How the Igbo introduced tribalism to Nigerian Politics, By Femi Fani-Kayode

Femi Fani-Kayode

”Igbo domination of Nigeria is only a matter of time”- Charles Onyeama, a prominent igbo lawyer and member of the Central Legislative Council, 1945. (Page 204 ”Ethnic Politics In Kenya and Nigeria” by Godfrey Mwakikagile). 

”It would appear that the God of Africa has created the Igbo nation to lead the children of Africa from the bondage of ages ….” – Dr Azikiwe, President of the Pan-Igbo Federal Union. (The West African Pilot of July 8, 1949). 

The first statement from Charles Onyeama, which was made in 1945, was the first overtly tribal and divisive comment that was made and recorded in the politics of southern Nigeria in our history. That is where and when tribalism in the south actually started. After that comment, and as a direct reaction to it, the Yoruba established the ”Egbe Omo Oduduwa” to further and protect Yoruba interests and after that came the formation of the Action Group in 1948.

The second statement from Zik, which was made in 1949 (and which clearly shows that the great Zik of Africa had forgotten that the NCNC was not an Igbo party at the beginning and that it had in fact been established by an upper class and very well educated Yoruba man by the name of Sir Herbert Macaulay, one of the famous ”Black Victorians” from the Lagos Colony, and who, at his death bed, was gracious enough to hand over the leadership of the party to him even though he was Igbo) confirmed that tribalism was here to stay in the south and that ever since that time the Igbo had an agenda to dominate others. This sentiment and this unfortunate Igbocentric attitude is what cost Zik the premiership of the Western Region in 1953 when the NCNC narrowly lost to the Action Group. 

It is clear from this that if you want to know who started tribalism in southern politics and the politics of the southern protectorate of Nigeria, it was not the Yoruba or the southern minorities but the Igbo. The excesses of the Igbo State Union and their treatment of the southern minorities and the Yoruba from 1943 till 1967 was completely unacceptable. The rest of the south were prepared to accept the Igbo as equals with open arms but they were not prepared to be politically dominated or conquered by them. 

Worst still, the first coup in the history of Nigeria, which was the Jan 15th 1966 coup d’etat, led by Major Ifejuana and Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, was essentially an Igbo coup and an Igbo grab for power. I say this because 95 per cent of those that took part in it were Igbo and 99 per cent of the political and military leaders that were brutally murdered during its execution were non-Igbo. It was this coup and its sheer brutality that led to the even more brutal northern officers counter-coup of July 1966 (in which 300 Igbo officers were killed in one night including the Igbo Head of State, Gen. Aguiyi-Ironsi, and his Yoruba host, the Military Governor of the Western Region,  Adekunle Fajuyi who sought to protect him), the pogrom of Igbos in the north (in which over 100,000 Igbo civilians were killed in a few weeks) and the Nigerian civil war (in which 2 million Nigerians and Biafrans died). 

These are the facts of our history. Live and learn. If you want to know who introduced tribalism into southern politics, it was the Igbo. If you want to know who carried out the first coup in our country, it was the Igbo. Having done the painstaking research over a number of years these are my findings and this is my conclusion. 

I will open my Facebook wall for a robust discussion and debate on this issue and I will accommodate contributions from even those that are not my Facebook friends just for this debate. I will accommodate all shades of opinion and contributions from anyone that cares to join in the fray and I want to encourage those that disagree with my findings to state their case. We are all still learning but please take note that any rude or insulting comments will be deleted. This is a historical debate and I would encourage all those that seek to quote anyone or make any assertions to mention their sources so that we can cross check the facts.

Femi Fani-Kayode is a former minister of Aviation


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  • Fani this will not bring peace and unity that we yerning for? Please try and educate us on how to leave in peace with one another. There is need for us as a nation to grow

    • Olanbo

      Lawan Murtala, Something tells me you have a GENERAL point here. But what does the specifics say? Part of the specifics is that some people accuse others of something which is false. And Nigerians have lived with such falsehood for over 50 years. The inclusive nature of Yorubas is said to be “DOCILITY” when that sense of CULTURAL INCLUSION is what we need in Nigeria, and it is that sense of INCLUSION that has made western societies great nations, and nations of immigrants etc. Yet the INCLUSION of the Yorubas is “docility”, and they are said to have(WRONGLY AS THE FACTS ARE TUMBLING OUT) introduced what Fani is referencing here. See what I mean? So two questions become legitimate questions (i) Conceptually, how can an essentially inclusive group of people (AS ALL OF US NIGERIANS KNOW ABOUT YORUBAS-It NO LONGER MATTER IF BECAUSE OF POLITICS WE NOW BEGIN TO TAKE BACK OUR WORDS ON THIS. THAT WILL BE FINE. WE ARE USED TO SUCH NOW.) be said to see others as obstacles, as rivals (that must be crushed) and therefore wish to take their position when we do not even share borders-please check the Nigerian map? (ii) FACTUALLY, how can we bury THE FACTS of history(as Fani has revealed) and make spurious allegations about others? Those are the specifics. When I read Achebe’s book, I had the hunch that he has poisoned the well, and that no one can predict where it will lead us. Some of us have defended Nigeria ALL OUR LIVES AS CIVIL COMMENTATORS and we never have grudges against any group in Nigeria. Now we see that because we just do our own thing and we do not have any malice against any group, we do not have any hidden agenda, we are said to be “docile’ You have a general point Lawan, (and my intuition is with you and I commend you positively) but someone started all THESE. Hold that fellow responsible. We CAN NO LONGER TURN away from FACTS of history.

      • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

        I am sure you havent read Achebe’s book. so continue your huffing and puffing. It’s so typical.

    • Out if the blue, Femi who was a one time minister writes this kind of thing. Gosh this really exposed him the more. He looking to be governor? With this type of mentality, it will not happen.

      • En

        But he’s not looking to being Governor of Anambra State. So what’s your business? Or do you own Osun State again since your brothers are traders there?

  • Prince Usman

    FFK’s capacity for foolishness is simply unlimited

    • Abubakar

      Prince Usman,
      perhaps the best thing is to FACTUALLY DENY that “foolishness” in view of the fact that allegations are made right left and center and history is being distorted. So Prince, I think yes, you may think FKK is ‘foolish”, I guess given that he is “foolish” it should be easier intellectually to deny his claims FACTUALLY. I expect you to do that especially since he is “foolish”-it should be easier for you to do.

      • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

        “The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather
        Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the
        minorities in the North as willing tools and the South as a conquered
        territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have
        control over their future”. – Ahmadu Bello

        Parrot Newspaper, 12th October, 1960, recalled by Tribune, 13th November,
        2002.

        • You have always presented yourself as an ethnic bigot, hater of the North and the Muslims. You are quoting a southern newspaper describing what the late Sir Sardauna said, when you know (may be not) how the Southern politician hated him. They fabricated lies after lies against him and you are just blowing the old trumpets, this will not work. In the mean time, answer the questions raised by Fani and others in this forum.

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            No son, I hate murderers of Igbos and christians.Until you denounce violence and murder. then no peace for the wicked. I have your sultan on tape. Check the Youtube video. Fani is a disgrace to his father, who was a Zik supporter all his life. By the way, Zik appointed Alhaji Altine, a northern muslim as the Mayor of Enugu. How about that?

          • Danumma

            who are the murderers of igbo and christians? pls tell us something new, we are tired of that fiction.
            so if igbos kill is not a murder but revolution, it’s only when we retaliate it become murder. my friend you better go and read your history. igbos greed and selfishness is the root course of all the leadership crisis we are having in this country.
            Go and check who started coup in Nigeria, igbo. who introduce arm robbery in this country? igbo. who are drug pushers? igbo. who introduce 419? igbo.
            My friend the list is endless…….

          • Dr Izge

            That is 10-0. This Mpitikwelu of a man could be dementic.

          • Monday

            Mpitikwelu-na-ugwu-awusa sounding like broken record already. Femi in your opinion is a disgrace to his father because Femi’s dad supported Zik. Femi his son should worship Zik of Africa. Don’t forget Femi is not against Zik but only quoting his statement as historical material to support a current discuss. If the only reason you support something is because your father did, then you are not fit to be alive in the 21st century. You need to grow up and stop being sentimental.

          • Stiil in doubt. then watch this. m.youtube.com/watch?v=8y1Zpk4DrlA

    • Prince I absolutely agree with you on that, this man must be on some kind of drugs or something. The Ibos undoubtedly are the only ethnic group that are living in every part of Nigeria and historically have always formed political alliances with other ethnic group. Ibo supremacist as inferred to by Kayode is perhaps a fiction of his drug influenced imagination.

      • femi

        Victor Maduaku and Prince/
        This is a direct response to the two of you. There is a background to this. That background is Achebe’s unfortunate book. And I will answer the two of. When Achebe made the unfortunate statement (which HISTORICAL FACTS HAVE SHREDDED TO PIECES), about Awolowo’s role in the civil war most Igbo commentators on this platform and others lined up behind that statement. NONE here called the statement to QUESTION FACTUALLY. .

        2. After more than 30 years of propaganda even me used to believe some of the now untenable statement that ” Awolowo and the Yorubas introduced ethnic politics to Nigeria, that the great Zik was a “nationalist” who NEVER thought of his Igbo…” Look let me gently repeat , EVEN ME BELIEVED THIS.

