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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Afenifere: Yoruba’s long lost voice

Written by LEKE BAIYEWU - Punch Nigeria.
The battles and travails of the foremost Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, a formidable voice of the people of South-West Nigeria for many years.

Last Sunday, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, resigned his position as the leader of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere. The octogenarian, who assumed the position after the death of Chief Abraham Adesanya, hinged his decision on the disunity among members making it difficult for Afenifere to actualise its goals.

Fasoranti, in a letter to the Secretary-General, Chief Seinde Arogbofa, and other leaders of the group, including Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Pa Olaniwun Ajayi, Chief Olu Falae, Chief Supo Sonibare and all the state chairmen, lamented the ills in the group.
The letter partly read, “Over the years, Yoruba have tried to focus on a common goal. The late Chief Obafemi Awolowo tried to ensure the oneness of our people with a lot of efforts, notwithstanding he faced a lot of challenges in the process. Unfortunately, he passed on without actualising this dream.

“The mantle of leadership fell on the late Pa Adekunle Ajasin and subsequently on Pa Adesanya and then my humble self. As events have been unfolding in the past few years, the focus and goals of the founding fathers of our great organisation Afenifere have been gradually eroded.
“This, therefore, made it a Herculean task for our members to work in unity. Several efforts were made to ensure the actualisation of the Afenifere’s goals, but it appeared that we have not succeeded in achieving this. This is basically due to reasons best known to our members individually.

“Considering my age, efforts and selfless dedication to my country, my state (Ondo), my political parties, my past leaders and my members in Afenifere both in Nigeria and in the Diaspora, I hereby wish to inform you all that I have decided to step aside as the leader of our great organisation, Afenifere.”

However, some leaders of the organisation summoned an emergency meeting with Fasoranti in Akure on Wednesday, after which the octogenarian announced the withdrawal of his resignation, against the wide expectation that the group would appoint a new leader.
The meeting, which lasted for several hours, had in attendance dignitaries including the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; a former Minister of Finance and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae; Chief Korede Duyile and Chief Supo Sonibare.

The Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, while addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, explained that members of the association pleaded with Pa Fasoranti to withdraw his resignation and to continue to lead the pan Yoruba socio-cultural group.
In what many observers of the development termed as management of the truth, Odumakin argued that there was no crack in the Afenifere family, insisting that the leadership would continue to uphold the ideals of the founding fathers of the association.
“We want to state that there is no crack in Afenifere and we remain committed to the great ideals of our founding fathers,” he said.
Should Fasoranti’s resignation have held, it would have made it the first time anyone would step down as leader of the Afenifere since the birth of Afenifere in Owo, Ondo State in 1951 by Awolowo and his political family.

Afenifere, under Awolowo’s leadership, was widely regarded as the umbrella body of the Yoruba nation; it was the voice of the people on national matters. The group became more powerful when its leader, Awolowo, came into government in the First Republic.
The late sage, as Awolowo is fondly called, was the Premier of the Western Region, which now comprises the South-West geopolitical zone and parts of the South-South and the Middle Belt, the latter being part of the North-Central today.
The defunct Action Group was the ruling political party; Afenifere was the group that gave birth to it. Thus, Afenifere had the government and the majority of the people on its side; those in the opposition were in the minority.

Former Secretary-General of Afenifere and ex-General Secretary of the National Democratic Coalition, Chief Ayo Opadokun, in an interview, had explained the symbiotic link between Afenifere and the AG.
He said, “Afenifere was never a traditional body. It was not a cultural organisation. Egbe Omo Oduduwa may be regarded as a socio-cultural organisation; Afenifere was not from day one. After the public presentation of the Action Group to Nigerians in Owo in 1951, the leaders got back to Ibadan – the then seat of government – and people started to ask for the name of the party announced to them. You know our people, they were like ‘Action what?!’ They were looking for a name that would approximate to what was the intention and objectives for which the party was formed.

