The President of Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), Prof Uzodimma Nwala has bemoaned the continued dependence of Ndigbo on other regions in Nigeria for food and other agricultural produce.
Nwala who was speaking during the launch of Aku rue Ulo Cooperative Movement (ACM), in Enugu on Thursday noted that it was time for the Igbo to reinvent agriculture in the South East.
“We invested a lot in agriculture in the past. We had farm settlements in Uzo-Uwani and other places but along the line, these things changed. I remember when I was traveling to the North and we had to travel in a vehicle transporting cassava from the East to the North. Today, the reverse has become the case. It is shameful that we can’t feed ourselves anymore. To the extent that they now threaten us with onions.
“ADF has now thought about the situation and decided that it is important for us inculcate how to produce what we eat as part of our programme and as part of our campaign. We have started it for sometime now.
“Despite the current situation, we are consoled to know that God has led some of our people into massive agriculture which is very necessary now.
Speaking on the root cause of insecurity in the South East, Nwala said that it was imperative for young men in every land to fight against external aggression, noting that any society where such aggression is tolerated was doomed.
“I’m talking about our young men who in their youthful zeal and trying to protect our farmlands. They are trying to see that our farmlands are not taken over by strangers. We’ve been in touch with them, doing all we can to encourage them and also to show them the way to go.
“Any land that do not have courageous young men is a land that deserves pity. The youths are the this primary target of this our Akurue Ulo Movement.”
On his part, the Governor of Enugu State, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who was represented by the state Commissioner for Information, Chief Chidi Aroh said that his government has prioritized agriculture in the state.
He assured that the state was willing to play an important part in the process revolutionizing agriculture in the South East.
Also speaking at the event, the former Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Sam Egwu who was the chairman of the occasion recounted his agricultural intervention in the state during his administration.
He however regretted that subsequent governments failed to build on the foundations he laid. He pledged to support the Aku rue Ulo Cooperative Movement in its drive to make the South East self sufficient in agriculture.