By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
The Ezeigbo 1 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nwosu Ibe has called on the Igbos in the country and worldwide to live in harmony with other citizens to ensure peace and unity.Ibe said this on Thursday at the Old Parade Ground, Abuja during the commemoration of the “World Igbo Day” celebrated every September 29.
According to him, the day is set aside to remember the massacre of Igbo people during the civil war.
“The World Igbo Day is a celebration for the Igbos both in Nigeria and in the Diaspora to remember our fallen indigenous people that were slaughtered during the civil war.
“It is like a celebration after burial, because they sacrificed themselves to ensure that the Igbos are being recognised anywhere in the world.
“It is also important that Igbo people wherever they are should be patient with the government; they should not feel victimised, rather live in harmony with other people and love one another.
“If they make trouble, then they should know that they cannot live in peace,” he said.
The traditional ruler also urged the government to alleviate the plight of the Igbo people in the FCT, adding that the tribe had contributed immensely to the development of the territory.
He said, “Igbo people in the FCT are hungry, the government should do something and give our boys job, give them contracts to sustain their families”.
Mr Reg Obi-Nwosu, the Chairman, Igbo Day Sub-Committee on Colloquium, said the day was marked to pay tribute to the Igbo people that were slaughtered thereby engineering the existence of the ethnic group.
He, however, said that putting the event was challenging, but it was unavoidable.
“We had so many setbacks setting up the programme for the day, but it is a day that must come and go.
“Even if we don’t gather to sing, dance and masquerades come around; anywhere Igbo people are found today, the day must be celebrated.
“It should be observed the way Christians mark Christmas and the way Muslims observe their Eids,” he said.
Mr Odozi Nwodozi, the President, Ohaneze Ndigbo, FCT chapter said the event was a way of celebrating the hard work of the ethnic group.
According to him, the Nigerian state relegated the group to the background from the period after the civil war.
Nwodozi noted that in spite of the relegation, the Igbos had risen to their limelight overtime, adding that the more the group was allegedly silenced, they grew better.
Mr Uzochukwu Ezeneche, the Traditional Ruler of the chapter in Thailand, China, Cambodia, Vietnam and some other countries in the Diaspora said he decided to visit Nigeria for the celebration to get abreast with the tradition of the Igbos.
Ezeneche said the Igbo tradition was being practiced in Asia, adding that they were making effort to build a native school for children.
He added that the school would teach children and women the Igbo tradition as well as how to speak the language.