Eze Chima was an Aro native doctor. In pursuance of the role of the Aros in the Atlantic Slave Trade quoted…from Michael Crowder’s story of Nigeria, Chima left Arochukwu to Benin to set up as an agent of the Aro Long Juju, for the usual purpose of collecting slaves from Benin.
Whenever, in the olden days, a native doctor travelled to a place, he by custom would, on arrival, report himself to the local chief or to the head of the society of native doctors of the land. He is either the guest of the head chief of the clan or puts up with head of the local society of native doctors. Accordingly, when Chima arrived Benin he reported himself to the Oba of Benin who accepted him as his guest. In time Chima settled down and set up practice as a native doctor and agent of Aro Oracle. He impressed the Oba of Benin so much with his magical art that he became very influential over the Oba. In consequence, the Oba installed Chima a chief in the palace of Benin. Thus the plain blunt and ordinary native doctor who left Arochukwu to establish an agency of the Long Juju, earned a chieftaincy title and became Chief Chima or Eze Chima.
Having found his feet firm in Benin, Eze Chima sent for his brother Ekensu and other relatives from Arochukwu, and also set up an Aro settlement in Benin similar to those Aros had set up within the description of Michael Crowder, in other areas throughout former Eastern Nigeria. With the march of time, Chima’s practice in Benin expanded down to Niger Delta. Among the Urhobos and Itshekiris also the fame of the Aro Oracle spread and clients from those areas trooped to him to consult the Oracle. The greatest index of Chima’s influence on culture in Benin Kingdom is found in the fact that Benin people adopted the Igbo days of the week – Eke, Orie, Afo and Nkwo – on which Chima made one sacrifice or the other or observed his abstinences and spiritual disciplines, as names also of Benin week days. And till today the Binis have, as the Igbo, Eke, Orie, Afo, Nkwo – as names of their week days. According to Mr Wellington Igunbor a Benin historian, who on the mother side, belongs to one of Benin’s traditional chieftaincy families (Chief Gaius Obaseki’s family – Gaius Obaseki who was the Iyase or Prime Minister of Benin in 1947) – the settlement of Eze Chima in Old Benin was established in the area through which Siliku Street runs in the present-day Benin city. As Eze Chima’s influence increased so did population of his settlement expand. So influential was Eze Chima and so completely absorbed in the society was he and his clan that there was hardly a thing he and his people could not do on the basis of equality with Benin indigenes.
How Chima left Benin:
At the time Eze Chima lived in Benin, the mother of Oba of Benin was Asije. The Oba’s brother who also was the Oba’s War Lord was called Gbunwala. One day, Asije the mother of both the Oba and Gbunwala, the Benin War Lord went into a farm belonging to Eze Chima’s people and collected firewood. Eze Chima’s people then caught Asije the Oba’s mother, and beat her thoroughly for taking wood from their farm without permission. Back home, Asije reported to her children – the Oba of Benin and Gbunwala, the Benin War Lord, her bitter experience with Eze Chima’s people. Red with anger, Gbunwala, the Oba’s brother and War Lord, took some of his soldiers, went to Chima’s settlement, set upon Chima’s people – beat them thoroughly and killed some of them.
From that day, Gbunwala began to harass Eze Chima and his people. In the circumstance, Eze Chima decided to quit Benin with his people and return to the East whence he came to rejoin his Igbo kith and kin – or, in the alternative to find new settlements for himself and his people in places far and safe beyond the reach of Oba of Benin.
This story was told in Igbo Primer popularly known as “Azu Ndu”, approved by Government Education Department for infant classes of primary schools in the Igbo Provinces of then Eastern Nigeria, now Biafra, since the beginning of the 20th century.
On their way out of Benin, some of the Eze Chima’s people settled at Agbo (Agbor), 44 miles away from Benin City which they considered far, and out of reach, molestations and influence of the Oba of Benin and his brother, Gbunwala. Others went beyond this distance and settled at Isele-Uku, Onicha-Olona, Onicha-Ugbo and Obio. When they reached the West bank of the Niger, some took a canoe and paddled down the River to Abo and settled. Led by Oreze, the eldest son of Eze Chima, the balance of Eze Chima clan crossed the River Niger to the eastern bank and settled among Oze people – the original inhabitants of what is today the big and prosperous commercial and education centre in Biafra – Onicha (Onitsha). On page 73 of his story of Nigeria, Mr Michael Crowder believed that the migration of Onicha (Onitsha) people – this is of Umu Eze Chima clans – from Benin took place in the 17th century.
