The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday lauded the leadership and patriotism of the late Igbo leader and Nigerian statesman, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, describing him as a foremost leader and principled man.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, stated this at the post humous birthday colloquium organised for the departed legend by the Coalition of Civil Society organisations of Nigeria, COSCON and the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu leadership Foundation, COOLEF, at the Ohanaeze Ndigbo National Secretariat in Enugu.
Nwodo lauded the late Igbo leader as a principled, committed and dogged man who stood and defended his people when it mattered most.He commended the organisers of the event for deeming it fit to initiate the programme and assured them that Ohanaeze Ndigbo would continue to support them.
In a related development, the Governor of Ebonyi state and the chairman of the South East Governors Forum, Engr Dave Umahi, commended the organisers of the event and the president of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria, COSCON, Chuks Ibegbu, who saw to its fruition.
He lauded the leadership attributes of Odumegwu Ojukwu which saw him through several challenges before his death.
He noted that Ojukwu was a foremost Igbo leader whose candour, the present and future generations of Igbo people and Nigerians should emulate.
He promised to support the organisers in all ways possible. Governor Umahi was represented at the occassion by his Commissioner for Education, Prof John Eke.
Earlier in their speeches, the guest speakers, Prof Obasi Igwe of UNN, Prof Raph Nwokedi, and Chudi Offodile called on Ndigbo to stand firm like Ojukwu did to demand for their fair share in Nigeria.
“On no account should Igbo allow themselves to be cowed in demanding for their rights as their forebears fought and got independence for Nigeria”.
They noted that what Ojukwu saw yesterday was what many Nigerians are seeing today and said Ojukwu was a prophet and an avatar.
Meantime, two Igbo groups, Igbo Peoples Congress and the Igbo Aborigenes have called on the United Nations and the International criminal court at the Hague to investigate and try the soldiers and commaders who killed unarmed pro Biafra agitators at Umuahia and Aba between September 15 to October 15, 2017.
The spokesmen of the groups, Pastor Okey Colbert and Mazi Chidi Obisike noted that the issue must not be swept under the carpet.
They insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari and Gen Buratai, the Army Chief of Staff, must be tried for their crime against humanity in the matter.
They declared that more than a month after the dastard attack on the house of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, corpses of the slain IPOB members are still being recovered in the bush around his house and at bushes across the state.
They called on Igbo governors and leaders not to keep quiet over the matter as it was the future leaders of Igbo land that were cut short in their prime.
“No matter what the Federal Government claimed that Nnamdi Kanu did, the Army should not have committed that level of massacre in his compound.”