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Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Henry Okoroafor - New York, USA
Recently, there have been calls from various schools of thought for the sovereignty of Igboland. It has even echoed louder since the passing of Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu. The groups sounding the gong include Mobilization for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Ohaneze Ndigbo and others. They are entitled to their rights of free speech/expression and organization, provided to everyone by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

The idea of Igbo sovereign nation in itself is mouth watering, considering the benefits enjoyed by most small nation states such as Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and many more with abundant natural resources like us. According to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) factsheet, Nigeria as a country is number 32 in world ranking by square kilometers, with 923, 768 and comparative area slightly twice the size of the state of California, USA. The estimated population by July 2012 is 170,123,740 and the demographic layout is as follows: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, and Tiv 2.5%.

Right now you may be wondering why the statistical brouhaha? I put up these figures just to provide you with an insight into how the Igbos will square off as an independent nation whenever that happens. What this means as you may already know is that 18% of the current Nigerian population (Igbo) will have full ownership and control of only about 20% of the total amount of natural resources in the country. I might be a little rusty in my math skills, but this translates to a population of 30, 622, 273.2 taking in less than $11.2 billion out of the current $56 billion total annual oil revenue.

Look closely, we are talking of dollars in this case. Although this sounds like a lot of revenue and with this much money coming from oil alone, the Igbos could smile all the way to the bank. But that is just one factor, which is also likely to bring our political “Robin Hoods” out of the woodworks. Supporters and pundits of the sovereign state of Igboland have for so long presented their arguments on economic grounds, with special emphasis on oil, which we only own a very small percentage of. This is where I have a hard time buying what they are selling and I am not the only one in this free market, shopping for better deals. Having said this, we are now doing ourselves a disservice by merely assuming that we can make due as a sovereign nation state just on oil availability. At a mere mention of our own country or nation, all eyes turn to the oilfields of Ohaji, Egbema, Uguta areas as if that is all we are worth as a people.

It is true that nobody has conclusively traced our origin down to the first Igbo man or woman yet, but one undeniable fact about us as a people is that our heightened sense of survival is unmatched with any other group of people or earth. It was this factor and many more, along with Ojukwu’s selfless and patriotic instincts that almost made Biafra a sovereign nation some forty plus years ago. Can we still boast of that today? I cannot speak authoritatively on the experiences of the Igbos during the Nigeria-Biafra civil war since I was born almost at the end of it. However, according to my father whose experience and commitment to the fight led him to name me Ogueri, the Igbos before and during that time were united, dedicated, loving and very honest people, with a great sense of family and brotherhood, and most importantly, they were very creative and hardworking. He also told me to always proudly lay claim to my Igbo heritage with all the natural rights and privileges as well as the minor artificial inhibitions it bestows on me. This is the premise within which I draw my analysis. 

We have continued to completely ignore the fact that current Igbo generation is on a steady slide down the culture slope, to the point of reluctance even to claim their identity. In Nigeria, it is only an Igbo man that can willingly give his children Yoruba or Hausa names even when he does not know the meaning of such names. It is only an Igbo man that swears up the heavens to be a “Lagosian” in an effort to jettison his heritage even when his name is Emeka Ike and he freely accepts Igbo chieftaincy title. A friend of mine who teaches Igbo language in the department of linguistics at a Nigerian University told me he was going to acquire another graduate degree in a different area of studies. He lamented that he has a burning passion for teaching Igbo language, but lately, the number of student enrollment into the program has drastically dwindled. I honestly shared in my friend’s pain. But here is the kicker; he has two children who neither understand nor speak Igbo language. They only speak English. Prominent Igbo men and women; our high and mighty speak of Igbo language and culture to their children as without any relevance or value. So I ask who are we trying to impress and what are we trying to prove? This tight chick, stiff upper-lip attitude of the rich and powerful only shows how disillusioned some have become in the pursuit of so called class and status.

Now that we are on this language and culture thing, let me key you in on some facts you may not know. While our society’s elite denounces our language and showcase their family monolingual shortcomings as the new evidence of upper-class, the rest of the world is buying into multi-linguistic abilities as the only way to get ahead in the current global dispensation. For example, the United States Department of Defense pays its service members (Military personnel) $300.00 a month for speaking any of the three major Nigerian Languages; Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. So if a service member speaks two Nigerian languages, he or she gets $600.00 a month and for all three, the member gets $900.00 in addition to whatever their monthly salary and allowances are. I am not making this up because I have been receiving this monthly payment for Igbo language since January 2008.

Just like Aristotle, Socrates, Rene Descartes, Emmanuel Kant and the rest, our forefathers by all standards were great philosophers too. They provided us with answers and guiding principles through which we can attain healthy living as a group of people. They firmly instructed us that “Eziokwu bu ndu” (Truth is life), “Umunna bu ike” (There is strenght in community), “Eziaha ka ego” (A good name is greater than money) and that “Ihe ewetara na akuku ite na ala na akuku onu” (That which is acquired through the wrong means only goes into the wrong things). In the days of my grandfather, the Igbos lived as if they were genetically wired to cling onto these principles because their lives depended on them. Today the reverse is the case. The point in all this is that; yes we have the right to a collective struggle in an effort to better the lot of our people; yes we deserve more than what we are getting from the current arrangement and yes we have to start from somewhere to make our case. However we also have to retrace our roadmap towards this struggle if we are gunning for a bang.

The pursuit of sovereignty strictly on economic factors will only set the stage for a total defilement of everything our forefathers believed in, perfected and handed to us. These were the principles that have guided our culture and people for several centuries. They were the same principles that held the Igbos together before and during the trying times (Civil war). But now, these same principles seem to have almost eluded us by our own design. It might seem insignificant a factor, but the danger in living without cultural inclination for any society or group of people is that after a while, the sense of collective endeavor dies in everyone. Life becomes everyman for himself, which is a recipe for disaster. As late Pope John Paul II put it “The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish" Unfortunately, judging from how we have been behaving in the past few years, we might have arrived at that point or on a steady cruise towards a socio-political “Drive-by-shooting”. As Fatima Dike a renowned South African Poet, playwright and actor said, "Your culture is your past, your culture is your future. Without the past, you have no future and without culture, you have nothing”.

Through our culture, we used to find expressions in our agriculture, intellectual reasoning, moral values, dresses, kinship, marriages, languages and even food. Through our culture, we had the ability to modify our thoughts, actions and reactions which made us highly distinguishable from other societies. We used to express ourselves in customs, beliefs, social norms and religion just as we did during the Nigeria-Biafra civil war.

When the dust of fake lifestyle, lies, looting, tyranny and borrowed hybrid Western norms as well as the “dollar and pounds speak” mentality settles, we will be judged by our capacity to learn and transmit our language, culture and identity in their purity to future generations just as they were given to us. Since our toolkit for the pursuit of sovereignty is in a deficiency of essential elements or factors, it might be beneficial for us to return to innocence and begin to reign in our cultural norms. We need to re-evaluate how we were able to accomplish so much as a group in the time of our great grandfathers. Before we start wagging our fingers at those holding our bread, we need to be honest to ourselves to know that our house is on fire. Until we reaffirm who we are and conduct a full assessment of what we believe in, we might not be able to stand tall and demand what rightfully belongs to us as one people, after all “Ana esi na ulo mara mma puo na ama.” (To look good in public, one must first look good at home).

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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