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Friday, August 7, 2015

The Igbo dilemma

THE primacy of political or economic power: The Igbo dilemma” was the title of a scintillating key­note address Prof. Anya O. Anya, D.Sc. (Hon.), FAS, OFR, NNOM, sent to the National Chairman of Pan Ndi-Igbo Foundation USA (PNF USA) on the occasion of Pan Igbo Political Con­ference in May 2005 to deliver on his behalf. In the light of Igbo perennial problems, Prof. Anya’s address is aptly relevant today.
Professor Anya O. Anya is a leading member of the Nigerian intellectual community who played a key role in piloting the intellectual content of the Vision 2010 Report. The content of his address is significantly relevant in the current Nigeria’s socio-political environment. The excerpts:
There is pain in the Igbo heart. There is con­fusion in the Igbo mind. There are excruciating aches in the Igbo body politic and society. The source of all that is the dilemma that faces every Igbo man and woman as he/she observes or par­ticipates in the affairs of contemporary Nigeria. There are varied explanations for the pain, for the confusion and for the aches. Some ascribe them to the apparent disunity that seems to be a persistent but uninvited guest in any conclave of the Igbos since the end of the Biafran war. Some would rather lay the blame on the so-called marginaliza­tion of the Igbos. If you belong to the disunity school, then the solution to the problem lies within the Igbo context. If you, however, believe in the marginalization thesis, then obviously the solution lies outside the Igbos – indeed in the Nigerian con­text given the skewed and irrational political and economic arrangements, which seem deliberately designed to offend and constrain the Igbos. 
The question really is: between disunity and margin­alization, which is the cause and which is the ef­fect? Or put another way, we seem to be in the chicken and egg situation. Perhaps, we need to start from the beginning or as our compatriot the revered Chinua Achebe would put it: we need to know where the rain started to beat us.
Igboland in Historical Perspective
There is evidence that the Igbos have been in their present location in South East Nigeria for the last 5000 years. As I showed in the 1982 Ahia­joku lecture, the Igbo culture bears the imprint of the forest location where the culture developed, for example, in the rugged individualism, which is emblematic of the people. As the Igbo Ukwu bronzes attest by 968 A.D., the culture had blos­somed into a sophisticated civilization whose ge­nius is underscored by the fact that the quality of the Igbo Ukwu bronzes was clearly better than the Benin and Ife bronzes that came along 500 years later.
It has been suggested that there is a 500-year hiatus or gap in the tapestry of Igbo history; this it has been speculated could have arisen as a result of an epidemic rather than war. The recovery of the civilization had just started when the depreda­tions of the slave trade was visited on the people and with it the colonial interregnum. History teaches that unlike the situation in other parts of Nigeria and West Africa, the occupation of Igbo­land was a protracted and piece-meal affair, which was achieved literally village by village as a result of the decentralized political organization of the people.
While this must account for the republican temper of the people, it has also bred a short-term perspective in the people’s appreciation of their history, which can often be mistaken for a lack of the sense of history. What is more, it does explain to some extent, the misunderstanding and under rating of the achievements of the culture by the colonial authorities. The important point to note is that the history, politics and culture of the Igbos bear the imprint of their ancient origin, of their adaptation over the centuries to their environment and of their salient difference from their latter day compatriots, the Yorubas and the Hausas. When the Igbo man attempts, often unsuccessfully, to imitate the political and cultural usages of these latter day compatriots, he does a grave injustice to himself and to his roots. 

The justly recognized, feared even if resented industry, drive and intel­ligence of the Igbos are the consequences of their successful adaptation and acculturation to their forest environment. “Man know thyself” is an advice that the Igbo can use with great benefit and which should breed in them a degree of circum­spection, caution and discretion in the adoption of foreign modes and usages rather than the loud and often ostentatious mien that we present to the outsider. It should breed in us a resilience of spirit and an inward looking and proud affirmation of who we are rather than the self-deprecating and whining disposition that seems to have overtaken us and particularly the younger generation. For it must be stated with some pride that the zest and zeal with which our people embraced western education and which enabled them in thirty short years (1934 – 1964) to overtake and some may say to “dominate” the social, political and economic landscape of modern Nigeria was unprecedented. Indeed, the exploits of the scientists and profes­sionals in the Biafran war and after were in itself a worthy testament of the genius and resilient spirit of our people. No other African group in modern times have shown as much pluck and serendipity. There is, therefore, a lot to be proud of.
