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Friday, September 24, 2010

Cracking the great Anambra conundrum

By Isidore Emeka Uzoatu
Governor Peter Obi was at his eloquent best at the gala night his wife hosted for First Lady Patience Jonathan at the conclusion of her recent working visit to Anambra State . Indeed, all Nigerians should have been there to hear him extol the ancient and modern achievements of citizens of the state. It was a long list - from the car Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu had to lend the federal government on the Queen's first visit to Lagos , through the great Zik and independence proper to Professor Chike Obi's mathematical accomplishments.

The crowd assembled at the lawn tennis courts of his lodge could not have asked for anything less. Like he was to elucidate, it should not then surprise anybody that the state has been appropriately called 'Light of The Nation' as opposed to the earlier 'Home For All' that had attracted all kind of negative derivatives to the state.

The more so, on the political terrain where the governor himself qualifies for eminent mention in the list he reeled out for cracking the great Anambra conundrum. Denied his mandate at the polls by a combination of ignorance crossed with naivety between godfathers and godchildren, he wrestled it back through the courts. He rode the fury that followed this sound with equitable panache only to be denied his office one more time by a state house impervious to the wind in the air.

To the courts again he raced, and the rest has joined the list of Anambra firsts. He moved on to become the first governor of the state to be re-elected and currently runs the state with all her legislators - save some recent decampments - in a different party. He has continued to wax from strength to strength flagging off project after project in his ingenious integrated development strategy. These to the chagrin of his detractors angry that state funds are no longer deployed in the satisfaction of ghost contractors who target mobilisation fees payable by cohort incumbents with agreed percentages returned to them while the people suffered.

It behoved his listeners that night to wonder like Ghanaian novelist Ayi Kwei Armah as to why 'they were so blest' and yet over time have wallowed in the mire of neglect and incompetence like no other state in the country ever had. Reflecting on the theme it becomes clear that while the state had the entire prerequisite light to light up the entire nation, lurking in its corners are also enemies of vision who would rather the state remained a hideout for all manner of hooliganism. While their hardworking compatriots laboured to let the light shine, they literarily prayed that it be snuffed off for good. While the former remembered the past with hisses, the latter recalled it filled with nostalgia for when among other incongruities they could commit blue murder under the nose of the law and go scot-free.

Using the Obi paradigm one could not wonder why an election will be conducted with an access of state funds and yet rubbished by the selfsame state. Nobody can doubt that given the peculiarities of our non-oil producing status we need all the money possible to break even with the huge salary bill that we have to cope with. The populace is expected to pay its taxes as and when due, yet state funds are lavished at charades. Amenities in the state are barely enough to accommodate our teeming population and there are virtually no funds to make for improvements let alone set up new ones. The list is as endless as there is sand on the seashore.

In those days 'eaten by the locusts', when virtually all the light there was in the state were hidden under bushels, political parties would rather appoint candidates to elective posts than organise primaries. It was well known then that many candidates that sailed through did so on account of their domestic contributions to the godfather's household. A candidate told of how he had ironed his shirt to be announced candidate at a rally only to be substituted at the event with an Abuja returnee who was recommended overnight by the party chairman's wife. You can imagine the consternation this could lead to down the party line. Or the poor guy made to pay through his nose to buy a ticket only to learn that he had been giving his money to a confidence man in party colours.

There were even the more celebrated cases where otherwise would-be executive office holders are made to swear to strange oaths. Primary in these vows are explicit caveats that automatically amounts to a signing away of our commonwealth to an unemployable tout. Overnight the overgrown paths to their underachieving family compounds turn oft-trodden as their likes unable to compete in a state of firsts see in them a last straw. All day long flowing garment vaudevilles are received in mock obeisance to the false gods who in turn get drunk on their power like those God wants to silence. The burning of state government property by those that hoped to occupy it was the culmination of this comedy of errors.

One could even remind his wondering a little and recollect that there was a time in Anambra when state primary and secondary schools missed an entire academic season because of the 'vibrancy' of the government of the day. Not only were legitimately employed householders denied their means of livelihood but for that long the state stood still. Desperate parents could not but send their children off to half-baked private schools that were not even ready for the ensued influx. One only wonders what their products would be when the time comes when all will have to reap whatever they sowed.

The forgoing is crucial because another electioneering season has dawned and the state is coming back to life with aspirants and godfathers. Mark my words. Those oft-trodden parts that had become overgrown like before are once more seeing footsteps again. Promises are once more being traded on platters. The un-credentialed are dusting their fake certificates once more hoping that the fog had not cleared after all.
Coming on the heels of the February 6 governorship polls that returned the incumbent without rerun, his party the All Progressives Grand Alliance, has become the cock of the pack. Like honey, the party now attracts bed fellows strange and weird all wanting to capitalise on the bandwagon. This in itself is a very welcome development - if there is enough space in the sky for birds, same must be applicable downstairs for men (and women). However, one thing should be uppermost in the mind of all Anambrarians: 'Home For All' is now associated with all the things bad while 'Light of The Nation' is the way forward that we have since opted for. It now remains to be seen which of these countercultures will have the upper hand as we dig into our political trenches where the only legal weapons are word and strategy.

The truth however remains that Mr Obi has proven that the riddle of Anambra State is for us Anambrarians to solve. Outsiders can only be welcome as advisers who should never weep more than the bereaved. Along this line their advise will have to be weighed and counterbalanced against imminent realities to determine their avoirdupois in gold. The bane of our politics has always been the sacrificing of our patrimony on the altar of nationalism. There is no doubt that we have to be unrepentant nationalists to cope with the Nigeria project but as we do so, we do not have to forgo our surnames. Anyway, wise words are not said to be interpreted. On hunting day, we shall meet at the antelope's backyard. 
Uzoatu, poet, novelist and businessman was Secretary Peter Obi Re-election Committee Onitsha South LGA Anambra State .

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I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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