LEADERSHIP IN IGBO SOCIETY: ANALYSIS, CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS BY EKWE NCHE ORGANIZATION LAW and ORDER COMMITTEE INTRODUCTION. Since the end of the Biafra-Nigeria war in 1970, Ndiigbo have been subjected to the most brutal, discriminatory and traumatizing treatment than any people who lost a war in modern times. That Ndiigbo have continued to survive individually in the face of this onslaught can be attributed to the tenacity, ingenuity, creativity, will power, and incredibly superior work ethic of the individual Igbo man, woman and child. These qualities have resulted in the survival and even thriving of some individual Igbo men and women. But have Ndiigbo as a group fared well in Nigeria since the end of the war? Our conclusion is "NOT AT ALL" We leave you to your own judgment. Our finding is that leadership has been a major problem for Ndiigbo since the end of the war. Igbo society rose to its modern glory before and during the war largely because of extremely efficient, dedicated, visional, selfless, and inspiring leadership at all levels of Igbo Society. From the Umunna through Village Assemblies, Town Unions, to Cultural Organizations like the Igbo State Union, Divisional Associations and Improvement Unions, Igbo leadership was stellar. Leaders were "chosen" elected by their own people. They did the business of the people. They raised funds, built roads, bridges, hospitals, health centers, schools and colleges. They awarded scholarships to brilliant students and sent them out to distant lands to be educated. They organized cooperative ventures and provided capital for young traders and businessmen to start new enterprises and businesses. Most importantly, they accounted regularly to the people who elected them and if their stewardship was found wanting at any time, they were removed and replaced with more efficient and effective leaders. That was how Ndiigbo took off on a high note of success. Where is all that today? The Nigerian conquerors have totally destroyed this structure and replaced it with thrash. Today men and women who have no credibility in their own villages and towns, who can not win an election in their own Umunna, village, town or women organizations, parade themselves in Lagos and Abuja as "Igbo Leaders". They do so because they have donated large sums of money to political parties or because they have been hobnobbing with some of the Northern and Western creeps who have kept us in bondage. They leap over the stringent hurdles the Igbo have put in place for choosing their leaders. Then the oppressors in Abuja and Lagos appoint them ministers, special assistants, representatives etc and Ndiigbo explode in jubilation that one of their own has been appointed to an important post. But whose interest are they representing - that of Ndiigbo or the "master" who appointed them? How much leverage does Ndiigbo have in making these individuals attend to the causes and issues (agenda) that are important to Ndiigbo? To who are these individuals accountable? Of course, to the oppressor who appointed them and bought their souls with money and other bribes. This phenomenon is the reality at the Federal, State and Local Government levels. Now it is filtering into Towns and Autonomous Communities with the emergence of the new breed of big money contractor/supplier "Chiefs" and "Traditional Rulers", appointed and approved by Abuja. This is one of the reasons why nothing ever gets accomplished in Alaigbo today. Ndiigbo, you are sinking deeper into this quagmire. Today, Southern Nigeria has been fully radicalized ethnically. Thanks to the ethnic jingoists. How does this radicalization effect Ndiigbo? Stories we have been reading recently seem to suggest that militarization of the ethnic groups in Southern Nigeria is seriously underway and is proceeding at an alarming speed. Ethnic cleansing may be just around the corner and actually may be just starting. It will be terrible for Ndiigbo if we don't evolve as a matter of urgency effective, efficient, trusted, committed, dedicated leadership that will guide the survival of Ndiigbo in the event of the expected explosion: leadership that will be accountable to no one but Ndiigbo. Ndiigbo, you don't want to and you don't deserve to go through another holocaust. No, you don't.