The Contemporary State of the Igbo Nation
Most unfortunately, the current reality and por­tents extant in the Igbo heartland are different and often discouraging. On the social front, we project a picture of a society, which is not only fraying at the edges but one whose center seems unable to hold together. From one homestead to anoth­er, from one community to the next and indeed throughout the five states of the Igbo homeland, there is disaffection and a general lack of the sense of solidarity and social harmony; chieftaincy dis­putes, violent crimes, youth restiveness, lack of trust in one another is shown in various ways – it is often as if no one in particular is in charge. There is a general lack of respect for the elders and for the leaders.
On the political front, it is as if there are no more rules. It is no longer the politics of service and decorum as we saw in the days of Zik and Okpara but rather a cash and carry political sys­tem in which the highest bidder is the victor no matter how unsavory his/her political past may have been. The leaders of the political system at the local, state and national level are often men of questionable credentials and past. It is as if a sense of responsibility and integrity has become hindrances rather than aid to the emergence and sustenance of a leadership elite that cares and serves the people.
The result is the abandonment of the politics of principles and ideas for the rule of the mob-thugs and toughies are often the ones that dictate political outcomes. The result has been a general repudiation and lack of interest in the affairs of the community and the state by members of the professional and leadership elite.
Nigeria’s Igbo Problem and the Igbo Dilemma in Nigeria
There is an inherent paradox and contradiction in the Igboman’s place in Nigeria.  On the one hand given his industry, his intelligence and his enterprise, the Igboman is a desirable gift to Nigeria and the stuff of which great nations and great civilizations can be built.  On the other hand, given his presumptive confidence in his abilities and his unabashed hunger to succeed at whatever cost, he engenders fear and unwelcome visibility amongst his compatriots.   His lack of subtlety, his drive to overcome and his insatiable “greed” for material progress engenders resentment and often inexplicable, and perhaps, undeserved hostility in the host communities.  His “loud” style of life and the facility with which he can adapt to and adopt new ways can also be unsettling to foreign cultural formations that have come in contact with the Igbos including the colonial masters.  There is thus an underlying sense of conflict in the Igbo presence in Nigeria.
As had been noted, Igbo society developed in the tropical forests of South Eastern Nigeria.  While this honed the individualism and independent spirit of daring; it also engendered an isolationist tendency within which the population increased and prospered in its simplicity and self-satisfied balance in its environment.  Colonial interregnum enabled the Igbo to pour out of the Southeastern ramparts to the rest of Nigeria and beyond.  The simple ways of life belied the sophistication and ancient origins of the culture.  This bred an attitude in those who came into contact with the Igbo that often under-rated and even misread or misunderstood the dynamism and effervescence of the Igbo spirit and character.
The prejudices and hostility that has bedeviled the relationship of the Igbos with their other Nigerian compatriots has its roots in this misunderstanding: it can be unsettling to the human psyche to be worsted by those you had under-rated and would have preferred to use for your benefit or even ignore. The love-hate basis of such a relationship can create instability unless skillfully managed with wisdom, tolerance and patience.  This is Nigeria’s Igbo problem.  What is more: patience is at a discount in the Igbo scale of values.  Thus, other nationalities in Nigeria despite mutual antagonisms are often united by their common hostility and fear of the “upstart” Igbo while ambivalent and appreciative of the good that can come from the interaction with the Igbo.
The challenge that confronts the Igboman is how to reconcile his drive for that which is good with discretion and a patient tolerance and understanding of other ways.  Alas, for the Igbo, there are no half-measures – he will adopt foreign ways, hook, line and sinker or he would impatiently display his intolerance of foreign ways.  Nigeria and Nigerians would want to use the genius of the Igbos without paying for it.  But Nigeria needs the Igbo as the Igbos need Nigeria.  What then is the point of resolution, the center of balance?
The Place of the Igbo in Nigerian Politics and the Economy: Neither the history of politics nor of the economy in Nigeria would be complete without mention of the dominant place of the Igbos in the pre-Biafran war Nigeria.  As I have had cause to observe elsewhere, the period between 1934 and 1964 in Nigerian history, politics and economic development can justly be called the Igbo epoch.  From 1934, which marked the graduation of the first generation of western educated Igbo leaders such as Azikiwe and Mbanefo to 1964, the onset of the Nigerian crisis, which was to lead eventually to war, the frenzied pursuit of education was an Igbo rallying cry and preoccupation. Many Igbo communities were activated and mobilized to sponsor gifted and brilliant youngsters, without consideration of kinship ties, to overseas universities and later to the only Nigerian institution of university standing then in existence, the University College, Ibadan for further studies.
