Prominent Igbo socio-political group, Igbo Think Tank ITT has tasked Igbo elites to urgently develop and turn South East into the Japan of Africa before Igbo Youth frustrated and angered over years of marginalization, unemployment and unequal opportunities, declares full blown war on the Nigerian State. This was contained in the address presented by the Deputy Chairman Board of Trustees of Igbo Think Tank and Convener of the ITT Roundtable on Security and Economy, Rev Obinna Akukwe at Enugu on Friday. The Cleric and veteran Igbo activist urged the elites to quickly swing into action before South East Youth angling for war against the Nigerian State, takes over the space.
He described as “unfortunate the politics of Unknown Gunmen and the deplorable abandonment of over one hundred corpses of Ndigbo at the Federal Medical Centre Owerri, whose evacuation by family members was only recently authorized , murdered under the guise of seeking for IPOB, ESN and UGM. A situation whereby key Igbo activists’ shared relevant intelligence among themselves on the impending attack on the Owerri Prisons yet the agencies saddled with prevention pretended to be helpless when the jailbreak occurred. The same case repeated in the attack at Zonal Police Headquarters Ukpo, Anambra State, and instead of taking preventive measures, the state agents prefer to arrest , incarcerate and murder innocent bystanders and travellers after the gunmen have have disappeared “
Rev Akukwe posited that “ the menace of UGM is the handiwork of politicians, and the failures of intelligence have exposed their motive. He asked the elites in ITT to fast-forward the industrialization and technological development of the South East, through the TIJIA initiative, to ensure that millions of jobs are created for the teeming frustrated youth of the South- East before the disappointed youth takes up arm against the Nigerian State”.
In his address, the Chairman BOT of Igbo Think Tank, Prof Mark Ezeibe (Professor of Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Virology) said that the ingenuity he used in bringing out the cure for HIV, which have been proven by many both locally and internationally, would be utilized by other Igbo scientists, technologists and industrialists in turning South East into the Japan of Africa.
Prof Ezeibe added that “ the Igbo Think Tank have over the years been brainstorming and thinking on how to set off a developmental chain reaction in Igboland as Dr MI Okpara did in the Old Eastern Region. The region became the fastest growing economy in the developing world of the 60’s”
He also continued that “we shall set up tactical committees on various fields of human endeavor such as Urban Development, Agriculture and Food Security, Security, Industry and Commerce, Science and Technology. The Central Planning Committee of ITT Roundtable on Economy being inaugurated today, and their various sub-committees now have the mandate to plan a holistic summit within the shortest possible time where egg heads and experts in different fields of human endeavor will come together to draw a template for achieving the purpose.”
The Chairman Central Planning Committee of ITT Roundtable on Transforming Igboland into the Japan of Africa TIIJA in ten years’ time, Prince Dr Chinedu Nsofor (Ichie Nzedike Oraifite) in his address said that Ndigbo has failed to cause development to happen in Igbo land as they have done in other climes. He said further that;
“Development should start inwardly before outwardly. That is Japan for you. That is China for you. This anomaly is bringing untold tribulations, pains and sufferings among Ndigbo. Wars and agitations may not be able of resolving the errors.
“Zik of Arica said ‘seek ye the kingdom of economy first, then every kingdom shall be added unto you in this world’ that is why we have articulated a vision of: “Turning Igboland into the Japan of Africa in Ten Years”
“TIJIA is the pathway to our economic, industrial, educational and political emancipation. We have to harness our natural endowments within the spirituality of our nature and true Igbo cultures to cause renaissance in Igboland’
In his contribution, Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze (Onowu Abagana) and Chairman Igbo World Assembly IWA lauded the ITT project and called upon Ndigbo to support the project. He also called upon the committee to consider the MI Okpara model of the 60’s to rebuild the Igbo nation. Dr Anakwenze noted that ‘’ Igbo World Assembly is desirous of ynching into the project and the era of implementation is the key’’ He expressed the believes that turning Igboland into the Japan of Africa is achievable if appropriate strategies are implemented.
Mr Osadebe Ibegbu( Chairman Igbo Union South Africa, Former Chairman Nigerian Union SA) in his contribution said that Japan has similarities with Biafra. According to Osadebe, ‘’Japan faced humiliating defeat during the Second World War, but they looked inwards, strategized and relaunched to become world power. Our scientists and technologists should be tasked to look come together and look inwards’’. He pledged support of Igbos in South Africa to the Igbo Think Tank TIJIA Project.
Dr N Okezie Okeugo , Warri based economist, in his thesis summarized Igbo journey in destiny like Hebrews of old, “the Hebrew Promised Land is Canaan, Ours is Africa. Their Leadership is Moses, Ours is Ohanaeze/Governors, their reproach is Pharaoh, Ours is Calpihate, Their Challenge is Red Sea, Ours is Technology while the Power of the Hebrew is in the Rod/Staff and that of Igbos is in their DNA” He asked Ndigbo to embrace technology for accelerated achievement of the TIJIA project.
Comrade Chuks Ibegbu (BOT Secretary, ITT) and Convener of the Roundtable, asked the elites to put their head together in the face of existential threats facing Ndigbo, and ensure that our own political leders does not join in the marginaliation of the people. He called for proper utilization of resources in the South East to turn the economy into a buoyant model for other African nations.
Comdare Ibuchukwu Ezike (Executive Director Civil Liberties Organization) told the caucus that the spate of insecurity in the South East is worrisome, coupled with levels of unemployment creates the need for proper sensitization of youth to economic development alternatives like TIJIA, capable of bringing economic stability.
Chief Dr Cyprain Nwachukwu, Leader of Civil Society Groups in the South East, asked the ITT conference to incorporate proper activism while driving the TIJIA Project to ensure that the populace understands the urgent nature of the project, engendering the support of the government and international bodies
Mr Theorez Ejikeme , Activist and IT expert, said that Nigeria is expecting something from Igbos and our achievements in commerce have gotten us nowhere significant yet because the policies are ot coordinated. He called for a shadow government that will guide our political leaders in formulating policies.
Dr Pat Anyanwu (Director of Strategy and Planning PANPIEC) called upon the ITT TIJIA project committee to act fast and spread the TIJIA initiative to all the nooks and crannies of Igbo territories because the youth have lost patience with the levels of marginalization ongoing in Nigeria.
Barrister Chima Ojinnaka asked the ITT to also incorporate the use of Igbo culture and languages as an underlying driving force of the TIJIA project because the Igbo Cultural Heritage is very rich.
Barrister Ndukwo Ndukwo Ogbuja, Secretary of the TIJIA Central Planning Committee project asked Ndigbo to resonate the spirit and means they used in manufacturing survival mechanisms including refined fuel and Ogbunigwe during the civil war into the project so that tuning South East into Japan of Africa is achieved .
Dr Kenneth Nwankwo, political activist, scientist and Vice Chairman of the Central Planning Committee expressed confidence that the project will turn Igboland into the Japan of Africa.
Engr Emek Nneji, Prof Chidi Obisike, Prof Martins Odenigbo, Rev Nduke Enya among others spoke during the
Meanwhile several Igbo leaders, stakeholders and opinion leaders have been lauding the ITT initiative and called on Ndigbo to support the plan to turn Igbo land into the Japan of Africa in less than twenty years,
The groups at home and abroad assured the ITT that they would support the programme. and urged it to ensure all Igbo stakeholders are involved in the organisation and implementation of the programme.