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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What do the Igbo want?

Written by Obi Nwakanma, Vanguard Nigeria.

In an angry retort to a question thrown at him in his recent Media chat, President Muhammadu Buhari asked, "What do they (Igbo) want?" "Who is marginalizing them?" In his own defence, he said the Minister of state for oil in his government is Igbo, the Minister for Science and Technology is Igbo, and of course, the Governor of the Central Bank too. He might also have added the Foreign Minister Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Labour & Productivity (it used to be Establishment), Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister for Transport, Rotimi Amechi, the Minister for Trade, Industries and investment, Dr. Okey Enelemah, and the junior Minister for education, Anthony Anwuka. On the face of it, the president would be right to say that he has Igbo as members of his Executive Council.

His critics would of course be quick to respond that Buhari was hampered by a constitutional requirement that compelled him to effect plural representation in his cabinet, willy-nilly. They would say were it not for the constitution, the president would, left to him, not have had any Igbo in his cabinet, given his known historical predilection. The evidence, they would say, is in the constitution of the cabinet itself: Ibe Kachikwu is not the Oil Minister, he is the junior Minister for oil.

The president is the oil minister. Nonetheless, oil is Nigeria chief commodity; that which gives it its sex appeal, and Kachikwu is no doormat and his position not insignifcant. The Foreign Ministry portfolio is a sinecure position, at best. There was a time when it would have carried some weight. In those years Nigeria carried its weight in the international scene. Today, the Nigerian Foreign Ministry is no more than a clearing house for the great powers to which Nigeria is now just a proxy nation. A foreign minister is as powerful as his nation in the international arena, and Nigeria seems increasingly insignificant, even as a notable voice in African affairs.

So, at best, the Foreign Minister is a prestige position, full of glitter, and nothing else. Yet, President Buhari might also argue that it is Nigeria's voice, its eyes and its ears in the outside world, for whatever it is worth. That by itself is significant - Nigeria speaks to the world through the voice of an Igbo, whose own illustrious father was no less the World Court judge, Charles Daddy Onyeama of Eke. The Ministry of Labour could equally be powerful, and might be in the hands of a visionary minister, the arrowhead for the reform of the Civil Service and the public sector.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment could, working in tandem with the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Education, where Anwuka is a junior minister, transform the landscape of national production, and shift the entire job situation radically. It might be President Buhari's challenge to his Igbo ministers, to solve the greatest problems that the Igbo themselves have always argued about: lack of jobs for the teeming army of skilled youth, expansion of the local industrial and investment base, and so on and so forth. Nigerians often see the big ministries - Education, Home Affairs, Works, Health and Defence - as the important ministries because they have huge budgetary allocations - they are the pork ministries.

Labour, Trade, Science and Tech, are often ignorantly dismissed because they are not as well-funded. Even Lai Muhammed's Ministry of Information was given more in allocations than the Ministries of Science and Technology, and Trade and Industries, and even Transport, in the president's recent budget sent to the National Assembly, which makes you wonder where the priorities of this administration lie - in manufacturing propaganda, or in manufacturing Nigeria's national defence equipment, as Ogbonnaya Onu has promised, through an expanded technological base? In any case, these are catalytic ministries of government at that can transform the very thrust of this nation, and the legacy of this administration - if only the administration could halve the allocations to Defence, Health, and Education, and move the money to the Research and Production component of the Ministries of Science & Technology, and Trade & Industries. But Buhari's policies are not in that direction. The budget just recently announced makes that clear. Current policy thrust, evident in the base allocations made to these ministries of government under the Buhari budget for 2016, indicate that TII, Labour, Sci &Tech, are at best, shop-front ministries in this administration. But of course, the question is, what do the Igbo want, and who is marginalizing them? First, and above else, the Igbo want the same thing every thoughtful Nigerian wants: a great nation of which they can be proud. They want equal protection, and the equal rights of citizenship; they want non-discriminatory standards applied, which does not undermine their individual aspirations towards economic justice and the pursuit of happiness.

Very often the Igbo feel that they do not get this, and that they have often been serially targeted in Nigeria for selective injustice. Frequently, the Igbo are targets of selective taxation, deportations, violence and brutality. The federal government has never, through its Ministry of Justice, investigated or prosecuted anyone for targeting the Igbo outside Igbo land. Igbo life feels expendable in this republic, and the Igbo thus feel themselves unprotected in Nigeria.

The use of the police and military to mount road blocks in the East makes the East, since1970, feel like a perpetual area of conquest, where citizens are constantly harassed and brutalized. No business can thrive under those conditions. No investor or tourist would come to an area that feels like it is under siege and quarantine. President Buhari began his presidency by declaring publicly that he'd favor those who voted more for him against those who voted less for him in the elections. Basically President Buhari began his government on a policy of discrimination. It showed in his key appointments into the inner sanctum of his presidency. The Igbo feel themselves gated from the presidency where all executive decisions take place. This kind of discrimination is equally evident at the larger space of nation. An Igbo child who is denied a place in a federal institution on the basis of a quota-system gone berserk will grow up naturally to resent Nigeria. And the Igbo, more than any other group in Nigeria, have had to suffer seriously from federal discriminatory policies that ought by now to have been revised.

The Igbo have the highest number of educated and skilled unemployed, because discriminatory policies have kept them in silos. The Igbo are not necessarily against the use of the quota principle for inclusion and spread of opportunities to all parts of Nigeria. The Igbo in fact want the expansion of the Nigerian middle class from North to South because it is good for their business. But this must not be, as it is often the case at the expense of the Igbo. All development must be based on the human person. To understand Igbo anger, one must first comprehend that since 1970, the South-East of Nigeria has received the least infusion of federal capital, in fact in general, less than 11% of all capital expenditure. The old Kano state comprising Kano and Jigawa receive more in federal allocation than all the states of the South East put together. This is strategic diminution.

There is not a single federal industrial investment in Igbo land. In 1981, Governor Sam Mbakwe secured President Shagari's guarantee to site the National Petrochemical plant in Ohaji, or he would build it himself. In 1984, Buhari revised the plan and the Petrochemical plant slated for Ohaji was later sited in Eleme by Babangida. It was much the same about the National Steel plant which was designated to be built in Onitsha, but which was moved to Ajaokuta. By 1967, the city of Aba was at par with Lagos: whatever industrial plant was built in Lagos was also built in Aba - Lever brothers, SCOA industries, Nigerian Breweries, Guinness, Proctor & Gamble, PZ, etc. In fact the West African headquarters of Pfizer Pharmaceutical Laboratories was in Aba, before it was forcibly relocated to Lagos in 1970.
The East has the worst federal roads, and much of the infrastructure destroyed by the federal forces during the war was never been rebuilt. Rather there is a policy of strategic divestment and capital flight out of the East. Basically the federal government has deliberately created a steel bucket out of Igbo land, with crabs in it. So, what do the Igbo want? First, a president who would be president of all Nigerians, irrespective of who voted for him. Secondly, a fulfilment of one of the basic conditions for ending the last war: the rehabilitation and reconstruction of all of Eastern Nigeria, including the Igbo heartland of that region. It is a matter beyond the President's appointments

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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