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Friday, October 9, 2015

Igbo rise in honour of Dora Akunyili

Written by Chinedu Asadu, Enugu. 

...Nebo, Obi, others eulogize her virtues

The occasion paraded who-is-who in Igbo land though it was not a political gathering.
The Igbo personalities had gathered to honour their fallen illustrious daughter, the late Prof Dora Akunyili in a lecture organized to immortalize her name.
Taking the first shot in the lecture that had two parts, former Minister for Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, called on the Federal Government to immortalize the late ex-Information Minister, Prof Akunyili, to serve as an inspiration for the younger generation to do good for their country.

In his lecture entitled: "Dora Akunyili and her uncommon legacy", at the first memorial anniversary of the late NAFDAC director general in Enugu, Prof Nebo believed that if Mrs Akunyili was immortalized, the young ones would not only be motivated, but would also be "encouraged by the fact that when they demonstrate good leadership, their labours for our country would never be in vain."
He commended the Anambra State government led by Chief Willie Obiano for taking the lead in immortalizing the late Akunyili as a mark of honour for her numerous contributions to nation building.

Nebo who is also a former vice chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, recalled that as information minister, Prof. Akunyili understood very well the place of information in national development.
He noted that during her tenure as minister, Akunyili worked tirelessly to rebrand Nigeria thereby giving the country an enviable image abroad, adding that "she dutifully guided her work team to bring to the fore those marvelous and imperishable beauty in our diverse cultures, instead of nosing around for bad news to report".

According to him, "in some circles abroad, all one needed to obtain some special favours was to claim that you are from Dora Akunyili's country".

Prof. Nebo said that while working as director general of NAFDAC, Akunyili applied rare strategic thinking and planning skills to engage both national and international agencies in the war against fake drugs.

His words: "Her efforts yielded substantial fruits and the merchants of death sought to kill her when they couldn't dismantle Dora's incorruptibility. The challenges she faced were overwhelming, yet she remained undaunted; exhibiting the fireworks of an indomitable spirit, as she tackled them masterfully".
Describing Akunyili as a "celebrated African amazon, a professional titan, an altruistic patriot, a communication guru and a unique public servant of incredible depth, an icon of a quintessential Ada Ndigbo," Nebo pointed out that her virtues were too numerous to amalgamate into one lecture, and prayed God to give Nigeria another Dora Akunyili.
In the part two of the lecture, former Anambra State governor, Mr Peter Obi, eulogized the late Akunyili, describing her as a committed Nigerian who was ready to sacrifice her life to save the country.

Obi recalled how Mrs Akunyili shutdown the Onitsha Main Market to rid the market of fake drugs, shortly after having breakfast with him in his house without disclosing her intentions to him, showering praises on her for her courage.
His words: "She did not want to tell me of her plan because she didn't want my opinion, she knew the action was negative to my government, but she was convinced her action was in the best interest of the country, Dora was a role model any country would pray to have."
Obi noted that to further demonstrate her love for Nigeria, Mrs Akunyili, even in her last days in an Indian hospital, was still asking him of the security situation in Nigeria and the whereabouts of the Chibok girls.

Also speaking, the chairman on the occasion and former Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, noted that Mrs Akunyili was a great patriot who served her husband, Dr Chike Akunyili, and the nation well, saying it would be difficult to find a replacement of her person.
Earlier, Mrs Akunyili's husband, Dr Chike Akunyili, who is the proprietor of St. Leo's Specialist Hospital, Trans-Ekulu, Enugu, and his first daughter, Dr Ije Akunyili Achy-Brou, who spoke for the family, said they had been consoled greatly by the amount of encomia poured on their matriarch by Nigerians and foreigners since her death last year.

In a rather emotional remark, her daughter, Dr Achy-Brou, told the large audience that "my mother was my best girlfriend, she loved God, she loved poor people, I urge Nigerians to learn how to treat persons that are hardly noticed".
Also former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, in a tribute, described the late Akunyili as an unforgettable amazon and most caring mother who belonged to the rank of those in the likes of Nelson Mandela, Ziks, Awolowo and Ojukwu who lived for the people, pointing out that he and his wife, Victoria Gowon, cherished her charm and passion for excellence.

