By Garba Musa
The Igbo form the triumvirate of the nation’s powerful ethnic groups since the colonial period to date. The others, being the Yoruba and the Hausa. They are a ubiquitous tribe who penetrate the nooks and crannies of not only the country, but also can be found overseas.
They engage in all kinds of trade, businesses, politics and what have you and can be said to be successful.
The Igbo therefore nicknamed themselves as the ‘Jews’ of Nigeria, knowing full well the arrogance, acumen and ruthlessness of the Jews and their quest for money.
This tribal group, with a population of around 40 millions, is known for entrepreneurship endeavors both within and outside the country. They are said to have descended from ‘Eri,’ a divine figure sent from heaven to begin civilization according to folklore.
They occupy an area referred to as `Igboland’ now divided into five states comprising of Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. They can also be found in parts of Delta, Rivers and Benue States.
They have a political system which differs significantly from other tribes. They do not have chiefs as obtained in other tribes before the colonial masters instituted the chieftaincy title in their communities.
At the time of independence in 1960, the Igbo contributed the highest number of technocrats in the country and you found them in every ministry and agency, including the armed forces.
In fact, they occupied every available and lucrative position in Nigeria between the pre-independence years up to the attainment of independence in 1960. Perhaps that explained the reason they did not support ‘secession clause’ in the colonial constitution which the Sardauna, Premier of Northern Nigeria supported.
But the Igbo have other characteristics which can be said to border on negativity. For example, they are known for their wickedness and mad lust for money.
According to the former Chief of Army Staff, General David Ejoor, the Igbo have harbored a sinister move to rule the country for a long time.
This came to fruition when in January 1966, because of hate and self-aggrandizement, a Major in the Nigerian Army, led the first military coup that toppled the civilian government.
Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzegwu was a trusted `son’ of the Premier of the Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, but that did not stop him from pumping bullets into him.
As it was, only Northern politicians and military officers and the Premier of Western Region, Chief Akintola (due to his closeness to Ahmadu Bello) were extinguished. Igbo politicians and military heads were untouched.
By that single action of hate and envy, the Igbo have killed Nigerian democracy at its nascent stage. Sardauna and Tafawa Balewa were known to be incorruptible people and were ruling according to the tenets of the constitution.
Indeed, the killings of Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa, ‘the golden voice of Africa’ and Brigadier Maimalari, were more gruesome and unfortunate. Major Ifeajuna, who killed both men point-blank, was the Principal Staff Officer to Brigadier Maimalari, who in spite of the assistance made to him, killed his principal.
So was Tafawa Balewa, who was humiliated and forced to drink alcohol all because of one ethnic group’s quest for power. This precipitated the turmoil in the country, leading to the bloody civil war that spanned three years with a loss of nearly two million people. All caused by the greediness of the Igbo.
After the rebel leader, Odumegwu Ojukwu fled to Cote D’ivore and the Biafran Army surrendered, the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, proclaimed a ‘no victor, no vanquished policy’ in the interest of cohesion, unity and oneness of the nation.
Immediately, the then governor of old Kano State, Police Commissioner Audu Bako brought train-loads of Igbo to Kano. A thing of beauty and pride to our people was that those lgbo that abandoned their properties were given back to them.
Some of them even collected the rents for the houses for the duration of their absence from Kano. Such was the honesty, peaceful and Godly nature of the Hausa people.
This is unlike their brothers in the South who withheld those properties and this became a national matter named as ‘abandoned properties commission.’
Here, I would like to reveal that, in spite of the assertions of late Alex Ekwueme and Femi Fani Kayode that every single Igbo was killed in the North, my own father of blessed memory, saved an Igbo man.
I could recall very well when my father returned home around Seven O’clock in the night with a man covered in bed sheet like a lady and took him to the inner recesses of his upstairs room. The man was shivering seriously from fear and could not eat anything offered to him.
It was in the dead of the night, he was spirited out of our house and Kano. My father later told me that the man was Mr. Tabansi, an Igbo trader he was doing business with.
Whether he is alive or dead, his siblings must have been told about his escape from the North and through whose effort.
So with all these magnanimities of the Northerners to the Igbo, the Hausa man is seen as an enemy by them. No matter how close one is with an Igbo man, the pathological hatred still remains.
After all, why would the Igbo man seriously trying to make Northern youths, drug addicts, by their continuous supply of tramadol to the nooks and crannies of Hausa land?
We believe, it is an agenda to revenge the defeat of the civil war, but then, who started it all? Igbo enjoy the best of everything in the North.
In Kano, there is a suburb they renamed ‘New Enugu’ from its name of Panisau. They have several hotels and businesses and enjoy a life of peace and tranquility, but no Hausa man has one foot of a landed property in Onitsha or elsewhere in Igbo land.
What kind of people are Igbo? Wicked, selfish and greedy. You need to watch Igbo movies to see the manifestation of their character lined above.
A son may kill his parents or brother because of money or land. That is why they cannot rule the country as predicted by Tafawa Balewa before they killed him.
Now at a time when they are enjoying the best of times with ownership of over 80 per cent of the houses/lands in Lekki, Lagos, most of Abuja and other cities, majority of ownerships in ICT centre and license, an airline (Air Peace etc), it is now that they want destablise the nation.
They caused the EndSars protest and nearly destroyed Lagos State. They killed eight people in Kano and ransacked a mall owned by a Hausa man in Sabon Gari, where majority of them work.
Though the Igbo kicked against the `secession clause’ in the colonial constitution of 1949, due to their monopoly of civil and public service spaces, they want to secede now under the leadership of a terrorist Nnamdi Kanu who cools his ass in London.
The terrorist Kanu was bailed by a Distinguished Senator Abaribe who allowed him to jump bail. A shame to Abaribe who now sometimes do attack President Muhammadu Buhari in spite of the work he is doing for them in the South-east, especially the Second Niger Bridge.
I for one have submitted a memorandum to the House of Representatives Committee on Hearing of Review of the 1999 Constitution to insert the ‘secession clause.’ By that, any nationality wishing to get out of the contraption called Nigeria can go in peace without shedding innocent people’s blood like the Hausa/Fulani being killed by Igbo, including an elite Honorable Ahmed Gulak of recent.
Are the Igbo a cursed tribe? They have spoiled Nigeria’s name in Thailand, India and Indonesia among other countries of the world. They engage in all kind of frauds and acts of 419.
A diplomatic friend of mine so much believed in an Igbo man he met in Ghana, but the Igbo man nearly caused his brother to kill him. He ended up losing his Saloon car. Imagine!
Would Nigeria have been a peaceful and united country without the Igbo? The answer is capital Yes.
If not for the Igbo, the nation’s democracy would have nurtured and thrived in an atmosphere akin to developing countries. Alas, the Igbo have, out of selfishness, greed and ungodliness truncated the country’s concerted step to greatness in Africa.
The only option left now is for the government or the people of the country to let the Igbo go. Enough of the Igbo drama, please.
Musa, a Fellow of Nigerian Institute of Management, is a retired civil servant based in Kano.