Everyone has a part to play to advance us, Ndi Igbo, as a people.

And we need not wait for anyone to start.

Every mighty castle that is standing starts with only one block.

That is why even a little change of attitude or mental behavior as an individual can have a spilling positive effect on us all.

As a person, I believe every grown-up is responsible for their behavior and actions. That is why blaming or complaining does not help anybody at all to solve their impending problems.

Whether someone is manipulated or swirled or used in anyway or form, they are responsible because God created us as free moral agents and we have the right to choice. Therefore we are accountable to our actions. Whether it hurts us or other people. We can always say no and resist it.

Even God that created us, does not force us to do what He wants; so when someone is being used by another, then he or she is responsible because they have the ability to say NO!

I also believe in dying for a noble cause. One dying for a good cause will be remembered and those who live for only themselves no matter what it may have appeared they achieved are easily forgotten by the people. I believe in one standing up for what is right and just. And never yielding no matter the pressure to do what is right.

The good of many is better than individual welfare.

The war has been over for many decades ago. Therefore time to change is now. No more individualistic tendencies. We are changing to communal affinity. Igwebuike! There is power in number. No matter how big an individual Iroko it cannot be a forest by itself.

So when you think about others first, when you think about the common good of Ndi Igbo, it will checkmate your actions to go in the line of doing what benefits the majority than what will benefit only you and your immediate family.

So now as a people, as Igbos we owe it to ourselves to look out for ourselves first. We owe it to ourselves to always ask:

“This thing I am about to do does it benefit Igbos as a people or does it benefit only me?”

Don’t do it if only you, your family and the very few who feed from the crumbs falling off your table and are glued to you by their stomach interest, will be laughing while the entire community will be crying.

So, I advocate a change of attitude as part of the solution to us as a people.

When we change:

1. We will no longer hail people who spray money everywhere whose livelihood is questionable or who stole or loot the commonwealth of Igbos through political offices. We will hail good name, character, and whatever that is sacrificial for the common good of all.

2. We will decide to invest first in Igbo land before any other part of Nigeria. If you like, spend billions of dollars building in Lagos, Abuja, or Kano, you can never become, a “Son or Daughter of the soil” in those places. It can never become your ancestral home. Your ancestral home and village is where your ancestors were born and the land they can call their own home. That is where your children belong. So the better you treat that land well, the good for your own children. If the mangrove like let it spend one million years in the swamp with the crocodiles, it can never become a crocodile.

3. When we really change our mental behavior or attitude, we will patronize our brothers’ and sisters’ businesses. We will not give our money out to others if you know what you are looking for either in services or products is done by any Igbo man or woman. The Jews transformed their desert with this formula and used this same formula to be among the richest people on earth today. You can never go wrong supporting your brother’s and sister’s business.

4. We will realize that Igbos are one. There is nothing like “Igbo delta,” “Igbo rivers,”

There is nothing like Abia man, Ebonyi woman etc. We all are simply Igbos. Igbos are one and must be united in other to survive as a people.

5. When we change our attitude, we will realize that when I am given any position against the general welfare of Igbos, the position will not last forever but Igbos will live forever. So whatever we do against us as a people will turn back to hunt our children because when Igbo land is in bondage, even you and your loved ones are also in bondage and your own children will even suffer more when their time comes and you have long gone.

6. When We change as a people we will not give Igbos a bad name in whatever shape or form. We cannot engage in any dubious means of business to make money. Money is not all in life. Money is not a measure of success. Many things matter more than money.

“The spirit of o chara acha, o chaghi acha si gbute should stop!”

We will not value money more than a good name. We will realize a good name benefits and open doors for our children’s children, while money has wings and will surely fly away one day, when we had long gone because money does not sit in a place forever.

So a change of attitude is important and can go a long way to help us as a people. Do not wait for anyone to start. Start now to do the right things and never support what is wrong even if it is being perpetrated by your kinsman politician or your religious leader. Evil is evil no matter who does it. Stand up only for what is right and remember community prosperity is better than individual prosperity.

Do not sell a brighter tomorrow for all, just because of a tiny enjoyment of what we will personally gain today.

©️Okechukwu Okugo

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