Wednesday, 14 December 2011 23:13

Why Do Igbos Always Go Looking For Trouble?

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There is something in the psychological makeup of Igbos that makes them always go looking for trouble. In the calmest of circumstances they will always do something that would annoy those around them, create conflict and then live in conflict; they seem to enjoy living in conflicts.

As it were, they seem to have death wish and do things that would make those around them to attack them, and or kill them hence gratify their death wish (thanatos).

Consider their relationship with their neighbors. Invariably they would say or do something that even a child knows would irritate those neighbors and do it as if they do not know that such actions irritate people. Consider Obi Nwankanma’s concocted historiography. The man is apparently writing a history of Igbos (as gleaned from the snippets of it that he posts on the Internet). Invariably, he would make claims to the effect that Igbos stimulated what their neighbors did or he would make Igbos have credit for what other Nigerian tribes did. And he would make these self-serving bogus claims as if they are true. He is, of course, lying but presents his lies as if they are substantiated truths! The man writes history as propaganda!

Taking credit for what other tribes did diminish those tribes self-respect; they feel attacked and angry at him and by generalization at all Igbos. Thus, the man’s private behavior has negative public consequences for most Igbos, for other Nigerians who feel insulted by him (in a country where folks indulge in stereotyping behaviors, by all Igbos) attack any Igbo in sight.

And this misguided man is not the only one doing what he does; many Igbos do it. Consider their unreasoning response to Frederick Lugard and his British cohorts.  Britons created what is now called Nigeria in 1914. Igbos who hitherto did not have a nation were for the first time placed under one administrative unit hence given a sense of being one people. But instead of being grateful to Lugard for hastening their sense of oneness some foolish Igbos call Nigeria Lugard’s cage; that is to say that they feel caged in a place they would rather not be in.

They flock to other parts of that Lugard’s cage to seek employment! The Yorubas allowed them to come to Lagos, a Yoruba city. Now many of them live at Lagos. Instead of expressing gratitude to their Yoruba hosts some of them now claim that Lagos is an Igbo city! Imagine that cheek!

Yorubas could feel insulted by squatters claiming ownership of their land and attack and kill a few of them and the rest of them would carry their loads on their sorry heads and march to the East. They would not even have the courage to stand and fight to death. When the going gets tough they always run to their tribal enclave.

These people routinely insult Hausas and Hausas, not being as patient as Yorubas are, often pick up their machetes and start slashing at any Igbo in sight.

These people literally ask other people to attack them and when attacked they turn around and see themselves as victims. Alas, the rest of the world does not come to their rescue!

The white man could care less if Africans murdered other Africans, if in doubt see the Sudan, Somalia and East Congo where Africans, as we speak, are butchering each other and the International community give them all the opportunity they need to get rid of themselves from the face of this earth (and leave the damn continent for animals so that white men come on wild life safaris in it).

If other Nigerians start murdering Igbos no African Union or United Nations would come to their rescue and even if they did they would send African soldiers, who are likely to be Muslims and hence participate in killing Igbos some more!

These people are not aware of the real world they live in and talk as if they are invulnerable supermen when in fact they are the most vulnerable group of Nigerians (other Nigerians hate their arrogance and could easily gang up on them and do away with them).

So why do Igbos do these crazy things when they could have peaceful relationship with their neighbors?  Why do they go looking for trouble (as Fela Kuti said, trouble de sleep” iyanga” de look for am)?

Fela  recognized that pride (iyanga)causes interpersonal troubles; Igbos are” inordinately proud” and out of their pride insult other folks and those folks also being “normally proud” human beings (all human beings feel proud, in degrees; the neurotic, aka narcissistic and or paranoid personality feels inordinately proud)feel degraded and attack them.

Fela was an insightful musician, not trained psychologist. There is a more psychological process at work in these people’s apparent irrational behavior.  They do what they do because of their inordinate sense of inferiority.

Feeling totally inferior and wanting to seem fictionally superior to other persons they make claims that would seem to make them seem superior to other people. Those absurd claims naturally make those they belittle angry, and those attack them.


I am saying that Igbos go looking for trouble because of their sense of inferiority and paranoid level of compensatory superiority (according to Alfred Adler, all human beings feel inferior and compensate with some superiority feeling and quest for power over their world,  but the neurotic over does it).


It is as if these people have a death wish and must attack other people so as to generate other people’s counter attacks on them, and when attacked they feel persecuted hence feel alive. The pathological ego feels alive when persecuted!

