ABOUT NJEM IGBO INITIATIVE
- OUR IDENTITY
Njem Igbo Initiative is a socio-cultural, socio-economic, socio-political, non-governmental, not-for-profit, Pan-Igbo global movement that advocates the unity of the Igbo nation and the preservation of the Igbo culture across the globe.
• OUR VISION
OUR AIM AND OBJECTIVES
Njem Igbo Initiative shall strive:–
1. To strengthen, encourage, preserve and promote the Igbo culture;
2. To encourage the collection, recording and transcription of all Igbo culture;
3. To promote indigenous learning and research in science, technology and the arts;
4. To stimulate and develop indigenous talents, skills and intellectual powers;
5. To promote self-respect, self-reliance and human dignity amongst members;
6. To build in the consciousness of our members the spirit of nationalism and patriotism;
7. To encourage the commitment of members to the ideals of a humane and egalitarian society;
8. To promote the interest of members in all that concerns their well-being and to protect their rights as individuals;
9. To continually organize culture-related events aimed at preserving the culture of Ndi Igbo across the globe;
10. To promote peaceful co-existence between Igbos and other ethnic nationalities within Igbo land and elsewhere;
11. To co-operate with other organizations in Nigeria, Africa and elsewhere, which share similar objectives;
12. To undertake any other activities that, in the opinion of the leadership, may promote the attainment of the stated aims and objectives of the Organization;
• MISSION STATEMENT
Njem Igbo Initiative is a movement to restore the dignity of the Igbo man, to promote the Igbo culture and to strengthen the unity of the Igbo people across the globe.
The Organization is committed to promote, invigorate, sustain and encourage the preservation of the Igbo culture within our domain and elsewhere where permissible and to build a strong, united and indivisible family of Ndi Igbo home and abroad.
The slogan of the Organization shall be ‘‘MAKA ODIMMA NDI IGBO,’’ demonstrated by placing the right hand on the chest.
Njem Igbo Initiative is duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The Organization is non-profit, non-governmental, non-discriminatory, non-religious, multi-dimensional, philanthropic, innovative, creative, democratic, educative, informative, social and, above all, God-fearing.
1.The policies and programmes of the Organization shall be determined by its leadership, who shall be accountable to the membership.
2. The Organization shall encourage and support the participation of women at all levels of leadership and governance within Ala Igbo and elsewhere.
3. The Organization shall respect freedom of expression and exchange of ideas and information without undermining the authority and integrity of the Organization.
- The activities of the Organization shall not be secret to all intents and purposes and shall be conducted in very normal and absolutely civilized ways and manners and with accepted and ethical decorum.
- Such activities shall be published or publicized on our website and in other media outlets from time to time as shall be considered necessary and expedient by the Organization.
- The Organization’s activities shall include but not restricted to organizing cultural related activities, radio programmes, seminars, workshops, book launch and exhibitions, peace talks, retreats, conferences, memorials, award ceremonies, courtesy calls/visits, fund-raising, prize presentations, tourism and travels.
- Njem Igbo Initiative shall engage Ndi Igbo in the area of values re-orientation, capacity building, economic and political education for informed decision making.
- We shall equally lend support to Ndi Igbo in all parts of the world who are vying for global positions.
- We shall support the Federal Government’s pro-people initiatives and fight against corruption and urge the leadership of the country to initiate programmes that will accommodate all people in all the geo-political zones across the country, especially young people in order to engage them in meaningful projects that would aid the development of the country to improve the standard of living of the people.
- We shall encourage the efforts of other credible Igbo platforms within Nigeria and in Diaspora who engage in creative dialogue to advance the cause of Ndi Igbo across the globe.
- We shall continually engage in series of cultural activities in order to save the Igbo culture from imminent extinction as has been predicted by historians and historical experts.
- Njem Igbo Initiative shall encourage the patronage of made in Nigeria goods and services, especially as provided by Ndi Igbo.
- We shall engage in the development of blueprints or development plans for our political leaders, especially our Governors for the continuous development of Igbo land.
