Ibo/ Yoruba: What has gone wrong?

I was born during the civil war and so did not see the war because it ended when I was 3 years old; too young to appreciate anything that went down but wise enough to wish for war in any form.

When I was growing up, in Lagos I know some Ibos living within my vicinity and even though we called them okoro we were not told anything negative about them, we just knew they did not speak our language, some of them did of course.

My dad had a barbing salon on Lewis Street "EWETUGA BARBING SALON" and a certain Ibo man, Sunday was the foreman (or supervisor if you wish). There were other barbers there who were Yorubas and who were as good as Sunday if not better, especially Jimoh, who was somewhere from Oyo State, a Yoruba man complete with tribal marks. Sunday was foreman (supervisor) because not only was he the most senior barber then, he was also good. He was a very good man and we all liked him and fondly called him "broda Sunday" (brother Sunday in accordance with the Yoruba traditional way of respecting their elders by not calling them by name)

There was also an Ibo man who sold bread and tea directly opposite the sandgrouse bus-stop. He was kind of unique then because people selling tea and bread then in Lagos (popularly called mai tea) were the Hausas. The man was there for several years. He only stopped selling these stuffs after buying 2 luxurious buses, at least that was what we were told. One of my sisters had a son for an Ibo man; one of my cousins actually married an Ibo woman. So I have nephews, nieces, and my kids have second cousins who are partly Ibos.

There's this place on Lagos Island called Salu Court. Right in front of the mosque were these Ibo family, we grew up with these guys and went to university with them, there was never a time that they were treated like "foreigners" because they were not and nobody killed them over some stupid cartoon or any reason whatsoever.

When I was in EDUCATIONAL PROMOTERS at Akoka, one of my best friends was Emeka. He was staying at NNPC estate at Isolo. His dad would take us all regardless of ethnicity to school. Nobody thought of anyone being anything but brothers.  My friend Amechi who works with vanguard still sends my kids pictures to me till tomorrow as we say. His sister is married to a Yoruba man and they have been together for years. Ndubuizi and his brother who is a pharmacist are guys that, if I were to travel to Nigeria today, will visit first. The pharmacist wife, who is also Ibo as well as Amechi's sister (Gbolahan's wife) are very good friends of my babies' mama who is from Delta. Ndubuizi, the pharmacist, Christian, Amechi and Gbolahan, Amechi's in-law are the first people that would be called if anything were to happen to my kids.

There are some part of Lagos where you would be a minority if you were Yoruba. Places such as Alaba, Ladipo, Okota, Ajegunle will easily qualify. These are places where Ibos are resident and are dominant. There was an Ibo local government chairman in one of these places. If someone would investigate it there might still be one. If the Yorubas are not accommodating there's no way the Ibos would get to be that many as to control a particular area. In Lagos, it is not just the Ibos it is like that with all tribes in Nigeria who choose to make Lagos their homes and it is not just Lagos but all over the old western region.

When I was in Anambra during my youth service, I met a soldier, a Yoruba man who was stationed in the East, he was married to an Ibo woman and they were living at Awka. These kids were not speaking Yoruba then but speak Igbo fluently. The man told me he has been at Awka for years. There was a tailor well known at Awka and Amawbia. He was a Yoruba man and has been at Anambra for several years. When I was at Awka we would go to his shop and pass time, drinking beer and having fun. There was never a time we had problem coexisting.

I can't say the Ibos hate the yorubas because they don't. All my friends that I mentioned earlier are friends that I can trust with my life and those of my children. However, there are some individuals on this site who do nothing but preach hatred against the Yoruba race. These people would use any excuse to take a jab at the Yorubas. The Hausas killed the Ibos over some cartoon and some fool came here and accused the Yorubas of turning the Hausas against the Ibos, tell me in all honesty if such an individual should not be confined to a mental home. Another one came here telling a stupid story of a Yoruba man who wished for the Ibo man to be tied to his back when he was to be flogged. Rufus wrote his piece about the plight of the Ibos in Nigeria and from his story he did not tell of where the Yorubas committed an act of genocide against the Ibos. If there are quarrels between the Ibos and the Yorubas, they will fight like everyone does and move on. Instead of " these" Ibos to fight those killing them they would rather call the Yorubas cowards. I belief it is an act of cowardice to free your killers of any blame and blame people who have shown them nothing but love.