The result was an avalanche of youthful and well-educated leaders in politics, the economy, in the professions and the army that Igboland provided to Nigeria.  Such men as Mbonu Ojike, Eni Njoku, Nwapa Emole, Kenneth Dike, Osadebe, Odumegwu Ojukwu, Imoke, Ugochukwu and a host of other worthy Igbos were products of the frenetic onslaught of the Igbos on western education and the western style economy.  The payoff was that in the civil service, the universities, the professions and the army, the Igbos were certainly visible, if not dominant despite the head start of two generations that their Yoruba compatriots had on them.  Even in the fight for Nigerian independence, the venerable Obafemi Awolowo was a latecomer when compared with the time of entry and impact of Azikiwe, Mbonu Ojike, Alvan Ikoku, etc.  All that headroom was lost with the war.
But the war in itself is not a sufficient explanation for the present state of the Igbos in post-war Nigeria.  After all, Japan and Germany were also losers in the Second World War who subsequently utilized the adverse circumstances as new opportunities to reorganize their affairs and their approach to their relationships.  Indeed, some have suggested that the adverse circumstances of the Igbos post-war was made even more precarious by a failure of leadership, a lack of strategic thinking and the needful recognition of the necessity to reposition which was lacking.
But I would dare to add that certain features of the Igbo persona and psyche including our rugged individualism and lack of deference to experience in the latter day Igbo youth have also worked against the rebuilding of that threshold level of solidarity and social bonding that predisposes to the pursuit of a common purpose.  It has undermined our pursuit of our interests within its historical context.  Above all, the apparent inability of the Igbo to recognize the nature of power and influence and how to conserve and utilize them as distinct from temporary positions, offices and ascribed authority with their transient perquisites have made a bad situation worse.  It has predisposed us to short-term stratagems rather than long-term strategies.  It has predisposed us to the worship of the man of today whether it is in material terms or the assumed power calculus of the Nigerian state.  The predictable consequence is the promotion of a short-term culture of opportunism and pursuit of self-centered goals rather than communal and national goals.
We often make a fetish of being outspoken but without the capacity for circumspection and reflection. When you add to this the tendency for facile rationalization of untenable and even contradictory positions, we can understand why it has been difficult to rebuild the infrastructure of Igbo values, which underpinned our competitive spirit and disposed us in the pre-colonial and even colonial Igbo society towards merit and excellence.
All these taken together may offer some insight into the Igbo predicament in Nigeria.  
Having lost our position from the commanding heights of Nigerian politics and economy, we have taken to a culture of whimpering and complaining rather than reorganizing and re-strategizing.  In the effort, we have tended to assume that our salvation will come from outside.  This is why Igbo sons and daughters have often been the zealous defenders and mouthpiece of even demonstrated Igbo oppressors and the clandestine manipulators of anti-Igbo positions in the body politic.  What is more, we often take advertised public positions for granted assuming that what is agreed in the public space will faithfully be pursued in the private domain.  But, alas, the real world runs on a different framework where the pursuit of one’s interest is the only constant – all other values in politics, the way it is practiced in Nigeria, can be elastic and accommodating of distortions often accompanied by the undignified intrigues that have in recent times been emblematic of the Nigerian political scene.
In business, we have been relegated to the role of the side street traders and middlemen small time contractors and commission agents.  Very few, indeed, are part of the high points of Nigerian business – in manufacturing, finance, banking or the new areas of telecom or oil and gas.  The result is that no jobs are being created in the Igbo heartland and the drive towards unemployment of the youth including the educated youth and the general impoverishment of the general population continues unabated.  How do we arrest the slide and how do we redirect, refocus and reposition the economy of the East towards a sustainable basis of wealth creation and eradication of poverty?
The Challenge of Nigerian Economic and Political Development
The challenge of development remains how to pro­vide the basic necessities of life for the citizens. Since 1980, the poverty level has been increasing – from less than 40% of the population to the current figure of over 70% of the population. Food, shelter and education have been unaffordable for the majority of our citizens. The statistics have been much worse in some cases in the Igbo heartland. It has always been paradoxical that a country so richly blessed with natural resources can be as des­perately poor as the figures indicate Nigeria currently is. Mismanagement and corruption have often been held out as the reason for this sorry state of affairs. Given the fact that the industry and drive of our people have not been translated into good economic opportunities for all our people, including non-Igbos in the present climate of dis­criminatory policies engendered by our lack of access to political power, what must we do?
It seems attractive to suggest that the answer lies in bulldozing our way into political power in the expecta­tion that once there, we can use our new found access to redress the political injustices. This is the premise of the implicit but unstated logic of those who clamor for a “Nigerian President of Igbo extraction”. But in my view, this is an overly simplistic reduction of a complex issue. First of all, politics in Nigeria is driven by access to money. So, economic power is what drives Nigerian politics. In the current state of impoverishment of the generality in Igbo land, it is obvious that the economic basis for the political drive for power does not at present exist. Additionally, we must remember that politics is not only a game of numbers but also the art of the possible. In the light of the unstated but real hostility to Igbo interests by the rest of Nigeria, Igbos, without extraordinary help in extraordinary circumstances cannot on their own and under existing realities generate the momentum for such a momentous breakthrough.
