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Thursday, October 6, 2016


Written by Nnanna Ijomah 
New York, New York, USA

As a young kid during the Nigerian civil war years who experienced first-hand the anguish, deprivations and frustrations occasioned by that war and having had the rare privilege of serving as a Special Assistant to the late Biafran Warlord, the venerable Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Emeka Ojukwu in my adult years, my attitude towards the renewed quest for Biafra has been one of ambivalence and somewhat indifference not so much because I oppose or approve the idea of an independent Biafran nation but rather because I doubted and still doubt a universal agreement amongst a majority of the Igbo's on the issue as well as its possible realization under the present political environment and under this President. Now any discerning mind who has examined the views expressed by the President on this issue since his assumption of office, or the social media comments and opinions made by many Nigerians from the two other major ethnic groups, it will not be difficult to understand or agree with the reasons for my ambivalence.

For starters, it is not only regrettable that the President had made and has continued to make a series of unfortunate comments on the issue including a recent one in New York during the just concluded U.N General conference in which he said he will never allow a referendum on the subject, a comment borne out of sheer ignorance of the limits of his executive powers but also the fact that with his comments he has succeeded in setting the tone for the level of opposition and resentment that now prevails on the issue.. Like the saying goes, "the fish rots from the head", which presupposes the reason for the increased level of acrimony, ethnic hatred and divisiveness that has constrained our ability as Nigerians to have a rational discussion and debate on the Biafran issue. Some have questioned the sudden upsurge in the quest for Biafra since the advent of the Buhari administration as opposed to the Jonathan era. And the answer is simple. It is the president who has set the tone for what is happening today by his unbridled comments before and after his election on the subject,, vis-à-vis his actions.

He first set the tone prior to his election by stating during a BBC Hausa service interview that he did not regret killing a lot of Igbos to keep Nigeria one and would do it again if the need arose. He followed it up by also stating that he will not bother with the 5% of Nigerians, referring to the Igbo's who did not vote for him and actually carried out the threat with his choice of federal appointments which was skewed towards the North. He failed to take action on the numerous vicious attacks by Fulani herdsmen on innocent citizens in the middle-belt, Western and Eastern states , condemn the burning of the Sabon Gari market in Kano populated by Igbo traders or restrain soldiers from killing IPOB demonstrators who were exercising their right to public assembly. Not too long ago while addressing a group of Youth Corpers who paid him a courtesy call in his hometown of Daura, the President again sought to resurrect the ghost of the civil war by reminding the Igbo's of what happened to them during the civil war and how millions of them died. A comment who have perceived as a veiled threat. So when people ask to know why the sudden agitation for a Biafran state, they should look back at the aforementioned comments. The truth is that as the President of a country, it is safe to say, words have consequences. It is also a question of judgment and temperament, two key qualities for leadership.

Now should the President shoulder all the blame? Of course not. Nigerians of all tribes in general and the Igbo's to some extent share some of the blame. After 56 years of independence and at a time when one will think we as a nation have achieved a degree of enlightenment, of acceptance of others, we revert back to the dark crevices of our past history. In doing so we have failed to hold tight to the values and advantages of pluralism and diversity, thereby discarding our sense of humanity, acceptance and tolerance. Our social fabric as a nation has consequently been eaten up by the cancer of tribalism with the cancer itself not being as virulent as the metastasis of the disease. We have become so polarized as a nation that it is now acceptable to express both implicitly and explicitly our dislike and distrust for the other and there is abundant evidence that the Igbo's have borne the brunt of such distrust. Amongst some Yoruba's and Hausa's there is a new word for Biafra and those who clamor for it, "Biafraud". For some the agitation for Biafra is akin to acts of criminality which begs the question when did the principle of self- determination which is one of the guiding principles of the United Nations become a crime of the century to generate so much hate, opposition and angst? At a time when countries like Britain, Somalia, and Ethiopia, just to mention a few have resolved their secession issues peacefully through referendums, one wonders why some in Nigeria belief it would take a war for the Igbo's to achieve their desire of self- determination. 