Benin-Igbo Exchange of Culture:
Having lived for some years in Benin as one of the chiefs of the palace of the Oba of Benin, Eze Chima, the Aro agent of the Aro Oracle in Benin and his people had learnt Benin chieftaincy institutions and titles and so adapted the Benin system to the administrative structures and customs of the place where they settled among other West Niger Igbo and in Onicha (Onitsha) on the east bank. But as Eze Chima took away from Benin a copy of their chieftaincy institutions, so did he deposit in Benin, and the Binis adopted it, Igbo weekdays – Eke, Orie, Afo, Nkwo – which are vital in the determination of appropriate days for abstinences , spiritual religious cultures of the Igbo and Bini too. In other words, the West Niger Igbo borrowed from Benin in chieftaincy, traditions, just as the Binis borrowed from the Igbo in religious traditions—through the agency of Eze Chima.”
A 12-year-old Nigerian youngster of Igbo extraction who is based in the United Kingdom, Master Chika Ofili, has been presented with a Special recognition award for making a new discovery in Mathematics.
The little Mathematician just discovered a new formula for divisibility by 7 in Mathematics.
If you ever used new general Mathematics JSS 2, you would understand how significant this is in the world of Mathematics. Even Professors in this field over the years were unable to solve this problem that a young genius like this did.
There was no divisibility rule for 7. It was thought not to exist.
Kudos to this young man. This is a noble feat worthy of recognition.
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A first print, first edition of Things Fall Apart and the author, Chinua Achebe.
A first print, first edition copy of late Chinua Achebe’s premier novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ has been sold for one million Naira.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the private sale took place on Twitter following a call by author, Lola Shoneyin for collectors to purchase the vintage copy.
Shoneyin, who is well-known for her book ‘The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives’, tweeted that the copy was available on Sunday.
She said, “Hey book collectors! My friend is selling a first print, first edition copy of ‘Things Fall Apart’ for N1m. Reply here and she will contact you.”
Fans of Achebe’s work took to the comment section to praise the work, with some placing bids. However, she announced hours later that the book had been bought by an anonymous buyer.
She tweeted, “The book has been bought by an anonymous buyer.”
Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. ‘Things Fall Apart’, his first novel, is often considered his best. He won the Man Booker International Prize in 2007.
‘Things Fall Apart’ was published in 1958; its story chronicles pre-colonial life in the south-eastern part of Nigeria and the arrival of the Europeans during the late nineteenth century.
It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, one of the first to receive global critical acclaim.
The novel follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo man and local wrestling champion in the fictional Nigerian clan of Umuofia.
The work is divided into three parts, with the first describing his family, personal history, and the customs and society of the Igbo.
Other parts, chronicled the influence of British colonialism and Christian missionaries on the Igbo community.
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I think and believed in Nigeria today, Igbos love themselves more than every other tribes.
If you see any Igbo rich business man, listen to his story how he get to where he is today, he will always start with, I was a poor boy at home with my parents when my uncle, brother, or relation took me and brought me to the city to learn trade with him and finally settled me to start my own.
THE IGBO ARE RARE.
1] You will see one Igbo man who has trained and settled more than 100 young men and all are doing well in their businesses.
2] It is only Igbo man that I have seen who would train a child that is not his in schools up to the university level.
3] Only an Igbo man would send a relation abroad to go and find means to survive without minding how much it cost him.
4] Every Igbo man want his brother to live comfortably and don’t have to rely on others.
5] Igbo man would rather teach you how to catch a fish than to give you already caught fish.
6] When an Igbo man marries, he takes good care of his wife and children plus his wife’s relations unlike the other tribes that doesn’t respect their wives.
7] My sister Murna has always said that she would love to marry an Igbo man because they know how to take good care of their wives and those related to her.
