By Remi Oyeyemi

It is the usual herd mentality. It is the usual blinding ethnic solidarity. It is habitual piling on without reason. It is the customary contuse in the millpond of hypocrisy. It is the familiar exudation of victimhood that is at best fatuous, vacuous, and puerile. Unashamedly, they swayed to the tunes of charlatanism with a dexterity that is disgusting. It was a dalliance in the marketplace of objurgation.

They came in a horde. Amanze Obi. Okey Iheduru. Chucks Iloegbunam and many others. Like deranged executors trying to exert extra-judicial judgement in a manner akin to that of banditry, they attacked Dr. Lasisi Olagunju with AK-47 of murderous ethnic jingoism. They blazed and flamed furnaciously. As they marinated in Yoruba-phobia, using Dr. Olagunju as an excuse, they radiated a howling hollowness of a constricted horizon and a contracted vista. A vista shrunk like an Akara held helplessly captive in a ravenous Agege bread.

Amanze Obi in his “Broken Tongues” column in the Sun, had written an article headlined “The article Lasisi should not have written,” in which he wrote, speaking as if his tongues are broken. He had written inter alia:

“But even if there are murmurs in some remote quarters over Ogalla, how is that the business of a Yoruba man who is not, in any way, affected by issues bordering on where Ogalla comes from or does not come from? Why did this Yoruba folk choose to intrude into what should be an internal and brotherly affair among the Igbo? Lasisi, obviously, was hankering after a reason to vent his spleen on a people he has been resenting for so long.”

I was amazed at his audacious hypocrisy. The temerity of his tartufferie was loathsome. The effrontery of his falsity was farcical. Coming from the stock of a people calling Dr. Lasisi’s fatherland a “no man’s land,” with noxious gusto and ludicrous braggadocio, how he had the guts to complain about a Yoruba man commenting on the affairs of Ibo people beats my imagination!

Dr. Lasisi wrote about the Ibo reactions to the appointment of Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Chief of Naval Staff. This was in a piece headlined “A service chief for the Igbo.” And they are all up in arms that he commented? They are aghast, asking what is his business?

He called Lasisi’s comments intrusion! To him, that was an “internal and brotherly affair among the Igbo?” Really? With all the vituperations about Yoruba affairs, by the Ibo (not Igbo, though he has the right to call himself whatever he chooses to)?

And Okey Iheduru, in an air of vacuous righteous indignation, with tinges of hallucinating spell, had agonized as follows:

“I’m always surprised how otherwise intelligent Nigerians of other ethnicities can’t pass up any opportunity to totalise, homogenise and poke their fingers in the eyes of Ndigbo as they psycho-analyse an ethnic group numbering over 60 million.”

Hypocrisy is ordinarily bad enough. Yes. But this calibration by Iheduru, is a manifestation and a memento of malodorous genre of hypocrisy. Where was he, when his kinsman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, a newspaper mandarin, was calling Yoruba “rascals”? Many Nigerians are always amazed at how otherwise intelligent Ibo “can’t pass up any opportunity to totalize, homogenise and poke their fingers in the eyes” of Yoruba “as they psycho-analyse” the ethnic group (using his own words).

He had agonized on how Dr. Olagunju based his assessment of Ibo reactions on Admiral Ogalla on the “rantings of few people on social media.” Really? Well, falsehood and dishonesty which are fundamentals of hypocrisy are the forte of most Ibo “intellectuals” on any national issue. Twisting facts and fostering obfuscating narratives, mauling evidence and edification of fiction as opposed to facts, are their trademarks.

Chinua Achebe did it all his life against Obafemi Awolowo. Chimamanda Adichie has picked up the contaminated gauntlet of falsehood. The first commandment in the Ibo Holy Book is to hate and destroy anything Yoruba. They are still bellyaching on Wole Soyinka’s wining of Nobel Prize in Literature. It was as if Soyinka awarded himself the reputable prize.

