Last November, when the result of the gubernatorial election of Anambra state was announced, the entire South-east went agog in jubilation and congratulations went to the people of the state for choosing what was considered a good person with pedigree to pilot the affairs of the state. It was as if a dream came through.
Such a bold and visionary person with pedigree is expected for the other states in the region.
The South-east has had ill-luck in choosing their leaders that at the time leadership was needed to chart the course of its present and future socio-political affairs and standing in the country, there was no leader found. Those piloting the affairs of the states have been lagging in the pursuit of a collective interest. They rather pursue their individual political interests.
In the National Assembly, the representatives and Senators are often not at the forefront in the matters of Igbo or South-east interest.
The South-east has suffered neglect; its social institutions are attacked and undermined. Youths have no political role models, as the region is abandoned to rot.
There is a continuous and steady emigration from the region to other places. Many politicians prefer to live outside the region while the infrastructure decayed.
Igbo land is suffering from insecurity as a result of total neglect. Families are emigrating out of the region in droves. Those outside the zone find it inconvenient to return out of fear as criminals are taking over and are enforcing sit-at-home at their whims.
Youths are indulging in cultism and drugs and many vices that threaten the peace of the region.
While these and more anomalies continue, election period is here and it is important that the region starts to get it right through the ballot.
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A lot of interests and energy are poured towards getting the federal government into the hands of competent people. The zone should support the movement for a new Nigeria. In doing so, there should also be a consciousness for a new South-east and Igbo land in general.
How should the voting go?
As the election is fast approaching, there are so many interests, especially as political parties jostle to get many candidates of their party to win. But just like the understanding being deployed towards the national election, individuals should be voted for rather than based on political party.
The South-east needs men and women who can lead and represent the region in all facets of socio-political development. To achieve the needed new South-east, the people have to look beyond the political parties and vote in individuals that can reform and provide leadership for the people.
Among the existing candidates, as the people do not have a hand in the primaries to select the candidates, the people should choose wisely.
They should choose not those loyal to the godfathers but those who are passionate for Igbo rebirth even if that person is with a small political party.
Ndigbo and the South-east region should look beyond flamboyance and align with those with vision. They need bold and visionary leadership and not timid and mercantile leadership.
Igbo land needs among so many things; infrastructural revolution, industrial revolution, technology development, harnessing and channelling peoples’ energy towards total rebirth while utilising the youths at their prime towards the needed development for the advancement of the region.
While the people pursue the federal elections, local elections are as important as the federal elections. Given that the state’s command centred largely in the hands of the federal government distribution of allocation, as much as good governance is demanded in the federal government, it should also be pursued in the South-east region.
Let the South-east people vote in bold and visionary people whose passion and loyalty is for the human and social development of the region.