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“Orji Uzor Kalu leave Njiko Igbo Alone” – By Yahaya Ezeemoo G.K.Ndu



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It has come to my notice that a group led by Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu [ a former Governor of Abia State] is parading itself as Njiko Igbo and the group’s objective was the actualization of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, come 2015.

I beg to use this medium to explain the origin, mission , vision and operations of the NJIKO IGBO cultural Organization which I founded and has been effectively operating with since 1983 . I also wish to use this medium to appeal to well meaning Igbos to prevail on Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu to please leave Njiko Igbo alone and rather look for another name to further his political aspirations in the interest of peace.

I have absolutely nothing against the emergence of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2015,afterall, I myself contested for the presidency of Nigeria in 2003 and again in 2011. Incidentally, on both occasions I did not bring the Njiko Igbo into the partisan struggle as my idea in establishing the organization was not to use it to oil any partisan political machinery but for some deeper course.


I was born in Jos the Plateau state capital in 1957 and was therefore 10 years of age when the genocide against Igbos termed civil war started and witnessed first hand the most inhuman pogrom in the history of black Africa,  if not of the whole world and of all times.

When the war was said to have  ended in 1970, I continued to witness the continued atrocities meted out against the Igbos.

In 1976, I gained admission to read law at the University of Ife [now Obafemi Awolowo University] and had become passionate about researching into the life and times of the Igbo race from time immemorial to the present day and with an unquenching desire to hazard their future.

I read about King Jaja of Opobo[1821-1891] and of other prominent ibos such as Olaudah Equino  and was surprised that there were no organized establishment in Nigeria dedicated to the study of Igbos , their culture, history and civilization.

Incidentally, the motto of the University of Ife is For Learning and Culture.

NJIKO is an Igbo word and Njiko Igbo is an Igbo phrase meaning the unification/unity /union/fraternity of the Igbos and as such could be said to be existing as a phrase ever before the birth of either my humble self or Orji Uzor Kalu, but the circumstances surrounding the Njiko Igbo cultural organization as well as its relationship to Orji Uzor Kalu is such that I am of the considered opinion that every and all fair minded human beings, whether Igbos or not whom are privileged to know the facts will to say the least appeal to Orji Uzor Kalu to leave Njiko Igbo alone and look for another name for his group and aspirations.


The NJIKO IGBO Cultural Organization was founded by me in 1983 at Enugu at No.61 Owerri Road, Asata, Enugu and was formerly inaugurated at the Prince Palace Hotel, Enugu on Thursday  20th April 1989 in an public function which was witnessed by many prominent and regular Igbos from all walks of life. One very prominent Ibo who was also there was Chief[Dr]B.U.Nzeribe,the Ekwueme of Orlu.and the proprietor of Palm Beach Insurance and Palm Beach Tourist Village , Awoommama, in Oru East local government of Imo State.

At the said inauguration event, Dr. B.U.Nzeribe openly there and then expressed his gratitude for the initiative and invited me to  Awomamma [his home town]  to discuss further on the organization, its objectives and plans and on how to make it a real beacon for Ndiigbo.

I accepted his invitation and traveled to Awomamma where details were accordingly discussed. It was decided that other prominent Igbos especially those who were passionate about the projection of Igbo culture, traditions and civilization should be involved. Two of such people were Eze Ahurukwe Madukwem Unaka,the traditional ruler of Abba, and his West Indian wife,lolo Unaka.

I therefore travelled to Abba, and with a letter of introduction from Dr.B.U.Nzeribe dated that day-25th ,April,1989.I met with and held discussions with the said Eze Ahurukwe Unaka and Lolo Unaka at the Eze’s palace in Abba,Imo state. In the course of which both the Eze and his wife were intimated  on the next meeting scheduled to hold at Awommamma on the 1st of May, 1989.

On the 1st of May, I set off from Enugu early in the morning in the company of Mr. Simeon Onuora and Mr. John Ezerim, the later was driving us in his Peugeot 504 saloon car, The three of us drove straight to Abba and picked up Lolo Unaka since the Eze was unavoidably engaged elsewhere.

