The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Wednesday, said September 29 had been set aside for the 2021 edition of the Igbo Day to reflect on the September 29, 1966 “ethnic cleansing in which about 30,000 Igbo were killed in the northern Nigeria.”
The occasion, to be held in Enugu, has Onyeaghananwanneya (be your brother’s keeper) as its theme.
A statement by Hon Alex Ogbonnia, national publicity secretary of the organization, said the president general of Ohanaeze, Professor George A. Obiozor, ”is optimistic that this year’s Igbo Day will be very unique’.
The planning committee is headed by the state chairman of the council of traditional rulers, HRH Ambassador Lawrence O C Agubuzu, while Hon Chiedozie Ogbonnia is the secretary.
The event, our correspondent gathered, would feature prayers, public lectures, and displays by prominent Igbo Nollywood entrepreneurs.
According to the statement, “The grand-finale, which takes place at Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 will be chaired by Chief Allen Onyema, the chairman/CEO of Air Peace.”
It added, “The event will offer a unique opportunity for individuals, captains of industry, groups, companies, universities and states to showcase their local produce and innovations.”
According to the statement, the choice of September 29 was significant because: “The events of 1966 that led to the Nigeria-Biafran War were very remarkable. In the first place, the military coup of January 15, 1966 snowballed into a chain of genocide against the Igbo.
“It all began on May 29, 1966 in Kano. It was one of the most tragic days in Igbo history. It was the day over 3,000 Igbos were massacred in Kano as a consequence of what was considered an Igbo coup of January 15, 1966. Two months later, July 29, Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi, the head of state, was killed along with his host Lt Col Adekunle Fajuyi by northern military officers in what was tagged a counter-coup.
“As if that was not enough, on September 29, 1966, another major ethnic cleansing took place in which about 30,000 Igbo were killed in the northern Nigeria.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has set aside September 29 every year as a special day. It is a day of sober reflections on one hand, and a day to celebrate the Igbo resilience, ingenuity, entrepreneurial skills and frontier spirit, on the other.
“Instead of mourning, we have chosen to celebrate the God’s love and kindness towards the Igbo. We celebrate the courage, tenacity and adaptability to live and thrive in all parts of the world.”
Lolo Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News / September 2, 2021