Governor Rochas Anayo Okorocha of Imo State is undertaking the construction and furnishing of a befitting headquarter and secretariat complex for the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex socio-cultural leadership of Igbo people worldwide. The centre will serve as a new befitting edifice for Ndigbo in Nigeria and the Diaspora.
The gigantic structure is being erected at the 7 Park Avenue headquarters of the Ohanaeze at the Government Reserved Area of Enugu, the capital city of the former Eastern Region, and generally acknowledged as the headquarters of the Igbo nation.
The ultra-modern structure will consist of a three-storey structure housing the administrative block as well as another 20-room guest house which will also house an all-purpose hall for the activities of Ohanaeze and other Igbo groups which might require a befitting space for their activities. It is expected that the guest rooms would be managed as a hospitality facility which would earn money for the day-to-day running of the organisation.
Speaking to the news men during the meeting of Igbo stakeholders who had rallied in Enugu to discuss the Igbo position on recent issues surrounding the upsurge of murderous militia in parts of the Middle Belt, and Southern Nigeria, including parts of Igboland, the president general of Ohanaeze worldwide, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey, confirmed with pride that the Rochas Foundation was erecting the structures for Ndigbo. Enwo-Igariwey is elated that such an enterprise is taking place during his tenure.
Our correspondent who was led around the construction site by Engr Ugochukwu Chukwujireh, the boss of the construction firm handling the project, also confirmed that his firm is competent to deliver on the project in time. The company was also responsible for the construction of the new Imo State Government House.
The news men equally reported that the contractor has been adequately mobilized for the construction of the complex which is expected to be completed before the expiry of the lifetime of the present Ohanaeze executive which will lapse next February.
Chief Enwo-Igariwey further informed That since the headquarters were donated to Ohanaeze by the administration of Dr, Okwesilieze Nwodo of Enugu State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has been one of the biggest benefactors of the ethnic body, revealing that he had supported the organisation in cash and kind.
Accordingly, the on-going construction is said to be a culmination of other contributions which the Rochas Foundation has been extending towards the Ohanaeze’s welfare and sustenance. For instance, as the Ohanaeze president told our reporter, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has been advancing a monthly sum of N1.5 million to the Ohanaeze during the leadership tenure of the late Ambassador Ralph Uwechue, but had to stop due to some minor disagreement.
As a way of underscoring his support for the goals of the promotion of the goals of Igbo progress and dialogue, the Rochas Foundation was said to have erected the Igbozurume Hall at Emene, near the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, which is being used for social activities. It is hoped, our correspondent was told, that when work at the new Ohanaeze complex is completed, most of the socio-cultural activities will move there.
Speaking to the news men, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okorocha, Mr Sam Onwuemeodo, said that Governor Okorocha who was at the project site in Enugu on Tuesday to inspect the progress of work, has given the contractor marching orders to complete the project as soon as possible.
He further said that Owelle Rochas Okorocha insists that “when the project is completed, God will take the glory, while Ndigbo at home and abroad will celebrate it”.