Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has inaugurated the board of the Ikemba Ojukwu center which has Prof. Ambassador George Obiozor as Chairman and Prof. Fabian Osuji as the Director General and Chief Executive. Inaugurating the board at the Ikemba Ojukwu Center in Owerri,the Governor charged the members to revive Igbo cultural values and language.
He said the Igbos have been misunderstood by people of other nations who associate them with negative values adding that the Igbos remain good people who are peaceful, non-violent that are found all over the world contributing to economic, political and social development of the place they reside. Okorocha further charged the board to promote Igbo unity and ensure the welfare and economic development of Ndi-Igbo by building a cultural bridge between the Igbos and other nations of the world, defend and promote Igbo image which has been erroneously misinterpreted in the past.
According to Governor Okorocha, the Ikemba Ojukwu Center was conceived during the first few months of his administration with the component of Ikemba Ojukwu Multipurpose Hall to showcase the lifestyle and pictures of Ikemba Ojukwu and for use of functions that relate to Igbo affairs, the administrative block that will house the DG’s office and his administrative staff and also provide office and meeting place for the board members and the status of Ikemba Ojukwu and his quotable quotes and the Heroes Villa, Hall of Fame and Children’s park.
Earlier in his speech, the DG of the center Prof. Fabian Osuji said, the center is a place of excellence for research on Igbo studies and promotion of Igbo language and culture. He explained that the board members were chosen from the seven Igbo speaking states based on their excellent achievements and track records. In his own speech, the Chief Judge of Imo State, Justice B.A Njemanze said the board members were an assemblage of best Igbo scholars called to study the Enigma called Ikemba Ojukwu, a man he described as one who saw and acted tomorrow.
The Speaker of Imo State House Of Assembly, Rt. Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu noted that the center was a vision of Governor Okorocha but created by the Law of Imo State House of Assembly to promote Igbo culture, history, language and to propagate Igbo renaissance .He said the law provides for a two year renewable tenure for the board members and for the state to subvent and provide funds for the running of the center. It also provides for what is called” Imo Award” meant to recognize Imo citizens who have distinguished themselves in various fields of endeavour.
The son of Ikemba Ojukwu,Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu (Jnr.) thanked the Governor and Imo people for immortalizing his father and said that his father was an Igbo man, a Nigerian, a black African and a citizen of the world and advised the board members to promote the man bearing that in mind.
In his acceptance speech, the chairman of the governing board ,Prof. George Obiozor thanked the governor for giving them the opportunity to serve in the board, promising that they would do their best to deliver the mandate given to them.