On getting to Awommamma, the scheduled meeting was held at Harambe lodge at Palm Beach Tourist Village, on the ground floor. It was later moved upstairs, after lunch.

At the meeting, Chief [Dr] B.U.Nzeribe announced to all that he has donated the major hall in his Palm Beach Resort to the Njiko Igbo Cultural Organization [ the hall was hitherto called and known as Odinkenma Hall] and that he would wish the hall to be known as and used as Igbo cultural Research Centre. This was initially agreed upon until a better name was suggested. His name later suggested was Institute of Igbo Culture and Civilization.

All were informed at the meeting of another meeting convened by Mr. F.C.Ogbalu of Igbo intellectuals and scheduled to hold at the University of Nigeria ,Nsukka and it was further greed that moves be made to move the Ogbalu meeting to the Palm Beach Tourist Village, Awommamma so as to further water the grounds for the Njiko Igbo Cultural Organization to more effectively serve Ndiigbo.

I was mandated to represent both Dr.B.U.Nzeribe and Eze Anurukwe Madukwem Unaka at the F.C.Ogbalu’s meeting and was driven to the meeting by the personal driver to Chief Nzeribe[by name Celestine].The F.C.Ogbalu meeting received my message very happily.



I was invited by Prof.Godfey N. Uzoigwe[the pioneer Director of the Center for Igbo Studies at the Abia state University and the then President of the Historical Society of Nigeria] to the opening ceremony of the First Annual Conference of the centre on the theme: The Igbo and the tradition of Politics, that held on the 11th July,1991 at the University auditorium. I participated actively at the event and was later made an Associate fellow of the centre.

After attending the event, I persuaded other members of the Njiko Igbo Cultural organization that rather than dissipating and duplicating efforts in trying to establish another Center for Igbo Studies and civilization, that since there was already an existing   Center for Igbo studies at the Abia state University, that if our intentions were truly to serve the Igbo race, that it would be better for us to channel our energies towards ensuring that the center at ABSU was better equipped and funded to discharge its functions effectively. My appeal was heeded and I thereafter initiated communications with the authorities of the university for this purpose.

After scores of meetings and travels from Enugu to Uturu/Okigwe, eventually on August 17th 1994 an agreement was signed between myself and the Abia state University for the organizing of an endowment fund for the Centre for Igbo Studies of the university.

Throughout  this period, the Njiko Igbo Cultural Organization was receiving maximum publicity in the news media, especially in Abia state. The TSM [the Sunday Magazine] of December 4,1994 for instance had a lot to say on both the Njiko Igbo Organization and on the endowment fund project of the centre for Igbo Studies . Its story was entitled: In Search of Igbo Ancestry. So also had the National Ambassador newspaper of Thursday 18-Sat 24 December,1994, on an article entitled: Clues to a Cultural Future-How Njiko Igbo is setting the pace.

The Military Administrator of Abia State, Navy Captain Temi Ejoor, on Tuesday 10th January, 1995, inaugurated an eleven [11] member Endowment Fund Planning Committee for the said Centre for Igbo Studies of the Abia State University. The occasion took place at the Executive Chamber, Government House, Umuahia.  On that occasion, the Military Administrator announced a Take Off grant of N100,000.00[ One hundred thousand naira] to the Endowment Fund Planning Committee.

The Planning Committee member were as follows:


1,Alhaji Yahaya E.G.K.Ndu-Representing Njiko Igbo Cultural Organization and the African Films Limited-Chairman.

2,Senator Ben Collins Ndu-member.

3,Prof.M.A.Mkpa,Deputy Vice Chancellor-Representing Abia State University[he later rose to become the Vice Chancellor of the University and is currently the Secretary to the Abia State Government]-member.

4,Mr. O.E.Onuoha[ Registrars nominee]-member.

5,Barrister C.P.Madumere-member/Secretary.

