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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

OHANEZE IS THE APEX OF ALL PAN IGBO ASSOCIATIONS- Chief Solomon Ogbonna

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Lagos chapter President of Ohaneze Ndigbo,the famous pan-Igbo socio-cultural body,Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene,who is also the President of Aguene Arts Foundation, arguably the biggest private arts museum in Africa, recently had a chat with Emeagi Emeka Williams, Editor, Timeswatch and Uche Ogbonnaya (Correspondent), at the association’s Secretariat in Surulere.

The Ohaozara, Ebonyi State born business technocrat and human resource manager cashed in on the chat to address salient issues that border on the peaceful co-eexistence of Igbos with other nationalities in Lagos and the need for future Nigerian leaders to exploit the ethnic diversity of Nigeria for greater unity and progress.

EXCERPT:

ON HOW HE MANAGES THE AFFAIRS OF THE IGBOS IN A POPULOUS STATE THAT LAGOS IS.

What we do as an exco is to ensure that we use special mechanisms and techniques to make the Igbos in Lagos obey the laws of the state and follow guidelines so as not to have problems in the state.
Although we are apolitical, we strive that we take steps to support the leadership in power so that the wheel of democracy will not stop, and that the Igbos will survive without hassles.

ON WHAT THE OHANEZE WILL BE DOING TO CELEBRATE THE 100 DAYS IN OFFICE OF THE LAGOS STATE GOVERNOR,BABAJIDE SANWOOLU.

We will show solidarity in the best way we can, especially as the Igbos have had immense benefits from this leadership, even in it’s short stay.

ON THE THINGS HE THINKS SHOULD BE DONE TO KEEP NIGERIA UNITED AND STRONGER.

To me, Nigeria should continue to work on the tripartite structure of WAZOBIA (The Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo) arrangement, the fashion with which we have existed and progressed for several decades. My take is that Nigeria should have a long term plan towards achieving this, by making it mandatory for anyone who will be president or would hold any top public office, to be able to speak these three languages, and to also have a deep knowledge of the various culture,so that such a leader will always appreciate all and cater for their needs.
A projection of between 2020-2040 can actualise this.
It will be therefore important to make the study of these languages compulsory in schools.
The beautiful thing about Nigeria is that we have a lingua Franca (English) linking us. So nothing should stop us as a nation.

TALKING OF THE PANDEMIC AND HOW PEOPLE SHOULD CONDUCT THEMSELVES.

The Corona virus is very deadly. It has killed thousands across the world, and is spreading like wild fire.
Ndigbo and other citizens alike should be mindful of the social distancing rules and wear their masks. They should know that the living alone can earn a living, and enjoy.

ON THE PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE IGBOS IN THE FACE OF INJUSTICE.

Anything that borders on protection of Rights and protesting any victimisation is a crucial issue that requires the attention of our national leadership, so as not to heat up the polity unnecessarily. On such and many other issues that can affect unity of the country, I interface with with my national head.

ON THE CLAIM THAT THE IGBOS ARE CONTROVERSIAL TO LEAD.

It is true that the Igbo nation is great and unique; it must also be noted that the Igbo leaders who control their affairs have the wherewithal to handle them.

ON WHAT HE WOULD DO TO PREVENT THE ECONOMIC CRISIS THAT MAY FOLLOW THE END OF THE PANDEMIC IF HE IS THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA.

No one can gainsay that the pandemic has changed the way we think globally. As a leader of an Apex body that regulates the affairs of over 8 million Igbos in Lagos State, I am already like a president of a nation,because some countries do not have up to eight million population.
Against this reality, just like I always do, I will encourage agriculture and empower the Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), that will metamorphose into the companies that will employ those that lost their jobs during the pandemic.
Agro business that is supported will not only provide food, but also create employment.
I am a great entrepreneur, because I own the biggest private museum in Africa. So I will empower the SMEs.

ON HOW HE RELAXES AND MAINTAINS SHAPE
I walk long distances and stay out of work many times. Even as Ohaneze leader, we do not hold meetings always.

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