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Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Chigachi Eke

Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha lures foreign investors to develop his agriculture and tourism. He has 10,000 workers who cannot be reabsorbed into the civil service. Unemployment is rife. Respite should come from these investors who are saying the fog of war is over Nigeria for business. Out of desperation he turns to northern states to employ 5000 Imo teachers in an exchange programme, the very states with anti-intellectuals violently opposed to Western education.

Okorocha's dilemma is not peculiar. Imo is mirror image of Igbo communities outside Nigeria. Prolonged unemployment is forcing adult Igbos into a second childhood. Even with a resident permit, the Igbo exile is redundant whereas the Chinese who arrived after him is running his own businesses. Ask yourself why? Simple: Your Igbo is a lone castaway strictly on his own but the Chinese is anchored on a Chinese economy planted ahead of his arrival.
The Igbo queues for menial job in Brussels. The Chinese is given a lock up store at the Chinese Shopping Mall eight hours after arriving Europe. This Chinese-owned, Chinese-occupied mall is built by Beijing using its resident citizens. A year later the Chinese employs the Igbo as security. What I'm saying is nothing new. Chika Onyeani has said it all in the "Capitalist Nigger," a book no foreign investor wants Okorocha to read.

I aim to argue that Igbo governors can kick start a buoyant Igbo economy worldwide by setting up Igbo-owned, Igbo-occupied and Igbo-managed trading posts in the Diaspora. Citizen Okorocha could return to world capitals not to look for foreign investors but as one using resident Igbos to achieve his objective. Our case study is Igbos of South.
The insecurity of Igbo lives and property in Nigeria compels us to rethink investment. Following the 2011 attack on Igbo businesses in Kano, Maiduguri, Bauchi and Jos, we witnessed Igbo exodus to foreign lands. Taking investment to them overseas as interventionist measure is the rationale for this paper.

Shortly after the 22nd April 2009 South African general elections, an overwhelmed Chief Baldwin Obasi, National President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo South Africa, called an emergency general meeting. Not only were Igbos selling drugs, the angry complaints of aggrieved South African women of Igbos touching their backsides in the streets had reached the ears of the ruling African National Congress, ANC. It was a great embarrassment for Igbo leadership.
Ohaneze just formed partnership with ANC whose only prayer to Obasi was for him to remove fierce looking Igbos from their street corners. Didi Oguguo, our chief negotiator with ANC, warned the president and Chief Frank Times Ifeanyichukwu (Onyendu Ndigbo South Africa), that if nothing would bring us to daggers drawn with South African men it was this thing about Igbo boys tampering with their women in the streets. None must forget last year's xenophobic attack; he advised removing Igbos from street corners immediately. But removing them to where? That, exactly, was Obasi's headache.

Since every Igbo in South African prison rationalised his failings with the phrase, "Obu ihe obodo nyere," it is what society gives (that you take), Ohaneze candidly acknowledged that our lives were harshly bitter. Unemployment was our number one problem. It was our number two problem. It was our number ten problem. It corrupted good morals turning one Igbo against his brother.
I believe you realize that Igbos of South Africa cargo home more dead bodies than Igbos in North America. And we're just less than a quarter of a million. Ask the immigration at the MMIA Lagos; there is no given day a dead Igbo does not pop up from Johannesburg. Most of these victims gypped their brothers in business and were cut down. Others were bludgeoned to death protecting the paltry sums hoarded over the years. A careless comment spelt their doom.

Also, Igbos of South Africa are the most ill-mannered, prone to violence and criminal minded among world Igbo population. This trait has nothing to do with environmental determinism. Our excesses have everything to do with a vindictive mindset seething with anger. If an Igbo was welcomed with a head butt, you can be sure that he would never live at peace with himself till he head butted another Igbo,"Obu ihe obodo nyere." Only in Johannesburg you'll meet a forty year old who tells you he's twenty five, displaying mannerism very consistent with that age group. It is also in this grey zone that an Igbo teen talks intelligently to you like an old man, his defence mechanism against being swallowed whole by the wolves around him.

