By Benprince Ezeh
THE Association of Anambra Indigenes In Lagos, AIIL, held its end of the year party/induction into AIIL Hall of Fame Award ceremony. The event, which was held on Saturday, December 12 at The Federal Institute of Industrial Research, FIIRO, in Lagos, had many dignitaries, political leaders, Ndi-Eze, entertainers, and other leaders in attendance.
Speaking at the event, Andymoore Ezejioha, founder and chairman of AIIL in his welcome address, said that with great pleasure, humility, and gratitude to the Almighty God that he welcomed everyone to the AIIL inaugural outing.
“AIIL is an organization of committed Anambra Indigenes, made up of professionals and non-professionals, businessmen and women, artisans and market women, who are determined and committed to protecting, promoting and defending our culture and tradition and cherished values of Ndi-Igbo.
“We gather here today to celebrate some of our politicians, Ndi-Eze and Ndi-Igwe, our businessmen and women and social justice crusaders, who positively influenced our people. The award is not targeted at only the rich people. It is for people, who are noted to have touched the lives of Anambra citizens through their business, community service, and philanthropy or have excelled in their career to an extent that they are prides to the people and benefit the state and its people.
“Ndi-Anambra, the choice of these honourees today is ideally a recognition of the personality attributes, which stand out as role models for the upcoming generations on business ethics, professionalism, and community development.
“Ndi-be anyi, we are highly delighted to welcome you to this event and pray the Almighty God to bless and lead you home safely,” Ezejioha said.
Julius Okafor, Secretary to AIIL, said that the organisation was motivated and inspired by the plight of our people in Lagos. “Igbo people are like the Jews, we travel all over the world, but most of the time, they are not organised where ever they may be and most of their problems are individual.
“We organized this organisation to see to the plight of our people in diaspora in Lagos so that any issue they have be it security, business, commerce, and any other thing, we will be able to organise ourselves to sort them out. That’s the principal aspect that motivated us to start this organisation,” Okafor said.
According to him, the youths are the most beneficiary of this wonderful organisation. “I think everybody in Nigeria is youth because I am a youth, you are a youth, my children are youths. As long as you not working in government and they are not taking care of you and you are catering for yourself, you’re a youth.
“But on a serious note, we are targeting the youths because the youths are the most vulnerable in Nigeria. The government does not have good plans for them. We organise them, we talk to them, we advise them, and we give them empowerment. As long as you are a youth and from Anambra state, whether sponsored or not, we see to whatever you want and give you advise.
“You don’t necessarily have to belong to AIIL. As long as you’re a human being, and you are oppressed and have lots of needs or have little or nothing to do, we will come to you. By next year starting from April 2021, we are going to have an empowerment. We will empower any Nigerian, especially the Igbos, because they are the most vulnerable people in Nigeria as a nation. So you don’t necessarily need to be a member before you benefit from our empowerment,” he said.
Okafor also stressed that Igbos must look home first before investing so much in another land. “Igbos are most travelled of all nations, especially in Nigeria. My advice to the Igbos is that they must think home first.
“Igbos have developed Amuwo-Odofin, we have developed Alaba international market, developed Festac extension, and we have developed everywhere. We need to think home, whatever you do, they say home is the best. I advise Igbo people, if you invest ten thousand naira in Lagos, invest hundred thousand naira in the east because eventually you are going to retire to your village.
“This is my simple message to our people, and we have been giving this message time in memorial to Igbo people,” he said.
Maureen Akpanebe, deputy women leader AIIL, said that it’s only God that made the event a success and we all should always thank Him. “This organization is not up to six months, it was founded by its chairman, Prince Andymoore, who called us together, to put our heads together about Anambra and how to move Anambra forward.
“Myself as a leader decided that women be there as well as our youths and we are seeing things moving and making things happen because in any organization where women are not involved, I don’t see the stand of that organization. So I thank God that today, Prince Andymoore, ‘The game changer’ who has organized this forum, called the women, and gave us the mantle to be with him and that is why we are here,” Akpanebe said.
According to her, you must not be a member of the organization before you can benefit from the association. “It does not mean you must register with AIIL before we give you an offer that we suppose to give you or help that will lift you up as an Anambra person. As long as you are an Anambra Indigene and you come to us, and we know that you are doing well in so so and so things, we try our best to make sure that you get to the top.
“Lastly my words to my Igbo people is for us to come together, speak with one voice because united we stand and divided we fall. So I want us to come together, I want us to be one in everything that we are doing and to recognise each other where ever we find ourselves that we are Igbos and we are doing things together and we continue to do things together to move Igbo land forward. Those are my words to the Igbo people.
– Dec. 14, 2020 @ 11:07 GMT |