David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Chairman of Dome Event Centre in Abuja, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, has attributed the fate of the Igbo nation in Nigerian politics to non-adherence to its old method of selecting leaders before election.
Okonkwo stated this while delivering a lecture on the theme: “Ndigbo in Contemporary Nigeria: A Social, Cultural, Political and Economic Reflection.”
Okonkwo, who spoke at the 5th annual Umunri Colloquium at Enugwu Ukwu, Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State during the weekend, recalled that a time was in Igbo land when communities sat and thought about the pedigree of a person, and set out to woo him for a position because they were sure of his capabilities.
“That is what I mean by selection before election. That was how people like Nnamdi Azikiwe and others emerged as leaders. These days, all manner of people have seen leadership as a means to attain wealth and not working for the people.
“Today, which of you knows the qualification for leadership? Tell me if you know? Leadership has no qualification. It is for this reason that people who have retired from their businesses because they are no longer strong decide to join politics and contest for positions. Others simply buy the position because they have wealth.
“If we must get back on track in this country, Igbos must learn to send their first eleven for leadership. We know ourselves, we can sit and select those we will send to leadership position, even before the election, and that was what our people did in times past,” Okonkwo said.
Okonkwo, a governorship hopeful in the oncoming 2021 governorship election in Anambra State, urged the people of the state to select only those they know their track records and present them for election.
“We all know ourselves. We know our capabilities. And if we are sincere to ourselves, even in the coming Anambra election, we can select our governor before the election.
“So, I am advocating that we go back to our old style of leadership selection process. That is what made us who we are. This system of all comers affair is not working and will continue to throw up bad leaders.”