Unless provoked, I have not seen, and if it exists it would be an isolated case, where a Yoruba man would write and debase the Ibos heritage or call the Ibos leaders names. The Yorubas are well tutored in the practice of respecting one's elders. These Ibos will rubbish the memories of Awolowo as if he was a nobody.

A careful look at the background of these Ibos, I am sure, would reveal that they are nonentities, people who are uncouth, and totally without home training as we say.


These are people, who lay claim to being intellectuals, reason like imbeciles; I cannot detect any intelligent reasoning in their outrage against a race that is accommodating to them. They think of nothing but war and they are bent on preaching nothing but hatred.

The reason why these fools will continue to abuse the Yoruba is because we let them get away with the insult they heap on our race which is also the reason they gleefully call us cowards. I have always said that the philosophy of turning the other cheeks is not good because your oppressor will always come back to slap you.

In as much as I will not preach coming down to your level (which I will not hesitate to do if it comes to that) I will preach henceforth against allowing your comments to go unchallenged.

By "these Ibos" I mean the nuisances that come on here and insult the Yoruba race without justification or provocation. To my Ibo brothers who preach peace, harmony and the right of people to live decently in that hell called Nigeria, I have nothing but love for you and together, one day, with hard work and resilience and steadfastness we will wrestle that country from those baboons no matter who they are or where they come from. To those without decorum, people without enviable background, the educated illiterates, intellectual bankrupt individuals, haters and preachers of war and bloodshed I have nothing but harsh words for you and I wish you nothing but what you wish yourself, destruction.



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.IIbo/ Yoruba What has gone wrong?
Michael Femi Ewetuga posted on 03-10-2006, 15:11:36 PM

I was born during the civil war and so did not see the war because it ended when I was 3 years old; too young to appreciate anything that went down but wise enough to wish for war in any form.

When I was growing up, in Lagos I know some Ibos living within my vicinity and even though we called them okoro we were not told anything negative about them, we just knew they did not speak our language, some of them did of course.

My dad had a barbing salon on Lewis Street "EWETUGA BARBING SALON" and a certain Ibo man, Sunday was the foreman (or supervisor if you wish). There were other barbers there who were Yorubas and who were as good as Sunday if not better, especially Jimoh, who was somewhere from Oyo State, a Yoruba man complete with tribal marks. Sunday was foreman (supervisor) because not only was he the most senior barber then, he was also good. He was a very good man and we all liked him and fondly called him "broda Sunday" (brother Sunday in accordance with the Yoruba traditional way of respecting their elders by not calling them by name)

There was also an Ibo man who sold bread and tea directly opposite the sandgrouse bus-stop. He was kind of unique then because people selling tea and bread then in Lagos (popularly called mai tea) were the Hausas. The man was there for several years. He only stopped selling these stuffs after buying 2 luxurious buses, at least that was what we were told. One of my sisters had a son for an Ibo man; one of my cousins actually married an Ibo woman. So I have nephews, nieces, and my kids have second cousins who are partly Ibos.

There's this place on Lagos Island called Salu Court. Right in front of the mosque were these Ibo family, we grew up with these guys and went to university with them, there was never a time that they were treated like "foreigners" because they were not and nobody killed them over some stupid cartoon or any reason whatsoever.

When I was in EDUCATIONAL PROMOTERS at Akoka, one of my best friends was Emeka. He was staying at NNPC estate at Isolo. His dad would take us all regardless of ethnicity to school. Nobody thought of anyone being anything but brothers.  My friend Amechi who works with vanguard still sends my kids pictures to me till tomorrow as we say. His sister is married to a Yoruba man and they have been together for years. Ndubuizi and his brother who is a pharmacist are guys that, if I were to travel to Nigeria today, will visit first. The pharmacist wife, who is also Ibo as well as Amechi's sister (Gbolahan's wife) are very good friends of my babies' mama who is from Delta. Ndubuizi, the pharmacist, Christian, Amechi and Gbolahan, Amechi's in-law are the first people that would be called if anything were to happen to my kids.

