Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has expressed delight that Ndigbo are regaining their voice on national issues under the current
National Executive Council (NEC) of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo headed by Chief Nnia Nwodo.
Anyaoku praised Nwodo for offering the right leadership at this critical time of the country’s history.
Anyaoku, however, charged the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, to rehabilitate the first Nigerian cement factory, NIGERCEM, located at Nkalagu in Ishielu Local Government Area of the state.
Anyaoku spoke on Thursday at the 7th edition of the annual lecture series held in his honour at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abakaliki.
While commending Nwodo for accepting to be the chairman of the occasion, Anyaoku noted that his election as the President of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo had once again signalled the significant roles of Igbo in Nigeria.
He said that the rehabilitation of the cement factory would enhance the developmental projects of Umahi’s administration and position the area for better growth.
Anyaoku explained that NIGERCEM was once the pride of Eastern Nigeria and that there was a need to resuscitate the factory which had become moribund for years.
“I urge Governor David Umahi and his administration to extend his determination in developing the state by resuscitating what was once the pride of Eastern Nigeria, the Nkalagu Cement industry, which is the first cement company in Nigeria,” he stated.
Anyaoku commended successive governments in the state for their service to humanity, especially the present administration of Governor Umahi which, he said, was ensuring rapid development and prompt payment of workers when other states were owing many months’ salaries.
He also thanked Umahi for graciously accepting to host this year’s edition of the lecture series.
The ex-Commonwealth chief expressed his gratitude to the organisers of the lecture series - Youth Affairs International (YAI) for sustaining the exercise.
In his remarks, Umahi, who was represented by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Augustine Nwankwegu, informed Anyaoku that the state government was doing everything possible to revitalise NIGERCEM.
In his address, Nwodo said that the lecture was remarkable, in view of the numerous achievements of the personality in whose honour the programme was held. He explained that the choice of focusing this year’s lecture on agriculture was borne out of the renewed interests of government on Agriculture.
Addressing the students who were the major participants in the event, Nwodo encouraged them to be more productive, and take their education seriously. He announced that Ohanaeze Ndigbo was going to wage war against lecturers who indulge in nefarious activities in the universities.