By Amby Uneze
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide will honour some Igbo Heroes and Special Igbo allies at the 2023 Igbo Day Celebration which holds at the Michael Okpara Square, Independence Layout, Enugu on Thursday, September 29, 2023.
The Chairmanship of the Central Planning Committee for the 2023 edition of Igbo Day, Professor Fred O. Eze informed that the event will be chaired by one of the most consistent detribalized Igbo philanthropists, Prince Engr. Arthur Eze (Ozoigbondu).
Those that will receive the post-humous awards include The Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, GCON, the father of Nigerian nationalism and the First President of Nigeria; Maj. Gen. Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi, GCFR, the First Nigerian Military General and the first Nigerian Military Head of State; Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the Head of State of Biafra; Dr. Alex. Ekwueme, GCON, the former Vice President of Nigeria; Dr. Akanu Ibiam, the former Governor of Eastern Region; Col. Adekunle Fajuyi, the former Military Governor of the Western Region and Chief M.I. Okpara, the former Premier of the Eastern Region.
Others include Gen. Phillip Effiong, Second in Command to Biafran Head of State, defunct; Chief N.U. Akpan, Former Secretary of the Eastern Region; Chief Dennis Osadebay, former Premier of the Mid West of Nigeria; and Chief Sam Mbakwe, the former Governor of the Old Imo State.
Also to be honoured post-humously are Dr. K. O. Mbadiwe; Professor Chinua Achebe; His Eminence, Alhaji Ado Bayero, the former Emir of Kano; Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya; Mrs. Miriam Babangida; Sen. Francis Ellah, Mazi Mbonu Ojike; Chief C. C. Onoh; Chief Mbazulike Amechi; Chief Mrs. Margaret Ekpo; Chief Emmanuel Chinwenwo Aguma; HM Eze S. N. Woluchem; Justice Charles Dadi Onyeama and Chief Richard Ihetu (Dick Tiger).
The above resolution was reached at the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC), held at the Oriental Plaza, Orji, Owerri, Imo State on Thursday, August 24, 2023.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, His Excellency, Chief Engr. Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, CFR (Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo) explained that the idea behind the post-humous awards to Igbo Icons and the Igbo Special allies is an expression of the Igbo attachment to excellence, steadfastness, gratitude and deep sense of history. At the same time, it serves as an encouragement, motivation and inspiration not only to the family of the deceased icons but to all the younger generations at large.
As a corollary to the above, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo has set up a Committee on Honours Award and Special Duties, comprising eminent sons and daughters of Igbo land. The committee which will be headed by Chief Dr. E. C. Iwuanyanwu has Chief Okey Nwadinobi as the Secretary. Other members of the Committee include Sen. Adolphus Nwagbara, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, Sen. Ken Nnamani, Sen. Ben Obi, Prof. Mrs. Joy Ezeilo, Chief Simon Okeke, Dr. Mrs. Kema Chikwe, Professor Maurice Iwu, Iyom Josephine Anenih, Professor Nnenna Otti and Professor Epiphany Azinge.
The Igbo Leader seized the opportunity to brief the NEC about the Ohanaeze Ndigbo exploits at the United States where eminent Americans with established Igbo ancestry were admitted into the enviable Igbo cosmology. Such persons include the renowned African American computer wizard, Dr. Emmitt McHenry, who developed the .com code for the Internet E-Mails and Gen. William Ward, (Rtd), an accomplished American soldier who was the first commander of the U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany in 2007; among others.
Iwuanyanwu informed that because of the amazing rate at which the Igbo both at home and in the Diaspora clamour for relationship with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, it has become exceedingly necessary to restructure Ohanaeze Ndigbo into zones: the Europe with headquarters at London; the USA and Canada with the headquarters at Washington DC; the South America and the Caribbean with headquarters at Brazil; Asia with headquarters at China; the Oceania and Africa with headquarters at Johannesburg. Others include, the South West of Nigeria with headquarters at Lagos; the Northern Zone with headquarters at Abuja and the Eastern zone with the headquarters at Enugu.
The Igbo Leader commended the efforts of the South East Governors, led by His Excellency, Sen. Hope Uzodimma towards restoration of peace and tranquility in Igbo land. He reinstated his commitment for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, arguing that a court of competent jurisdiction has already freed Kanu and wondered why he is still being incarcerated.
He used the opportunity to inform members on a new approach he has developed for a restoration of peace in the South East of Nigeria.
The members of NEC expressed immense delight that with the coming on board of Chief Iwuanyanwu, as the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the organization has experienced a quantum leap from its former habitat to an entirely new pedestal. Most members were fascinated with the incredible glamour in Ohanaeze within so short a time and spoke in appreciation to Ahaejiagamba for deploying his diverse global contacts, ingenuity, passion, intellect and vast business acumen in the service of the Igbo. Some others commended Iwuanyanwu for an uncommon visionary transformative leadership skills.
A vote of confidence was passed on the Igbo Leader, His Excellency, Chief Engr. Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, CFR (Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo); praying to God to sustain the grace upon his life.