Dignitaries who attended the memorial lecture included: the Chief Medical Director of UNTH Enugu, Dr Chris Amah, one'time Minister for Information, Chief Nnia John Nwodo Jr, Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Prof. Godfrey Onah, Provost College of Medicine, UNN, Prof. Ernest Onwasigwe, Obi of Onitsha, Nnemeka Achebe, Agbogidi, Dr Uche Akabuike who represented governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, and Dr Izuchukwu Okam of the department of Obstetrics and gynecology, UNTH.

Others are the wife of Chief Tony Anini, a PDP chieftain, renowned surgeon at UNTH, Dr. Joseph Okafor of the accident and emergency Unit, Prof. Margaret Aghaji of UNN and former Provost College of Medicine, UNN, Prof. Basden Onwubere and wife Lady Akwaugo as well as the former dean, Faculty of Dentistry, UNN, and Dr. Linda Oge Okoye, among others.
It will be recalled that Mrs Akunyili rose to the status of professor of pharmacy at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, when Prof. Chinedu Nebo was vice chancellor.

How misdiagnosis killed Akunyili
Written by Sola Ogundipe, Ben Agande, Chioma Obinna, Victoria Ojeme, Tony Edike, Daud Olatunji, Joseph Erunke and Johnbosco Agakwuru - Vanguard, Nigeria.

Prof. Dora Akunyi
After surviving several rumours of her death, a former Minister of Information and Communication and erstwhile Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili, bowed to ovarian cancer early yesterday.

Meanwhile, her death was blamed on misdiagnosis by some doctors in the United States (US). The doctors were said to have claimed she did not have cancer after her Nigerian doctor’s diagnosis to the effect she had the sickness.
News of her death was officially announced by a former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, on the Anambra Broadcasting Service, ABS. Obi said Akunyili died after a protracted battle with cancer.
Obi, in the statement, said: “On behalf of the Akunyili family, I wish to officially confirm the death of Prof. (Mrs.) Dora Nkem Akunyili, OFR, in a Specialist Cancer Hospital in India today at 10 am, Nigerian time, after a two-year battle with cancer. In spite her illness, Prof. Akunyili was unwavering in her belief in a better Nigeria. That was why she defied her condition and was part of Anambra State Handover Committee and the National Conference."

The statement continued: “The last time I visited her in India, even when she needed all the prayers herself, she was full of concern for the abducted Chibok girls, security and other challenges facing the country and told me that she remained prayerful for the release of those girls and for God to help President Goodluck Jonathan to overcome all the challenges facing the nation.
“She therefore urged all Nigerians to remain prayerful and committed to building a better society for our children. We all prayed together and I promised to be visiting her every month. “We thank all those who remain fervent in prayers for her recovery and urge them to remain prayerful for the peaceful repose of her soul.”
Concern about Akunyili, who had been on admission in hospital for an undisclosed ailment, had made the rounds in recent times.

For several weeks, rumours of her battle with ovarian cancer dominated the social media. Although family sources debunked the stories, the rumours got stronger.
Her public appearance at the National Conference heightened anxiety about her well-being as she looked frail and a shadow of her old self.
Sunday Vanguard findings showed that the former Minister’s ill health first came to the fore a couple of years ago while on a trip abroad. A medical check up showed she had cancer.
The Cable, an online medium quoting a family source, yesterday, blamed misdiagnosis for Akunyili’s death.
According to the source, when in 1998, the former Minister was the Zonal Secretary (South-east) of the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund, Nigerian doctors gave her what many of her family members considered to be a health scare. They said she had a growth and needed surgery.