After an open debate President Obasi put heads together with Prince Kennedy Okafor, his gentle deputy. When he looked up again he said he was setting up a presidential committee to study Ndigbo and their problem. This committee, known as Research and Planning Committee, had the University of South Africa, Unisa, law student John Unachukwu (Chairman), Romanus Okoroigbo (member), Uche Obiorah (member), Samuel Obiorah (member) and, myself as secretary.
Ohaneze intentionally picked us for our backgrounds. Uche Obiorah played professional football in Israel. He represented our sportsmen. Unachukwu, a solid giant, heads the Youth Wing. Okoroigbo ships your container to Lagos and Samuel Obiorah owns business; Igbo businessmen trusted both. I represented Igbo professionals without profession, tragic fellows who tell you Christ's second coming holds no terror for them. We had one month to report back to the house.

Based on their common retort when we asked them how they would like Ohaneze to help them economically, we concluded that this angry tribe wanted their own business premises, like Indians, to go legitimate. That was what every Igbo said and, what every Igbo also believed was most improbable. A man has been there when his pessimism defies faith. We also discovered something else. This was the double agony of the Igbo man forced to abandon his wife and children in anti-Igbo Nigeria. We wrote and submitted our report.
Our recommendation on how to get Igbos out of the street into meaningful endeavours was for Comrade Jacob Zuma and ANC to allocate Ohaneze Ndigbo South Africa land to build Igbo Market in Johannesburg. Our preferred site was the Crown Mine area. We were prepared to build our own lock-up stores with direct labour. Three years running we never heard again from the powers that be. Igbos still marked the street, euphemism for criminal activities. Nothing about us has changed, just as change always manages to pass us by.

The 22nd September 2011 Newswatch report on Okorocha's efforts to create employment in Imo inspired me. My prayer is for him to also be magnanimous to Igbos trapped between heaven and earth in foreign lands. For as little as Thirty Million Naira (N30, 000 000), Okorocha could buy a title hold where Ndigbo can build their lock up stores and launch themselves into mainstream South African economy. Right now we're on the periphery.
Ohaneze Ndigbo South Africa is convinced the depressing economic reality of Ndigbo in South Africa is untenable, calling for some Marshal Plan. By opting for home support, we're not asking for charity but investment. India built Oriental Plazas all over South Africa for Indians. No black is given store in these plazas, democracy or not. In Chinese markets Igbos and blacks are also not allowed to trade there. Our Igbo governors and local government chairmen, not just Okorocha alone, must never undermine the cloak and dagger aspect of globalisation.

There are immense benefits in having Eke Ndigbo Market in Johannesburg. Such will usher in a prosperous Igbo community capable of rehabilitating Igbo exiles upon arrival, in addition to creating ready market for Igbo labour and products back home. Oh yes, Igbo economy exists in the Diaspora. All that is needed is organization, in particular, and home investment; without which we perish. I subscribe hundred percent to Onyeani's new thinking that only an economically free Igbo can be politically free. I do not know how Okorocha or Obasi can convert Igbo outlaws into holy men if not by gently leading them to self-sustenance and self-redemption.

War is another consideration why Okorocha must prepare off shore sanctuaries in times of peace. General Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu saved Igbo children in the civil war by flying them to safe haven in Gabon. Whichever way the cat jumps in 2015, trying times are ahead. We need more than one safe haven today, just in case. That we desire peace is no guarantee that war won't be forced on us, like before. I mean, Ndigbo are not in a position to start or stop hostility in Nigeria. Let us not lie to ourselves. All we can do is fight, or die.
Igbo communities overseas, therefore, must now be fortified economically with investments from Igboland that when the latter sends out distress calls for humanitarian assistance the former should be buoyant enough to respond massively. This symbiotic exchange exists between the State of Israel and World Jewry. It is also the type of exchange programme I would like Okorocha to privilege.

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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