There is no doubt that the Igbo tribe is the most envied & hated tribe in Nigeria. For this reason no other tribe has been killed in recorded history of Nigeria than the Igbo tribe.
The reason why the Igbo is loathe by other tribes varies depending on whom you asked however the one thing no one would argue is the Igbo man’s tenacious drive for success and progress where ever he finds himself.
The Igbo man usually strive to become the best amongst others , out-competing rivals to come out on top and this has become unacceptable by other tribes.
While the competitive, adventurous & fearless spirit of the Igbo has brought success to the tribe making them the most productive, industrious, hardworking & wealthiest tribe in the country, there are heavy prices & painful sacrifices made to achieve all that success which is hardly discussed.
Even the BIAFRAN soldiers that were captured, we didn’t have prisoner of war camp, we recruited them back in three Marine Commando and they were very happy and they led us to their people,and they fought against Biafra.
–General (rtd) Alabi Isama
We’ll look at some of the ways the highly autonomous Igbo tribe have lost some of her moral virtues along the way to ultimate success.
The Igbo High Ego
The Igbo is arguable highly egotistical by nature, especially when they have achieved a considerable level of success and most importantly ‘wealth’. This trait quickly exposes the bad character of a typical successful & wealthy Igbo person.
They become lousy & proud or as Nigeria’s foremost novelist, Chinua Achebe described in his book “There was a Country” where he leveled criticism of his Igbo kinsmen, describing them as
“hubris, overweening pride and thoughtlessness, which invite envy and hatred or even worse that can obsess the mind with material success and dispose it to all kinds of crude showiness.”
He further added “contemporary Igbo behavior (that) cab offend by its noisy exhibitionism and disregard for humility and quietness.”
It is important to note that the ENVY & HATRED Chinua Achebe described in his book is also a problem within the Igbo tribe, community or among individuals.
The highly egotistical, autonomous Igbo won’t easily submit to opinions or suggestions, unless its overwhelmingly clear its the right move he always thinks highly of himself and his convictions.
The Igbo autonomous, self-governing & egoism has become a hindering force to the advancement of the tribe tribe as they often find it difficult to come under one roof, one head, one way, one caliphate, kingdom, one monarch, or ultimate dominance by one group of persons unlike other tribes in the country.
This notion can be clearly seen in the Igbo’s current agitation for self determination where there seems to be conflict of ideas on how to achieve it.
In failure to reach any acceptable compromise between competing ideas which is usually the case in many Igbo conflicts, the next evil shadow creeps in which leads to the next point….SABOTAGE.
Biafra Saboteurs & Spies
The act of sabotage is deeply rooted in Igbo history & culture during the slave trade and colonial era.
However, one act of sabotage that’s clearly recorded in Igbo history is the account of Emmanuel Ifeajuna who sabotaged Ojukwu’s effort during the Nigeria – Biafran war which is arguably as a result of his high Ego. He wanted to out smart Ojukwu for his personal selfish interest.
Ifeajuna’s story as narrated by Ojukwu to an Bob Barnard, a foreign officer working at the American consul in Enugu.
Ojukwu told Barnard: “The plotters intended to take Brigadier Hillary Njoku, the head of Biafran Army into custody and bring him to the State House under heavy armed guard ostensibly to demand of him that Njoku be relieved of command on the grounds of incompetence.”
They had been behind the withdrawal of troops and reverses of prior Biafran victories.
He continued: “Once inside the State House, Njoku’s guards would be used against him. Ifeajuna would then declare himself acting Governor and offer ceasefire on Gowon’s terms.
Banjo would go to the West and replace Brigadier Yinka Adebayo, the military governor of Western Region.
Next, Gowon would be removed and Awolowo declared Prime Minister of Reunited Federation…Victor Banjo, Ifeajuna and others kept in touch with co-conspirators in Lagos via British Deputy High Commission’s facilities in Benin.”
This is a well documented event that still casts a dark shadow on the Igbo’s trust for one another.
There’s no shortage of Spies & Saboteurs in the Igbo tribe especially when there’s some incentives as self interests tend to often supersede his loyalty for anyone but it doesn’t come cheap however, this is not true for the majority of the people, as they are smart & often weigh their options before they make any move.
The Slaves Of Northern Fulani Caliphate & How They Hinder The Biafra Agenda
There’s no question the Igbo is marginalized in Nigeria despite being the driving force behind the country’s economy but this is a topic for another day.
The issue on ground as far as the Igbo is concerned is the ongoing agitations and calls for self determination via a referendum which the Fulani ruling class have totally ignored and swore to keep the country united by all means necessary in order keep stealing the resources in the southern region.
