Ohanaeze holds 2021 Igbo day celebration on September 29, in Enugu

From Maurice Okafor,Enugu

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has concluded plans to hold the 2021 edition of  Igbo day celebration on Wednesday, September 29,at Okpara square,Enugu.

A press statement signed by the National publicity secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,Chief Alex Ogbonnia, made available to news men disclosed that the theme of this year’s Igbo Day Celebration is titled ,Onyeaghananwanneya which literally means “Be your brother’s keeper” 

According to the press statement, the Central planning committee of the event as set up by the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador Professor George A. Obiozor, is  headed by Ambassador Lawrence O.C. Agubuzu, who is the curent chairman of Enugu state council of traditional rulers, with Chief Alex Ogbonnia, the  national spokesman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,as Secretary.

 The programme of events to mark the 2021 Igbo day celebration as rolled out by the central planning committee include prayer in all Churches in Igbo Land on Sunday, September 26, 2021. 

It will be  followed by a public lecture on Tuesday,September 28, to be delivered by Professor Osita Ogbu,a lecturer at University of Nigeria,Enugu campus.  The venue of the lecture is International Conference Centre,  Institute of Management and Technology, IMT, Enugu. Some Nollywood artists of Igbo origin will be on ground to add colour to the lecture.

 Among the programme lined up for the grand  finale  scheduled at Okpara on Wednesday,September 29, are a match past by various cultural troupes from diferent states and communities in Igbo land, echibition of locally manufactured products and equipments by Igbo enterpreneurs, companies, individuals,universities etc.

According to Ohanaeze press statement, the grand finale of the 2021 Igbo day celebration will be chaired by Chief Allen Onyema, the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace, an indigenous Airline.
At the inaugural meeting of the Central planning committee held yesterday at Ohanaeze Ndigbo National secretariat,located at No 7 Park avenue,GRA,Enugu,it’s chairman, Ambassador Agubuzu commended the concept of Igbo day and promised that the committee will do everything possible to deliver on its core mandate.

In his remarks, the Ohanaeze Spokesman, Hon. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia hails the choice of Enugu as the Igbo capital and that it offers the necessary ambience, hospitality, peace and security. 
Expatiating on the concept of Igbo Day Celebration and the reasons for September 29, Ogbonnia stated,
“The events of 1966 that led to the Nigerian Biafran War were very remarkable in the history of Igbo nation. In the first place, the military coup of January 15, 1966 snowballed into a chain of genocide against the Igbo”

” It all began on May 29, 1966 at Kano. It was one of the most tragic days in Igbo history. It was the day over 3,000 Igbos were massacred in Kano as a consequence of what was considered an Igbo coup of January 15, 1966. Two months later, July 29, Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi, the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces was killed along with his host Lt. Col. Adekunle Fajuyi by Northern military officers in what was tagged a counter coup. Several other Igbo officers were located at various military formations and killed on July 29. As if that was not enough, on September 29, 1996, another major ethnic cleansing took place in which about 30,000 Igbos were killed in the Northern Nigeria”.

“Based on the above backdrop, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has set aside September 29 every year as a special day. It is a day of sober reflection on one hand, and a day to celebrate the Igbo resilience, ingenuity, entrepreneurial skills and frontier spirit, on the other. Without sounding immodest, all Nigerians affirm that the Igbo are endowed with the highest human creative potential, perhaps in the whole Africa. How come that an ethnic group that has suffered various kinds of injustice, alienation and relative deprivations have undauntedly remained afloat in the academia, corporate world, transportation, tourism, commerce and industry, etc?  So, instead of mourning, we have chosen to celebrate the God’s love and kindness towards the Igbo”. 

“We celebrate the innate capacity and perseverance in the Igbo to break physical boundaries to achieve results where most fail. We celebrate that we passed through the valley of the shadow of death and bounced back; passed through the belly of the whale; traversed turmoil and hell and bounced back to glory and spendour. We celebrate the courage, tenacity and adaptability to live and thrive in all parts of the world. We celebrate the promise of God that he fights for the oppressed.”

” Ndigbo are happy that the person in the stature of Professor George Obiozor is at the helm of affairs as the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Obiozor, since he assumed office has deployed his wealth of experience and contacts to collaborate with the leadership of other ethnic groups in Nigeria. His profound intellectual prowess and exceptional diplomatic finesse have found expression in various issues that confront the Igbo at this critical time. Above all, his track record to selfless service to the Igbo has earned him a treasure that is beyond the rust and tarnish of even the least charitable among humans. Obiozor sees September 29, 2021 as a turning point in Igbo history. It is a convocation of some sorts; a renewal of Igbo spirit of pragmatic socialism, oneness, shared values and Onyeaghananwanneya”.

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