Igboland-an Eternal Trip To Golgotha

Golgotha, that rocky place where unfortunate folks of the Bible era were put to death continues to come to mind whenever I ponder on the decay of infrastructure in the entire South East of Nigeria. According to the Biblical account of the death of Jesus the Christ, the road to Golgotha was rough, rocky and treacherous. Thousands of years later, this is the situation in the modern day Igboland; roads still remain treacherous and those that are forced to ply them die rather horribly.

For the purpose of this essay, I wish to reiterate that the Governors of the five South East states past and present should be filled with shame for allowing the entire road networks in that region to get to its present horrible condition. This is a classic example of the failure of leadership and these men ought to be filled with shame and contrition-they should find it in themselves to have the moral strength to come out openly to tender a heart-felt apology to Ndi Igbo. All the entry points into Igboland remain a good depiction of a trip into the Hobbesian state of nature; gully-filled roads that destroy both the vehicles that ply them and the human cargo they are ferrying around. Tell me what else could be more horrible.

Amongst others, of particular interest to me are the death traps of Enugu-Onitsha "expressway", Onitsha-Owerri road and the Uga-Okigwe road. For those who dare ply these roads, books could be written thereafter on the limits of human endurance. Of course, they are all "federal roads" which successive governments of the Federal Republic have found rather too convenient to play politics with-the result is that lives are daily lost, goods worth millions of Naira destroyed, human minds wrecked while the government talks such senseless trash as "the dividends of democracy". The governors of the five South East states continue to blame the federal government for either failing to fix the roads or providing meager funds- this is all nonsense when one is confronted with the fact that the lives that are lost, the limbs that are maimed, the sanity that is lost, and the goods damaged are mainly of their people. Will the heavens come down on us if these Governors pull resources together to fix the roads in Igboland and present the bill to the federal government?

Of course, it is no longer news that our Governors moan so much about receiving so little from the Center in allocations but we all know that this is hot air. I still find it exceptionally difficult trying to understand what it feels like for those that swore to serve the people to turn around and lie to same people. I say this because all the past Governors of the five South East states were men of moderate financial muscle but became curiously wealthy at the end of their tenures; Orji Uzor Kalu, Chimaroke Nnamani, Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Sam Egwu , Achike Udenwa and Ikedi Ohakim. Tell me any of these men that have not being dragged to the EFCC for allegedly embezzling billons of Naira of public money. A solid evidence that exposes our Governors as a bunch of men afflicted with the worst type of insincerity is the recent report by The Punch newspapers [Saturday, July 16th] of how state Governors conceal Security Votes. The gist on Security Vote will be for another day, but mention must be made that this is a classic example of how our elected officials rob us all blind. Many thanks to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State for daring to give us a fair figure of how much Governors receive as Security Vote

monthly with his decision to use a staggering part of his allocation to fund free education in his state-this is quite commendable.

Interestingly, Anambra State appears to have the worst network of federal roads in the entire South East region of Nigeria-curiously, the state Governor Mr. Peter Obi goes to a great extent to conceal how much he pockets monthly as Security Vote. Two federal roads that ought to put Mr. Obi and all the past Governors of Anambra State to shame are the Onitsha-Awka "expressway" and the Onitsha-Awka old road; these roads have totally collapsed and a comical display of repair works remain what one see. To allow our two major roads to revert to tractor-paths while erecting huge billboards all across the state that insults us with the "achievements" of Mr. Obi's administration is shameful. What is that nonsense about delivering the dividends of democracy [I still don't know what dividends of democracy means] when your citizens can not safely move about because the roads they are forced to ply are practically washed out?

The much talked about egalitarian and enterprising nature of the Igbo folks remain tainted when one is confronted with the level of infrastructural decay in the states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. It is true that these states have so many money bags whose lucre is actively displayed in the mansions they build-but made nonsense by the fact that roads that lead to the various communities where such mansions are built remain either filled with gullies or not tarred. Nnewi and Aba are two towns in Igboland that should put our Governors to shame-towns where commerce and industry thrive but remain undeveloped. The only known enterprise that compete with the ingenuity of the Igbos in these towns are kidnapping and armed robbery; crimes which have caused so much human and economic flight in those states. While the Security Votes collected by our Governors appear not to be providing security for our people, one is compelled to observe that the Governors build business empires that wax stronger by the day.