- Njem Igbo Initiative shall serve as a strategic response to the yearning of Ndi Igbo for purposeful leadership. It is no longer news that our people have craved quality leadership and purposeful representation. Njem Igbo will ensure constant interface with the political leadership of our geo-political zone in order to ensure a steady development of the zone.
- We shall serve as a symbol and rallying point for the unification of the aspiration of Ndi Igbo for inclusive governance in the Nigerian political space.
- Education and Capacity Building
Njem Igbo Initiative shall partner with other like-minded organizations within Nigeria and across the globe in seeking the peace and development of Igboland. Peace as we all know is an attribute of God; therefore, we will join hands with like-minded organizations to seek the peace of our society.
Over the years, our society has been bedeviled by the activities of armed robbers, kidnappers, bandits and terrorists who have turned the entire nation into their vineyards, plundering, maiming, raping our women and killing people as if life has no more sanctity and as if the society had drifted into a lawless state.
The same guns bought by money-bag politicians for the youths to rig elections in our society are likely the same guns used by the same young people who have now turned into armed robbers, kidnappers and other criminals to inflict pains on people in Igboland.
Our leaders must make concerted effort to curb the use of guns and other dangerous weapons by unlicensed individuals across Ala Igbo and restore public peace and order, as well as the moral values that govern society.
• DEMAND FOR ACCOUNTABILITY FROM POLITICAL LEADERS
Njem Igbo shall continually demand accountability from political office holders within the region and beyond, especially the Governors, Members of Parliament, Chairmen of Local Governments, as well as Commissioners in the various government ministries. The demand for accountability from our political office holders has become imperative due to the observed inertia towards development of Igboland by the political actors who ought to have done more to develop our region beyond mere rhetoric and media hype of their supposed activities to turn ‘Ala Igbo’ into modern day China, Singapore, Dubai and the rest of the developed world.
While we demand accountability from our leaders, we shall not fail to acknowledge and encourage the efforts of those who are committed to transforming Igboland into a conducive environment for our collective habitation. Njem Igbo shall accord Special Recognition to the Governors, Members of Parliament, both at the National and State levels who have distinguished themselves in areas of notable developments in Igboland.
The 21st century has provided the platform for any reasonable and visionary leadership or government to leverage on to achieve whatever its dream or vision define. Unlike in the days of the old when there were no technology or development models to emulate, the present age has presented a whole lot of opportunities for any society to emulate and proffer the needed solution to whatever challenges it faces in order to achieve greatness.
The socio-cultural, socio-political and socio-economic development of our communities is sacrosanct for this movement. Therefore, we shall employ everything in our arsenal to partner with and urge our leaders at all levels, especially the Governors to ensure a sound strategy for the speedy development of the various communities that make up the Igboland.
Like the saying goes, “Nku di na mba, na eghelu mba nri.” (A society is developed with its own resources). Our political leaders must ensure the proper and judicious use of the enormous resources available in Igboland to develop the region so that our children and children’s children will have a home they can proudly call their own.
The poor rural dwellers are facing many challenges, but the government seems not to pay attention to their predicaments. Any person who walks around the remote villages in Igbo land will discover and appreciate the myriad challenges they endure. Many of them live in crushing poverty and despair, as they are not sure of their next meal. In fact, one would be confronted with disturbing pictures of human suffering. With only some scattered bright spots, life in the rural areas is usually lifeless. Jobs are difficult to come by and able-bodied youths loiter around from dawn to dusk.
Njem Igbo Initiative shall endeavour to change the above narrative by engaging Igbo political leaders to find a lasting solution to the plight of the average Igbo man in Igbo land. We can no longer afford to watch our young and able-bodied men and women wandering and wasting away their destinies in our various communities as a result of joblessness without finding lasting solutions to their predicaments.
Leadership is about transforming societies, improving the lives of the poor, enabling everyone to have a chance at success and access to health care and education.
Njem Igbo Initiative shall engage in and support the fight against corruption. The Organization shall regularly interface with the political leadership of Ala Igbo to persuade it to initiate developmental programmes that will accommodate all people, especially as it affects the youths.