        3. I think I want to pride myself as a rabid reader and voracious reader, I stupidly believed the things we read and were told. Now I am forced to look and check who taught me all these silly things in light of Fani’s revelation: My questions will be (a) did Fani manufacture these? To answer I will check Fani’s sources. (b) If I discover that the sources are true, my next question(s) are/is who taught me ? and why did he/she not mention Fani’s FACT and source to me?
        4. Now let us go back to the background: When Achebe maliciously said Awolowo organized the killings Igbos so that Yorubas could rise, what can be more dangerous than that ? What can be more drug induced than that? Apart from the FALSEHOOD IN Achebe’s assertion in light of ALL the FACTS that are being turned out, WHAT CAN BE MORE EVIL AND DRUG INFESTED THAN ACHEBE’S STATEMENT? In the light of FACTS everyone thought Achebe is either senile, or does not care about Nigeria’s unity anymore in his old age or he is on some kind of drug. Yet some Igbos all over lined up behind Achebe’s statement. They are free to do that. Do not get me wrong, but you OUGHT TO HAVE DONE IT WITH FACTS.
        5. Igbos form alliance. Look why do we deceive ourselves. Achebe’s statement and HOW MOST IGBO COMMENTATORS SUPPORTED HIM UNCRITICALLY has turned your statement about alliance INTO PIECES. At least on this one we are still alive , and we are all witnesses to it. You could not be said to form alliance and your icon DESTROYED AND MALIGNED OTHER PEOPLE AND LEADERS SO MALICIOUSLY and you line up behind him and you said Igbos form alliance. I was going to ask where you have been in the last two weeks of the publication of Achebe’s unfortunate statement.
        6. Igbos live everywhere: Questions are HOW do they live? What is the meaning of Achebe’s unfortunate assertion and the uncritical support for it in the light of the question HOW? And WHY DONT they welcome others as OTHERS welcome them? I think if the truth has been told about Achebe’s continuation of his Chief Biafra propagandist roles during the civil war, Fani would not have dug into history and threw the FACTS into everyone’s face including MY OWN FACE! Now how do you refute Fani? This is the way (i) Tell us it is not true that people said FALSELY that Yorubas started ethnic politics, and that this is not taught in the textbooks-which we must now begin to check . (ii) Tell us Fani’s historical revelation is false. This is the way to begin to calm these things. We have always said that when you take the civic relations of an essentially inclusive and welcoming people like the Yorubas for granted , truth will start rolling in-for the Yorubas keep quiet ONLY because of their sense of culture, respect for others , respect for other cultures, respect for elders , respect for themselves, respect for history. It is not an act of fear. I will sop here, and I will take on any other comments.
        Thanks.

        • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

          Who would you rather believe Fani Kayode Snr who joined Zik in 1959 or Fani Kayode jnr?

          • segun

            Facts are independent of persons. So Mr. mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa, do the following.

            1. Go after the TEXTUAL SOURCES cited by FaniKayode. Read them.

            2. GO AFTER any other sources DOCUMENTED anywhere in the world. Read them.

            3. GIVE US THE SOURCES LIKE FANI KAYODE has done. Let us read them too. WE NEED TO READ THOSE THINGS INDEPENDENT OF THE PERSON WHO CITED THE SOURCE so that we make our independent judgement. That is the nature of research. Achebe started it. So everyone should be ready to dig HISTORICALLY . No one should complain or whine. If you did not complain when Achebe fired the first shot by spinning events to suit a Bifra agenda, then you lose the moral right to complain when the spinis being contested and when the wind blew and we saw the behind of the fowl.
            4. Based on 1,2,3 we will be able to make objective judgments. Nna you don forget say Papa Achebe say him write di book wey him write so dat we go begin interrogate? So why are you afraid to do what Papa Achebe enjoined us to do in writing his book. I think Fani kayode is being FAITHFUL to what Achebe said we should do. Do not pull back. GO AFTER HISTORICAL FACTS. Since you believed Achebe, let US ALL BE FAITHFUL to what he asked us to do in writing his book. Do not divert the task. Thank you Fani kayode for heeding Achebe’s CALL. Let us ALL CONTEST your FACTS ONLY by citing rival DOCUMENTED (not hear say please, not gossips please ) FACTS. Thanks so much.

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            This is really silly. I find nothing wrong with Zik’s statement that requires a rebuttal. Fani was simply twisting the meaning. When America said it is a shining light on a hill, is that racist too? Zik was merely challenging his loyalists, pure and simple.

            As for Dilibe Onyeama, he was an inconsequential lawyer that never held an political sway.

          • segun

            Mpitikwelue_na_Ugwu_Awusa, But if other people said something like that, they must be defending an ethnic group. However, if Zik said it, it cannot be that he was being an Igbo tribalist!!! Can you see yourself now Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa. Now let us provide the FACT that shows that we need to check this thing about Dr. Azikiwe of “Africa” who substantively is a basic Igbo defender-there is nothing wrong with Zik being an Igbo defender please-I am only saying DO NOT GIVE US A FALSE PICTURE-DO NOT GIVE US A PICTURE THAT DOES NOT FIT ACTUAL SOCIAL PRACTICES BEYOND SWEET ‘RADICAL” VERBAL RHETORICS AND PHRASES-if people (as scholars) keep quiet for long it is out of respect and letting sleeping dogs lie. But if others wake the sleeping dogs, then we will FLAUNT THE FACTS IN YOUR FACE. So? When in 1978, Zik was contesting for presidency, Azikiwe, Shagari, Awolowo, Waziri etc were asked to present their tax receipts-a basic civic duty. All presented. Our great Zik could not. But that was NOT the significant reason. The big reason? Zik of Africa said he was being persecuted because he was Igbo when he was asked to present tax receipt before he could contest the presidency. My broda, Zik studied in America where tax payment to the American state is like a religion. How did he “forget” that? How did he manage to appeal to his ‘igboness” rather than his civic duty as a Nigerian? Dat na di question bobo mpitikwelu_naUgwu_Awusa. Now give us another ‘logic” on this. We like you to amuse us on this platform. Go now! Since you have NO FACT to present , we will enjoy your dance, so amuse us more.

