Widow of Igbo leader and Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu has said that the Igbo could achieve their political aspirations in Nigeria including producing the President of the country if they remain united.
She stated this in her remarks as special guest at this year’s Igbo cultural carnival in Minnesota, USA, tagged: Igbofest 2022, which had the state’s senator, mayor, city officials and other dignitaries in attendance.
She noted that the large gathering of Ndigbo there was keen about happenings at home, but harped on the need for the Igbo race to continue to build pragmatic partnerships and strategic engagements.
“We must unite to achieve our common goal. I know you are concerned about what is happening at home. We, as an ethnic group, have been denied the presidency of Nigeria for so long. However we cannot make progress by becoming internally divided, with some of our major stakeholders working against our collective interests. But we must not box ourselves into a corner. We must continue to build pragmatic partnerships and anchor our aspirations on strategic engagements, alliances and negotiations which, while tapping into our collective goodwill and progressive agenda, will advance our political interests.”
A statement by her media office said she paid glowing tribute to the giant strides the Igbo living in Minnesota had recorded outside the shores of their native country and enjoined them to continue to promote the noble traditions and culture that have helped shape their world view whilst always striving to transmit same to their offspring.
She declared that the Igbo cultural heritage was what shaped their sense of identity as a people, in addition to promoting social cohesion, and what most importantly, created a sense of belonging and collective pride in the norms and traditions which the ancestors bequeathed them.
Daily Sun gathered that the Governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, by official proclamation declared August 13, as ‘Igbo Day’ in the State of Minnesota even as he recognised the efforts of the organisers; Umunne Cultural Association (UCA) in uniting and creating awareness among Minnesotans about Igbo culture, art, music, language and way of life.
President of Umunne Cultural Association, Dr. Jane Nwaudo, said the association had made significant changes in its philosophical principles by encouraging collaborative efforts with other entities in the community.
As a group focused on cultural heritage, she said they had continued to strengthen the link with a new generation of youth of Igbo descent, born and raised in the United States of America, through “scholarships to high school graduates, promoting cultural activities and pageants to instill greater self-esteem and pride in their identity.”
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The colorful event showcased the best of Igbo culture, including masquerades, cultural dances and performances, Igbo sports activities, language debates, culinary contests, pageants and replication of Igbo customary rites for a new generation of Igbo youth, born and bred in America.