FOR many years in socio-political, economic and cultural history, the Igbo nation is fast losing grip of the many trappings in Nigeria’s scheme of things.
This backward slide may not be far from the truth when one calls to mind the prominent positions the Igbo as a dynamic nationality occupy in the systemic workings of the nation in pre and post-civil war era up till the first four Republics in Nigeria.
In the Republics under reference, the Igbo had remained a veritable and dependable propellant of the socio-political, economic and social engine of the Nigeria system.
Apart from the very essence of the Igbo in the tripod of the nation’s chessboard, people of the nationality have remained dependable tool for development of the various ethnic segments of the Nigeria society.
Unfortunately, the mighty and dependable ally in the nation’s scheme of things suddenly relapsed to backbench or rather, abandoned to their fate by the very people they helped to forge and build a united Nigeria. This sudden backslide to state of inconsequence has remained a puzzle to critical minds in the Igbo enclave, a pathetic scenario of a once strong united voice that gradually lost voice, bearing focus and totally disintegrated in the comity of nation.
Regrettably, the legacies and efforts of Igbo past heroes such as Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Rt. Hon. Dr. Akwaeke Nwafor-Orizu, Chief Mbazuluike Amechi, Ezigbo Gburugburu Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Chief Akanu Ibiam, Igwe Osita Agwuna, Dr. K.O. Mbadiwe, among their peers has become a thing of history.
Also, essence and memories of past-war heroes of Igbo extraction such as Dr.Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, Dr.Dora Akunyili, Admiral Ebitu Ukaiwe, Dr. Ken Nnamani, Chief Pius Anyim, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, among others seems to have been lost in the Igbo psyche.
Today, the Igbo people appear like strangers in the system they are co-partners and this position has been agitating the minds of concerned Igbos who posit questions as to why.
A United Nations Polac, Prophet Dr. Ramas Okoye Asuzu, believes the Igbo are the architect of the present position in Nigeria. According to him, the Igbo has lost their very essence which is imbedded in cohesion, common vision, voice, purpose, unity and being their brother’s keeper.
Prophet Dr. Okoye-Asuzu stated, “A people who abandoned their trado-cultural values can hardly be united in purpose, adding that “when the Israelites became self-centered and abandoned their God, they were punished and sent into exile, but when they remembered God, He pardoned them and brought them back to their inheritance”.
“Igbo of this generation have abandoned their root and become individualistic and self- centered, hence they lost their bearing and pander to the whims and caprices of their counterparts in the Nigeria system.”
He stated that the present crop of Igbo political leadership has not done enough to bring Ndigbo together and back to their sense in other to be united in focus and purpose.
Prophet Dr. Okoye Asuzu posited that Igbo, like the jews ,should turn back to God, divest themselves of self- centeredness, embrace their ancient trado-cultural values imbedded in unity of purpose in other to be able to forge a common front to regain their lost position in the Nigeria’s socio-political game.
“Unless Ndigbo embrace the vision of our past heroes, they may not raise their heads out of the woods, but remain subjugated and cajoled by their counterparts.”
For High Priest and Spiritual head, Idemili Cultural Redemption Centre, Rapheal Musa Obi, the Igbo must locate the various values of past heroes and internalise them as the only surviving weapon they possess and these values are located in the culture that emphasises being your brother’s keeper.
According to him, “Igbo are Jews and as Jews, they must hold onto their cultural values of brotherhood, unity of purpose in order to regain their position in Nigeria.
From the foregoing, it becomes desideratum that the Igbo should recourse to their culture of collective bargaining which was the building force of our past heroes to regain strength, cohesion in order to once again, make inroad into the nation’s socio-political system.
What this reasoning suggests is that the present crop of poilitical leaders have a duty to bring together other leaders from both religious, economic, cultural sectors to brainstorm and fashion out better strategy top hold Ndigbo together as a people in other to chat the future of the Igbo nation.
Time is now to restore the dignity of the Igbo in the comity of nations in Nigeria.