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LAGOS: The Official Hatred Against Igbo People Has Intensified, Time For Ndigbo To Reconsider Their Ways

 

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Crowning of an Igbo Chief by a traditional ruler

A Yoruba proverb says that one does not keep silent when something bad is going on because a house does not burn and fill the eyes with sleep.
I have been having sleepless nights because bad things are going on between the Igbos and their Yoruba brothers in Nigeria. And it troubles the hearts of those who love the peace and friendliness that once existed between these two tribes in Nigeria since after the civil war, which politicians for their very selfish reasons are determined to kill.
In the University of Ife( Now Obafemi Awolowo University) in the 1970s, we did everything together with Yorubas, from football, student unionism, entertainement, etc. Of particular reference was in the Palmwine Drinkers Club, where they referred to themselves as “carried fellows”, and non-members like me, as bearing very long tails, irrespective of tribe or circumstances of birth. We enjoyed our differences and the unity that followed it all.
They called us “Okoro”, “Aje okuta ma imu omi “, meaning: one who eats stones without drinking water. We called them “Ndi Ofe Nmanu”, meaning: people who eat too much red palm oil. Competition was healthy among us and you got what you deserved.
For example, you could drive your ‘campus bus’, or ‘bush meat’ whether she is from Gbagan, Calabar, or any part of the globe, without qualms. Please get explanations from any ex-Ife around you. We were all simply Nigerians, and have remained largely so.
I did my Operation Feed the Nation as a student in Iperu, a town in Ogun State and my National Service in Lagos. I love Yorubas, and my friends among them love me too.
When I started work in 1981, two Yorubas who touched my life in an uncommon way were Chiefs Adeniran Ogunsanya and Harold Shodipo, both of blessed memory. They were completely detribalized men, proud of their Igbo counterparts in politics. Chief Ogunsanya proved to me how he loved Dr, Nnamdi Azikiwe, and he actually introduced me to Zik in 1984. A Yoruba Chief and Elder introduced me, an Igbo man, to Owelle Ndigbo. That was those good old days.
I keep wondering what those pan-Nigerian founding fathers of Yoruba land would have done with what is happening today between Igbos and Yorubas in the politics of Lagos State.
So many things have started going wrong on between Igbos and Yorubas that things are now speedily falling apart.
The foundation for Igbo bashing and phobia may have been laid during the tenure of Chief Bola Tinubu as the Governor of Lagos State. That was when all Igbo core business areas began to be targeted for closure at the least provocation.
Alaba International Market in Ojo LGA, the Auto Market at Berger Bus-stop near Mile 2 and the Ladipo Motor Parts Market in Mushin LGA were closed at different times and reopened after a Governor from Igbo land came to plead.
Former Governor Babatunde Fashola broke the pot and spilled the beans when he deported Igbos in 2013. It was a highly spiritual action which many did not understand.The message was clear- Igbos are visitors and can be deported in spite of their investments in Lagos State.
In 2014, a group of Obas and Chiefs in Ondo State denigrated the Eze Ndigbo title and called for its ban in Ondo State.It generated public outcry by Igbos and Governor Olusegun Mimiko intervened and succeeded in calming all nerves.
Then came the 2015 elections. The Oba of Lagos shocked many when he pronounced a curse on Igbos, summarised as: ‘vote Ambode or perish in the Lagoon’.This was when the Igbo-phobia became xenophobic. Till date there is no record that the Oba cancelled that curse. And Igbos in their typical One Nigeria naïve attitude, ignored the matter and went out to vote, mostly for PDP. So, the curse remained.
Last week, Governor Akiwunmi Ambode, who demolished Oshodi Market during last December celebrations when the Igbo traders had travelled, raised the notch of Igbo bashing higher in the interest of ‘development’ of Lagos State.
He announced plans to relocate major Igbo dominated markets from the city centre to the hinter land of the State, adding: ‘if you don’t like it go’!
Those were not pleasant words, and could have been avoided but for the fact that the presumption is that Igbos will not listen and read between the lines.
Same week, some Chiefs in Lagos met and announced or re-echoed the need to ban Eze Ndigbo as a title recognised by government. These men are perhaps pushing and jostling to remove Eze Ndigbo from benefits that may follow increased involvement of traditional rulers in governance in Lagos State.
It needs to be understood that Eze Ndigbo is a creation by Igbos as a fulcrum of their unity outside Igbo land. It helps them to keep their culture and traditional ways. These Ezes help in resolving many knotty issues between Igbos and others when necessary.
They play good roles in the maintenance of cohesion between Igbos and their host societies all over Nigeria.
After the civil war, Igbos needed their Ezes to keep together in Nigeria. It will be unwise for them to jettison such an institution, especially in their host communities.
Eze Ndigbos maintain high regards, respect and cordial relationship with the Obas and Baales in Yorubaland, and where there are isolated cases of schism between the two, government should resolve it in the interest of peace and good order, instead of escalating matters.
Indeed, some bad eggs exist among Eze Ndigbos, just like they are also found among Obas, and such cases should be treated as exceptions rather than the rule.
Hausas have their leaders within their communities wherever they settle in Nigeria. Other ethnic tribes do the same. What is wrong if Igbos accept and call their own leaders Eze Ndigbo? Igbos should be allowed to be, for God’s sake.
Mr Clement Udegbe, a legal practitioner, wrote from Lagos