So In the final conclusion to this piece, we’ll examine how all the traits discussed above affect the quest for self determination of the Igbo tribe & the formal eastern region tribes that encompasses the southern coastal region now known as the South – South region.
This new call for a Biafran sovereign state is headed by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra, IPOB, which is the largest freedom movement in the world.
This new movement under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu is not the only or first self determination group demanding for a sovereign state of Biafra.
There were groups before Kanu’s emergence but many of the groups that came before IPOB became compromised by the ruling caliphate as time passed.
The caliphate employed a whole bunch of what can be honestly described as willing and obedient regional “SLAVES or ERRAND MEN” because there’s no other way to describe them when they willfully ignore the demands of their people and take orders from the ruling caliphate just to safeguard their personal interests.
These “Fulani servants or errand men ” occupy special positions of influence such as self-serving corrupt politicians, tribal chiefs & regional leaders (Nnia Nwodo), kings, monarchs, job seeking politicians (Joe Igbokwe), governors (Okezie Ikpeazu), or anyone that can exert some influence.
The caliphate infiltrated the agitating groups with the help of their servants by enticing the leaders of such groups with high value incentives such as physical cash, job positions,contracts,estates worth millions to drop the agitation but if you prove stubborn or hard to buy off, they harsh coercion methods,for example, the first is to get you arrested by the security services, then they level bogus charges of an alleged crime, followed by long incarceration time without trial, then imprisonment till when you’re ready to compromise & and when you finally agree, they come with incentives which includes a free “get out of jail card” and of course rules to abide by in order to keep you silent.
Such is the case of MASSOB founder & silenced freedom fighter, Ralph Uwazurike who was tactically silenced by a lucrative, mouth watering offer from the ruling caliphate. An offer he couldn’t refuse after spending quite some time to cool off in Kuje prison.
With this arsenal of tricks, intimidation and coercion methods including their errand boys, the caliphate had been largely successful in suppressing all agitating groups until Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB came along.
They tried all the usual tricks in their book, but none had any effect whatsoever and even after he had been imprisoned and released on stringent bail conditions to silent him, he refuse & intead continued to rally and got more popular, he failed to compromise and stuck to demands of a peaceful referendum to determine the fate of his people in Nigeria.
This angered the caliphate who lashed out at their Igbo servants who felt belittled when they couldn’t influence the determined man.
They witnessed the grass root and oppressed populace they claimed to be leading line up behind Nnamdi Kanu who has gained their trust.
This Igbo political ruling class and caliphate servants became afraid that he was an emerging threat to their relevance and power so they planned to sabotage his efforts and became the eyes and ears of the caliphate.
Their self interests,envy,ego had clouded their judgement and resulted to sabotage and betrayal of one their own.
This piece was in progress as Kanu released his second broadcast from Jerusalem which shed more light on really transpired and more credibility the story of betrayal.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo General, John Nnia Nwodo threatened to become a BIAFRA saboteur if his suggestion of restructuring wasn’t accepted.
“I can’t allow that to happen to my people again. That is why I will be a saboteur in any attempt to levy another war on Igboland. That is why Ohanaeze wants restructuring of Nigeria.” – John Nnia Nwodo
He totally ignored the word “referendum” and replaced it with “war” but he wanted everyone to accept his “One Nigeria Restructuring”.
His ego wouldn’t allow him to accept that an unknown young man could come out of no where to exert so much influence, mass support & create a new sovereign state that would most likely make him irrelevant in the new scheme of things and the same is the case of the other Fulani servants. Some people even agreed to the idea of a sovereign state but wanted it done in their own way.
All these issues are the biggest obstacles facing the Biafra Agenda. A common referendum should give people the opportunity to decide their fate but some self-serving leaders feel it is their job to tell Ndigbo what is good for them without their opinion regardless.
Their vested interests in the corrupt Nigerian system is too juicy to leave behind for a new beginning even if it means leaving their people in abject poverty and suffering.
The Fulani servants finally invited the federal troops to kill the agitation by the means of force just before Nnamdi Kanu was scheduled to appear in court, under the cover of operation python 2 which saw the killing of over 28 people as the army invaded Nnamdi Kanu Father’s house at Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia state on the 14th of september 2017 to KILL the IPOB leader but they failed in their plot apparently after Nnamdi Kanu mysteriously vanished and resurfaced in Jerusalem, Israel a year later on 21st of October 2018.
“Top on the agenda is the negative influence of money in Igbo affairs. Presently, money is elevated over and above integrity and character. This poses a serious challenge to very cherished Igbo ethics and values with the result that the action or inaction of an Igbo person is either defined or said to be dictated by monetary considerations. This certainly is not good for our collective image”