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Sunday, October 2, 2016

African salad (Abacha) reduces heart disease, blindness risk

Written by Chukwuma Muanya, Assistant Editor
~TheGuardian Nigeria. Thursday, September 29, 2016.

Studies indicate ingredients could easily be contaminated

The much sought after local delicacy, Abacha, was in the news last week for the wrong reasons. Contaminated preparations were believed to have induced cholera, which led to the death of six persons and hospitalization of 39 of others in Isolo, Lagos.

But scientific studies show that a meal of well-prepared African salad could help prevent and treat heart diseases, poor sight, obesity, microbial infections including Staphylococcus aureus, colon cancer and other chronic diseases.

African salad is popularly called "Abacha, Abacha Ncha, Abacha and Ugba" by Igbo tribe of Nigeria. It is an exotic delicacy and a special salad recipe native to Nigeria. The name African salad is thought to have originated from the Igbo's ideology that salad contains lots of fresh and raw vegetables and some other ingredients consumed without further cooking, therefore it is a salad and of African origin.

African salad is widely accessed for its composition of food ingredients known to be rich in protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, and minerals. It can be eaten on its own or in combination with other snacks like coconut, palm kernel and groundnut. Though it can be as filling as any other main course meal, African salad is usually eaten as an in-between meal or as a side dish to the various Nigerian rice recipes.

African salad is also regarded as a special delicacy during traditional Festivals. Abacha is processed by harvesting cassava tubers; after which they are peeled, washed and cooked. These are then shredded into fine thin slices, and soaked overnight for fermentation so as to thoroughly reduce the starch and hydrogen cyanide from the cassava. The shredded and fermented cassava is again thoroughly washed the following day before drying it for two to three days.

The preparation of African salad takes great efforts and the ingredients needed to prepare African salad vary according to ones taste and availability. The key to making a good African salad is to make sure that all the ingredients are well incorporated. It can include ingredients such as Ugba (Pentaclethra macrophylla), palm oil, potash, onions, nutmeg, crayfish, salt, pepper, maggi, ogiri (Ricinus communis), garden egg, garden egg leaves, Utazi leaves (Gongronema latifolium), Okazi (Ukazi) leaves (Gnetum africana), Uziza leaves (Piper guineense), kpomo (cow skin), meat and stockfish/fish. These ingredients are mixed thoroughly with the shredded cassava (Abacha). The ingredient added is dependent on one's choice, purchasing power and availability. African salad can be served with fried fish/meat over a cold drink (palm wine, beer, stout or Wine).

Can a meal of Abacha lead to death or cause cholera?

An earlier study published in Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences (JETEAS) had alerted on the possible health dangers of consuming contaminated African salad.

Researchers from the Department of Microbiology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, and Imo State conducted the study titled "Quality Aspects of African Salad".

The researchers wrote: "The proximate and microbiological quality of African salad a special salad recipe native to Nigeria was investigated in order to provide scientific, research based information on the nutritional and micro floral composition of this exotic delicacy. Samples of salad were purchased from six food-vending sites, which serve as the major business and residential area in Owerri.

"The predominant bacterial isolates from African salad belong to Bacillus spp, Staphylococcus spp, Escherichia coli, Enterococci and Serracia. The fungal spp isolated include Saccharomyces, Mucor, Rhizopus, Penicillium and Aspergillus.

"The mean total aerobic plate count range from 7.7×10

11 to 4.8×1012, coliform count range from 8.5×1010 to 3.5×1011 and fungal count range from 6.6×109 to 4.7×1010. Based on the specifications by International Commission for Microbiological Specification for Foods (ICMSF), the level of contaminations was unacceptable and could pose health challenge.

" The chemical composition of the African salad samples consists of carbohydrate (21.07 per cent), protein (4.38 per cent), fat (zero per cent), fiber (3.29 per cent), and moisture (62.72 per cent). Energy value of 169.30 kcal and minerals were recorded.

"African salad as seen from this report is a nutritious food, fit for all age groups. Special care however, has to be taken in its preparation as contaminants could be introduced through the ingredients. Education of food handlers and the general public on food safety measures, effective Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) application and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) implementation is imperative."

Cassava noodles

A study published in the African Journal of Food Science concluded: "Abacha consumption can only serve as a refreshing snack and should not be taken as main course as some consumers use it. To improve its nutritional quality and contribution to nutrient intake of consumers, it is advisable to consume it alongside other supplements such as coconut and peanuts. Local salad on the other hand, is nutrient dense and of higher nutritional quality than Abacha. The consumption of local salad should therefore, be promoted among the people of Nigeria as a means of combating nutrition insecurity, especially among those living the traditional lifestyle."

The study, titled "Nutrient composition and contribution of noodles (abacha) and local salad from cassava (Manihot spp) to nutrient intake of Nigerian consumers," was conducted by researchers from the Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, and Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Indeed, dietary diversification through indigenous diets as means of ensuring household nutrition security is being promoted. Cassava diets constitute staple food to most Nigerian populace, but their contribution to nutrient intake is not well documented.

The researchers studied the nutrient composition, effect of processing, and contribution of noodles (Abacha) and local salad from cassava to nutrient intake of consumers.

According to the study, proximate and mineral composition of raw cassava, Abacha snack and salad menu were carried out using standard methods of analysis of AOAC. The crude protein, lipid, fibre and ash content of cassava were very low (0.9, 0.3, 0.5 and 0.4/100 g, respectively). Processing cassava to Abacha led to significant reduction in proximate and significant improvement in mineral composition of product (p < 0.05).

Garden egg

Nigerian researchers had demonstrated how a meal of garden egg would be of benefit to patients suffering from raised intraocular pressure (glaucoma) and convergence insufficiency, as well as in diseases associated with hyperlipidemia such as ischaemic heart diseases and arteriosclerosis.

Botanically called Solanum melongena, garden egg or bitter tomato is an economic flowering plant belonging to the family Solanaceae and widely distributed throughout the temperate and tropical regions. Members are mostly herbaceous plants, and the fruit is berry and the seeds have large endosperm and are grown mainly for food and medicinal purposes.

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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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