          • Abubakar

            mpitikwelu,
            Listen to others. This is not a monologue. Zik and Onyeama’s statements are very clear. They are supremacist views. Now this seems to be your point. If a Hausa Fulani or Sarduana makes that statement, it is “hegemony’, if an Awolowo makes that statement which Zik and Onyeama make, then Awo is a “tribalist”, but if any Igbo makes it, there is nothing, it is harmless somebody is only twisting the meaning. How one can be said to be twisting what is obvious is strange to me. Look, I do not know when you were born and I do not know how close you were to the Biafra civil war propaganda. Here is a fact. Do you know how Achebe and other hired foreign Biafra propagandists sold the Igbos to western societies? they said the Igbos were the “Jews” of Africa!!! You know what that means in terms of ethnic and religious politics on a global scale. There are two things here. (i) You know some people and the Jews themselves believe that there is some ‘essence” in their race, the Jewish race!!! as a “master” race.!! (ii) You know how “touchy” the issue of the Jews is in America. Now put these two together for a people such as Igbos who HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE JEWISH PEOPLE BUT WHO NOW SELL AND MARKET THEMSELVES as “Jews of Africa”. That is ridiculous. But Biafra propaganda as packaged by the likes of Achebe who masquerades as an intellectual did that to sow a religious wedge among Nigerians and present themselves(the Igbos) as (i) so called “chosen” race of Africa and (ii)to be able to fit the image of a “persecuted people” and then win sympathy of the west especially America. The latter is crucial because to get America to do something just mention the word ‘Jewish”. That is it. The Biafra propaganda knew that and did that efficiently before Ojukwu’s lies blew up in his face as revealed in Mr . Goldstein resignation as part of the Biafra foreign propaganda crew. The point is Zik and Onyeama wrote those things in 1949 and 1945 respectively. Biafra propaganda presented the Igbos as “Jews” of Africa (during the unfortunate civil war), the chosen race who were being persecuted because of their special status as the chosen race a la Jewish ideology “destined” to “lead Africa and Nigeria”!!!. See what I mean? What is the difference between Zik and Onyeama in 1945 and 1949 respectively and how Biafra propaganda FALSELY framed the Igbos as “Jews of Africa” especially in a situation where the Igbos HAVE NOTHING to do with the Jewish people-culturally, historically , linguistically etc? What was the Biafra propaganda up to? And how is it different from the supremacist views of Zik (1949 ) and Onyeama(1945) over other Nigerians. I think you Igbo people need to look at this and stop this supremacist rubbish consciousness. Unknown to you, you again demonstrated that when you said Zik and Onyeama’s supremacist views means nothing, they are harmless when your Igbo icon Chinua Achebe called other leaders names. In other words, if leaders from other parts of the country say exactly the same thing, they will be “tribalist’ but if an igbo says it, it is harmless-What does this mean? It means the Igbo has the right to say it, others do not. It stinks. Listen what others are saying and learn, do not engage in a monologue.

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            1. I dont think you understand the meaning of ‘supremacist views’. Zik’s statement is very clear:’It would appear that the God of Africa has created the Igbo nation to lead the children of Africa from the bondage of ages…’ What could ever be wrong with that statement? How could a ‘nation leading’ people from ‘bondage’ turn around to be the oppressor? Compare his comment with Ahmadu Bello’s. The latter was bent on finishing the Jihad of his ancestors. While Zik sent a message of liberation to all of Africa, not just Nigeria. while Ahmadu bello kept propagating conquest. Your argument will mean that Igbos wants to dominate the whole of Africa. How absurd! Zik’s comment was re-echoed in the Ahiara Declaration, which declare a nation ‘..that will be the Pride of Black man all over the world’. Was that supremacist too? Or was he supremacist too,when he talked about ‘…restoring the dignity of black man’? (A powerful phrase that became the motto of University of Nigeria). .Don’t let an ‘efulefu’ like Fani mislead you. His good father will be shocked by his son’s antics.

            2. When Americans said they are the ‘shining light on a hill’. It is no supremacy talk. It is who they are.Get this straight: Igbos are no master race. They are just a special race just like the Jews. You might not like to hear it but the evidence are all over your towns and cities. That’s why our homes and businesses are constantly targeted out of envy. And yes we could have help liberated Africa through commerce and education, if we had a sovereign nation. Frederick Forsyth, noted in
            1968 that Biafra was the only country in black Africa, where Africans
            were actually in charge of their own affairs. We built Ogbunigwe in
            1968, imagine what we could have built now. But our homeland was overran by mediocres. They let foreign oil companies loot our resources while Nigerians became spectators so long as the buffons get their swiss accounts serviced. Those oil fields would have been owned and managed by black people, just like Orient refinery. Thats what Zik means by his comment. T

            3.Professors Catherine Acholonu and M Onwuejeogwu have done extensive works on the Jewish roots of Igbos, including visits to the holy land, so I will not engage you on that debate as their researches are in public domain. Pick a copy. I know been a Jew offends you as a Muslim but what offends you is your business.

