened up on what gave birth to the organisation.
He said: “IPAN was born out of a desire to unite the Igbo and bridge the gap between Ndigbo and people of other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. For many years, Ndigbo have been misrepresented as certain groups have portrayed Ndigbo as troublemakers who are always complaining and are very difficult to live with and this is unfounded. However, many Igbo leaders unfortunately allowed these false narratives to fly because they profited politically from them.
“The impression that the majority of Ndigbo want to leave Nigeria is false. IPAN was formed to counter all these wrong assumptions. Igbo people are happy resident in any part of Nigeria they find themselves and are happy being part of this great country. Of course, many believe that certain things should be done better but not to the point of losing all they have laboured for in the name of secession.”
Onuzulike added that IPAN will provide Igbo progressives worldwide a platform to share their views in matters concerning the Igbo.
“We’re happy that today Igbo that desire a united peaceful Nigeria can boldly come out and say that without fear of being abused or labeled traitors. We are elated that our relentless efforts at enlightening, educating, re-focusing and re-orientating our people are paying off gradually as many Igbo now agree with IPAN that we should start holding our leaders in the South East accountable.
While the winner of the essay competition goes home with N100, 000, the second and third runners-up will go home with N50, 000 and N30, 000 respectively. There will also be 20 consolation prizes of IPAN souvenirs.