I did not think about Igbos as a group of people until ten years ago. Prior to 2005 I simply thought about Africans. I did not think in terms of tribes. My focus was on how to develop Africa economically and eventually bring about my cherished united Africa. I talked about what I call Africa Federation, one Africa with each large ethnic group a state and small ones combined into additional states for a total of about five hundred, 500 states in Africa. That Africa would look like the USA, with a central government in charge of military affairs and foreign policy and each state left to run its economy and be totally in charge of its resources. Each African person would be required to pay a flat tax of 20% and that money used to run the central government. The states, of course, would figure out ways to pay for their functions, including a mix of income taxes, sales taxes and corporate taxes and so on.
Simply stated, my focus was on all of Africa and tangentially on Nigeria; I had absolutely no interest in specific African tribes, certainly not Igbos. Igbos did not register on my radar. Why should they?
From my perspective Igbos are just another African ethnic group that we need to fit into a unified African framework.
The world is increasingly organized along larger political areas; consider the size of the USA, Canada, China, Brazil, India, Russia, and if you see the EU as a single polity, the EU. Therefore, it was of no interest for me to talk about a people whose entire area is, may be, one hundred miles across, north to south and West to East. Alaigbo is actually the size of some large counties in the USA! I certainly did not think of Biafra.
The term Biafra, I understand, is derived from the Portuguese village of Mafra; Africa is supposed to become decolonized and its European names replaced with African names. That notwithstanding, many Igbos have doubled down on their Portuguese name and insist on being called Biafrans. Shame on them! Their proper name is Alaigbo.
Alaigbo is economically unviable; therefore, it did not figure in my calculation of what Africa ought to look like. Contemporary African countries were constructed by Europeans; they exist to serve European interests; therefore, men of goodwill seek ways to reconfigure Africa to make Africa serve Africans interests.
In 2005 I began participating at Nigerian Internet forums. Gradually, it dawned on me that there is a pattern to what the plurality of Igbos wrote and what other Nigerians wrote. I began paying close attention. What is the pattern?
In the main, other Nigerians wrote about issues but Igbos wrote about people. Talking about people is fine provided that one did so impersonally and objectively. Instead, what I saw was Igbos raining verbal abuses on whoever dared state his mind on anything that Igbos did not approve. Igbos trade mark is insulting people. They call Nigerians every possible put down name their limited vocabularies could muster (for some reasons, they write very poorly, certainly, poorer than Yorubas write).
For some reasons, it seems that many Igbos derive pleasure and sense of power from insulting Nigerians. Apparently, in putting other people down Igbos seem to believe that that makes them superior. This is neurotic thinking and behavior.
The neurotic, ala Alfred Adler, feels inferior and erroneously believes that he can get rid of his sense of inferiority by seeing other people as inferior to him. He projects what he sees in him to other people except that projection does not get rid of what he wants to get rid from him; he still feels inferior despite putting other people down.
In the meantime, in their eyes, apparently, Igbos believe that only they have worth and all other Africans have no worth.
If you are an Igbo and you dared object to their obvious primitive behavior of desecrating people they redirect their fire to you and call you pejorative names, too.
As it were, it is either Igbo way or the high way; you either embrace the mostly idiotic things they say or they come at you with their rusted swords, stabbing wherever they think that you are.
If you have observed human beings at all you probably have noted that the conditions of living in bodies that would die and decay make them feel incomplete and inadequate.
We can quibble as to the cause of human sense of inadequacy but what is self-evident is that people feel as if they are not good enough but want to be seen as good. In that light, they want their fellow human beings to respect them, to treat them as if they have dignity.
As long as you respect people they would respect you and get along with you. However, the moment you disrespect them they feel their dignity affronted and feel angry at you. If you persist in putting them down they may come at you and do whatever they could to take you down, including making life difficult for you or even killing you. If that is the case, reason tells the individual to respect other people; he must do so to get along with them.
To the contrary, Igbos specialize in disrespecting their neighbors and their neighbors naturally feel angry at them and make life difficult for them.