          • Abubakar

            mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa,
            Ah Ah! ah! ah! ah! . There is NOTHING TO ADD than to EXCLAIM!!!! So this is the roots of all what (supremacist feelings) we have been seeing. Haba! Other Nigerian groups should simply be more conscious of stealthy designs from this moment on. I DID NOT KNOW that this thing runs deep. I actually thought the thing that you Igbos are “Jews” was a joke or mere propaganda. So you people actually believe this nonsense upon which you base your supremacist behavior to others. You get to your hosts land, instead of you to respect them, you LORD over them because according to you they are “stupid” to have allowed you to stay. You move from your Onitsha/Oweeri etc and come to Kano/ kaduna/ Lagos etc, and you claim you own the places, quick quick quick you begin to compare that to Israel/Palestine Land issue!!! See how desperate and DUBIOUS you people are? I do not know the border Ontisha/Owerri /Enugu etc can have with Kaduna/Lagos/Kano etc where you will ALWAYS REFUSE to be mannerful to your hosts. Remember that Southern Cameroon used to be part of Nigeria(but voted to leave Nigeria) and that it used to have the same status with the old Sardauna province (which remained in Nigeria)? I think someone pointed it out here the other time that it is this supremacist behavior of the Igbos over the Southern Cameroon people that made them vote out of Nigeria, and what happened to old Sardauna province, they remain part of Nigeria then and now, for they were dealt with respectfully . See yourself now gara gara gara gara – IBO I B EFORE O THERS-you know that is the full meaning of IBO-this is the image you gave us we Nigerian.
            Now I know better. So that you are “Jews” is what you people talk about and believe in all those clan meetings you hold. Good for you! Jews of Nigeria. Other Nigerians should take note.! That is I got to say. A word is enough for the wise!!! You HAVE USED YOUR MOUTH TO REVEAL THE BASIS OF YOUR BEHAVIOR AND WE WONDERED WE DID NOT KNOW THE ROOTS. YOU HAVE TOLD US. Thanks so much. I am no longer adding anything. We only need to take note of stealthy designs from this moment on.

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            Jealousy is the lowest of human emotion. Get better than Igbos not bitter.

          • Abubakar

            meaning that you agree that Zik and Onyeaama’s statements are supremacist and the rest of nigeria’s national groups should try to be supremacist too.? I understand you.

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            You are unteachable. Re-read my earlier comment. I have explained Zik’s comment.A people can appreciate themselves without been supremacist. Please wash up your almajiris and give them a chance in life. End that ugly tradition that have kept you backward. Respect your people and your race. It is no supremacy. It is common sense. Quit the envy and hate.

          • Abubakar

            so Zik no be “Zik of Africa” anymore but Zik of Igbo given your concession now? So you have helped unmasked Achebe’s LIE that someone called Zik is the greatest “panAfricanist”? Haba Na wa o! You see what we say in our unguarded moments is the TRUTH and not all those rhetorics that are just meant for the books. Our great Zik is Zik of Igbo simplicta-nothing more-YOU SAID IT, I DID NOT . So “Professor” Achebe LIED again against history!!!

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            Zik dreamt of a liberated AFRICA not just Nigeria. Again open your hate filled eyes and see.We are talking about a man that influenced other pan-africanist like Nkrumah and Ngugi Wa Thiongo. You are basically ignorant and a local champion like most of your kind.

          • Abubakar

            that is why Zik of “Africa” said it was because he was Igbo that was why he was asked to show that he was paying taxes to the Nigerian state(which is an African state) when in 1978 he was contesting elections and he was (together with other contestants) asked to show evidence that he was paying taxes.It is on record, Zik of “africa” said he was being persecuted because he was Igbo. Nna na evidence say e dey pay tax to an African state na im dem ask zik oooo. !!! E come say , dem ask because e be Igbo. Se your sef my broda. what do you think about dat baby? dis pan africanism of a village type na wa oo!!! abi pan africanism of Igbo type hm hm hm !

          • En

            Abubakar, thanks for being civil. Zik was a tribalist or was he not Owelle of Onitsha?

          • Monday

            It is rude, irresponsible to refer to another human being as Efulefu because you think he does not know the meaning. Be civil and keep it clean. Let us debate like civilised people and not like some Ariara thugs.

        • Dr Izge

          My brother, most people dismisses pure facts because of sentiments. The Ibos knows the truth. They are just taking the other ethnicities for a ride. It is for them to face reality or wither away from Nigerian politics.

      • Monday

        It is so sad that some people can’t just tell the truth or should I say it’s not in their character. The Igbos live everywhere with the same sentiment to dominate even the host. The Igbos are at the same time bad host who would not allow others thrive in their enclave. Go to Onitsha, Aba, Enugu and compare the percentage of other tribes doing big business against the host. Compare that to Igbos presence in virtually every part of the country. Yet the like to cry marginalization. Accept facts and let’s move on. fani Kayode must have hit some people hard below the belt by stating the very obvious.

