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Igbophobia, Igbomania and human nature!

By Echefuna' R. G. Onyebeadi

“Igbos don’t love themselves.”

“Igbos can’t speak with one voice.”

“Igbos are their own enemies.”

“Igbos put their eggs in one basket.”

“Igbos are too emotional.”

Igbos have been and/or have allowed themselves to be blackmailed with above expressions particularly, since after losing the “genocidal war” styled “Nigerian civil war”, which many people have erroneously believed to be true.

The fact that Chief Jim Nwobodo contested the PDP primaries in 1999 with Dr Alex Ekwueme and got a few votes is still being used to taunt Igbos that they work against one another and hate one another.

Meanwhile, since independence till date other ethnic groups have done worse than Ndigbo did in this regard.

In the 1979/1983, Dr Tunji Braithwaite contested against Chief Obafemi Awolowo, while Mallam Aminu Kano and Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim contested against Alhaji Shehu Shagari.

No Igbo man contested against Rt Honourable Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe!

Major-General Muhammadu Buhari contested against Yar’Adua his fellow Fulani from same state in 2007. He refused to attend the National Council of State meetings under Yar’Adua. He asked that Yar’Adua be impeached when he was sick.

Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, another Fulani man, was also in that contest against Yar’Adua. None of them stepped down for the other and it wasn’t considered as an issue.

Buhari, Kwankwaso, and Ribadu all contested against Jonathan in 2011. None of them stepped down for one of them to challenge Jonathan. They all lost consequently.

So, in which ethnic group don’t you see people betray one another or disagree with one another?

Who were the biggest opponents of Jonathan? Were they not South south people led by Rotimi Amaechi, John Oyegun, Adams Oshiomhole, etc?

El-Rufai was the fiercest opponent of Yar’Adua. Same Fulani. He had to go on exile until Yar’Adua died. Nuhu Ribadu was haunted by Yar’Adua until he went into exile. He came back under Jonathan.

Bola Ige and Olu Falae contested the AD ticket in 1999. Falae was chosen. Bola Ige got so angry that he virtually left AD and Afenifere and teamed up with General Obasanjo of PDP.

Meanwhile Falae contested against Obasanjo, lost, went to court, lost too, but never forgave Obasanjo for that till now.

Who were the people who worked most against Abiola’s mandate? From Obasanjo to Shonekan to Alaafin to Ooni to Arisekola Alao to Oladipo Diya to Abimbola Davies etc?

So, wherein lies the truth in the constant attempt at portraying the Igbos as peculiar in negativity and not being agreeable among themselves?

You may not even be aware that this narrative you help in spreading is caused by Igbophobia. Most people don’t even know that they engage in Igbophobia unconsciously.

It is the same way Jews were demonised in Europe for centuries until the Holocaust occurred.

The Jews were all over Europe like the Igbos are all over Nigeria doing business. They were seen as overbearing on the people and labelled as the cause of everything wrong in Europe.

Shakespeare created the Shylock character for them.

Martin Luther asked that they all be killed. After the holocaust, Israel replanted and today, while surrounded by enemies, they stand tall!

Israel is like a Dot in Middle East but, their value which came from their focus on internal development and mastering everything as well as intelligence, manufacturing etc., is high enough that USA and Europe have to pally them and dare not ignore them!

Since Ndigbo have fought and “lost” a war, it is so easy to create wrong stories to show that they are not peculiarly united .

Please, let’s emancipate ourselves from this deficient thinking, perception, disposition and make believe.

No tribe is more united than the others particularly when it comes to strategic group interest.

There is nothing peculiarly inherently wrong with the Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas, Edos, etc.

What plays out often is simply human nature.

So, let’s change this wrong narrative and put everything in proper perspective.

Let’s stop turning a human problem into an Igbo problem as most Nigerians love to do.


Safe for the caption, above article whose author was not identified was copied and edited.

Echefuna’ R. G. Onyebeadi

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