6,Mr.Dele Olowu [nominee of the Military Administrator and Representative of the Abia state Government].-member

7,Rev. P.J.O.Okorie[nominee of the Ministry of Education and Youth Development]-member.

8,Mr.Okpi[nominee of the Ministry of Information]-member.

9[b] ABSENT.

9,Dr.U.D.Anyawu-Representative of ABSU-member.

10,Mr.M.O.Oleka,Representative of ABSU.member.


Chief Imo Iboko, Commissioner for Education, Abia state, and

12,Mrs B.Aja Wachukwu, Commissioner for Information, Abia State.

This event was widely reported in numerous National Nigerian Newspapers, Radio and Television. For instance, the National Ambassador newspaper carried it on its front page on its edition of Sunday 15-Wednesday 18, January, 1995.

The OHANEZE Ndiigbo invited me to explain the project to the group, which I did and the group expressed its satisfaction.

The Planning Committee held several meetings and prominent Igbo sons and daughters were appointed into the Board of Trustees of the centre for Igbo Studies Endowment fund project, amongst which were:

1,His Excellency, Dim Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu-Chairman.

2,His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. R.O.Uwadi-Vice Chairman.

3,Chief Dr. H.I.Uzoewulu-Secretary.

4,Prof. M.A.Mkpa-Financial Secretary.

5,Prof. S.O.Igwe-Vice Chancellor-Patron.

6,H.R.H. Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro[Eze Aro]

7,Colonel C.Ike Nwosu-member.

8,Prof. J.C.Irukwu-member.


9,Eze Ogo Dr. Anagha Ezikpe-member.



12,Comrade[now Senator]Uche Chukwumerije-member.

13,Prof. J.K.Onoh-member

14,Prof. A.E.Afigbo-member.


16,Chief Kalu Okpi-member.


18,Mr.B.U.Mbilitam[Representative of Senator Francis F.J.Ellah]-member.

19.Alhaji Yahaya Ndu-member.

20,Raph O.Aja-member.

21,Mr O.I.kanu-Assistane Secretary.

The Board of Trustees was inaugurated by the then Honourable Minster for Information and Culture, Chief Dr. Walter Ofonagoro on Thurday the 5th of June, 1997 at Hotel Presidential ,Enugu. Even the hall where the event took place was paid for by the Njiko Igbo cultural organisation, and I still have the receipt.



To sensitize and mobilize Igbos both prominent and commoners like myself, both at home and in the Diaspora, I traversed the length and breadth of Igboland and Nigeria. I visited hundreds of homes and offices, wrote thousands of letters, wrote to all Igbo Organizations that I could identify allover the world, all in the name of Njiko Igbo Cultural Organization, and later in the name of the Planning Committee for the Endowment of the Centre for Igbo Studies at the Abia State University.

I visited Dr. Sam Mbakwe at Obowo, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu,Chief Saab Ejimofor,I visited the Hill Top Club Aba,Chekwas Okorie, Wrote to the Internet wizard Philip Emeagwali,Visted Chief Osita Aguna in Enugu Ukwu, visited Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, visited Chief Arthur Nzeribe at his home in Oguta, visited the Eze Nri severally at Agukwu Nri, visited Prof. Edozien [the Asagba of Asaba] at his palace in Asaba, visited Justice Azinge,I travelled to Jos to visit Chief Rochas  Okorocha, Eddy Onuoha. I wrote severally to Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and visited his offices . at a point, I was directed to another of his offices in Aba to meet Barr. Chuka Odum who later became minister of state for FCT. I wrote to the world Igbo Congress and to the World Igbo Council. I visited the Eze Okpoko of Oba,Travelled to Lagos to visit Chief Ben Obi, and Alhaji Abdulazeez Udeh. I travelled to Nsukka where I met Dr. Mrs. Uche Azikiwe.I wrote to Dr. Alex Ekwueme and to Chief Emeka Anyaoko who was then at the Commonwealth and still have their replies.