The reality is that the quest for Biafra by the Igbo's does not in any way constitute a clear and present danger for the rest of the country, no matter how you slice it. That the president can't help but comment on it from time to time says something about his obsession with the issue, yet he has so far failed to make any effort in assuaging the fears of the Igbo's and their claim of marginalization, or act as a bridge over the nation's troubled waters despair, distrust and disunity.

However when one examines the degree of perceived animosity against the Igbo's and the love lost between them and other ethnic groups, one begins to wonder why the resistance towards letting them go if that's what they desire. It is more like being in a marriage in which both spouses have fallen out of love, distrust each other and the children are grown, yet one spouse will not agree to a divorce. The irreducible truth the Nigerian leadership and indeed most Nigerians are reluctant to admit is the fact that the only thing that binds the nation together right now is the oil in the south. This fact has become more evident with such recent comments credited to this administration and some of the nation's political elite to the effect that the Igbo's would be allowed to secede as long as the Niger Deltans stay back in Nigeria. History informs us that trying to force a people to stay in an unhealthy union has never worked. Neither has it worked in a spousal relationship. If the Niger Deltans decide it is in their best interest to be part of a Biafran nation, it will be a monumental mistake to force them to stay put in Nigeria. This is not to say I am advocating for a breakup of the country or otherwise, all I am saying is that every group on earth is entitled to the right of self- determination as long as their desire does not infringe on the rights and preferences of others.

Now with regards to the Igbo's, they have become the victims of their enormous success and their ability to survive and thrive as a people, despite all the obstacles placed in their way. Their upward mobility have aggravated the longstanding discomfort of haters and flamethrowers from every tribe who see them as undeserving of their achievements. For more than 30 years since the Shagari administration when an Igbo man occupied the Vice-President position the Igbo's in Nigerian politics have embodied what some might call classic interlopers. As interlopers, they are perceived as a people who have constantly challenged and threatened, though unsuccessfully the Presidential entitlement and political statusquo of the North and West. They are the ambitious magnet who are seen as heartless, greedy and venal. Worst of all they are seen as a people who have accepted the fact that they are disliked and whose academic and entrepreneurial bonafides run counter to some of their counterparts, yet have carried on anyway.

On the plus side the Igbo's over the years have shown good faith, yet no matter how much they try to integrate themselves into the fabric of the Nigerian community there is a resistance to a perspective and perception adjustment by some sections of the country .No doubt some of the things they are accused or guilty of can be both unexceptional and necessary such as flexing their intellectual abilities and standing up for their rights. The truth however is that the Igbo's must resist a show of ethnic superiority, a trait that endears them to no one. They must do well to curtail their braggadocios inclinations which has never served them well. Not that doing so will make them more likeable and acceptable to other Nigerians, but it might help generate a modicum of good feelings and relations towards them. They must realize that they are an exceptional group and their exceptionalism has brought them a lot of resentment. They must accept the fact that other groups don't resent their attempt to secede solely because of the loss of their contributions to the economic well- being of the country rather it could be assumed rightly or wrongly that they are jealous of what they anticipate a Biafran nation may turn out to be, as much as some gleefully predict it will be another Southern Sudan which in my opinion is a distinct possibility since the Igbo's no longer have the kind of pre and post- independence leaders they used to have. The truth being that if you look at the dichotomy between the 5 Igbo states, the Igbo's are presently suffering an identity crisis.

My take on this issue is that those who expect the Igbo's to wave the white flag of surrender, may have to wait a long time for that to happen. Even though it could be rightly said that not all Igbo's are in favor of secession including yours truly, the agitation is real and cannot be simply wished away, but can only be resolved by sustained effort to fully give them a sense of belonging and inclusion. Trying to scare them with threats of war will not work, because their agitation is real, not make belief. The President's implied threats have not worked, hence there is no use issuing more threats by some thoughtless comments. There is a rule in politics and governance that goes thus, "when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging". That is to say if an issue, program or an approach to solving a problem is not working as intended, stop pushing it. The President came to power promising he will be a President for all, but right now he is anything but that. Nigeria is blessed with every resource any country will hope for both in human and material resources. Our diversity which should be our strength has been turned into a curse and it all has to do with our leadership. Our leaders over the years have exploited and have continued to exploit our diversity for their benefit and political gain.

