According to Wikipedia, Anti-Igbo sentiment refers to the discrimination and hostility in Nigeria that exists towards Igbo people or their culture.

During the beginning years of Nigeria’s colonial independence, the Igbo people increasingly were perceived as a disproportionately-favored ethnic group with affluence and multi-regionalistic opportunity because the Igbo had been employed within the colonial Nigeria by the colonial authorities and in the public sector in regions throughout the country. This aroused the ire of others toward the Igbo.

This was emphasized by the short-lived government of General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, whose military junta consisted mostly of Igbo and who abolished the federated regions; this led to his assassination in a counter-coup led primarily by Hausa/Fulani participant. It was followed by the massacre of thousands of Igbo in pogroms in the aforementioned region, which drove millions of Igbos to their homeland in Eastern Region; ethnic relations deteriorated rapidly, and a separate republic of Biafra was declared in 1967, leading to the Biafran War.

The Bịafran Genocide

The 1966 anti-Igbo pogrom was a series of massacres directed at Igbo and other people of southern Nigerian origin living in northern Nigeria starting in May 1966 and reaching a peak after 29 September 1966.

During this period 30,000-50,000 Igbo civilians were murdered throughout northern Nigeria by Hausa–Fulani soldiers and civilians who sought revenge for the 1966 Nigerian coup d’état, carried out by six Majors and three Captains, and resulted in the deaths of 11 Nigerian politicians and army officers.

These events led to the secession of the eastern Nigerian region and the declaration of the Republic of Biafra, which ultimately led to the Nigeria-Biafra war. The 1966 massacres of southern Nigerians have been described as a holocaust by some authors and have variously been described as riots, pogroms or genocide.

Before Independence: Sir Ahmadu Bello

Before Nigeria gained independence from Britain, Ahmadu Bello, the Sarduana of Sokoto, was asked a simple question by a BBC journalist at Sandhurst.

He was asked, “why is it that the north generally hate the east?”

At that time, Nigeria was at peace. No killer Fulani Herdsmen, no bandits, no Boko Haram terrorists, no Miyetti Allah threats, no ISWAP. No internal conflict whatsoever, yet a tribal tension existed. Ndị Igbo were hated, for no reasonable reason.

He was even asked “can’t any Nigerian live wherever he wants?”

Bello said no! He said “it must be north first. A northernization agenda.”

These are the words of a supposedly founding father of Nigeria and premier of the north, championing one Nigeria and at the same time laying down the foundation for ethnic discord and tribal tensions.

Ahmadu Bello’s only reason why the north had an particular obsession against the east was that the Igbo are domineering. Permit me to digress.

This mentality is the same affecting those people who call themselves Niger Deltans, Ikwere-not-Igbo, and Delta Igbo.

This hatred for ndị Igbo was instigated by the Fulani, indoctrinated after the Bịafran war, and handee over to other ethnicities. Sadly, it was successful.

No tribe wants to associate themselves with the Igbo people. The Igbo must be blamed for everything and by everyone.

EndSARS protest gone violent, blame Igbo. Fulani herdsmen sack communities, blame Igbo. PDP wins in Benue State, blame Igbo. Buhari sneezes, blame Igbo.

Bello was asked by the British journalist, “Explain to me, how is the Igbo domineering?”

His ridiculous reply was that every village ndị Igbo go to, they want to dominate everywhere and everything. Pray tell, the Igbo man has been in Sokoto, did he make any attempt to overthrow the Sultan and take over the caliphate?

Igbo were in Kano, did they attempt to become the Emir or infiltrate mosques as Igbo Imam?

The only sin of the Igbo was their prosperity. Wherever they go, they build businesses that prosper. They were successful in business and economics, that’s why they are hated. How does that make sense?

Bello said “if you put Igbo man in a labour camp, they will emerge as the head man”.

That’s why he hates Igbo?
Why won’t the Igbo man rise to that level? How’s the fact that a talented Igbo man rose to become a leader in an organisation he joined just months ago, a sign that the Igbo man’s agenda is to dominate the north?

Take for example, a Japanese immigrates to USA, schools there, graduates best student, joins the US Army, rise to the rank of Major, can it said that that’s Japan attempting to dominate the US of A? Do you see how stupid it sounds?

Again, I remind you, this interview was granted before independence. Also, be reminded that at that time, almost all organisation/labour camp which was dominated by ndị Igbo were owned and run by the British. The Igbo didn’t bribe their way to the top, it was earned by hard work, dedication and intelligence. This is the only reason the late premier of Northern Nigeria hated an Igbo man. won’t he be killed by Major Nzeogu? Ahmadu Bello was anti Nigeria. A threat to national unity, peace and progress.

“If you take them any where, they will want to monopolize it”

What’s monopoly?

How’s it different from what Dangote is doing in Nigeria? Isn’t that monopoly? But, it’s no problem because he’s not an Igbo man.

  • Only him, pasta
  • Only him, cement
  • Only him, sugar
  • Only him, salt
  • Only him, everything!

The same thing they accuse ndị Igbo of, they do. This double standard is disgusting!

Ahmadu Bello’s words: “In the past, we didn’t realise how to stop the Igbo man. Because as you can see… in the northernization policy (read as Fulanization agenda), to place the northerners first, to ensure that every important posts is now held by northerners. If we can’t get a northerner, we hire a expatriate like yourself (he was speaking to the journalist), or hire another Nigerian on contract. This is a permanent arrangement. If we do nothing about unemployment of northerners, this might lead to bloodshed…”

Isn’t this what is happening in Nigeria?

This is man that was supposed to be pan African, a nationalist, who should put Nigerians first before tribe and ethnicity. So much for one Nigeria?

It didn’t start today. Over 60 years ago, it started, a seed planted by northern leaders even before independence of the zoological republic. Even today, in 2021, every key position is held by a northerner. Not just a northerner, Fulani.

Britain knew the Fulani had an obsession against Igbo, but did nothing about it. They allowed it to sprout, and went ahead to build this dilapidated faux republic on a fatally faulty foundation.

Ahmadu Bello was a Fulani man. What he said represented the opinion of an average Fulani man.

Ever observed that the Fulani caliphate, in collaboration with their Hausa and Kanuri allies have succeeded in implementing this agenda?

No, you’ll never observe nor notice because you’re blinded by that one Nigeria lie, and your disgust for that ethnicity that rise with the Sun.

Nigeria is a mistake, a curse that must be destroyed. This is why we want Bịafra. Know this and know peace.

30, a collection of poems by Jaachi Anyatonwu
Jaachị Anyatọnwụ
Jaachị Anyatọnwụ is a poet, editor, and publisher living in the suburbs of Aba. He is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Poemify Publishers Inc. Jaachị is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. He is also a fierce advocate for the boy child and sexually molested.

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