By Gabriel Alonta & O’star Eze
Former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, has said that Nigeria would remain in shambles if the federal government fails to restructure the country’s federal system.
Soludo further argued that Nigeria would remain a work in progress, devoid of peace, security and prosperity if the late Igbo nationalist, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was not given its place in the national polity.
The former CBN boss stated this during the maiden edition of late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu memorial annual lecture by Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Monday.
Describing Ojukwu as an encyclopaedia whose contributions to Nigeria will indelible on the sands of time, the renowned economist said his memory lives on, calling for celebration of living heroes, who have also lived a life of legacy.
“Ojukwu remains the key to our unfinished business about restructuring to get Nigeria going through prosperity. You cannot have that without going to what Ojukwu represents and continue to represent. Ojukwu will continue to live so far as Nigeria remains a work in progress”.
Thanking the university management, staff and students for finding it fit to organise the lecture in honour of late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, he said that Ojukwu remains an enigma, whose legacy would continue to live on.
Delivering a lecture themed, “Between Force of Reason and Reason for Force: Legacy of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu”, the guest lecturer, Prof. Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, said there was need to promote and sustain the lecture series.
He thanked the state government for naming the university after the late hero, stressing that younger generation would continue to learn.
Odinkalu maintained that the legacy of the late hero cannot be monetarily equated, but were based on patriotism, justice, good leadership and sacrifice, enjoining leaders who occupy public offices to emulate him rather than amass wealth for themselves.
He lamented the incessant killings in Nigeria as a result of marginalisation, stressing that a nation that massacres her citizens without remorse cannot have peace.
The guest lecturer, who said that Nigeria would never make progress if the killing was not stopped, called on the leaders to be alive to their responsibilities by protecting the interest of the masses.
“Igbo leaders should fight for citizenship and not true federalism because no amount of federalism will save us. The late Ojukwu’s call was not that of territorial but for greater welfare of all Igbo sons in any part of the country they find themselves”, he stated.
In a remark, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, represented by the Deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, lamented that the Igbo race lack people of Ojukwu’s might, noting that it is such enigma that would pilot the affairs of the race to greater heights.
Obiano enjoined all to live a life of legacy by doing what is right and shunning evil.
He thanked the university management for instituting the lecture series in honour of the late hero.
Earlier, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Greg Nwakoby, said that it became imperative that he introduced such academic activity in the university calendar, describing Ojukwu as an illustrious son of Nigeria, an Igbo character and integrity who loved his country.
Nwakoby, who said that the essence of the lecture was to always keep in mind and refresh the memory of what Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu stood for, disclosed that the lecture would be done annually, every 4th of November.