Those calling for “healing” must accept that not all of us are willing to lay down and be trampled upon by a group of people who think that they could bully and intimidate others to have their way. People who detest facts. People who abhor the truth. People who would support criminality if it was engaged in, by one of their own. It does not matter the level of education or exposure. It does not matter what kind of positions they hold or have held in the Nigerian milieu. They showcase worse mannerisms than the Roman crowd. No room for reason. No room for logic. Only raw and blinded as well as contaminated emotion.

It is no more acceptable to allow the “intellectuals” of Ibo extraction to continue to hawk false narratives about Yoruba and attack Yoruba interests at will, without any responses. The hawkers of “healing the polity” should warehouse their preachments if they could not checkmate ugly public shows of Ibo “intellectuals” against Yoruba. Anyone hawking “healing” in the polity could not be quiet and be intimidated by the bullying by the Ibo crowd. The Yoruba culture of restraint could and should not be exploited against the Yoruba people. The Ibo intellectuals in the public space have to be told in clear terms, to caution themselves in their reckless and unguarded utterances against the Yoruba. Though, lack of talking and writing gibberish in the public to attack Yoruba does not mean a cessation of Ibo plans, but the Yoruba are awake now. They are alert.

For so long, the Ibo have been allowed to get away with blue murder hawking their falsehood and lies against Yoruba and Yoruba leadership in all arenas, be it political, academic, professional and what have you. They have been allowed free reign of destructive propaganda against the Yoruba and Yoruba interests. It is no longer going to be the case. Whether the peaceniks like it or not, going forward, it would be sentence for sentence, paragraph for paragraph, page to page and book for book. Allowing the Ibo false narratives about Nigerian trajectory and the Yoruba to stand would be an unmitigated injustice. There is not going to be any war anywhere. Brain is always better than brawn.

This is a course that this horde of spewers of falsehood tried to tread with Dr. Lasisi Olagunju. They attacked him for his commentary. They used that as an excuse to indirectly attack Yoruba. In an abhorrent demonstration of contempt and condescension, Iheduru chose to refer to Dr. Olagunju as “Mr.” and ridiculed the profession of Journalism by referring to it as “‘brown envelope’ profession.” Iheduru’s putrid pettiness compounded by empty pride presupposes that his own profession, whatever it is, is a perfect one and has faultless practitioners.

And then you have Chucks Iloegbunam, a surprisingly pathetic mind, making a parlous case about the so-called “ethnic demonization” of the Ibo. His ridiculous ostrichism makes him a complicated jester and a certified pantaloon. In his selective amnesia, he talked not about what his kinsmen have been doing to Yoruba since 1939. He refused to entertain in his memory, the declaration of war by Nnamdi Azikwe against Yoruba for protecting their own interest and not impeding others from doing the same thing.

He was not able to point out the lies against his Ibo people that were used to demonizing them. Things ever written by others are the things that Ibo people and their leaders in all spheres have been doing. How could the stating of facts of history be characterized as “demonization” of a people? Elsewhere, one of their sentries had bellyached at the rendition of historical facts, because according to him, they are “divisive” and discomforting! Imagine the level of such intellectual calcification! This is sheer intellectual dishonesty. It is part of the intellectual rigmarole of the Ibo elites and their hatred of and for the truth. A willful, flagrant, intellectual folderol to obfuscate, confuse and mislead.

Already, Iheduru is insinuating “ethnic cleansing and even genocide” against the Yoruba and in their own land! In his mind, it is a methodology to docilize the Yoruba minds through reversed psychology by putting them on the defensive for an accusation that is a perfect study in fakery, falsehood, and fatuousness. Indirectly, Iheduru is confessing the Ibo evil plans against the Yoruba in Yoruba land. The threats of an Eze, the so-called “Ibo king” in Papa Ajao of inviting IPOB-ESN terrorists into Lagos is part of their genocide plans against Yoruba. But it would not succeed.

Iloegbunam is a journalist. Echoing Iheduru, his fellow traveler in Yoruba-phobia, Iloegbunam could not claim to be oblivious of the fact that his Ibo people have been targets internationally and, in many countries, they are unwanted guests. By sheer of their character, the Ibo have created notoriety for themselves in Ghana, Benin Republic, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, China, India, and many others. Is this also because of “demonization” of the Ibo ethnic group by Dr. Lasisi Olagunju?