Probably there is no other group of human beings that is as hated as Igbos are! But instead of seeing the cause of other people’s dislike of them in their insolence, they delude themselves with the nonsense that other people hate them because of their wealth and achievements.
What wealth do they have that elicits other people’s envy and hatred? Are poor Igbos not the ones pouring into other Nigerians lands, Hausa land and Yoruba land to go eek out marginal living? Other Nigerians seldom come to Alaigbo to seek jobs!
FALSE SENSE OF INVINCIBILITY
Igbos verbally abuse people as if those they abuse cannot do anything about it, as if they are invincible and no one can harm them. You wonder whether they are collectively insane to forget that they are mere animals and, as such, anyone can point a gun to their thick heads, pull the trigger and in six minutes each of them is dead.
A human being can be killed just like that. If that is the case one ought to be a bit circumspect in insulting other people.
Why go about talking as if you are god that no one can get at when it is obvious that you are alive because those you insult ignored you. If people act as how human beings act, feel angry when you degrade them, and some of them seek to assuage their diminished social esteem, they would come at you with their guns and kill you.
So what makes Igbos feel that other Nigerians cannot kill them? Is it because they cannot be killed? In the 1960s Hausas decided to kill them and killed many of them and what was left of them ran away from the North.
Like cowards, they did not stay in the North and fought those they had been verbally abusing for years; instead, they ran to their homes in the East.
While in the East they seceded from Nigeria thus guaranteeing that the Nigerian state would do something to keep the country together; no leader likes to see his country split up under his watch. Thus they had war with Nigeria, an ill-advised war, a war they were not militarily prepared for. Apparently, they believed that they could fight and win a modern war with machetes or used First World War weapons that they bought at Los Angeles flea markets. Of course, Nigerians clobbered them.
Their tough talking leader, Emeka Ojukwu ran to the Ivory Coast to go protect his hide even though his talking had led many of his young people to go fight and die; apparently, no one told the man that a general is supposed to stay and fight with his people to the end but not to run away. The man was a lily livered coward and is not fit to be addressed by any military title, not even private; he should have been court marshalled and shot to death for deserting his troops at war.
Igbos, like other human beings, are animals living in bodies and are not immune to dying from what kills other people. If that is the case one would expect them to be like other human beings and not provoke people to anger towards them. The fact that they routinely insult people hence making people angry at them means that many of them are not mentally balanced!
I began paying attention to Igbos mental status and realized that many of them are suffering from narcissistic and or paranoid personality disorders; some of them suffer from delusion disorder with grandiose and persecutory features.
INFANTILE BELIEF THAT THEY ARE SPECIAL AND THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE
My observation of Igbos shows me that somehow they believe that they are the center of the universe; they believe that all other human beings are inferior to them; they believe that all other human beings ought to be concerned with their Igbo issues (these are signs of narcissistic personality disorder).
They actually believe that if something happens to them that the entire world would come to their rescue. The fact is that to the rest of the world they are another primitive African tribe with no relevance in anything people value. They have made no contribution to science and technology or to the art of governing or business. They have nothing that human beings admire; therefore, nobody looks to them as role models in anything to copy.
See, as I write they are demonstrating about a young man who from far away Britain made seditious noises about the demise of Nigeria and then had the audacity to go to the country he was wishing dismantled.
Anyone who understands the behavior of states knows that seditious elements are not tolerated by any country. Thus, the young man, upon arrival in Nigeria, was predictably arrested. He is locked up and forgotten.
Igbos are demonstrating for his release; in fact, they are demanding his release or else (they do what…of course, they are going to do nothing; they are all talk and no action).
Now check the world’s press and see if the demonstrations even make a side line note in their news. No one outside Nigeria pays attention to the issue.
This ought to tell Igbos that their issues are not of concern to other people in the world but they somehow have the illusion that other people live to think about them. The fact is that other people do not think about them for they are nothing to them.
See, in the 1960s they were at war with Nigeria and many of them died. Western powers did not pay attention to them. However, children in Western countries saw pictures of starving Biafran children and went about collecting food to be sent to them (as they now are doing for Somalia ). Beyond help out of compassion and sympathy folks went about their business unaware that yet another African tribe is dying.
