Former Minister tasks Ndigbo

Ndigbo all over the world have been advised to recover and restore their lost values as a way forward.
The advice was given by the former Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission and Ex Minister for Aviation, Chief Osita Benjamin Chidoka, while delivering a lecture during the Third Session of the Seventh Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Egbu, which took place at St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Eziobodo, Owerri West LGA, Imo State last week.
In the lecture titled, Uche (innovation,, creativity, skillfulness) Uchu ( hard work, resilience, diligence) and Egwu Chukwu (fear of God) Chief Chidoka disclosed that the South East of Nigeria was the fastest growing region in Africa in the ’60s because  the people of the area properly placed their values on “Uche, Uchu and Egwu Chukwu”.
The former Minister in his emotion laden lecture regretted that Ndigbo like the Jews abandoned their God in their effort to become like other nations. “We are where we are today because we failed to maintain our values. We behaved like the Jews, who abandoned their God to imitate others. We allowed others to copy from us, while we went for the wrong values”, the former Corp Marshal argued. He identified ‘Uche’ as the major driver of hard work and technology, adding that Ndigbo abandoned Uche, Uchu and Egwu Chukwu in pursuit of other peoples’ values.
Chidoka maintained that Christianity found root in Igbo Land because it reaffirmed the values and beliefs of the people.
Referring to Late Prof. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Chief Chidoka noted that Ndigbo hated shedding of blood, pointing out that Okonkwo in the book had to go on self-exile for seven years as a result of manslaughter. He further stated that in the same book Okonkwo, the son of a lazy man, Unoka rose to prominence in the community because of hard work, adding that anyone can rise to prominence in Igboland irrespective of his family background or birth.
He pointed out that stealing was abhorred among Ndigbo. “Let me tell you, the word corruption is alien to us. There is no Igbo word that encapsulates the word corruption. It is just of recent that our people decided to coin a word for it. We hate stealing even at village levels”, Chidoka said.
Chief Chidoka observed that the ‘Nnukwu Mmonwu’ (class differentiation) syndrome destroyed cooperation among Ndigbo. He opined that in the olden days, communities in Igboland teamed up to train the best and brightest, no matter the person’s background. He pointed out that individualistic tendencies have destroyed cooperation and responsibilities among the Igbo people. He made reference to Late Oliver de Coque’s music and advised Ndigbo to discard the Nnukwu Mmonwu syndrome, replacing it with the Ndi ezi omume syndrome. According to the former Corp Marshal, the South East has no reasons to depend on the Federal allocation for the development of the area. He charged Ndigbo to apply the Uche, Uchu and Egwu Chukwu syndrome, assuring  that it will bring development in the area.
While thanking the Anglican Diocese of Egbu for the honour accorded him by choosing him to deliver the lecture, Chidoka said that the Church has a critical role to play in redirecting Ndigbo to rediscover and restore their values. “The Church has a critical role to play to restore our people to their initial values instead following people who steal and share”, he said. Chief Chidoka said that it is the duty of the Church to tell the people the position of the Church in any given situation.
While charging Ndigbo to entertain no fear in the Nigerian polity, rather display those good values that will make others to seek them, he advised them to remain focused on those good values instead of bothering themselves with where the President comes from. He noted that that the North has been producing the leadership of Nigeria has not placed them ahead of the South East in terms of development.
In thanking Chief Chidoka for the wonderful lecture, the Bishop of the Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Enyinnaya  Okorafor said that the Synod  Planning  Committee did not make  any mistake by choosing him to deliver the lecture. Earlier in an award service shortly before the lecture, Canon Erickson Maduagwu urged Christians to invest their talents and whatever God has deposited in them in divine projects. Referring to the Synod Theme: “The Fourth Man in the Furnace” (Dan.3v25), Canon Maduagwu gave the assurance that “The Fourth Man” whom he said is the centre referee will come to rescue those who put their trust in God. He noted that the only Bible Reading in the service (Matt.25v14-30) shows that God does not approve laziness.
George Best Okoroh Diocesan Communicator /Press Secretary.

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