Former military Head of State, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), has challenged the Igbos to continue to allow their positive impact be felt amongst host ethnic nationalities in the country and work towards promoting the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria.
Babangida made the declaration when he granted audience to the Igbo Delegates Assembly (IDA) from the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, led by the President, Chief Chikezie Nwogu and the Eze Igbo of Minna, Eze Pampas Ngozi Wahiwe.
Nigerians, Igbos inclusive, he said should ensure they uphold the ideals of Nigeria’s founding fathers, adding that, “an indivisible Nigeria is very necessary and we must do everything possible to remain as one family though we differ in tribes and tongue”.
Babangida appreciated the Igbos for being very enterprising and determined to succeed by penetrating parts of the country for business exploits, and therefore urging them to use the same spirit of enterprise to promote peaceful co-existence among Nigerians in all that they do.
The former leader who said he once wished to spend part of his life in the eastern part of the country reminded every Nigerian that, “the indivisibility of the country is non-negotiable and this we must all promote at all times”.
“You have done well to keep Nigeria together”, Babangida who expressed appreciation to the delegation said, adding that the Igbo man is known to have the potentials of travelling far and wide exploring new frontiers and business opportunities.
The delegation had earlier told General Babangida that the purpose of the visit is to congratulate him on his 78th Birthday and prayed God to continue to grant him strength and wisdom to offer advice that would help Nigeria in solving some of its teething problems.
The Eze Igbo of Minna, Pampas Wahiwe and the IDA President, Chikezie Nwogu were unanimous in their resolve that “as an elder statesman, Ibrahim Babangida’s wise counsel is very much needed at this point in our national life”.