• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Anything noble in the Igbo’s culture of developing their host communities

Anything noble in the Igbo’s culture of developing their host communities

Nigeria has come at a crossroad where values, interests, culture and habits are examined especially that of the political class. The Hausas, Kanuri have been displaced from their habitations while Christians, Tivs and other tribes in the middle belt part of the country are slaughtered like fowls. Not just that! It’s like a jihad but in this case, your beliefs and hospitality are not taken into consideration rather the aim is acquisition, possession and domination of desired territories by the rampaging cult/group.

Millions of Nigerians are internally displaced lacking basic necessities of life. Even though there is hardship and economic crunch in the country, a good number of Nigerians have lost their lives, homes or loved ones. What then do we call this type of war raging in Nigeria?

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The Peace in the South East Project (PISE) strives for a flourishing Igbo land by 2025. Events like the 2023 South East Investment Summit and World Igbo Day, along with initiatives such as the “think home philosophy,” underscore efforts to reinforce Igbo connections to their homeland. Despite their substantial contributions to Nigeria, Igbos encounter reminders that their accomplishments elsewhere may not be wholly theirs, sparking reflection on their identity and belonging.

In the post-war era, Nigerian Igbos faced adversity but demonstrated resilience, notably through the Igba-boi apprenticeship scheme, fostering numerous successful entrepreneurs. Despite the scarcity of jobs, Igbos persevered, receiving minimal compensation for their losses. Their refusal to succumb to despair was perceived as disgraceful by other Nigerian tribes. Today, their substantial investments across Nigeria contribute significantly to the nation’s economy, marking their determination and refusal to be labelled failures.

The Igbo people exhibit remarkable resilience and entrepreneurial spirit, often thriving in various communities despite historical and contemporary challenges. Despite difficulties in reclaiming lost properties post-war, Igbo individuals invest heavily in the development of their host communities, integrating both economically and culturally. However, they often face marginalisation and misconceptions, hindering their full participation in governance and development.

Incidentally, Igbo presence is prominent in communities across Nigeria, with significant contributions to local economies and infrastructure development. Despite this, they are sometimes viewed with suspicion or resentment, highlighting broader social dynamics and prejudices. Nevertheless, the Igbo commitment to community prosperity remains steadfast, reflecting a deep-rooted ethos of communal upliftment and progress.

Nigeria’s complex history, marked by colonialism and internal conflicts, has shaped contemporary socio-political landscapes. The legacy of colonial rule and subsequent power struggles have influenced perceptions and treatment of the Igbo community. Despite challenges, Igbo resilience and determination persist, often defying stereotypes and adversities.

The Igbo people’s diaspora experience raises questions about identity, community ties, and development priorities. While economic motives drive migration and investment, the importance of fostering local development in Igbo land is underscored. Achieving a balance between individual aspirations and collective progress is imperative for sustainable growth and community cohesion.

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The Igbo community’s journey is characterised by resilience, adaptation, and a commitment to community prosperity. While facing historical injustices and contemporary challenges, the Igbo people continue to strive for economic empowerment and social advancement. Embracing a collective vision for development and unity is essential for realising the full potential of Igbo land and its people.

Finally, the Igbos might be engaging in a needless fight if they fail to heed the call to come back home; develop and invest in the South East. Several conflicts in Kano, Lagos or Jos did not just affect the Igbos but their investments as well. Igbo greedy merchants are just being wise in their own eyes while forsaking the needful. We do not pray for protracted hatred and wars but the Igbo man must imbibe the thin home philosophy. No personal philosophy or ideology should be allowed to hinder the growth and development of Igboland.

 

Obiotika Wilfred Toochukwu: St. Anthony’s Catholic Comprehensive Institute, Agulu – Anambra State