The answer would seem to lie in our willingness to develop and pursue a long-term strategic plan that will systematically address the obstacles to our political as­cendance and relevance. The generation before ours achieved such relevance in thirty years – 1934-1964. We can in this age of globalization achieve the equivalent in 15 years of careful planning and fastidious execution. In this regard, a major obstacle that we have not dealt with is the fact that the Igbos are dispersed throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria and this massive numbers have not been organized into a coherent and effective political force nor have we put in place the machinery to exploit the advantage. What is more, the authorities in Nigeria have deliberately denied us the opportunity to utilize our large numbers for effective political advantage by refus­ing ethnic affiliations to be reflected in the census data of Nigeria. Those who clamor for a “Nigerian President of Igbo extraction” have not even started to think through the political consequences of this deliberate and undemo­cratic approach to national planning. 
Obviously, what is called for is a strategic plan that is anchored on the need to build and repair relationships with our non-Igbo Nigerian compatriots starting from the people of the old Eastern Nigeria and beyond. There is an overriding economic reason why building or restoring these bridges are vital at this point. The Nigerian economy is currently built on the oil and gas resources found in the Niger Delta including Igboland. Indeed, it has been claimed that much of the gas reserves onshore in Nigeria are in fact in Igboland. Thus, in unity with our compatriots, we can address to­gether the anomalous and unjust situation where those whose contributions to the resource base of the nation have been excluded from the political benefits of those resources and have deliberately been ignored in the politi­cal calculus can be settled once and for all. In a different context, I had referred to this area centered on Port Har­court within a radius of two hundred kilometers as Nige­ria’s circle of development. I had then suggested that un­til this area is developed to drive Nigerian development, Nigeria’s economy is unlikely to go anywhere. Indeed, the search for a “Nigerian President of Igbo extraction” would be infinitely easier if a political cooperation pact existed between the peoples of what is now South-South and the people of the South East. And we must not forget that true blood Igbos are also bona fide citizens of these states. They, indeed, can be the vehicle for a “Nigerian President of Igbo extraction”.
Globalisation, Culture and the Igbo Future
In our plans for the future, we must take into account a number of issues of relevance in any effort to evolve a long term strategic plan. The first is the factor of glo­balization and its impact on the global economy and consequently on the Nigerian economy. Second is the existence of highly trained and competent professionals of Igbo extraction scattered in the Diaspora – in North America and Western Europe. 
The third is the progres­sive abandonment of the cultural roots of the Igbo nation by the new generation of educated Igbos and its possible consequences on the future of the Igbos in Nigeria and the world.One of the factors responsible for the progres­sive impoverishment of the Igbo heartland is the fact that the Nigerian Federal authorities developed no economic infrastructures in the Igbo heartland and did not encour­age any other initiatives in that regard. Under the impetus of globalization Nigeria has been forced to pursue a new economic reform agenda in which privatization, liberal­ization and the attraction of foreign investments are key planks. The agenda aims to make the private sector the engine of growth. It is therefore conceivable that with good planning, honest and good governance structures and a vibrant private sector, a new start can be made in Igboland. Given the industry, drive and enterprise of the Igbos, an economy driven by the private sector will be an­chored on the tenets of entrepreneurship and this can only be to the advantage of the Igbo nation. To that extent, the future for Igbo empowerment is secure but this should be anchored on the productive cohort of the population – the youth as well as on the professional expertise and experience available in the Diaspora. You, our compatri­ots must now be the drivers of a new effort to build and run world-class productive firms oriented towards world export trade. The Taiwanese and Singaporean models come to mind.
In this regard, it must be remembered that the suc­cessful Asian tigers except Malaysia have been built on Chinese cultural formations. Thus, in our drive to re-engineer the development of Igboland, we must be cognizant of the fact that persistence of our cultural roots could be an important factor in economic development. Just as the network that subsists among the Chinese have been used to build new economic networks and initia­tives, the Igbo have the challenge to repeat the Chinese feat within an African context. Unfortunately, two char­acteristics emerging amongst the modern and educated Igbo can militate against the effort. The first is the facil­ity with which we are wont to imitate the habits of other cultures without effort to adapt them to the corpus of Igbo cultural usages. We are presently bringing up a younger generation of Igbos by name only since they are not by sensibility Igbos. We know that while we now have Igbo households where the parents do speak Igbo language, their children cannot speak a word of Igbo and this is often regarded as a sign of progress! This is unlikely to happen in a Chinese household or in an Israeli household or to come nearer home, it will not happen in a Yoruba household.

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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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