Frank Nweke Pushes For Strong Igbo Presence In National Polity 

Frank Nweke Pushes For Strong Igbo Presence In National Polity 

4 mins read
By Esther Agbo, PBA Journalism Mentee

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Enugu State for the upcoming election, Mr Frank Nweke Jr, has urged Igbos of Southeast extraction to be courageous in working to fully reclaim their rightful place in the national polity.

Nweke Jr, a former minister of information and communications, stressed the need for Igbos to pragmatically take full responsibility for advancing their cause, position, identity, and development in the country.

He made the call on Thursday, 19th January during the first distinguished lecture series 2023 of the University of Nigeria Nsukka Faculty of Arts titled: ‘Reclaiming our Identity, Politics and Development in Igbo land,’ where he was invited as a guest speaker.

Nweke, who is also a former Director General of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), said there is a need to establish a leadership structure that can be trusted and held accountable for the development of the region.

He said: “I have spoken extensively on reclaiming our identity ‘Ndi Igbo’ in the past few years and more specifically in the past few months.”

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While sharing his thoughts on the need for ndi Igbo to reclaim their identity in the national polity, especially in the area of leadership, Nweke gave some insights into the history of Africa, how the British colonized the continent, and Nigeria’s independence in 1960.

Delivering his lecture, he quoted a part of the book – “There was a country: a Personal History of Biafra” by the notable African writer, Chinua Achebe, which highlighted the process that brought the various parts of Nigeria into one entity during British colonial rule. “From a contraction of convenience from the colonial masters, we have managed to keep the country from completely disintegrating through several kinds of disagreement, and a bloody civil war that we are yet to heal from.”

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In Nweke’s perception, the Igbos have suffered the most in the political disaster over the years.

He advised that while Ndi Igbo feel marginalised, they should also reflect internally on what they have done to themselves, what their representatives in government have done; and whether their leaders represent them well or have tuned to tyrants while discharging their duties.

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“We have yam and we have a knife, but we could not cut the yam by ourselves, who is to blame?” Nweke queried.

The APGA gubernatorial flagbearer in Enugu State further cited Chinua Achebe’s work that “Nigeria’s problem is her inability and unwillingness to rise to responsibility to challenge personal example which gives you the hallmark of true leadership.”

“Our attention must be on instituting a leadership structure that can be trusted and held accountable to our democratic region.”

He also mentioned some individuals in the Southeast who according to him, represented their subjects well, like Mr Michael Okpara, Odumegwu Ojukwu, etc. “They were pragmatic, sensitive and wise during their time and tenure,” he added.

Nweke, who also admonished students to shun political apathy and endeavour to exercise their franchise in every election in the country, emphasised that voting for a leader of one’s choice gives a sense of belonging and helps in building a healthy national unity.

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He also stated lessons Igbos can learn from history are cohesion, patience, dignity, unity, accommodation, and most importantly, contentment.

He concluded by encouraging “Umu Igbo” especially the young ones to pay attention to these issues and relate them to the conduct and management of leadership in public affairs. “We can co-exist, we can be our brother’s keeper,” he added.

Frank Nweke Pushes For Strong Igbo Presence In National Polity 

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