Monday, 22 June 2009

The Eastern Promise....

I have to admit last week turned out to be very interesting, especially on the back of the blog entry relating to the Igbos and the Nigerian Presidency. As I was keeping up with the fallout on Facebook, I was also having telephone conversations and the amount of people who don't want you to know what they are really thinking is scary! Word of no lie, a long-time Igbo friend, went as far as to say; 'my friend no one will admit to this, but we don't see ourselves as part of Nigeria! People will never tell you that we see the country as expirable(?) and pretty soon too!'

Now, that blew my mind, but that was probably down to my being Yoruba and shamefully, not knowing as much as I ought to have known about the Igbo history. Theirs is an irrepressible and dynamic culture, that some say reflects their ancestry which can be traced back to the Jews!!! Well, I am not that hot in history, but I do acknowledge the ability of the Igbo to do exactly what the Jew has done all through history - leave home and prosper in some distant land. Their ability to adapt and tough it out is legendary, and their history is littered with moments of severe loss, both human and otherwise, in those foreign environments.

Right, I am not certain that my friend's words were 100% accurate, but I am aware that the scar of the Civil War is permanent on the Igbo psyche (You don't get it? Read Half of a Yellow Sun - Ngozi brought it home!), much like the Holocaust is on the Jews. Although, I cannot on the basis of his comments, which he claims is 99% representative of Igbos (I found that hard to believe, as Igbos definitely don't have a herd mentality, but then neither do the Jews except on the Holocaust!) decide that the future of Nigeria is in the balance, but I can bear witness that my friend's parting words which did leave me cold;

"Look Castro, no Igbo man will thank you for bringing up this issue. If one of us goes forward to contest for the Presidency, we will never vote for him en masse. We prefer to vote for the Hausa or Yorubas. Na dem get the country, we just dey tag along until the thing finish!'

Personally, I want to believe he's in the Minority......or is there a little of him in every Nigerian?

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