Eminent personalities from all walks of life on Saturday gathered in Owerri, Imo State capital, and showered encomium on Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu on his 80th birthday lecture series celebration, describing him as a man of many paths.
The event was designed as part of events to mark Iwuanyanwu’s 80th birthday coming up tomorrow, September 4.
The former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, in his remark, said Igbos are known to be excellent industrialists and entrepreneurs, and scholars. They epitomize resilience amid adversity and fortitude in times of despair; these are the virtues we need to emphasize now more than ever, given our nation’s challenges.
He said, “Looking at our political evolution from amalgamation to the independence struggles, the first republic, military adventurism, and now the fourth republic, the quest for Nigeria’s unity has been a dominant topic in our political history. And to achieve this, all stakeholders; must work in unity of purpose to achieve this dream.”
He described Iwuanyanwu as a man of many paths; an engineer, a politician, a businessman, a philanthropist, a father, and a role model with many achievements and glorious strides in his endeavours.
Also speaking, Senator Hope Uzodimma, governor of Imo, says the focus of Nigerians should be on issues that bind them together and de-emphasize their differences.
According to him, “Luckily, we are in an election cycle, so my challenge to the youth is to take charge of their future; by electing those who believe in our unity and will promote peace and progress, not those who will erect ethnic walls and religious barriers among our people.
“We have over-ethnicized our politics to the detriment of our country and our collective growth. We need to stop this.
“Collectively, if we work together and accommodate our differences, we can build a nation where everybody will have a sense of belonging, and everyone’s rights will be guaranteed.”
The former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, in his lecture, described Iwuanyanwu as a model for all Nigerians.
He said devolution of power or restructuring favours Nigeria better. A return to restructuring will give each geo-political zone sovereignty over its production.
Nwodo explained that the Igbo are labelled as secessionists, but in other parts of the country, rail lines are bombed, but nobody is prosecuted. No attempt should be made to force Igbos out of political relevance; we are as qualified as other Nigerians. Nigeria needs all of us now. Stop brooding over what has happened to us in the past; we can still make a country. Our industry, preparedness to serve, and our quest for Nigeria’s unity are without a doubt.