Chimamanda Adichie: On The Oba Of Lagos


Chimamanda Adichie: On The Oba Of Lagos

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By Chimamanda Adichie

A few days ago, the Oba of Lagos threatened Igbo leaders. If they did not vote for his governorship candidate in Lagos, he said, they would be thrown into the lagoon. His entire speech was a flagrant performance of disregard. His words said, in effect: I think so little of you that I don’t have to cajole you but will just threaten you and, by the way, your safety in Lagos is not assured, it is negotiable.

There have been condemnations of the Oba’s words. Sadly, many of the condemnations from non-Igbo people have come with the ugly impatience of expressions like ‘move on,’ and  ‘don’t be over-emotional’ and ‘calm down.’ These take away the power, even the sincerity, of the condemnations. It is highhanded and offensive to tell an aggrieved person how to feel, or how quickly to forgive, just as an apology becomes a non-apology when it comes with ‘now get over it.’

Other condemnations of the Oba’s words have been couched in dismissive or diminishing language such as ‘The Oba can’t really do anything, he isn’t actually going to kill anyone. He was joking. He was just being a loudmouth.’

Or – the basest yet – ‘we are all prejudiced.’ It is dishonest to respond to a specific act of prejudice by ignoring that act and instead stressing the generic and the general.  It is similar to responding to a specific crime by saying ‘we are all capable of crime.’ Indeed we are. But responses such as these are diversionary tactics. They dismiss the specific act, diminish its importance, and ultimately aim at silencing the legitimate fears of people.

We are indeed all prejudiced, but that is not an appropriate response to an issue this serious. The Oba is not an ordinary citizen. He is a traditional ruler in a part of a country where traditional rulers command considerable influence – the reluctance on the part of many to directly chastise the Oba speaks to his power. The Oba’s words matter. He is not a singular voice; he represents traditional authority. The Oba’s words matter because they are enough to incite violence in a political setting already fraught with uncertainty. The Oba’s words matter even more in the event that Ambode loses the governorship election, because it would then be easy to scapegoat Igbo people and hold them punishable.

Nigerians who consider themselves enlightened might dismiss the Oba’s words as illogical. But the scapegoating of groups – which has a long history all over the world – has never been about logic. The Oba’s words matter because they bring worrying echoes of the early 1960s in Nigeria, when Igbo people were scapegoated for political reasons. Chinua Achebe, when he finally accepted that Lagos, the city he called home, was unsafe for him because he was Igbo, saw crowds at the motor park taunting Igbo people as they boarded buses: ‘Go, Igbo, go so that garri will be cheaper in Lagos!’

Of course Igbo people were not responsible for the cost of garri. But they were perceived as people who were responsible for a coup and who were ‘taking over’ and who, consequently, could be held responsible for everything bad.

Any group of people would understandably be troubled by a threat such as the Oba’s, but the Igbo, because of their history in Nigeria, have been particularly troubled. And it is a recent history. There are people alive today who were publicly attacked in cosmopolitan Lagos in the 1960s because they were Igbo. Even people who were merely light-skinned were at risk of violence in Lagos markets, because to be light-skinned was to be mistaken for Igbo.

Almost every Nigerian ethnic group has a grouse of some sort with the Nigerian state. The Nigerian state has, by turns, been violent, unfair, neglectful, of different parts of the country. Almost every ethnic group has derogatory stereotypes attached to it by other ethnic groups.

But it is disingenuous to suggest that the experience of every ethnic group has been the same. Anti-Igbo violence began under the British colonial government, with complex roots and manifestations. But the end result is a certain psychic difference in the relationship of Igbo people to the Nigerian state. To be Igbo in Nigeria is constantly to be suspect; your national patriotism is never taken as the norm, you are continually expected to prove it.

All groups are conditioned by their specific histories. Perhaps another ethnic group would have reacted with less concern to the Oba’s threat, because that ethnic group would not be conditioned by a history of being targets of violence, as the Igbo have been.

Many responses to the Oba’s threat have mentioned the ‘welcoming’ nature of Lagos, and have made comparisons between Lagos and southeastern towns like Onitsha. It is valid to debate the ethnic diversity of different parts of Nigeria, to compare, for example, Ibadan and Enugu, Ado-Ekiti and Aba, and to debate who moves where, and who feels comfortable living where and why that is. But it is odd to pretend that Lagos is like any other city in Nigeria. It is not. The political history of Lagos and its development as the first national capital set it apart. Lagos is Nigeria’s metropolis. There are ethnic Igbo people whose entire lives have been spent in Lagos, who have little or no ties to the southeast, who speak Yoruba better than Igbo. Should they, too, be reminded to be ‘grateful’ each time an election draws near?

