By Jude Atupulazi
There’s this thing known as giving the dog a bad name in order to hang it by those averse to dogs. To those people, nothing the dog ever does will elicit any applause.
The problems of the Igbos in Nigeria have become well documented. They never seem to do anything to be valued even though their country has a lot to learn from them. But when it is considered that the treatment and perception of the Igbos in Nigeria are rather purposely contrived, it really rankles.
Just recently, I came upon a write up by a Yoruba in which he tried to paint Igbos in the usual colour that has become the norm in Nigeria. It was incendiary to say the least and I found it hard to ignore. Let’s go through it before you read my reaction.
While the ANAMABRA State Government of Charles Soludo is PUBLICLY advertising vacancies in Anambra Health Sectors for ONLY ANAMBRA PEOPLE, Lagos State General Hospitals are filled with Anambra People while Yoruba Medical Professionals are doing Japa (leaving the country) to get jobs.
And it is the same in private hospitals.
Lantoro Hospital in Abeokuta is owned by Catholics and since Catholics are more or less Igbo, the schools and hospitals in Abeokuta are taken over by Igbos in most spheres.
You can have a company owned by a Yoruba man and you will see Igbos are employed into high offices.
But a company owned by Igbos, even in Yoruba land, will have IGBOS imported from all over their villages to come fill it up.
It is so unlikely that an Igbo man will establish a business and make a non-igbo to head it.
I have too many examples.
GTBank was floated by YORUBAS but you can find many Igbos employed there. It is a very structured organization which operates by MERIT
GTbank doesn’t care about ethnicity.
It is good.
But go to Diamond, Fidelity, Zenith Banks and all such other banks floated by Igbo people, you will struggle to find Non-igbos on their staff lists. Even their branches in the remotest parts of Yoruba Land have far more Igbos than Yorubas.
Go to Nollywood. You are not likely going to find a single non-Igbo in the cast and crew of any of their productions, not even messengers and drivers, even Yoruba Babaláwo roles are taken by Igbos who speak Yoruba well.
But come to our own film productions, you find Igbos everywhere as stars and prominent casts and crew.
Go and see the content of Mr. Macaroni,.you would think Igbos write the scripts for him. He has a penchant for doing more contents which feature igbo lines far more than any other tribe.
They will tell you it doesn’t matter.
When I was at the Anambra State University, everybody, from VC to the Janitors, was Igbo.
In those days, nearly every, if by chance not all, academic and non-academic staff of UNN was Igbo.
But at LASU, OSU and all our State Universities in the SW, you can find Igbo academic and non-academic staff. Prof Kenneth Dike and Eni Njoku, two Igbos, were the first VCs of UI and Unilag, respectively. Till today you can find many of them there.
For every one Shamsudeen that Iwuanyanwu was able to employ at Champion Newspaper [ obviously on merit ] there were scores of igbos employed by Bashorun MKO Abiola in Concord Newspaper and his other businesses.
You can’t go to ANYWHERE in the South-East as a Yoruba man and you try to become the Chairman of a School PTA, let alone a holder of political office. But the Igbo man will always struggle to emerge as Chairman of Resident Associations, CDAs and CDCs and infact wants to emerge as Governors in Yoruba Land.
For every ONE YORUBA Man who is miraculously able to BUY LAND anywhere in Igbo land, I will show you at least 1,000 Igbo men who own LANDS even in Abeokuta. Lagos is a given for them.
It is impossible for YORUBA PEOPLE to form a business community in Igbo land where they could have as much as ONE PLOT of land to themselves. I never saw any such thing in my 6 years which I spent schooling and working in Igbo. But in Yoruba land, even in Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu, Ibadan, Òsogbo, Oyo, Ilé-Ifè Akure, Ado-Ekiti, even my home town of Ijebu-imushin, etc you can find Igbo traders forming ALL-IGBO business communities over several acres of land.
IGBOS MOVED THEIR POLLING UNITS enmass from South-East into Lagos, particularly, and the South-West, at the last elections. Our own people did songs and dances for them under the banner of Obidient Movement. But people, even the few Igbo men, who tried to vote Asíwájú in Anambra, were beaten mercilessly.
The Igbos NEVER had a culture of Monarchy, they have always been Republicans, all men are a kingdom to themselves. Monarchy, except [ probably ] in Onitsha, is a recent phenomenon invented for them by the Bristish Colonial Bandits.
Till today, Monarchy is irrelevant in Igbo Land.
But the same people seek to make Igbo Monarchy RELEVANT IN LAGOS AND YORUBA LAND. The Eze-Ndigbos in SW are positioning to drag influence with Yoruba Obas on Yoruba land.
They create palaces and issue orders over the land. The other day, somewhere in Akure, one Eze-Ndigbo was going to install chiefs right under the nose of the Deji Akure.
Peter Obi got about or near 50% votes in Lagos, beating Asíwájú Bola Tinubu but in Anambra, Asíwájú was so unpopular he got less than 1% votes from their people.