8] Igbo man, no matter what and where he maybe would always have home at heart and wherever they see their people, they make themselves known.
9] Wherever they are, they would surely have Igbo meetings and gatherings of their local governments people.
10] Igbo man would go to meetings every Sunday where they meet with their people.
I wonder how anyone could say that the Igbo don’t love themselves, In fact we are jealous of Igbo people for how united and together they come all the time. When something happen to one of them, they would come together and assist. I have seen people from other tribes buried here when they died, but when an Igbo die here they must gather and take the body home in solidarity.
Things Igbo people do together I have never seen in other tribes in Nigeria. An Hausa or Yoruba rich man would never do anything to help you, they rather be giving you 20 Naira every time they see you that is after you must greeted them tire.
If Biafra goes away from Nigeria, I will be the first to apply for their visa, I want stay with them very intelligent people, they know how to make things happen.
This is indeed a true description of the Igbo people as seen by others. Unfortunately, Ndigbo sometimes seem not to really appreciate uniqueness.
The controversy whether the Igbo are Jews or not may have been laid to rest following a fresh scriptural, archaeological and cultural backing by Congrearchaeologicalweh Jerusalem headquarters, Israel in Nigeria, to the recent laboratory test result from the officials of Jewish Voice Ministries International, which proved that the Igbo are not Jews.
General Overseer of the Congregation of Yahweh in Nnewi, Anambra State, Nwayaweh Earnest Udoyaweh, made the clarifications when a senior elder of the Congregation of Yahweh Jerusalem, Kenya, Harrison Marimba, and his team stormed the industrial city to ordain him, elder.
Elder Udoyahweh who is also a Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist in the Department of Microbiology and Parasitology of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, made it clear that the issue of whether the Igbo are Jews or not had gone beyond Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) test to determine, saying that this “may have suffered mutations when there are other scriptural, cultural and archeological factors to prove that Igbo are Hebrews rather than Jews.”
From the biblical point of view, according to Udoyahweh, Igbo are the descendants of Gad who was the seventh son of Israel.
He said that Gad gave birth to Eri, a community in Anambra State; Arodi, interpreted to mean Arondizuogu, a community in Imo State; Oraeri, another community in Anambra, among other sons of Gad spread across the South East of Nigeria.
He said that all these names are in the Bible and traceable to Gad who was a Hebrew.
The cleric cited the book of Genesis, Chapters 46 verse 16 and 14 verse 13 to substantiate his claims.
He said it was in those portions of the Bible that anyone in doubt could trace the three primordial ancestors of the Hebrews.
He noted that there were other archaeological and cultural shreds of evidence, including behavioural patterns of the Igbo which were in agreement with the way the Hebrew behave.
He explained that the Hebrew, for instance, never allowed the corpse of their relation to be buried outside their ancestral homes which the Igbo practice.
Udoyahweh noted that there were some artefacts excavated in a community like Igbo-Ukwu in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State that had Hebrew inscriptions on them, adding that “even the Igbo as a word is an adulterated Hebrew word, Heber.
He also explained that Abraham as a Hebrew was instructed in the scripture to circumcise his family members which he said the Igbo practised today.
During the ordination, Elder Marimba enjoined all the members of the congregation to give newly ordained Elder Udoyahweh maximum support and loyalty for him to be able to execute the work of Yahweh.
Udoyahweh said he was overwhelmed and humbled by his new responsibility as the Elder taking care of the congregation. He, therefore, appealed to both other Senior Elders and the congregants to always remember him in their prayers for the task ahead.
“I earnestly request from you, Senior Elder Don and all the elders in this Congregation of Yahweh Jerusalem (COYJ) before me to pray continuously for me in order to carry out this restoration work and worship of Yahweh from Jerusalem as I ought to do and teach with all fairness and firmness, faithfulness and fruitfulness until the end. And in such a way and manner that whatever is done in Yahweh’s heaven which is also done at the congregation of Yahweh Jerusalem Headquarters, Israel shall be done same way and manner in this awesome place of Yah. This is my one and only real and earnest prayer request,” he said.
Some unidentified youths, suspected to be hoodlums, on Saturday, carried out attacks targeted on Igbo traders, in Sokoto, the Sokoto State capital.
