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Saturday, May 9, 2015

2015 Elections: This gratuitous insult of Igbo!

Last week, one reader sent me this SMS: "Everywhere you go, a typical Yoruba person will say Igbo have made a mistake in voting for President Goodluck Jonathan. My question is this: Why is this? Is APC the only party in Nigeria? Were Yoruba not in the opposition before now? Why is everybody taking interest in what Igbo do? Why? Answer me!"
I could not answer this reader's question immediately, not for want of what to say. I guess that in trying to answer his question now, I will be addressing many others, who may be so agitated or fall into the category of those, who think or say that the Igbo have committed political hara-kiri by voting for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) instead of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last general elections. Of course, the Igbo could not have made a mistake. And they have not committed any political suicide either. What the Igbo did was to stand for what they believed in. And since they did so out of conviction, they are the ones who would say that a mistake had been committed or not. It is not for those whose parameter for judgment is jaundiced to so decide. Besides, the voting pattern of the Igbo in 2015 is not different from what it has been since 1999.

For the avoidance of doubt, prior to the last general elections, the Igbo aligned more with the PDP than any other political party. In 1999, all the five states in South East voted for PDP, as Abia (Orji Uzor Kalu), Imo (Achike Udenwa), Ebonyi (Sam Egwu), Enugu (Chimaroke Nnamani) and Anambra (Chinwoke Mbadinuju) states produced PDP governors. In 2003, all the five South East states also had PDP governors (Abia: Kalu; Imo: Udenwa; Ebonyi: Egwu; Enugu: Nnamani; and Anambra: Chris Ngige), but the registration of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which had the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu as its presidential candidate, did cause some upsets. This could explain why APGA succeeded in claiming Anambra State, as the governorship election tribunal and the Court of Appeal did affirm its candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, as the authentic winner of the 2003 governorship election. With this, Ngige, who was in office for three years (2003-2006), was booted out of office, leaving the PDP with four states of Abia, Imo, Ebonyi and Enugu states.

In 2007, then President Olusegun Obasanjo ruffled the feathers in PDP, with the obnoxious deregistration of some members of the PDP, which forced some of those affected in the PDP reregistration exercise out of the political party. Some of those so forced out formed the Progressive People's Alliance (PPA), which won the governorship elections in Abia and Imo states (Theodore Orji and Ikedi Ohakim), in 2007. Whereas PDP retained Ebonyi (Martin Elechi) and Enugu (Sullivan Chime) states, while APGA (Peter Obi) held forth in Anambra, the PDP could be said to be technically and indirectly in charge of Abia and Imo, as the founder of the PPA and governors of the states were PDP members. Between 2007 and 2011, Abia and Imo returned to PDP, with the defection of the governors, members of the state Houses of Assembly and other prominent politicians, who left because of the deregistration exercise in PDP. In 2011, Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi remained with PDP, while Anambra and Imo stayed with APGA (Peter Obi and Rochas Okorocha). Imo State eventually moved to the APC, with the defection of Okorocha who, in any case, was a foundation member of PDP.

From the foregoing, it is obvious that those who say that the Igbo vote for PDP is an aberration are wrong. The South East has been PDP stronghold. Even when other parties took any of the Igbo states, it was former PDP members that were governors. Therefore, Igbo voting for PDP in 2015 can never be a mistake. The people expressed themselves at the polls, aligning with a political party they felt comfortable with. This is the same way the Yoruba stood and massively voted for the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999, Action Congress (AC)/Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2007 and 2011, ignoring the party at the centre, the PDP. If the Yoruba did not make a mistake in 1999, 2007 and 2011 by voting another political party other than the one at the centre, certainly the Igbo made no mistake in voting for PDP in 2015 and ignoring the party that would be at the centre, the APC.

No matter what anybody says, the Igbo vote for PDP, as the political party of their choice, is not different from Hausa/Fulani voting for APC in the last elections. It is not different from the Yoruba voting for the APC. And if people say that the Igbo voted for PDP because of President Goodluck Jonathan, my question is: What's wrong with this? Democracy is about making a choice. That the Igbo voted Jonathan is the same way the Hausa/Fulani voted for General Muhammadu Buhari. It's the same way, the Yoruba voted for Prof Yemi Osinbajo. 

The Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba never voted for change, in the true sense of it. They voted for their kinsmen to be in charge of Nigeria. It is curious that nobody is asking why all the northern states overwhelmingly voted for Buhari. Why is nobody worried that Hausa/Fulani voted for Buhari and shunned PDP? Why hasn't anybody seen this as a mistake? Is it not because Buhari was declared winner of the election? If the result of the presidential election went otherwise, would those now calling Igbo names be saying the same thing? The Hausa/Fulani, who voted for Buhari and the Yoruba, who voted for Osinbajo/Buhari, are as guilty as Igbo who voted Jonathan. Shikena!

