The truth is that no people without love for each other would have been where Ndi Igbo are today after the genocidal war fought in their land some 48 years ago. Believe me, 'Ndi Igbo don't love themselves' is one statement I have struggled to understand but couldn't come to terms with.
During the Biafra war, Egyptian Bombers bombed schools, farmlands, hospitals, markets, and churches in Biafra land. They practically destroyed everything we have as a people. Yet our courageous fathers fought vigorously like team warriors. Together, they fought and died fighting. A man that fought the war told me about the love that every Biafran soldier showed to one another. The song they sang demonstrated the love the fighting soldiers have not just for themselves but for brothers/sisters at home and the generation to come. "If I die, take my boot, my gun, and my cloth and fight on for the motherland", the fighting soldiers passionately told themselves.
After the war, Ndi Igbo was left with nothing. The first sons and grown-ups trooped out in search of something to survive with. With nothing, they went out, and with something they came back. Their wisdom and ingenuity led them through. They didn't come back to answer Alhaji and made their people queue in line begging them for food. They simply took the sons of poor people with them. They taught them their trade, settled them and they became great businessmen. Today, 95% of every Igbo businessman has an Oga to point at. An Oga that made him what he is today. This is not hate or wickedness, but an abundance of love.
Ndi Igbo never waited for the government to develop their communities. They formed age grades, town Unions, and town branches. Many community primary and secondary schools in Igbo communities were built, not by the government, but by the people. Rich Igbo sons and daughters have single-handedly erected befitting churches for their people. Some tarred roads for their people. Many have scholarship scheme that helps children of the poor.
In the 40s and 50s and even up till now, Ndi Igbo sponsor their best brain abroad for the good of all. They see it as a community project.
We don't engage in community war. We don't wear bombs to market or Church to bomb people. We don't go into a village and wipe out villages, nor do we form terrorist groups to wipe out people.
But inside One Nigeria, those doing all these things are said to love themselves, but Ndi Igbo with their actions of love are seen as those that hate themselves. The irony of One Nigeria.
Shame on every Igbo man still saying that Ndi Igbo hate themselves.
Elochukwu Ohagi, 2018. (Reposted)