Our Correspondent reports that the attacks occurred on Old Market Road, Bello Way and Emir Yahaya areas of Sokoto metropolis, at about noon.
The frightening incident, however, forced other Igbo traders to closed down their shops and ran for safety against the backdrop of the heightened security situation in other parts of the country.
An eyewitness who sighted the irate youths in their hundreds along Bello way said were armed with cutlasses, stones and sticks before l before razing down a building belonging to some Igbo traders.
A victim who simply identified his name as Chief Gabriel Okafor told our Correspondent on the phone that his house was reported razed down by some suspected arsonists.
“Right now, I just received a call from my wife that some youths have invaded my house and set it ablaze. My family narrowly escaped the attacks.” Chief Okafor alarmed.
Another victim, Mr William Emmanuel Usoh told Journalists that his Honda Civic car was touched by some unidentified youths along Emir Yahaya road.
Usoh explained that the timely arrival of men of the Nigeria Civil Defence and Security Corps (NCSDC), however, stopped the youths in their attempt to further vandalize shops within the vicinity.
When contacted the President General, Igbo Community in Sokoto State, Chief Charles Uwaga, confirmed the incident.
He said reports reaching him indicated that some of his members have been attacks within the state capital. “A member just called me that his house has been razed down. There are also cases of shops vandalization.
However, there was a heavy presence of security personnel that including Army, Police, Civil Defence Corps, especially within the state capital.
In a related development, Sokoto state government has urged all residents to go about their normal activities without fear of molestation, saying all arrangements have been put in place to ensure the security of lives and property.
A statement issued by Malam Imam Imam, the spokesman to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, said what is happening in other parts of the country, especially the South East, will have no negative effect on residents of Sokoto.
“Governor Tambuwal has urged for calm. He has met severally with security agencies, religious and traditional rulers. He is also in touch with members of the resident communities.
“In addition, the Governor is in touch with his counterparts in other states to see how they can synergise to ensure that peace is maintained.
“Residents are thereby urged to report any suspicious activities to constituted authorities,” the statement added.
The statement praised the people of Sokoto for being their brothers’ keepers and urged them to engage in acts that enhance unity, brotherhood and understanding at all times.
“We’re happy to note that so far, business premises, markets, worship centres and public gatherings have continued unhindered. This administration is committed to sustaining our cherished status as the most peaceful State in Nigeria,” it added. (The Sun)
Igbo Jews reading from the holy scroll during worship
by Dr Leonard Madu:
In a White House memo dated Tuesday, January 28, 1969 to President Nixon, former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger describes the Igbos as “the wandering Jews of West Africa-gifted, aggressive, westernized, at best envied and resented, but mostly despised by Nigerian neighbours in the Federation”(foreign relations document, volume E-5, documents on Africa 1969-1972).
Kissinger’s description aptly portrays the Christian Igbos and their experience in Nigeria. Over the years, the Igbos have been the victims of numerous massacres, that they have lost count. Most of the violence directed against the Igbos have been state-sponsored. One can say that the Igbos knew how to spell “state sponsored terrorism” before the rest of the world did. The state sponsored terrorism directed against the Igbos in 1966, led to the declaration of the Republic of Biafra by the Igbos and subsequent civil war. Over two million Igbos died in the civil war, primarily by starvation. One will not be wrong if they call the Igbos the “Tutsis” of Nigeria. Today, an Islamic terrorist Conglomerate led by the dreaded Boko Haram are still slaughtering Igbos and other Christians in Northen Nigeria. Igbos have always seen themselves as a bulwark against the spread of Islam to Southern Nigeria, and as a result, a perennial target of Islamic zealots.
However, the Igbos are one of the largest and most distinctive of all African ethnic groups. Predominantly found in Southeastern Nigeria, they number about 40 million worldwide, with about 30 million in Nigeria. They constitute about 18% of Nigeria’s population, with significant Igbo populations in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Ivory Coast. Igbos predominate in five states in Nigeria-Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia. In three other states- Rivers, Lagos and Delta, they constitute almost 25% of the population.