The paranoid person feels alive when he feels attacked and is defensive; if not feeling attacked and persecuted and defensive he does not feel like he is alive!

The paranoid person has not yet learned that a person can feel even more alive by loving himself and those around him. If you want to truly feel alive do what loves other people and what serves people’s interests.

The alternative to Christian agape love for all people is the paranoid attacks on people that generate counter attack for him and he gets attacked and in defending his self feels falsely alive.

For the longest time I could not quite understand this oddity in many Igbos behavior. Finally, I understood it. They engage in their apparent self-defeating behaviors because of mental disorder. They suffer mass delusion disorder (follies adieu, aka group paranoia).

The deluded person takes his private interpretation of reality as reality. He wants to seem superior and powerful, which he is not; he imagines that he is superior and powerful; believes what is not true as true hence is deluded.

The mentally ill person is not operating in the real world; he is living in his personal world, his fantasy world where he is all powerful and invincible.

The sadist part of it all is that even if you understand the dynamics of what is going on in the deluded person’s head and tell him about it he does not get it and continues doing what he does that gives him certain results and continues to get the same results while expecting different results.

Igbos insult other people, make them angry; they get attacked and or killed. They do not want to be attacked and killed; that is, they want different results but they keep doing what generates the old results and get it. This is the definition of mental disorder: doing the same thing while expecting different results. An alcoholic keeps drinking but does not expect to damage his liver and health; poor soul; as long as he is addicted to his drug of choice he must be slowly damaging his liver, brains and killing himself even though he wishes to be healthy and live.

I know that these people are not going to change for part of mental disorder is not to see what is obvious to the normal person. The normal person, as if instinctively, recognizes that if you insult folks that they would be angry at you and that some of them would attack you, but these bizarre folks keep attacking others (by insulting them) and not expecting them to counter attack them in self-defense.

They do not know what they are doing and one is wasting one’s time trying to get them to recognize the obvious.

I suppose this is my mission: to keep stating the obvious until those who wear blinders finally remove their veil and see it; remove the mask over their eyes and see reality as it is. I will never give up on them after all they are my people, and attacks on them, even if self-brought, are attack on me (when folks begin attacking or killing Igbos they will attack or kill me, too). The sins of fathers are visited on their children’s heads. Therefore, I must keep trying to help them smell the coffee and roses.


Obi Nwankanma, apparently, is writing history, make belief history of Igbos. He has been talking smack about Nri as core Igbos (obviously a self-serving claim). His idiotic talk is irritating me. One of these days I would unleash my fury at him. I generally allow annoying things to simmer for a while and when I become sufficiently angry I unleash a ferocious attack and will keep attacking and nothing would stop me.  By and by I will take Obi Nwakanma up and attack to destroy his pretensions.

These clowns write 419 histories that make their people the head of Igbos while ignoring the obvious, that the core of Alaigbo is Owerri.  When I have some time I will do rigorous research on Igbo history and then refute their make believe history (I just read Elizabeth Isichie‘s version of Igbo history; she is not pretentious and haughty; she honestly believed what she wrote; she is a scholar, not a propagandist pretending to be a scholar).

For now let me just say that it is irritating to one to see those who are not even fully Igbos to keep talking as if they are real Igbos and worse present themselves as the leaders of Igbos (they were influenced by surrounding non-Igbo folks; the real Igbos are in core Igbo land, in the Igbo heartland, Owerri/Orlu axis. (Owerri must eventually become the capital of one unified Alaigbo state in Nigeria or Alaigbo republic should Nigeria breakup).

The time allotted to foreigners, such as Onicha/Edo folk, rule over Igbos is over.

Most history books are written as songs of praises to the people they are written about hence are hardly objective. That been said, if one is writing a history of one’s entire people one ought to make an honest attempt to be fairly objective rather than write claptrap that sings the praises of one section of the people. Just imagine it: everyone knows that Owerri is the core Igbo but clowns from non-Owerri area pretend to write Igbo history and not give central place to Owerri.

Even the much maligned white colonial folk recognized that Owerri is core Igbo hence made Owerri dialect the central Igbo dialect in their books on Igbo language. But buffoons from non-Owerri area write as if their peripheral areas are central to Igbo history and in their idiocy expect Owerri folks to accept their nonsense.  Why, it is supposed to be Igbo history and every Igbo ought to accept it even if it is a bunch of lies.

When I am free to pay attention to history I will descend on these clowns like a ton of hot coal. Their contrived, 419 scam history of Igbos cannot be allowed to stand.

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176