By Dr. Chuks Osuji
It is an incontrovertible fact that the Igbo are highly gregarious and mobile. But there are other qualities which an average Igbo Man processes that make him be admired by his friends and well-wisher but denounced by his detractors.
On the other hand, there are several behaviors which the Igbo exhibit which many people, friends, and foes, admirers, and detractors tends to be comic. Sociologically or politically many Igbo are by and large unruly, defiant, and have less concern for the rule of law.
While I was in the United State, as a student, working as a cleaner, I saw a black American called another black man a Nigga. I was expecting the Man to pick a gun and shoot the black American.
Surprisingly, he replayed, “Men, you, too, is Son of a bitch.” Both laughed but before doing so, the one who called the other black a Nigga told his fellow black man, mehn be careful with your mouth because it will put you in trouble soonest before you know it.”
On my part, I had expected a big fight to ensue between the two blacks. But nothing of such. A few minutes later, I asked a fellow black American while he did not take offense when he was called a Nigga? He told me that only a Nigga would call a black American a Nigga and get away with it. He added that “If it was a white man who called him a Nigga, he would have heard a gunshot.”
In Igbo culture, tradition, and folklore only the Igbo can call another Igbo a damming name and may get away with it. So, it is part of our own tolerance culture to aspect. But if it was a Yoruba, Hausa, or another fellow from other tolerance culture the Igbo man will show his biting teeth instantly.
I am saying these because it is more advisable for a fellow Igbo man to criticize one of his own and that is when the advice becomes meaningful.
I am saying these because, in this article, I will unleash a barrage of criticisms against my people with regards to their behavior of other Nigerians concerning general disrespect for Covid-19 protocols as outlined by various authorities in order to curb the spread of the virus.
There is an Igbo proverb that says, “A goat has been sweating so much but the hair on her body does not make it noticeable.” For Example, Governors in the five Eastern State with or without media noise has been relentless, consistent, and committed to ensuring that the virus does not spread so much in Eastern State particularly in Imo State.
For Example, here in Imo State, the Government through its tax forces has taken many steps. These include: providing spasmodic palliative to various groups and individuals to ameliorate the harsh consequences of the lockdown. In addition, it has given a series of directives in order to minimize or prevent widespread community infections. In addition, the Government has continuously harped at the practices of handwashing, social distancing, and regulation of mass burials, weddings or other social gatherings.
What is more important is that the government has locked interstate boundaries. In our state, these include a bridge between Abia and Imo on Umuahia Obowo Raod: At Akaokwa Uga Road: At Umunachi on Okigwe Owerri road. Mgbidi Onitsha road In Addition to several pockets of inlet and outlet to and from Imo State.
Although, the Government has ordered that these inlet and outlet be closed and mounted with tough security personnel report of bridges are so rompered to the fact that this person and these rompers are told that they are doing the service to the entire Imo people. They are just like a boy who throws a stone into a crowded market he might not be sure that the stone will not hit his mother.
In a way, that person at our borders who are compromising the security are merely inviting scorpions to their bedrooms for dinner.
The government must continue to do its best because according to Harold king, “We live in a society of men and women, the wise and ignorant, decent and indecent, hawks and doves. And above all, men and animals nature have made it so. Do I need to say more?