Apart from Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State who is a new kid on the block, I wish to state without mincing words that the Governors we have in Igboland are mostly men who are incredibly clueless. It is a terrible assault on reason when these men make so much noise about "building roads, sinking of shallow boreholes, and building of health centers" and all other similar uninspiring projects; pray, why else do we have governments if not to provide for the good of our society? Why buy up spaces in newspapers to celebrate the completion of "1.2 kilometer road", and similar projects? Is this what we should be talking about in this 21st century? Point to one exceptional project embarked on by any state in the South East, show me that exceptional deed by any state Governor in Igboland [apart from the free education policy in Imo State] which celebrate the beauty of modern government, could someone please show me where in Igboland government has done something that will promote education, industry, good healthcare etc. It is really depressing that instead of building libraries, Anambra and Enugu states concentrate more on building "International Markets" which further encourage our males to scoff at going to school. Enugu State government committed the greatest blunder by selling off the once beautiful Polo Park where a shopping complex is now being built-this is the height of gaffe.

Now, we might resort to waiting for the spirits of those who have lost their lives plying the death traps sinfully called roads in the South East to come back from the great divide to haunt our governments. We might also wait for God to intervene on our behalf since these Governors all swore in His name to work for us-in which case we might all die waiting. It is clear to me that God does not kill those who take our money and give us mediocre services. However, I am compelled to subscribe to an earlier suggestion by Dr. Nkwo Nnabuchi to the effect that our elected officials take their oath of office with Alusi. In Igboland, Alusi kills those that swear falsely. Nothing could be more deterring, to say the least. Alternatively, we could all embrace the habit of demanding for proper service from our elected officials; in a true democracy, real power belongs to the people. Our Governors who begged for our votes owe us quality service and the sooner we start insisting that they deliver on their promises, the better for us. Until we imbibe this culture, our roads in Igboland we remain death traps while the Federal Government dithers-and our Governors continue with the lie that "there is no money".

johnteddyus@yahoo.com

https://jonchikadibie.wordpress.com



1
Re: Igboland-an Eternal Trip To Golgotha
Conablejames posted on 07-18-2011, 21:29:17 PM

Golgotha, that rocky place where unfortunate folks of the Bible era were put to death continues to come to mind whenever I ponder on the decay of infrastructure in the entire South East of Nigeria. According to the Biblical account of the death of Jesus the Christ, the road to Golgotha was rough, rocky and treacherous. Thousands of years later, this is the situation in the modern day Igboland; roads still remain treacherous and those that are forced to ply them die rather horribly.


For the purpose of this essay, I wish to reiterate that the Governors of the five South East states past and present should be filled with shame for allowing the entire road networks in that region to get to its present horrible condition. This is a classic example of the failure of leadership and these men ought to be filled with shame and contrition-they should find it in themselves to have the moral strength to come out openly to tender a heart-felt apology to Ndi Igbo. All the entry points into Igboland remain a good depiction of a trip into the Hobbesian state of nature; gully-filled roads that destroy both the vehicles that ply them and the human cargo they are ferrying around. Tell me what else could be more horrible.


Amongst others, of particular interest to me are the death traps of Enugu-Onitsha "expressway", Onitsha-Owerri road and the Uga-Okigwe road. For those who dare ply these roads, books could be written thereafter on the limits of human endurance. Of course, they are all "federal roads" which successive governments of the Federal Republic have found rather too convenient to play politics with-the result is that lives are daily lost, goods worth millions of Naira destroyed, human minds wrecked while the government talks such senseless trash as "the dividends of democracy". The governors of the five South East states continue to blame the federal government for either failing to fix the roads or providing meager funds- this is all nonsense when one is confronted with the fact that the lives that are lost, the limbs that are maimed, the sanity that is lost, and the goods damaged are mainly of their people. Will the heavens come down on us if these Governors pull resources together to fix the roads in Igboland and present the bill to the federal government?


Of course, it is no longer news that our Governors moan so much about receiving so little from the Center in allocations but we all know that this is hot air. I still find it exceptionally difficult trying to understand what it feels like for those that swore to serve the people to turn around and lie to same people. I say this because all the past Governors of the five South East states were men of moderate financial muscle but became curiously wealthy at the end of their tenures; Orji Uzor Kalu, Chimaroke Nnamani, Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Sam Egwu , Achike Udenwa and Ikedi Ohakim. Tell me any of these men that have not being dragged to the EFCC for allegedly embezzling billons of Naira of public money. A solid evidence that exposes our Governors as a bunch of men afflicted with the worst type of insincerity is the recent report by The Punch newspapers [Saturday, July 16th] of how state Governors conceal Security Votes. The gist on Security Vote will be for another day, but mention must be made that this is a classic example of how our elected officials rob us all blind. Many thanks to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State for daring to give us a fair figure of how much Governors receive as Security Vote


monthly with his decision to use a staggering part of his allocation to fund free education in his state-this is quite commendable.


Interestingly, Anambra State appears to have the worst network of federal roads in the entire South East region of Nigeria-curiously, the state Governor Mr. Peter Obi goes to a great extent to conceal how much he pockets monthly as Security Vote. Two federal roads that ought to put Mr. Obi and all the past Governors of Anambra State to shame are the Onitsha-Awka "expressway" and the Onitsha-Awka old road; these roads have totally collapsed and a comical display of repair works remain what one see. To allow our two major roads to revert to tractor-paths while erecting huge billboards all across the state that insults us with the "achievements" of Mr. Obi's administration is shameful. What is that nonsense about delivering the dividends of democracy [I still don't know what dividends of democracy means] when your citizens can not safely move about because the roads they are forced to ply are practically washed out?


The much talked about egalitarian and enterprising nature of the Igbo folks remain tainted when one is confronted with the level of infrastructural decay in the states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. It is true that these states have so many money bags whose lucre is actively displayed in the mansions they build-but made nonsense by the fact that roads that lead to the various communities where such mansions are built remain either filled with gullies or not tarred. Nnewi and Aba are two towns in Igboland that should put our Governors to shame-towns where commerce and industry thrive but remain undeveloped. The only known enterprise that compete with the ingenuity of the Igbos in these towns are kidnapping and armed robbery; crimes which have caused so much human and economic flight in those states. While the Security Votes collected by our Governors appear not to be providing security for our people, one is compelled to observe that the Governors build business empires that wax stronger by the day.


Apart from Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State who is a new kid on the block, I wish to state without mincing words that the Governors we have in Igboland are mostly men who are incredibly clueless. It is a terrible assault on reason when these men make so much noise about "building roads, sinking of shallow boreholes, and building of health centers" and all other similar uninspiring projects; pray, why else do we have governments if not to provide for the good of our society? Why buy up spaces in newspapers to celebrate the completion of "1.2 kilometer road", and similar projects? Is this what we should be talking about in this 21st century? Point to one exceptional project embarked on by any state in the South East, show me that exceptional deed by any state Governor in Igboland [apart from the free education policy in Imo State] which celebrate the beauty of modern government, could someone please show me where in Igboland government has done something that will promote education, industry, good healthcare etc. It is really depressing that instead of building libraries, Anambra and Enugu states concentrate more on building "International Markets" which further encourage our males to scoff at going to school. Enugu State government committed the greatest blunder by selling off the once beautiful Polo Park where a shopping complex is now being built-this is the height of gaffe.


Now, we might resort to waiting for the spirits of those who have lost their lives plying the death traps sinfully called roads in the South East to come back from the great divide to haunt our governments. We might also wait for God to intervene on our behalf since these Governors all swore in His name to work for us-in which case we might all die waiting. It is clear to me that God does not kill those who take our money and give us mediocre services. However, I am compelled to subscribe to an earlier suggestion by Dr. Nkwo Nnabuchi to the effect that our elected officials take their oath of office with Alusi. In Igboland, Alusi kills those that swear falsely. Nothing could be more deterring, to say the least. Alternatively, we could all embrace the habit of demanding for proper service from our elected officials; in a true democracy, real power belongs to the people. Our Governors who begged for our votes owe us quality service and the sooner we start insisting that they deliver on their promises, the better for us. Until we imbibe this culture, our roads in Igboland we remain death traps while the Federal Government dithers-and our Governors continue with the lie that "there is no money".


johnteddyus@yahoo.com


https://jonchikadibie.wordpress.com



..Read the full article
Re: Igboland-an Eternal Trip To Golgotha
PatrickIroegbu posted on 07-18-2011, 22:33:26 PM
Jon,

Your article is refreshing and highlights the key troubles the South-eastern states of Nigeria face. We are yet to receive the messiah-leaders expected to tackle head-on the problems of infrastructural development and sustenance. Because there is deep corruption and shallow way of fishing out the corrupt agents and network of corruption, funds end up with the rogue network - and therefore little or nothing is left to serve and empower the poor and desperate masses.

Not only that Nigeria is ripe for a revolution as has been called for time and again by pundits and social commentators, the Eastern-states and their rogue leaders know better by serving their own people poorly. We are yet to understand how to make democracy work for the Eastern-states to respond to their infrastructural needs as a common want that needs active and effective positive politics of achievement in infrastructural development and maintenance.

A good government is felt by the speed with which it responds to the urgent needs of the people governed. What are those needs if they are not defined by good roads, housing, employment, safety and security, health care delivery, food and education? In the case of south-eastern states, we worship religion so much and have become too biased with thinking that religion and temple rituals will develop and offer us all else.

We will not stop wondering what a government is all about when basic needs are unmet and when they are mostly needed by the people of South-eastern States of Nigeria.

To rebuild and maintain those local, state, and federal roads are the obligations of the government of the day charged with the constitutional and moral responsibility. No amount of excuses will discharge the government of the time from acting right and on time too. Please listen, I mean the leaders and executors of development policy decisions, and safe lives and property of the people of South-eastern states of Nigeria.
PEI
Re: Igboland-an Eternal Trip To Golgotha
Patcho posted on 07-19-2011, 04:57:42 AM
I agree with the author. Anytime I leave Asaba and hit Bridgehead/Upper Iweka, I wonder what it was they said Obi has done. If one can't repair federal roads, how about cleaning up the rubbish starting from our entrance point at Bridgehead? Do we need Federal there?

Please, Obi can get in touch with me and I'll bring him in on supplies of refuse management contacts here in Japan FREE. A department in a university is enough.

These guys are helluva kind of guys.
Re: Igboland-an Eternal Trip To Golgotha
Uzuk posted on 07-19-2011, 14:32:53 PM
Enter any part of the southeast from another state outside the southeast, the unpaved dusty roads, the darkness, ugliness of the environment, dazed faces, etc., instantly make you feel that you are entering another country.
It's certain, Nigeria has created another Biafra, this time a country not much better than the war-torn Biafra.
We may to some degree blame Igbo leaders for not going for their people's rights, but Nigeria's well-crafted anti-Igbo polity is more to blame.
Re: Igboland-an Eternal Trip To Golgotha
Agidimolaja posted on 07-19-2011, 23:59:57 PM
Uzuk,



There is absolutely nothing in Nigeria of today that bears the name you crafted -"anti- Igbo polity"

Pls tell your readers what is that anti-Igbo polity that has devastated Igboland. .Are you trying to tell us that if your so called such anti-Igbo polity is not in place,Igbo greedy and thieving political leaders/eliteswould not have been stealing the resources that they ought to use to develop Igboland and better the life of Igbo people?

See to it that you lay the blames at the doorstep of your Igbo leaders who like several other ethnic leaders in Nigeria are nothing but certified rogues, treasury looters, bandits etc.

If in truth there isanti-Igbo polity in place, then we should ask the question that ; what haveIgbo leaders been doing to displace that anti-Igbo polity since they{Igbo political leaders} are in top positions in almost all political parties especially, PDP the ruling political party?

In Second Republic,Igbo leaders werethere in NPN and since1999 they have been very visible in the ruling political party. Are they aware of such anti-Igbo polity as you do? What have they done about it?

Thetruth is that Igbos are just as corrupt as several other ethnic groups and have looted their peoples' treasury in the same way as many did.

You should then blame your own people who are responsible for the lack of developments in Igboland as highlighted by the author of the article. The problem that hapless people are facing in Igboland were created for them by Igbosheartless political leaders and elites just as it is the case in several communities all over the country.

Anti-Igbo polity? It is a myth! .
Re: Igboland-an Eternal Trip To Golgotha
Uzuk posted on 07-20-2011, 08:15:13 AM
@ Agidimolaja,

That there is absolutely nothing in today's Nigeria that bears the name anti-Igbo polity? Take a deeper look at Nigeria's polity.

The civil war ended and General Gowon honestly made a "No Victor, No Vanquished" declaration.
Less than a decade after the war, Aba and most of the cities in the southeast were nicknamed the Japan of Africa because of the area's progressive rapid industrialisation.
Nine years after the war, an Igbo, Alex Ekwueme, became Nigeria's vice president and was to have succeded his boss.
Igbos even stopped to look back at the loss of the civil war. Biafra became very distant from the minds of the average Igbo.

Then came the coup plotters and their policies and restructuring of the polity which mostly have remained today.

(1) The federal roads leading to and in the southeast were so neglected
that they became death traps while road constructions and maintenance progressed in other parts of Nigeria. There were scarsely federal government infrastructures like big water supply projects, industries, airports, etc., (even the Nigerbridge is dillapidating) in the southeast. There was and there is no federal inftrastructure to sustain the artisans and mid scale industries that sprang up everywhere in the southeast after the war.
Protagonists of such industries had to emigrate.

(2) Nigeria's miltary made new states out of once rural areas in the far-north of Nigeria solely to extend more of federal revenues to those areas. In the southeast, most of the old urban areas that ought to have merited state status in order to attract more attention for the nation's development were rather merged together to form states. This system of state creation negated the founding political structure of Nigeria while creating new federating units (states) by the military. It is foul. Besides, states creation were not done in a democracy.
Which other country in the world formulated its federating units in that method? What criteria was used in creating the numerous states in the far north?? Land Mass? Population?
Accordingly, federal legislators are supplied in excess to the NASS by the far-north, while the southeast supplies far less than it merits. In federal character (quota system) of sharing things in Nigeria, the southeast remains the loser.

Today, besides perhaps, the Lagos to North route, the most trafficked route in Nigeria is the Onitsha to Lagos route. In a normal country, rail routes are prioritised according to volume of traffic. But Nigeria is not even giving Onitsha to Lagos rail route any priority. Nigeria is rather more interested in developing the East-West Coastal route from Calabar or so, to Lagos, Perhaps, the urge to have good access to oil comunities in those areas counts more for Nigeria.

Agidi, in which other country in the world must a citizen travel from Calabar or Maiduguri to Abuja in order to authenticate a marriage or birth certificate contracted outside the FCT? Nigeria. Between the civil servant sitting in his ofice at Abuja and the one sitting in his office at Calabar or Maiduguri, which is in a better position to know the genuinety of the documents? Many have suffered untold hardshipd travelling to Abuja to authenticate such simple documents mentioned above.

If you believe or say what is holding the development of the southeast is because the leaders are kleptocratic, you earn no plaudit.
It is the same worn type of argument made against the oil producing areas whenever they complain, complaints mostly engineered by irreversible environtal degredation in their domains.

Between, the Igbo is the single largest, or second largest ethnic group in Nigeria, if Nigeria thinks it can progress with policies geared against the Igbo, it is shooting itself on the foot.
Re: Igboland-an Eternal Trip To Golgotha
Patcho posted on 07-20-2011, 08:37:03 AM
Uzuk:

As a person, I fight battles daily and stay reasonably disciplined not to allow myself pulled down. Each battle won brings joy but yet more spiritual challenge not to let loose and dither the positive force. If I chose the other way, anti-bodies will come in and and the result.....
As it is with persons, so it is with family, states and nation-states.

We must learn to do ours first. Yes, the East suffers neglect but the simple question, the barest question that any layman like me need answer to is this: Does this neglect include clearing the refuse at Headbridge Onitsha...the point of entrance from Asaba?
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