True, Ndigbo are endangered species in today’s
Nigeria. There is no gainsaying the
fact that Ndigbo of whatever breed have
suffered unimaginable neglect, marginalisation
and even exclusion where it mattered most in
The situation Ndigbo find themselves in today’s
Nigeria is pathetic enough but, a cursory
look around will also reveal that Ndigbo are not
alone in these catalogues of woes! There is hardly
any tribe in Nigeria today that is comfortable
with the status quo, perhaps only one.
Virtually, all the ethnic nationalities have become
separatist agitators based on several inequalities,
injustices and unfairness they have
continued to experience in virtually all sphere
of human endeavours in their own country,
perhaps only one which has arguably continued
to reap where they did not sow. But, who
is to blame really if not the collective indigenous
peoples of Nigeria to which Ndigbo is a prominent
Why continue to whale and lament when you
can actually pursue, overtake and recover all
that the palmerworm, locust, cankerworm and
caterpillar had illegitimately deprived you of?
If we recall the giant strides of Ndigbo in all
spheres of human endeavours, from virtually
zero level immediately after the “civil” war from
1970 to date, Ndigbo cannot but give glory to
God Almighty for His great benevolence.
It has been rationalised that the greatest undoing
of Ndigbo ever since, which they have failed,
refused and/or neglected to come to terms with,
is the seeming inability of the collective Ndigbo
to be strategic in all ramifications.
Ndigbo have all it takes to point the way and
indeed lead Nigeria to become a land where
milk and honey flows ceaselessly and effortlessly
but, very deficient in strategic positioning
in thought and in deed.
Ndigbo have the human capital and tremendous
resources in abundance to determine
whatever happens in this country Nigeria but,
the actual political power continues to elude
them for what looks more like the greed of a few,
inadequate historical reflections as a precursor to
needful actions, nonexistent strategic planning
and lack of foresight by those in privileged positions
to appropriately cease the moment and
chart better course of peace and progress for
Ndigbo and the country.
It will be recalled that despite all odds, Onye
Igbo became an elected Vice President of Nigeria
for more than four years only a few years after
the genocide and mass murder called “civil” war.
It is also on record that, another Onye Igbo became
a military Vice President of Nigeria briefly
during the military junta of General Ibrahim
Ever since, it has been an upward movement
for Ndigbo safe for political power at the highest
level and their coming to terms with the real
Isn’t it possible for Ndigbo to turn their present
travails and trials into triumph?
Safe for the position of President/Head of
Government of the Federation which was last
held briefly in 1966 by Onye Igbo in the person of
late Major-General Johnson T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi,
is there any prime position in Nigeria today that
Onye Igbo has not occupied at some points in
time since after the “civil” war?! Just name it! –
Vice President (both elected and appointed),
Senate Presidents, Speakers of House of Representatives,
Secretary to the Government of the
Yet, Ndigbo continue to point at others to save
their own for their woeful situation!
Make an Igbo person an ordinary assistant
assisting an assistant personal assistant and
pronto, s/he becomes an inaccessible “big man/
woman” who must be worshipped even by his/
her own siblings not to talk of others!
Yet, the crocodile tears of Ndigbo are not in
want of their self-inflicted injuries! Yet, Ndigbo
continues to point accusing fingers to the socalled
“illiterates and backward people” who
know and understand what real politics and
power game is all about for their self-inflicted
Just imagine what has been playing out in the
South-East in recent times to which real leadership
vacuum has created lawlessness everywhere?
Why continue to kill your own people and
destroy your homeland economy just to prove
an irrational point to your adversaries that you
are angry and then turn around to start crying
of being victims?
Which will hurt the perceived enemies of
Ndigbo more? – to sit at home in Igbo land and
cripple the entire homeland economy of Ndigbo
or to boycott the goods/products/services of
their perceived enemies for which the blood/
lives of innocent Ndigbo are continually wasted
on the streets daily?
Which sit at home would have been more
effective than that which keeps Ndigbo away
from Idumota, Alaba, Apo, Dedei, Karimo,
Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Borno and
other such markets outside Igbo land even if
for just one hour?
Talking the talk mostly within and among
Ndigbo without reaching out to other stakeholders
and without walking the talk can hadly ever
produce the desired outcome. It is about time
this general victim mentality of Ndigbo is introspectively
revisited by all concerned to liberate
Ndigbo from mental slavery!
Let Ndigbo start to change the narrative of
their self-imposed victim mentality! Let Ndigbo
use their tongues to count their teeth!
Professor Onyebeadi, a Fellow of the United
Nations, writes from Abuj
True, Ndigbo are endangered species in today’s