The Igbos and the rest of us in Nigeria

By Ogunyomi Sangogbamila Orunmilalana Edumareojekinte |
Yesterday I saw a news report on the fact that crisis is looming in Cross River as the traditional rulers in Cross River have insisted there cannot be an “Igbo King” in their domain. I remember a similar dispute about “Igbo King” in Akure, and the attrition between the Igbos living in Lagos and the Oba of Lagos.

Then I read an article about a very beautiful house on Bordillon street Ikoyi Lagos yesterday owned by a successful Igbo entrepreneur and in the comment, I read stuff like “we would soon own the whole of Lagos”. The comment thread on the article became an insult fest on the Yorubas.

Then I realize that Igbos are the most travelled Nigerians, settling in almost every corner of the nation building investments very far away from home (I have often wondered why they remain the most vociferous advocates for the dismembering of a vast nation that benefits their industry), yet almost every other Nigerian group find it difficult to settle in Igbo land; first to own land in Igbo land by non Igbo presents much obstacles.

Then I review Igbo politics from 1960 till today barring a few Nationalist like Zik, Dr. Okadigbo and co and you would see it has always been conflict with Nigeria and other Nigerians. No matter how others bend over and try to be accommodating, the attitude to others and their values never change.

Freely, the young ones insult and denigrate other Nigerians, even while living and prospering within their locale, yet any attempt at a response or a true analysis of relationships is met with allegations of hatred or bias and more insults. The TRUTH might be difficult to say but it’s the truth.

Go and listen to that Sardauna interview from long before a lot of us were born and tell me if his description is not accurate even today no matter how obnoxious it may sound. Igbo politics today is almost like they are the enemies of Nigeria and other Nigerians.

They oscillate between openly denigrating and advocating for the destruction of Nigeria in a fraudulent Biafra agitation to almost always standing with individuals who represent the worst this nation has seen in some weird spiteful manner. Even some who openly insulted their values they canonize out of spite.

It’s a phenomenon that has worried, annoyed and intrigued me as an individual who has met so many wonderful Igbo people. My children are half Igbo and I wonder where this hoard of very puerile, uncouth youth who keep alienating the Igbo generality from the rest of their Nigerian brothers come from.

You can abuse or insult me, which is the standard response to any form of analysis of the Igbo situation today, but in the meanwhile spare a few seconds to digest the facts I have presented and let wisdom set you on that thinking path.

No one can love anyone who openly expresses hatred to him. Who will take up the task of teaching this new generation how to love and respect others? Especially since the politics and attitude of disdain for others has not really been profitable to them in close to 60 years.

There are over 200 ethnic groups in Nigeria, it would be rich to come with the “they are jealous of us” mantra. If only you and you alone are in conflict with everyone else individually and collectively, check yourself and check your attitude towards others.

(c) Ogunyomi Sangogbamila Orunmilalana Edumareojekinte, 2018

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