When Dr. Olagunju said that the Ibo would “decimate” Nigeria if they have the chance, was he saying something new? Didn’t Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, say the same thing? Didn’t he say that the Ibo are unwanted in the Northern Region before he was murdered by the Ibo coupists on January 15, 1966? Didn’t Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola say the same thing in various ways before he was murdered by Iloegbunam’s Ibo kinsmen in Ibadan?

Is it not the same attitude of the Ibo that forced the Oba of Lagos, His Majesty Rilwan Akiolu to call their bluff in 2015, when they were trying to overrun Lagos? Is it not the same thing the Ibo did in 2023 bringing an impostor to come and rule Lagos, Yoruba land? That Ebenezer Williams (Abiodun Aloba) and the respected Tai Solarin echoed the same view as highlighted by Dr. Olagunju, were attestations to the credibility of that position and that the Ibo aggression is not something new.

In elucidating his complicated illusion, Iloegbunam proceeded to ask blackmailing questions couched in an ignominious righteous indignation. He asked, if it is “fair for Olagunju to characterize the Igbo as wolves and club-wielding gangsters simply because they would vote in their country?” Yes, it is fair. This is because that is what the Ibo has constituted themselves to in Yorubaland and other parts of Nigeria. Iloegbunam refused to admit in his obnoxious ostrichism that the Ibo would not allow the kind of things they are demanding in Yoruba land in their own Biaran Nation. Yoruba land is not Ibo country and would not be Ibo country, regardless of any appeal to the Nigerian Project.

He followed that question with another. “Has the vote transformed from a democratic instrument to an assault weapon?” Yes. It is even worse than an assault weapon given what we all witnessed in 2023 when Iloegbunam’s Ibo kinsmen planned a hostile take-over of Lagos Yoruba land. They claimed that Lagos belonged to them and on some other occasions, that Lagos Yorubaland is a “no man’s land.” They would not allow a Yoruba man to vote in the Southeast but want to vote and govern in the Southwest and other parts of Nigeria. It was the same thing that Nnamidi Azikwe did in the fifties and Chukwu Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu tried to do shortly before the Civil War when Biafran planes bombed Ikeja without any provocation.

Then, in a shameless show of lack of integrity, Iloegbunam also asked “if it is appropriate for a great newspaper established by the great Chief Obafemi Awolowo to become a ready megaphone for vilifying Ndigbo based on unsubstantiated statements by unidentified Internet rats?” Now Chief Obafemi Awolowo is a “great” man in the book of the Ibo? The same Chief Awolowo that the Ibo elites of different hues have vilified, abused, disrespected, insulted, lied against, and willfully blackmailed for about 83 years unceasingly and relentlessly? The truth is that Iloegbunam and his fellow travelers have no respect or regard for Obafemi Awolowo. Referring to Chief Obafemi Awolowo as “great” is a sinister prank. He was being diabolical. He was being demoniacal. He was being infernal. His intention was to set up Dr. Olagunju for removal from the stable of Tribune titles. But he has failed woefully. The authorities at the Tribune Titles are not possessed of jejune and toddleric minds such as that of Iloegbunam and his fellow travelers.

Iloegbunam spoke of “Yoruba country” when he was casuistically alluding to Bola Ahmed Tinubu. That is the same “country” he claimed belonged to the Ibo where they should not be denied “voting rights” that are not available to Yoruba or other members of Nigerian ethnic nationalities in “Ibo country.” A subconscious exudation of a hidden ethnic agenda that is obviously dishonest, aggressive, covetous, destructive, invasive, and hypocritical.

Iloegbunam was upset that Dr. Olagunju used the “ranting of few internet rats” to pass a judgement on the entire Ibo ethnic nationality. Assuming without conceding, that this was true, pray, how is this different from what Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu did when he called Yoruba “rascals”? And this is simply because those “rascals” refused to mortgage their heritage to diabolical Ibo invaders in Lagos and resisting a hostile take-over of Yoruba space!

