Our future lies in our past, Soludo tells Nigerians, extols values enunciated by late Mbazulike

Our future lies in our past, Soludo tells Nigerians, extols values enunciated by late Mbazulike

By Ovat Abeng

Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo says the future of Ndị Igbo and Nigeria lies in espousing and re-living the virtues and ideals of the past.

The Governor stated this on Tuesday, during the Anambra State Day of Tribute, held at the International Convention Center in Awka in honour of Nigeria’s first Aviation Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, Dara Akunwafor (The Boy Is Good).

It was gathered that late Amaechi, who died in November last year, would be buried on February 16th, 2023.

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According to the Governor, most of the founding fathers of Nigeria valued service above self.

Governor Soludo who described Anambra as the birth place of giants, recalled that much of the development in the South East region were made possible with taxes paid by peasant farmers, which was largely used to build the region.

“When I ponder on the lives of our founding fathers of the first generation; they were patriotic, nationalists, and valued service above self,” Governor Soludo emphasized.

“Michael I. Okpara, the Premier of the Eastern Region used taxes paid by peasant farmers to construct the modern cities of Onitsha, Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Aba, and Umuahia, all of which had adequate supply of pipe-borne water, clean streets, electricity, and pedestrian walkways.”

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The Governor noted that it was a special event to mourn Nigeria’s foremost patriot, statesman, one of Anambra’s greatest to the world and one of the men who laid the foundation of the country called Nigeria.

Governor Soludo further stressed that the future of the country lies in Pan-Africanism and a restructured Nigeria, describing himself as a neo-zikist in line with the zikist movement which Dara Akunwafor lived and died for.

“Late Amaechi, was a true zikist unto death who believed in what Zik stood for – Nigeria’s unity.

“Today is a special day. We have come to mourn Nigeria’s greatest patriot and statesman, who laid the groundwork for the country’s independence.

“Anambra laments on a day when the world celebrates love. Late Mbazulike Amaechi joined the zikist movement as a student and dedicated the majority of his life to the love of Nigeria. We are mourning him in his home state today.

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“He spent his entire life in Anambra; didn’t reside in Lagos or Abuja. His home state today is hosting the national tribute. He spent his life mentoring and assisting others in their growth. “Anambra mourns but also rejoices in the memory of a glorious life,” Governor Soludo said.

The Governor empathised and condoled the family of late Chief Mbazulike Amaechi.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chairman of the National Planning Committee, Chief Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Distinguished Sen Ndi-Obi and others who have come to celebrate one of the finest souls to pass through Nigeria,” he said.

The Governor urged Nigerians to spend their time honoring heroes while they are still alive.

Future recalling his encounter with the late Dara Mbazulike Amaechi, he said: “Our paths did not cross much on a personal level. I first learned about him during a lecture; their tenacity and belief in Nigeria’s unity which Zik stood for, and they were willing to lay down their lives for what they believed in.

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“He lived in Anambra, specifically Ukpor, and traveled from the state to Abuja or elsewhere whenever he needed to.”

The Governor stated that the late Mbazulike Amaechi made a strong call for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release, and that call was justified.

“The issue of Nigeria will be at a table of dialogue with all stakeholders involved.

“When I visited Nnamdi Kanu in prison, I told him about how criminals posing as freedom fighters are kidnapping and killing people. He called it an abomination.

“My goal in calling for Nnamdi Kanu’s release is to separate the chaff from the substance. When he is released, we will know who the true agitation fighters and criminals are. This is why I’m pleading for his release, not because his release will automatically end insecurity. “I am confident he will be released,” Governor Soludo emphasized.

“The late Mbazulike Amaechi’s Zikism philosophy, particularly the Pan-Africanism ideology, sees the black race as an integral part of the world and the future of Ndigbo, which he believes is better in a united Nigeria.

“It is a future that will benefit Nigeria in the zikist Pan-African movement. The future of Ndigbo lies in the restructuring of Nigeria, which is one of the legacies left to us by late Mbazulike Amaechi.

“While we mourn, let also celebrate but not forget that the greatest tribute is to keep the flames of his legacies, ideas, the values he espoused burning.

“Ndi Anambra and ndi Igbo will continue to win if we stick to the values he lived and died for,” concluded the Governor.

Earlier, Chairman of the State Day of Tribute, Chief Ben Ndi-Obi, extolled Governor Soludo and urged the people to support his efforts in taking the state to the next level and described the late Chief Amaechi as a great man whose loyalty to Africa’s great Zik was unrivaled.

Iyom Josephine Anenih, former Minister and Women leader of PDP,  in her tribute described Mbazulike Amaechi as a true patriot and nationalist whose legacies will forever be cherished

Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uche Okafor, described the late Amaechi as one of the most important Nigerians who ever lived, pointing out that he spent much of his public life demonstrating passion for the nation’s development.

The Speaker, called for the immortalization of the nationalist by naming one of the national institutions after him.

Nigeria’s first female Governor, Dame Virgy Etiaba, stated that the late Amaechi was the last of the zikists, saying that his legacies will live in perpetuity.

“The epic aspect of his life was how he brought together Ndigbo elder statesmen and brokered peace between the South East and the rest of the country,”

“We are proud to honor him as onye Anambra. It is something we should praise God for,” she said.

On his part, the APGA Presidential Candidate, Professor Peter Umeadi paid tribute to the late Chief Amechi, saying that what he learnt from him was that if one put one’s mind to anything, one will achieve it.

Anambra State Deputy Governor, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim, Former Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Emeka Sibudu, members of the Anambra State Executive Council including Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Head of Service, Barr. Theodora Igwegbe, Prince Chris Azor, Presidents-General, Transition Committee Chairmen, Traditional Rulers, Women Leaders, Youth Leaders, among others also attended the event.

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