There are some part of Lagos where you would be a minority if you were Yoruba. Places such as Alaba, Ladipo, Okota, Ajegunle will easily qualify. These are places where Ibos are resident and are dominant. There was an Ibo local government chairman in one of these places. If someone would investigate it there might still be one. If the Yorubas are not accommodating there's no way the Ibos would get to be that many as to control a particular area. In Lagos, it is not just the Ibos it is like that with all tribes in Nigeria who choose to make Lagos their homes and it is not just Lagos but all over the old western region.

When I was in Anambra during my youth service, I met a soldier, a Yoruba man who was stationed in the East, he was married to an Ibo woman and they were living at Awka. These kids were not speaking Yoruba then but speak Igbo fluently. The man told me he has been at Awka for years. There was a tailor well known at Awka and Amawbia. He was a Yoruba man and has been at Anambra for several years. When I was at Awka we would go to his shop and pass time, drinking beer and having fun. There was never a time we had problem coexisting.

I can't say the Ibos hate the yorubas because they don't. All my friends that I mentioned earlier are friends that I can trust with my life and those of my children. However, there are some individuals on this site who do nothing but preach hatred against the Yoruba race. These people would use any excuse to take a jab at the Yorubas. The Hausas killed the Ibos over some cartoon and some fool came here and accused the Yorubas of turning the Hausas against the Ibos, tell me in all honesty if such an individual should not be confined to a mental home. Another one came here telling a stupid story of a Yoruba man who wished for the Ibo man to be tied to his back when he was to be flogged. Rufus wrote his piece about the plight of the Ibos in Nigeria and from his story he did not tell of where the Yorubas committed an act of genocide against the Ibos. If there are quarrels between the Ibos and the Yorubas, they will fight like everyone does and move on. Instead of " these" Ibos to fight those killing them they would rather call the Yorubas cowards. I belief it is an act of cowardice to free your killers of any blame and blame people who have shown them nothing but love.

Unless provoked, I have not seen, and if it exists it would be an isolated case, where a Yoruba man would write and debase the Ibos heritage or call the Ibos leaders names. The Yorubas are well tutored in the practice of respecting one's elders. These Ibos will rubbish the memories of Awolowo as if he was a nobody.

A careful look at the background of these Ibos, I am sure, would reveal that they are nonentities, people who are uncouth, and totally without home training as we say.


These are people, who lay claim to being intellectuals, reason like imbeciles; I cannot detect any intelligent reasoning in their outrage against a race that is accommodating to them. They think of nothing but war and they are bent on preaching nothing but hatred.

The reason why these fools will continue to abuse the Yoruba is because we let them get away with the insult they heap on our race which is also the reason they gleefully call us cowards. I have always said that the philosophy of turning the other cheeks is not good because your oppressor will always come back to slap you.

In as much as I will not preach coming down to your level (which I will not hesitate to do if it comes to that) I will preach henceforth against allowing your comments to go unchallenged.

By "these Ibos" I mean the nuisances that come on here and insult the Yoruba race without justification or provocation. To my Ibo brothers who preach peace, harmony and the right of people to live decently in that hell called Nigeria, I have nothing but love for you and together, one day, with hard work and resilience and steadfastness we will wrestle that country from those baboons no matter who they are or where they come from. To those without decorum, people without enviable background, the educated illiterates, intellectual bankrupt individuals, haters and preachers of war and bloodshed I have nothing but harsh words for you and I wish you nothing but what you wish yourself, destruction.



..Read the full article

Re: .IIbo/ Yoruba What has gone wrong?
NaijaPRO posted on 03-10-2006, 16:15:12 PM
Tochukuwu, please explain what you mean by a misnomer. Where I usually pronounce it "Ibo", I write it "Igbo." Is that what you mean? BTW, I have reserved your name for my first child - nice name. AND, I am Yoruba.
Re: .IIbo/ Yoruba What has gone wrong?
Pukpabi posted on 03-10-2006, 17:03:13 PM
Brother Michael,

Thank you very much for your thought-provoking piece. I am sure you mean well, judging from the way you wrote.

I am quite convinced that Igbos and Yorubas have a lot more in common than Igbos and Northerners. First, we have never shied away from our culture regardless of the influence of Western civilization brought by western education. One cannot say the same of the Hausa-Fulani. These guys up North are simply Arabs.

