By Okoye Ramas Asuzu (Akajiofor Igbo)
Igboland which was hithero a land of justice, equity, truth, wholesomeness, respect, opportunities, economic growth etc has become a sharp contrast of these sterling qualities.
The corruption of all facets of Igbo life is beginning to manifest in the abhorrent, maladjusted situations playing out in the whole of Igboland. The breakdown of all traditional institutions and the growing up process of the Igbo child which ensures that the Igbo child is initiated and indoctrinated in the norms and value systems of the Igbos has completely left the Igbos in the margins of two worlds, confused, spiritually bankrupt and sterile.
The growing up processes which had represented a thing of pride and which starts from birth though the age grade systems and other traditional rites to adulthood has being largely relegated leaving the Igbo child a stranger in his homeland and amongst his kinsmen.
Today, Igbo land is awash with all forms of taboos being recklessly committed with such glaring impurity. Rather than seek redress though our traditional institutions, the Igbos now fancy using the police and law enforcement agencies and institutions to settle issues that would otherwise have been resolved by the umunna.
Today, it is fashionable for a child to drag his father to the police and vice verse for an issue that would have been settled by the Okpara. It is a question of big fish eating small fishes.
Even the law enforcement agencies and the courts in Igboland are alarmed at the rate at which the Igbos settle even very trivial matters by litigation. The busiest courts and police stations are in Igbo land and the amount of money expended by the Igbos in these places is so monumental that every policeman’s eternal wish is to serve in Igboland and many go out of their way to induce their superiors with all forms of gratification to actualize that dream.
The direct result of these aberations is the turmoil, social unrest and kingship tussles that is tearing most Igbo communities apart. It is not therefore a complete surprise that Igboland is fast becoming a pariah state where only the fittest survives. Money bags and stranger elements who have no claims to the traditional stool of towns in Igbo land are using all forms of intimidation to usurp the exalted thrones in Igbo land. Such abomination . But the most disturbing aspect of Igbo tragedy is the uncanny betrayals of Igbo elders whose services are now reserved for the highest bidders thus resulting in the collapse and eclipse of the power and relevance of the umunna.
The umunna who should adjudicate matters concerning their kinsmen are so fraudulent that no one seeking justice trusts them anymore. This largely explains the recourse to the use of the courts and police by most Igbos. But until sanity is restored in Igbo traditional institutions by the relevant authorities, traditional rulers, Governors, Chiefs or Council of Elders etc, Igbo land will continue to drift into an irredeemable catastrophe that will even celebrate taboos as a norm.
Given the foregoing, I wish to humbly suggest that the State Governors of the Southeast should revive in ernest all traditional institutions in name and infact and facilitate legislations that empower these institutions to invoke the spiritual powers of the land against all persons and groups who are committing crimes and subversive activities in Igbo land. Some communities have already invoked the spiritual entities of their land against such persons with proven positive results.
The Governors should sanitize all traditional institutions which they are reluctant to do for political reasons while the land bleeds. This has become both a social and economic imperative given the adverse effects of instability in the South east which is having an effect worse than the aftermath of the civil war. The time to act is now before the situation becomes irredeemable.