2 thoughts on “LAGOS: The Official Hatred Against Igbo People Has Intensified, Time For Ndigbo To Reconsider Their Ways

  1. Alphaeus Iyo says:

    May I ask.Igbos why the habits of trying to dominate indigenous people wherever you go.Land grabbing. Ibos have lost a lot in human and material resources due to derespectful attitudes towards landlords within and outside nigeria. Currently ibos are bearing another man’s father’s name called Biafra in other to take the the land of the son. What an irony.

  2. Vinc says:

    Left only to me: With these hatred words after someone is trying to call the Yorubas to sense. The only way out isas an Igbo is to be agile and rethink and think only for his own people including himself. If Igbos are together nothing is going to happen because anything can be really taken care of. Nigerians is warming that they will kill all of us but they forget easily that the Biafra Nigerian war was faught by the whole wolrd against the Igbos abd not even Nigerians. If realy the majority of the Igbos want us to perish, I will not be the person to say no. but if not Igbo awareness should be propagated and if we pay for eacg piece of land in Nigeria, our aticles must be sold to non Igbos at another prive than to the Igbos. What they stole from us as lanlord of Nigeria including our lands, let them pay. Igbo doi not want to fight back and they are divided into hiding under broom like cowards and that serves us right too. If left to me. I will fight back back in milions of ways even without talking. I will never insult any Yoruba or Hausa person but remeber that most of them, majority of them are vipers and they should be treated silently like vipers. untill they succumb. Any business Hausa man or Yoruba man and even Nigeria and their pastors are sustained by only the Igbos. The Igbo are the onlky people paying tax in the whole Nigeria including the cheating selling and reselling lands. They sell their lands to us and still own them. Those lands belong to us because we bought them and developed them, but because we do not know how to act together. we appear little where our population is as a matter of fact one of the highest if we should only stop acting divided. Imagine the people you hate want to go go away from you and the only thing you have to say is about any name they choose!!!! not even to the topic. If not for something, my wish is to continue killing them as they are killing us until we all die or win. BUT IT IS NOT ME TO DECIDE. AS Nigeria is for a common Igbo, if the Igbo insist that they stay in Nigeria. I wish all of them will be wiped so that the case will be closed finally. Mayn are dying, they do not have lands in Lagos or not but they simply want to live a normal life. If the Igbos who have business staying as slaves under Nigeria insist on continuing this way. I wish they will burn down their houses together with them. Many times the trick is even to join the Yorubas and Hausas in persecuting the Igbos even more until they make up their mind. Even any Igbo They know that lives in Yoruba answering yoruba name hiding inside Yoruba village should be sourced out and all his property taken from him and his children sent to begg. Maybe they will learn faster. I telling the Igbos does not wokr, the next action is get money from the north and west and help them show the Igbos that they do not have anything in the whole world, They are worse teven than the Gypsies. Any Igbo who insist on one Nigeria should be given a special treatment in the ONE NIGERIAN WAY. If the Igbos want to remain scatterd the next action is really help them scatter even more. I am tired of the IGBO ONE NIGERIA SPOILING THE WHOLE WORK AND DEATH OF THE IGBO AWARENESS GROUPS. The best Igbo ONE NIGERIA IS A DEAD IGBO, because it is they who are causing the death of others. If the Igbos rule Nigeria alone, evryone will gain from it (not sharing money cash but providing for everybody, even for Nigerian dogs). Today almost all Nigerian local governments are living on the blood of the Igbos yet no atom off respect. You sell your land and yet you say the Igbos buy all lands. Why not make a law to stop taking Igbo money and you too vacate our own lands.

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