As we speak, folks in the Congo are killing themselves; a while ago, Africans killed themselves in Liberia, Sierra Leon, Rwanda, Sudan, Central African Republic and the rest of the world did not give a hoot.
The point is that the world does not care for Igbos, for Igbos have nothing particularly to recommend them for other people’s attention.
If you factor in Igbos current tendency to scam Westerners, to steal from them through their 419 scams and other scams why should the West care for them? Why enable criminals to survive and come to steal from you? You ignore the plight of criminals and say, let them die, good riddance of garbage.
Folks care for those who make positive contribution to science, technology, and the arts, such as Jews, not folks noted only for their criminal activities. The fact that Igbo narcissism disposes them to feel that the entire world pays attention to them and admires them is their issue not the world’s issue.
Igbos do not deserve attention and admiration from the rest of the world and to the extent that they believe that they do they are living in the world of fantasy where wishes are horses and beggars ride them.
This point requires reiterating for Igbos have been trying to stimulate attack on them by other tribes in Nigeria. If they provoke Hausas to start killing them the chances are that no external others would come to their rescue. The United Nations may or may not note that yet another African country has descended into chaos and mutual killing but do nothing about it, as it did nothing when the Hutus were killing Tutsis.
If after several years of been killed the United Nations finally tries to do something about it, the most it would probably do is call for members to contribute soldiers for peace keeping activities in Nigeria. The members that would volunteer their armies would be Africans.
White countries are very unlikely to go die for Africans, those they consider inferior. Thus, the chances are that Muslim African troops would come to keep the peace in Alaigbo.
We saw what happened in the Congo where African soldiers raped both men and women, boys as young as ten years old. Igbo men and women would be raped by Africans from other African countries. The point is that Igbos should not look to others to come to their rescue.
If you talk to individual Igbos you find tinges of, if not overt, delusion. They have this grandiose view of themselves as a superior people. Are they superior in physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, good governance? What exactly do they excel in to make them superior people?
Delusion disorder is belief in what is not true as true and acting as if it is true. It is not true that Igbos are superior to other people but they believe it and act as such so they suffer from mass delusion disorder (Follie adieu).
If they are superior folk then let them prove it by making contributions to science and winning Nobel Prizes in the physical sciences. If they think that they are good in governing people then let them govern themselves well. Their neck of the woods is the worst governed part of Nigeria.
Their leaders, such as governors, chairmen of local government areas are nothing but thugs. Igbo leaders are literally thugs in government. If in doubt look at the five Igbo governors and examine what they do. They do nothing for the people; they take money given to them by the federal government to serve their people and redirect them to their personal uses.
Igbo politicians actually run for public offices for the opportunity to steal public moneys and while at it pretend to be very important persons.
In the meantime, Igbos delude themselves that the reason why their area is not developed is because Nigerians hate them. Nigerians give them as much money as they give to other states so what have they done with it?
Have Igbo politicians built roads, hospitals, schools, established industries in their world? Of course not! They do not develop their people and their world; they do not create jobs for their people and the people are mostly unemployed and become criminals.
Unemployed Igbo youth are increasingly kidnappers; they kidnap and hold their fellow Igbos hostage and demand payment of ransom money before they are released or they are killed.
If care is not taken Igbos would revert to doing what their ancestors did, kidnap their people and sell them into slavery to whoever is willing to buy them. Actually if the white man did not have laws that forbid slavery there is no doubt in my mind that Igbos would already be capturing and selling their people into slavery. These peoples civilization is only skin deep.
You name any kind of criminal activities in the world and Igbos are the kingpins of it. Today, they are the lords of drug dealing, kidnaping folks for money, selling babies, just name it and these people are in the thick of it; so, what makes them superior people? They are not even superior to dogs!
SELF CENTEREDNESS AND OPPORTUNISM
If you have ever dealt with individual Igbos you have probably concluded that they are self-centered and opportunistic. They do things only for themselves at the individual level and seldom for the good of the collective.
