In an early July interview with the President of the Congress of Igbo Leaders within the UK and Eire, Mazi Obi Okoli, believes that Nigeria has a number of challenges implementing a system of governance that may assure the pursuits of all inside the nation. In accordance with him, lots of the issues, frictions and points confronted at this time in Nigeria is a direct results of the faulty federal system, the 1979 structure drafted with out session and the detrimental attitudes by majority of politicians towards improvement in Nigeria.
Why did you select to put in writing the guide “The Misplaced Igbo Treasure” as a part of your life?
Our journey of life should be so as to add worth to human existence. I imagine that folks have to depart some constructive footprints that may enable the approaching generations to entry reality, info and details about their historical past, traditions and tradition. I selected to put in writing the guide The Misplaced Igbo Treasure with the intention to doc the details of historical past, proverbs, language, tradition, custom and beliefs of the Igbo individuals of West Africa. It’s my resolute perception that an knowledgeable technology are the most effective technology that may make constructive influence to the world.
Over time, there have been discussions about totally different ethnicity in Federal Republic of Nigeria. How totally different are the Igbos from Hausas, Yorubas and Fulanis in Nigeria?
It’s a large truth of life that the Igbo individuals have by no means been topic to 1 explicit kingdom or caliphate just like the Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba tribes who’re beneath the monarchical leaderships of Sokoto and Ife kingdoms respectively. This exposes the reader to the mindset, traits, beliefs and understanding of the Igbo individuals as an egalitarian individuals. The Igbos like each different human society imagine in peace, co-existential continuum of the human race.
Nevertheless, the Igbos are distinctive of their pondering, very onerous working, sturdy, communal, resilient, entrepreneurial mindset, freedom searching for, household oriented and peace loving. The Igbos imagine within the cosmological perception of the sanctity of human life, respect and equity of their coping with all human individuals. They maintain the sanctitutional perception of “stay and let’s stay”. They abhor injustice and deceit in human dealings. They imagine that faith is and needs to be a way to an finish and never the tip of a way.
All of the above distinguishes them from the Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba who’re influenced extra by spiritual inclination and a mixture of faith/societal perception for the later.
The Igbos are distinctive in what they do; how they stay their lives, what they eat and put on, the best way to beat their path of existence on earth, the peculiarities and the songs they cherish, so are also the music, conduct and basic angle to life. It’s clear that the Igbos uniquely differ from different ethnicities, in every of the above respects, in Nigeria.
Trying inside your guide, what treasures have the Igbos misplaced within the nation’s historical past?
The consequences of colonialism, slavery, overseas faith, the genocide of 1967 have all severely impacted the Igbo society. The cherished Igbo treasures of togetherness, love and tradition, custom, language and methods of life. Our norms, values, perception, character and angle, communal engagement, proverbs, idioms are treasures which the ancestors bequeathed to us from historical past have all started to elude our individuals and nation as an entire. Each society is alive by the presence of their distinctive values and traits. A lack of any of the above has nice influence on the individuals and their society. Ndigbo should awaken themselves to the gathering storms and start to see that our treasures are vanishing earlier than our eyes.
How would you interpret and join ethnicity with the federal system of governance?
It is a very troublesome query. I’ll strive to not be very tutorial so your readers can be carried alongside. The federal system of presidency is one which divides or shares the powers of governance between the nationwide (federal), state and native governments. If that is true then it’s crucial that this method of governance will assure, safeguard and shield the pursuits of all element elements that make up the federation.
Nevertheless, over the centuries the experiment of this faulty system as practiced in Nigeria has denied many ethnic nationals the chance to take pleasure in or harness the good thing about such a system if any. The travails and struggles of ethnic minority communities in Nigeria has additionally been that of the remaining contending towards each cultural extinction, politico-economic marginalization and political participation traumatization by the North with the previous contending towards financial expropriation, marginalization, exclusion, developmental strangulation and political “oblivionization” of the remainder of the nation, particularly the Igbo individuals of the Japanese Nigeria.
