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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Ndigbo in the new government

Written by Chioma Gabriel
APC Presidential Campaign Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, (middle) flanked by APC National Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie Oyegun, APC Chieftain and former Goverinor, Chief Ogbonnaya Ono, Eze Ndi Igbo Suleja, Amb (Dr.) Igwe Collins Chibueze Okoli, Uche Eginti Eze Udo, President General Igbo delegates Assembly (IDA) of the19 Northern States, Chief Damian Sunny Inyamah and others adopt GEN Muhammadu Buhari for 2015 Presidency at the APC Presidential Campaign office in Abuja.
THE Igbo stirred up controversy by the way they voted in the last presidential and national assembly elections. This has put the people in a very precarious position in the new government of Muhammadu Buhari and has generated a question of what fiddle they could play in the scheme of things.

From the results announced afterward, the South East States except Imo gave their almost undivided votes to President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Presidential and National Assembly polls.
Simply put, Ndigbo are perceived to have voted themselves out of relevance in the APC government except a miracle happens that could integrate them into the system.
Looking at the scenario, the Igbo who have been lucky in the past to play second, third or fourth fiddle would play no fiddle at all in the new government. As perceived, no Igbo person will be President, Vice President, Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker, House of Reps or Deputy Speaker, House of Reps.

This portrays that yet again, Ndigbo have suffered defeat and would mostly likely continue to be treated as defeated people as they have always been treated since the civil war.
But as bad as it seems, many are still optimistic that there is a place for them in the new government, at least, as provided by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Chekwas Okorie, one of the presidential candidates in the last general election said that although the voting pattern of Ndigbo will make it difficult for them to make claims in the APC government, there are certain things that are the right of Ndigbo as guaranteed by the constitution which must be given to them.

"It is the constitutional provision that every state must be in the Federal Executive Council, FEC, every state have a Minister and that cannot be denied.
" However, it will be to Buhari's political benefit that some key positions be allotted to the South-East because he is the president of Nigeria and not the president of APC. South-East is part of the Nigerian state and therefore should not be sidelined because they voted mostly for PDP. From records, he got a significant number of votes from the South-East too and that should not be disregarded.

" The new president should also know that anybody in government wants to be there in the next government. I'm sure that he would want to continue in 2019 and it is the way he handles things that will determine the future. If he ignores Ndigbo now because they didn't vote for him, what happens in 2019? Will he come back to campaign? APC should have their eyes in 2019 and therefore, should not disregard Ndigbo because of their bloc vote.
"The new government should also realise that in 2015, more than 50% of traditional Igbo votes did not go to Jonathan or to Buhari. The truth of the matter is that many Igbo were aloof. They didn't vote at all because they were not with Jonathan and they were suspicious of Buhari. So, Buhari should not give Ndigbo cause to believe they were right in their suspicion of him by ignoring them. He is Nigeria's president and should therefore focus on the future and what determines the future is what happens now."

On reference to statements credited to Oba of Lagos, Oba Akiolu and Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka on the politics of Ndigbo, Chekwas Okorie refrained himself from commenting on what the traditional ruler said. According to him, " He is not a politician and therefore I don't want to talk about him. As for Soyinka, let me give give him benefit of doubt especially as he denied ever saying what he was alleged to have said.
"My concern more is the attitude of the South-West in the whole issue of APC and their purview that they are the ones that gave Buhari the victory. That is not true and that is not right. Even if they did, I think they should be more accommodating especially in the way they portray themselves in the new government and stop talking down on others."
A former governor of Anambra state, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife however does not perceive any problem for Ndigbo in Buhari's government. Ezeife opinion is based on the fact that Nigeria is operating a political party system and whoever wins at the end of the day becomes the people' president.

" General Buhari is Nigeria's president and not APC president. He contested on the platform of a political party as established but having won election, will he now become the president of APC? He is the peoples president and should therefore be a man of the people".
In his own submission, Chief Nduka Eya, the Secretary-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said that whatever becomes the fate of Ndigbo in the new administration should be blamed on the much desired change.

" We must know that this is a democracy. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ruled for 16 years. We talked about change but nobody defined the change we talked about. Now, the reality has dawned on us. In the whole South-East, only Imo is APC. So, a lot depends on the government. They should realise that they cannot run the country without the South-East. Buhari is the president of Nigeria including those in opposition. So, the opposition should organise themselves because without Ndigbo, there will be no Nigeria. This is a pointer to any government . You cannot ignore someone because he is in opposition. This country is run with a constitution and therefore Ndigbo should not lose confidence.

