Igbos make a fundamental mistake in choosing their leaders. We look for a he or she that had been a governor, minister, senator, legislator, etc, and empower him or her further. But we do not check if that former central bank governor, or adviser to the president of Nigeria, ever felt at home and at ease with fellow Igbos, before he became successful. Did he or she show love for Igbos before the appointment that catapulted him or her to success?
Did he or she act like Francis Duru, Val Iwuchukwu, and Emeka Maduewesi; a professor of Medicine, a Nigeria based attorney who has worked with the governor of an Igbo state, and a California based attorney, who are accomplished already, but unlike many in the category I listed hitherto, they chose to mingle daily, offline, and online with what Nigerians carelessly call ‘ordinary people?’
I personally do not see how an Igbo that exclusively associates only with elites of Nigerians, online and offline, would be a good Igbo leader, if Igbos enthrone him or her. If one loves his people one would love to be with all categories of his people.
I will like us to think well about matters like this. I always admired Moses, but my admiration for him increased ten-fold after reading, “Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Let me return to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive”, which we get from Exodus 4:18.
Moses loved his people, and sacrificed everything for them, and never desired to be their king. Serving them was enough for him. He is the model Igbos need to study!
Remy Ilona is the author of The Igbos And Israel: An Inter-cultural Study of the Largest Jewish Diaspora. His work on the Osu (Netinim) is going to be put in film by Arinze Cre Ahanonu of Saf Production, a Nollywood firm, in collaboration with Yakie Ayalon of YA. Broadcast Productions Ltd, an Israel firm.