In fact, I recall vividly that when Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu won election to become the Governor of new Abia State, before he was sworn into office, he was guest at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria[FRCN]’s audience participation phone in program-Radio Link. I was the first  caller and called from Enugu, where I had congratulated him on his election victory , after introducing myself and the Njiko Igbo cultural organization, I had sought to know his plans for assisting the actualization of the Center for Igbo Studies at the Abia State University, especially as he was someone believed to be passionate about Igbo affairs. His answer which I found surprising and to say the truth disappointing if a little preposterous in the circumstances was  that he was not so concerned with issues of Igbo language, but that however in the tail end of his second tenure, he would look into it.

During both his first tenure and his second tenures as the Executive Governor of Abia State, he ignored all letters that I wrote to him to assist the project. After his terms in Abia state, I still went to him at an appointment arranged by Dr. Iboko Iboko at his residence/office in Wuse 2, Abuja. I solicited his assistance to assist the Njiko Igbo Cultural Organization to organize a meeting of all Chairmen and Secretaries of Igbo Town Unions, but he was not interested.

I was therefore shocked to discover that he has recently started using the name Njiko Igbo and publishing about it mostly in the Sun Newspaper. I have tried all I can to get him to drop the name and to look for another name for his 2015 presidential election project to no avail.

Shortly before Easter this year I complained to Chief Nkire, the National Chairman of the Progressive Peoples Party[PPA{ a party founded by Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu. Nkire told me that Dr. Kalu was abroad but that he was expected back before the Easter celebrations and that he would arrange a meeting with us ti iron things out. After the Easter holidays , I called Nkire to remind him, but he now said that he had expected me to call while Dr. Kalu was around and that Dr. Kalu had travelled abroad again.

I sent a Lawyer to the Corporate Affairs Commission [CAC] to seek for the availability of name but was informed that another person [whom I suspect to be Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu’s agent] had reserved the name. I find this most unfortunate and I dare say that it is not only in bad faith on the part of the former governor but also an abuse of office. He clearly is making unlawful, immoral and unpatriotic use of information available to him while he was in office to say the least. It is an act most unbecoming for one who proclaims that he is interested in Igbo unity to seek to hijack the initiative that was planted and germinated in Enugu but sought to endow the center for Igbo studies in his own state-Abia.

I recall that at one time when a prominent chief from Enugu state was the President general of Ohaneze Ndiigbo, I had been invited for tongue lashing for seeking establish in real terms the center in Abia. It was wondered why I did not deem it fit for such an establishment to be sited in my own Enugu state. My reply then was that it was unfortunate that we the Igbos were crying against marginalization by the Nigerian state while at the same time discriminating among ourselves.

The Centre for Igbo studies at the Abia state University at that time was the only such centre in Nigeria. It was established in 1988 as a community of scholars devoted to the study, documentation, promotion and preservation of all aspects of Igbo life and culture from the earliest times to the present. The activities of the center were intended not only to make a contribution to the world of learning, but more importantly to ensure the continuity of all positive aspects of the cultural attainments of the Igbos as a necessary couplement to Igbo survival in Nigeria and Africa in particular and the world at large.

The centre had evolved a comprehensive and admirably integrated multi-disciplinary strategy for the  achievement of its objectives. For this purpose, the work of the center was carried out through five units, each headed by a competent scholar. The units which were envisaged to have the status of schools were: research, publications, lectures, and seminars, documentation and performing arts.

The scholarly endeavors of these units in varying degrees focus on the history, philosophy, science, medicine, architecture, technology, anthropology, religion, politics, law, economy, etc. of the Igbo through micro and macro studies.

In its short term of existence up till that time, and in spite of constraints, particularly, those of space and finance, the centre had pursued the attainment of its goals with remarkable vigor and results. Consequently, it had already attracted attention from scholarly and other angles as a centre with promise for excellence, not only for Igbo studies but also for Africa/black studies.