Cross section of Igbo Chiefs, Nze and other titled personalities
During the slave trade, Igbo slaves were known to be the most rebellious. Most of the slave rebellions in the United States, Haiti, Jamaica, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana were led by Igbo slaves. In South Carolina, Igbo slaves were reported to have drowned themselves, rather than be kept as slaves. Today that place is called Ebo Island in commemoration of the slaves who died there. The Gullahs are Igbo. Igbos were one of the 13 African ethnic groups that provided the bulk of the slaves who were brought to the Americas. The majority of the slaves who ended up in Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Maryland, Arkansas, Mississippi, South and North Carolina and Georgia were Igbo. An Igbo museum has been built in Virginia to honour the contribution of Igbo slaves to the state. One of the Igbo slaves who were sent to Liberia by the American Colonization Society-Edward Roye- became the fourth president of Liberia. Another Igbo slave, Olaudah Equiano wrote the famous slave chronicles.
During the colonial period, the British disliked the Igbos, because of their supposedly uppitiness and argumentativeness. During military service in Burma and India, the pride of Igbo soldiers amongst other African soldiers was proverbial. In the company offices and orderly rooms, the first few words from the White officer speaking to an Igbo soldier was followed by “don’t argue, you! Or “you want to be too clever”, and similar expressions. Their expressive and aggressive mentality which they enjoy in their culture at home does not always allow them to accept false charges or accusations without responding. The late famous writer, Langston Hughes, observed “the Igbo looks proud because he is bred in a free atmosphere where everyone is equal. He hates to depend on anyone for his life’s need. He does not mind if others look proud. He has much to be proud of in his land. Nature has provided for him. He is strong and able to work or fight. He is well formed. He is generally happy in his society where no ruler overrides his conscience. He likes to advance and he is quick to learn. He likes to give rather than take”.
Culturally, the Igbos are a very diverse group with different clans, families, subcultures, and subgroups. However, the customs are similar to local varieties. Although there are disagreements about the origins of the Igbos, there is a consensus that they originated from Nri in the Anambra State of Nigeria. The language of the Igbos is Igbo or Ibo. It is one of the largest spoken languages in Africa, with Hausa and Yoruba. Igbo speaking people are divided into five geographically based subcultures-Northern Igbo, Western Igbo, Southern Igbo, Eastern Igbo and Northeastern Igbo. Not as urbanized as the Yoruba, they live in multitudinous villages, fragmented into small family groups. They do not have hereditary chiefs like the Yoruba or Hausa/Fulani. Every Igbo more or less is his or her own master. The Igbos operate the “Umunna System”, which emphasizes the patrilineal heritage, rather than the matrilineal. Some of the important Igbo cities include Onitsha, Enugu, Umuahia, Aba, Asaba, Abakaliki, Owerri, Nsukka.
In commerce, the Igbos are a mobile, vividly industrious people who have spread all over Nigeria and Africa as traders and small merchants. In countries like Gabon, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Gambia, Igbo traders predominate in retail trade. Most Igbos are clannish, despite their individualism and hold closely together in non-Igbo communities. They are often very unpopular in the communities they live in because they push very hard to make money and often dominate the retail business in alien communities. In his book, the Brutality of Nations, Dan Jacobs describes the Igbos “as ambitious, dynamic and progressive people whose education and abilities did not endear them to those among whom they lived. Even during British rule, there were massacres of Igbos in Northern Nigeria-in Jos in 1945 and in Kano in 1953. The Igbos have acquired the sobriquet, Jews of Africa”.
Education is highly emphasized and given priority in Igboland. Converted to Christianity by Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian missionaries, they took up self-improvement with such enthusiasm, that by the 1960’s, the Igbos had the highest percentage of doctors, lawyers, engineers, physicists, and teachers than any other ethnic group in Africa. Because of the abundant educational talent in Igboland, many newly independent African nations recruited them to fill vacancies in their civil service. The first American style university built in Africa was in the Igboland-the University of Nigeria at Nsukka. Its founder, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. The Igbos and the Yorubas are the most educated ethnic group in Africa.