Each Igbo struggles to become important and may work hard to acquire what in his eyes makes him seem important. He easily steals to get what makes him seem important.
Contemporary Igbos ancestors sold their people into slavery to obtain money and other paraphernalia that made them seem very important persons.
The Igbo is very opportunistic. He is amoral and would do anything to get money to purchase the accoutrement of social importance. If necessary he would sell his parents and siblings down the river to get money.
And what does he do with that money? Does he use it to serve his fellow Igbos, build factories where his people work? Of course not. He only uses it to purchase fleeing sense of social prestige.
It is as if Igbos are bereft of thought hence do not realize that, give or take, a hundred years a person dies and is eaten by worms. Objectively speaking, human beings really do not have real worth, they have imaginary worth. The only worth people have is derived from serving their fellow human beings. Love is the only thing that gives people some meaning in the meaningless universe they live in.
Why are these people too given to opportunism and unprincipled behaviors? May be their minds are possessed by Satan?
Satan does not exist apart from the human mind that construe it and make it seem real (a mind can believe in Satan and see one in his dreams which does not make it real for dreams are not real). In my view, Igbos are evil people because they do not know that the best lived life is one devoted to serving social interest.
Work to serve other people and you would experience the only joy there is in our lives in body; work to serve only your interests and you would experience the frustrated existence of the narcissist.
The self-centered narcissist lives a miserable and lonely existence; he is not attached to other people and nobody is attached to him. Alcohol, drugs and addiction to sex is the fate of narcissists.
IGBO HISTORY SHOWS THEM TO BE A PRIMITIVE PEOPLE
If you look at Igbo history, if we may call what they had history, you would shake your head in despair. They did not develop writing; they did not invent the wheel (the basis of industrial civilization), they did not have Igbo wide political structures for governing themselves; each Igbo town had town meetings where the people settled matters but beyond that had no real governments.
Because they were so disorganized slave catchers literally walked all over Alaigbo kidnapping folks and selling them into slavery; if they had an Igbo state government with military they would not have been devastated by slave catchers, after all the first function of government is to protect the people.
The ease with which their people were captured and sold into slavery should have helped Igbos to realize the need to organize an Igbo wide political system. No, instead, some of them, such as the Aro, formed organizations to kidnap and sell their people into slavery.
The Aro and their head hunting mercenaries terrorized all Igbos, kidnapping and selling them into Trans-Atlantic slavery and using the pieces of useless glass Europeans gave to them to buy what they called Ozo titles and masqueraded around as very importance savages.
Look, there was nothing in Igbos past that anyone with eyes to see would consider civilized and admirable; in fact, their past is repulsive to thinking folks.
Igbos neighbors, such as the Bini, Yoruba and Hausa developed to feudal level of social organization. In as much as we must admire folks we can admire those other people, not Igbos.
Karl Marx would say that Igbos were at the first stage of social organization, primitive communism. If this is the case, and it is, why do Igbos feel superior to other people?
UNSCRUPULOUSNESS AND AMORALITY
If you have ever done business with Igbos, you probably have learnt from firsthand experience that the individual Igbo is very unscrupulous. Instead of seeking ways to make the business to work they would behind your back seek ways to rip it off; they would work to get rid of you and take over the business. Since they do not see beyond their individual bellies they are unable to grow businesses to serve the public hence they kill businesses.
These people will steal from your business and like mentally deranged persons laugh at their supposed ability to pull wools over their partners eyes, their ability to screw their business partners; it never occurs to them that business is done on trust and that if you have to spend all your time watching your coworkers you are not going to be productive. These people are not ready for business in the modern world.
IGBOS ARE NOT YET CHRISTIANS
Igbos claim to be Christians but in fact are not. A Christian works for social good; a Christian loves and forgives all people.
Can anyone accuse Igbos of loving their neighbors? Igbos actually think that it is weak to love people; to them to screw people are to be tough! What the generality of mankind calls character weakness, to not love people they in their perverted way consider weak.