The source narrated: “Akunyili, then 44, decided to travel to the United States, first to get a second opinion and then undergo the prescribed surgery. The bill for the medical trip was $17,000, including $12,000 for the surgery. During pre-surgery check-up in the US, the doctors told her the Nigerian doctors had made a wrong diagnosis and that she did not need any surgery.
“It was said to be a minor issue that medication would solve. She thanked the doctors and, to their surprise, said she was going to return the money meant for the surgery to PTF. That was strange. Nigerian government officials had devised a way of making sure such monies were not returned to the treasury.
“The hospital informed the PTF, under the leadership of Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, about one honest Nigerian they had found. Buhari, himself a straightforward person, was very impressed. He wrote a letter to Akunyili commending her honesty. NAFDAC Then came 2001. President Olusegun Obasanjo wanted to appoint a director-general for the National Agency for Drug and Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and asked for the recommendation of an honest Nigerian pharmacist. Akunyili's name promptly came up.
“Someone who had heard about her PTF record recommended her. There was a little problem, a Nigerian problem. Objections were raised that the minister of health, Prof. ABC Nwosu, was an Igbo from Anambra State and NAFDAC, being a powerful agency under the ministry, should not be headed by another Igbo from Anambra. It was also argued that the market for fake and substandard products were controlled by the Igbo, with Onitsha - also in Anambra State - a major centre for the illicit business. She was going to protect "her people", the antagonists said.
“Obasanjo, stubborn to the cause, ignored the observations and appointed her. She went on to do a credible job and ended up as one of the most outstanding public officers in Nigeria's history, celebrated locally and globally. She had lost a sister to fake drugs, and that was perhaps the impetus she needed to go on the offensive. Misdiagnosis Meanwhile, Akunyili always went abroad for check-ups and she was always given an all-clear. She continued to look robust and energetic, and took up another government job as minister of information and communications.
“But on July 13, 2013, something strange happened to her. She was preparing to travel to the United States to receive an award. The following day was her birthday. Her 59th, precisely. Then she fell ill. She was physically weak and having pains. She decided to go ahead with her trip and attend to her health in the United States. It was while she was there that new checks were carried out.
“Alas, she had cancer. The original diagnosis in 1998 was right. But the diagnosis at the point of surgery was wrong. She became seriously ill and there were fears she could lose her life. She was in the hospital for months and only returned to Nigeria this year when the doctors said she was improving. Her last public appearance was at the National Conference in Abuja, where she was a delegate. Pictures of a frail-looking Akumyili soon went viral on the internet”.

In a tribute, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Professor Akin Osibogun, described the news as shocking.
“It is indeed sad. I am just hearing the news from you now. Professor Dora Akunyili was a personal friend apart from working together during her days at NAFDAC.

The National President, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Pharm Femi Adebayo, stated: “My eyes were filled with tears when I heard about the death of a faithful and brave Nigerian,

Pharmacist par excellence. Dora rode where men trembled, especially her fight against fake counterfeit and adulterated drugs".

Dora Akunyili, a distinguished citizen and patriot – President Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has described late Dora Akunyili as a distinguished Nigerian and Patriotic citizen who would be sorely missed by all those who came in contact with her.
In a statement yesterday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati quoted the President as saying he ‘ received with shock and sadness, news of the sudden and untimely death of Professor Dora Akunyili, former Minister of Information and Communications.

“The President believes that Professor Akunyili will live long in the memories of those who were privileged to know her as a diligent professional, a public-spirited and forthright public officer, and as a person of great convictions.

The First Lady, Dame Patience Faka Jonathan, described Akunyili as a "titan," who left an indelible mark with the passion and conviction with which she served the nation. Dame Jonathan described the late Akunyili's departure as "a great loss to the nation and the womenfolk."

Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State expressed profound shock and sadness over the death of f Professor Akunyili, describing it as a serious blow to the nation. Chime in a reaction signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Chukwudi Achife, said her death has robbed the nation of one of her finest breed of patriots.

Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Paul Orhii, described late Dora Akunyili as a patriot and a woman of great virtue.
According to Orhii: "It is with great shock but with total submission to the will of God that I received the sad news of the death of Prof. Dora Akunyili. She was a woman who loved Nigeria deeply and dedicated her entire life up till the very last minute to the service of this great nation".

National Chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, said the death of Professor Akunyili was very saddening, adding that it was a huge loss to Nigeria and the womenfolk.

Aka Ikenga also mourned this lady of substance for among other things, she was a titanic Amazon, according to Chief Goddy Uwazurike, the President of Aka Ikenga.

Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, in his own reaction, described the late former Information Minister, as an amazon.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on media, Mrs Olufunmilayo Wakama, Amosun, who expressed shock and disbelief at the news of the demise of the one time Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), at the age of 59, said she deserves Special mention among nation builders in Nigeria.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu expressed grief and shock over the death of Akunyili.