Igbo Jews reading Torah during prayers
Politically, the Igbos are very effervescent and volatile. According to author Dan Jacobs “for Britain and for the British civil servants who continued to work in the Northern Region, the Igbos have always been a troublesome element in the federation, a people with a democratic tradition who are not easily controlled. Many British were glad to see them out of a central position in the federation, as were those who had driven them back to their homeland and those who now held the civil service and other jobs they had left”. The Igbos had been the most ardent advocates of a united Nigeria. Upon independence in 1960, an Igbo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe-American educated- became the first President and Governor General, while another Igbo, Aguiyi Ironsi became the first indigenous military chief. The leadership of most of the elite universities in Nigeria were also occupied by the Igbos.
Following the military coup of January 1966, which the Igbos were accused of initiating, Aguiyi Ironsi, an Igbo, became President and Supreme Commander of the armed forces. Tensions rose very high in the country resulting in the massacre of Igbos in May 1966. In July 1966, a Hausa/Fulani/Tiv inspired military coup overthrew Ironsi’s regime and a terrible massacre of the Igbos began in earnest. This led to the secession of the former Eastern Nigeria and the declaration of the Republic of Biafra.
This eventually led to the civil war. According to George Orick, an American businessman and consultant to UNICEF who was in Nigeria at the time, one million Igbos were to be killed in order to avenge the death of a man called Ahmadu Bello, who was the Sardauna of Sokoto-Prince of the Islamic Sokoto Caliphate. He reported that “one could hear on Northern Nigerian radio the reading of long lists of Igbos who were targeted for extinction”.-see Goddell team report, Congressional Record of February 15, 1969, pp51976-7. The Igbos believe, and rightfully so, that had they did not fight back, their fate would have been worse than that of the Tutsis in Rwanda. The same way Northern Nigerian radio was exhorting the Hausa/Fulanis to kill the Igbos, was the same way Radio Milles Collines was exhorting the Hutus to slaughter the Tutsis in Rwanda.
Similarly, Heinrich Jiggs, a Swiss businessman in Nigeria who later became the chief Red Cross delegate in Biafra, reports seeing one of the circular letters in Northern Nigeria which stated that every Igbo down to the age of six would be killed. A Canadian Journalist, Alan Grossman, who had been West African Bureau Chief of Time Life News Service in Lagos from May 1966 to June 1968, testified before the External Affairs Committee of the Canadian House of Commons on what he saw. He told the committee “many thousands of Igbos were slaughtered in towns and villages across the north, and hundreds of thousands of others were blinded, crippled or maimed or in the majority of cases, simply left destitute as they attempted to flee to the Igbo homeland in Eastern Nigeria. Some of the fleeing refugees did not make it home.
On one train that arrived in the East, there was the corpse of a male passenger whose head had been chopped off somewhere along the line. Another group of Igbo refugees men, women and children whom I happened to see-I would say 100 or more of them were waiting at the railway station in the city of Kano, the largest city in Northern Nigeria, for about three days, with no security guards, for the arrival of a refugee train, and a land rover full of government soldiers came and mowed them down with automatic weapons. Igbo shops and Igbo hotels were ransacked and looted, while blocks of non-Igbo businesses were carefully left untouched”. (see minutes of Canadian House of Commons proceeding, external Affairs Ref. 7 pp. 239-40).
In the final analysis, Dan Jacobs, in the Brutality of Nations, summarizes the plight of the Igbos in the following way, “to the other Nigerians, the Igbos were not only leaving Nigeria, they were departing with the oil under the lands with which they are seceding. Here lay the explanation of the paradox that the Nigerians had driven the Biafrans out, yet seemed to be fighting to keep them in the Federation. What they actually wanted was the land the Igbos were on and what lay under it-without the Igbos”.
Igbo Jews during prayer session in the synagogue
Some internationally recognized Igbo personalities include former president Nnamdi Azikiwe, former military ruler Aguiyi Ironsi, writer Chinua Achebe, former Biafran leader Odumegwu Ojukwu, former justice at the World Court Daddy Onyeama, former Commonwealth secretary general Emeka Anyoku, former middleweight and light-heavyweight champion of the world Dick Tiger and Cardinal Francis Arinze-Pope in waiting… Some African Americans of Igbo ancestry include evangelist T.D. Jakes, actor, scholar and athlete Paul Robeson, actors Forrest Whitaker and Blair Underwood.
