The Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Advocacy (LEAD) Network, an NGO, has called on Igbos and easterners to take ownership of `Biafra Fallen Heroes Remembrance Day’.
The Executive Director of LEAD Network, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa, told newsmen in Enugu on Monday that the Remembrance Day had nothing to do with secessionists agenda as erroneously being portrayed by misinformed quarters.
Okenwa said that by virtue of birth into the South Eastern enclave of Nigeria, a person is automatically a Biafran.
According to him, being Biafra does not make one subscribe to secessionists agenda or movement as being erroneously portrayed by those who paint the word “Biafra’’ or people who claim to be Biafrans black.
“Being a Biafran, as every Igbo man and someone from Eastern enclave is a Biafran, is quite different and distinctive from secessionist movements using the same name.
“It is quite clear that the vast majority of our people, especially the elites, educated and well-to-do want Nigeria to remain one and indivisible entity,’’ the executive director said.
He called on the leadership of the South-East and South-South to adopt the Remembrance Day, since its ideal and reason behind it is noble and “as a means of giving a history to our generations’’.
“The South-East and South-South elders, leaders of thoughts and governors should buy into the Remembrance Day idea and even set-up a memorial statue in each of the states for our `fallen heroes’.
“We lost millions of people during the war, there is no family then in the old Eastern region (today’s South-East and South-South)that did not lose one, two or more persons.
“As humans, we owe it a duty to always remember part of us that have transited in glory. This is done in other nations worldwide,’’ he said.
Okenwa, however, called on the Federal Government to tackle the current youth restiveness in the zones with continuous engagement and treating them fairly in the scheme of governance of the country.
“Nothing brings divergent groups and voices within a country together than a sense of belonging, fairness and justice to all; while stakeholders should be constantly and continuously being engaged,’’ he said.
He also urged the governors, elder statesmen and leaders of thought of the zones to engage in national diplomacy by speaking their minds on national issues on time.
“For some time, it seems our leaders are missing when issues of national concern arise,’’ he said.