r. Chairman. Members of the High Table for this occasion & Gentlemen of the audience. Permit me to stand on the existing protocol to give my thank-you to you. I am humbled by the presence of your eminences for this occasion. This is a memory I'll cherish for a long time.
Your excellencies, it is my intention to give my vote of thanks in a few lines using the following title: CAN THE COST OF DISUNITY BE MARGINALIZATION? It is worthy of note that the desire of any irresponsible government - who finds itself in power - is to have the citizens divided against one another.
Why? Because therein lies their strength to marginalize, oppress and subdue. So long as leadership cannot divide the people; it cannot marginalize the people.
But when constituted authority finds itself in command of a people who cannot bring themselves together in order that they may be able to demand accountability from leadership; it rejoices greatly due to the ease it had to marginalize.
The situation of Nd'igbo in Nigeria, has long necessitated a gathering of this nature in view of the fact that the Igbo ethnic group today and by extension the other Christian tribes, looked more like an endangered ethnic group than a member of the federal republic of Nigeria.
The marginalization - which was once hidden - has become an open affair now. Suddenly, Igbo marginalization has become a burning issue. However, the nature of this marginalization - unlike what is obtained elsewhere in Africa - has been discovered to be the consequence of disunity of the Igbos.
In other words, the strength of this marginalization is derived from the division that existed among the people in question whether they were Igbos or the other Christian tribes in Nigeria. Many of us gathered here can still remember the proverb: CAN A HOUSE BE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF AND STILL STAND?
What this means is that the marginalization of any tribe begins whenever there was division within the tribe. Hence, the only way to stop it was to STOP FIGHTING ONE ANOTHER.
ND'IGBO MUST COME TOGETHER AGAIN IN UNITY LIKE WE HAVE DONE TODAY. WE MUST FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER, LOVE ONE ANOTHER AND LEARN TO WORK WITH A COLLECTIVE SPIRIT.
When this is done WHATEVER MARGINALIZED US BEFORE NOW WILL DISAPPEAR! If you ask me, our revered Ikemba Nnewi pointed us to politics after the Civil War and himself became an example. So, if we loved him we must follow his steps.
He gave us the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) as seal that politics was the way to go. Through politics, it has been found that people who shared similar ideologies or afflictions easily came together to associate and agree.
We must therefore come together, think together and work together. We must embrace politics and endeavor to master its pros and cons. We must assume the responsibility of selecting and sending to political positions; persons who are credible and can serve us well.
Before now our style of politics has been those of unnecessary competition. So I say it was time we put our house in order, that we may stand to demand our fair share of Nigeria. I say it was time we took the Ahiara Declaration of 1969 seriously.
I say it was time we saved ourselves by acknowledging that politics has become an effective means for ETHNIC PRESERVATION! In conclusion, what I put down on the pages of this book is aimed at not just to inform Nd'igbo but to also wake up the other Christian tribes to the reality that the time for serious political participation is NOW!
Let me thank you Mr. Chairman & members of the high table as well as the gentlemen of the audience for finding time to honor this invitation. Let me also thank you Sir Valentine Nwagbaraocha KSM for that wonderful review. Sir, you are a great inspiration to me.
Finally, I thank you all for coming. I do hope that this book will spark an adjustment of attitude that'll prepare us for whatever lies ahead. I remain your peace loving son and brother;