Ndigbo living in the diaspora gathered in large numbers at Igbouzor (Ibusa) on Wednesday, 28th December, 2016 in the first ever Xmas retreat for Ndigbo in the diaspora held at Prof Pat Utomi Villa, Ogboli , Ibusa in Delta State .
The theme of the gathering was ‘Building a Synergy and Developmental Bridge between Ndigbo in the Diaspora and Those At Home, The Imperatives’.
Representatives of Igbo World Assembly, World Igbo Congress and Ndigbo in the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja attended the event
After detailed deliberations and discussions on several local and national issues, the Summit agreed on some resolutions among which included.
1. There is the need for a closer interface between Ndigbo at home and those in the Diaspora. Igbo organisations at home and in the Diaspora should be relating proactively with each other while the Apex Igbo body Ohanaeze Ndigbo should knit these groups and give them a fatherly and umbrella root.
2. Igbos in the Diaspora should always think home and invest at home. They should link up with Igbo political and business leaders at home to achieve this goal.
3 Effort should be made to invest in human development of our youths especially in the areas of ICT, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY as this is the bedrock of development in the present world. To that effect Igbos in the Diaspora should pool resources together to procure and supply to our tertiary schools , secondary and primary schools educative and technological materials for the benefit of our students and youths .
4. Ohanaeze Ndigbo is not yet an ideal Apex body that can drive Ndigbo to the promised land. There is therefore the need for it to be rejigged in its oncoming elections so that only credible people will emerge in all positions in the body.
5. The pull -him-down syndrome ravaging most Igbo groups , individuals and organisations is impeding the development of Igbo land and should be addressed by Ndigbo. Political differences should not be used as a factor to drag us back as it is today.
6. Igbo politicians and political office holders are not doing enough to address the challenges facing Igbo people. However, we salute those of them who have not forgotten the development philosophy of Dr M I Okpara in the 60s and are transforming their states and local governments. For such achievers, their names will be placed on the sand of times.
7. Ndigbo are nation builders and will prefer a Nigeria that is working than secession. Igbo nationalists got independence for Nigeria and Ndigbo have contributed more than any group in the development of Nigeria. They cannot leave Nigeria for anybody. A landlord cannot leave his house for tenants. However, Nigeria needs to be restructured with social and economic justice for all her citizens as a desideratum for centrifugal agitations to end. As it is today, Ndigbo are victims of inbuilt structural imbalance having five states and less than a hundred local government areas. These are factors used in distributing federal resources. One can imagine the effect on Ndigbo over the years , especially on our youths. The last police recruitment in Nigeria where the South East had least allotment is a clear evidence of the effect of structural imbalance against Ndigbo in Nigeria.
8. The federal government is not doing enough to curb the armed Fulani herdsmen killings in Igbo land and other areas. The killings and maiming of local farmers in Igbo land by these herdsmen continue .All Igbo communities should form vigilante group to protect their people against this terror acts.
9 The Nigerian security forces should stop killing unarmed IPOB or MASSOB agitators as its against local and international laws to kill unarmed persons and the right to peaceful gathering is in our laws. The Amnesty Report on the killing of IPOB members must not be swept under the carpet. It must be addressed by the federal government and those responsible for the killings brought to justice. That we do not encourage secession does not mean that people do not have the constitutional and internationally granted right to demand for self-determination if there is a need for it. If Nigeria has been working and our rulers have not been looting this nation dry , our youths would not have been agitating to escape from the Nigerian tragedy. This is a fact. In a country where life has no respect , in a country people die like chicken in our ill maintained roads , in a country workers are not paid as and when due and where youth unemployment is astronomic, in a country that there is no social security and justice ,where politicians loot the country dry, desperate and frustrated youths would always demand escape route and that is the reason behind IPOB AND MASSOB. The federal government must understand this fact and find ways of making Nigeria work to halt the agitations.
10. We call on the federal government to pursue the war against corruption with vigour and address the huge cost of governance in the country. The gap between the rich and the poor is too much in Nigeria and the cost of running our three arms of government is outrageous. The cost of governance in Nigeria is the highest in the world.
11. A data base of Igbos in the Diaspora will henceforth be compiled and kept at the Secretariat of Ndigbo in Enugu for purposes of ensuring the wellbeing of Ndigbo all over the world and building the bridge between them and those at home.
Ndigbo should continue to build bridges with other Nigeria groups and power basis with a view to getting their fair share in the geo-politics and geo-economy of Nigeria.
Chuks Ibegbu [Convener]
Prof Nwankwo Nwaezeigwe
Chief Mrs Chika Ibeneme
Hon Elvis Okolie
Evangelist Peter Arisa
Dr Chris Ugoh
Barr John Onwe [Representatives Of Iowa, USA]
Comrade Peter Mgbo
Mazi Alex Okemiri
Representative Of The World Igbo Congress
Representative Of Umu Okpu Ndinne Igbo
Representative Of Igbo Youth Leaders
Representative Of Igbo Student Leaders
Representatives Of Onyendu Ndigbo In The Diaspora
Representative Of Ndigbo in South And Central Africa
Representative Of Ndigbo In South East Asia
Representative Of Ndigbo in Europe