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Friday, November 13, 2015

Nigeria or Biafra, where do I belong?

I WONDER if there is any Igbo man as uncomfortable as I am, every time Nigerians withdraw into their ethnic enclaves and begin to throw punches at other groups.

It is just not because while my Igbo brothers head Eastward, to reunite with their kith and kin at Christmas, my first instinct is always to head in the direction of Kwara. I actually ask myself; which direction would my wife and children be heading to, in the event of the actualisation of Biafra? Or Oduduwa Republic? What about Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe? My brother, Ikeddy Isiguzo? My friend, Sola Balogun whose in-laws are from Anioma? And even my MD, Eric Osagie? And then, there is Abdulmuminu (whom my wife calls Yar'Adua), in whose custody we always felt the keys to my house were safest – more than any blood relation of my wife and I.

We're all caught in the middle. And there are several million others trapped in this bracket. So, do we ask for our own republic too?
Why are so many of us increasingly finding it difficult to understand that we all stand to benefit more in a strong united Nigeria?

I became even more uncomfortable in the past two weeks, with the emergence of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) and the arrest of a certain Nnamdi Kanu. Suddenly MASSOB has become a child's play and every passing day since last week, has witnessed one massive protest in the South East and some South South states.

On Sunday, I woke up to a horrendous noise in Enugu. The obviously co-ordinated protests of the IPOB had arrived the Coal City. Thankfully, it was peaceful. But the crowd was frighteningly huge.

The previous day, the protesters had literally locked down Awka, Anambra State. In fact, I and a few colleagues, who had gone for the burial of Ikenna Emewu's mother in Ebonyi State, narrowly missed being caught up in Afikpo, where there was also a demonstration.

A day earlier (on Friday), two of my colleagues who were coming for the same burial had got caught up around the Niger Bridge in Asaba for nearly four hours. Their offence (as leveled by the IPOB protesters) was that they were coming into Biafran territory from Nigeria (a totally different country!) without valid visas and international passports. None of the protesters cared to know that the two 'detainees' were both from Ebonyi State – in fact one was a Nwosu, and the other an Umahi. It was a harrowing experience. After Enugu, the protest moved to Aba, Abia State. And there have been skirmishes in Imo, home state of Ralph Uwazuruike, the leader of MASSOB. South East is on the boil, but like those of us down south sometimes think Boko Haram insurgency is happening in some foreign country, the rest of the country does not seem to be taking note.

And the politicians? Their reactions have remained the same template: Ignore the protests. It is the same way we ignored the deliberate politicisation of Shariah (which we have hitherto happily lived with all these past years, without any problem, until politics crept into it at the onset of civil rule in 1999). The same way we ignored Boko Haram, until it became the monster we have on our hands today. The same way we ignored Niger Delta militancy until it nearly crippled the nation's economy.

Rather than attempt to address the nagging issues that give rise to many of these mindless agitations, we are busy playing politics. Some say it would not have happened if Jonathan had won last March's presidential election, that IPOB is the Igbo's way of also making Nigeria ungovernable for Buhari. They have chosen to ignore the numerous protests MASSOB held during Jonathan's administration. They have even forgotten that it was under Jonathan that a breakaway faction, called the Biafran Zionist Movement, attempted to take over the government house in Enugu. They have chosen to forget the many MASSOB members who were in detention under Jonathan. All they seem to remember is that MASSOB (in fact, a faction of MASSOB) supported Jonathan and Jonathan lost the election. Nobody seems to remember that Ohanaeze Ndigbo was literally factionalised ahead of the polls – and that while one group went for Buhari, the other went for Jonathan. The story today is that the Igbo did not want Buhari (even when it's their constitutional right not to want him) and, therefore, the Igbo must be made to suffer by the Buhari government for daring to vote against him (even when this is in breach of the Constitution).

But nobody seems to care. All the those who think they are politically correct in the new order seem to be encouraging Buhari to ignore a very serious matter: That the collapse of the national economy may actually be worst in the South East. That the army of unemployed youths (I mean those really willing to work) is highest in the zone. That the zone has the highest number of failed federal roads – and probably the least federal presence. That the zone was, at a point, curiously taken out of the national gas masterplan. That kidnapping and armed robbery, which seem to be highest in the zone are of concern to both the rich and the poor. That there are no social safety nets for anybody anywhere – not just the south east, and that the new government needs to do something fast to breathe life back into the economy, keep people more gainfully engaged and put money in people's pockets.

Now, this is not making a case for the N5,000 monthly stipend that the PDP government promised to pay every unemployed youth during the last campaign. If that government sincerely thought so caringly about the unemployed, it would either have started this payment long ago or, at least, provided for it in current budget it imposed on Buhari. So, it was just mere campaign idle talk, which the PDP had no plan of fulfilling. Therefore, I'm not expecting the APC government to pay either, irrespective of whatever politics the PDP wants to play with it. It's unrealistic for now.

My grouse is this body language that seems to tell the Igbo that they are not part of this government and should, therefore, not expect anything from it. Winner takes all!
Why can't those in power understand that every ethnic group, no matter how little, or politically dis- advantaged they may be in any given dispensation, should not be taken for granted? The IPOB/MASSOB agitation, if you ask me, is for equity, not even equality. It predates Buhari. And it will outlive Buhari, unless he does something drastic to address it. Yes, many of the protesters can't even comprehend the enormity of what they're getting into, beyond the fact that they have no jobs, can't go to school, can't get a roof over their heads, can't afford one good meal a day and, on top of that, can't sleep with both eyes closed. 

Nigeria is not giving them any of these, and they falsely believe Biafra would give it to them. Unfortunately, they can't be more wrong. Every one of us, indigenes, nonindigenes, settlers, foreigners and all are better off in a united Nigeria. It is just that Nigeria must continue to give them this reassurance, not only in words, but in deeds.

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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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