You complain Igbos abuse Yorubas on this forum. This abuse thing has been a two-way traffic. Let me tell you the good thing about it: we are able to express ourselves, and it is a good thing provided we are not killing each other. So, Mike it is not entirely bad afterall. Have you read any Hausa-Fulani on this forum? Do you know why? I know why.

Those guys up North are not interested in your "turenchi." They are not civilized to "think." To them, dialog is an alien concept. The word of an Emir is usually law. So enjoy Igbo/Yoruba controversy, if you know what I mean.

On a more serious note; Igbos are not happy with Yorubas because they joined the North to kill us during the war. The Yorubas should not have fought that war against Biafrans. Pray, what has happened to Nigeria since after the war? The Yorubas would have been better off if they had gone their own way.

Mark my word, Nigeria is unworkable, and will disintegrate. The sooner you realize this, the better.
Re: .IIbo/ Yoruba What has gone wrong?
Bayo posted on 03-10-2006, 18:50:49 PM
How I wish every contributor on the internet would emulate Michael by stating his age status while discussing the civil war and some other Nigerian historical events.

Usually and unfortunately, many of those who discuss such issues were either not born during the evnts under discussions or they were toddlers. Yet, they will come here running their mouths even without any attempt at indicating that their assertions are quotations from some other persos' views.

As for Tochukwu. He said and I quote "Please do address Ndigbo appropriately. Ndigbo have never been known with the misnomer called Ibos." Mister man, You were the wrong party here! All through the fifties to the sixties and even the seventies, the Ibo were known and called Ibo. They even addressed themselves thus. There are some of us who have Ibo friends since the fifties and now we can only tease them by asking when all this Igbo noun start.
Re: .IIbo/ Yoruba What has gone wrong?
Tochukwu posted on 03-10-2006, 19:16:33 PM
The problems between Ndigbo and Yoruba are based on mutual suspicion. Generations of Ndigbo have been taught to be wary of Yorubas because they talk from both sides of their mouths. Personally this may not be true. But events in the past and present give credence to it.

Ndigbo were mortally betrayed by their Yoruba brothers during the Civil War. It is believed that without the intellectual might of the Yoruba elites that Nigeria would have been history. It was the same Yoruba elites that fought on the Federal side that agreed to declare Oduduwa Republic, if Easterners should seceed. Rather than declaring O'dua Republic, these elites thought that the Yorubas would gain more if they fought alongside Northerners. Their intention was to tip the political balance in their favour after the war. Yes, they did that. Afterall these elites and their kinsmen reaped abundantly from sales of the Igbo property and federal industries and parastatals. But the windfall was but for a time. You don't go to bed with a leper and expect to be clean. With the betrayal pepertually etched on the psyche of every Igbo man, Yorubas are always regarded amongst Igbos as double talkers.

Ndigbo were very unhappy with what happened with June 12. But they were afraid of being used as a canon fodder by a people who had betrayed them in the past. So Ndigbo sat on the fence. Everybody thought that Abiola was coming home with army of mecenaries to take what rightly belonged to him. But alas he was a whimper. Ndigbo exclaimed, there they go again. Had Ndigbo fought Hausas on Abiola's behalf, they might as well been made the reconciliation instrument between Abiola and the North. Fool me once ....

Recently, during the political conference or whatever Obasanjo called it. The Yoruba delegates meted the same treatment to the Niger-Deltans. The Niger Deltans were betrayed by the Yoruba delegates who agreed to support them on resource control in caucus meetings only to switch sides on the floor of general assembly. Also, the blind support of some Yoruba elites, Igbos inclusive on Obasanjo self-succession leaves much to be desired.

Politics should be done with integrity and not carpet crossing. I may be wrong by my analysis but I do not see much difference between a Yoruba man and Igbo man. The only difference is double talk and carpet crossing in the character of the former.
Here We Go Again.
Joseph posted on 03-10-2006, 19:40:10 PM
Paschal,

I refuse to share in your argument.

The present mutual enmity between the Ibo and the Yoruba had not always been a two-way thing....no way!

The Yoruba decided to hit back when most Ibo found it difficult to comment on Nigerian issues without rainning abuses on Yoruba land and its leaders.....most times, for no other reason other than because Obasanjo is Yoruba. And this is where they often get things wrong.....by taking the Yoruba's tolerant nature for granted.