“There were several suggestions. At the end, it was the late Chief Meredith Adisa Akinloye who suggested ‘Afenifere’ to be the name of the Action Group in Yorubaland. That was the beginning. Any other story is not true. There was no time that the Action Group was a socio-cultural organisation. It had always been a political party.”
However, ever since Awolowo’s demise, a lot of water has passed under the bridge of Afenifere.
Between Fasoranti’s resignation and his change of heart, the Afenifere Renewal Group, a breakaway faction, had said the mainstream Afenifere had lost focus.
The Chairman of the ARG, Mr. Olawale Oshun, while trying to paint the picture of what had gone wrong with Afenifere, stated that Fasoranti’s letter in which he said the Afenifere had derailed confirmed the fears of the ARG since the failed 2006 reconciliation summit between the two groups held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Oyo State.

He said, “The failure of that summit provided the groundswell for the reluctant emergence of the Afenifere Renewal Group. Afenifere has now clearly exhibited itself as an out-of-touch institution, whose lack of rudder has led to a total derailment from the fundamental values upon which it was built. Chief Fasoranti’s exit as the leader of Afenifere is a clear indication that the organisation has come home to roost.’’
According to Oshun, those in the ARG saw the need for “a renewal of Afenifere movement, anchored on the ideals of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as the legitimate voice of the Yoruba, by providing the visionary, selfless and altruistic leadership deserving of Yorubaland.’’

Over the years, as the crisis in the umbrella body lingers, there is a proliferation of groups in Yorubaland.
Besides Afenifere and the ARG, there are the Yoruba Council of Elders, the Yoruba Unity Forum, the Yoruba Assembly, among others.
Opadokun, Afenifere’s scribe for 15 years, who said he quit the organisation over “irreconcilable relationship” in 2001, had painted the picture of how formidable Afenifere was in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH.

He recalled, “Once upon a time, Afenifere’s declaration had serious implication nationally and globally. The reportage of the Afenifere was most times on the front and back pages or major spaces in the media because the organisation was respected. In fact, whoever was the occupant of Aso Rock was always on his toes before taking a policy measure. They were always concerned on the take of Afenifere on such policies, so much that we knew of some occasions when governments utilised one of the newspapers they thought was close to us to test public reaction over certain matters.

“Since then (Opadokun’s exit), from all sense of responsibility, even in the hearts of those who call themselves name, they know that something is amiss. The raison d’être of the organisation, which had always been political, has been extremely subverted.”
Unfortunately, as the crisis in Afenifere has persisted, Yoruba leaders have yet to commonly agree on what is the cause.
Ninety-year-old Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, one of the founders of Afenifere, once admitted that the breaking of Afenifere was political.

When asked if Afenifere had achieved the purpose for which it was established, he said, “No. There are a very few of us remaining in Afenifere, as Awolowo and Adekunle Ajasin left it for us to project. It is now a very few of us. We are not many at all. Those of us who are still alive still try as much as possible to keep the flag flying, as we started it in 1951/1952.”
Speaking on why Afenifere leaders had not handed over the baton of leadership of the organisation to the younger generation in a separate interview, he recalled that those who won elections on the platform of the AD — a party that could be referred to as the new AG, — got into government and turned against the party.

Ajayi added, “When the government was well established, most of the governors we had felt that the AD was very powerful and they were behaving as if they were lords to themselves. They felt we might not support them for their second term. Therefore, they decided to rubbish the elders. They invited the young people and got them to do away with the elders, which they did. Some of them were given lands, cars and office. Of course, the young people did not listen to the elderly people who had nothing to offer them.”
The governors were Bola Tinubu (Lagos), Olusegun Osoba (Ogun), Lam Adesina (Oyo), Bisi Akande (Osun) and Niyi Adebayo (Ekiti).

