By Emeka Aginam
LAGOS—The Igbo Awareness for Development Initiatives, IADI, at the weekend called for synergy among Igbo groups for the development of the South East.
The Chairman of Board of Trustees , BoT, of IADI, Chief Larry Iloh who made the clarion call at the just concluded Igbo World Summit organized under the auspices of Igbo Awareness For Development Initiatives, IADI, also known as Igbo Awareness Movement, lAM, held in Enugu condemned what he described as a proliferation of Igbo groups, each trying to outdo the other in showmanship rather than substance.
This has to stop, he warned, adding that time has come for the people in the South East to speak with one voice for a better tomorrow.
“We can do this. We can transform South East even with deliberate institutional scheme to marginalize us. Starting from carving out Rivers State and Cross River State from the old Eastern region, there has been deliberate political calculation by the federal government to frustrate us and weaken our potentials. We can no longer afford to wallow in self pity and expect a miracle to happen, especially when our own leaders now collaborate with the powers that be to sabotage our collective interest and development”, he told the gathering comprising of Igbo town Unions leaders, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and representatives of Igbo groups, among others.
Meanwhile, in a communique issued at the end of the summit and jointly signed by Chief Larry Iloh, BOT, Chairman, Dr Randie Dikeukwu, Chair Summit Committee, and Mitterand Okorie, Secretary IADI Board of Trustees, the group resolved to pursue Igbo Political Renaissance and Sustainable Development through a formidable political force with bargaining political influence that can no longer be toyed with, regionally and nationally.
According to the communique, there was need for strong Igbocentric political platform that will not only be capable of winning elections in the five South East States, but will also serve as a strong bargaining tool for the advancement of Igbo interest in Nigeria.
“The harmonization of diverse interest groups amongst Ndigbo under a common, purposeful and deeply insightful leadership such as merging APGA, PPA and UPP.
“Nominate and elect Igbocentric leaders in the various appointive and elective positions available to, and in the zone.
“ Vigorously pursue in Nigeria, a level playing field for equity, justice and fairness for all nationalities.
“Institute security of lives and properties of Ndigbo all over the earth, starting in Nigeria
“We adopted ‘The Great Triangle Developmental Plan’ that will quickly facilitate economic and infrastructural development in Igboland.
“The revival of Igbo Town Unionism as the vehicle to drive Igbo Agenda and Leardership.
To develop and pursue a strong Igbo media machinery that will bridge the gap and provide the missing links among various segments of the Igbo society.The revival of Igbo Language, History and Culture”, the communiqué read in part.
According to Iloh who has been in the vanguard for a better Igbo state, the need for a strong political voice in Igboland is louder now than ever before.
“Let us embrace this opportunity we are presenting to open up a new chapter in our history. LADI cannot do it alone. All hands must be on desk. We call on our political leaders to give up their ego to take Igbo issues serious.
“Let us come together and negotiate our settlement. Let us start by asking All People’s Progressive Alliance, United Progressive Party, UPP, and Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) to come together and give us a strong political voice. We will do all we can do to campaign for this merger for the betterment of Igboland. We call on Ohanaeze to provide the platform for capacity building and hold our politicians accountable and answerable. We call on this gathering to key into this noble pursuit”, he told the capacity audience.”