|Donovan Nelson illustrations|
But today, the Igbo Nation has lost its honor, we have desecrated both our cultural values and our national integrity. We, the Igbo have deserted from the search of good names and has embraced wealth procuration. Today we respect not people with good names but big wealth. Individual names have digressed from the good name centered to wealth-centered. Today no one bears names that praise honor. It is all about wealth. “Ego n’achi” – money reigns, “Ego bu ugwu” – money draws respect, “Ego bu oga” – Money makes one a king. Everything is now money and even in the families, respect for the elderly lost its importance and few wealthy ones are the centers of attraction. And since then, all sorts of atrocities can be boldly committed without hurting the image of the nation – which no longer exist. Elders who, among the Igbo, were respected are today kidnapped and sometimes raped all in a quest for money and popularity. Nothing is regarded as sacred as the law of the jungle has become the norm. But when did the mighty fall so low? I would not want to blame Christianity for it brought good things to our land. We have twins among the Igbo today because Mary Slessor, an Irish missionary fought against their execution. Some would say, we are educated today because of the missionaries, but I have come to think that Christian missionaries were not the only panacea for education. There were also Arab scholars and we also had an informal education system before the arrival of the missionaries. All the same, the Igbo nation had good values that it takes a lot to find today. The worst is that religion has taken over everything among the Igbo, today. You can hardly detect the goat among the sheep as every Igbo man and woman has become evangelists, pastor, priests, sisters and name it. The problem is that contrary to what is expected of such attitude, crimes, violence, and offenses are growing on daily based. And the Igboness has disappeared as all that hold our society together, the sacred of our belief systems and cultural heritages have been befouled. No one honors good names any longer and our youths can go to any length to acquire wealth. Respect is now accorded to only those who acquired money independent of where and how it was acquired. The Igboness of the Nation is now almost a thing of the past for no one recognizes what really is ours, and what is strange to our cultural values and systems.
Ali C. Nnaemeka (email@example.com) ''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.