        • Paschal

          A man comes to your community and starts a business which offers services or sells goods to them, what is wrong with it? How do you call it domination? Why did you not establish business in your community yourself? Have you seen or heard anywhere in the East where people were harassed or killed for not being Igbo or properties burnt? Now check other parts of Nigerian and see how many times people are called out and victimized and killed simply cos they are Igbo? What is wrong? Why the hatred? Leme quote you: “fani Kayode must have hit some people hard below the belt by stating the very obvious.” Hitting below the belt is foul in the game of boxing but I figure you just used it to denote a hard hit. But is it not really a manifestation of your desire foul play?

      • Ade

        Mr. Lightaus, I agree with you that the Igbo are living in every part of Nigeria but the question is how many people are allowed to stay in the East apart from those that are married to Igbo.

    • Abubakar Sokoto

      Prince,
      Why don’t you factually contest what Fani said? If we place Fani’s point against the lies Achebe told against Nigerian leaders from other parts of the country, and the way the Igbo people who commented rose up to defend Chinua Achebe’s barefaced and disgraceful lies, it means you are ready to believe a false “wisdom” . Right? But let me ask you sir, which one will you prefer between a truthful and factual “foolishness’ of Fani (according to you) and a false and lying “wisdom” of Chiuna Achebe(according the the falsehood Achebe peddled)? I ask because Papa Achebe started all these, and the Igbo commentators compounded Achebe’s lies when they “could not see” how Achebe deliberately lied in a most disgraceful manner to stoke these problems. Back to you Prince, take each of Fani’s claim and present FACTS to rebut Fani. That is the way to resolve this matter.

    • Enemona

      Shameless Nigerians. Instead of them to discuss how to move their country out of the deep shit it is in now, they argue about ethnicity. Which ethnic group destroyed Nigeria? The three major ethnic groups and they are the ones that can fix it. But with time wasted on issues like faith and ethnic leanings Nigeria will remain in coma for a long time.

      For those who think going apart is the solution to our problems, please name all the looters of our treasury and their connivers, what would you get? Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba etc. Same same, all corrupt-minded, product of a get-rich-quick infested culture, hypocritical church and mosque-goers with very inane behaviours contrary to the bible and Quran they clutch in their hands. We are all too corrupt and evil-minded. We love the corrupt system we have, many Nigerians want it to remain so they get an opportunity for their own loots. Even if we go our separate ways, due to our lack of respect for others’ lives and rights, we will still manufacture ways to define them and us ‘catholics’ vs ‘Anglicans’, Igbo south vs Igbo north, ijesha vs Oyo, Kaduna south vs Kaduna north etc. We will always have differences but what matters is how we’re able to harness our diversity but no, our greed, selfishness and naughty arrogance will never let us. Ethnicity and religious differences is a very lame excuse for our collective failures, it is a very lazy way to explain our problems, it lacks any rigour or intellectual credibility. We’ve all been reduced to common bigots and thoughtless heads. SHAME.

      We’ve lived together for oover 70 years yet we still haven’t fashioned a way of living in peace and love. It’s a shame our attitude stink so badly. We really deserve the country we got. People like FFK should shut up if they don’t have the competence to fix our broken system.

  • It’s a pity that some persons (I wld’nt mention names) have resortd to name calling instead of chalenging the exposition of FFK with strong historic facts. Pity.

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      Son, beware of serial liars! We know Fani’s record under OBJ.

  • Eziokwu bu Ndu

    Femi Fani-Kayode is a sad man, nursing a deep wound that wouldn’t heal. Please show him pity. If you could, pray for him. Increasingly, he slips into oblivion, out of relevance. Like a drowning man, his article is a straw. Sorry, FFK

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      the man is a disgrace to his father. His father was a prominent Zik’s supporter.

      • En

        But Zik was a tribalistic and a coward!

      • En

        But Zik was a tribalist and a coward. He had said in 1949 that the Igbos were created to lead other Nigerians. His vision is yet to become reality. And it can never happen. He also abandoned ship during the 1st coup and the civil war. He is the Igbos’ hero. congrats!

  • It is very worrisome that those we could count on for progressive Nigeria are busy digging up ethnic sentiments after 52 years of Nigerian independence. We should think like librated minds.

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    1. Fani Kayode’s father left Awolowo to join Zik’s party, the NCNC in 1959. my question is: WOULD YOUR FATHER, REMILEKUN FANI KAYODE, HAD JOINED ZIK’S PARTY IF HE BELIEVED ZIK WAS A TRIBALIST?
    EVEN YOUR FATHER DISAGREES WITH YOU FROM HIS GRAVE.

    2. HOW IS 0NE OUT OF 5 PERSONs, A 95 PERCENT? It is obvious is merely exaggerating to achieve a determined conclusion.

    3. In any case, the whole country knows Fani to be suffering from acute diarrhea of the mouth and it is unfortunate that this glorified area boy once served as a minister.

    • This FFK is a disgrace

      • En

        You are a bigger disgrace. And a tribalist!

        • Nkemjika Ojiji

          People have a right to their opinions. I do not find FFK an intelligent or interesting guy to listen to or read. That is my opinion. You have something negative to say in response to anyone who does not share your opinion. This is a public forum. Be courteous and respectful.

