– Proffers Solutions, Regrets Adulterated Sense Of Value
Frontline Labour Party governorship aspirant in Imo State, Major General Lincoln Ogunewe (Rtd) has x-rayed the frightening security challenges in the South east geopolitical zone and proffered far reaching solutions.
Ogunewe who aired his views in a paper he presented at a recent summit organized by the South East caucus of Labour Party held at Enugu, expressed regret that Ala Igbo has become a killing ground, that can be likened to a theatre of blood, sorrow and tears. A place where the absurd has become the norm, rather than the exception.
The retired army General, while stressing the importance of security posited that, ‘’ This is not how we used to be or known as a people. In 1966 during the counter coup, many Igbo officers, soldiers and civilians were killed in the North. The Eastern political class and some senior military officers that escaped the mayhem in the North descended on the then Igbo Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion Abakpa, Lt Col David Sunday Ogunewe and demanded for retaliatory killings of officers and soldiers of Northern extraction. He vehemently resisted this demand, stating that he will never superintend over the killings of officers and soldiers that he commanded but rather ensured their security and safety. He was called names but he remained unruffled because it was not in the character of Igbos to kill anyone living in their midst, what more their kits and kin as it is today, the order of the day in the Igbo society’’.
He identified greed, poor and inept leadership among others as the major contributing factors to the security challenges in the South east, stressing that, ‘’ Security is something you notice when it is absent and without which nothing functions.” Security is so absent in Ala Igbo today that we all live in fear, walk in fear and sleep in fear. Let us not deceive ourselves. Do you know that Southeast that was once described in the 1964 journal of Michigan State University as the fastest growing economy ahead of China, Taiwan and Malaysia is gradually being made desolate by insecurity and now dwelling in the glory of the past. Today we have the almighty “Sit At Home” that is dangling above us like the Sword of Damocles that has entrenched criminality and paralysed almost all activities in Ala Igbo. Why, How and Way Forward, I ask?’’
He also expressed dismay that the process of leadership in the South east zone and the undue interference of overzealous state governments have eroded the checks and balances imbedded in the Igbo indigenous leadership process.
“In the not distant past, Igbo system of life centred on hard work, honesty and support for one another. Criminality and greed were highly condemned by families, communities, government and had consequences. Proceeds from crime and greed were unacceptable in the Igbo society. This put us in check and made us to think Igbo, walk Igbo and live Igbo. But greed led to unhealthy competition and unnecessary fights and destruction of the Igbo value system and governance. Greed led to monetization of our hearts and conscience. Greed can lead a man to sell his brother and sister. Greed can make a man sell his birthright, betray his brother and even accept to live in a state of insecurity. As long as my interest is protected, the common interest can be traded off. Greed has also led many to Labour Party because it has been seen as an emerging dominant party in the South East”.