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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Open letter to Nnamdi Kanu

Written by Bayo Olupohunda - The Punch.
Twitter: @bayoolupohunda

Dear Sir,

Bayo Olupohunda 
I hope this letter meets you in good health. This is important considering what I guess may have been your ordeal as a guest of the Department of Security Services. Going by the antecedents of Nigeria’s secret police, I believe as they say in this clime that with the court judgment, God is keeping you alive and well enough to be given an opportunity to reflect on the first phase of your struggle even as you look into the future which is the subject of my letter to you. For you and your inner circle friends, this must not be a time for chest-thumping and talking tough.

This moment calls for deep reflection and soul-searching. It must be a time to be away from the maddening crowd and have a reflective assessment of the first phase of the struggle. For the records, let me state that I first became aware of your agitation, and have listened to Radio Biafra, since early 2013. But this will be my first public intervention since your arrest and incarceration in October sparked worldwide protests. It may not be the last as our country continues to debate the broader issues of citizenship, marginalisation, and nationhood and of course, the Biafran question which you have now become a villainous hero, depending on whose side of the divide one is.

I have critically observed the agitation of your separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, and its mouth piece, Radio Biafra. Let me first congratulate you on your unconditional release even as the DSS is still said to be holding on to you in violation of the court order. That to me is unacceptable. I know your supporters may criticise me for congratulating you because they said you should not have been arrested in the first place. But that is beside the point because, for whatever reason, the Nigerian government considered you enough threat for arrest.

Why do I congratulate you? I do so because it could have been worse. Anything could have happened to you. I know your supporters had threatened about your safety. But knowing Nigerians for who they are, if anything untoward had happened, they would still have moved on with their lives. Throughout your time in detention, I had nursed a silent fear of the unknown. Knowing what had happened to those Nigerians who had nursed one grievance or the other with the powerful Nigerian state, there was cause to fear. I am talking here of compatriots like Adaka Boro, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Muhammed Yusuf and many others.

Without taking anything away from your cause, the context of your struggles remains the same. All these Nigerians had had an axe to grind with the establishment. But a common outcome that I had feared was that so many compatriots have been consumed by the powerful Nigerian state. I wanted you to live to have the opportunity to re-assess your campaign and engagement with Nigeria. Let me strongly declare here that I empathise with your struggle. But I have a problem with and reject your strategy for achieving Biafra. Much as I sympathise with your cause, I do not think the Biafran question can be in isolation of other agitations and grievances which other ethnic groups have held against this lopsided federation and the entrenched interests that have foisted a culture of injustice on Nigerians. If you look closely, you will know that Nigeria as a nation has not been fair to her citizens. Nigeria has been a country built on false nationhood since the amalgamation of 1914. While every ethnic group has legitimate reasons to be angry with Nigeria, I still do not believe breaking up in the manner you are advocating should be the solution.

In my humble view, taking up arms against Nigeria or preaching hate against other tribes is misplaced aggression when we all know the enemy is the rapacious elite who transcend ethnic and religious lines. The Nigerian state may have been repressive and retrogressive, but breaking up or engaging in violence will never end the injustice even in the utopian republic we all aspire to create outside of Nigeria. If I may ask you sir, which zone is not marginalised today in Nigeria? Even the North’s perceived power privilege has brought nothing to its people but the worst development indices ever known to mankind. 
Everywhere one turns, injustice pervades the land. The small ethnic groups feel oppressed by the larger groups. If you look closely too, even in the big three ethnic groups, the sub groups within them feel emasculated. In the realm of religion, there will never be an end to mutual suspicion by the dominant faiths. What then do we do? If we must break up this country on these fault lines, there will never be an end to the balkanisation.

Rather than agitate to balkanise the country, we should all work to end the vicious grip of the elite who exploit our differences to plunder our commonwealth. Did you notice how the $2.1bn arms deal from the Abacha loot was shared among the elite? Did ethnicity and religion come into play when sharing the national cake? This they have done since Independence. Unfortunately, by promoting xenophobia, you too have fallen into the same old stereotype. In your campaign, you whip up ethnic hate and seek to pitch ordinary Nigerians against one another. You need to see how your campaigns have widened and created mistrust among the youths on social media.

But the average Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, Igbo eking out a living from Daura to Osogbo and Nnewi are not the problem. Unfortunately, your utterances on Radio Biafra are xenophobic. They encourage ethnic hate. You must therefore change strategy. Dear Sir, your cause is legitimate but hurling ethnic slurs at other ethnic groups and the leaders of the nation de-legitimises your cause and puts liberals like me off. Advocating violence of any kind is counterproductive. Did Plato not write that “only the dead have seen the end of war”? If war breaks out today, those who will suffer remain the vulnerable children, women and the elderly. Those who died in the IPOB protests are not the children of the elite.

We must learn from history. Like you, I was born after the Nigerian Civil War but I know enough of our recent history where to direct my anger. Unfortunately, a growing generation of youths following you who did not experience Biafra are being fed with the single story and run away with your message now see other Nigerians as their enemy. I will advise that you use the next phase of your struggle to re-engage the Nigerian state in matters of fairness, justice, equity and fiscal federalism not just for Igbo but the Nigerian nation. In the next phase, with your huge following, you are better placed to ask Igbo elite hard questions. You can be a real hero who has rediscovered himself. If you must continue the agitation for Biafra, it must be on constructive engagement with the stakeholders that can make the dream a reality. Let it be in accordance with the charters on self-determination which do not include hate preaching, violence and xenophobia. Wishing you all the best.

No comments:


I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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