Help! This Igbo Attitude Is Dividing Nigeria! (part 2)
I was further "educated" on this subject by an Igbo friend as follows:
PROTECTIONISM EVEN WITHIN IGBOLAND.
"It may surprise you that even in Igboland, businesses are somewhat compartmentalized along town/ community lines and it is not easy for an "outsider" from another town to break into the trade.Thats why 70% of transport and automobile spare parts business is still under the control of people from Nnewi axis while people from Orlu axis control patent medicine business, Awka Etiti rules cosmetics, Abririba rules importation across West Africa and the line goes on. So that thing which you might see as an unfair business practice, to an Igboman is business strategy".
You now know how an Igbo mind works when:
An Igboman produces a film and cast and crew must be 100% or near 100%! It matters not to him that viewership of the film cannot be limited to his kinsmen!
He floats a business and he must source his staffers and apprentices straight from his village!
You are set for elections into executive positions in a professional group and naively presume that the best would emerge as officers unaware that the Igbos among you are appealing to tribal sentiments as they hold clandestine nocturnal meetings with the Eze Ndigbos in the state where every member of Igbo extraction is instructed to vote only for Igbo candidates. Igbos vying for a particular post are told to come up with a consensus candidate.....so as not to split Igbo votes.....as that singular candidate now enjoys block votes from his kinsmen!
It is a known fact that an average Igboman would preclude any other person from renting a shop near him until one of his kinsmen comes for it.....right here in Lagos!
It is also an open secret that the protectionist tendencies of the Igbo shopkeeper would lead him to undercut any non-Igbo he meets on ground till such fellow closes shop!
Their unwavering attitude pits them in head-on collisions with their hosts anywhere and everywhere they "colonise". It is sheer naivete that leads them to ascribe reactions everywhere they go to "mere jealousy".
Their tendency to be loud as they show off their possessions to the envy and irritation of their hosts is equally unwise....thus ensuring that such hosts seize upon little excuses to plunder and pulverise them!
The Igbos repeat these same mistakes even in foreign nations and attract the same degree of resentment....leading to loss of their possessions....and lives....whenever aggrieved locals see the opportunity!
And when they attract this backlash, such reprisals are targeted at every Nigerian in the diaspora!
This is aside the fact that their notoriety and the stigma it effuses rubs off on all Nigerians living abroad! For instance, when attacks occurred in Ghana, Gabon and South Africa, they were targeted at Nigerians....not just Igbomen! When the Ghanaian government enacted a law to increase the minimum share capital for foreigners to set up businesses, it did not confine such laws to the Igbos!
The government of Ghana had to come up with such policy as the Igbo importer was also retailing at wholesale price....this cutting off the lifeline of the Ghanaian retailer. It could not stand aside and watch "Nigerians" emasculate its citizens! It matters not to the Igboman that the Ghanaian retailer buys from him.
May I state clearly to these foreign governments that it is not in the character of Nigerians (minus the bad eggs, of course!) to treat our hosts with betrayal and ingratitude!
Dr Tosin Akindele is a medical practitioner and public affairs analyst.