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.