I can go on and on.
As the IGBOS are coming from the EAST, the Hausa-Fulanis [ FULANIS directing ] are coming from the NORTH.
Both of them pursuing same agenda of upstaging the YORUBAS from their ANCESTRAL LANDS as a first critical step to taking over Nigeria.
It has ALWAYS been about those two since 1914.
The majority of my people are busy learning how to tie 20 yards of mosquito nets on their heads as turbans so they can qualify for 70 virgins in Al-janat and how to speak in tongues as Sheep and Born-Again Babies so as to use those as qualifications into the heavenly kingdom set for them in the skies by the Europeans.
We are OMOLÚÀBÍS, We are LIBERAL, We are WELCOMING and EASY-GOING.
We are a very IRRESPONSIBLY COMPLACENT PEOPLE who don’t seem to know the first lesson in SELF-PRESERVATION.
We are a people being railroaded towards destruction.
And I say these things they call me pessimist and doomsday prophet.
And we are so collectively blind that we can’t even see the handwriting on the wall.
And the writing on the wall is so bold!!!!
Olódùmarè gba wa o.
I would have just ignored this post but for the fact that if allowed to fester, it will further misinform other Nigerians.
Lemme tackle him on some of his points.
- Non-Igbo bias in SE. He says among other things that non-Igbos hardly buy land here. Is he for real? It’s a very well established fact that Igbos are the most adventurous in Nigeria and not just that, they are gainfully employed wherever they reside and help grow the economy of their host. Now, lemme ask, how many Yorubas are gainfully employed outside their zone? The Yorubas I see here are either tailors or sellers of herbal medicine; a development that makes them unable to compete with their hosts. I once visited one such Yoruba man in Onitsha to buy herbs.
What I found in his one room apartment shocked me. He only had a spare shirt hung on a line across the spartan room. He had a traditional mat for a bed. I didn’t even see a stove. This means that he could even walk out on his landlord any day he decides to go without raising suspicions. Compare him with Igbos in other lands.
They settle fully in those places, invest and employ labour. That’s why they can buy land just like their hosts. Now, can this my Yoruba friend ever have the financial muscle to buy even the tiniest piece of land in the SE? Not a chance, unless he wants it to be freely given to him. Igbos call wherever they reside their home; other Nigerians don’t. That’s the huge difference.
- That Yorubas peopled the ObIdient Movement while Igbos rejected Tinubu, and also that Yorubas here who tried to vote for Tinubu were beaten mercilessly. What a yarn! Igbos remain the most accommodating and tolerant in Nigeria. They respect strangers, knowing that their people are also strangers in other lands. Our friend failed to give examples of the Yorubas that were mercilessly beaten on election day here but feigned ignorance of the much publicized cases of harassment of Igbo voters in Lagos, spear headed by MC Oluomo.
In fact, sadly so, the Yorubas are the most ignorant of the way of life of other people as they don’t cross their zones. That was why a female Yoruba youth corps member I saw in my office told me her people warned her to be careful of Igbos because they ate human beings. Chai!
Her parents told her this because they probably never moved outside their zone. In fact if not for NYSC 99% of Yorubas would never have set foot on Igbo land. Very true!
It was clear to everybody in Nigeria that the ObIdient Movement wasn’t about Obi. Obi was merely a vehicle through which many unhappy Nigerians wanted to flee from their hardship, just the same way as many Nigerians voted for Abiola, including Igbos who gave him bloc votes despite the double Muslim ticket of Abiola’s party.
I see the author’s attempt to run down Igbos as a product of indoctrination and ignorance.
What else did he allege sef?
Oh yes, how do the Yorubas expect to be employed in SE when they’re not there? Or does the author want his brethren to be imported here for employment? The Igbos, being everywhere, and being some of the most intelligent and industrious Nigerians, are likely to have a lion’s share of job opportunities in Igbo owned companies outside, especially when many Yorubas would be loath to work in the so-called Igbo companies.
Igbos look for quality and will never hesitate to employ a stranger over their own, if they see in the stranger, qualities that will boost their business. Mike Awoyinfa was once the Editor of The Sun Newspaper, the best Igbo owned newspaper then, if not still so. The then Minaj TV had some top Yoruba media gurus imported to Obosi to occupy top positions and earning stupendous pay. So where lies the Igbo bias?
Igbos remain the firmest believers in One Nigeria as exemplified in their adventurism. They wouldn’t have been doing that if they didn’t believe in the One Nigeria farce.
Even now, a Yoruba is an SA to the Anambra Governor on sports and is attached to the Sports Development Commission in Anambra. The Press Secretary to Soludo is not Igbo either. Imagine giving such a high and confidential position to a non-Igbo deep in Igbo heartland. It shows Soludo’s trust in the man.
In summary, I think the Igbos in Nigeria are hugely misunderstood due to deliberate misrepresentation and the sooner this anomaly is addressed the better for Nigeria.