I have done my best to be of service to Igbos and have given up. I have simply thrown my hands into the air. There is no hope for Igbos. Most Igbos are, as you guys say, mumu and munguns. They have no brains in their heads. They are idiots. There is nothing anyone can do to really help them. This is especially so in the world of politics.
In politics, Igbos do not know anything. This is probably because they did not develop a human polity beyond the most primitive variety of it, village self-governance. They did not go through what Karl Marx called the normal progression of political states: primitive communism, slave society, feudal society and now bourgeois society, each lasting, at least, five hundred years.
The contemporary West, as we know it, went through two thousand years of the various stages of political development before reaching their present bourgeois stage; hopefully, they will progress to the next stage, socialism, what Marx called the final stage of political development (in communism property and the means of production are owned collectively).
Igbos did not go through these stages of political development and therefore are novices in the art of politics.
A case in point of Igbo political naiveté is Nnamdi Kanu. He is fifty years old; take a look at his face and what do you see? You see the face of a typical eighteen year old, first year student at a university. There are no age lines on his face. What that means is that he stopped growing at age eighteen. He is psychologically eighteen years old but chronologically fifty years old. Because he is a teenager, a college student, he is able to operate as one would expect a college student to do.
Thus, he did not take into consideration real politics and kept abusing the rulers of Nigeria. He called Nigeria the zoo.
If you listened to his utterances and noted his tendency to quick anger and you know that anger goes with fear you conclude that he is a fearful person. The angry person is usually a fearful person (the biochemistry of anger and fear are the same). He is not a courageous person. As a fearful person when the shit hits the fan he would turn tail and run away. He would not stand his ground and fight for what he believes to be right. Like Emeka Ojukwu he would abandon his troops and run to safety. Of course, he does not mind if other people fought and died for him. Nnamdi Kanu is not a courageous leader. Making noise isn’t the same thing as showing courage when bullets fly.
The zoo keepers picked him up at the entrance to the zoo and eventually gave him conditions for release from jail. He violated the conditions. Apparently, he felt invincible and that no one can do anything to him. The zookeepers let out their python and it danced into his house; the man apparently disappeared into the belly of the python! As we talk no one knows anything about his where about.
I asked my contacts in London to go to his Peckham apartment in Southeast London to see if he is around and the word is that no one has seen him in London. I will be in London in December and will personally go to his apartment to make sure he is not there.
(Please note that the Igbos who supported the man and egged him on to self-destroy have all kept quiet; none of them is asking the federal government to tell them where he is. I have written asking for his where about; we are entitled to be told whether they imprisoned him or killed him or whether he escaped to a different country; if he went to London Nigeria could repatriate him.)
Kanu’s oppositional defiant behavior is typical Igbo behavior, the behavior of a child defying his parent’s authority.
Kanu and Igbos behave as if they are invincible. You make a move and they are silenced forever and ever. They are children and if you choose to you make a move and put them out of their opposition-defiant behaviors.
Igbos are perpetual losers in Nigeria’s politics; they are never going to win the Nigerian presidency, not given their penchant for insulting Nigerians; what Nigerian would vote for an Igbo president?
They will not win because they do not do things from reason but from their feelings; their delusion of superiority guides their political behaviors hence the unrealistic nature of their political agitations.
They went to war in 1967 without making plans on getting steady supply of arms to fight the war with; instead, they bought antiquated arms from Los Angeles flea market!
Indeed, many of them believed that with “okpo, medicine, juju” they would make the Nigerian army disappear into thin air; they actually believed that they can vanquish a modern army by waving supposed medicine brooms at it; alternatively, they believed that the primitive head hunters called Abam and Abriba people could use their machetes to cut off the heads of the 250, 000 Nigerians troops arrayed against Ojukwus 10, 000 troops.
Well, the Nigerian army dispatched them to political irrelevance. Kanu came along and Igbos followed him without thinking about real politics.
The map of Nigeria was drawn by European powers when they met at the Berlin conference in 1884-1885. As you probably know, with the discovery of quinine white folks no longer died from malaria when they entered into interior Africa; therefore, they scrambled into Africa to carve it up among themselves. They were on the verge of war among themselves. Otto Von Bismarck, the iron fisted chancellor of Prussia, and Germany after its unification in 1870, called for a conference to settle matters peacefully. They met to clarify who owns what part of Africa. That is to say that the map of Nigeria is a product of European political concord, agreement. You cannot change the map without the blessing of those who put the map together!
Nigeria is recognized as a sovereign nation. To change that nation you have to get Britain, Europeans and the USA to agree. You can do so quietly by working behind the scenes. But, instead, many Igbos have the delusion that all they have to do is say that they want to separate from Nigeria and the entire world goes along with them. They do not seem to know that there are international political considerations before world maps are changed.
They demonstrate at Washington DC and at the UN in New York. Not even one American newspaper writes about their demonstrations talk more a national TV network publicizing them. Their activities are not relevant to America’s and European interests. In international politics nations behave in accordance with their national interests; they make calculations of what is in it for them.
What is in the US and Europeans’ interests for Igbos to rule themselves? Zero! Therefore, as far as the West is concerned Igbos do not exist.
Igbos do not have the natural resources that Western economies may need to function hence make their political powers to concern themselves with Igbos!
What is Biafra? Does Biafra include Ijaw, Efik, and Idoma or is it an Igbo enclave? Who has agreed to what Biafra stands for? In a democratic dispensation can Igbos speak for non-Igbos? Why? Are those folks Igbos slaves (during slavery times they actually used to own Igbos as slaves).
Kanu, like a school boy, made an assertion that his Biafra goes from the Bight of Biafra to River Benue. That antagonized Ijaw, Efik, Bini, Urobo and Idoma people. Those people probably worked behind the scenes to arrange for the python to dance to Kanu’s compound and swallow him.
The point here is that Igbos know diddlysquat about politics and, as such, are going nowhere. Politically, they are a finished people. They are politically irrelevant.
Take a look at Alaigbo and see if there is a governor or senator that has national stature? Each of the seven Igbo governors is a local thug; each corners the money given to him by the federal government into his pocket, steals it and does nothing for the people. The people, like sheep, would not complain but, instead, talk about Nigerians as if they have the power to make a difference in Nigerian politics.
All Politics is local, said Tip O’Neal, the former speaker of the US Congress; if Igbos cannot improve their local politics they cannot improve Nigeria’s politics.
An Igbo president of Nigeria will do what Governor Okorocha of Imo state is doing for his state: nothing! A people’s antecedent behaviors tell you a lot about their future behaviors.. People don’t wake up one fine day and change and become angels; their past behavior patterns determine their present and future behaviors.
If Igbos were to get Biafra they would behave as they currently behave in Nigeria, rob the whole place down.
Igbos are crudely individualistic; each of them works for his economic self-interests and could care less about other people’s welfare; they are probably best served if each of them seeks his personal welfare and leave it at that. Primitive economic activities are good for Igbos but politics is not Igbos cup of tea.
In politics Igbos do not have gravitas. I do not take any of them seriously; I see them like I see children; they are to be taught politics except that I no longer want to teach them, they are too dumb to learn anything. I have had my time trying to teach them and no longer would do that. I leave them to their fate.
Prof Osuji is a US based Igbo scholar .
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