The objectives of the endowment fund that the Njiko Igbo cultural organization planned for the centre were:

1,To house the centre in an adequate accommodation. The centre had been operating from a few rooms within the Humanities block of the Abia state university. The Endowment Fund was to be partly used to erect a befitting complex for the centre. This complex will necessarily provide for Auditoriums, libraries, museums, amphitheatre, offices, research rooms, photo units and so on.

2,To seek and unravel the roots and genealogy as well as civilization of the Igbos.

3,To document for posterity the cultures, arts, histories, traditions, and civilizations of Igbos.

4,To investigate, document  and project the life and times of positively exemplary Igbos and to finance documentary and feature films based on their lives and times and to also establish monuments in their memorials..

The Abia State University on account of this Endowment project initiated by the Njiko Igbo later sponsored Prof. M.A.Mkpa [who was then the Deputy Vice Chancellor-Admin] to the Conference of the World Igbo Congress that held at New Yorker Hotel, New York, And to the Igbo Communities in Atlanta, Georgia, and Houston, Texas, U.S.A. from August 29th to September 14th, 1997.

Like any other people the Igbos have their cultural traits, most prominent and outstanding of which is their love of democracy. According to Elizabeth Isichei [1976:21]:One of the things that struck the first western visitors to Igboland , was the extent to which democracy was truly practiced. For instance, reporting their visits to Igboland, Johnson [1982:547], said that he felt he was in a free land, among a free people. Poirier [1908:18] observed that true liberty existed in Igboland, though its name was not inscribed on any monument. Forde and Jones [1950:24] characterized Igbo political traditions as Ultra democratic. And Coleman [1958:336] put it as Concilar and democratic.Isichei [1976] rightly noted that: Igbo political institutions were designed to combine popular participation with weighting for experience and ability .Professor Kenneth Dike [1956:37] describes the Igbo political tradition as :Excess democracy.

Paradoxically, of all Nigerian people, the Igbo have probably changed the least while changing the most. While many of the formal elements of the social, religious, economic and political structure such as lineages, family groups, age grades and secret societies have been modified through culture contact, alternative choices and goals, achievement and competition, and lack of strong autocratic authority have survived and one part of the newly developed culture-Simon Ottenberg.

In view of the foregoing, it is surprising that those who wish to lead the Igbo race strive stupidly, I dare say to portray them selves as superhuman. Their wish is to dictate to the rest of us. They use their wealth and political positions either past or present to seek to bamboozle others into accepting them as gods. But in truth, even if you make them presidents for a thousands years, they can in no way improve the lot of Igbo for the simple reason that they do not understand the Igbo, that is the essence of being Igbo.

The powers that be in Nigeria today are holding the Igbo captive. The 1999 constitution which the nation today operates is skewed terribly against the Igbo and most of the rest of Nigeria wish to keep it that way. In keeping it essentially intact, they use Igbo sons and daughters .

Only a sovereign national conference can fundamentally restructure the nation in such a way that the Igbo can once again be a free people in a free land But what do you find? The Senate whose President is a non Igbo delegates the headship of the so called Constitutional review to an Igbo from Enugu state., by name Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who tells us that all we need is to review the constitution that we know to be a lie. At the federal House of Representatives, what do you have?. The Speaker who also is an Igbo also delegates the headship of the constitutional review process to another Igbo from Imo state by name Ikedioha , who also tells us that we do not need a national conference and that all that is necessary is to review the constitution. This wicked fallacy they maintain even while hundreds of their fellow brothers and sisters are daily murdered by religious fundamentalists in the trap called Nigeria.

The Njiko Igbo cultural organization seeks to amongst other things sensitize and mobilize Igbo at home and in the Diaspora to insist on nothing less than a Sovereign National Conference where the Nigerian state shall be renegotiated. A free and restructured Nigeria is a million times more important than having a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction.In other words: it is better to serve in haven than to rule in hell.

