Many people have argued that, Imo State has been abused, violated and on the verge of losing its dignity, however, some of us still believe, that the best is yet to come!. Many are perplexed that a State that produced the likes of Chief Sam. O. Mbakwe, Dr. Sylvester Ugo and Dr Nnanna Ukaegbu, has become a theater of absurdities, incompetence, destructive and vicious politics. How come, the Eastern heartland is now a subject of caricature?
First, the political space is currently being driven by personalities – who have no business in governance. These characters utterly lack the capacity to offer any kind of liberating leadership that the State urgently needs.
The State has witnessed crony capitalism in its crudest form. Governance is no longer for the common good, but for a few family members, and their cronies. The overriding policy thrust of the government is for the ambitions and interests of a few family members and their cronies.
The State has gone, in full circle. At some, point, the State was literally commercialized, and lately, has arguably been turned into a private enterprise. There is no clear- cut distance between the interests of those at the helm of affairs, and that of the State.
As 2019 approaches, these characters have continued, in their mischief and painfully treat Imo State as a conquered enterprise- which happened after a partial hostile takeover in 2011. In their minds, the final conquest and take over must be consummated in 2019.
Unfortunately, they are however, oblivious of the ancient IGBO proverb that says “When a child eats a frog, he will never eat meat again”- and that is one of the reasons, some of us still believe!
In their confused and perverted views, the State has become an emirate of a sort, where leadership positions at different levels, rotate only among the ‘princes and noble men’ from one ‘royal family.
They again fail to take into account, the proud history of NDI IGBO. For the IGBOS, royalty is not a birthright or an entitlement bestowed on one single individual or a family, but an inherent gift, freely given to all by God, In this consciousness, the IGBOs, believe that any one irrespective of his family background or personal limitations can become ‘ a royal or noble man’ and to that extent, can ‘create; his or her world or kingdom. Thus, they are many kings and princes, in the land. No supreme king apart, from God is revered, in a way that he could unduly take that advantage, to dictate the affairs of many.
This is because our forefathers, in their wisdom have warned us, not to allow only one cock to crow in any community. To this end, in most clans, villages, towns, communities and constituencies etc, inbuilt democratic driven mechanisms have over the years been put in place to check the excesses, domineering and dictatorial tendencies, of a misguided few, and that is, one of the reasons , some of us still believe!
We still believe, because, our forefathers, have admonished us, to always rebuke any deity that overreaches itself, and frontally remind the deity that, it is fundamentally carved by a mere mortal and made of a mere wood, and that is the reason, as a people we strongly believe that no one, no matter how highly placed, is indispensable. We are also not encumbered by the ordinances of our traditions or limited by our culture to speak out, against any one in power or with means, in line with our personal convictions.
We still believe, because, one of our ancient proverbs teaches us that, “when a cripple man gets carried away by the music of the day and decides to dance in the public square, we should restrain him, but, if he insists, we should encourage and allow him to be disgraced in the public square ’!
We still believe, because our elders made us to understand that, ‘he who is ready or willing to fall from a tall tree should also be ready to be thoroughly massaged with a hot water’
Again, it is important to remind these characters, who think that; they are ‘‘entitled’ to decide for us- of an ancient IGBO proverb that says: ‘those who are ‘stark naked’, do not have the privilege of putting their hands in their front pockets! – And that is why, we still believe!
We still believe, because, as a people, we have been taught by our elders that ‘when one person stands up and greets us by saying: IGBO KWENU, and no one responds, with Ya; “that person should know that a poisonous snake is on top of the roofing rafts!
We still believe, because power and money are ephemeral and sometimes mere illusions. However, truth, character, courage, honor, and consistency take preeminence in the scheme of things.
We still believe, because, morning comes after the night and chaos, if properly managed gives birth to order, beauty, and form !
Some of us still believe because our forefathers, made us to understand, that ‘no one person, can match the power of many/or a whole community’, and therefore we know for sure, that the people would still have their way in the long run!
Some of us still believe, because, the ancient IGBO world view teaches us that: Truth is Life, and also justice. Therefore a negation of truth is a negation of life. Those, who stand on the side of truth, even in the face of persecutions, or even as underdogs, are encouraged to know that ‘he who chases an innocent chicken risks missing his steps, or stumbling and eventually falling down, while the chicken enjoys the little run!
Yes- Some of us still believe, because one of our ancient proverbs teaches us that a warrior born in a village should be reminded constantly that, ‘of the day he was born, another warrior from another village, was also born on the same day, before he gets carried away’
Some of us still believe, because we know for sure, that ‘when, we as a people, decide to come together and urinate in one place, such an activity would, ultimately attract flies’.
Some of us still believe that IMO State shall prevail because our elders made us to understand that, ‘a single individual cannot use his ordinary two palm hands to cover the sun from shinning. It is preposterous and simply; an exercise in futility. Also, our elders always encourage us to be patient, as we go to our various farms, because, no matter how long it takes, the yam harvest, shall surely come to pass in due season’
Above all, some of us still believe in GOD and in the Trinity. We still believe in the scriptures. We still believe- irrespective of the shenanigans, that God is the final Judge. We still believe just like Apostle Paul similarly penned down several years ago in 2 Corinthians 4: 8- 18-,’ though the State and the people are troubled on every side, yet, we are not distressed.
Though the State and the people are perplexed over the absurdities, yet, we are not in despair. Yes, some of the citizens, of the State are persecuted, yet they are not forsaken. Some their houses, markets, shops, stalls, are being demolished, destroyed and utterly cast down, yet they are not destroyed!
Therefore, some of us have that indefatigable IGBO spirit and most importantly that spirit of faith in God and in majority of our people, that -IMO State shall prevail.
We still believe!
Chijioke Churuba is an Economist and the Managing Consultant of Sprog Consulting Limited