Prof Ibe made his views known through a press statement issued in Umuahia on Friday. Speaking in support of the appropriateness of hosting the two events simultaneously, Prof Ibe commended Governors of the five South Eastern states for creating a common platform to harness the immense economic potentials of the region and the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo for sustaining the annual Igbo Day cultural fiesta.

According to Prof Ibe, ” I want to particularly commend the spirit of unity exhibited by our Governors who, in spite of being members of four different political parties, decided to come together in Owerri under the common platform of South East Economic and Security Summit for the purpose of promoting the commercial viability of our people in keeping with the Igbo ethos of Onyeaghalanwanneya”.

Praying for sustenance of the gains of the summit, Prof Ibe advocated the patriotic revival of the ‘Akuruo ulo” spirit and the unique communal self help initiative of the Igbo man, which according to him inspired the establishment of many industries within the South East in the past. He asserted that he was particularly motivated by the examples set by such leaders as Dr Michael Okpara and Chief Mbakwe to bring back home such establishments as Gregory University Uturu, Skills FM Okigwe and GUU Teaching Hospital Ezinnachi.

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Turning to the 2023 edition of Igbo Day Celebration, Prof Ibe praised the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and members of the 2023 Igbo Day Planning Committee for the choice of ‘Igbo Kunie’ as theme for the event. According to him, the theme has the prospect of reawakening the traditional enterprising spirit of the Igbo man.

Stressing that the Igbo Day Celebration has the potential of promoting and projecting the rich heritage of Ndigbo, he enjoined leaders of the apex socio cultural organization to leverage the annual fiesta in fostering and strengthening the unity of the region.

According to Prof Ibe, ” I want to specially appreciate our able President General Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and members of the Planning Committee for the choice of a timely, stimulating and thought provoking theme ‘Igbo kunie’, which has the prospect of reawakening the traditional enterprising spirit of the Igbo man. Having served as planning committee chairman of Igbo Day Celebration on two occasions, I know the inert potentials of the annual festival and therefore will like to encourage our leaders to leverage the colourful gathering in promoting and projecting the rich cultural heritage of our people while also deploying the platform to foster and strengthen unity within the region”.

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In conclusion, the statement advocated the duplication of similar economic, political and socio-cultural events within the South East in order to stimulate speedy development of the region.

Sleek Ogwo,ANIPR