It is sad to note that the enormous resources in Igboland meant for its development are no longer put to proper use for achieving the desired aim. Rather our political leaders are busy stashing away the same resources into foreign lands and banks where the same resources are being utilized in developing the economies of those other nations to the detriment of Ala Igbo.
Njem Igbo Initiative shall endeavour to discourage corruption in all fronts so that resources meant for the infrastructural development and other meaningful projects in Igboland could be invested or engaged in carrying out same by our political leaders whose duty it is to do so.
• ELECTIONS IN IGBOLAND
However, election periods in this part of the world are the only moments when politicians come to romance with the people they govern. For the politicians in our part of the world, such is the period when the interest of the electorate or the common people matter.
Unfortunately, their motives of returning to the electorates or the people at such times are not usually in the best interest of the people they govern or lead but to, as usual, deceive the people into voting them back into positions of power and leadership. Most times, after winning elections most of those politicians disappear from the people into thin air and never return until another season of elections.
This is so because most of those politicians lack the capacity to creatively engage their ideas to revolutionize society with developmental efforts. All they are interested in is the accumulation of wealth through public offices and the stashing away of public funds entrusted to them for the development of society and common good of the citizenry. This is also the trend in our political circle because the people (electorate) are gullible and gluttonous. Like Esau in the Holy books, they want immediate gratification of their selfish interests above the general good of the society.
We must create content in our politics. We must understand that in the 21st century ideas rule the world. It is time Ndi Igbo fielded their first eleven. We cannot be talking of producing a president of Igbo extraction if we are not able to field men and women of content to represent us in politics.
We must create a platform for creativity. To develop our society, men and women with enormous creative ability, impeccable integrity and quality managerial skills ought to be voted into positions of authority to lead us. We must be careful not to be fooled or deceived by money-bags whose only desire is to win elections, get into public office and end up amassing public resources meant for development and stashing away same in foreign lands.
The major reason that had been attributed to why the Igbo nation has not found its footing in the Presidency of Nigeria is because of the seemingly lack of unity amongst the Igbos and the unfounded but popular notion of ‘Igbo enwe eze’; literarily, Igbo has no specified leadership.
WE ENJOY THE DIVIDENDS OF DEMOCRACY WHEN WE VOTE RIGHT
In Igboland, we need good road network; potable water; quality education for the youth and children; constant electricity supply; affordable housing for low-income earners; quality health-care services and basic infrastructure.
To make continuous progress, we must choose between the above dividends of democracy and empty Political Promises embellished with the distribution of Bags of Rice, Beans, Salt, Cheap Wrappers, Made-in-China Motorcycles and Keke NAPEP and, at the end of the day, fragrant abuse of power.
ELIGIBILITY AND SUITABILITY IN HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICE
We must distance suitability from eligibility in choosing our political representatives at all times. An individual may be eligible for a position but not suitable for that position. We must create a system that will prioritize competence.
We should not just vote people into leadership positions merely because of sectional sentiment or parochial interest. No organization would ever employ or appoint anybody without the requisite certification or training to manage the fortunes of such organization.
Njem Igbo Initiative believes that the most dangerous person in the world is the one who has nothing to lose. Most of those who represent Ndi Igbo in the political sphere of the nation have nothing to lose if the system collapses. Therefore, we should not expect such individuals to create an avenue for the development of Ala Igbo.
We must elect and support leaders who would initiate and implement policies that are development-driven for the continuous advancement of Igboland. It is only men and women with required capacity to lead that should be chosen by Ndi Igbo to represent them in politics. We must not be carried away by the antics of political ‘figures’ who come to the people with mere rhetoric to deceive them into voting them into public offices only to end up satisfying their own personal urge and fraternal interests.
Ndi Igbo have technocrats in virtually all fields of human endeavour. Such men and women of sound integrity should be sought and delegated with the responsibility of leading Ndi Igbo into the sphere of continuous development of Ala Igbo. We are tired of being led by mediocre and those with average mentality. Henceforth, we need those who have been tested and trusted to lead us. However, it is the collective effort of the people that would produce the needed change that we all desire.
