The major reasons why Nigeria hate igbos – Chinua Achebe

Foremost novelist Chinua Achebe claimed that Nigerians,
especially of the Hausa/Fulani and the Yoruba stocks, do not like
his Igbo ethnic group because of the southeast’s cultural
He made this claim in his new book, There was a Country, which
has generated controversy for his onslaught on the role of Obafemi
Awolowo as the federal commissioner of finance during the Nigeria
civil war. He accused Awolowo of genocide and imposition of food
blockade on Biafra, a claim that has drawn rebuttals and
contradictions of emotional intensity from some southwest leaders
and commentators.
“I have written in my small book entitled The Trouble with Nigeria
that Nigerians will probably achieve consensus on no other matter
than their common resentment of the Igbo,” he wrote under the
heading, A History of Ethnic Tension and Resentment. He traced
the origin of “the national resentment of the Igbo” to its culture that
“gave the Igbo man an unquestioned advantage over his
compatriots in securing credentials for advancement in Nigerian
colonial society.”
He observed that the Igbo culture’s emphasis on change,
individualism and competitiveness gave his ethnic group an edge
over the Hausa/Fulani man who was hindered by a “wary religion”
and the Yoruba man who was hampered by” traditional
He therefore described the Igbo, who are predominantly Catholic,
as “fearing no god or man, was “custom-made to grasp the
opportunities, such as they were, of the white man’s dispensations.
And the Igbo did so with both hands.”
He delved into history with his claim, asserting that the Igbo
overcame the earlier Yoruba advantage within two decades earlier
in the twentieth century.
“Although the Yoruba had a huge historical and geographical head
start, the Igbo wiped out their handicap in one fantastic burst of
energy in the twenty years between 1930 and 1950.”
He narrated the earlier advantage of Yoruba as contingent on their
location on the coastline, but once the missionaries crossed the
Niger, the Igbo took advantage of the opportunity and overtook the
“The increase was so exponential in such a short time that within
three short decades the Igbos had closed the gap and quickly
moved ahead as the group with the highest literacy rate, the
highest standard of living, and the greatest of citizens with
postsecondary education in Nigeria,” he contended.
He said Nigerian leadership should have taken advantage of the
gbo talent and this failure was partly responsible for the failure of
the Nigerian state, explaining further that competitive individualism
and the adventurous spirit of the Igbo was a boon Nigerian leaders
failed to recognize and harness for modernization.
“Nigeria’s pathetic attempt to crush these idiosyncrasies rather
than celebrate them is one of the fundamental reasons the country
has not developed as it should and has emerged as a
laughingstock,” he claimed.
He noted that the ousting of prominent Igbos from top offices was
a ploy to achieve a simple and crude goal. He said what the
Nigerians wanted was to “get the achievers out and replace them
with less qualified individuals from the desired ethnic background
so as to gain access to the resources of the state.”
Achebe, however, saved some criticisms for his kinsmen. He
criticised them for what he described as “hubris, overweening
pride and thoughtlessness, which invite envy and hatred or even
worse that can obsess the mind with material success and dispose
it to all kinds of crude showiness.”
He added that “contemporary Igbo behavior(that) cab offend by its
noisy exhibitionism and disregard for humility and quietness.

Can the south east (Igbo speaking tribe) produce the next Nigerian President come 2023?
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1 Comment

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