Former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has said Igbo political leaders have resolved to shelve their party differences and affiliations to work for the interest of Ndigbo and Nigeria in the build up to the 2023 general elections and beyond. Okorocha, who represents Orlu Senatorial District in the Senate, said Igbo leaders have also taken a decision to properly mentor, empower and equip youths in readiness to take over from them in handling the challenges of the time.
Speaking to journalists yesterday in Enugu, on the sideline of the South-East leaders meeting on the aftermath of the nationwide protests by youths, Okorocha said the #EndSARS protest against police brutality, which was later hijacked by those with a different motive, was a wakeup call for Igbo and Nigerian leaders to rise to their responsibilities to the people and youths in particular.
He reiterated the unalloyed belief of Igbo people in the unity and progress of Nigeria as a nation, and expressed the regrets of Igbo leaders on the unfortunate disturbances that led to loss of lives and destruction of public and private properties across the country.
Okorocha said: “We need peace and unity in Igbo land and in Nigeria, we believe in the unity of this country, and we believe in the entity called Nigeria. And all Igbos, who believe so, we are deeply concerned by recent happenings and we never imagined that kind of dimension in Igbo land.
“So, we are here to reassure our youths, and we are here to reassure Nigerians that we will take the necessary steps to correct some of the things perceived as wrong doings and to make Nigerians know that Igbos are part and parcel of this country and will remain so and unquestionably.” On the possibility of Igbo leaders, particularly those in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shelving their affiliations and differences to work for Ndigbo, Okorocha said: “What has joined us as a people is much more than the party line that divided us.
“So, we are beginning to realize that and we owe it a duty to build a better future for this generation and indeed future generations of Ndigbo. “We are getting old, we are not getting young at all, and we don’t want to be asked what did you do during your time? “So, we are making frantic efforts to solve the mistakes of the past and give our youths a sense of belonging and give them a very nice road map with which to control things of life. “So, we have since come together be it APC, PDP on anything that concerns the Igbo nation and Nigerian nation.”