“If the governors then had not defected from our position, I am sure that the AD would have been a very powerful political party today. But here we are,” Ajayi lamented.
He recalled that the AD governors left the party to form the Action Congress together with others who left the Peoples Democratic Party. The AC would later become part of the All Progressives Congress.
Odumakin, who had left with the factional ARG and returned to the older group, had also claimed that some leaders of Afenifere and the National Democratic Coalition, after they became powerful and wealthy from their election into public offices, decided to dump Afenifere and the AD.

Another former Secretary-General of the Afenifere, Senator Femi Okurounmu, had also on different occasions blamed the crisis in Afenifere on those who left the AD after getting to power.
However, Opadokun had argued that those who left the group and the party did so to avoid being goaded by the leaders.
He said, “No doubt, those who got elected into office did not want to submit themselves to the leadership of the Afenifere. But then, much more on the other side, some others in the Afenifere mismanaged their stake and position in Afenifere. No matter how small any person can be, when he becomes a governor in whose custody the collective destiny of the people has been registered, one cannot treat him like an ordinary man or an ordinary member of the organisation. People voted for him.”

The political activist said what he found out about some of the leaders was that they were of “magisterial posture” with a mentality that said, “We made him, therefore, he must be obedient to our position.”
Opadokun added, “What usually happened was that as soon as these people mounted their posts, they recognised their first class nature; that there is no one above them again. That is what happened.”

Ajayi also raised another issue that might have worsened the crisis among the Yoruba leaders. According to him, the Afenifere and the AD had two “leading lights” – Bola Ige and Olu Fale – as presidential aspirants for the 1999 election.
He said, “Since we were not given to primary system, as it is done in America, we chose people who were responsible, dependable and objective; who were good leaders in our circle – about 24 of them – to form a committee to choose either of the two as candidate. The committee chose Falae and that was all.”

Ajayi would later disclose in a recent interview that an aggrieved Ige thereafter set up the YCE, now led by a former Governor of the defunct Western State, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (retd.), to spite Afenifere.
When asked of the current state of Afenifere, Ajayi said, “They have spoilt it. There was nothing we did not do to settle the dispute. We tried as much as possible to get it resolved but the governors would not cooperate. They insisted they would go and they left to form another group. The current position of Afenifere is that the soul of the Afenifere is still there and it is being carried by Chief Reuben F. Fasoranti, being the leader. But it is not with a lot of people who were spread all over Western Nigeria.”

Oshun, in his book, ‘The Kiss of Death: Afenifere and the Infidels,’ confirmed that the choice of Falae over Ige caused a major disaffection in the organisation.
Later on, Oshun had insisted that the crisis was caused by Falae’s presidential candidacy in interview with SUNDAY PUNCH on March 1, 2015.

Oshun said, “Right or wrong, Ige believed that the decision did not represent the normal way of doing things within the Yoruba political and social leadership. He believed that the decision was taken to spite him and he felt he had been wronged. Between the two swings of those who took the decision – those who felt justified and those who felt that the decision was unfair – division started to creep in.”
According to him, from that moment, the question of leadership, particularly at the progressive level, became one that was clearly divided. He said as much as Adesanya tried his best during his lifetime to sustain the organisation, there were some other leaders “who didn’t behave with maturity to maintain the unity.”

He added, “If one extrapolates the impact these sides have, one will note that it will be difficult for just a side to say that it is speaking for the entire Yoruba nation.”
Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, one of the members of the ‘Electoral College,’ shared his experience on what transpired in the process in his foreword on Oshun’s book.
Akinyemi wrote that the late Adesanya only called him on the telephone to inform him that he had been selected to be a member of the Afenifere ‘Electoral College.’ Reluctantly, and after consulting General Alani Akinrinade (retd.), he turned up at D’Rovans in Ibadan “without any brief or mandate as to whom to vote for (between Ige and Falae).”
He further wrote, “Since then, speculations have been rife as to how I voted in Ibadan as regards the choice of the presidential candidate. The repercussions, depending on individual belief not knowledge of fact, have been severe.

