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Monday, December 3, 2012

2015 and Igbo small minds

Culled from The SUN -  November 30, 2012

No matter your attitude to his politics, one thing you can't gainsay about the current crusade of former Abia State governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, for a president of Igbo extraction in 2015, is the large-mindedness of it all. Being a non-partisan campaign for now, and coming from a dyed-in-the-wool politician, it is altruistic, unselfish, and even self-sacrificing, to a large extent.
Except for about six troubled months, when Gen J.T.U Aguiyi-Ironsi, was head of state in 1966, before he was murdered in a military coup, the best an Igbo man has moved near the country's leadership was when Dr Alex Ekwueme was vice president between 1979 and 1983. Since then, power has been but a story told for one of the country's largest ethnic nationalities.
And towards 2015, Kalu has formed the Njiko Igbo, which is a broad-based, non-partisan movement, designed to rally the Igbo nation to seek the presidency with a united front. Quite legitimate, even laudable. He says of the group: "We do not belong to any political party, what we are doing is to unite Ndigbo, and make them a bundle of broom." Njiko Igbo seeks the harmonisation of different political interests in the South-east, and the facilitation of a common position on national issues within the zone. You need a platform like that, considering the republican nature of the Igbo, and their penchant for pulling in different directions, particularly where the power game is concerned. Remember the last gubernatorial race in Anambra?
About 57 aspirants emerged from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alone, and none would step down for the other. Surely, the Igbo nation can never approach the power game at the centre with such attitude, and that is why they need a movement like Njiko Igbo. The nascent group equally seeks to build bridges across political tendencies in the country, and also rekindle the spirit of political participation among the citizens, particularly at the grassroots level. Very good. To get to power in a broad, diverse country like Nigeria, you need to build a national coalition that will become like a moving train, which nothing can stop. The Igbo nation is really getting serious.
With the death of the PDP zoning arrangement in 2011 (killed also largely by the Igbos), I've always maintained that any part of the country that will get power henceforth must struggle for it. Power will never be delivered on a platter to any region in this country again. You will have to strategise, scheme, and jostle for it.
And that is what the Igbo nation has started to do, with Kalu as one of the arrowheads. For a man who ran for president in 2007, and who has always stressed that he wants the country's number one job, to subordinate personal ambition for collective good, is something worthy of commendation. But no drummer ever pleased all dancers, and that is why it was no surprise to see the antics of some small minds from Abia State recently, who stormed the national headquarters of the PDP in Abuja, protesting against the alleged plans of Kalu to return to the PDP.

Before we talk further of these political tyros and catechumen, let me reiterate my conviction about political carpet-crossing. In line with our constitution which guarantees freedom of association, a man can belong to any party he wishes. I don't like the PDP, simply because I believe it has not served the average Nigerian well in its 13 years in power at the centre, but I don't begrudge anyone who thinks the party is the best way to advance his or her political interests. But then, I'm resolutely against any person who moves from one party to the other frivolously, while holding tight to the mandate he won on a former platform. It is immoral, debauched, degenerate, and that is why if you open my Black Book today, you see names like Isa Yuguda, Ikedi Ohakim, Mahmuda Shinkafi, T. A. Orji, and others, boldly inscribed in it.
These were men popularly elected on one platform, and who defected, while still holding tight to the prized mandate. They are reeds tossed to and fro by the wind, irresolute, inconstant people, men I will not trust farther than I can throw them. Such men are dangerous. Am I saying a politician should rot in his political party, even if he is being trampled under foot? No. Olusegun Mimiko dumped first the Alliance for Democracy (AD for PDP, and then PDP for Labour Party, when his rights to contest for governor were circumscribed in his former parties.
Sure, he could, as he held no mandate on behalf of the other parties. But if he had dumped Labour Party for the Action Congress of Nigeria, as demanded by the latter, while still holding a mandate won on Labour Party platform, I would have kicked, and like a wild horse too. Morality must have a part to play in our politics. In 2007, at the tail end of his tenure as Abia State governor, Orji Kalu was technically kicked out of the PDP by Olusegun Obasanjo and other power mongers, who came up with a harebrained re-registration policy, which they used to exclude their political opponents from the party.
Other victims included people like Atiku Abubakar, Audu Ogbeh, Abubakar Rimi, Tom Ikimi, and many others. So, Kalu was justified to have formed the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA). But back to the Igbo small minds. They first showed their hidden hostile hands when they caused some inconsequential so-called stakeholders in Bende Local Government and Igbere chapters of the PDP to pass a resolution that they do not want Kalu back in their fold. They were beefing so badly about a man who had not even signified any intention to return to their fold, and who, incidentally, was one of the founders and financiers of the party in 1998. The masters behind the political apprentices in Bende and Igbere chapters of PDP became evident, when a week later, they stormed the national secretariat of PDP in Abuja. The 'mob' was led by people like T. A. Orji, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, Col. Austin Akobundu, Senators Enyinnaya Abaribe, Nkechi Nwogu, and others.

