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Town unions developed Igbo land after civil war — Iwuanyawu

By Osa Mbonu-Amadi

President General of the pan-Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has revealed that town unions were the key reasons Igbos rapidly met up with other regions in terms of development after the Nigeria civil war in 1970, despite obnoxious federal policies which discriminated against Igbo people.

Iwuanyanwu disclosed this when the Association of Igbo Town Unions, ASITU, paid him a courtesy call in Owerri. He said after the war, town unions in Igbo land initiated scholarship schemes and joint contributions to send educated students to universities, and also built infrastructure which has remained landmarks till date.

The Ohanaeze PG explained that most markets, schools, churches, pipe-borne water, and community halls in Igbo land were built through the town unions. He said that any Igbo man who does not understand the strategic role of the town union in Igbo land is not worthy to be called an Igbo man.

He pledged that Ohaneze Ndigbo will integrate ASITU into its programmes because all the successes and progress made by the Igbo in the past were achieved through town unions.

Chief Iwuanyanwu noted that he imbibed the values, culture, and respect for the town unions from his father, and assured ASITU that the development of Igbo land is a project that must be jointly embarked upon by Ohaneze, ASITU, and governors of the South East and other stakeholders in Igbo land.

Earlier, the National President of ASITU, Emeka Diwe, had noted that the town unions are the bedrock of Ohaneze Ndigbo, but lamented that this was not adequately reflected by the previous Ieadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and therefore called for effective synergy between ASITU and Ohaneze.

Diwe said the union came to fraternize with the Ohaneze PG and commend him on his fatherly role in the development of Igbo land. He said that Iwuanyanwu’s emergence as the leader of Ohaneze Ndigbo is a most welcome development and a sign that the Igbos are in for something worthwhile.

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