Through my work with Edo Connect I have met many of our community elders and successful people in our diaspora. Edo Community. This puts me in position to tell you that neither Edo State nor the Edos in the diaspora are poor. We are saddled with traditional mannerisms given our seniors and elders the license to become obstructers and to create this sense of negativity and selfishness that has rendered our community unproductive. They need to change.
Firstly, there is a valid argument that wealthy Edos do not make their money in Edo state. A fact that our traditional institutions and Government need to address, but that does not mean that Edo State is poor, it means Edo state can be richer. Secondly the Edo diaspora has many doctors, lawyers, IT consultants, Nurses and all kinds of professionals so how can they be poor? This also needs to be looked at by our traditional institutions and Edo Government. Edos worldwide are dying waiting for the necessary stimulus from the two above listed functionaries. This is the wider argument.
Presently it looks like the only rich man in Edo state, maybe even Worldwide, is Captain Hosa Okunbor. My small daughter is the only person who has not written a proposal to him for financial assistance. The difference between Captain Hosa and other wealthy Benin People is he gives to projects that will better Edos and not only his own children, while the others look for excuses not to give at all. They find these excuses in our obsolete traditional mannerisms.
If someone is older than you- you respect them, call them an Elder, but as time goes on they must earn that title. Because they have assumed titles with no experience, they end up not knowing the responsibility and the damage they can do when they are irresponsible with that title. Professional qualifications should not entitle them to positions of leadership in the community by virtue of their professional title alone. Because they did not earn their position in the community, they fail. If they were struggling they should go to the Palace or the Government and resolve why they cannot carry out their responsibilities.
But they do not and instead of stepping up to the challenge they invent negative parables “na cup when don full they dey put water”. If the cup is full why would it need your water? They look for and are surrounded with likeminded elders, friends or professionals in the community which is very easy to find. They lack the courage, will and strength to go to the Palace or the Government.
They came up with the excuse that Edo State is poor and that the Edo diaspora are poor and we are buying it. The State and the diaspora are not poor, the people who God entrusted to lead us at every possible junction are failing us. Anytime they see a challenge, they duck, they only want to answer to their titles when it is to their advantage.
They forget who is watching and now all these traits have now been passed onto their children. Its worse because they are the future but now they do not care. The result is all Edo generations are now living in a nightmare. We are trapped. The old are not happy, their children are so displaced, the women cannot project because the men have failed.
This is not disrespectful, In fact its overdue. How long did you think “Dr, Prof or uncle will work”. The reality of respecting you is here and it is ugly.
The western world progresses because it is able to blend youth knowledge with the experience of the old. Edos don’t believe in youth knowledge if you are not their child. They want to kill it with titles and parables to justify negativity.
For example There is a man in Manchester, England that was active on social media in abusing the govt and powers during the Libya slavery scandal. But when it came to raising funds for Edo Libya Returnees he started to blame those who went to Libya. He even talked his Sister and friend who have promised to make a donation, not to. Like I said that is all they needed because they look up to him. They did not donate, negative influence.
What they could not do they will do their damnest to prevent you from achieving. We are not poor but we make poor decisions trying to preserve that respect that they did not earn.
To progress we must rid ourselves of these titles in the hands of people that cannot justify them. We must tell them when they are not correct. We must lead them into the new world or be couragous enough to leave them behind.
The younger Edos under 50 still have time to shape their futures and our community. Let’s start doing so now. Let’s start pushing these ineffective title holders with zero impact out and find new ones who genuinely care and we will give them titles. We are not poor, we are guilty of respecting our elders who have been a poor example.