Therefore, we must us all make it a duty to elect people with impeccable character and integrity to champion our cause. Such people abound in our society. The major challenge we have is identifying with them and supporting them to win elections and occupy the public space. They may not have all the monies to throw about but they have conscience and they possess the ideas to govern society. We must allow them to lead if we must make progress as a people of common destiny.
HOW DO WE VOTE RIGHT?
No society would ever feign ignorance of its citizens’ behaviour. We all know who to vote for when it comes to credibility in elections. We must properly exercise our mandate to vote for the right candidates in all elections in Igboland.
Research and experience have shown that our society’s greatest challenge with corruption stems from public office holders and democratically elected officers, therefore, the responsibility to choose just and competent persons for elective positions lies with the electorate
WHY WE MUST VOTE RIGHT
It is only when we vote right that we have genuinely exercised our political mandate. As such also, we can recall such leaders from office when they err or begin to lead amiss.
However, if we collect money to vote for political office seekers, we lose the right or the moral justification to question their actions or deeds when they eventually win elections and occupy political positions. Our vote is our right; we must exercise it wisely!
Our young people are watching, and they learn from what they see, and not just from what they hear or are told. We should not indoctrinate evil in them. Let us do and continue to do what is right. Let us vote right!
WE MUST AVOID MONEY-BAGS
Ndi Igbo cannot afford to be deceived by such individuals any longer, except we want to remain in perpetual darkness; without making desired progress. We need people who will move Ala Igbo to greater heights. So, we must vote wisely!
YOU CAN'T EAT YOUR CAKE AND HAVE IT
Except for charitable organizations, virtually every business is set up for profit-making. In the same manner, the politicians who spend their ‘hard-earned’ resources on the people they seek their vote in an election know they are investing in a business that will eventually and potentially yield good returns or fortunes for them.
The question is, ‘what moral justification do we have to accuse the people we sold out our mandate to during elections for not doing things right as regards development when they eventually get into power?’
If we continue to make pecuniary demands from politicians during elections, we would, at the same time, mortgage the future of our young people. Consequently, when the future is mortgaged, posterity will certainly pay dearly to reclaim what we deliberately and negligently destroyed.
The fact remains that to secure a formidable future for Ndi Igbo; we have to refrain from making unnecessary financial and other material demands on those contesting elections into public offices.
During elections, politicians are compelled by the electorate to spend all the money they have worked for in their entire life. Some even borrow money to fund their elections just so that they could meet the financial and material demands of the electorate. This is informed by the mere assumption and claims that once voted into power or positions of authority, the politicians usually would amass public wealth without caring about the feelings or the condition of their subjects.
Let it be emphasized that the main reason why our political leaders amass public wealth at the expense or detriment of the masses is because the same masses help to rig the politicians into office on some agreed ‘terms.’ It is a sort of contract; ‘take my money and give me your vote.’
Ndi Igbo cannot afford to be deceived by such individuals any longer, except we want to remain in perpetual darkness; without making desired progress. We need people who will move Ala Igbo to greater heights. So, we must vote wisely!
A MOMENT OF PLEASURE WITH A LASTING SORROW
What every society needs and craves for is continuous development. But such may never be realized in Igboland if we continue to commercialize our political systems and the electoral processes. Leadership is all about service; therefore, we must elect credible individuals to lead us so that we will all enjoy the benefits of an egalitarian society.
Should ‘servants’ be made to pay for the services they are meant to render to those they serve? How come the electorate in our nation always request public office seekers to pay them before they could be voted for? Such an act falls below moral standards. How then would someone who spent a fortune during election be expected to render quality and palpable service to the people that he or she seeks to represent?
Except the masses realize how much damage they have done to this nation by collecting money and other material effects from politicians and voting them into power and retrace their steps, corruption will continue to thrive in our society. We accuse the political leaders alone of corruption, whereas we all are part of the act.
