By Adebisi Adeyemi Lagos, Nigeria
Former Rivers State Governor, Sir Celestine Omehia has called on the people of Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality to remain politically vigilant to avoid slipping back into political deprivation.
Delivering an address at the 2017 Annual National Convention of the Ogbakor Ikwerre USA at the Crown Plaza Airport Hotel, Atlanta on Saturday, Sir Celestine Omehia praised Former Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili and Late Chief G.U Ake for the emergence of a Rivers State Governor of Ikwerre extraction.
He said: “We must recall that the deprivation and collective struggle by the Ikwerre people till 2007 when by providence, I was elected to the office of Governor of Rivers State, thereby being the first Ikwerre son to hold that position.
“By my election, I believe that God opened the gate of blessings and favour for Ikwerre people in the leadership of the state. Let me thank the incumbent governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for his efforts at setting the record straight “.
It will be recalled that Rivers State Governor restored the rights of Former Rivers State Governor, Sir Celestine Omehia as a former governor.
Omehia said despite the various succeses recorded by the Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality since 2007, the people still have a long way to go.
“Individuals, groups snd communal efforts are still highly required for the further growth and Development of Ikwerre people and Rivers State at large. We should not forget our history and relax. Rather, we should master it, use it and apply it for tomorrow. My people, we must remember our adage: “Anya n’ali”.
The Former Governor in his paper titled: “Panacea for peace and unity in Ikwerre Land “, said for peace to reign in Ikwerre Land, patriotism must be visibly displayed by the Ikwerre Political class.
He said: “Even with our numerical advantage in Rivers State, and our political successes we have so far recorded, a continuation of the current state of affairs where Ikwerre sons who are in position of authority are covertly sabotaged, worked against and overtly threatened by non other , but fellow Ikwerre politicians, does not portend well for our peaceful and unified existence “.
He said contrary to what many people think, Ikwerre people don’t need to put their eggs in one basket. He said they should belong to different political parties, but promote the interest of Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality.
Commenting on the issues that generate disunity in Ikwerre Land, Sir Omehia pointed out that “Psychology of Ihu-Mbam and Azu-Mbam”, play a prominent role.
“To foster a lasting unity amongst our Ikwerre people, we must preach against Ihu-Mbam and Azu-Mbam because “Ikwerre bu Otu” and must remain one in the interest of tomorrow “.
He regretted the spate of intra and inter communal crises in Ikwerre Land which have negatively affected peace and unity , calling on the Ogbakor Ikwerre to set up a standing committee to address the issue.
President of Ogbakor Ikwerre USA, Dr Fortune Worlugbum, in his remarks, announced that the group will recognise Former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili with an award of friendship for help to lift the Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality in politics.
Goodwill messages came from President of Ogbakor Ikwerre Worldwide, Prof Simeon Achinehwu and Chairman , Ikwerre Chiefsand Elders, Prince Wonodi.
Highpoint of the First Day of the 2017 Ikwerre USA National Convention was the presentation of awards to Ikwerre children who gained admission to universities, those who graduated from universities and those with post graduate degrees.