Iloegbunam then descended into a philippic rabidity about the Ibo not having killed a man or woman to take over Yoruba heritage. He did not deny that the Ibo is out to take over the Yoruba heritage at all, he was only trying to tell us that they have “not killed” or rape, maim, and massacre Yoruba people in their bid to take over Yoruba land. Iloegbunam must be short witted to try and suggest that the only way another people’s land could be appropriated is by raping, maiming, and massacring the owners of the land.

The Ibo have deliberately destroyed the Yoruba economy using illicit drug money to sustain their criminal enterprises in Yoruba land and other parts of Nigeria. Then, they go around that they are “better businessmen than everybody.” The untutored and the foolish also buy into such misleading narratives. What could be more devastating to a people than destroying their means of livelihood? The Ibo would not compete fairly and obey the ethics of business. That is why they are chasing the Ibo away from many countries across the planet.

Iloegbunam intoxicatingly rhapsodized about how “Igbo parents didn’t kill students of other ethnic nationalities for their wards and children to invariably top the annual School Certificate, JAMB and NECO examinations.” But now Nigerians know how it is done through forgery and other diabolical means! How their elites would even support and legitimize such forgeries in the face of self-evident facts to the contrary. How a man that came a distant third in a presidential election was vowing to reclaim his mandate! What a people!

Iloegbunam took umbrage at Dr. Olagunju for positing Chinua Achebe as “the Igbo greatest of all time.” Can you imagine? I am vehemently opposed to Dr. Olagunju on this one. Chinua Achebe? No way! A professional blackmailer? A tall tale tattler? An alleged plagiarist? A man who kept lying to his people until his last breath? A man who was complicit in the wasting of lives of Ibo children during the Civil War? (Please read Alexander Madiebo’s “The Nigerian Revolution and the Biafran War” or “Starvation of Biafrans: Chinua Achebe vs Okey Ndibe” by Remi Oyeyemi). The Ibo literati are always trying to compare Achebe to WS, the only Kongi on the planet, Prof. Wole Soyinka. Those dudes at the Swedish Academy for the Nobel Prize in Literature are not fools and could not be bullied. But the hatred of the Ibo against Wole Soyinka has been all consuming because he is Yoruba.

He went ahead to ridicule Yoruba and made fun of their history on how, “a Yoruba man delivered Ilorin, a Yoruba town, to Fulani suzerainty.” Obviously, Iloegbunam is counting on traitorous Yoruba sons and daughters to hand Lagos to the Ibo! Using their false propaganda and lies as well as twisted stories of the Nigerian trajectory, it is Iloegbunam’s hope that his Ibo people would be able to use deception and deceit to replicate the Afonja travesty in Lagos!

He pleaded that Dr. Olagunju should let the Ibo be. Yes, there is nothing wrong with that. But the Ibo could not and would not be allowed to be in “Yoruba country” as Iloegbunam described it. Shouting Nigeria today and Biafran tomorrow is a fraudulent ploy. It would not work. Iloegbunam fantasizing about the dubious handshake across the Niger would not be bought by the cross section of the Yoruba Nation because the Ibo are serial traitors and betrayals of the Yoruba. Those are the FACTS! They could never be trusted. So, Iloegbunam and his dubious co-travelers should pocket their “Ohanifere.” Majority of the Yoruba are not interested in buying such bunkum.

Iloegbunam riding the high horse of hypocrisy of an odious genre, could not restrain himself from insulting Dr. Lasisi Olagunju asking him to “shut his trap” insisting that the erudite and seasoned journalist and columnist “has nothing sensible to say.” Then idiotically, he swaggered in pestilential putridity, by echoing that misguided newspaper mandarin called Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, and accused a cultured penpusher in person of Dr. Olagunju, of “rascality.”

Eledumare, the God of our forefathers would save Dr. Lasisi Olagunju, a distinguished journalist, a prolific columnist, reputed for level headedness and austere but educational views, from the claws of umbrageous herd who are hateful of truth, disrespectful of facts, and diabolical in their analyses. People of this nature are dishonest. Dishonest people are invariably hypocritical.

Eledumare, please, preserve and protect Dr. Lasisi Olagunju. Ase.

By Remi Oyeyemi

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