A COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED BY THE WORLD IGBO CONGRESS INC.
AT THE END OF ITS 7TH ANNUAL CONVENTION HELD AT HYATT REGENCY HOTEL, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA USA,
FROM AUGUST 31 TO SEPTEMBER 3, 2001.
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF WORLD IGBO CONGRESS, INC.
Preamble: The World Igbo Congress Inc. the umbrella organization that unites and represents the interests of Ndigbo in the Diaspora held its 7th annual convention in New Orleans, Louisiana from August 31st to September 3, 2001. The theme of the Convention is O rugo n' Omume (It is Time for Action).
any distinguished Igbo leaders and groups attended this convention from different parts of the world.
Some of those in attendance were The Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, Eze Igbo, Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the Executive Governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa, former governor of Imo State and Senate President, Chief Evans Enwerem, the Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Chief Emeka Itanyi, The Nigerian Consul General in Atlanta Hon. Joe Keshi, distinguished Senators, Ike Nwachukwu and Arthur Nzeribe, deputy leader of the Federal House of Representative, Chief Mao Ohuabunwa, Sir J. S. P. C. Nwokolo, Former Ministers of the Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Tim Menakaya, Prof. Barth Nnaji, and Chief Nnia Nwodo, business mogul and politician Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, University professors, Traditional rulers, heads of corporations, industrialists, businessmen and women, research fellows and other eminent Igbos in the Diaspora.
The key issues discussed at the convention were:
- Economic and political future of Ndigbo.
- Revitalization of education in Igboland.
- Technological of Advancement of Igboland.
- Industrialization of Igboland.
- Women and the Igbo Family in the Diaspora.
The central discussion was on practical steps to approach the above issues. At the end of the discussion delegates to the convention unanimously resolved as follows:
- That the political and economic future of Ndigbo will remain strangulated and blurred without a comprehensive restructuring of the present Nigeria political geopolitical arrangement. The delegates therefore called on the national legislators, the presidency, all Nigerian State governors and their legislators; traditional rulers from all ethnic groups and all well-meaning Nigerians to proceed immediately with the restructuring of Nigerian polity before 2003 general elections are held. The delegates believed that the peaceful and progressive coexistence of all corporate entities in Nigeria cannot be guaranteed without a conference of all nationals to discuss the terms on which a new Nigeria will be built.
- That the Igbo nation is an important and equal partner in this "Political Partnership" called the Nigerian Federation, and is entitled to all rights and privileges contained in this partnership, including the right to produce a Nigeria president. Cognizant to this fact, the delegates overwhelmingly supported the position of Ohaneze Ndigbo that Ndigbo will definitely produce an Igbo presidential candidate to contest the 2003, presidential election.
- That the political economic future of Ndigbo will be defined clearly by forming a political party with strong Igbo presence. The delegates therefore called for an immediate action to form an Igbo led political party. The delegates also warned against any attempt to prevent any group that wants to form a political party from doing so. Democracy encourages freedom of association so long as such association does not unscrupulously endanger lives or pose serious threat to national security.
- That World Igbo Congress should set up an Education Committee to work with Igbo State governments, schools, and other organizations to revitalize the educational system in Igboland.
- That World Igbo Congress should lead the effort to secure and enforce open admission policy into Nigerian universities and other institutions of higher learning that is based on merit.
- That the World Igbo Congress should work with educators and other organizations to develop and establish an enforceable code of ethics for teachers and administrators.
- That WIC should engage in a well-coordinated media campaign to emphasize to students, teachers, parents, and the public the importance of moral value, ethics, and social responsibility in Igboland.
- That WIC should start immediately to assist in channeling resources to schools and universities in Igboland (computers, books, laboratory equipment, and other education supplies).
- That WIC should encourage, coordinate, and promote collaborative agreement between American, European, and Asian schools and schools in Igboland.
- That WIC should encourage Igbos in the Diaspora to invest in small scale manufacturing industries, banking, agriculture, media, and high-tech industries.
- That WIC should encourage all the Igbo in the Diaspora to contribute to the Economic Empowerment Program set up by WIC to enhance economic participation of Ndigbo in the world economy. WIC should encourage Ndigbo to begin to establish investment clubs to boost capital formation and increase employment in Igboland.
- That WIC should try to include Igbo women in the discussion of Igbo affairs.
- That WIC should play important role in promoting Igbo culture and language by encouraging Igbo parents to teach their children Igbo language. Centers should be created in every city to teach our children Igbo language.
Luke Azike Azubuike, Ph.D.
Secretary General World Igbo Congress, Inc.
September 3, 2001.
New Orleans, Louisiana USA.