He said her death was not just a colossal loss to the entire country but also an exit of an uncommon role model.

Ekweremadu, in a statement through his Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu, described the late Pharmacist as a "woman of substance, unequaled character, and courage who brought respect and glory to the nation."

The Campaign for Democracy, CD, described her as strong and brave woman fought her last battle with cancer which she has just lost at the age of 59.
She will always be remembered for her doggedness,tenacity and courageous pursuit of ideals both as Director General of NAFDAC and Minister of Information

Also reacting to the death of Prof. Akunyili, Chairman, Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Senator Andy Uba, said that the late Prof. Akunyili dedicated her life to the service of her fatherland and waged great war against fake and counterfeit drugs in the country.

Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, has described as shocking, painful and saddening, the death of former Information and Communication Minister, Professor (Mrs.) Dora Akunyili, lamenting that Nigeria has once again lost one of her gems.
Governor Imoke in a statementsigned by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita, said: “I received with a heavy heart, news of the death of our dear Dora Akunyili, who was one of the few Amazons of our time.”

Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger state has described the death of Akunyili as a big blow to the country whose intellectual competence and patriotic citizenship cannot be equaled.
He also described her as a fountain of knowledge, professional expert who exuded servant leadership during her national service.

According to Joseph Evah, national coordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group, IMG, Nigerians will miss Prof. Dora Akunyili. She was the first person to risk her life for President Goodluck Jonathan during the period the late President Musa Yar’Adua became sick before he died. Then, the Yar’Adua cabal, was determined to deny Jonathan his constitutional right as Vice-President to succeed the late President. The people of Niger Delta are grateful to her and are mourning her passing.

'Adorable Dora' (1954 – 2014)
Prof. Dora Akunyili, a recipient of the Order of the Federal Republic, OFR, resigned her appointment as Minister of Information on December 16, 2010, after two years of service to pursue her political ambition of representing Anambra Central in the National Assembly as a senator.
Fondly known as "Adorable Dora", the internationally renowned pharmacist, pharmacologist, erudite scholar, administrator, and visionary leader, would, perhaps, be best remembered as the no-nonsense
Director General of the National Agency for Foods, Drugs and Administration and Control, NAFDAC.
Born in Makurdi, Benue State, on July 14, 1954, the deceased hailed from Nanka, Anambra State. The deceased always had a knack to be marked for distinction.
A post-doctorate Fellow of University of London and a Fellow of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists, it was NAFDAC, Director General that Akunyili proved her mettle as a leader and visionary.
She took on the hydra-headed problem of fake, spurious, unwholesome and substandard drugs, turning fortunes around for the nation's lopsided drug distribution system and quickly gaining international recognition as a true advocate for public health and human rights protection.
A multiple award- winner for her work in pharmacology, public health and human rights, Akunyili was an embodiment of excellence academically – passing the First School Leaving Certificate Examination with distinction at St. Patrick's Primary School, Isuofia, Anambra State, in 1966.

To prove her prowess, she went on to emerge with Grade I Distinction in the West African School Certificate Examination of 1973 from Queen of the Rosary Secondary School, Nsukka.
This superlative performance earned her the Eastern Nigerian Government Post-Primary Scholarship and the Federal Government of Nigeria Undergraduate Scholarship. In 1978, Akunyili bagged her first
degree in pharmacy, and her Ph.D in 1985 from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Among her outstanding awards were the Time Magazine Award 2006 ( One of the 18 Heroes of our Time) – Time Magazine Inc.; Person of the Year 2005 Award by Silverbird Communications Ltd; Award of Excellence by Integrated World Services (IWS), Dec. 2005; Award of Excellence -
Advocacy for Democracy Dividends International, Lagos; Meritorious Award 2005; An Icon of Excellence Award by the African Cultural Institute and Zenith Bank Plc; 2005 Grassroots Human Rights Campaigner Award London Based Human Rights Defense Organization, 2005; Most Innovative Director Award Federal Government College, Ijanikin, Lagos, 2005 and Integrity Award 2003 winner given by Transparency International.

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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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