The Multipurpose hall of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Lagos was recently filled to capacity with men and women of Anambra living in Lagos who gathered for the 2020 end of the year party and induction of fame ceremony.
The event which was organised by Anambra Indigenes in Lagos (AIIL) was the first in its series and it had in attendance friends and well-wishers of Anambra indigenes.
Andymoore Ezejioha, founder and chairman of AIIL who spoke at the event, explained that the idea behind the formation of AIIL was to enable Anambra indigenes residing in Lagos to come together so as to speak in one voice.
Ezejioha regretted that most Anambra indigenes living in Lagos hardly had the time to gather together with their brethren adding, “Most Anambra indigenes living in Lagos hardly attend meetings organised by other Igbo speaking groups, but with the formation of AIIL, they will be compelled to come together and speak in one voice on issues concerning them”.
According to him, AIIL is an organisation of committed Anambra indigenes, made up of professionals and non-professionals, businessmen and women, artisans and market women, who are determined and committed to protecting, promoting and defending the culture and tradition of Ndi-Igbo.
He also said that the event aimed to celebrate Anambra politicians, traditional rulers, businessmen and women, social justice crusaders, who have positively influenced their people.
In addition, he said: “The award is not targeted at only the rich people. It is for people, who are noted to have touched the lives of Anambra citizens through their business, community service, and philanthropy or have excelled in their career to an extent that they are prides to the people and benefit the state and its people.
“Ndi-Anambra, the choice of these honourees today is ideally a recognition of the personality attributes, which stand out as role models for the upcoming generations on business ethics, professionalism, and community development”. Ezejioha said.
Also speaking at the event, founder Adorable Foundation Princes Ada Okeke Amam commended the organisers of the event, saying that the establishment of AIIL would aid foster more peace and development among the people of Anambra.
On his part, secretary of AIIL, Julius Okafor, affirmed that the organisation was motivated and inspired by the plight of their people in Lagos.
In his words: “Igbo people are like the Jews, we travel all over the world, but most of the time, they are not organised where ever they may be and most of their problems are individual.
“We organized this organisation to see to the plight of our people in diaspora in Lagos so that any issue they have be it security, business, commerce, and any other thing, we will be able to organise ourselves to sort them out. That’s the principal aspect that motivated us to start this organisation,” Okafor said.
Describing youths as the most vulnerable in the society, he said that the newly formed association would focus on youth empowerment.
On the other hand, he stressed the need for the Igbos in diaspora to invest more in their home land.
He said : “Igbos are most travelled of all nations, especially in Nigeria. My advice to the Igbos is that they must think home first.
“Igbos have developed Amuwo-Odofin, we have developed Alaba international market, developed Festac extension, and we have developed everywhere.
“We need to think home, whatever you do, they say home is the best. I advise Igbo people, if you invest ten thousand naira in Lagos, invest hundred thousand naira in the East because eventually you are going to retire to your village”.
One of the highlights of the event was award given ceremony.
The awardees expressed their gratitude to the organisers of the event and pledged to support the organisation.