Editors Note – One of our contributors, Kingsley Onuoha, writes about Ndi-Igbo and how to chart a meaningful roadmap for sustained socio-economic development.
Ndi-Igbo, the Igbo people are a great tribe, they are known for their industrial and business savvy, they can turn a twenty-naira business into a billion-dollar conglomerate within a short time.
There have survived lots of disasters both internally and externally. An example of such is the 1967 Civil War.
Ever since then, a great agitation has sprung up for self-governance. It has come in the form of groups such as the Movement of the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and just recently the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Self-governance is good, but permit me to say that for years now, we have been fighting the wrong battle! Just before you criticize my view, we all know the that the major challenge facing Ndi Igbo is bad leadership, lack of patriotism and empathy for others. Hatred for one another is gradually eating deep into our reigns, and in a bid to survive against all odds, we have been led to dangerous paths.
Bad roads, inadequate security, proper economic policies and its implementation has been our pit-hole. Most of our social amenities have all failed and we blame everybody but ourselves for those failures. We fail to understand that we are the architects of our own problems.
There is a saying “as a man makes his bed so shall he lie on it”. We need to take responsibilities of such problems and challenges and look inward on ways to rectify them instead of the usual blame game channeled towards the federal government.
We elect the wrong people into our state governments and unpatriotic “brothers” into the federal house of representative and senate house expecting the best from them. Each time these bad leaders mess up, instead of demanding answers from them, we channel our anger to the Hausas and Yorubas.
Don’t get me wrong, tribalism, ethnicism and nepotism has plagued our existence as a nation and has drawn us towards dangerous paths, but our beloved brothers have done more harm than good for us.
An interesting event happened right in front of me during the last general elections. A group of young men were talking bad about a particular candidate. They listed out all his sins and that of his godfathers. A couple of minutes later, the party agents of the supposedly bad candidate came to the polling unit and demanded votes in exchange for cash. These very young men who said negative comments about the candidate ended up voting for him. They voted against their will, all for what? Two thousand naira! It reminded me of the biblical Esau who exchanged his birth right for a pot of porridge.
Listen! our lives are shaped greatly by the decisions we make!
Last year, I witnessed as IPOB members marched across states in the south–East and south-south PEACEFULLY protesting the non-compliance of the department for state security to release their leader. Imagine if such peaceful protest was organized against any government official either elected or appointed who have done little or nothing about easing the pains we are facing in the south east region. Imagine if we can come together against all bad leaders (South Eastern leaders) who have neglected the cry of the south east region. We have the power to recall a seating senator! (it is constitutional).
We can demand impeachment of a seating governor if they refuse to change.
Ndi Igbo have the capacity of developing into the greatest race on Earth. Our five major states of Imo, Abia, Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi can become the Japan of Africa and enjoy economic, social and industrial boom without breaking up from the country and yet achieve all the dreams of the agitators (if truly, the reason for the agitations is the improvement of our wellbeing).
The path towards achieving this greatness is constitutional, legal and most importantly, peaceful. No lives will be lost; no blood will be shed; it only requires each key player to fulfil his part EFFICIENTLY.
In addition, whatever solution I am going to list out in subsequent series will need patriotism, commitment and love from both the south eastern government officials and citizens.
We will need to look inwards to work out a framework for cohesion between south –eastern states and this goes beyond the south east eastern governor’s forum, it is going to be more practical than the usual paperwork and lip service we usual get. Am talking about strategies which am going to be listing out in subsequent series for sustenance, economic, industrial and social developments of the south eastern states.