“No Yorubas defended Oke, No Hausas carried banner for Dasuki; why are Igbos different?”

Editor’s note: Ifeanyi Ubah’s detention by the DSS sparked reaction from
Igbos who described it as a witch-hunt against an Igbo man the President
Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
In this opinion by Joe Igbokwe, he points out that Igbos have made it a
habit to defend anyone suspected of corruption which other tribes don’t
The case of Ifeanyi Ubah
Just recently the DSS invited a friend of mine and bonafide son of Nnewi,
Chief (Dr) Ifeanyi Ubah of Capital Oil & Gas Ltd fame to come and give an
account of the whereabouts millions of liters of PMS stored by NNPC on
his Tank farms. Since this invitation, I have read some funny write-ups
online in defense of the Nnewi Chief and some trying to read ethnic
meaning to DSS intervention.
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Now the truth is this: My good friend Chief Ifeanyi Ubah is capable of
defending himself and Capital Oil & Gas Ltd. He has formidable structures
in place and good lawyers to defend his case. He does not need yahoo,
yahoo boys and girls and frustrated political hustlers to defend himself. He
does not need internet rats and professional pay-me-I-write-for-you
fraudsters. What I have been reading about this drama online is totally
uncalled for. It is ridiculous, shameful and at best, clannish.
This brigandage did not start today. When Diezani Alison-Madueke was
declared wanted by EFCC for fraud in the oil industry, we saw this kind of
shameless intervention from people who should know better and those with
full doses of Western education. When Stella Oduah was being probed for
purchasing armored BMW cars at astronomical prices, some Igbo leaders
rose to her defense. They erected billboards in the South-East and
celebrated her with a chieftaincy title, Ada Igbo Nile. The impression being
created is that prominent Igbo citizens are being persecuted because they
are Igbo. I call this persecution complex, leadership complex and defeatist
It is even annoying that Col. Sambo Dasuki's defense is being done not by
his northern brothers but Igbo who are sworn to bland defense of everything
PDP. They are the most fanatical mourners of the loss of Jonathan and PDP
even when the Ijaws have moved on.
NIA boss, Ayo Oke has been facing series of interrogations by the EFCC
concerning the Osborne Towers 15 billion naira cash haul and I have not
read any Yoruba defending him. Babachir Lawal, the suspended SFG, is
being probed for contract scam and yet I have not seen his kinsmen rising in
his defense. They allow investigations to go the whole hog.
Corruption and ethnicity
There are litanies of such trials of corrupt people of all ethnicities and
tribes going on everywhere in Nigeria, but it is only Igbo who defend their
fellow tribesmen implicated in scandals.
Yet this was not always the case for Igbo. Indeed, Ala Igbo is noted as a
land where our ancestors and forefathers abhorred evil and treated
corruption with unambiguous disapproval from even pre-colonial times.
What is wrong with present-day Igbo? What we see today is not our
tradition. It is not our culture. Let nobody rewrite our history, our culture,
and our tradition of eziokwu bu ndu (truth is life).
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- Fani-Kayode
We see this funny re-occurring decimal more in the South-East and South-
South and it is becoming a national embarrassment. It must stop. I am told
that stupidity is knowing the truth, seeing the truth but believing in lies.
Igbo are a very hard-working, proud and successful tribe, but we need to
come down from a 30,000-foot building to make sense to other Nigerians.
We need to stop this aberration that is demeaning and ridiculing Igbo in
Nigeria today. We need to caution ourselves before we become objects of
ridicule of ribaldry of other Nigerians, as is dangerously becoming the fad
in the country today.