Michael was very generous to the Ibo in his article. In the real life, no Yoruba can go flourish in an Ibo land the way the Ibo are going about majestically in Yoruba land. You try to set up a shop in any Ibo town and your shop will either be burgled or burnt down. Then, try to look for a job in their ministry. The excuse often given by my Ibo friends is that even Enugu State people cannot get jobs in Imo State and so on....

But in Yoruba land, the Ibo are so accommodated that at one time, some of them started to fly a stupid kite that Lagos was part of or an extension of Ibo land. The chief flyer of that kite was Joe Igbokwe. In spite of all his silly noises, he has now been appointed as a GM of a Lagos parastatal....can you imagine a Yoruba man or woman in any of the Ibo state getting such an appointment?

And this comment can also answer the concluding part of your comment that "On a more serious note; Igbos are not happy with Yorubas because they joined the North to kill us during the war. The Yorubas should not have fought that war against Biafrans......"

Indeed! You guys can rant or hit your heads on the wall all you want, the Yoruba will do the same thing all over if the events of the unfortunate civil war should repeat itself. Some of you guys think you can just write or re-write the history of the war to keep the flame of your hatred for Nigeria glowing.

I don't know your age but I'll say one thing....I was around before and during the war. At the beginning of the war, the Yoruba were mere by-standers. This was because we felt it was a war between two "jolly friends" (apology to my friend who first used this term). We were just like the Americans before the Pearl Harbor (during the second world war). And just as the Japanese underrated the Americans by by thinking they could use the WWII to annexe Hawaii, so did the Biafrans made the worst mistakes of their lives by thinking the Yoruba were cowards and using the excuse of the war to try to make an in-road into Yoruba land through Ore. For God's sake, the Yoruba have never been conquered or invaded! The Biafra attempt was therefore considered an abomination.

Before then, we Yoruba (in Lagos especially) accommodated and even shielded several Ibos....go ask several Ibos who were so protected. Many of such Ibos finally had to go to Biafra. Have you ever heard of "Abandoned Properties" wahala in Yoruba land? They left their properties including landed properties in care of their Yoruba friends. I used to have an Ibo girlfriend who (along with her sibblings) were left in the care of their Yoruba neighbors before their parents left for Biafra. All these people came back into welcoming hands and were given their kids and properties back.

But we the Yoruba were pissed off during the war when some Ibo exploited our accommodating spirits to bomb the Casino cinema where several Yoruba (in old Yaba Road) persihed. Our leaders cautioned the Biafra to watch it while persuading our people to bear the losses. Then, there was the attempted bombing of Race Course....Can you imagine! Luckily, the bastards (white mercenaries....Italians to be precise) were shot down. I was among those kids who thronged to Race Course to pick particles of the plane as sourvenir. Again our leaders cautioned the Biafra. But the Ibo were calling us cowards.

And finally, the Biafrans attempted to cross into Yoruba land through Ore. That was it! It was then that a furious Awo declared "Go On With One Nigeria!" The same Awo and the other Yoruba leaders then called on all able-bodied Yoruba to go join the Army. Before then, the Yoruba would never allow their sons to join the Military which they regarded only for the ruffians.

And guess what.....it was only when the Yoruba joined the war that the course of the war changed! Suddenly, we all began to show interest in the war....we all know the feats performed by Yoruba officers and men during the war.....the same people that were called cowards....who got the instrument of surrender? Well, the rest is now history!

Did we all also not remember how the same Ibos called the Yoruba cowards after the annulment of the June 12 election? They wanted us to go into an unprepared war like they did. But what did we do? NADECO was set up, the Press were marshalled and above all, the OPC was formed! Now, everybody is crying about the influence of the OPC!

Arrogance is the bane of the Ibos....period!
Re: .IIbo/ Yoruba What has gone wrong?
Odinaka posted on 03-10-2006, 21:08:28 PM
Bayo and co, please there is no such thing as Ibo, the origin of that word "Ibo" is a result of the difficulty some persons have pronouncing the Igbo alphabet "gb". You cannot know the history of a people better than the people themselves.

