#SoundOff: Are Igbos In The APC Given Mandates To Bash Their Own?

#SoundOff: Are Igbos In The APC Given Mandates To Bash Their Own?

By Azuka Onwuka | Op-Ed Contributor on September 14, 2015
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Rochas Okorocha, Muhamadu Buhari
Imo Governor Rochas Okorocha presenting an ultra modern campaign bus to the former Head of State, General Buhari in January, 2015 (Photo Credit: Imo Govt)

Is it written in the APC’s Constitution that for an Igbo to be a staunch supporter of APC/Buhari, he has to constantly bash and insult the Igbos? I don’t get it.

It happens all over the social media and mainstream media. I just came back from the South-East – I observed this disturbing trend on many phone-in political radio programmes.

Other ethnic groups bash each other across party lines but they don’t bash their ethnic groups because of political affiliations, but many Igbo APC/Buhari supporters derive joy in lumping all Igbos together and calling them names to the applause of their friends from other ethnic groups, who hail them as “patriotic”, “detribalised”, “honest”, etc.

While doing that, these Igbos claim that they are just speaking the truth and will never hide evil. But any day these “detribalised and honest” Igbos point out anything uncomplimenatry in any other ethnic group, the same people who hailed them a week ago as detribalised and honest would attack them and call them ethnic bigots and tribalists.

Is this a fallout of the loss of the Biafran War which seems to have created the impression that a true Hausa/Fulani who is patriotic is one who is proud of his ethnic origin and defends it vigorously, a true Yoruba who is patriotic is one who is proud of his ethnicity and defends it passionately, but a true Igbo who is patriotic is one who dissociates himself from his ethnicity and attacks his people constantly?

I took a decision 30 years ago never to stereotype any group or call them names; for even if 99% of them are guilty of the offence, it will be unfair to the 1% to tar them with the same brush. I also believe that no ethnic group or race is better than the other, or worse than another. Therefore in my eyes, my Igbo ethnic group is great but not better than any ethnic group. It is also not worse than any. Ethnic groups or races just have individual uniqueness that needs to be understood.

So I can’t bash another ethnic group, least of all my ethnic group. I also can never applaud any Yoruba, Hausa or Efik that bashes his or her ethnic group, least of all the person that bashes mine. It is not a sign of wisdom to engage in stereotyping. It is worse when one has to insult one’s ethnic group to get accepted by others.

Political alignments are temporary and ephemeral. A political opponent today may become a political ally tomorrow. But he who insults his family publicly to the applause of his friends gets mocked secretly as worthless and unreliable by the same public praise-singers.

He who publicly calls his people foolish has announced to the world that he is a fool, because he is included; and he who publicly calls his people criminals has branded himself a criminal before the world. It is simple logic.

Azuka Onwuka is a veteran journalist, author, and columnist with The Punch. He is on Facebook.

The opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the author.

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