Our political representatives will continue with their rhetoric; they will progress in their looting of our collective treasury while the masses, who are also supposed to benefit from the resources of the land will continue to groan under severe or non-conducive environment, until the people realize what harm they are doing to themselves by deciding to make politics a business of the highest bidder.
Let us also remember that each time we collect money from the money-bag politicians to vote them into power against our conscience and collective aspirations, we have equally decided to vote against the future of our young people. We must stop the sycophancy now!
ZIG ZIGLAR said, “The person who will not stand for something will fall for anything.” To secure the future of Igboland, we all must stand for justice; we must stand for fairness; we must stand for equity and we must stand against the commercialization of our electoral process.
It is a well-known fact that the Igbos are smart, hardworking, self-reliant and progressive people. An average Igbo man can survive in any environment irrespective of the unfavourable situations that abound in such environments. The Igbo man is purpose-driven and success-driven. He creates wealth with anything that gets into his hand. Little wonder that he has continued to succeed in virtually every endeavour he sets to achieve.
Emerging from a civil war that lasted for 30 consecutive months and faced with the humiliating situation of rebuilding their lives from the scratch, the Igbos had to face the reality they found themselves with enthusiasm, hope and faith in God. They rose from the ashes of war and began life afresh. The most pathetic aspect of such reality is the fact that no matter how much any Igbo man had in his bank account prior to the civil war, he only received 20 pounds from the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria after the war; it does not matter if they had millions in the same bank account.
Indeed, the Igbo man is the symbol of true representation of the Nigerian State. The Igbo man craves the unity of Nigeria more than anyone else in this country. When we talk about the unity of Nigeria, the Igbo man stands out amongst other ethnic nationalities. The Igbo man is the real detribalized Nigerian, the symbol of Nigeria’s unity, that is, the bond or thread that still holds Nigeria together as a country.
The Igbo man is the only Nigerian that can be found in the nook and cranny of this nation, no matter the remoteness of the area, doing business and co-habiting peacefully with the aborigines or indigenes of such communities. The Igbo man is the only Nigerian who leaves his village or hometown to settle in other communities across Nigeria and willingly develops the place as if it is his own land.
It will also interest whoever cares to know that there is no private or corporate development by any ethnic nationality in any part of Nigeria, including major non-Igbo cities like Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Port-Harcourt, Ilorin, Ibadan and so on that surpasses that of the Igbo man. In fact, by common estimation, over 60% of private investments in the places mentioned belong to the Igbo man.
• POLITICAL RELEVANCE
Part of the many challenges that Ndi Igbo face in the politics of Nigeria is the denigration of the Igbo elders and genuine stakeholders which encourages the cliché of ‘Igbo enwe eze.’ Another challenge is the lack of clear strategy for group survival and the absence of commonly endorsed spokespersons for Ndi Igbo. In fact, there are always several voices on Igbo matters, even when the discussions are within one political party. Also, personal interventions in the name of Ndi Igbo often end up as avenues for driving purely private ambitions.
There is also the fear of losing existing privileges, as well as intimidation, which necessitates a conspiracy of silence and nonchalance by the Igbo political actors, especially those who should speak for Ndi Igbo at the national level.
Njem Igbo shall ensure the political relevance of Ndi Igbo in the Nigerian national political space. We shall liaise with the political stakeholders, traditional and religious institutions in Igbo land to make the voice of Ndi Igbo heard.
SOME BENEFITS OF THE ANNUAL NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF NJEM IGBO TO THE STATES
These conferences will draw members from all walks of life to the particular hosting State. This, undoubtedly, would boost the exchange of goods and services within the hosting State. Hotels, Restaurants, parks and other businesses within the hosting State would be largely patronized by the visiting participants to the Annual Conference.
The Conference will also serve as an avenue for bringing back Igbo nationalities abroad who had been away from home for numerous years and reuniting them with their kiths and kin. This, we believe, will equally provide the opportunity for the returnees to assess the level of development in Igboland and help them make a decision to invest back home – the ‘Akuluo uno’ project.
Designed by Davidyoryor
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