By David-Chyddy ElekeÂ in Awka
The founder and presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Bishop Mike Okonkwo has blamed the level of moral decay in Igbo land on Federal Governmentâ€™s post-civil war policy which left every adult male with only Â£20.
Bishop Okonkwo, who spoke at the opening ceremony of a three day National Conference of the Igbo Christian Restoration Assembly (ICRA) in Awka said the policy left widespread poverty and underdevelopment of the southeast geopolitical zone and spurred male adults to work to cover lost ground, while leaving many with the impression that material wealth was ultimate.
He said, â€œIt is a burden to some of us that things are going the wrong way in Igbo land and most worrisome is that our generation is exiting but our task is to make sure that the generation coming after us have basic foundation to survive and have a better society devoid of materialism and greed.
â€œOur foundation as a nation has been destroyed and the things that we hold sacred is no more there. Now our people live and judge everything according to the amount of money involved.â€
Earlier in his key note address, the former minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo had lamented the rate of marginalisation of the Igbo nation in Nigeria despite their huge investment in the economic growth. .of the nation.
According to him, in spite of being edged out of the economic mainstream after the civil war and still being marginalised, Igbo people still believe in the unity of Nigeria. He extolled the Igbo virtues that stands them out among other nationalities and make them relevant in the country.
â€œWe are bold, self-sufficient, creative, accommodating and tolerant. Igbo land has the highest population density of Christians in the world but regrettably we are still tottering as a people.
No ethnic nationality has invested substantially to the economic lives of the nation. There is no village in Nigeria where there is no Igbo man resident to contribute his quota to nation building.â€
Nebo, a former Vice Chancelor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), also identified leadership crisis as the bane of the Igbo nation, stressing the urgent need for a new set of genuine and visionary leaders that will guide the Igbos on the path of truth, peace and sustainable development.
He also called for a change of attitude among religious leaders, especially in Igbo land, most of who, he stressed, have abandoned Godâ€™s teachings and begun to seek earthly riches and pleasures of life.
The ICRA was a conference put together by Christians of Igbo extraction to deliberate on the way forward for the zone and also pray and seek heavenly interventions in ills ravaging the zone.