We will use Igbo Day to reflect on our origin, existence, says group

Anya-Ndi-Igbo is a non-partisan, socio-political and economic development-oriented organisation.

An Igbo group, Anya-Ndi-Igbo, says Igbo people will use the Igbo Day, celebrated on Sept. 29 annually, to reflect on the essence of its existence, and origin and deplore the sad state of things in the South East zone.

The President of the group, Chris Okoye, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Enugu.

According to him, it is an occasion Igbos in Nigeria and the Diaspora will pause and reflect on their origin, identity, present circumstances, and what the uncertain future holds in store for them.

He stated that the day was for Igbos to remember

their fathers who created the institutions and values of Igbo life and rededicate themselves to respect for human life as well as fortitude in the face of danger.

Others are their selfless devotion to the family and the community, discipline, moderation and integrity as the anchors on which their lives rest.

“It is the day we pay tribute to the great Igbo men and women who fought bravely against British oppressors and those who even sacrificed their lives in the struggle for Nigerian freedom.

“A day we commemorate those who were maimed, murdered and mutilated in the various massacres in Nigeria from 1952 to date and those who paid the supreme sacrifice for our continued existence as Ndi Igbo during the Nigeria/Biafra war.

“It is also a day we think about our children, grandchildren and the calamities which, if we do not take sufficient and effective care to address, may befall them in the ever-changing dynamics of Nigerian politics,” Okoye said.

He further described the day as a time for sober reflection and prayer to Almighty God to guide Igbo people in all their endeavours.

“It is refreshing to recall that Ndigbo entered the 20th century as a proud race.

“Regrettably, we ended it as an endangered culture. Some of us had expected that the beginning of the 21st century would have ignited a sustainable period of self-reclamation.

“Unfortunately, we have not been able to begin that process because of our failure to take our destiny in our hands.”

Okoye explained that the history and the development of Nigeria would have been quite different without the pioneering roles played by many Igbos in various spheres of human endeavour.

“It is when we look back that we ask what social set-up and value system that must have produced such greats, in contrast to what is happening to Ndigbo today.

“We have the potential and resources but, unfortunately, we have not been able to harness the tremendous potentials we have in the development of Ala-Igbo.

“This thus creates the agenda for the mobilisation of our people to look inwards to harness our inner strengths and resources in order to shape our collective destiny,” the president said.

He explained that Church services would be held in every Church in Igboland, other parts of Nigeria and in the Diaspora, while an exhibition of Igbo contributions to world civilisation and a special prayer for the survival of the Igbo nation would also feature prominently.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Anya-Ndi-Igbo is a non-partisan, socio-political and economic development-oriented organisation.

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