· Says: lack of political leadership worsening situation
President of the Association of South East Town Unions, ASETU, Chief Emeka Diwe has disclosed why the Pan Igbo group that has consistently spoken out against the ill-treatment meted out to Igbos seems to be helpless in the face of security challenges ravaging the south east states that have culminated in arson, indiscriminate killings, arrests and detention of the people, especially youths, most times on trumped up charges.
Diwe, a renowned business man who stated this last Tuesday while fielding questions from media executives who visited him in his Aba, Abia state office, said the government should take responsibility for the insecurity and attendant challenges which are spillover effects, stressing that events of the past few months have shown that we have a weak, porous and, inept political leadership.
“The developments which overwhelmed our political actors also unveiled the lapses of some of them who parade themselves as political leaders.”
According to him, “our current situation in the South East is attributable to the failure of governments, especially in the South East to sincerely address the worsening issue of unemployment which has made our youths restiv”.
He further stated that, the role of Town Unions, is to help galvanize action towards developing the communities while those who wield political power and authority should be held responsible for not doing the needful to either curtail or nip the prevailing insecurity in the South East in the bud.
Diwe noted that more than seventy five percent of developmental projects in the south east were facilitated and executed through self help efforts coordinated by the Town Union executives in the various communities.
“For instance, in Imo state where there are 637 autonomous communities with 637 Presidents General who help to mobilize the people for meaningful development. In other words, the PGs are managers of the Town Unions” “Igbos are known for their passion for structures under which they can deliberate, brainstorm and chart a way forward that is why, wherever they gather in their numbers, the next thing they will do is to organize themselves under an umbrella with defined leadership that will galvanize them into action. That is why the Town Union system is a focal point for the Igbos at home and in the Diaspora .”
“It would therefore not be wrong to say that democracy started with an Igbo man who is known to detest marginalization.”
The ASETU National President cited the Aba women riot of 1929 as an example of the stuff the Igbo man is made of.
He noted that before the advent of the oil boom which later became the country’s doom and albatross, Igbos had started developing their towns and cities through communal efforts as they did not depend on the found oil wealth.”That enterprising spirit is still inherent in the average Igbo man and can be explored to a very great advantage”, he added.
When asked if ASETU is working in synergy with the government, Ohaneze and other groups to achieve set goals and objectives, Chief Diwe, stated that the group is working with all pan Igbo groups and governors in the South East but in is not an appendage of the South east governors. “ASETU is a development partner considering the fact that the role of the Town Union is to ensure peace, unity and mutual Co-existence in the various communities irrespective of political affiliation and learning’s.
He used the opportunity to remind Southern governors who at their meeting sometime ago, promised to pass anti grazing bill that their September deadline is around the corner, hence the need to back their words with action.
He maintained that, until Fulani herdsmen stop having direct contact with urban dwellers and desist from destroying people’s farm lands, the unhealthy development will persist.