Today 24th February 2022 will mark a new dimension of Ndigbo in the quest of political survival.
With the Theme: Second National political Summit of Igbo National Council (INC) “Timeline of political Developments in Nigeria: 1960-2021 and its Impacts on the Igbo Nation”, it might interest you to know that no nation will have a successful political and economic development devoid of their cultural norms and traditions.
Ndigbo are struggling more on political and economic development with utter neglect of many cultural norms and social identity that made us Ndigbo. The fast decline of Igbo Value System has affected our political developments. It is worthy of note that the concept of development actually means transformation from something to new things, and not from nothing to something. The basic ground of Igbo socio-political and economic development has been shattered since 57 years. The Nigeria Biafra Civil-War was not of much negative effect on our economy and political, but the war threw out our cultural and value system into the garbage. So, to Ndigbo, the Nigeria/Biafra Civil-War was not just a political and economic displacement, but in its actual sense and reality, it was a stark displacement and loss of our Identity.
Regrettably, after the war there was drastic change of quest for wealth by Ndigbo. Therefore, the philosophical value of “Ezi Aha Ka Ego” “Ndu Ka Uba” ” Uba Si Na Chi” ” Nwa Ka Ego” ” Madu Ka Uba”and “Ndu Bu Isi” was buried. Unfortunately, due to the hunger for good life, uprightness and integrity were replaced by quest for Wealth by every means necessary.
Ezi Afa Ka Ego implies that an upright life and a man’s integrity is valued more dearly than wealth, but this philosophical concept was buried, hunger for quick wealth took the place of Ezi Afa Ka Ego, today it’s “Ego Ka Afa”
By every historical index” none of “Otu Ogwu ego” originated in Igbo land rather it became rampant after the Biafra Civil-War. Today one of the greatest challenges in Igbo land is the nicknamed and modernization of ” Otu Ogwu Ego” which is now “Yahoo Yahoo” and Yahoo Plus”.
Nwa Ka Ego in Igbo philosophy shows that, it is Igbo belief that, to have a child is more precious and valuable than wealth or money, therefore, it contradicts the way our young generation pursues Wealth and money, that a man will sacrifice his son or daughter, for quest for riches. This has nullified the Igbo philosophy of ” Nwa Ka Ego” and “Ezi Afa Ka Ego”
The Human Life is very sacred and precious to Ndigbo; the value of human being in Igbo concept is above every other thing on earth. That’s why Ndigbo have these names, Madu Ka Uba, Madu Ka Aku, Madu Ka Ego, Madu Wu Uba, Ndu Ka Uba, Ndu Bu Isi but our generation have contracted this ancient value system, our generation maim and kill “Madu” (human being) to have Uba, (wealth), exalting Uba than Madu. Which means “Madu A Kaghi Uba”
Were is our generation heading to with this new concept of “Uba Ka Madu”?
Were is our generation heading to with this new syndrome of ” Ego Ka Nwa”?
As we aspire to position Ndigbo politically in Nigeria, we must first accept to rescue our value system and social norms, that’s what will spice up our political adventure in Nigeria.
The quick money syndrome has also weakend our cultural titles in Igbo land, the Nze, Ozo, Ichie and Chieftain titles and Ezeship are now accorded to ones with Wealth and Riches. The time of meritorious title in Igbo land has gone, as titles are now currently for sale. It’s been sold by our traditional rulers. There’s no longer moral standard or principle of Chieftaincy title that guides chieftaincy coronation in Alaigbo, we have lost it by commercialization of Chieftaincy title by our traditional rulers. Get money and get chieftaincy coronation. It’s now how to honor criminals and men of questionable characters in Alaigbo.
Today in Alaigbo, the chieftaincy title is a banner to cover a notorious criminals, our politicians have bagged Chieftaincy titles after looting our public fund, yet we hail them with titles like Honorable, Distinguished and His Excellency. Honorable people without honorable land, excellencies without excellent land. So the reward of stealing public fund is chieftaincy title, this has encourage political looting and quick money syndrome by the Igbo new generation.
With the zeal of quick money syndrome, everybody is now a king or Mmanwu na eti Onwe Ya”. This has drastically affected the Igbo communal life system. If you want to know how backward Ndigbo has gone, go round our communities see the condition of things we have in general, take for instance the deplorable condition of our primary and Secondary Schools, Markets and Town Halls. Many of our community primary and secondary Schools have no roof, windows, doors, toilets; our community Town Halls look like poultry, our community markets look like hut of shrines.
Today Ndigbo have fallen victim of Religion. there is no Igbo community without a beautiful and well designed four or five Churches, yet look at our primary and secondary schools, Markets and Town Halls, you will know that Ndigbo are in sorry condition.
Yes we have mansion of churches were we pray to God, but there are no mansion of Schools were we train our children except for private schools; there is no mansion of Town Halls were we gather and reason with God on economic and political developments as a community people. Yes, there are communities in Igbo land with different churches, yet no Town Halls and functional Primary Health Centres.
In order to sustain Igbo value system, culture and norm, Ohanaeze Youth Council has proposed the introduction of the following subjects into primary and secondary schools;
*Igbo history and Religion
*Igbo Craft and Waving
*Igbo herbs and Traditional medicine
This must be done within Five years from now or we will loose Igbo identity in it’s entirety.
The rapid decline in Igbo value System has made us to lost the spirit of ” Igwe Bu Ike” Onyeaghala Nwanne Ya, Umunna Bu Ike, Imi Bewe Anya Ebewe, Nwanne Di Na Mba, Girigiri Bu Ugwu Eze, Onuru Ube Nwanne, Agbala Oso and Biri Ka m Mbiri.
On leadership or governance we have suffered more setback than any tribe in Africa, our leadership standard has gone into extinction.
In the past, it was good names, such like “Ezi Afa” Knowledge “Amamihe” Wisdom “Ako na Uche” that earned someone a position to lead others in Alaigbo but not anymore. There is a social virus that has eaten Ndigbo, the electorates in Alaigbo with the concept of “Ikwo Ose” that’s why we have mere political “Mama-Put” and “political pepper Soup Men”. Wealth has redefined and taken place as a notable quality of a good leader. Hence politicians prepare good delicacies, give clothes and share money, he is qualified to govern us. In our quest for political freedom from Nigeria, we must first liberate ourselves on character transformation towards our value system.
Today the syndrome of quick money system has raptured Igbo political space. Therefore, it’s expedient that we shun going into political field with our political 4th eleven not even 3rd eleven that’s why we have failed in all the political tournaments since 1970 till 2021, yet we cry of marginalization from those who engage their own political 1st eleven.
Today, political election is very cheap in Sokoto, Bauchi, Katsina, Kaduna, but very expensive in Anambra, Imo, Abia, Rivers, Delta, Enugu, and Ebonyi. Therefore, political positions from Governor to even Councillor is very lucrative in Alaigbo. This has given birth to political mediocres, profiteers, quagmire and political maradonas in Alaigbo.
Instead of enriching the people as a leader, the Leader will become more rich than the entire state. This is a core primitive looting of our common ‘Treasury’. It’s in Alaigbo that after unsuccessful eight years tenure as a Governor, the Governor Rochas Okorocha claimed that Imo State is owing him 8 billion naira, while Mr. Peter Obi after Eight years as Governor left over 88 billion in the state Treasury without owing workers or any contractor. Indeed “there was a Governor in Imo State from from 2011 to 2019”
As we call for a Nigeria president of Southeast Extraction in 2023 many Igbo sons have declared interest to contest, but it’s a political burden in my heart that Ogbonnaya Onu and Peter Obi have not declare interest.
Certainly, I may have digressed on politics concerning the theme of this summit, but no nation will develop politically without her culture, value system and social norms. Ndigbo must urgently return to were they had their bath to pick up their towels.
There’s urgent need to have a rethink on moral conscience. There is urgent need for social re-engineering, reorientation and sensitization in Alaigbo from Community to state level.
Comrade Igboayaka O Igboayaka
National President Ohanaeze Youth Council