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Monday, November 11, 2013

For the North to rise again

Written by Dapo Thomas

The caliphate and the emirates have declined. Their spiritual fountain is drained. Their political influence has withered. Their command structure is stunted. The foundation of "One North, One People" has crumbled. The Abubakar Saddiq III legacy has been imperiled. All his 50-year efforts to have one formidable north are going down the drains. The House of Sardauna has cracked. The winds are torturing the troubled souls of the mullahs. The people of the North are in disarray. The elite have scattered. The politicians are fighting. The peasants are grieving. The almajiris are grumbling. The haramists are in the trenches running helter skelter. The picture is real and the message is clear: the North has fallen. Its ancestors are crest-fallen wondering if a region whose present is in jeopardy can boast of a future that is politically worthy. The power of the North has gone awry and the Arewa has lost its aura.

Sir Ahmadu Bello and Sir Abubakar Saddiq III were great visionary leaders of the North whose pertinacious astuteness and political ingenuity were aimed at the consolidation of the Northern hegemony and unity within the complex polity of the Nigerian state. Leveraging on the Uthman Dan Fodio's enigmatic persona, both men inspired in their followers the imperativeness of protecting and sustaining the vision of dominance. Some people always confuse dominance with domination. Dominance is about relevance and influence while domination is about subjugation and conquest. The intention of these two great leaders, as evident in their populist sentiments and philosophy, was not for the North to dominate other components of the Nigerian State, but to carve a solid political influence for themselves to be able to protect the interests of the North. More fundamentally, these two great leaders were mindful of the incursion of Christianity into their territory. They wanted a North that will remain compact as to guarantee the immutability of their religious character and cultural identity.

The cracks presaging the fall of the North were there all along but regrettably, nobody considered them ominous. First was the query issued by Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, the then governor of Kano State, to the Emir of Kano, His eminence, Alhaji Ado Bayero, on July 9, 1981. Next was the dissolution of the Muri emirate headed by Alhaji Umaru Abba Tukur by the then governor of Gongola State, Col. Yohanna Madaki in July, 1986 and the climax of these institutional desecrations was the dethronement of the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki by Sani Abacha on April 20, 1996 after reigning for 8 years. All these were portentous actions signposting the decline of the oneness of the North. But they were discountenanced because circumstances took care of them. The Kano riots which followed Rimi's disrespectful query, the unceremonial removal and retirement of Yohanna Madaki by the Babangida administration and the celebrated death of Sani Abacha.

Until the Abacha-Dasuki debacle in 1996, the military overwhelmingly defended and fortified the political interest of the North. It showed massive respect to its institutions and its spiritual leadership and also provided the resources for the training and capacity-building of its civil personnel in a bid to consolidate its grip on political power in all facets. This relationship was not strange. Instead, it reinforces the belief that the leadership of the North, anticipating the future role of the military in Nigerian politics, enlisted their sons into the Armed Forces during the colonial era to ensure that the elite corps of the Army was not only dominated by the North but well positioned to play a crucial role in the political future of the North in particular and Nigeria in general. Unfortunately, while this was going on in the North, the leadership of the South was more interested in the dignity of university education for their own sons whom they were preparing for post-independence political administration.

Both regions seemed to have achieved the objectives of their strategic planning. Between1966 and 1999 when the military finally returned to the barracks, the North dominated more than 90% of the military tenures leaving the South with just a 3 year interventionist leadership after Olusegun Obasanjo succeeded Murtala Mohammed in 1976. This was even at the instance of General Theophilus Danjuma who declined to take over as the Head of State on personal grounds. Otherwise, all the military regimes could have been headed by officers from the North. During its many years in power, the military, substantially led by the Northerners as earlier noted, made sure that most of the administrative and civil structures including the civil service, federal parastatals and agencies were firmly controlled by Northerners, some of whom are still there today or had replaced themselves with those they mentored. Conversely, the south too seems to be dominating the new democratic dispensation since 1999 with the North credited with only 3 years out of the 14 years of the democratic project. And very likely going by GEJ's ruthless adventurism and desperation for a second term, the North may have to wait till 2019. Even this contemplation is still in the realm of speculation. Anything can happen to prevent the return of the North to the centre after Jonathan's tenure, for instance, the personality crisis brewing among the political class.

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) inspired by people like Alhaji Mahmoud Atta to act as a mechanism for political control and continuity is now a symbol of political cacophony. The forum is gradually sinking into depravities. Disturbed and rattled by the forum's present degeneracy, prominent and influential northerners who did not want to be part of this mess have stopped attending its meetings. Some are engaged in shady and dirty deals that the government is aware of but keeps secret for as long as such unscrupulous elders keep undermining the interest of the North to Jonathan's advantage. Some so-called northern elders have also compromised their principles by flirting with the Jonathan administration at the expense of the collective interest of the entire North.

It is no secret that there is no love-lost between the political class and the military elite of the North. The political class is evidently not in favour of overlapping functionality and opportunistic professional migration. The politicians are unwilling to admit into their group the military boys whom they believe, and rightly so, had had their own opportunity. This is the problem Ibrahim Babangida and Muhammed Buhari are facing. Though, the masses in the North admire Buhari and have nothing against him, the political elite who determine who gets what do not believe in the choice of the talakawas whom they regard as political nitwits lacking the feudal orientation to determine quality leadership.
The Boko Haram had exposed the obvious decline in the spiritual authority of the Caliphate and the emirates. The helplessness, inability and failure of the northern traditional rulers to end the siege of horror by the Boko Haram is an indication of the collapse and ignominy the northern traditional institutions had suffered lately. It is unimaginable that a time would come that the Sultan and the Emirs who had a god-like image in not-too-distant past would be reduced to their present siddon look figures. The Sultan, the emirs and their durbars were impeccable delight for local and international tourists who came from far and wide to watch the sovereigns of the North display the beauty of their power and culture. Aside from the emirs, the Sultans until the fall of Dasuki, were rulers of adorable imperial grandeur. Such was the majestic aura of the Sultanate that Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, who ostensibly was the candidate of the North for the presidency after Ibrahim Babangida, had to sacrifice his presidential ambition to become the Sultan of Sokoto in 1988.

I sympathize with the present Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Dr. Muhammed Sa'ad Abubakar who is occupying the position at a difficult time like this. He needs to be pragmatic. His response is not to wallow in self-pity but to rise to the challenge of restoring the declining grandeur of the Sultanate.
The fall of the North has nothing to do with their losing power at the centre. It is about political opportunism, mistrust, greed, betrayal and conspiracy of its elite that have been unfaithful to the founding fathers' creed, which binds them together. I am not surprised, these days, the legacy and vision of the dead is immaterial for as long as the living have their own vision especially one with strong commercial viability and potential. It does not matter if such vision is capable of causing the political mutism of the whole North.
The North needs an inspirational and credible leader with imposing and intimidating profiles in politics and business. A leader who is philosophically and emotionally committed to the northern cause and will do everything within his capability to revivify the dying vision of their founding fathers. I am in no position to suggest who. Period.

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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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