Wale Sokunbi of our Editorial Board described them in her column on Wednesday as "comical" and "infantile," and I almost died of laughter. I laughed till my sides ached. Yes, very comical, a combination of Baba Sala, Aluwe, Samanja, and Mr Ibu they are. Clowns, fighting against the shadow of a man who has moved far ahead politically, while they are stuck, cabined and cribbed in infantile politics. They said they did not want Kalu back in PDP because the man has no electoral value anymore and that Abia people even hate him. I like Sokunbi's response to them: "But, if the former governor is so hated in the state, and is a little ant of no electoral value in the area, why is the governor and his 'crucify him' entourage so enraged and determined to keep Kalu out of PDP?
Why are they having sleepless nights and are no longer at ease at the thought of Kalu returning to PDP? Why is the governor raging, shaking and has abandoned important state responsibilities to personally lead a team of people, who should be busy attending to matters of state, on this frivolous journey to Abuja? "If Kalu is truly hated by Abians, should he not be left to the mercy of the people who will deal with him at any time through the ballot box? Why is Orji sorely afraid of Kalu in PDP, since he believes the former governor to be a political paperweight who is hated by Abia people?" Very well said. But then, see the hypocrites. (Jimmy Cliff calls them "stinking hypocrites," adding: "You gonna pay the price someday). What was Vincent Ogbulafor's original party? All Peoples Party (APP, now ANPP). Yet, he's in PDP today, and has even been national chairman of the party.
T. A. Orji? His first party was PPA, brought into politics by Kalu, who campaigned and won election for him while he was in prison. He then joined All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), then later PDP. Enyinnaya Abaribe? He was Kalu's deputy as Abia State governor in 1999, and when they fell out, he joined ANPP, where he ran for governor in 2003. Today, he's back in PDP. Nkechi Nwogu was also in ANPP. Most of these people were received into PDP by Kalu, who was then Abia State governor. Now hear their juvenile choruses today. 'We don't want him in PDP.' Hypocrites! You gonna pay the price someday. In 2015, the problem of the Igbo would be the Igbo.

Whether an Igbo man would be president that year would be decided by the Igbo themselves. But with small minds like T. A. Orji, Akobundu and the like, I have my fears. I'm sure they are among those described as "Jonathan-drunk" by my colleague, Dr Amanze Obi, in his column last week, and they will gravely undermine the quest for Igbo presidency in 2015. Said Obi: "Those who want to wait for the president to decide (if he will run in 2015 or not) can go to sleep. They can remain Jonathan-drunk for as long as they wish. But they should make allowance for a different tendency. They should let those who have a different formula try their hands on what they believe...
The quest for Igbo president must move from the realm of convenience to that of a struggle." True, very true. Any region that will produce the president will struggle, and struggle hard to get it. But with small minds like T. A. Orji, Akobundu and Ogbulafor, it's time to fear, to really fear for the Igbo. The minds of such people are so pint-sized because of their antipathy towards one man, and they are never able to see the bigger picture. From such, save us o Lord.

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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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