The Ooni of Ife, His Royal Majesty Adeleye Enitan Ogunwusi, has described the Igbo race as the life and lifeline of Nigeria.
The monarch who spoke during a courtesy visit to Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, at Government House Umuahia, called on the Federal Government to gainfully engage the youths from the region to ensure the indivisibility of the nation.
Ooni Adeleye said his visit to Abia State was in fulfillment of his decision to bridge the inter-ethnic gap across Nigeria and also to support the Governor of Abia State whom he described as a man of peace who loves his people and all Nigerians.
He praised Governor Ikpeazu’s passion and support for the traditional institution in Nigeria and the state which he described as “the thing that have positive values that cannot be over emphasized”.
He insisted that all Nigerians are the same people and commended the culture of the Igbo people of Nigeria.
“Igbo tradition is beautiful and signifies that anyone who brings kola brings life.”
He linked the kola nut breaking culture in Igbo land to the strength of the typical Igbo man and woman as well as the “can do spirit of the Igbo race” that he is very proud of.
Expressing happiness that the Igbo continue to uphold their culture, regardless of where they live, the royal father said he always feels at home in Igbo land and noted that “Nigerians are spiritually linked and must work together because their strength lies in their diversity”.
Oba Adeleye called on the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, channel it’s resources and strength to a course that would better the lot of Nigerian youths.
The Ooni told newsmen that he and his people fully stand by Governor Ikpeazu’s progressive attitude to governance that is anchored on doing what is best for his people and those who live and do business in Abia State, noting that everyone must come together to make a Nigeria great.
The Ooni who observed that Abia State is peaceful, called for the re-orientation of the youths as, according to him, “disintegration pays no one any good dividend” and enjoined the youths to do away with hate speeches and channel their enormous energy to the right cause.
Oba Adeleye prayed that the youths of the state continue to make Nigeria and Abia State proud and renamed IPOB “Indigenous People of a Brighter Nigeria”.
He explained that the youths of the country are the future and human energy of the country and therefore should be made to understand that their welfare is the watch word of all the progressive leaders of the country.
Welcoming his guest, Governor Ikpeazu described the visit as an “honor and a privilege” to him and the people of Abia State.
The Governor thanked the Monarch for his kind words to the people of the state and noted that his prayers, support and encouragement has contributed to Abia’s success.
Dr Ikpeazu said that he is encouraged by the leadership style of the Ooni, especially in ensuring the unity of Nigeria and enabling inter-ethnic harmony within and outside his domain.
He maintained that Nigeria has all it takes to become world’s best “because of its massive human and material resources and the opportunities presented by our diversity”. He regretted “the country’s inability to harness the potential and kinetic energy of the people and translate same to the positive growth of the country”.
The Governor explained that the youths remain an integral part of Abia development agenda as well as that of the country but must learn to channel their grievances through the right channels.
Governor Ikpeazu expressed belief that the only way to curb youth restiveness, banditry and violent crimes in the society is to ensure that youths are gainfully employed and vowed to focus more on solving the problem of youth unemployment in the state through the introduction of more home grown job creation initiatives.