“Most people have argued that Afenifere’s problem started with D’Rovans. My view is that D’Rovans was not the beginning but the most visible and irreversible manifestation of the Bola Ige problem in Afenifere. If there had been no problem, there would have been no need for D’Rovans. And the Alliance for Democracy convention would just have been a coronation for the Ige candidacy. That there was a D’Rovans at all was a symptom of an existing disease.”

However, a former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, had risen in defence of the AD governors as being responsible for the crisis in Afenifere.
“We, governors of the Alliance for Democracy, were not the ones who destroyed the Afenifere as was stated. There had always been a dichotomy within Afenifere even before Awolowo died,” he stated in a recent interview with SUNDAY PUNCH.

Explaining how the crisis started, the veteran journalist and politician said when governors of the Unity Party of Nigeria – the late Chief (Adekunle) Ajasin, the late Bisi Onabanjo, the late Bola Ige, the late Ambrose Alli and Alhaji Lateef Jakande – reached out to the governors of (now defunct) Great Nigeria’s Peoples Party and the (now defunct) People’s Redemption Party to forge a relationship of progressive minded governors, which led to the formation of Nine Progressive Governors, some Afenifere leaders (or AG leaders), some of whom are still alive, took on the governors.

“The governors were accused of committing heresy by daring to reach out to fellow governors. They were virtually accused of wanting to destroy Papa Awolowo through the hands of fellowship they extended to the governors of other parties which was said of being with the mind of decreasing the membership of the Awolowo School of Politics. It was a very terrible meeting.
“It got to the point where Papa was almost going to be pushed against the governors…Therefore the dichotomy within the Awolowo political family had always been there. We didn’t create it. It even led to further issues when Awolowo died.”

Another issue he felt caused problems in Afenifere was that of Awolowo’s successor. “After the death of Awolowo, the issue of a successor now became a top burner in the fold,” he said.
Osoba said Ajasin, in whose house the AG was formally pronounced in Owo and who was still alive then, was virtually seen as the automatic leader of Afenifere. “But some of our elders resisted that and created the impression that such a thing would take the shine off Papa Awolowo’s legacy. This led to another dichotomy, which gave birth to the younger elements forming Awoist Group,” he added.
He said the Awoist Group then was led by John Ekeroda, with Ebenezer Babatope and others as promoters.

He further said while the UPN governors held on to Ajasin as leader, the young ‘Awoists,’ of which he was among, were meeting regularly in Ikenne.
The late HID Awolowo was said to have called a meeting to bring the two groups together.
Osoba said, “Unfortunately, when we got to the meeting, the younger elements went on to lambast the former governors of the UPN… Again, the matter was not resolved.”
The third issue, according to Osoba, was the selection of Falae against Ige’s presidential ambition.
He stated that the elders gathered the ‘24 wise men’ that formed the Electoral College and the members were only asked to go and vote, therefore, the elders should be held responsible for the outcome of the shadow election. The elders, he said, were Ige himself, Adesanya, Ajayi, Adebanjo and Papa Solanke Onasanya, who were the leading forces of Afenifere.

“We were just governors-elect. We never created the D’Rovans situation,” he stated.
According to Osoba, the fallback from the anti-governors days of the UPN and post-Awolowo’s death reared its head at D’Rovans, where Ige, who believed that he, right from his younger days, was very active in the AG, the UPN and others, and that he would be automatically supported to be the candidate, discovered that Falae emerged. “And he (Ige) was very upset,” he added.
He noted that there were only six AD governors-elect in the 24 that made up the college and they had yet to be sworn in.