These detrimental dimensions and circumstances of ethnic minority alienation and discontent within the Nigerian federation has been certainly made worse beneath the current regime and additional tightening of the noose continues unabated.
Due to this fact, the interpretation and connectivity of ethnicity with the federal system of governance is that of a resultant inherent contradictions and tensions within the evolution and operation of the Nigerian federal system. Lots of the issues, frictions and points confronted at this time in Nigeria is a direct results of the faulty federal system; the problematic 1979 structure drafted with out session and the detrimental under-developmental angle of the Nigerian politicians.
All of the above that I’ve talked about, it has been made worse by the over-centralization of the governance system; the primitive refusal to acknowledge the complicated ethnic configuration and curiosity; the pragmatic consensual underdevelopment of some areas, particularly the Japanese a part of the nation; the comparatively restricted improvement of accommodative, consensual or power-sharing mechanisms; the absence or weak point of key mediatory or regulatory establishments; and the repeated distortion and abortion of democratic establishments. With the above administrative defects, will probably be troublesome for the nation to progress in modern occasions and have the ability to compete with different growing nations of the world.
Do you envisage any challenges and hurdles, as an example, if the Japanese States stand independently from the remainder of the Nigeria?
The phrase “If” is relative. I’d moderately say “when” … When the Japanese States stand independently from the remainder of the Nigeria there can be mountain of issues to face of which the best would be the drawback of a mindset tabular rasa. For the brand new nation to triumph, we should clear up the mindset of our individuals from the retrogressive, corrupt, despotic angle and character we’d have migrated with from Nigeria.
We will have the challenges of implementing a brand new useful system of governance that may assure the curiosity of all inside the nation. We will have the hurdles of implementing quick and trendy financial insurance policies, manufacturing methods, progressive and significant instructional system; efficient goal pushed inner and exterior safety measure that may safeguard, shield, defend our individuals wherever they stay on the planet.
We will have the challenges of defining and implementing a sturdy manufacturing regime that may make us a aggressive export oriented nation. The hurdles of corruption switch, spiritual dependency on spirituality as an alternative of onerous work, the mixing of our tradition, custom, norms and values misplaced within the euphoria of colonialization and sojourn within the plantations of Nigeria shall be hurdle that we should surpass to emerge a robust nation.
How sustainable is the financial system, and assets obtainable to help the wanted improvement there?
The financial system of the Japanese area is big and may positively help and maintain the event of a brand new nation. There are considerable and obtainable human, materials, agricultural, industrial and technological useful resource which can be completely mixed with the constructive resilience of our individuals will catapult our nation in 20 years to a progressive world financial participant.
Can it assist bridge the event hole and what are future views for the Igboland?
It’ll assist bridge the developmental gaps and we hope to see a constructive future prospect not only for the Igbo individuals, Japanese Nigeria however the world at giant. A brand new nation of Japanese Nigeria will turn into the satisfaction of all black individuals globally.
Because the President of the Congress of Igbo Leaders within the UK and Eire, how will you describe the favored sentiments of your fellow members there? Do they help the Japanese States to interrupt away or moderately advocate for nationwide integration?
As you’ll anticipate in each group you should have the pessimists, the rational and the progressives. In Congress of Igbo Leaders UK, we now have divergent opinions. That’s the great thing about such a company blessed with the most effective minds, leaders and residents of Igbo nation.
We endeavor to have wholesome conversations, comply with disagree on pertinent points. General, all our individuals need is to have a nation that each one will be free. A nation the place fairness, equity, justice, respect for the rule of legislation, absence of safety operative brutality, respect for the elemental human rights of her residents, the precise of life, training and motion with out hindrances, harassments and intimidation. I have to say that if Biafra presents us such a chance, there can be no Igbo one who will reject such a chance. One factor that’s clear from the opinions of a few of our members, battle isn’t an possibility.