Sunday, June 18, 2017

SV: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Igbophobia

Since the colonial era, a phobia has been haunting Nigeria: the phobia of Igbo domination - Biko Agozino.

Igbophobia is one side of the coin while the other side is extreme Igbophile. In recorded history of Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe joined the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) in 1938 after the movement, for the first time since 1922, had won all the three seats to the Legislative Council in Lagos which until then had  been won by the NNDP led by Herbert Macaulay. Nnamdi Azikiwe was welcomed into the NYM by Akinola Maja, Kofo Abayomi, Ernest Ikoli and others. The leadership role that Azikiwe wanted for himself, but which he could not achieve in the NYM, made him to scuttle the Movement which he left in 1942.

In 1943, Nnamdi Azikiwe formed the first tribal union in Nigeria called Ibo Federal Union and installed himself as its President. The name of the Union was later changed to Ibo state Union. In his Presidential address delivered at the Ibo State Assembly held at Aba on Saturday, June 25, 1949, Azikiwe said among other things, "... It would appear that the God of Africa has specially created the Ibo nation to lead the children of Africa from the bondage of ages.... The martial prowess of the Ibo nation at all stages of human history has enabled them NOT ONLY TO CONQUER OTHERS BUT ALSO TO ADAPT THEMSELVES TO THE ROLE OF PRESERVER." Earlier in 1948, a member of Ibo state Union and a member of the Legislative Council, Charles Onyeama, had declared that the DOMINATION OF NIGERIA BY THE IBOS IS A QUESTION OF TIME. That same 1948, EGBE OMO ODUDUWA, a Yoruba cultural organisation, and JAMIYYAR MUTANEN AREWA (Northern People's Congress) were formed to counter the chauvinistic and dominating political and economic ideology of the IBO STATE UNION. Earlier on in 1943, Eyo Ita had formed Ibibio Federal Union which was changed later to Ibibio State Union. For daring to emulate Azikwe in forming similar tribal union Azikiwe said, "It was not until twenty-five years later, when he came all out to advocate the cause of the CALABAR-OGOJA STATE MOVEMENT AND TO BEAT THE TOM-TOM DRUMS OF ALLEGED IBO DOMINATION THAT MR. ITA'S SECRET ANTAGONISM AGAINST CERTAIN TRIBES BECAME OBVIOUS (p. 307, ZIK : Selected Speeches of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe)." Remarkably, it was after the civil war that the people of Southeast agreed that the alphabet 'G' was missing in the spelling of the name of their tribe which thenceforth transformed to IGBO instead of IBO. 

In spite of the above facts, Biko Agozino distorted fact by asserting that Arewa Youths issued threats to the Igbo to quite the North or risk being ethnically cleansed by force and thereafter asked if the Arewa youths were not crying out for help? Due to incessant IPOB/MASSOB's cries of victimization, persecution, oppression and marginalization of the Igbo in Nigeria and their demand for an Igbo Republic called Biafra, the Arewa Youths had asked Igbo living in the North to return to their ancestral home within three months, while Hausa/Fulani living in the Southeast should return to the North within the same period. That is not a threat to the Igbo but a mutually agreed ethnic restructure to guarantee, in the first place none persecution, victimisation, oppression  and marginalisation of the Igbo, at least, in the North. Reasonably, Arewa youths cannot be dismissed as Igbophobes for acceding to IPOB/MASSOB's incessant demand for a sovereign state of Biafra which no Igbo leader has ever condemned. Biko Agozino claimed further that the Arewa youths were raised with the supremacist ideology that the rest of Nigeria was conquered by their fathers for them to rule uninterrupted. He then concluded that Igbo is the only group that has challenged "this mythology of Arewa Supremacy." Yet, at no time in the chequered history of Nigeria has Northerners ruled Nigeria without the collaboration of Southerners and mostly, the Igbo. Supremacists should have ruled alone.

The Igbo are in every nook and cranny of the country helping to provide services that may be hard to access if they were to leave; Those that were defeated in a genocidal war appear to be DOMINANT IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE except the presidency of the country and the armed forces - Biko Agozino.

Admitting that the Igbo are everywhere in Nigeria and  dominating in all aspects of life is a proof that the civil war was not  genocidal and it was not a war against the Igbo as a people. Fighting to keep Nigeria one, has favoured the Igbo to leave and prosper anywhere in Nigeria. In fact, the demand and outcry for a sovereign state of Biafra is a misplaced priority, when we should be holding those who claim to dominate the economy of Nigeria accountable. Nigerians should be told who are the oil block owners and what qualifies them to be oil well owners when the constitution of Nigeria says that the natural resources of Nigeria belong to all Nigerians and that the Federal government is only empowered to manage them for the befit of all Nigerians. We want to know, who issued licenses for importation of household generators into Nigeria and to who were the licenses issued. We want to know what happened to the fifty billion dollars appropriated for and spent on thermal plants and transformers, between 1999 and 2015, for the purpose of generating adequate electricity for household and industrial utilization in Nigeria that were never delivered. Why are Nigerian crude oil refineries not able to refine crude oil? Who are the oil importers and who are the collectors of subsidies for unsupplied fuel? Who are the Judges collecting bribes to discharge and acquit looters of our national patrimony? If, as all Nigerians now complain, Nigerian economy is worse than anytime in recorded history, would it not be reasonable to blame those who dominate the economy of the country as saboteurs?

Finally, I challenge Biko Agozino to produce evidence that genocide was committed against the Igbo before, during and after the declaration of Biafra. He should also supply evidence, as he claimed to know, that the genocide against the Igbo was led by Yoruba and Middle Belt military officers.

S. Kadiri        


Från: 'Biko Agozino' via USA Africa Dialogue Series <>
Skickat: den 16 juni 2017 19:59
Till: USAAfricaDialogue
Ämne: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Igbophobia

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