THREE Igbo political leaders have been named Distinguished Igbo Personalities of The Year 2016 by a coalition of activists from the South East. They are separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu, immediate past Anambra State Governor Peter Gregory Obi, and incumbent Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.
The honour was made public via a statement by the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) and the Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations.
The statement, issued recently in Onitsha, said about the honourees:
Nnamdi Kanu: In addition to renewal of the prestigious Prisoner-of-Conscience Award, bestowed on Mr. Nnamdi Kanu who is leader of Radio Biafra London (RBL) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) World Wide, earlier this year; we have again resolved to name him as one of the Three Igbo Distinguished Personalities of the Year 2016. These are in recognition of his nonviolent and peaceful campaign for the emancipation of the Igbo Race using nonviolent and peaceful means.
Against all odds, he has spent 14 months in detention without trial and his group IPOB has lost over 250 of its members and supporters to the militarist administration of Retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari. Over 150 of his members are presently languishing in various prisons and other detention centres including DSS dungeons across the country on trumped-up criminal accusations. More than 300 of his members and supporters were also deadly shot and battered. The most striking aspect of Kanu’s advocacy style that gladdens our heart is his pacifist approach, in spite of State provocations and use of deadly violence in policing his group’s non-violent activities.
Peter Gregory Obi: He is the former Governor of Anambra State and true embodiment of Peopling Governance, Input and Output Legitimacies. Mr. Peter Obi is the first of its kind in recent Nigerian political and public governance epoch. If his type is raised gubernatorially in eighteen States of Nigeria’s 36 States; then the entire country will automatically experience social, economic and political transformation of rapid and scientific proportions.
What Mr. Peter Obi was to Anambra State when he held sway was what then Governor Bill Clinton was to the State of Arkansas in the United States in 1980s; by raising his State to high greatness. Former Governor Obi was chosen as the Second Igbo Distinguished Personality of the Year 2016, as a pace setter and formidable standard of performance measurement for incumbent and upcoming elected public office holders particularly the governors or Federal elected public office holders. Apart from tremendous social and infrastructural transformation of Anambra State when he held sway; he was and still is the only governor that left his State with at least N86 Billion worth of cash and investments and in surplus digits. He was the only governor who refused to mortgage his State into serial and slavish indebtedness. While a rich State like Lagos State incurred over N500 Billion debts till date, Anambra State under Obi reduced its previous local and foreign debt overhang to N11 Billion and refused to borrow.
Ikechukwu Ekweremadu: Barr Ike Ekweremadu is chosen as the Third Igbo Distinguished Personality of the Year 2016 on account of his bold and courageous disposition against all odds since June 2015, in his capacity as the deputy senate president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and highest Igbo Federal Lawmaker. He towered and withstood the executive persecution and leprous treatment simply because he came from a federal opposition party and insisted that the Igbo Race is too important in Nigerian political landscape to be left out in the sharing of the principal leadership positions of the 8th National Assembly of Nigeria. He has also made an imprint in the defence of Igbo interests; in spite of threats and blackmails from the Executive Arm since June 2015. Senator Ekweremadu’s position as it affects the collective interests of the Igbo Race particularly against the killing of innocent and defenceless Igbo citizens by security forces and the Fulani Janjaweed is very encouraging and endearing.
With this recognition and the Three Igbo Distinguished Personalities, distinguishing themselves in their three respective fields of social, governance and legislative advocacies and performances; there is most likely a light at the end of the tunnel for the Igbo Race. This recognition is not award bestowment but rather an appreciation of the fact that the triplet Moses may most likely have landed again in Igbo Land! – News Express
— Dec 26, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT