Anambra is about Igbo Failure

by John Iteshi

Anambra is about the failure of the Igbos… The fact that no Nigerian leader can ever do Anambra to any Yoruba state makes it clear that it is about the failure of the Igbo nation and nothing more. Anambra is not alone in failure in Igbo land, but the problem is that Anambra state has a special significance as the heart of the Igbos (Ojukwu and Zik’s home state) and as such its destruction ought to worry every right thinking Igbo man. Of course, we know that the origin of the crisis in Anambra state is the 2003 general elections when Obasanjo succeeded in doing to Igbos what no Hausa Fulani leader has ever been able to do to Yorubas even though they were in opposition. Despite this obvious fact about the origin of the crisis in Anambra one still thinks it is stupid for any Igbo leader to blame Obasanjo or his cohorts in Abuja as some people chose to do.  It is rather more important for enlightened Igbo individuals to get together and organise the Igbo nation rather than their personal estates first.

Anambra makes the boldest statement about the fact that Ndi-Igbo despite the great achievements of their individuals are probably the most primitive ethnic group in Nigeria . It makes it clear that being civilised is more about an organised society than merely having many successful individuals. Just as I once wrote to one David West who wrote an article in 2005 about the thousands of Nigerian PhD holders in the US that, 120,000 000 disorganised professors are equal to idiots, I would also say with great respect, that thousands of Igbo unorganised and selfish geniuses have proven they are equal to idiots by their failure to organise themselves. Anambra appears most disgraceful because they have enlightened people who ought to change things, but the case of Ebonyi is most pathetic and akin to the hypothetical ‘one-eyed man king of a country of blind’ because it has nobody and nobody at all shows concern about the disgusting state of affairs there. One individual runs the affairs of over two million impoverished people like his private estate with no single opposition. He uses public funds to buy all newspapers in Nigeria to sing his praises as the best governor in Nigeria and nobody is able to challenge him. The crux of the matter is primitiveness. Until Ndi-Igbo organise themselves at the Igbo level and not village levels, politics will continue to be viewed by our people as personal enterprises for individual survival. It is only primitiveness that can explain the fact that Ndi Igbo being one of the hardest working people in the world should allow common criminals to run their affairs.

Of course other Nigerians share similar individualistic attitude towards politics and modern governance, but the case of Ndi Igbo and some of their neighbouring cousins is strange in the sense that there is no limit at all. It is strange where one in pursuit of personal interest would never think about the implications of his actions on the overall interest of his people. For instance, Sam Egwu of Ebonyi State just like this writer hail from the most backward part of Nigeria, but it seemingly does not cross his mind (because he is busy looting public funds) to improve the quality of life of  his people in order to escape a possible disaster in the future. If there should be a global disaster where everyone would have to run to the nearest hospital to stay alive, his Abakaliki people (Ngbo/Izhia, Izhi, Ezza and Ikwo people) will die most because for eight years he has dubiously failed to build quality roads and hospitals for his people. He rather preferred to build his private estate and those of dubious journalists. Meanwhile Anambranians who are probably among the most successful individuals in the world would be far more capable to buy Medicare than Ebonyians who have produced only one billionaire in Sam Egwu(through corruption not hard work) in the face of any major medical emergency today. The real fact is that what has happened to and still happening to Anambra and other Igbo states can only happen to Igbos and their Eastern Cousins because we are too individualistic and in fact primitive. It cannot happen to Yorubas or Tivs not to mention Hausas.

Igbo individuals are least conscious in Nigeria about their group interests. Our people typically and traditionally think about their personal interest first, even though there is a saying common to all Igbos that one man’s interest does not outweigh that of the community. This statement has apparently lost meaning in the present money chasing world because all it now takes to become a lord in Igbo land is to acquire huge money by all means. The interest of a rich man or a governor in any Igbo community today outweighs public interest and the people have accepted it to be so. All it takes to become an Igbo leader today is not wisdom, but to get material and spiritual support from Abuja or Sokoto and you can become a governor or senator or any important position on behalf of NdiIgbo. Igbo village unions in America will not even ask questions about how you got there before they invite you to speak in some stupid world Igbo congress. Igbo Bishops will not hesitate to pay you homage as a rising Igbo leader. This is a true life story of the Igbo nation narrated by the emergence of things like Pius Anyim, Orji Uzo Kalu, Ngige, Sam Egwu and the host of others who from nowhere have become Igbo leaders and taken the place of descent Igbo people.

The only hope for Ndi Igbo now is for individuals like the religious leaders and other enlightened and distinguished private individuals who are not in politics and have no political greed or ambition to organise themselves and take up leadership of Ndi Igbo. Ikemba (being the greatest icon of Igbo unity) must be supported by enlightened Igbo individuals to organise the Igbo nation properly.  Ndi Igbo need to organise themselves in Igbo land before it becomes too late. It is most crucial for the survival of the Igbo nation for proper Igbo orientation to be kicked off soonest. Noises about Igbo presidency do not make sense when we are unable to govern ourselves at home. I had also suggested an Igbo national conference for unity and reconciliation as a means of getting Ndi Igbo to understand themselves and why they have failed as a group. To my mind it should be the starting point for us. And this opinion is based on the belief that Nigeria will be better if each ethnic nationality could begin to build the Nigeria of their dreams from their respective home bases.

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