“Afenifere was broken into two by virtue of that meeting because Bola Ige refused to join the campaign. It took a lot of efforts to make him come out for the presidential campaign in Ibadan. And that was what led to the birth of the Yoruba Council of Elders,” Osoba added.
In what shows how deep the crisis has gone, Adebayo, who is the Chairman of the YCE alleged to have been set up by Ige to spite Afenifere, had said in a recent interview with SUNDAY PUNCH that there was nothing wrong in having multiple groups in Yorubaland.
“When they are talking on national issues, they should come together and speak together; otherwise, they are not the only Yoruba people. There is nothing wrong in having groups that will come together as one. It is very difficult to say everybody must be one immediately,” he said.

When the 87-year-old was asked why there were various groups of Yoruba leaders claiming to be speaking for the people, he said, “Everybody wants to be leader; that is the problem. Everybody can’t be a leader; you can have a leader and the second in command but there must be a leader.
“I still feel there must be one leadership for the Yoruba and that leadership must spread across all the political parties in Yorubaland, and all the political groups should support that leadership.”
Speaking on the current state of Afenifere, a member of the Ogun State House of Assembly, who represented Suwa/Iboro/Ibese Constituency (now Yewa North) on the platform of the UPN, Isaac Akinleye, attributed the problems with the group to the loss of discipline in the ranks of its leaders.

Akinleye, a staunch supporter of Awolowo, said, “The problem with Afenifere is that there is no accepted leadership. Those who call themselves leaders are not recognised and they do not put their weight in the organisation and take control in order to be respected. After the demise of Awolowo, Adesanya tried a lot. But after Adesanya’s death, no leadership has been accepted by his people, which is very shameful. That is the only point.”
The 94-year-old man, who was in politics between 1951 and 2012 and was a teacher for 40 years, stated that the issue was not affecting Afenifere alone, as similar groups in other parts of the country lacked widely accepted leadership.
He added, “When Awolowo talked in those days, there would be silence; even though there were many people who were older than him, they gave him the respect because he was a disciplined man. If anybody cannot discipline himself, he cannot be respected. Anybody without discipline cannot lead.”

But a former Vice Chancellor of the Olabisi Onabanjo University and the Crescent University, Professor Sheriffdeen Tella, said Afenifere failed because the organisation was too rigid to adapt to new trends. The economist added that people lost interest in the group when it stopped catering for their interests.
He said, “There is no static situation but Afenifere’s ideology has been static all the while; they are not dynamic. The organisation does not consider the feelings of the majority of Yoruba and carry them along; everything is based on self interest, unlike before when they discussed issues and came out with a position. Such situation will destroy an organisation.
“Also, there is no leadership that is respected by other members of Afenifere, unlike when Awolowo and Senator Adesanya were alive; when these men would consult people before making statements, which would not be opposed by anybody. Today, everybody feels they are distinguished and feels no need to consult others.

“In the current setting, we don’t have a Yoruba leader in the image of Awolowo and Adesanya. Even in the time of Adesanya, there were some disagreements although they were not so pronounced. I think all these happened because as the times passed from Awolowo, who was actually in charge, the people who followed did not follow the trend and culture before his exit.”

However, Babatope, a former of Minister of Transport and of Aviation, who often pride himself as an ‘Awoist’, said the ‘original’ Afenifere died with the AG, which the existing one was put together to fight the military regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha.
“The original Afenifere died with the Action Group. They only resuscitated the name to give them credence when they were fighting Abacha, and we cannot blame them for that strategy and tactic. But there is no original Afenifere anywhere,” he stated.

The member of the PDP Board of Trustees also pointed out to SUNDAY PUNCH that he was never a member of the Afenifere.

Babatope said, “I have a principled opinion on this matter. I’m not a member of Afenifere and I’m not interested in their affairs. Afenifere was founded in Action Group by Papa Awolowo. The Afenifere they are claiming is not the Afenifere of that time. They only borrowed the name to give credence to their activities and we cannot stop them from doing that.
“That is not the original Afenifere which Papa Awolowo founded in 1951. I was in secondary school when Afenifere was formed. I have not been interested in their affairs and they too do not want many of us. Why do we need to comment on them? Good luck to them on whatever they are doing.

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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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