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Era of Igboslam: Brother, be circumspect


By Chuka Nnabuife

“THEY will hate you,

Pretend they love you now

But who Jah bless’

No one can… eliminate….”


THOSE lines sound familiar. They are from a Bob Marley lyric.

The legendary Jamaican reggae act who died in 1981 left some of the most incisive mind-boggling meditative songs of modern pop. He was quintessential as a conscience musician but he was (is) priceless as a companion during retreat moments. That is why he is deemed one of 20th century’s most incisive philosophers.

  Almost every piece in his hundreds of evergreen numbers ripples and exudes wisdom. But none of them captures the present situation with the Igbo people of Nigeria in their home country as those lyrics.

Almost every piece in his hundreds of evergreen numbers ripples and exudes wisdom. But none of them captures the present situation with the Igbo people of Nigeria in their home country as those lyrics.

   Everybody is stabbing, mocking, lampooning and berating the Igbo people in a manner so denigrating that even concerned non-Igbos are asking: ‘what’s going on?’

  The trend of Igbo-bashing, particularly in the media (social and mainstream) became very manifest in the peak period of Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election because, one supposes, an Igbo man featured strongly in the February 25 Presidential ballots. It rose to dizzying heights thereafter as the results of the poll got controversial.

  Then campaign of stains and smears further ballooned as the election tribunals began sitting. Just when one thought it would douse given the end of the heady season of general elections, another dimension of the trend emerged with unprecedented zest.

Currently, there is a sustained high tempo of insults at ndi Igbo for just everything, from the odd to the curious and negative.

  In this era of sustained darts at ndi Igbo, the pittance appointment of an Igbo person as Chief of Naval Staff has become subject for attack on the people.

The hitherto ignored every-Monday sit-at-home protest which some heady Igbo youths champion, believing that it will help establish their crave to get the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPoB), Nnamdi Kanu released from prison has turned a tool in the hands of those who taunt and troll the people South-East, Nigeria. 

  Even as it is well known that many well-meaning Igbo people, comprising masses and leaders, do not favour the do-nothing on Mondays approach because of its unproductivity, the provokers, on purpose, blot every Igbo person with the IPoB tar.

  The most affront, so far, came in the first two weeks of this month when one pervert named Simon Ekpa, based in Finland or so, declared almost a one-week-long sit-at-home across the South-East on the internet. Though his bid, arguably failed despite all the propaganda and bullying that the thugs and junkies he engaged to scare crowds and sow tension in markets and parks across the South-East failed because people were vividly, apathetic, the instigators and traducers deliberately dub all Igbo promoters of terror; secessionists; apologists of ‘unknown gunmen’; dumb heads led by touts, thugs, among other unprintable names. They invent every cock-and-boo and diminishing fairy to make other Nigerians hate Igbo as traitors, haters of the country and self-centered lovers of nothing but money. 

In their warped thinking, they assume that once they tag every Igbo person, ‘Biafran’ everybody will disdain him. Should any reply come from Igbo quarters, a clan of skew mobs would descend on the voice.  Ensure he or she is besieged and used to paint the entire Igbo nation as a land of ‘cry babies’ who have nothing else to say but criticise the country and cry ‘marginalisation’ without proof.

In the tens, dozens and scores of hate-backed pieces they write, they do their utmost (you sense the struggle in every piece) to present Igbo race as an ethnicity marked by quarrelsome and egotic people who would stop at nothing in selling their brothers and sisters for quid or platter.

  The way the lines of hatred come, their frequency and consistency of thrust make one reason that there could be a desk or a pool where a caucus of the Igbo haters meet to deliberate on the theme for each day before they launch out to work in all frontiers of their media attack.

  Given the frenzied pace of the attacks and the fact that they almost always come from the blues, without substantial causes, it is reasonable to assume that there is a wicked socio-political purpose to the trend of vicious vitriol. Worse is the fact that it is coming from brother tribes and sister ethnicities. It is clear that there are more to this than meets the eyes.

  There are definitely plans afoot to demonise, demystify and diminish ndi Igbo by a clandestine ignoble crew that has not been effective in hiding their faces.

  Their goals are obvious. They believe there are things ndi Igbo have that they must steal. Even when they struggle to hide their ill intent to get Igbo so hated by others, every sentence lays bare their bid to be allowed to take whatever they want that belongs to Igbo people. They always fail and fall flat in presenting balanced reportage.

But one thing every person, especially, Nigerians, Igbo or non-Igbo who is inundated by the deluge of falsehood of the trend should know is that some people are messing up his head. They are tossing people’s minds to Igbo phobia in a manner that will boomerang on every Nigerian. Like in an Adolf Hitler’s Nazi era, when there was mad Josef Goebbels social communication machinery churning out anti-Jewish content that later consumed Germany and the entire world (World War II); there’s a Goebbels- style media spin desk busy at work now in our society. They are brazen and zany in their anti-Igbo hatred reportage. Whoever evolved that wants to pit Nigerians against one another, not just Igbo versus the sickening ‘them.’

  Pray, how really do they think they would convince other Nigerians that the Igbo person they are forcing them to see negatively now is different from the Igbo man or woman they have been healthy friends with all over the years?

  The danger with this senseless trend of working the social space is that it deludes operators in it that they are getting traction whereas they are losing credibility. It also turns, otherwise professionals to quacks, spreads a disgusting high level of bad blood and tension in the land and serves the country, stupidly, to the dogs.

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