Ifeanyi Ubah Progressive Forum (London, U.K.)
The Ifeanyi Ubah progressive forum held its first London inaugural meeting in London last Sunday evening at the Bilt Mansions in Deptford South London. The gathering was heavily attended beyond the expectations of the organisers of the event which declared its avowed intention to put Dr Ifeanyi Ubah in charge of the government house in Awka later this year.
The gathering of eminent young, dynamic and aspirational Igbo professionals, businessmen, politicians and political activists signalled and reflected the embodiment of the mogul young and successful businessman called Ifeanyi Ubah (Capital Oil Nigeria). An established philanthropist and fighter for the common man, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah supports thousands of Anambranians through the Ifeanyi Ubah Foundation both in education, acquisition of life skills and provision of succour to the needy in a society where inequality is entrenched as norm.
There were attendants from all Igbo walks of life living in London with only one common goal – to return Awka government house to the common man with a common purpose- Anambranians from North South and central were fully represented and other Igbos from Enugu, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi were also fully represented. Represenatives and executives of Igbo political forums including Anambra State Union UK, Ohanaeze UK, Igbo diaspora UK, PDP UK, APGA UK Chapter, Nigerians in diaspora UK, Nigeria for Labour Party and many others attended the inaugural Ifeanyi Ubah progressive forum where an overwhelming support for Ifeanyi Ubah as next Governor of Anambra state was endorsed.
Proceedings had kicked with the Chairman of the inaugural gathering, Mr. Ifeanyi Onukwube, addressing the group with an analysis of the state of affairs and governance of the 'A' state since its creation in 1991 in comparison to other states created about the same time. The question of Igbo leadership was also highlighted and the search for the next Ikemba and the next Chinua Achebe, leaders who towered above their peers and who were unswerving in their service to the Igbo nation.
Speaker after speaker contributed to the question of the search for a credible and dynamic Governor who will truly be a servant of the people, who would lift the state to the height it deserves, who would unite the state and lift the spirit of its people from the doldrums that Peter Obi and past administrators had left the state in. In Ifeanyi Ubah- a world renowned philanthropist- hugely gifted, hugely successful and yet very humble- the group placed its mandate to take the seat of power and move the state forward. some of the problems of the state highlighted by various speakers include the state of the roads with particular mention of the road at upper Iweka junction in Onitsha, the lack of local government elections in the state which ought to mobilise and energise the state politically, the state of schools in a state where educational development in in extreme poor conditions, poor and near existence of safe and credible hospitals in the state, the poor development of the state capital Awka especially when compared to similar new capitals like Asaba, Uyo and Owerri and good developmental works in nearby Enugu. One speaker decried the news of Peter Obi's siting of a multi-billion shopping complex in Abuja denying his state (a state well known for trading and enterprise) job and developmental opportunities.
Chief Aaron Mourah (the president of ASU-UK) urged Chief Ubah and the I.U.P.F London coordinators to ensure that Ifeanyi Ubah's vision for the state is effectively articulated and made the framework of his campaign which he said ASU would support and campaign vigorously for his election. Godson Azu- secretary general of Nigerians in diaspora similarly endorsed the view and emphasized the need for all anambranians to mobilize behind Ifeanyi Ubah and pledged his support towards the election of Ifeanyi Ubah who is clearly and far and above the most credible candidate the state could have wished for. Dr Joe Ukemenam- president of Nigeria for Labour UK, Iyke Obidamaru, Okechukwu Nwajagu and many other speakers urged chief Ubah to come up with a credible and deliverable manifesto which the people can serve as a blue print and vision for the state under his leadership. They all as one pledged their unalloyed support to mobilize support and the youths of Anambra and Igbos in diaspora for Ifeanyi Ubah and the coordinators and in ensuring that a well-articulated manifesto which reflects Ifeanyi's humility and burning desire to serve ordinary people and lift his home state and the Igbo race is delivered in Anambra state- the 'A' state.
The inaugural meeting agreed and resolved that:
1. Ifeanyi Ubah is the most credible Gubernatorial candidate for Anambra
2. The youths of Anambra will be mobilized towards his election
3. The Igbos all over the world should be interested in what happens in Anambra state and would be sensitised to the actualisation of the election of Ifeanyi Ubah as the dream ticket. What affects Anambra affects the Igbo.
4. To convene another meeting within the next 4 weeks where all Igbos living in the UK will be invited as the diaspora begins the search for the next authentic Igbo voice after the demise of Ikemba and Achebe and the disappointment and failure of the current politicians to defend and uphold the Igbo who have become well marginalised in Nigeria.
5. Undertake preparatory activities to welcome Ifeanyi Ubah in London where he will address over a million Igbos living in UK.
The meeting closed after 4 hours of deliberations with an address by Coordinator of Ifeanyi Ubah Progressive Forum- in UK who thanked the group for their determination and resolve to rescue the 'A' state from the jaws and claws of political buccaneers and journeymen and return the state to the people of Anambra. He urged participants and members to identify with the mission and register in the website as members and ensure that all Anambranians and all Igbos attend the next gathering where political and campaign strategies and Ifeanyi's visit to London will be top of the agenda.
A one minute clapping applause was observed in honour and memory of Professor Chinua Achebe who died recently in the USA. A date was announced by Ichele Achebe for a night vigil in London for his uncle, Chinua widely regarded as an Igbo warrior and greatest African writer of his this generation.