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Unfortunately,our Igbo brothers and sisters often mistakenly interpret this as the attitude of mumus or what they call “cowards”. Many times they get to be brash and aggressive thereby getting themselves into unnecessary controversies or even fights especially when our people decide enough is enough and its time to throw back the gauntlet.But above all the unfortunate result is also the demarcation and classification of people with attached labels.We call our Igbo brothers and sisters OMO YANMIRIN or OKORO while they in return call us NGBATI,NGBATI.As minor as some of these issues may look they do lead to almost impossible co-habitation or good neighborliness in many cases.Igbos in Yoruba land hold to their communities understandably with little integration with their hosting indigenous people.And this has been more noticeable since after the Nigerian Civil War which ended in 1970.Generally speaking the attitude from them and towards them is that WE ARE NOT PART OF THEM and THEY ARE NOT PART OF US.
However,the Nigerian music scene,Nollywood and football have ameliorated and improved social interactions especially among the youth to some extent.The general use of PIDGIN English has been positive socially to a great extent.But despite all the positive experiences from entertainment,what you read on social media where people express opinions like masquerades reveal what is actually going on in our minds.And it is also on social media or through groups like OPC, MASSOB or IPOB that these feelings get interpreted or misinterpreted into ethnic hatred.
NIGERIANS BY DAY,BIAFRANS AT NIGHT!
24.And what about politics in all these? Of course politicians have fertile grounds to operate from.They play on these ethnic differences to insinuate that going separate ways is the solution.Many of these politicians pretend to be Nigerians in the afternoon and become Biafrans in the night. They do this not because they are really interested in solving the daily problems of ethnic masses but for applying pressure on PMB as a way to protect the loot they have stolen over the years.They of course use middlemen who think they are genuine.On the other hand they sometimes run into middlemen bent on milking them.
25.There are other issues ,however.Standards of living are different.Our interpretations of cleanliness,preparation and types of food,types of cultural dresses etc are different and many times difficult to assimilate from each other.Above all the political elite make things even worse by emphasizing these differences instead of looking for ways to make things work out.
26.Lastly the system of being your brother’s keeper especially based on blood ties and not commerce is very deep and extensive in Yorubaland.It is one area that even religion has found impenetrable.Moslems in Yorubaland wont agree with you to shed the blood of his ethnic Christian brothers and sisters.On the other hand a Yoruba christian finds it difficult to test or judge his Moslem ethnic brother or sister through his or her religion.They prefer to look at individuals and judge them especially through the OMOLUWABI system earlier mentioned.Unfortunately we seem to be at odds with the Igbo social system on related issues.The Yorubas for instance do not have a caste system.Also a system that makes female children less important than males or which subject widows to what looks like extreme ill-treatment is unacceptable to Yorubas.
SO THE POINT AGAIN?
a.All countries will always have groups with grouses.Unfortunately many of these groups today believe in putting these grouses forward violently or through terror.But no serious govt will or must yield to terrorism.In fact they must be made to understand that dialogue based on what is legal is preferable.We therefore align our opinion with that of Prof Wole Soyinka that once an idea comes on and is pursued it will not die a natural death but needs to be discussed.But in Nigeria such discussions must not be only with IPOB.It must cover Boko Haram,Niger-Delta militants,Plateau villagers and Benue and Ondo state farmers daily terrorised by Fulani cattle rearers etc.
b,If BIAFRA or even ODUA Republics are formed today what will likely happen will be shifting of focus to other existing differences within those Republics.Eg Ijebus may no longer see themselves as Yorubas and may start emphasizing how their tribal marks are different from those of the Egbas or the Ijeshas.And when that happens will the creation of Ijebu Republic be the solution? So will the Remos later decide to be separated and form their own Republic?
c.We cannot see the logic in asking PMB to implement a conference report that GEJ the initiator/convener and his political party refused to approve,legalize or even sign in to law.
d.Whether MASSOB or IPOB they are the products of politicians who are Nigerians by day and Biafrans by night.Their intentions are not genuine and will eventually lead to deaths and failure.
Let us ALL be more careful!