Founder, Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) Evang. Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko has counseled Igbo elite and its entire political class to rise to the challenge of providing inspirational leadership for Ndigbo rather than creating factions that do not advance the growth of the region.
While counseling them to forge a united front for the good of the people, he warned that unless the right type of leadership that would impact positively on the Igbo condition is enthroned their leaders would unsuccessfully struggle to carry along the masses in the quest for group identity in Nigeria.
Ugochukwu- Uko who is also Secretary, Eastern Consultative Assembly, ECA, expressed worry that Igbo elders and its leadership cadre have consistently bungled every opportunity to earn the trust of the people by greedily placing self-interest above group interest.
He observed that the recent election of officers into the Ohanaeze leadership again exposed the selfishness and self-centered attitude of the Igbo leadership, advising them to rally round and support the new Ohanaeze Ndigbo President-General, Prof George Obiozor, so as to provide a strong united front for negotiations in Igbo interest.
The activist cautioned Igbo leadership to be wary of its actions as the youths of the region were unsatisfied as well as disappointed in leadership behaviour, pointing out that “Igbo leadership class is largely responsible for the abysmal performance of Ndigbo in the power play in the larger Nigerian playfield”.
In a statement he signed, captioned “Igbo elite at it again” made available to Daily Sun, Ugochukwu- Uko noted that “Ndigbo and Igboland have suffered a great deal of neglect and denial, due to the greed and selfishness of Igbo leaders over the years”.
Part of statement reads “For close to five decades, Igbo elite and political class have unsuccessfully struggled to carry along the masses of Ndigbo along in the quest for group identity in Nigeria.
“The reason is because they have been trading away the rights and future of Ndigbo for peanuts and crumbs for decades. Igbo elders and leadership cadre consistently bungled every opportunity to earn the trust of the people, by greedily placing their self-interest over and above group interest.
“Early in this new year 2021, they have not disappointed. The same old song of greed and endless internal squabbles.
“The election of officers into the Ohanaeze leadership has once again exposed the selfishness and self-centered attitude of the Igbo political and contractor class, that is largely responsible for the abysmal performance of Ndigbo in the power play in the larger Nigerian playfield.
“Mostly failed politicians creeping out of their crevices to aspire leading Ndigbo, probably after entering into discreet deals with their Northern masters, all for 2023 elections”.
The statement noted further that “All the sudden interest and bickering is purely about 2023 elections and not about the love of Ndigbo nor readiness or commitment to make sacrifices for Ndigbo.
“Most of the actors making noise are actually shameless vassals and agents of external political forces. They should be told in no uncertain terms, to stop disturbing the peace of Igboland forthwith, as nobody is fooled by their nauseating pretentious shenanigans.
“Ohanaeze has yet to earn the trust and confidence of the masses of Ndigbo. Ohanaeze is still a work in progress. Ohanaeze has not become strong enough to withstand the sort of internal squabbles these pretenders are precipitating now.
“The most hurting of all is the fact that the Igbo leaders battling for the control of the soul of Ohanaeze today, are almost certainly going to bungle the political chances of Ndigbo, as usual, come 2023, as they have never been able to ever get anything right in the past.
“Disturbing the peace of Igboland, bickering over Ohanaeze elections, and splitting themselves into three factions of desperate political hustlers is nauseating and a clear confirmation that they do not give a hoot about Igbo interest and Igbo unity.
“For decades, over 80 percent of Ndigbo have remained disappointed with and suspicious of Igbo leaders and their endless gambits, especially with the precarious condition of Ndigbo in Nigeria. Now same Igbo leaders, who expect respect and support from the people, have broken Ohanaeze into 3 factions. What example are they setting for their children? Sad.
“The untidy and undignified desperation to lead Ndigbo, who by the way, remains the most disadvantaged people in Nigeria, tells so much about the Igbo elite club.
“Their inability to organise peaceful elections, sadly makes them unqualified to demand respect and following from the people. That they are desperately breaking into factions just for the sake of 2023 elections, confirms that Ndigbo is in big trouble. So unfortunate.
“It is disheartening to note that these elders seem unaware that the younger generation of Ndigbo is completely tired and frustrated with their self-centered hustling that has brought Ndigbo only humiliation and disrespect.
“The time has come for the truth to be told. These groveling and grumbling characters should kindly behave themselves and rally round the winner of the Owerri election, Prof George Obiozor.
“They should stop embarrassing Ndigbo and must realise that Igbo masses are merely tolerating them, so they shouldn’t push their luck too far.
“They ought to know that the only wise thing to do now is to place group interest above self-interest and rally round Prof George Obiozor and assist him in realizing the Igbo vision”.