Watch these three videos, and spot the common trend in each of them.

Ahmadu Bello in 1964
Pastor Whatever in 2020
Unnamed touts in Ladipo

The common thread in all of them is this — they are not complaining that the Igbos are stealing from them. They are not complaining that the Igbos are cheating them. No, they are complaining that the Igbos are “taking over”, legally. In other words, the Igbo man did the work, and bought the land, or earned the position, that you have turned around to complain about.

There are many things I find interesting about the timing of the emergence of the recent videos. In 1964, Ahmadu Bello was facing an uprising in what has now become the Middle Belt on one hand, and Aminu Kano was making inroads into his political base on another. The Igbos provided the perfect foil to deflect attention. In 2020, the economy of Nigeria has gotten really bad. Note that there has been a lot of anti-Igbo rhetoric since the Buhari government came into office. Note also, that a lot of this rhetoric comes up when something really nasty has happened or is about to break. Yes, there is a lot of latent anti-Igbo sentiment that is ready to tap into when politicians want to deflect, and the underlings buy into these things.

But you see, this goes to the heart of the entitlement mentality that has destroyed Nigeria. How can you build a successful country if you don’t get up in the morning and go to work? How can you build a successful country if you don’t plan for the future?

Nigeria does not like to compete. Nigeria does not like to work to climb up to someone else’s level. Rather, Nigeria prefers to stay in the mud and attempt to bring others down to her level. All the while forgetting that “onye ji onye n’ani ji onwe ya”.

As an aside, for those who say that Igbos don’t let others gain position in ani Igbo, I present, Adebayo Ojeyinka. For those who say that Igbos don’t allow others to buy land in ani Igbo, I present Dayo Okunola Street in Enugu.

How would Mr Okunola have a street named after him if he was not the first person to build a house there?

The Igbos say, “Onye kwe, Chi ya ekwe,” and that simple statement is at the heart of the Igbo work ethic, whether it be in business, or even in crime. “If I want something bad enough and work hard for it, even Heaven will agree with me.”

Sitting down and waiting for handouts? That is not the Igbo way. Never has, and will never be. Anybody that doesn’t like what we are, kindly go and dip your head in the Great River.

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