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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Toying with Igbo destiny

By C. Don Adinuba
Adinuba is head of Discovery Public Affairs Consulting.

QUITE a number of Igbo elements have in the last few days taken umbrage at my article on the relationship between Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola and the Igbo-speaking people, with some calling me on the phone to express their sentiments. So much heat, and no light. It is a familiar path. A couple of years ago when I published an article in The Guardian on Sunday, in response to an opinion piece by Akin Osuntokun, I pointed out that much as Chief Obafemi Awolowo's brilliance, foresight, hard work and management acumen were well established, the great politician was imbued with what Ali Mazrui would call a long memory of hate.

Shortly after, Reuben Abati, then The Guardian editorial board chair, wrote rather approvingly of the notion that the Igbo penchant for domination in the military and elsewhere led to the January, 1966, coup d'état. I challenged the assertion, demonstrating with facts and logic that the Igbo conspicuous presence in the officer corps of the Nigerian army right from colonial days was based on merit. I observed that even in the very issue of The Guardian on Sunday where Abati wrote his column in question that out of three Nigerians honoured in London the preceding week for internationally acknowledged achievements, two were Igbo, that is, 66 per cent of the recipients, the very percentage of the Nigerian army officers corps of Igbo extraction as of 1966. Recalling the views of Mazrui, who is the most published African scholar, that the Igbo are the Jews of Africa, I noted that in sports and other fields where merit is the sole criterion the Igbo would always have what may be considered "a disproportionate share".

Now, there is a reversal of roles. Igbo activists are not amused at my article showing that Governor Fashola has gone out of his way to integrate the Igbo in his state more than any governor in Nigeria's history. I typically should be having a good laugh at human folly, but I am rather worried at the proclivity of educated Nigerians to remain in Francis Fukuyama's "primitive age of mankind". Of particular concern is the growing inability of the present generation of the Igbo elite to demonstrate courage, fidelity to truth, acute knowledge and strategic thinking. Instead of leading from the front, they have chosen the convenient and cheap option of conformity and groupthink. They have allowed rabble-rousers and politicians enthusiastic to manipulate primordial differences and capitalize on a culture of persecution complex to dictate the pace. They are not showing the light, so the people are not finding the way.

We must see the recent decision by the Lagos State government to relocate 14 Igbo destitute people to Anambra State as a wake-up call. We must learn from our recent history. When the Great Zik of Africa returned from the United States in the 1940s with a string of degrees in diverse disciplines, he saw that the Igbo were lagging behind the Yoruba because Igboland is in the hinterland, far removed from the sea through which modernity came to our country. He did not induce in the Igbo a persecution or inferiority complex or demonise the Yoruba, but rather took far-sighted steps to make them leapfrog  developmentally. He sent to the United States nine promising Igbo young men, including K. O. Mbadiwe, Nwafor Orizu, Mbonu Ojike and Okechukwu Ikejiani, for further studies, and the "Argonauts", in turn, sent their family members and relatives to the U.S. This is the genesis of the Igbo dominance of the Nigerian community in the U.S. A gifted anthropologist, Zik recognized that Igbo society thrives on village and town competition. He used the instrumentality of the Igbo State Union to accelerate the establishment of educational institutions by communities. Once a community built a school, neighbouring ones would do everything to have theirs. Thus, "in one fantastic burst of energy", as Chinua Achebe put it, "the Igbo wiped out their educational handicap". By 1965, they had begun to compete with the Yoruba educationally. Meanwhile, Zik had recruited many village primary school teachers with a flair for writing and trained them as journalists on his West Africa Pilot. That's how the Igbo came into journalism. Emmanuel Obiechina, the late eminent professor of sociology of literature, did show in a compelling manner how this development led to the emergence of the first generation of intellectual novels in Nigeria and the how the Igbo were in the forefront.

As Eastern Nigerian premier, Zik operated by far the lowest budget in the country because palm produce, the region's mainstay, was attracting much lower prices than cocoa and groundnut, which were the main revenue earners for the other regions. Yet, he was able to establish the Eastern Nigerian Development Commission, able to set up Nigeria's first indigenous bank, Nigeria's first full-fledged university, Nigeria's first cement company, Nigeria's first gas company, Nigeria's first steel company, Nigeria's first industrial estates, etc. No wonder, Eastern Nigeria had the world's fastest economy by 1966. But where are the Zik's legacies today? It is a shame that instead of building on the Zik foundation so that the Southeast will no longer remain an economic wasteland, the Igbo elite, unconscionably manipulated by one or two politicians, have been satisfied to engage in excoriating criticism of Governor Fashola over the relocation of destitute Igbo persons in Lagos to Igboland. Some Igbo elements have, without any sense of embarrassment, demanded that Fashola bring these individuals and rehabilitate them. Has Igboland become such a dreadful place that beggars from Lagos, whom some activists insist were Lagos street hawkers, cannot stay there and be rehabilitated by the various state ministries in charge of social welfare? Must Fashola perform all basic responsibilities, including ones expected of our governors? Why are we not worried about the present state of the industrial towns of Aba and Nnewi? Where is Onwuka Hi-Tek, for one?

Ayo Teriba, the economist, reported a few days ago on inter-regional disparities in Nigeria: "Southeast and Northeast (ravaged by Boko Haram) not only had the smallest economies in 2012, they also recorded the least absolute and percentage growths". Why are we not alarmed at this trend? Why are we not demanding accountability and solid performance from Southeast governors and legislators so that our homeland can regain its place of pride? Why have our elite been cold to the takeoff of the Southeast Economic Development Commission, for which Chris Okoye has for years been shouting himself hoarse? How did we come about the lazy thinking that uttering unflattering things about Fashola is the way to demonstrate Igbo nationalism? Frankly, the low road which Igbo think tanks have taken since the brouhaha over the return of indigent Igbo elements in Lagos to their homeland is the most graceless. The think tanks have been driven by emotion, and not reason. Nigerian intellectuals validate, through their utterances and actions, the notion in some quarters that educated Africans often fail to think deeply. "Emotion is African, reason is Greek", lamented Leopold Sedar Senghor, statesman, poet and negritude philosopher who led Senegal to independence in 1960.

Finally, I would like to repeat the kernel of the argument in my previous article. The relocation of destitute persons by the Lagos State government has nothing to do with their being Igbo. Removal of beggars from Lagos streets began no sooner than Fashola assumed office six years ago. And he began with urchins better known as area boys who are mostly indigenes of Lagos Island, his ancestral home. It is a component of the Lagos megacity project. Under this project, thousands of northerners and Yoruba people have been relocated to their home states. Indeed, no governor compares with Fashola in demonstrating solidarity with the Igbo people. The evidence is overpowering.
The Igbo elite have toyed with the Igbo destiny enough. This is the time to start the difficult but rewarding process of resuscitating and modernizing the economy of the Igboland. All this hot air about the defence of Igbo dignity through sentimental and reckless showmanship in the media must now come to a close. This is not what Zik, Alex Ekwueme and other high-minded individuals taught us. Low road leads to perdition. The Igbo must save their homeland themselves.

No comments:


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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