Activities organized by the Igbo Community in Ghana and the Office of the Special Assistant to Imo State Governor on Igbo Affairs took place in Accra, Ghana between September 14 – 16, 2012. The event featured the coronation of the Ndigbo of Ghana, Igbo cultural day celebration and presentation of awards to some distinguished leaders of government, traditional and non governmental organizations in Africa.
At the award ceremony held at Golden Tulip Hotel, Accra, former President of Ghana, His Excellency, Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings bagged the Africa Nation Builders award as well as Millennium Development Ambassador Award by Global Educators for All Initiative.
Other recipients of the award included Amb. Chief Justin Ibezim Agudosi, President of the Millennium Development Ambassadors Council, Dr. Raphael Ogar Oko, International Coordinator, Global Educators for All Initiative, Her Excellency, Mrs. Josephine Afolabi, among others.
Speaking at the award presentation presentation, Amb Agudosi called for increased collaboration between Ghana and Nigeria as he tasked the Igbo community in Ghana to live as worthy Ambassadors of Nigeria as well as promote the rich cultural heritage of the Igbos.
Read the full text of Agudosi’s speech at the event :
A Message of Solidarity and Goodwill By Ambassador Justin IbezimAgudosi
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen! As the International President of the Millennium Development Ambassadors, I wish to use this opportunity to offer our best wishes to the government and people of Ghana and to the many Nigerian citizens who are based here for investing all the efforts to organize this event. I believe that this event provides us again a unique opportunity to deeply appreciate the historical relationship between Ghana and Nigeria and to renew our determination to strengthen it for the peace and development of West Africa and advancement of the continent of Africa.
When you look very closely at the map of Africa, it looks like a small gun (pistol). West Africa is positioned at the trigger point of the gun-like map of Africa and Ghana and Nigeria are the trigger nation of the continent. Our coming together is not by accident but a divine design by God that we should work together and provide the needed leadership for Africa.I have come here today to fulfill three key responsibilities, which I believe will add value to this event. First, I am here to express my solidarity to the Igbo community in Ghana and to join in the celebration of the coronation of the EzeNdigbo of Ghana. My second responsibility is to deliver a special message from the international network of Millennium Development Ambassadors, which will culminate in my presentation of the international award of Millennium Development Ambassador to two key personalities today, the EzeNdigbo of Ghana and His Excellency, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, the former President of Ghana. The third responsibility is that Dr. Raphael OgarOko, the International Coordinator, Global Educators for All Initiative and I shall be joining other African Leaders who shall be designated as African Nation Builders. So, I offer my solidarity and goodwill.
The Millennium Development Ambassadors is an international network of global leaders from diverse background committed to using personal and public resources for the realization of the Millennium Development Goals. Our vision is anchored on “development of the people, by the people and for the people”. Our efforts are numerous and our members are working in various ways around the world to facilitate the realization of the MDGs. We have firmly advocated for the establishment of a culture of development, the creation of institutions for community development and the effective utilization of personal and public resources for sustainable development. I welcome you to join us.
At this event, our task is simple. Appeal to all to take up the challenge of development from our families. Encourage government to create an inclusive structure that will strengthen relationship between and among nations of the world. To this end, I will like to use this opportunity to emphasize that development comes through partnership and cooperation. Therefore, let us all rise in unison and bring to an end the age-long struggle between Ghana and Nigeria and declare a new era of brotherhood between Nigeria and Ghana. Let us say NO to the idea of Ghana Must Go or Nigeria Must Go. From this day forward, let us declare that Ghana and Nigeria Must Work Together. There should be no more Ghana must go bag or Nigeria must go box. This is the age of Ghana and Nigeria must work together.
As we designate some persons today as Millennium Development Ambassadors, we are hopeful that we can all continue to work together to build a better West Africa. In this regard, I will like to commend the efforts of the Igbos in Ghana as they made the determination to become integrated in the community they reside in Ghana. I will recommend that we further this effort by encouraging international marriages between Ghanaians and Nigerians. In the area of business to encourage economic development, let ECOWAS promote a free market economy throughout the region and also encourage private ownership and investment in public services throughout West Africa. The Igbos are known traditionally for their hard work, free mindedness and willing to live with all people. I have no doubt that the Igbos in Ghana will remain a shining example of how Nigerians can live with others.
To my fellow Igbo brothers and sisters, the warm hospitality of our brothers and sisters in Ghana should be supported. This event today provides an opportunity to make a commitment to promoting the rich cultural heritage of the Igbos. We should build upon this and establish institutions for teaching of Igbo language and culture all over Africa. I believe that we shall work together in the days ahead to support this idea. I want to congratulate the EzeNdigbo of Ghana, recipients of the awards and all those who have made this event successful. May the Almighty bless all of us, bless the nation of Ghana and Nigeria and bless the people of the world. Thank you for this opportunity.
Ambassador Chief Justin IbezimAgudosi, International President, Millennium Development Ambassadors Council Gave this address September 15, 2012, Accra Ghana