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Uzodinma Asks Igbo Youths To Shun Violence, Appreciate Opportunities In Nigeria

Akinola Ajibola  
Updated December 11, 2021
A file photo of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma.

 

Rather than resort to violence, youths in the South-East region should look beyond lamenting over the marginalisation of the Igbo people and take advantage of the opportunities in Nigeria.

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, gave the advice on Saturday at the presentation of his book titled ‘Reflections On The Igbo Question’ in Owerri, the state capital.

“What I have simply set out in this book is for our youths to appreciate the opportunities before them and embrace such instead of bemoaning the marginalisation of Ndigbo and resorting to violence, which is self-defeat,” he said. “They should come up with pragmatic ways of conquering their fear.

“I don’t want our youths to think that somebody is holding down their destiny. I also don’t want them to continue to be frustrated by the deliberate policies of exclusion. Instead, I want them to be focused on the larger picture of liberation through technology, trade, and commerce through which we can dominate Nigeria and dictate the pace of development.”

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Noting that the accurate diagnosis of any ailment is a necessary step towards a cure, the governor believes bemoaning the marginalisation of Ndigbo in the Nigerian project is not as significant as devising a rational and realistic way out of the problem.

In spite of the state of affairs since the 1966 counter-coup, according to him, the Igbo people are still better off staying in Nigeria.

Igbos Are Leading

Governor Uzodinma anticipated that although some would not agree with his submission, he explained that going through the book would prove his point better.

He challenges the leaders and youths in the South East to reclaim their rightful place in Nigeria by building on the comparative advantage they have over their compatriots in other regions.

“We have to leverage the special talents bestowed on us by God to ensure that we are accorded our dues in Nigeria,” the governor stated. “One of the talents is technology. The other is commerce and trade.

“Currently, the evidence is there that it was helpful to us in the past and is still at our disposal today. Truth be told, we are dominating in commerce and trade in Nigeria. But we can do far better than that as a people if we put our thinking caps on.”

“In the real estate business in all the major cities of Nigeria, the Igbos are leading. Most standard provisions stores in any remote part of Nigeria are likely to be owned and operated by an Igbo man or woman.

“The second most populous ethnic group in any city in Nigeria outside the indigenes of the city are Igbos. How then do we harness these huge potentials to our advantage?” he queried.

Governor Uzodinma said Igbo students across the globe and in Nigeria were making waves with their technological innovations.

He stressed that individual accomplishments would only make a meaningful impact if they were collectively harnessed and channelled to a massive production hub to set the stage for the technological leap Nigeria has been yearning for over the years.