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Identity Crisis: No one is forcing you to be Igbo!

By Maazi Ogbonnaya


“They are forcing us to be Igbo. Stop forcing people to be Igbo”.

This is when inferiority complex makes some people to think they are important. A butterfly thinking itself a bird. No one, I say, no one is forcing you to be Igbo.

From my journey of research and interaction with people, I noticed that some misconstrued  Igbo to be Biafra, especially those in the South South region of Nigeria. Igbo is not Biafra. Bịafra is not Igbo.

Bịafra was a country made up of the old Eastern region. Calabar province, the present day Rivers were all Biafrans, but not Igbo except some Ndị Igbo carved into them for the sake of divide-and-rule system when state creation commenced in the 60s.

Because of war, some didn’t  want to associate with Biafra. They’d rather link their identity to Cameroon or Fulani instead.

A lot of lies have been sold by the western media, sponsored by the caliphates and British government,  which I am proud to say that social media is for the good. Such anomalies have been corrected, some corrections still ongoing. We are now talking.

Igbo is a thing of pride. A nation I am pleased to be associated with. No one is forcing you to be Igbo. I can’t do so. How can you stop being Annang, Efik, Oron, Urhobo, Isoko,  Ibibio, Ijaw to be Igbo?  It is impossible. You were Biafra in the past?  Yes. You were Igbo in the past? No.

This set of people keep selling lies that the Igbo want to force them into becoming Igbo in order to dominate them.

A few conversation I had with some of my Ikwere friends, they kept hammering on domineering nature of the Igbo which to me I perceived what I called fear of hustling and competition. When you cannot beat them and cannot join them you resort to blackmails, envy, strife and jealousy.

Reading “Why We Struck”, by Adewale Ademoyega, one of the first coup plotters which was called Igbo coup first by the BBC and Lagos-Ibadan media. Of course this man is a Yoruba. I see his account on the genocidal war christined as Civil War as unbiased.

Immediately after the independence, the whole ethnic group in Nigeria ganged up and the word on every lips was “Igbo dominance”. In commerce, industry, agriculture whatever an Igbo did maybe someone else tried and failed will be tagged as Igbo dominance in such sector.

Read this book if you can. Tribal war didn’t start today. It is inconsequential to call me a tribal bigot. Tribalism was introduced into the political sphere by Awolowo. Zik was an orchestra of one Nigeria mantra.

Read books about Nigeria. We are all tribalistic because Nigeria wasn’t meant to be one. It is a forced union by the British government to amalgamate the Northern and Southern Protectorates. The North even sought for secession in the past. Topic for another day.

Back to the topic of discourse. Igbo people are not smelling. Not beggars. Not handicapped. Not hungry to beg or lure you into becoming Igbo. You have nothing to give them, they don’t have already. Of what benefit? You are not needed.

You are highly inconsequential. Stop feeling too important. Of course it’s only inferiority complex makes one think he’s highly needed when one is not. Such a person wants to feel among and belong.

Ok. Oil boomed, hence the multiplication of identity crisis. Even with the presence of oil, Tanko from Kaduna owns 50 oil blocs in your father’s compound. Umar from Kano owns 100 blocs. Pipes were buried from your home to Kaduna, milking the oil.

You are hungry. No food. No good land to cultivate. Your lands have been polluted. You only carry arms and guns to blow pipes and beg the northerners for money, once they give you some crumbs, you relax, flex, sell lands, when the money finishes, you cry that the Igbo is your enemy, dominating you.

How can we force this kind of individuals who have sold their future to be us? Ndị enwerọ plan! Very soon, the world will abandon oil, i jiri ya ṅụọ garị!!

Talking about history doesn’t mean anyone is forcing you to be who you are not.

I can say I am not Igbo, not African, no one will force me to be. But someone can tell me the name of my father, mother, siblings. The village my father came from. Can I say such a person is forcing me to be from my father’s land?

For some ndị Igbo this force/false narrative has been sold to. If you can read up historical books, use your head without trying to be detribalised to those who don’t even care about you but subtle envy to make you lose your guard, you will understand that no one is forcing anyone to be Igbo.

Being Igbo is a thing of pride. It is only an Igbo with low self-esteem will start a conversation with: “I am Igbo …but”. But bọjaa gị ọnụ!

You see how our people are breaking the point overseas. Don’t you? Only evil the media wants to associate with Igbo. When one of us breaks a point of success elsewhere, such one becomes a Nigerian.

When one of us is caught in the web of crime— “Igbo”. And you are telling me it’s inconsequential to always tag our own with Igbo nativity of success?  Check what the Igbo produced between 1967-1970, they refined oil, produced armoured cars, bombs, guns, different technological inventions.

It is 54 years now after the war broke out, Nigeria is still importing toothpick. Even the pencil to be produced in 2018 has been carried over. But someone envying your capabilities want you to feel sorry for being Igbo.

Learn today the differences between Biafra and Igbo. Igbo is not Biafra. Biafra is not Igbo. I cannot force Yoruba or Hausa or Efik to be Igbo. But if there is any historical migration, for instance, assuming my lineage came from Hausa , and Hausa people say I am Hausa , I can’t say they are forcing me.

Abụ m onye Igbo ma taa ma echi!

This is my last post on the issue of identity crisis. You can choose wherever you feel you are from, no one is forcing you. Stop using the word “force” to feel you are important. You are not. No one knows your papa. Who em be? Ndị mgbu.


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