…..As survivors of the Tusla Race Massacre get chieftaincy title
By Fortune Abang
The Igbo community in the Diaspora, Ghana Chapter, on Saturday stressed the need for African-Americans in the Diaspora to always identify with their kinsmen, to promote unity, growth and development.
The Eze Nd’Igbo of Ghana, Chief Chukwudi Ihenetu, said in a statement in Abuja that identifying with fellow kinsmen would help to give African-Americans sense of belonging.
Ihenetu, also Assistant Publicity-Secretary, Association of Ndieze-Nd’Igbo in the Diaspora, spoke against backdrop of the centenary anniversary of “Tusla Race Massacre” of black people in the U.S. city of Tusla in 1921.
The anniversary ceremony was designed to confer chieftaincy title on “Hughes Ellis” and his sister “Viola Fletcher” as survivors of the Tusla Race Massacre and offer of citizenship on them by Ghana government.
According to him, history was made as Igbo community in Ghana, Ghanaian government in conjunction with the Nigeria High Commission hosted grand cultural reception for survivors of Tusla massacre victims.
Ihenetu said, “The Tusla survivors, Ellis, his sister Fletcher and family members who arrived from the U.S. were received by Deputy Director of Diaspora Office at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra.
“Fletcher, aged 107, and her brother Ellis, aged 100 were the last known survivors of the massacre, therefore, the anniversary as strategic plan to unite African-Americans in the Diaspora with their kinsmen.
“I hereby call on other African-Americans eager to reunite with their roots to step forward, as Africans are ready to welcome them back home.
“Up to 300 African-Americans were killed in the attack on the area nicknamed “Black Wall Street; 10,000 people were left homeless when the district was set ablaze, leaving vibrant economy in ruins.”
Ihenetu disclosed that the two survivors of the massacre, Fletcher, Ellis and their grandchildren accepted the offer on them by Ghanaian government to become Ghanaian citizens.
He further quoted them respectively to have expressed appreciation to the government of Ghana for the honour accorded them.
Fletcher and Ellis said, “We accept the Ghana citizenship with great joy and we thank the president Nana Akufo-Ado for his great honour.
“The week-long trip to Ghana is part of the government’s campaign to attract people of African heritage abroad ‘back home, was lifetime experience.”
In her words of appreciation, Ellis’ daughter, Mama said: “It’s my first time on the continent of Africa and I am thrilled to be here.”
Ike Howard, Fletcher’s grandson said: “My grandparents are extremely excited to be home for the first time on the motherland, if you have not visited Africa, this is the time to come.”
He mentioned Mrs Esther Arewa, Charge D’Affairs of Nigeria High Commission in Ghana and also, the Director of Diaspora Africa Forum (DAF) to be among prominent Africans that graced the occasion.
High point of the event was conferment of chieftaincy title of Ebube Ndi Igbo “The glory of the Igbo” on Fletcher and Ike Oha Ndi Igbo “Strength of the Igbo” on Ellis, respectively. (NAN)