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Igbo Spirituality Revivalist (ISR) by prettyblacky(f): 11:47pm On Oct 05, 2018
Ndigbo: In the days of our ancestors, there was a way of life... No more these days
Responding to my article of 1 September 2018 with the title "Ndigbo Must Begin A Journey Back To The Soul Of Our Ancestors", Rhuosa Ehimatie, a Nigerian based in the United Kingdom wrote the following the same day. The response was via email and permission to publish the response was begged for and granted. Feel free to read Ehimatie. You may want to drop your thoughts and comments. Read:
My Dear Odimegwu Onwumere,
Thank you for your inciteful and provocative piece on the homeward journey the Ndigbo must make back to the soul of their ancestors. Perhaps, this is the first time any one would embark on this kind of clarion call urging his people to return to the ways of their ancestors before the arrival of the indulgent self.
In addition to your contribution in this matter, in the days of our ancestors, there was a way of life, a code of conduct derived essentially from the absolute respect for the gods of the land believed to punish the errant and reward the obedient. This ideology encompassed and governed every aspects of the people's endeavours; be it personal relationships, business transaction, community works, public office, you name it. There was a need to please the deity by first and foremost doing what is right and acceptable, the need to serve and satisfy public good for fear of reprisal from the gods. But today that compulsion to do right has been emphatically eroded and substituted by the selfism. But why? One may be inclined to ask and the answer is not so far-fetched. It is manifest in every aspect of the communal life. The word we are searching for is `apostasy`. History has taught us that every time a people disconnect from their gods their gods also disconnect from them. A glaring case in point is the Isrealites.
According to the Biblical account, when the people of Isreal abandoned Yaweh and the way of life ordained for them, it threw their ordered lives and community into chaos, pains, sorrow and tears to the extent that they were removed from their land into exile and held in captivity by another sect of people.
Basically, what held them together was the collective faith and belief in a god that could both punish or reward every action. When people cease to acknowledge the might and significance of their god, then there is no longer need or reasons to believe in that god, selfism takes over and confusion reigns as individual interests vie for supremacy and eventually, society falls apart as found in the Igbo community and indeed in most communities throughout Nigeria today. Achebe paints this phenomenon quite well in his "Things fall apart". A novel.
Let me be very clear that I am not picking on Ndigbo who by the way are very beautiful with great culture and heritage, and in all ethnics groups in Nigeria there is also a group that is evil and bad. However, we are talking about the Igbos at the moment. When other ethnic groups become a topic next time one will also have an opinion to express as a free citizen. To this end, my comment is not to slag off anyone but to comment on the topic as I see it .
To me, Igboism has been substituted for the respect and total submission to the will of their gods. Today, Igboism is more superior to the gods of their ancestors hence the average Igbo man has lost his soul and conscience to this notion that makes an Igbo man treat others sometimes including his fellow Igbo man as secondary to his/her needs. There is hardly anyone who does any business or any type of transaction with an igbo person and not have his heart in his mouth. Through greed and selfism the Igbo is one of the ethnic groups that have particularly brought doubt, shame, disrepute to the nation because they cannot be trusted. Due to their mindless and selfish approach to things in life, I have heard too many people describe the Igboman as mindless and selfish and wicked. They are the ones that are likely to do whatever it takes to satisfy the self, to be Igboistic and boast about it. This new attitude and behavior is a far cry from what was obtainable in the days of their ancestors. This is the reason why I wonder if it is not too late for this call. So I ask Ndigbo, is this call a little too late for you to return to the ways of your ancestors so that you can regain trust and it may be well with us all again? Perhaps the bigger question is, are Ndigbo interested in making a journey back to the soul of the ancestors now that they have tasted the sweetness of the forbidden fruit of greed, deceit, selfishness and wickedness in high places and practice of all manners of evil?
Rhuosa Ehimatie sent in this piece via rozzarlis@hotmail.com
Please, read my piece below in case you missed it.
Ndigbo Must Begin A Journey Back To The Soul Of Our Ancestors
By Odimegwu Onwumere
Many persons lack connections with their souls. The only connection they can think or boast of is the connection to create and make wealth. They have much time to pursue money but had no time to nurture their Inner Being, hence the separation between the body and the soul has become a huge problem besetting mankind.
Many of these persons do not know where to turn to when the wealth vanishes. Because they have been living a life without their soul intact, they would vanish just as the wealth. This brings to bay the way my Igbo forebears lived.
My Igbo forebears did not separate themselves from the spirit while in pursuit of wealth. They observed the spirit world and the realm of matter without a separation. They believed that in as much as matter occurs, Spirit can be found, and vice versa.
Remember that my Igbo forebears didn't see or periscope spirituality as a part of life. They believed that all life is spiritual. Hence, they observed the seen and unseen world to be working together.
Our worldview then was the best unlike today many of us are viewing the world through the periscope of the West where what matters is 'leave the past behind and look only to the future.'
The ‘future’ here is wealth. My Igbo forebears did not do that: They carried both the past into the future. My Igbo forebears were not only interested in 'drive-to-succeed’ (not at all costs) but did not allow this to separate their souls from them. They never allowed their lives to lack deeper meaning and nevertheless, they were not empty.
The ancient Igbo never separated self from the land of ancestors and the realm of Spirit. They had meaning individually to their community and gave structure and meaning to life. This made them the wise people as has been acclaimed worldwide.
Unlike today, the Igbo have eschewed what worked for them in the past. They are living in the past glory. We just have schooled brilliant persons today and not actually wise people like our forebears who operated in our community by exhibiting intention for general well-being and oozed positive energy.
However, this is the time we have to reconnect to our natural environment and begin the journey back to the soul of our ancestors in order to achieve completeness. The time is now.
Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant based in Rivers State.

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