JUST IN: Ohanaeze set to honor Ojukwu, other Igbo heroes | #NwokeukwuMascot

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Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide is to identify Igbo heroes including leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and honour them.

Some other Igbo personalities that would be included in the about to be constructed hall of fame include Premier of defunct Eastern Region, Dr. M.I. Okpara, former Governor of the region, Dr. Akanu Ibiam, former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor.

Secretary-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Amb. Okey Emuchay disclosed this yesterday at the national secretariat of the body in Enugu while opening a condolence register in honour of another former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. Joe Irukwu.

He explained that every modality for identifying and honouring Igbo heroes would be worked out by the recently inaugurated Ohanaeze Cultural Committee headed by the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe.

According to him, the Igbo were not “dwarfs,” so, they must tell their story, and giving Irukwu a befitting burial as well as instituting the hall of fame would all be part of telling the Igbo story.

He said: “The President General, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu also has plans of building a befitting National Headquarters of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide in Enugu.

There will be a hall of fame as part of the project so that the likes of Professor Joe Irukwu would be immortalised. We have heroes, the Igbo nation has heroes, we will try and identify our heroes and tell our story. Part of what we are doing here today is that process of telling our story.

“So, Joe Irukwu was one of our best, he was a true Igbo son and respected himself and attracted respect also to the Igbo nation. He, amongst others will be recognised when that hall of fame is constructed; it’s a project in progress. We have to tell our story; we are not dwarfs; the Igbo nation would overcome.”

Irukwu was elected leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in 2003; he served meritoriously and bowed out in 2007.

Emuchay described his demise as a huge loss to about 70 million Igbo people in Nigeria and Diaspora, noting that he was one of Igbo finest.

He said though Irukwu died at 90, but that he still had a lot to contribute especially now that the Igbo found themselves in some sort of pursuits at this critical point of their trajectory.

“The Igbo nation is saddened over Irukwu’s passing but we thank God that he lived a good life. He had a network that he deployed for the Igbo nation and for Nigeria.

“So, we have opened a condolence book today so that members of the public will avail themselves the opportunity to come and sign.

And the presidents of the seven Ohanaeze states will do same so that people in the various states will go to Ohanaeze offices in the state to sign condolence in honour of Professor Joe Irukwu. An iroko has fallen, an insurance guru but we have solace that he’s gone to be with the Lord,” Emuchay said.

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