As we look into our uncertain future, its uncertainty is compounded by the disturbing conduct of Southeastern political elites. At this point in time, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate between politics and criminality in Southeast Nigeria.
Politics in Igbo land is divorced from morality. That is why we hear of huge sums of money getting into wrong hands. What we have is not politics of the common good but politics of selfish interests. And its agents in every government are going scot-free.
The constitution we operate provides incentives for corruption, and where there is corruption there will be poverty and insecurity. Our constitution is just a formula for sharing general wealth placed in the hands of politicians. It provides for so many offices, so many parastatals and ministries, and the bureaucracy it creates is consuming money.
The size of government in the southeast has depleted our wealth to a great extent. Politics is the largest industry in the country. It is no longer news that many people go into politics because of the opportunity to enrich themselves at the people’s expense.
Democracy is being assaulted by our politicians. This cannot continue without destroying Igbo land. There is no wisdom in spending so much money on political office holders who are not acting in the interest of the people. We ought to have utilized the wealth in Igbo land to develop the people. But we have witnessed successive regimes of politicians in military and civilian garbs who enrich themselves by impoverishing the people.
The sad consequences confront us: no good roads, no good schools, no good hospitals, no good airports, no electricity, no security, no comfort. The average Igbo man has nothing to enjoy while members of the political oligarchy are living extravagantly.
The beautiful land that God gave us is raped and robbed with impunity by those who should be working for the common good.
The future of Igbo land is jeopardised in the present by politicians who show symptoms of kleptomania, an irresistible tendency to take what belong to all of us. Many of our leaders are getting away with daylight robbery and murder.
We are deceived into believing that a war is being waged on corruption. But we witness a circus, a shameless show of brigandage in government, where we hear of billions of naira being spent on frivolous projects that are of no advantage to Igbos.
There is an urgent need to restructure government in Nigeria and in Igbo land by proxy. Concrete steps will have to be taken. First, the constitution must change. The current constitution provides a recipe and a licence for theft in government, for poverty of the populace, and for insecurity in the land.
Secondly, again, as a matter of urgency, the size of government in Igbo land needs to be drastically reduced. This is not a step to be taken tomorrow but a step to be taken today. The current political arrangement legitimized by the current constitution provides for a big government, but a big government is, by nature, corrupt and inefficient.
Thirdly, there is need to curtail the habit of cross carpeting by politicians shopping for a political platform to get into the dining room that the government had become in Igbo land. A politician who moves from one party to another should not be allowed to contest for political office on the platform of the new party for four years. Similarly, such politicians should not be appointed into office by a government run by the new party he or she has joined.
Finally, some states in the southeast are like sinking ships being navigated by pirates. There is need to take urgent steps to rescue our land from the hands of brigands. Not to do so would amount to flirting with violence. The current level of corruption is dangerous. The anger of the people may lead to a violent uprising whose consequences we cannot foresee.
THE EASTERN UPDATES