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Ohuabunwa- Why Igbo Governors Must Take Part In Ohanaeze’s Programmes



Dr. Sam Ohuabunwa, a former presidential candidate for the People’s Democratic Party in the 2023 general elections, has stated that the involvement of Igbo governors and leaders in the affairs of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural group Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide will accelerate economic development and stem the tide of insecurity in the South-East geopolitical zone. This came as he stated that Igbo governors’ ‘lazes faire’ approach towards Ohanaeze Ndigbo problems was capable of signalling the Igbo nation’s economic underdevelopment and stagnation.


Ohuabunwa, a former Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, spoke on the sidelines of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide Retreat in Enugu on Tuesday, with the subject ‘Ako Bu Ije,’ which literally means ‘using knowledge in your dealings’.


He said, “As Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Council of Business Leaders, the National Executive Council of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation has deemed it fit to further expand the tasks in the mandate given to us in this committee.


“The mandate is in four phases – one, is to act as catalyst of grooming young entrepreneurs in Igboland; two, to work to industrialise the states in Igboland, including resuscitating dead industries, that’s industrialisation; three, generally attracting investment within and outside the Igbo region; and four, develop a blueprint for the economic development of Alaigbo and the establishment of business vehicle in Igboland.


“So these are the four major plans – as enshrined in the mandate given to us. Several aspects in this assignment will involve the participation of government.

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“Let’s take resuscitation of moribund businesses in Igboland for instance. The question is what made those businesses moribund? And you find that some of the reasons are as a consequence of operating environment.” Then you find that it’s part of the responsibilities of government to provide conducive and enabling environment for businesses to thrive.


“These are fundamental; and to be able to get businesses to thrive, one needs a stable procurement and land tenure system. So government should be involved in helping businesses and businessmen obtain documentation for their land-bankable documentation.


“The constitution gives the state governments powers to handle this, and so nobody can run away from their participation. I talked about the operating environment; and another is the tax regime, infrastructure, provision of security, among others. So we need the government.


“Coincidentally, ‘Ako Bu Ije’ is the motto of my town union – that’s Nzuko Aro. The national etho of the town is ‘Ako Bu Ije.’ ‘Ako’ in English is wisdom, and it means that in our trajectory to reach our desired goals or destinations, we must apply wisdom so that we will overcome all the obstacles we shall meet on the road.


“In the context of contemporary Nigeria, what it means is that the Igbos have become a specie that’s not sure of their place in the country called Nigeria. The Igbo man is not sure whether he’s an equal partner, whether he’s a desirable partner, or he’s not. And in dealing with this, we therefore need to apply utmost wisdom so that one way or the other we do the correct things in the right ways so that the journey does not get truncated midway.”



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