(Dr. Leonard Madu is President of the African Caribbean Institute and African Chamber of Commerce in Nashville, Tennessee.)
Governor Ayo Fayose, of Ekiti state, says Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is doing his best to address some challenges in the country but he needs to put in more efforts.
Alleging that the Igbo have been made to “suffer forever” because of their role in the civil war, Fayose appealed to the Federal Government to be fair and just to all ethnic groups in the country.
He opposed the main objective of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), saying secession is not an option.
IPOB is in the frontline of the campaign to create an independent state for the Igbo.
According to Governor Fayose,“The Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is doing his best but that is not enough. We must remember that those who make positive change impossible make violent change inevitable. A situation where a section will be suffering forever because of their role in the civil war is not fair,” he said.
“As much as secession is not an option, the handlers of our democracy must be equitable, fair and just to everyone. The Igbo have continued to suffer because of the perceived role of Emeka Ojukwu. If we say past governments didn’t do well what has the present government done differently?
“I agree that secession is not desirable but there must be justice and equity. When people are being killed or vilified, you must expect a reaction. No region should begin to use power to oppress another. If Nigeria is truly one, it will not get to a stage that one region will openly call on another to leave its land.”
The governor said the federal government should dialogue with Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB leader, instead of using force.
Fayose accused the Buhari administration of dividing Nigeria “more than ever and it is the legitimate right of the people to agitate if they feel they are wrongly treated”. (TheCable)
The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, is currently meeting with leaders from the South East in continuation of his consultations over the recent quit notice handed down to people of Igbo extraction to leave the northern part of the country.
He had on Tuesday met with leaders of thought from the Northern part of the country on the same issue.
Osinbajo told his guests that the consultations were necessary, and important, because of recent events in the country.
He recalled that there had been loud and sometimes hostile agitations by youths in the South East, calling for secession from Nigeria.
He added that there was the recent ultimatum by a group of youths from the North, asking South Easterners living in the North to leave by October 1.
“I firmly believe that we ought to address these agitations and proclamations urgently and decisively,” the Acting President told his guests on Wednesday.
The Coalition of Northern Groups has called on the Federal Government to initiate a process allowing the Igbo to vote in a referendum that will allow them to have an independent state of Biafra.
The group, which comprised of the Arewa Citizens Action for Change; Arewa Youth Consultative Forum; Arewa Youth Development Foundation; Arewa Students Forum; and the Northern Emancipation Network, in a statement issued on Thursday, following the backlash that greeted its Tuesday statement in which a three-month ultimatum was issued to Igbo living in the North to leave the region.
“We urge the Federal Government of Nigeria as a matter of urgency to initiate the process for a peaceful referendum to allow the Igbo to go. Let them go. We restate our determination and commitment to ensuring that the North will never partake in any contrived arrangement that would still have the Biafran Igbo as a component.
“We reiterate our call on Nigerian authorities and recognised international bodies such as the ECOWAS, AU and the UN to hasten the initiation of the process for the final actualisation of the Biafran nation and with it the excision of the Igbo out of the present federation,” the group said in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman.
The group, which had on Tuesday urged Igbo leave the North for “their newfound country in order to allow other people have peace” said its statement was twisted out of context, hence the need for clarification.
“We are today compelled to make this further statement to clarify our stand on some issues that trailed the Kaduna Declaration made on Tuesday. After meeting to review the fallout of that Tuesday’s declaration, our groups have arrived at the following fundamental observations: That some elements have for reasons best known to them, mischievously distorted the intent of our original script by alluding to such words as ‘violence,’ ‘threat,’ ‘war,’ and ‘mass action’ to it.
“We find this mischievous because as cultured, thoroughbred northerners we have never anywhere and at any time, under whatever circumstances, called anybody to violence as a means of conflict resolution. In strict observance of that tradition we never employ violence as a means of pursuing our interest and at every opportunity, we opt for peaceful engagements and implore people to eschew violence in all its ramifications,” it said.
The coalition noted that despite the minor distortions that caused some measure of anxiety, many Nigerians were in support of its position, describing them as people “who have been tormented and menaced by the irredentist proclivities of the Igbo.” (Punchng.com)