" The South-East is not alone here. There is also the South-South. All South -East States are PDP except Imo which is APC and Anambra which is APGA. The entire South-South is also PDP except Edo state which is APC. So, what are we talking? Buhari must appoint a Minister from each state of the federation. It is for him to choose statesmen as ministers and not praise singers.

" Let me also tell you another thing. APC is as good or as bad as PDP. Nigerian politicians play politics of their pockets. Buhari is already in. Let us see what he will do differently. We must hold him to task on his promises because he must fulfill all and we want him to prove that APC politicians will be different from PDP politicians. He must keep to his words because that is what change is all about. And so, we must keep him on his toes on the top promises he made to Nigerians while campaigning such as : reducing fuel price to N45.00 per litre ; giving N5000 per month to every unemployed youth; creating 3,000,000 jobs per annum; providing free meals for all elementary/primary/almajiri schools; giving one year allowance for youth corps post NYSC members; promise of free and qualitative education up to SSS 3 ;. building 2 million houses yearly for the next four years; generating 48,000 megawatts of electricity within four years; applying zero tolerance for corruption, wiping out corruption by the force of his personal example; banning medical tourism by our politicians from May 29, 2015, annihilating Boko Haram within two months, equating N1.00 to $1.00 and stabilising the oil price . We want to see Buhari ask questions about peoples wealth especially those of his party men. People should be able to account for the stupendous wealth they flaunt all over the place. I want to see change in all its ramifications, not selective change or abusive change."

Dr Chinweoke Mbadinuju, another one-time governor who recently defected from PDP to APC opines that the way things are, the position of Ndigbo in today's political calculation is highly pathetic.

"Igbo have not had it worse than this, from the time of Zik, to Okpara, to Ojukwu and a few others. It has been like from fire to frying pan. But it is entirely not the fault of Ndigbo. It was circumstantial. For whosoever loses war goes on the receiving end which is where the Igbo now are on the receiving end apart from Zik whom the British awarded the office of ceremonial Governor of Nigeria and this was the highest political office an Igbo ever held. Even when Chief Alex Ekwueme became Vice President under Alhaji Shehu Shagari, still the Vice Presidency was without political powers except the much Shagari assigned to him.
"Anyway, the constitution could grant a VP power like Chairmanship of Economic Council, but Dr. Ekwueme will know whether such power was good or ephemeral.
"So since the end of the civil war, subsequent leaders did not see it good to integrate the Igbo into the mainstream. Abacha did not. Obasanjo did not. Even Mallam Yar' Adua and Jonathan did not. All they did was to pick up one Igbo man or woman and give them little, and they would be parading them as Igbo leaders.

" But now, I know that political power is not given, it is taken. Igbos must learn to earn power and to exercise it. For now, it is not easy to know how President Muhammadu Buhari will pattern his methods. He was a soldier and former Head of State. He knows his onion, and within this short time he won the Presidential election, he is showing capacity to lead Nigeria into prosperity. Nigeria will surely prosper. Nigerians will surely assist President Buhari to end corruption; build security around our people; employ the unemployed; build power and energy; reduce cost of governance; he will handle the electoral reform or confab as occasion warrants.

"Whether we are Igbos or Nigerians, we must all embrace the Buhari's concept of "change" for Nigeria. If Nigerians, and indeed the PDP, had allowed Chief Ogbulafo and Dr. Nwodo to go on with their job of being Chairman of the Party (PDP) there would have been no collapse of the party which had wanted to rule for 64 years but stopped at 16 years. When some friends ask if I really defected to PDP which I helped to nurture, I told them I did not defect rather PDP defected.

"At the end of the day we must all embrace the concept of "change" , not just "change", but "positive change". Nigerians will see that the hunger for food and drinks are not that alone, but we must deal with physical hunger; spiritual hunger; monetized hunger' waste and wastages; and life of ostentation.

"The Igbo people are not asking Muhammadu Buhari for many appointments. It is enough that the South-East people knew or ought to know the adage that "He whose bread I eat, his song I will sing". So since the South-East did not vote for Buhari, it means that Igbo cannot complain if Buhari did not grant them appointments commensurate with other zones which got more and who worked harder and got more offers.

"Good politics under Buhari will further enhance the neighbor to neighbor approach that will bridge any gap of good relationship. It is not God that will unite our people in understanding each other. This is the job Nigerians will do by themselves and it shall be well for all Nigerians. It is true that there are so many ethnic groups competing among themselves for preservation, but good education will help in ceiling the gaps created by politics and politicians many years past. Today we still can re-capture the Nigerian factor if we work hard for it and one day we will see the North calling the Igbo "my brothers."

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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