Talking about people writing articles on a civil war they never witness, one does not need to witness the war to know that the pogrom in the North, the killings of unarmed civilians in Asaba, Isuochi etc by federal troops in the course of war, the use of starvation as a weapon of war, the abandoned property thievry, and the ill-timed privitisation decree were real. Some Igbos might be misrepresenting the correct pictures of these events, those on the "federal" side also misrepresent the true pictures, especially in an attempt to justify some inhumane actions. Just imagine some persons insinuating that a vote for Ekwueme was a vote for Biafra, just to make sure he didn't pick the PDP's presidential ticket in 1999. In fact, it is the failure of the FG to address the situations that led to the first coup, counter coup , pogrom and eventually the civil war ,that is at the roots of most crises in the country today. A good example is the Niger delta crisis. If Nigerians were truly desirous to build a united country after the war, there was no need for some of those who killed and butchered innocent Igbo civilians to be elevated to national figures status.

I appreciate Michael's view, even though I may not agree with all the points he raised in absolute terms, but I wish to point out that it will be wrong to assume that every negative word spoken against the Yorubas/Awolowo must be coming from an Igbo. The truth is that ethnic sentiments flow from all directions to sundry places- from Igbo, Hausa, Tiv, Ijaw, Yoruba etc to wherever. I have witnessed this in real life. I however, accept that a few "Igbo" rascals have been rude and insensitive to the feelins of the Yorubas here in the NVS. I have had cause to lash out at one fellow as a result


Cheers
Re: .IIbo/ Yoruba What has gone wrong?
ALILON posted on 03-10-2006, 22:04:29 PM
Micheal is not to be blamed, because as he rightly revealed, he was born after the war and so knows little about the war. His displeasure with those he is complaining about is well understood. However Micheal needs to know that the ambience of life of an Igbo child born the same time with him in Nigeria is not the same. There are tons of difficult stories to butress this point which I prefer not to go into here.

The Igbo should have championed their story of what happened and what is still happening to them in Nigeria but they have kept mute. Micheal is picking quarrel with a few who choose to be verbally reactive. It is necessary though to correct the notion that the Igbo slaughter only took place in the North. The Igbo were slaughtered all over Nigeria, albeit more intense in the North the traditional rendezvous for Igbo blood spilling.

During the war, the Igbo were killed by soldiers from all over Nigeria while the Igbo war songs lyrics remained anti-hausa only, with NONE, not even a single one against Yoruba.

As regards the seeming harmony between the Igbo and any group before or since after the war, it is important to know that in friendship, one of the paties is usually more tolerant than the other. Let me leave Micheal to chose which party has been more tolerant than the other between the two groups in reference here.
Re: .IIbo/ Yoruba What has gone wrong?
Soul Sista posted on 03-10-2006, 23:04:07 PM
Odinaka, thanks for pointing out that the Ibo are the Igbo or, as is now currently thought to be more grammatically correct, Ndiigbo (notice the double "I" for vowel intensiveness).

Also, there is nothing like Igbos or Yorubas. The plural of Igbo is Igbo and the plural of Yoruba is Yoruba. The addition of the letter "s" to signify more than one is wrong in both Yoruba and Igbo. It is a reflection of our training in the English language.

I agree that not all Igbo hate Yoruba and vice-versa. My friend, Ngo is Igbo and she is one of my best friends, if not my best :-). I do think that there are significant numbers of misguided and hateful persons from all the ethnic groups that sow discord by making all sorts of gross generalizations.
Re: .IIbo/ Yoruba What has gone wrong?
MrOneNaija posted on 03-10-2006, 23:49:11 PM
The Europeans could not pronounce the word IGBO[B], so, they took the easiest way out, which was to drop the g.

No Igbo person would ever pronounce the word ibo when referring to Ndigbo, unless the person is either totally or stupidly ignorant or claiming to be more European than the Europeans.

When Yourubas say Ijebu-[B]IGBO
, do they pronounce it Ijebu-ibo?

Please stop insulting millions of Ndigbo!

Your article makes sense. But I find the word ibo quite insulting.

Again, as Toochukwu said, the suspicion Igbos(and others) have about Yorubas not standing by their words is a real one and does little to foster confidence. If Abiola were an Igbo he most likely would have served out his term.
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