Leadership Series by Ekwe Nche


This introductory section places in perspective the sharp contrast between LEADERSHIP as conceptualized in the golden years of Igbo civilization before the Biafra-Nigeria war and today (1970-1999). It puts in focus the clear distinction between the process of electing leaders through a democratic process as was the case in prewar Igbo Society and the corrupt feudal system of imposing on the Igbo leaders chosen by the Hausa/Fulani/Yoruba oligarchy. The consequences of this imposition on accountability, performance, and control of such leaders are discussed.

*From the colonial govt into self-govt and independence*
This section discusses the unwritten CONTRACT between a citizen and the state in which the person lives. This unwritten contract is supposed to exist between Ndiigbo and the Nigerian State. The contract stipulates that hard work, skill, talent, achievement and high productivity will be rewarded while laziness, failure low productivity, lack of achievement will not be rewarded. This universally accepted code, which forms the core of Igbo philosophy and world-view has been undermined by Nigeria. Nigeria rewards laziness, mediocrity, failure, lack of achievement, and low productivity and punishes skill, intellect, hard work, high achievement, and high productivity.

*Igbo identity*
This section x-rays the collective IDENTITY of Ndiigbo. Like a mirror, it reflects back to Ndiigbo who they really are. It brings together two components of Igbo identity. It blends how Ndiigbo see themselves with the way the world sees them. It pulls the two images together to paint a portrait of a clever, hard-working, enterprising, ambitious, and achievement-oriented people.

*We have been listening to how other people see and regard Ndiigbo*
This section delves into the core Igbo existential philosophy that forms the backdrop for Igbo philosophy of leadership. It examines the complex, delicate balance between INDIVIDUALISM and COMMUNITARISM as well as how an Igbo child is socialized into this philosophy of life. It concludes with an analysis of how all these fit into Igbo social organization from the family through Umunne, Umunna, to Obodo.

*Collective Leadership*
This section examines the practice of COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP in Igbo society. Beginning with the family and extending to the Umunne, Umunna, Ogbe, Ama, Obodo, it examines the process of electing leaders. It describes in detail the responsibility of the leader to the group he or she is leading. It describes how the leader derives his or her power from the group and is accountable to the group. It shows how the group checks the tendency of leaders to be dictatorial and strike for their personal interest rather than that of the group. It shows how the group can quickly take back the power it gave to a leader if the leader abuses that power. This section shows how the checks and balances in the leadership structure guarantee that the leader always represents, protects and defends the interest of the group he or she is representing. This ensures that the principle of collective leadership is maintained.

*How is political discussion organized in Igboland?*
This section examines how POLITICAL ORGANIZATION and DISCUSSION is organized in Igbo society. It starts at the smallest political group (the family) and goes on to the largest (autonomous community, Obodo). It examines overall political organization of Igbo society and captures the federating structure of the associating autonomous communities or Obodo. This structure emphasizes the significant measure of autonomy enjoyed by the federating units from Village Assemblies through Town Unions to Igbo Nation.

*Leadership question in Igbo society*
This section poses the hard question: who are the current (1970-1999) LEADERS OF NDIIGBO and how did they become such? It points out how after the Biafra-Nigeria war, Hausa/Fulani/Yoruba oligarchs subverted the established system by which Ndiigbo elected their leaders and held them accountable. It shows how they substituted in its place the corrupt, feudal system of appointing leaders who were not accountable to the people but owed their allegiance to the corrupt feudal oligarchs who appointed them. It showed how the psychology of defeat resulted in the acceptance and even adulation of these fake leaders. The paper concludes by pointing out that Igbo philosophy, culture, and society is under siege. It sounds a clarion call for Ndiigbo to arise, throw off the yoke and be free to organize their society the way they want.