Nibo Chieftaincy, An Honour Or A Merchandise; Either Way, Of What Benefit To Nibo As A Community

Nibo Chieftaincy, An Honour Or A Merchandise; Either Way, Of What Benefit To Nibo As A Community

I would like to say thanks to Nibo USA for keeping Nibo on the path of tangible developmental project. Many may ask, what do I mean by this? I mean what i just said.

For so many years, Nibo has been practically aloof in term of infrastructural development. This is more so, considering the pace with which our forebears developed infrastructure; The Nibo Maternity, Ezeike High School, Nneoma Girls Secondary School, Nibo Civic Centre were all mooted and completed by our forebears, be it men or women. The Civic Centre that was handed over to us uncompleted is still not completed till today. The irony is that we have stood right in front of it to churn out over 50 chiefs. What a failed leadership.

Why has Nibo leadership of the past about 20 years ran out of ideas. What happened to the can do spirit of our forebearers. Many would easily resort to the flimsy excuse of the advantage of the levy era over the present non levy system. During the levy era, other opportunities which we should have tapped into were jettisoned. Now that we tap into them, what have we achieved.

One of such very potent but mostly either abused, underestimated and or misapplied source of revenue for community development is the conferment of chieftaincy title. Cheiftancy title is ordinarily a reward for services to the community, this is usually in the form of philanthropy, attraction of government projects, citing of industry/creation of jobs, building of infrastructures eg, schools, hospitals, exceptional leadership, exceptional achievements, etc. Like Nigeria, Nibo has reduced honour to merchandise. An act which has ridiculed the whole process and turned the once perceived enviable honour into humour.

This started with the multiplication of the chieftaincy award. As if that was not enough, any form of vetting was jettisoned. As at today, Nibo has churned out about 50 chieftaincy titles to both Nibo and non Nibo indigenes. Since the supposedly act of honour has been merchandise, my question is, what has Nibo gained from this.

I ask this question because in most other communities, people are honoured for their services to the community. This could be tangible or non tangible. In a community where the last tangible project (Nibo Civic Centre) was mooted over 30 years ago and not completed till today, one should reasonably be worried about what the frenzy for the chieftaincy title is all about. Don’t forget that I thanked Nibo USA earlier for the Nibo Hospital. Remember that the idea was mooted in diaspora.

I then ask, has Nibo leadership lost steam? Why must we look idly by while an opportunity for community development is being mutilated. Assuming but not conceding to the fact that the corruption prevalent in Nigeria has also enveloped every towns and villages, can’t we dish out the chieftaincy to whoever as it appears, but at least for the true worth, and use the proceeds for community development.

My apologies to a few individuals who genuinely deserve it. Unfortunately, this topic cannot be discussed in isolation. More apologies to those who have shown reasonable commitment through personal tangible inputs or attraction of project but are not recognized for not seeking it the “standard way”.

Since we have chosen the path of merchandise over that of honour, I suggest we optimize the mercantile approach to the benefit of Nibo. Imagine where we have a community project, eg OBU NIBO and every individual who is to be conferred a chieftaincy title is made to contribute ₦2 million in cash or material to the project. It simply implies that 50 chiefs would have given Nibo ₦100 million. Unfortunately, we have lost the capacity to moot developmental ideas where such monies can be directed.

Just like Chinua Achebe declined the Nigerian government’s attempt to name him a Commander of the Federal Republic, a few Nibo sons have declined Nibo’s attempt to name them Chief. In Achebe’s word, “the reasons for rejecting the offer when it was first made have not been addressed let alone solved. It is inappropriate to offer it again to me”. One may ask what is the reason? The answer is not far fetched. In his letter to the president, he stated, “I have watched particularly the chaos in my own state of Anambra where a small clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom. I am appalled by the brazenness of this clique and the silence, if not connivance, of the Presidency”.

Is the Nibo failures and the issues pointed out by Achebe different? Be the judge!

Nchee Nwabunnia
Ibobo-Nibo
24-12-2023

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