Christianity is only about one hundred years in Igbo land and has not permeated the people’s unconscious minds; Christian values are not yet part of Igbos psyche. It probably would take several hundred years before Igbos behave like true Christians: love and respect people and work for people’s collective social interests.
Christianity itself was bastardized by Europeans so that no one actually knows what the historical Jesus taught his followers. As it is, what we see are European Christians praying to their God while screwing people; this is obviously not what Christianity is all about. There got to be a different interpretation of Christianity (I have explored that possibility in other writings).
IGBOS CONCEPTION OF POLITICS IS NOT FOLKS UNDERSTANDING OF POLITICS
Whenever you are with Igbos they fill your ears with incessant talk on politics. But if you pay close attention you recognize that they really have no clue what politics is all about.
Igbos see politics as competing for public offices from which they steal from the public and become rich but not do something for the people; to them politics is merely an avenue for becoming rich and famous and satisfying their neurotic wish for social prestige.
In reality, politics has to do with organizing the human polity. It means getting people to work together to get things done in their world.
To work well with people you must understand who they are; you must have a good grasp of what constitutes human nature (that is why in political science there is a branch called political philosophy).
The first thing you learn about people is that they are separated egos and each is proud. If you said what made a person feel diminished social esteem you hurt his pride. If a person feels his pride hurt he can attack and kill you. Therefore, politics entails saying and doing the right things so as to not generate conflict in the human polity.
Instead of being respectful of all people to generate peace in their land, Igbos specialize in insulting people thus inviting people to attack them and kill them. Generally, they insult every person in sight, tell them that they, Igbos, are superior to them and that they, non-Igbos are inferior to Igbos. Those they insult feel angry at them and place obstacles on their path and occasionally attack and kill them.
Igbos are not aware that politics is war by peaceful means; politics is cold war and if you do not manage it properly it turns into hot war, war by violent means.
Igbos are not aware that human society could explode into violence at any moment depending on how you treat people. If they knew that the man standing in front of them is capable of killing them would they insult him as they do?
Listen, what we need to do is teach Igbos the nature of politics, especially the need to respect all people and work for public good instead of them merely seeing politics as behavior to obtain social prestige and steal from the people.
Over the last ten years I have observed Igbos, mainly from reading what they write at Nigerian Internet sites. From such reading I reached conclusions of who they are. In the above pages I digested my observations for the reader.
Clearly, what I observed seem negative and one could ask me if Igbos have no positive aspects to them. Of course, they have positive aspects. We all know that they are hardworking and industrious. Igbos are competitive and do achieve great things.
However, what matters is what are they working hard for, why do you want to compete and achieve things? If it is only for you, your belly and your children’s bellies you are not relevant to society.
It is only those who work for social good that improve all of our lives and, as such, are relevant to all of us. The good life is one devoted to serving public interests.
Someone asked Sigmund Freud what constitutes mental health and he simply said: the ability to love all people and work for all people’s good.
Alfred Adler, the second in command in Freud’s psychoanalytic circles, defined mental health as ability to serve social interest, helping people (is that not how Jesus Christ defined it as shown in the parable of the Good Samaritan).
Carl Jung, the third in the triad that started psychoanalysis, said that we must also factor in the dimension of spirituality if we are to be mentally healthy hence he explored spirituality. Jung contends that there is a spiritual angle to people although we wouldn’t know it be observing their self-centered behaviors.
I am a philosopher and agnostic but suspect that there is God. In my various writings I pointed out how I construe God to be. You ought to read some of my writings on spirituality.
I was born into the Umuamadioha (children of Amadioha) family. My folks have been the high priests of Amadioha for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
As is the Igbo tradition, upon my birth at Massey Hospital, Lagos, my folks consulted Igbo Dibias and were told that I am the next “Onye Ishi Amadioha”, the next high priest of Amadioha (my uncle, Akakporo was then the high priest).
At age eight my folks sent me to their Igbo village to go understudy the family’s spiritual business. I did so for two years and returned to Lagos to complete elementary school, secondary school and thereafter to the USA.
