Wednesday, 29 of September 2021 has been set aside by The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide for the 2021 edition of the Igbo Day celebration which will be held in Enugu. The igbo day celebration has been themed Onyeaghananwanneya; meaning, “Be your brother’s keeper” or “Do not abandon your brother, especially in times of need”.
A Central Plannning Committee has been set up by the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador Professor George A. Obiozor, and to be ran by a retired federal bureaucrat and traditional leader of Olo community, Ezeagu LGA of Enugu State, His Royal Majesty, Ambassador Lawrence O C Agubuzu, Chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers as the Chairman, with Hon. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo who habe all expressed their excitement and optimism of the celebration being unique in diverse ways
On Tuesday, 31 august 2021 an inaugural meeting was held at the National Secretariat of Ohanaeze Ndigbo located at , No 7 Park Avenue, GRA, Enugu where the events to mark the year’s igbo day celebration were planned rolled out for all members.
The event which has been scheduled to begin on the 26th of September 2021 will be kicked off with prayer in all Churches in Igbo Land, a public lecture at the Conference Centre, Institute of Management and Technology, IMT Enugu on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 by Professor Osita Ogbu of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus; followed by Nollywood/ Creativity which will be led by prominent Igbo Nollywood entrepreneurs. The Grand Finale which takes place at Michael Okpara Square, Independence Layout, Enugu on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 will be chaired by Chief Allen Onyema, the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace.
While the event promises to be an interesting one with match past from cultural troupes from different communities in igbo land, it will also offer unique opportunity for individuals, captains of industry, groups, companies, universities and states to showcase and advertise their local produce and innovations.
Ambassador Agubuzu, the Chairman of the Central Planning Committee, commends the concept of Igbo day celebration and promises that the committee will do everything possible to deliver on its core mandate.
In a speech by the Ohanaeze Spokesman, Hon. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia applauds the choice of Enugu as the Igbo capital saying that it offers the necessary ambience, hospitality, peace and security.
Explaining the concept of Igbo Day Celebration and the reasons for September 29, Ogbonnia says that, “the events of 1966 that led to the Nigerian Biafran War were very remarkable in the history of Igbo nation. In the first place, the military coup of January 15, 1966 snowballed into a chain of genocide against the Igbo”.
“It all began on May 29, 1966 at Kano. It was one of the most tragic days in Igbo history. It was the day over 3,000 Igbos were massacred in Kano as a consequence of what was considered an Igbo coup of January 15, 1966. Two months later, July 29, Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi, the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces was killed along with his host Lt. Col. Adekunle Fajuyi by Northern military officers in what was tagged a counter coup. Several other Igbo officers were located at various military formations and killed on July 29. As if that was not enough, on September 29, 1996, another major ethnic cleansing took place in which about 30,000 Igbos were killed in the Northern Nigeria”.
He says that due to this history, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has set aside September 29 every year as a special day for sober reflection and to celebrate the igbo resilience, ingenuity, entrepreneurial skills and frontier spirit.
“Without sounding immodest, all Nigerians affirm that the Igbo are endowed with the highest human creative potential, perhaps in the whole Africa. How come that an ethnic group that has suffered various kinds of injustice, alienation and relative deprivations have undauntedly remained afloat in the academia, corporate world, transportation, tourism, commerce and industry, etc? So, instead of mourning, we have chosen to celebrate the God’s love and kindness towards the Igbo. We celebrate the innate capacity and perseverance in the Igbo to break physical boundaries to achieve results where most fail. We celebrate that we passed through the valley of the shadow of death and bounced back; passed through the belly of the whale; traversed turmoil and hell and bounced back to glory and spendour. We celebrate the courage, tenacity and adaptability to live and thrive in all parts of the world. We celebrate the promise of God that he fights for the oppressed”, he says
Ogbonia further goes on to describe the happiness of Ndigbo that a person in the stature of Professor George Obiozor is at the helm of affairs as the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, for he has deployed his wealth of experience and contacts to collaborate with the leadership of other ethnic groups in Nigeria and has used his profound intellectual prowess and exceptional diplomatic finesse to help ndi igbo at critical times.
He says that, “Obiozor sees September 29, 2021 as a turning point in Igbo history. It is a convocation of some sorts; a renewal of Igbo spirit of pragmatic socialism, oneness, shared values and Onyeaghananwanneya”.