On the night of Monday 12th , July 1999, I held a brief discussion with Senator Arthur Nzeribe at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, where on behalf of the Njiko Igbo I had pleaded with him to introduce two[2] bills in the National Assembly ,viz,[i]Bill extending the Obasanjo Government’s Probe to Independence period-1960, and [ii],bill on Reparation for Igbos for genocide and economic emasculation. The distinguished Senator requested that the Njiko Igbo suggestion be put in writing,   did so in a letter dated Wednesday 14th July, 1999.

It will be recalled that the Obasanjo Administration in 1999 said it wanted to probe human rights abuses in the country, when the local and international outcry against human rights abuses in the country made such a probe imperative. The  move was also in consonance with the trend all over the world that has severally been extended to such a level as to establish War Crimes Tribunals. The bill that the Njiko Igbo pleaded with Senator Arthur Nzeribe to put forward was one that as said before sought to extend the Obasanjo administration’s probe of human rights abuse in Nigeria to October 1st, 1960 when Nigeria gained independence.

The second section of the Njiko Igbo letter of 14th July 1999 states in quote:


General Yakubu Gowon the former Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who led Nigeria through the civil war[1967-1970]and uptill the overthrow of his government by General Murtala Mohammed recently went to Igboland and APOLOGISED  for the injustice done to Igbos during and following the persecution of this war.

It is a fact of history and on record that when that war ended which General Yakubu Gowon declared- NO VICTOR NO VANGUISHED, Igbos were paid a pittance of Twenty Pounds each in place of no matter how much they had in Nigerian banks before the outbreak of hostilities.

It is equally on record that that was immediately followed up with an Indigenisation Decree which ensured that other privileged Nigerians bought-up common vibrant Nigerian lucrative and money-spinning enterprises while their Igbo counterparts who had hitherto been economically emasculated and hamstrung watched helplessly.

It is also on record that landed properties of these same set of Nigerians [Igbos] were confiscated and still confiscated as of this 1999, and labeled abandoned in their own fatherland-country-Nigeria.

Almost everyone have lost count of how many times properties of Igbos have been wantonly destroyed and looted in almost every upheaval or riot or demonstration or celebration whether political or religious in numerous parts of the country, their only country Nigeria.

If indeed these Igbos qualify as Nigerians. If indeed they can be referred to as citizens and prisoners of war. If indeed that Civil War of 1967-1970 has indeed ended; If indeed no Nigerians are more Nigerians than others- then the aforelisted articles of economic emasculation of these set of Nigerians by other Nigerians have to be revisited.

In my own huimble opinion as a patriotic and law abiding Nigerian who wishes Nigeria well and who is determined that Nigeria rises to take her rightful place in the comity of nations as an equitable, just, democratic and development conscious state, then it is imperative that the National Assembly pass a bill for the establishment of a Committee to probe, investigate and quantify the financial value of these economic dis empowerments of Igbos and the Federal Government of Nigeria should proceed without any delays to pay the necessary reparations to the Igbos.

Glory be to Almighty Allah in the high heavens who is witness to all that have ever happened in the universe, in the world and in Nigeria and who knows all that will happen in the future. Who knows as we do that it was at the hands of General Matthew Okikiolakan Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo that the Biafran resistance collapsed. Who has made it possible for this same General to be the President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria today. Indeed, General Olusegun Obasanjo is a competent witness by all standards to all that is alluded to have happened and is the competent President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria today to order and supervise the Reparation for Igbos for the well known Economic Emasculation.

The Sunday Independent newspaper of March 28,2010 ran a full page advertisement by the Njiko Igbo on its page 5, so also did the Sunday Champion of the same date, on its page 9. Both advertisements were entitled:The Sins of Prof. Maurice Iwu:The Facts and Fictions.

I  recall that when Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan became the President of Nigeria, I had written him a letter on behalf of the African Renaissance Party[ARP], stating that the party would support him on the condition that he commits himself to a National Conference and to bringing about a mass participatory system of democracy.


Yahaya Ezeemoo G.K.Ndu


Njiko Igbo cultural organization


Wed,10th April,2013

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