Regardless of what I studied and did my mind kept drawing me to spirituality. Even though I am at home in the world of science yet my mind kept pulling me to go study spirituality.
I did a systematic study of the world’s great religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Taoism, Christianity and Islam). I then embarked on taking from them what seems useful in them and synthesizing them into a new perspective on God.
My perspective on God may or may not be an accurate representation of God but that is my honest perspective and folks ought to read them and make of them what they like.
Quantum physics tells us that there are infinite universes (see Hugh Everett on the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics).
I believe, actually, I know, that there are many universes; however, for now we need to pay attention to three of them.
The first is the world of God. That world is formless. In it is a force that you may call whatever you like for it has no name. Let us call it God.
God is one and simultaneously infinite in numbers. One God is all of us. One God manifests in infinite sons.
Each of us is a son of God. Each of us is in God and God is in him and he is in other people and other people are in him. The state of heaven is one self that is simultaneously infinite selves.
And where are heaven and its God? They are inside you (your mind; that is). You contain God and heaven, just as you contain our world of dense matter and the world of light forms. You live in the one you want to live in, the one whose conditions you meet (to experience heaven you must love all people).
If you like, you can see God as one continuous wave of light (that has no beginning and no end) and see each of us as a particle in that wave; wave and particles are one; each particle contains all the other particles and the wave.
Each of us seems to have wished to be special, to become more powerful than God, than all of us. That wish is impossible of accomplishment. So, as it were, we seem to have closed our spiritual eyes and dream and in that dream seem separated from God and from all our brothers.
We invented the world of space, time and matter and now seem to live in it. In that world we see ourselves in bodies and as separated from each other.
The separated physical universe is the opposite of the unified spiritual universe of God. Our physical selves, egos and world exist to oppose the will of God.
God wills that he and his sons are unified but we wish for separated existence; God wills love (which is union) and we wish hate (hate is separation).
God saw what we did and remade it. God created another self, the Holy Spirit and through him remade his sons and their temporal world.
We placed ourselves in bodies of matter; God remade our bodies in pure light and made animals, trees, planets, stars, galaxies the entire universe in light forms. Thus, there is a world of light forms (Hinduism calls it astral, light world).
Now, there seem three worlds: the formless world of God, the world of light forms and our world of dense matter.
Only the formless world of God is real; the world of light forms and the world of dense matter are illusory; however, the world of light forms is a more approximation of heaven in its love and peace hence it is rightly called Gate of heaven.
The world of light forms is not heaven for in it is still space and time and people in forms, albeit light forms. In God there is no space and time and people in forms; in God/ heaven all share oneself and one mind.
You cannot understand the reality of heaven and God with your present ego separated mind; you have to extinguish your ego separated mind to experience God’s one self and one mind.
In God we still have selves; we are not lost in God; in God we are found; in God we gain by becoming a larger self, the whole self (God) instead of the separated ego self.
We are currently in the world of dense matter and could experience the world of light forms if we love one another.
Try love. Love you and all people; forgive those who wronged you and meditate and see if you would not experience the world of light forms.
Don’t argue, just do it. But until you love people please do not bother trying to come to heaven’s gate (heaven’s gate is a name for the world of light forms, that world is not heaven); heaven is love and only loving persons enter it.
If you are not a loving person you are condemned to living in our world of separation; when you die you merely return to this world. You keep coming back to this abode of suffering until you learn to love and forgive all at which point you transit to the world of light forms and from that world awaken in the world of formlessness, what folks call heaven.
Igbos must learn to love and respect all people; they must work for the good of all people instead of exploiting people, as they currently do. If they do that they would be moving towards the world of light forms and thereafter to heaven.
I am the return of the Igbo Dibia (healer, joiner of people); I am the high priest of the Igbo God of light (knowledge), Amadioha. I came to perform my function first for Igbos and thereafter for all black people and eventually for all human beings.
I have done my job for Igbos; I will now focus on humanity. This essay probably is my last writing on Igbos.
Ozodiobi Osuji, obtained his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles