Ndiigbo Generation 1960-70+
Motto: Our Distinct Destiny is in Our Hands!

From the International Co-ordinating Office

Subject: The Legacy of Zik of Africa: Checkmating Political Scammers.

On May 11, 2002, former Maximum Ruler and current President of Nigeria, Retired General Mathew Aremu Obasanjo will visit Enugu. He will be joined by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Senior Officer of the notoriously corrupt Custom Services of Nigeria, and currently Vice President and Anyim Pius Anyim, lawyer and currently, president of Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Expectedly their host would be one Chimaroke Nnamani, a Gynaecologist formerly based in the United States of America and now the Governor of Enugu State. The significance of Enugu perched on beautiful rolling and inviting green hills, must not be lost: first it was the regional capital of the now defunct Eastern region, and then it became the capital of the Republic of Biafra, the country of birth of most of us and to which owe an uncompromising allegiance. So, Enugu has both romantic and symbolic significance to Ndiigbo, especially of the generation born from 1960-1970+.

The mission of these politicians, who like all politicians are not lacking in mendacity, would be the public gesture of honouring the immortal Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. The occasion will afford them the opportunity to launch a Centre that would be dedicated to the study and the perpetuation of the ideals of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. Zik of Africa to be appropriate is the deified and mythical Hero of modern Nigeria and an African icon. And there is no doubt that President Obasanjo and his fellow travellers would seek to make political capital out of this public gesture, no matter what anyone or group may publicly profess.

To cloak this gesture with noble intentions they have co-opted a few intellectual giants, some of whom have achieved high public regard by their integrity, like the erudite and accomplished zoologist, one of those who have theorised widely on the subject of sustainable development, especially in the least developed countries (LDCs), Professor Anya. O. Anya, and a man rightly considered the leading light in modern Nigerian insurance industry, the astute Mr Joe Irukwu. They have also dragged the widow wife of the late Zik, Dr. Uche Azikiwe into it.

But the implications of General Obasanjo's visit is not lost on us: Ndiigbo Generation 1960-70+ have great regard for the inspiring role which Nnamdi Azikiwe played in modern African history: this great African of Igbo heritage, a man of the highest political ideals whose charismatic appeal made it possible for him to be that beacon which showed the light that others, including such other giants of modern African history like late Ghanaian leader, Kwame Nkruma followed, is a historical model. Azikiwe's renaissance appeal as philosopher, poet, physical and political pugilist, journalist and cultural icon, is one worthy of perpetuation. Modern Africans owe it to themselves to spread the Great Zik's humanistic message of freedom, equality to all men and individual liberty. So we do not oppose the ideal behind the conception of the Zik Centre Project.

To be sure, a centre for the propagation of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe's ideals is desirous. In fact it is long over due, especially in a country where corrupt military rulers have similar centres dedicated to their names, and have fora set up, operated with public funds, to whitewash their evil past. But we are leery of individuals playing politics with the immortal name of Nnamdi Azikiwe. Therefore, we cannot stand aside and watch as political scammers use Azikiwe's name in vain.

We want to put on record that Anyim Pius Anyim, the Senate President of Nigeria, the man trying to rally fellow failed politicians for the Nnamdi Azikiwe Centre is doing so in an apparent reaction to certain developments to which we had taken very strong positions in the past. It is a guise to boosting his sagged political image. But we take critical note of the fact that president Obasanjo, the chief liquidator of our generation of Igbos, the self-proclaimed conqueror of Ndiigbo, whose acts and utterances have not shown him to be neither contrite for his war crimes against the Igbo nor fully democratised, is fishing in troubled waters. We do not believe that these men are in a position to do adequate honour to Azikiwe. Their records are notorious facts of deplorable acts that fit into "man's inhumanity to man."

We believe that the ceremonies planned at Enugu are another ploy to hoodwink Nigerians. We note with displeasure that a Zik's Centre planned for Zungeru in Niger state, his birthplace is yet to see the light of day. Inonsi Onira Retreat at Awka Road Onitisha, Anambra State where the great man's remains is interred still wears an image unbefitting of his contribution to the liberation of Nigeria and Africa. We advise that the ideals for which Zik lived and died must never be undermined but should be put to practice in the governance of the people. It would be a far greater honour to him than the painted sepulchre, and hollow ceremonies which sinking politicians would conceive in order to revive their waning political fortunes.

We believe that Zik's ideals should first take root in the hearts of men before being concretised in brick and mortars. Knowing what Nigeria has become in spite of the great man's sacrifices and vision, the noise being made about the Zik Centre, will be just another opportunity to dish out patronage to party loyalists and continue the draining of the treasury of the failed State that is Nigeria. To do this in the name of the great Zik of Africa would be to do the man great injustice. It is offensive to our sensibilities. It is provocative to our generation for the great Zik is near and dear to us.

To us, Ndiigbo Generation 1960-70+, Nnamdi Azikwe was a real man. He was a man above men. He is a hero by any standard and in any clime and time. He is the prime hero of our heritage.

It is for this that we remind the world that the great Zik's legacy of honest, selfless, humane and humble leadership will endure only in the survival of a great country, a greater continent and a humane world. Not in hollow gestures, not in flowing agbada garments that have become the typical garbs of incompetence and kleptomania in Nigeria.

Nna anyi Zik, nwanne puru iche, biko rahu pee! Your place in history is assured! History has indeed vindicated the just (YOU) as you rightly predicted in the harmattan of 1983. Harold Smith, a former British colonial administrator (not master as you insisted and courageously fought them to a humiliating state to open the floodgate of freedom, they have now abused) has laid every issue to rest.

Minions in the corrupt Nigerian press like one Rueben Abati of the Guardian Lagos, who continue to make blatant attempts to diminish your place in the history of Africa and mankind, will continue to fail, for you are like a full moon. And in the extremely proud ancestry we humbly share with you, the Igbo ancestry, we believe that no one can cover the brilliant beam of the full moon with the palms of his/her hands! Zik of Africa, the man who showed the light that others followed, remains that full moon. So, political scammers, be warned of what you do with this name for we remain alert as ever!

Love live Africa!

Nkem Ekeopara
Co-ordinator, Ndiigbo Generation 1960-70+