It's time for this gratuitous insult of the Igbo to stop. Saying that the Igbo made a mistake because they chose to stand for a particular political party is an unnecessary insult and, indeed, an insult taken too for. A real man must stand for something. Likewise, a group or ethnic nationality must stand for something. I would rather respect a group/ethnic nationality, which stands for what it believes in till the end than one, which says something and does another. Whereas the Igbo stood firm in what they believed in, in the last elections, some other ethnic nationalities employed betrayal, telling Jonathan they stood by him, while working for the APC. This is the difference between the Igbo and others. It's left for Buhari to decide, who to trust. Is it the man who stands by what he says or the one who says something and does another? In any case, while I am not worried about people of other ethnic nationalities, who think that Igbo made a blunder in the last elections over their voting pattern, I find it rather absurd that some Igbo themselves think so. Inasmuch as these Igbo who think that supporting Jonathan was a mistake are entitled to their opinions, I would rather say that their succumbing to the cheap blackmail of other ethnic nationalities, which would want them to think that way, is a mark of inferiority complex. It's really amazing that it's Igbo who think that their people made a mistake while Hausa/Fulani, who are the beneficiaries of the outcome of the elections, for instance, have not even said so. I have not heard Buhari make any scathing comments about the way Igbo voted. And Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State was bold enough to proclaim that South easterners and South southerners played major roles in APC victory.

It is true that from May 29, 2015, Igbo would not be President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives, the fourth highest political offices in the country. However, the pertinent question remains: Is it only when an Igbo man occupies one of these offices that South easterners would benefit from the government at the centre? Now tell me, what was the gain of the South West, as a geopolitical zone, that Obasanjo was president for eight years? Obasanjo, a Yoruba, even neglected Lagos, as important as the state is to the economy of Nigeria. He also withheld the local government allocation of Lagos State. What was the gain of South South, as a geopolitical zone, that Jonathan has beenpresident for five years? Jonathan could not even complete the East-West Expressway. 

Apart from empowering a few people from the zones, by way of contracts, for their selfish end, what did Obasanjo and Jonathan do to change the fortunes of South West and South South? How many roads did they build in their geopolitical zones? How many industries did they site? How many investments did they bring to their areas? Besides, I do not see any difference between now that Jonathan is president and when Buhari will be in charge. Under Jonathan, Igbo man is not President, Vice President, Senate President or Speaker, House of Representatives. What the Igbo need from Buhari, as president, are fairness, equity and justice and they will continue to excel in the country, being enterprising people. If Buhari feels that because Igbo did not vote for him, he would not give them their due, it will be too bad. By then, we will know that he's president of North and South West instead of that of Nigeria. However, I think Buhari should rather be worried that his electoral fortunes was almost zero in South East and South South and work towards changing this instead of whatever vendetta, which some people are trying to plant in his mind.

The South East heroes of the last elections are not only those who played active role in APC, to ensure that an opposition party won the presidential election for the first time in 16 years. Igbo who are in PDP, including the market women and ordinary traders in the backwaters of Aba, Onitsha and Abakalili are also the heroes. These are people who have made it possible that Nigeria still has an opposition party, with PDP controlling South East and South South. Democracy without opposition is nothing. Those who say that the Igbo made a mistake are indirectly voting for a one-party state. What then would be the alternative in a one-party state? If APC messes up tomorrow, Nigerians have the opportunity to vote it out and, perhaps, return to PDP. If every state voted for APC, the nation would then be stuck with the party, as a sole political association in the country. And democracy will die because there won't be inter-party contest or general elections.

Nigerians should rather be grateful to the Igbo for providing the platform for an alternative choice. The envy and vilification of the Igbo should stop. The Igbo have minds of their own. They made their choices in the elections and are ready to face the consequences thereof. Now that, by their voting, they have fallen into the opposition, the task before the Igbo is to organise themselves and not to cry over spilt milk. The last elections have shown that if the Igbo work together they could break the wall of Jericho. What others see as a minus today may turn out a plus tomorrow if Igbo work at it. Now, it is assumed that Igbo have an alliance with South South. The task is to take this to another level by working towards forging a broader coalition with the North for a stronger PDP. What it takes is for PDP to see the window of opportunity so provided, reorganise itself, rezone the offices, formally zone the presidency to the North and work to take back power in 2019, if Buhari is doing only one term or 2023, if the president-elect is doing two-terms. The PDP could start by wooing back top northerners, who were alienated because of the presidential ticket of the party. And the North/South East/South South alliance will evolve. When this happens, the gloaters today will know that the Igbo, believed to have made a mistake, will become the cornerstone of the house.

For the Igbo in APC, they should stand firm and claim their rights. They worked, in their individual capacities, for APC's success and deserve whatever privileges others will enjoy. However, the way such APC members, as Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Chris Ngige, Osita Izunazo, Okey Ezea, Rochas Okorocha, Anyim Nyerere and others are treated, just as the way Buhari would treat the South East, will determine how the APC will fair in South East in subsequent elections. For now, I think it's too early to say who the winners or the losers of APC's victory really are.

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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