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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ndi-Igbo: Past, present, future–What is your fate?

Unremitting Igbo problems in Nigeria perennially dominate the discussion whenever two or more Diaspora Igbo converse about Nigerian affairs. That was no different when I had a phone conversation with Chief Sabi Nweke, the 2015 World Igbo Congress Convention Planning Committee Chair on Tuesday morning. He precociously summarized the Igbo dilemma as selfishness, individuality, continuous internal fights, and failed leadership. We agreed that the absence of the forgoing factors, the Igbo problems in Nigeria would cease. In fact, I could hear the inherent consternation in our voices and tone, which is typical of Igbo discussions regarding their fate in Nigeria.

After our casual discussion on the phone, I went home with mixed emotions about the myriad of Igbo issues. On one hand, I reminisced about the pre-civil war status of the Igbo, including all the cultural variables that formed who we were. It was a scintillating feeling indeed. On the other hand, I became nauseated with not only the ailing condition and well-being of the Igbo in Nigeria today, but also with the vivid image of the portentous nature of the survival of the next generation of the Igbo. As I was brooding over some ideas to help alleviate the problems, I reflected on my 2004 New Year message to Ndi Igbo in the Diaspora, which is aptly relevant today. Here are the excerpts: We are ushering in the new year with a great deal of optimism that tomorrow will be far more appealing than the present or yesterday.

We are hopeful that a lasting peace would ensue among Ndi- Igbo. At the same time, Nigeria should rid herself of tribalism, nepotism, and corruption because they are inimical to economic growth. I encourage all Nigerians to embrace all the legitimate and prudent reform efforts of the federal government in 2004 [2015]. I beseech all Nigerians to drop their corrupt and venal tendencies and imbibe honesty and accountability in their daily activities so that the Nigerian economy would improve for everyone.

Well, in the mist of ebullient feeling that we are entering the New Year, we will be mindful of the fact that 2003 witnessed some undesirable mélange of problems for and among the Igbo. We witnessed in 2003 series of political miscalculations, deplorable South East roads, political instability in Ala Igbo, disunity among the Igbo, corruption, dishonest leadership, alarming level of poverty, increased level of Igbo marginalisation in the hands of federal government, increased level of resentment of the Igbo by other ethnic groups and the list goes on. It has never been more ominous than now the changing attitude Igbo youths have toward education.

The negative impact of this phenomenon on the future of the Igbo in the Nigerian body polity should not be overemphasized. It aches my heart that many of the above problems will continue. However, we have to get ourselves to overcome this malaise by changing our value system in the form of moral regeneration.

Our past leaders, including some of our present leaders, have not only eloquently enunciated our problems, but have contributed a great deal to uplift the Igbo. The following individuals, in no small measure, contributed their own share in the past: Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. Kingsley Mbadiwe, Dr. Michael I. Okpara, Dr. Nwafor Orizu, Dr. Akanu Ibiam, Major General Chukwuma Nzeogwu, General Philip Efiong, Chief MCK Ajuluchukwu, and others. Similarly, a few Igbo leaders alive have contributed tremendously to uplifting the Igbo.

Our position in Nigeria in the pre-civil war era was admirable. Now, this is a different era and the Igbo are suffering all kinds of discriminatory actions in the hands of the federal government. The Igbo, as a people, have been consistently and systematically marginalized in Nigeria. It would take a whole book to serialize the marginalization of the Igbo and the consequent economic, political, and psychological effects on the Igbo. It is now that some people are beginning to realize that Igbo marginalization is a structured part of the institutional architecture of the nation called Nigeria. For instance, as recent as few days ago, Mr. Ishaya Akau, National Chairman of NASC, unilaterally disqualified the three South East candidates for the position of secretary of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) in preference to the two northern candidates. Perhaps, it is pertinent to know that the Danzaki Committee had already recommended the following five candidates for the position: Mrs. S. E. Chijioke, a lawyer by profession, (Abia State), M. J. Yusuf (Kogi State), Prof. W. E. Herbert (Abia State), Mrs. M. V. Mbu (Imo State), a lawyer by profession, and Mr. S. Ibrahim (Niger).

The only reason Mr. Akau had the alacrity to maliciously and discriminatorily drop the South East candidates in violation of the Federal Character Principle was that he would not account to anyone and the Igbo are perceived to be dispensable. It appears that this is a pattern already established by Mr. Akau since a complaint was leveled against him in August 2003 by two South East commissioners, Chief Okorafor and Chief Eze Nwenyi, for discriminating against the Igbo in the recruitment process of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC). Compatriots, I brought this incident to show how widespread the Igbo are being marginalized in every facet of Nigerian government and Nigerian economy. This is a salient example of what the Igbo are facing in Nigeria.

It is no longer enough to identify our problems; it is not sufficient to cry for marginalization; it is rather a necessity for all well-meaning Igbo, men and women, boys and girls, young and old, to work diligently to reclaim their heritage-to reclaim their past glory and transform it into a common denominator of the current era.

However, we must first of all formulate a new direction by deriving a constructive and consensus Igbo agenda replete with ideological underpinnings. Prior to embarking on this exercise, we must enshrine honesty, trust, unity, integrity, accountability, etc. in our value system. In other words, we must change our attitude and behavior individually to focus on collective interest of the Igbo. It would be a fatal mistake to ignore the urgency of the moment. The Igbo are in danger of being exterminated politically and economically in Nigeria. Are we going to let it happen before our eyes? Or are we going to fight against it within the parameters of the law? We have to collectively work feverishly to assert ourselves and reclaim the things that have been taken away from us. We are now placed in a historic position to do something. With this historic position comes a tremendous responsibility of an immense magnitude.

It is both our individual and collective responsibility to ensure that Igbo marginalization ceases henceforth. We must demand that all the vestiges of marginalization be obliterated and all the wrongs redressed. I personally and strongly encourage those on the ground to have courage in making public those discriminatory practices against the Igbo so that they can be documented for the world to see.

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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