Imo and the burden of ‘Nshiko’ politics

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Nshiko is an Igbo epithet for Crab. It is a Crustacean Arthropod that belongs to the Order of Decapoda and the Family of Malacostraca. As a Decapod, Crab has five pairs of walking limbs which is responsible for its unique locomotive feature of moving in both sideways and backward directions. Its sideways and backward locomotion is the main reason for its slow movement and lack of direction.

Another distinguishing feature of Crabs is that they are always aggressive among themselves whenever they are together for a purpose, this makes them vulnerable to predators. Their aggressive nature is also responsible for the lack of cohesive spirit among them. When Crabs are together in a contained environment, none of them will allow each other to successfully migrate or move forward. They use their limbs to pull each other down so that none will move forward successfully. This is indeed the classical case of ‘Nshiko Spirit’ which has unfortunately been deep-rooted and pigeon-holed into our politics.

‘Nshiko politics’ is a clear case of cyclonic leadership where the leaders have no sense of direction and vision but only rigmarole and move like a cyclone blowing pebbles and dust particles into our eyes. ‘Nshiko’ politics is the bane of our development and is militating against Ideal Leadership. There is an implicit nexus between ideal leadership and sociopolitical progressivism. Leaders with sense of direction and internal locus-control  deal with complexities, uncertainties and ambiguities in governance, they are propellers and drivers of real change who provide an over-arching sense of creativity and a reservoir that navigate and reinvigorate development.

After the administration of Dr Sam Mbakwe, our political leadership has been akin to the proverbial tale of the tortoise who went to his Inlaw’s house to ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage but was carried away by the savoury and delicious delicacy offered while a more serious suitor came and took the lady away. This is really unfortunate. By now, Imo ought to have been repositioned to the glory of God while the people should have been clapping and singing Halleluyah on daily basis.

Leadership in all intent and purposes is concerned with fostering change while the centrality of political governance is service-oriented.

Drawing analogy from Lasswell’s postulation on politics as who gets what, when, possibly how much in our circle of governance is not a misrepresentation. Conceptually, politics is a progenitor while leadership is a product which is socio- culturally contextual.

It is a superstitious belief that political leadership is about greed and self-interest. Contemporary leadership thinking has metamorphosed from the classical’ Nshiko spirit’ to the post-modern dynamics of innovation. Our major constrain and drawback in achieving sustainable political leadership in our dear State is the stereotypical perception of ‘big name’ taking precedence over capacity and character. It is now obvious that what we need is a fresh political thought as against the uninspiring climate of leadership fatigue being experienced in our polity.

A leadership that is capable of providing a desired politico-structural transformation and socioeconomic development, a leadership that will guarantee the progress of high standard of living with provisions of critical Infrastructure.

What we need mostly now is ideal leadership which is necessary for initiating and hastening the process of change in our society that is in dire need of development. Ideal leadership plays a very critical and concrete role in the regeneration, restructuring and reengineering of our underdeveloped clime. According to my very good friend, President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States of America. “Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.” The dark realities of the moment is that Imo State is in dire need of true political leadership that will bridge the gap between poverty and prosperity, development and underdevelopment and also getting rid of the ‘Nshiko Spirit’ in our politics.


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