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    “I’m set and fully armed, to conquer the Action Group, AG, in the same
    ruthless manner as my grandfather conquered Alkalawa, a town in Sokoto
    province, during the last century” Ahmadu Bello DAILY TIMES of May 3, 1961

    • Dikko Abubakar

      Answer Fani-Kayode. The people you are talking to here are not Onitsha market traders. People in AG then, and people in the South-West now, know what Sardauna meant. You lack the intellectual capacity to tell them their friends or enemies. Those are antics deployed by intelligent dominators to set people on each other in order to dominate them or defray criticisms from themselves. Answer Fani-Kayode.

  • iiii

    when will we stop giving space to men who engender hate and divisive discourses, from encouraging Christians to retaliate attacks (as if that will solve the problem), to engendering tribalism. When will the media live up to its social responsibilities and its gate keeping functions? Premium Times, it is journalism 101!!!!

  • armrod

    Hi Femi when is your case with EFCC coming?

  • Enn

    Thanks, Femi, for saying the truth. Of course, as is typical of the Igbo fiction writers, they will curse and abuse you, but that can NEVER change light into darkness. Achebe is still a master propagandist of the aborted Biafra dream. He is a grudge writer at 82

    • Femi Josiah

      How can you call a great man like Achebe a grudge writer? Did you read his last book ‘there was a country’ at all? Has anything changed after the civil war? Have Hausas/Fulanis such as boko haram stopped killing southerners like their murderous progenitors killed the Ibos in the 60s. Please crosscheck the facts when next you want to comment. As for Fani Kayode,he should spend his time to research on ways out for Nigeria enduring poverty and tribulations rather than engaging in diatribes that would take him no where.

  • Obiora

    There are many people I do not read their comments or their write up. Fani Kayode is one of them.I decided to read this one because a colleague of mine drew mine attention to it. All I want to say is that Fani Kayode has no principle. He is just looking for relevance like El Rufai. Later he will still swallow his words against the Igbos wrt to tribalism and state the truth.Very soon..

  • Danumma

    Yes even though i don’t always agree with FFK, i do share some of his views on this issue. first of all we have to understand that ours is a federating units, and that means it’s people of different background, different views, different believes and even different cultures that come together to form a nation which we call ours. so we have to be tolerant and try to accommodate others view, and it’s that lack of tolerance as well as trying to impose our views or believes on other that bring most of the problem we a facing today in nigeria.
    Take the issue of our civil war of 1967 to 1970. what was the genesis of it all? wether we like it or not it’s the igbo intellectuals superiority complex more especially against the leadership of northern region, whom they see as stone blocking them from dominating the rest of the country, as they see themselves as the most educated in terms of westing education. they took it upon themselves to kill them all and they though that is surest way for getting to power. because whatever anybody will say today it’s that deplorable action of 15 of january 1966 by igbo intellectuals that become the root of all the leadership crisis this nation is having till this day. before that unfortunate action virtually most if not all the igbo leaders of then, they either speak hausa or live and own properties in the north without any problem. All the propaganda of mass killing of igbos as well as looting of their properties in the north, it all happens after they (igbos) betrayed the truth and hospitality of their host. So please, whoever is talking about the so call pogrom of 1967 in the north should be truthful and tell what was the genesis of it. What happen is northing but a universal law of human existence from beginning to the end of humanity in this planet of ours, regardless of believe, colour or race. Even today in 21 century no people would allowed what happen in 15 of january 1966 to go un punish
    The sensible thing to prof. c. achebe and his co-revisionist to do is to apologise to their own people (igbos) first, and then to rest of Nigerians. But trying to use the 21 century image of islam to justify their action is unacceptable and can’t fly.
    For those who a busy abusing FFK for his views, they should look at the message but not the messenger.

  • Enemona

    Shameless Nigerians. Instead of them to discuss how to move their country out of the deep shit it is in now, they argue about ethnicity. Which ethnic group destroyed Nigeria? The three major ethnic groups and they are the ones that can fix it. But with time wasted on issues like faith and ethnic leanings Nigeria will remain in coma for a long time.

    For those who think going apart is the solution to our problems, please name all the looters of our treasury and their connivers, what would you get? Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba etc. Same same, all corrupt-minded, product of a get-rich-quick infested culture, hypocritical church and mosque-goers with very inane behaviours contrary to the bible and Quran they clutch in their hands. We are all too corrupt and evil-minded. We love the corrupt system we have, many Nigerians want it to remain so they get an opportunity for their own loots. Even if we go our separate ways, due to our lack of respect for others’ lives and rights, we will still manufacture ways to define them and us ‘catholics’ vs ‘Anglicans’, Igbo south vs Igbo north, ijesha vs Oyo, Kaduna south vs Kaduna north etc. We will always have differences but what matters is how we’re able to harness our diversity but no, our greed, selfishness and naughty arrogance will never let us. Ethnicity and religious differences is a very lame excuse for our collective failures, it is a very lazy way to explain our problems, it lacks any rigour or intellectual credibility. We’ve all been reduced to common bigots and thoughtless heads. SHAME.

