The wreckage of Igboland

By N. Ejeckam

Igboland has become a beleaguered territory, with illusionists killing and destroying the land in search of a Biafra that is only a metaphor for self determination, ritualists killing young girls so that they can afford 2003 Lexus and Mercedes Benz, politicians stealing and looting everything they can lay hands on in order to escape a family history of poverty, the future has never been bleaker for the Igbo society…

  1. Let’s begin without mincing words: the Igbo society has become a classic study in failure. And it has nothing to do with Nigeria, our loss in the Civil War or the dominance of Hausa-Fulanis in Muhamadu Buhari’s government.
  2. Forget Arthur Eze’s Rolls Royce, Obi Cubana’s Mercedes Benz and night clubs, Flavour’s vanity songs and Phyno’s empty lyrics, the sad truth is that every Igbo man ought to bow his head in shame at what had befallen us as a people.
  3. We have failed ourselves, betrayed our ancestors and demonstrated that despite the hullabaloo about Igbo intelligence and spirit, we are actually not better than those we previously derided.
  4. Our traditional elders in the communities became hustlers and thieves became kings. We hailed 419ners as blessed people and prayed for the prosperity of those who destroy the lives of other people’s children selling hard drugs.
  5. The churches are no better either. Church leaders in Igboland failed Christianity, they became mercantilists and abandoned the gospel of charity, faith and love.
  6. Priests, bishops, pastors and other members of the clergy abandoned Christ and became contractors, building giant cathedral that had no use for the salvation of souls.
  7. It is more common today to find a clergy man at the building material section of major markets in Igboland than to find them in their offices, listening and offering hope to God’s depressed and lost people.
  8. Sermons in churches are no longer about the souls of men or offering hope to the dejected. It is a clever scheme to exploit and empty the pockets of the congregants.
  9. Church leaders in Igboland have betrayed the missionaries, the men and women who risked it all to bring the gospel of salvation to us from far off lands….
  10. Our priests, bishops and pastors turned away from the Gospel that made us embrace twins instead of throwing them into the evil forest, taught us that there are no slaves and that we are all children of a loving God.
  11. We abandoned the Gospel of contentment, and began to sing praises in honour of money. We built monuments for money and cash became a yardstick for measuring blessings.
  12. Nothing else mattered except money. Projects were embarked on in the Churches just for the purpose of raising funds so that some part of it could be stolen.
  13. Under our watch, priests trained with our resources to model the best of human behaviour became charlatans, magicians and salesmen. They became everything else but priests of God. Businessmen, architects, event organisers, everything but fishers of men as Christ himself envisioned.
  14. Now make no mistakes. Christian priests were not the only one who let down their foundation to embrace Toyota Camry and the things of the world, although it is heart breaking to see that the solid foundation of evangelism, chastity and charity laid by Bishop Anthony Nwedo and Cardinal Francis Arinze have been replaced with hunger for competition with one’s age mates who have shops in Onitsha Main Market and those who sell hard drugs in South Africa.
  15. We also have the traditional priests. Ndi dibia odinala. The ones who ought to mediate between men and spirit. My great grand father was one so I can say with some authority that I know what a traditional priest should be.
  16. Today what have they become? Errand boys for drugs pushers, cultists and armed robbers. There is no ritualist, or dirty businessman who does not have a native doctor that makes divination and prepares charms for him, for a fee.
  17. How did we in Igboland abandon our noble philosophies of Oji ọfọ ga ala, eziokwu bụ ndụ, ezi aha ka ego and embraced the things we once frowned upon?
  18. Shall we talk about politicians? The ones who steal and loot, lie and decieve? We once had noble men in politics. Today who and who are our leaders?
  19. Active 419ners, armed robbers, drug barrons, drunkards, men who are not ashamed of the company of prostitutes. We have as governors, senators and opinion moulders in Igboland those whose ways of life previously attracted condemnation.
  20. If the men whose houses were burnt in Owerri in 1996 over the Otokoto saga were still alive today, who knows, one of them could have been governor, another a Senator and another a party chieftain.
  21. Igbo political leaders have become cowards. That is why it is easy for a confusionist to take to the airwaves and sow the seed of hatred and wickedness in our youths.
  22. Today we hear of Igbo youths killing and eating the flesh of their fellow human, fortifying themselves with the blood of the innocent to kill policemen and soldiers. They are Biafran fighters we are told.
  23. What has Biafra come to represent? A tool of propaganda, deceit and blackmail. Biafra has become a word criminals invoke at will to kill and loot property belonging to fellow Igbo men. The name Biafra now provokes and irritates many noble Ndị Igbo. Why? We refused to say the truth when it mattered most.
  24. Across Igboland today, young boys are abandoning everything to take to ritual killing. They want to become rich even if they have to sacrifice their mothers to do that.
  25. It is about wealth because they know that if they become rich by a few millions, they would become kings in their communities, celebrated by their church leaders and deified by their peers.
  26. Ala Igbo has been wrecked. And we all have to blame ourselves for this tragic turn of events. We became cowards and fools because of Kings without reputation and we became a community of men and women who welcomed evil into our midst.
  27. The beginning of the rains. May CHI-UKWU save His own.
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