Good afternoon revered Gentlemen of the Press!
I begin this press conference with an unalloyed gratitude to God, for the resounding success of Ndigbo Youth Security Summit, which was held in Enugu on the 28th day of July, 2021. It was indeed a huge success and has been yielding good fruits in the South East, even though more works need to be done. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those who supported Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP), in one way or the other, to ensure the success of that security summit; we are highly grateful. I sincerely appreciate you, the Fourth Estate of the Realm, for attending the security summit in your numbers and for disseminating our message of peace, widely.
Today, we are here to unveil our fliers for an all-important campaign, which was mentioned during my speech at the security summit. The campaign is tagged “AKU RUO ULO”, geared towards restoring the glory of Igbo speaking states and entrenching those outstanding qualities that Ndigbo (Igbo people) are known for.
“Understanding your heritage, your roots, and your ancestry is an important part of carving out your future.” Every race on earth is blessed with some distinguishing specialties and prowess, which make them outstanding and unique wherever they are found.
Ndigbo are people specially endowed with creative prowess, business acumen and unequalled resilience. Our ingenuity, resilience, crave for success, business orientation and creativity have been reckoned as next to none across the globe.
Ndigbo excel in every sphere of life but are mostly outstanding in the business, creative and innovative world. The best of the ICT/Computer Gurus, across the globe, are from Igbo race. Show me a man who travels to “an unknown land” with a “nylon bag” and comes back with a private jet and I will show you an undaunted, hardworking and resilient Igbo man.
There is no gainsaying in the fact that Ndigbo account for the greater percentage of Billionaires in Nigeria; people who rose from Zero to Hero, men who grew from Grass to Grace and personalities who became Somebody from Nobody. Across the globe, Ndigbo own multibillion naira businesses and Investments. In Nigeria, across the states outside the Igbo speaking states, Ndigbo own the choicest Hotels, thriving Companies and multibillion naira Investments cum Businesses. These are what we are known for; capital development, business and investment.
However, it is a surprising anomaly that the majority of these Igbo billionaires often forget the dictum of “charity begins at home” and the Igbo maxim which says, “Aku ruo ulo okwuo ebe osi”. An inquisitive and concerned mind will always ask; is this an oversight or an act of forgetting one’s root or a consequence of addicted procrastination? Your guess is as good as mine.
This anomaly notwithstanding, there are some handfuls of exceptional “Umu Igbo” who have distinguished themselves by not forgetting their root – Ala Igbo. They, through thick and thin, have always looked homewards and have always remembered the maxim of the Great Zik of Africa; “cheta ka èzí di” (remember how home is). These rare gems have always upheld the dictum of “Aku ruo ulo okwuo ebe osi”; they have always invested in Ala-Igbo, notwithstanding all hitches and odds. These are the people who have employed our teeming Ndigbo Youth and taken thousands of them out of the streets via provision of job opportunities and empowerments.
“Etoo Dike na nke omere eme, omekwaa ozo” (when you praise a brave man for his giant strides, he will be encouraged to do more). Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP) is on an unrelenting campaign for “Aku ruo ulo”; a campaign that is geared towards reminding all the Igbo Business Moguls, Technocrats, Investors and Billionaires that “charity begins at home”. They should be mindful of the fact that, of all the most beautiful places, home is the best. Ala-Igbo is our home; ka onye si dozie akwa ya ka oga esi arahu ura (how you make your bed so shall you lay). If we do not make our home a thriving Business cum Industrial Hub, the “efuluefus” (the never-do-wells) will turn our land into a dungeon, as nature abhors vacuum. We must take charge of our homestead and take it off the hands of “ndi ocho nga n’ofu” (people looking where to cause mayhem).
Thus, it is time to regain our lost glory. There was a time when all roads led to Onitsha for bulk business transactions, Aba for Shoes and textiles, Nnewi for Motor and Machine Parts, Nkalagu for Cement, Adani and Abakaliki for Rice, Oji River and Nkanu for Garri, Umuahia and Okigwe for palm kernel oil, Emene in Enugu for Car assemblage, and Igbo speaking part of Delta cum Rivers states for oil. How did we get to this point; why did we abandon what gave us glory? Taa ka bu gboo (Today is still early), let us strive to return the glory of Igbo speaking states as Industrial cum Business Hub of Nigeria! The time is Now!
Hence, this all important event – AKU RUO ULO SUMMIT & AWARDS and induction into the prestigious IGBO-BU-IGBO PERSONALITIES HALL OF FAME (IBIP-HALL OF FAME), is intended to pat on the back of all those who, through thick and thin, have upheld the dictum of “Aku Ruo Ulo” via investing in human and capital developments in the Igbo speaking states. It is also a clarion call for all well-meaning Ndigbo to start looking homewards.
It is time to look homewards; it’s time to regain the lost glory, it’s time to turn Igbo speaking states into the “Dubai and Japan of Africa”. WE CAN DO IT and we have what it takes to do it!
If you love Ala-Igbo; if you are indeed a true Son and Daughter of Ala-Igbo, support this campaign and lend your voice to this all-important clarion call. All hands MUST be on deck to make Ala-Igbo Great again! We are not known for violence, we are known for setting success-pace; we are pace-setters and peace loving race! “No matter where life takes you, don’t forget where you come from. Always remember your roots. They are the foundation of your life and the wings of your future.”
Thank You all!
God Bless Ndigbo Youth Parliament!
God Bless Ala-Igbo!!
God Bless Nigeria!!!
Rt. Hon. Rikki Chinedu Nwajiofor, Cmi.
Hon. Speaker, Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP).