By Barr. L. Chukwudi Ezenyi.
I want to start this article by first of all introducing myself. I am Chief Barrister L. Chukwudi Ezenyi, Ichie Udoka Nnobi, a Lagos based Legal Practitioner.
I worked in the Central Bank of Nigeria for almost 35 years and retired as an Assistant Director. Let me go ahead to define what my title ” Udoka” stands for. The word ” Udo” in Igbo language means peace and Udoka means peace is the highest or peace is supreme.
Nothing surpasses peace, because without peace, we all know the consequences; but with peace, we will live in a better, happier and more enjoyable society and of course, know how to cope with one another.
It is true that there is a School of Thought which do not believe in peace. They say they want equal rights and justice; but I put it to you that peace, equal rights and justice all go hand in hand.
Where there is no justice, there will hardly be peace and where there is justice, there will always be peace. Once you have equal rights, there will be justice and peace will reign supreme.
But in our society of today, it is rather unfortunate that whether we admit it or not, it is extremely difficult to have equal rights. So, in addressing the issue of equal rights and justice, we must understand that it is something that will emerge in due time.
When you find out that you cannot get 100% equal rights, in order for peace to reign, there is the need to downplay certain things to ensure amicable settlement and resolution of issues, even if you know that you are being shortchanged.
This is how to follow the path of peace and progress. But if on the other hand, you feel cheated and want to take laws into your hands and begin to spoil for war, fight and violence, there will always be problems which may take a dimension least expected.
There is a saying that: ” It is better to jaw jaw than to war war.” If you have been cheated and you bring your case forward to the court of competent jurisdiction, or court of public opinion, people will hear your case and the perfect justice system of God will prevail at the end of the day, no matter how long.
This is the essence of peace. Looking at the factors causing unrest and crisis in the society, we must not fail to consider the matter of nepotism and lopsidedness.
You give this person something and you refused to give the other person. You treat this person very well and you refused to treat the other person very well.
Such life of favouritism and parochialism is what breeds resentment and anarchy and when there is anarchy, there won’t be peace.
Crisis is not something that comes overnight, it is grievances that have been building overtime until it gets to a boiling point and then, it explodes.
Talking about lopsidedness, let us take a cursory look at the ongoing Ministerial and Other Appointments. How fair has the system been to Anambra State? While some states have at least two Ministerial Appointments, Anambra has gotten one so far. Should we now go on rampage? Certainly not. This is where the call for patience becomes imperative.
This is where also the need for reflection becomes very important. We should remember that during the last regime of President Buhari, Anambra State got two Ministerial positions and both did not come in one day, so what Anambrarians need now is to exercise a little patience and wait for what is being put in stock for us.
There are so many positions in Government and at the end of the day everyone of us who laboured so hard to put this Government in place will surely have cause to smile.
However, what I think the Federal Government should address in the South East is the issue of giving us an additional State. Leaving the South East Region with only 5 States, while other regions have 6 or7 States is a disenfranchisement, but an additional State which we have been clamouring for, over a long period of time, will not only be a welcome development, but will bring us at par with other regions. If the Federal Government can do this, it will wipe away every form of prejudice and show that the Federal Government is really fair to the Igboman.
Nonetheless, I want to make it abundantly clear that the average Igboman is highly blessed by God. He has been given the power and wherewithal to do things, make positive impact and invent new things in any environment he finds himself.
He does not depend on anyone or any Institution to make progress. Instead his assimilation into any system is to add value to that system or Institution.
Moving forward, I want us to understand that there is presently a high rate of unemployment in the country. And since the subject under discussion is the issue of peace, it is very pertinent that we as a people pay close attention to this all Important matter. Imagine a situation where a 1st Class Graduate has been staying at home for over 3 years without a job. Though what I always advocate is for the youths to learn skills, even while in schools, it is our collective responsibility to tackle this monster.
Going to Europe or America to study will not guarantee you a job in Nigeria. The youths should get into professions that will make them self reliant and self employed. White collar jobs are no longer available. I was discussing with a lady the other day who said she studied Transportation and now working at the Wharf. This is very encouraging.
The situation in Nigeria got spoilt decades ago, it is not something to be fixed overnight. Another concern I have is the level of corruption that is going on and eating deep into the marrows and fabrics of the society.
This is not helping matters at all. If the Government can consciously fight against this menace, things will get better and we will get there one day. It is this corruption that is giving rise to this “get rich quick or die” syndrome which is presently ravaging our youths and causing them to go into all sorts of nefarious activities like yahoo and yahoo plus.
One thing I know is that he who kills by the sword must surely die by the sword. Those who are doing yahoo or yahoo plus or whatever they call it, will one day meet their waterloo.
Yahoo plus as I understand it is not just 419, but making use of human parts, which is too bad and these things are psychological. How can someone tell you to kill somebody so that you can become a Millionaire and you believe him? They will tell some to go and bring their mothers or a loved one.
As far as I am concerned, it does not make sense. After they have done the killing, the blood of the person will begin to haunt them wherever they go and that is why you see them getting into drugs, alcoholism and womanising.
They get into all kinds of addictions just to forget the crime they have committed. Young people should get something to do in order to get rid of idleness. . An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
I would like to conclude this write-up by coming back to my Nnobi Community. As the Ichie Udoka Nnobi, I have been able, in company of other well meaning and Illustrious sons and daughters of the land ensure that peace reings supreme. There was a time there was a big crisis in the Community.
We called it the G13 era and at that time, I was the Secretary of the Lagos branch of Nnobi Welfare Organization ( NWO) under the Chairmanship of Retired Commissioner of Police Abel Umeh. One day I told him of the need for us to kickstart the process of engendering peace in Nnobi, he bought into the idea and I wrote a document which I gave to him for vetting after which he sent it to the then President General and it became a Working Document through which Peace was achieved in the town.
Today, there is moderate peace in the entire Community. In conclusion, I use this opportunity to rejoice and felicitate with our reverred Monarch,HRM Igwe Engr. Nick Obi on the successful Celebration of his Iwaji ( New Yam Festival) and the forthcoming Ashaolu Festival coming up on the 27th to 30th of September 2023.
I call on all sons and daughters of Nnobi both at home and in the diaspora to come out en mass and grace the occasion. It is going to be massive and the Igwe is fully prepared to receive everyone. My prayer is that Nnobi will continue to march forward. Nnobi is already blessed.
We are known as Nnobi Ananso meaning Nnobi is a Holy Land. I told the Igwe that Nnobi sons and daughters are doing extremely well during his regime, unlike in the past. God has been good so us and our Igwe is going to live long for us.
He is more than 80 years now, he is going to live beyond 100 years and the leadership of NWO will be working hand in hand with him for Nnobi to move forward. My prayer remains that the cultural and political arms of the town will continue to cooperate and work amicably for the peace, progress and prosperity of the town.