    We’ve lived together for oover 70 years yet we still haven’t fashioned a way of living in peace and love. It’s a shame our attitude stink so badly. We really deserve the country we got. People like FFK should shut up if they don’t have the competence to fix our broken system.

  • Dr. Usman Adamu Izge

    Straight to the point. People like Fani-Kayode are rare in this country call Nigeria. God bless you.

  • Engr. Obioha Ezekwesiri (ICT)

    My question to Femi Fani-Kayode is: if the Igbos introduced tribalism in the Nigerian Politics, who introduced corruption? What is killing Nigeria is corruption of the leaders and the public servants not tribalism. There is tribalism in most of the successful countries of the world. I will advice Femi Fani-Kayode to focus on major issues than to trace the origin of tribalism.
    Engr. Obioha Ezekwesiri (ICT)
    Amsterdam, Holland

  • Ofili

    lol…is this not the same man that said Obama was the anti-christ? I pass….

  • Paiko

    This sexual pervert is seeking for relevance. We know the real Yoruba leaders ,they do not open their mouth so wide.

  • Color boy

    Pure mischief and chicanery by FFK! Let the truth be told, as at 1945 Igbos were everywhere in terms of academics, business and organisation. They never needed Nigeria to have attained those lofty heights. On merit the Igbos are still ahead. Yoruba and hausa were xenophobic kind of. They stiffle nigerias growth and development just to deny the enevitable truth! It wont be long despite all crimes against the Igbo man that those same words shall be fulfilled.

    • Dikko Abubakar

      What is your color?

    • AJ

      How could a tribe that champion development be the one that stiffle it. Check records, all the first in the country was done by the Yorubas, first television station, first skyscrapper, first stadium etc!

      • ayomi

        First universal free education

  • Dime

    Mr Fani Kayode, I am from Edo state. I think that tribalism is a reality that goes beyond the boundaries of any particular tribe. It has both advantages and disadvantages. While it is convenient to selectively come up with information to subsantiate your ‘opinion’ that the Ibos started tribalism in Nigeria it is easy to see that this is not even near the truth. Tribalism has been an incidental part of our history and indeed an active phenomenon in other tribes world over. My question to you is “what do you hope to acheive through this debate”. How does this move us to a better place? Surely, Nigeria deserves more from you considering all she has done for you in particular!

    • Dikko Abubakar

      The purpose of putting historical facts in perspective is to enable some people to be more circumspect in their world view. Sometimes some people are too busy looking at other people’s faults that they forget their own. I am afraid, the Ibo has played the “victim” card too often, too long. Those who know the facts of our history need to relate them, so that the strategy for domination, using the “victim” card, as being employed by Ibo, would be nipped in the bud. Yes, we must forget the past in order to forge ahead. But don’t distort the past to gain future advantage, because the truth has a way of percolating through the fuzzy darkness of lies to hunt the present. Simply put, you cannot live a lie for too long.

  • Chinedu

    He said 99% of the soldiers who were killed during the first coup were non igbos, cab he tell us how many % in the ruling class then were igbos.

    • ayomi

      Read it again, .
      I say this because 95 per cent of those that took part in it were Igbo and 99 per cent of the political and military leaders that were brutally murdered during its execution were non-Igbo

  • chimex

    It is a shame that young pple (Nigerians) in this our time
    and age have allowed the errors of our past leaders to becloud our sense of judgement. I
    weep and my heart bleed as I read comments from Nigerian youths on this issue
    on ground. Igbos, Yorubas, hausas, itsekiris, ibibios, fulanis and the list
    goes on, our diversity, that is what has been our strength…..that is why
    other nations envy us……that is why we are a nation of a population of 160
    million and counting. That is why everyone wants to come and invest
    here……that is why we are the biggest black nation….that is why we are the
    giant of Africa (whether South Africa likes it or not)……that is why we are
    NIGERIA. I have painstakingly gone through all the comments of young, learned
    and educated Nigerians on this page and i make bold to say that a good no of
    your comments are inciting and malicious (both the igbo guys and the yoruba
    guys). i want us to cast our mind back to the Rwandan genocide, statements such
    as the one from Chief Fani Kayode and indeed a number of us youths here on this
    page are not far from those that lead to that dastardly act (Rwandan genocide).
    For the Chief I can pardon him, but for my fellow young Nigerians it is a
    shame…..it makes me question the existence of this our dear Nation Nigeria in
    the near future. I want to passionately appeal to every one of us to desist
    from inciting comments such as those witnessed above in the interest of unity,
    peace and tranquility as well as the continued existence of our dear nation
    Nigeria……………………let us always remember that many pple died to
    keep this nation one and many (especially our soldiers and other security
    agents) are still dying daily to keep it intact. One thing is certain. FFK will
    fail in this venture to divide another generation of Nigerians the same way his
    generation was divided and so has become a liability to their nation. Just like
    others before him with even greater convictions and motivations did Fail. I
    humbly say EJO , BIKO, DANLA to all of u please let’s keep this nation, let’s
    forgive one another let’s live in peace. God Bless NIGERIA