The Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, has declared that the marginalized Ndi-Igbo could control Nigeria if they harness their technological and commercial potentials rather than engaging in separatist agitation.
Uzodimma made the declaration while speaking during the public presentation of his book entitled Reflection on Igbo Question in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Uzodimma stated that the challenges of Ndigbo in the country inspired him to write the book with a view to providing answers and solutions to them.
He condemned the post-war policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria where the Igbo were short-changed in both the first and second National Development plans.
According to him, no developmental project was awarded in the Eastern Zone, pointing out that the ones awarded were diverted to other regions.
The governor however maintained that even in the face of marginalization, Ndigbo should not allow themselves to be cajoled out of the country, insisting that Ndigbo are bonafide citizens of Nigeria.
He noted that instead of resorting to violence and agitation for separation, they should harness their technology as demonstrated during the war when they produced Ogbunigwe, a weapon of mass destruction.
Uzodimma who also hailed the entrepreneurial disposition of Ndigbo recalled that the Igbo who went to Lagos State as hawkers and itinerant tailors, are now captains of industries.
He urged the Igbo to focus on the larger picture of technology, commerce and trade to dominate the country.
Stating his belief in a united Nigeria, Uzodimma further advised Ndigbo to focus on a restructured Nigeria where justice, equity and fairness would reign supreme, saying that taking to violence was tantamount to self-defeat.
In his speech, the president of Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo, Prof George Obiozor, commended Uzodimma for his courage in putting his thoughts into writing.
He described the quest for a president of Igbo extraction as politically defensible and morally justifiable.
The Chairman of the occasion and former Chief of Army Staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika commended the governor for finding the time to write the book despite his tight schedule as governor of the state.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba praised the resilience and commitment of the governor in fighting for the interest of the state.
He said the book contains much food for thought for Ndigbo and urged all to read the book.