Asaba Declaration: Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s Communique On 2024 Easter Igbo Retreat;  Set To Elect President from Rivers State

by Amos Kalu
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OHANAEZE ANNOUNCES COUNTDOWN TO JANUARY 2025 ELECTION OF PRESIDENT GENERAL FROM RIVERS STATE

Ndigbo Convergence at Asaba

On the 24th and 25th, of March 2024, Ndigbo from all walks of life gathered in Asaba, Delta State for an Easter retreat, dubbed Asaba Declaration.
It was aimed at challenging the misconceptions and misrepresentations held by the world, especially Nigerians, about the Igbo people. Despite facing unjust brutality, humiliation, and ostracism after the Civil War in 1970, the industrious spirit, vibrant energy, and entrepreneurial acumen of the Igbo have driven us to resurgence as a tribe. We have reclaimed our position as a leading light in Africa, particularly Nigeria, surmounting challenges and defying the negative labels imposed by past military leaders. We are therefore convinced that democracy, no matter the challenges, serves the Igbo egalitarian and enterprising spirit much better than meritocracy. As such, Ndígbo will always, as a matter of self-preservation, support Democratic rule while praying and working towards the deepening of Nigeria’s democracy.

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Reaffirming Identity and Vision

In Asaba, Ndigbo redefined our identity as progressive Nigerians seeking a fair, equitable, and conducive environment to contribute meaningfully towards the greatness of Nigeria. We aim to replicate the economic success of Dr. Michael Okpara’s era when the Eastern Region was known for its rapid growth in the 1960s. We are committed to self-help, communal efforts, and sustainable economic projects to propel the Igbo community forward.

Resolutions of the Asaba Declaration:

Think Home Philosophy

We commend the efforts of individuals such as Prof. Bath Nnaji and past and present governors of Abia State for spearheading initiatives like the Enyimba City power plant in Aba. We call on Igbo and non-Igbo governors to collaborate with Prof. Bath Nnaji to replicate such projects across Igbo-speaking states and Nigeria as a whole. Furthermore, we urge Igbo businesses to consider relocating their headquarters back to the homeland to facilitate growth and development.

Regional Economic and Infrastructural Development

We appreciate the Federal Government’s progress on various projects in the Southeast, such as the completion of the Onitsha Dry Seaport and the ongoing construction of the Second Niger Bridge. We encourage the utilization of the Onne Seaport for economic activities and advocate for regional railway connectivity to enhance trade and reduce costs. We also commend and urge the Governors of the Southeast and South-South geopolitical zones to collaborate with each other for common large-scale infrastructural projects like monorails.

Nnamdi Kanu, Igbo Security, and State Police

We urge all non-state actors and Biafra agitators to cease violent activities to facilitate discussions with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the release of Nnamdi Kanu. We condemn hate speeches and inflammatory rhetoric, emphasizing the need for peaceful resolutions and dialogue. The implementation of state police is supported, with caution against misuse.

President Tinubu Administration

Ndigbo’s decision not to partake in anti-Tinubu protests demonstrates our unwavering support for his administration. At the retreat, President Tinubu was honored with the title “Nwanne-Di-Mba” in recognition of his contributions and inclusive leadership. We acknowledge the positive impact of Igbo individuals within his government.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Constitution and 2025 Elections

We reiterate our commitment to upholding the 2004 Ohanaeze Ndigbo constitution and calling for free and fair elections in 2025. The zoning of the President’s General position to Rivers State is non-negotiable and must be respected. Therefore, in commitment to that duty we owe Ohanaeze Greats from Rivers like Senator Francis Ellah, Eze C.C. Nwuche, and Chief Emma Aguma, Ohanaeze hereby announces the Countdown to the January 2025 Ohanaeze Elections which shall produce a President General from Rivers State. As such, we urge Rivers State presidential hopefuls to commence consultations for the upcoming elections.

Honouring Igbo Legends

A moment of reverence was held in memory of esteemed individuals of Anioma extraction, including Ambassador Raph Uwechue, Col Joe Achuzia, Chief Sunny Odogwu, H.E. Dr. Mrs. Maryam Babangida, Major Chukwuemeka Kaduna Nzeogwu, HRM Prof. Chike Edozien, Chief Emma Okocha and HRH Esther Dunkwu (Ọmụ Anioma). Their invaluable contributions to the advancement of Ndigbo remain prominent, and we salute their legacies that endure beyond time.

Issued By:
Prof Nwokojie Ambrose
Prof Thomas Ella
Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro
High Chief Engr Chidi Ibeh
Prof Chukwuemeka Ananamba

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