When I hear and read such comments like, 'an Igbo man can never be President". when some groups are willing to form incompatible alliances just to achieve that end or when a section of the country took pains to perfect plans of wrecking havoc and mayhem on an ethnic group if their candidate lost the last Presidential elections, it goes to show how dysfunctional and hateful our politics have become. It also proof positive of a Northern political arrogance that dismisses the Presidential aspirations of others as if the Presidency is their birthright, having ruled the country for 47 years. This is not to say the North is alone in this Presidential conspiracy game.All we need to do is to take a look at a comment made in 1999 by the present Emir of kano, Alhaji Sanusi and I paraphrase, "the Northern and Western bourgeoisie have conspired to keep the Igbo's out of power and have no doubt exacted their pound of flesh on them for losing the war'. Whether we acknowledge these truths or not, these are some of the salient issues behind the Biafra agitation. The feeling by the Igbo's that they are considered second class citizens. A few days ago I saw a picture on Facebook of the President and a few of his political associates cutting a cake to commemorate the 57th anniversary of Nigeria's independence and there was not one single Igbo politician present. Rather the President was surrounded by his fellow Northerners and a lonesome Osibanjo. These are issues that need to be resolved, yet there is no attempt to do so as we continue to pay lip service to the notion of national unity. As a country we continue to deny the political dominance of one group and avoid the debate about downplay the ethnic resentment and disunity it engenders.

There is a popular saying, "you don't make peace with your friends rather you make peace with your enemies". Progress is not made nor does it exist in a straight line. There are usually curves and turns. The progress towards healing the divisions in this country must start from the top. That's the existential nature of the Presidency, hence it is incumbent on him to set the tone for healing and it must start with an educational policy that allows for the teaching of the history of the Nigerian Civil War in our schools as there are millions of young people who have no knowledge or experience of what happened in that war, let alone have an appreciation of how a section of the country feels hence it is not a surprise that some of these young adults see the Igbo's as an ethnic group worse than the book of revelations. It must also start with a cessation of comments by the president which are seen to be beyond the bounds of acceptability. His must be healing comments, accommodating and less threating. There must be a policy of inclusion in words and deeds and a deliberate and sustained effort to empathize with those who are victims of discrimination, religious bigotry, hatred and acts of victimization. On the part of the general public, the belief that Igbo's are criminals, greedy and money hungry must be deconstructed. The Igbo's on their part must also deconstruct their believe systems and stereotypes as it relates to other groups.

I will be remiss if I say a Biafran Nation if it becomes reality is going to be an Eldorado of peace, unity, transformational leadership and governance, the answer is no. We the Igbo's are no longer as united as we used to be. The creation of states have created fixtures in our sense of unity and brotherhood. As earlier mentioned we now have a crisis of identity. The Igbo man from Abia state sees himself different from his counterpart from Ebonyi or Enugu state, hence I foresee a struggle for power based on state of origin rather than the desire to serve. Our present crop of Igbo leaders are corrupt, selfish and parochial in their thinking and will be incapable of forging the kind of unity that will be needed for the survival and progress of a new nation. Does this anticipated new nation of Biafra have the potential of becoming an economic and industrial giant of Africa? The answer is yes. But it will take the right leadership to achieve this milestone. Do the Igbo's have a stake in a united, more inclusive and less divisive Nigeria? The answer is yes, but there must be changes as the country is fast becoming a nation separate and unequal. As Nigerians, we continue to deny the obvious and constantly speak over each other. We don't understand reconciliation, rather we just want to win not only for ourselves but also for our ethnic group and in so doing we lose our decency, empathy and humanity. We may need a 'come to Jesus moment", to be able to solve our problem of disunity in this country, if we hope to survive as an united and indivisible country with equal opportunity for all.

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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