No law-abiding Nigerian should be expected to show gratitude for living peacefully in any part of Nigeria. Landlords in Lagos should not, as still happens too often, be able to refuse to rent their property to Igbo people.

The Oba’s words were disturbing, but its context is even more disturbing:

The anti-Igbo rhetoric that has been part of the political discourse since the presidential election results.  Accusatory and derogatory language – using words like ‘brainwashed,’ ‘tribalistic voting’ – has been used to describe President Jonathan’s overwhelming win in the southeast. All democracies have regions that vote in large numbers for one side, and even though parts of Northern Nigeria showed voting patterns similar to the Southeast, the opprobrium has been reserved for the Southeast.

But the rhetoric is about more than mere voting. It is really about citizenship. To be so entitled as to question the legitimacy of a people’s choice in a democratic election is not only a sign of disrespect but is also a questioning of the full citizenship of those people.

What does it mean to be a Nigerian citizen?

When Igbo people are urged to be ‘grateful’ for being in Lagos, do they somehow have less of a right as citizens to live where they live? Every Nigerian should be able to live in any part of Nigeria. The only expectation for a Nigerian citizen living in any part of Nigeria is to be law-abiding. Not to be ‘grateful.’ Not to be expected to pay back some sort of unspoken favour by toeing a particular political line. Nigerian citizens can vote for whomever they choose, and should never be expected to justify or apologize for their choice.

Only by feeling a collective sense of ownership of Nigeria can we start to forge a nation. A nation is an idea. Nigeria is still in progress. To make this a nation, we must collectively agree on what citizenship means: all Nigerians must matter equally.




  1. olajide bello

    April 10, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Spot on!
    “Every Nigerian should be able to live in any part of Nigeria”.

  2. tong

    April 10, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Ur right but i expect you to write to ur people ,bcos we suffer alot if we take our product to sale in the southeast.most especially Onitsha

  3. Iruoje

    April 10, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    If the Igbo States are developed p properly by their governors, no lunatic with a traditional crown will look down on them. It’s another reason why we need strong regions. A sea port in the east will go a long way to reduce the importance of Lagos. Igbos deserve better than to be treated this way. Am not igbo but I have extensively studied the anti igbo sentiment here in Lagos and it’s really shocking. I have also been denied a place to rent cuz the landlord thought I was of igbo extraction. It’s good to have a more detribilized nation but it’s Better to have stronger regions so that way everyone will have some pride of his own land.

  4. Stanley Nwokocha

    April 10, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Chimamanda, nice piece but this is not a matter to over-flog. You’re not more Igbo than me and many others saying “let’s move on” “calm down”. Many of us your fans will like to see how you can promote national unity through your writings. You write with too much ethnic fervour for a writer that all Nigerians will like to see as a national ambassador. At the end, what reaction do you expect from your readers in writing this poignant criticism of what you consider to be anti-igbo trend? That we Igbos should hate those of our countrymen from other tribes more, feel oppressed, disliked and hold our heads down like an ostrich or take up cudgels against the Oba of Lagos who showed so much scorn for our tribe? You don’t live amongst us so it’s dangerous to yield to your temptation. If ethnic strife breaks out here, the genocide will be a material for your story telling abroad but some of us here may not be alive to read the story. Nigerians are coming out of those primordial ethnic sentiments you’re promoting. We are focusing on issues of development and the collective progress of all tribes, all tongues, all cultures in Nigeria. Igbos love Yorubas and Yorubas love Igbos. Leave all that story that do not change our lives for the better in any way my sister.

  5. Patrick Ikedigwe

    April 10, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    My dear sister, I was really touched by your reaction to the Oba’s outbursts. I merely want to thank you for your patriotic spirit. However, I must quickly add that we should blame the Igbos living in Lagos not the Oba. I have to explain before my brothers and sisters over there eat me raw. We learnt nothing from the Nigeria-Biafra war. The Igbos lost everything in the abandoned property saga in Port Harcourt, you remember. If it made any sense to our brothers out there, how come they have more houses and investments in Lagos, even shortly after the war? Why, one may ask, should the Igbos buy off all available land and space in Abuja much more than the Hausas who own the place? I hope you can now understand where I am going. You cannot tell an intelligent person to leave the scorching sun for a shade. The Igbos should come together and tell Nigeria that enough is enough. If we collectively strive for unity and we are still being marginalised, then, Ohaneze Ndigbo should speak for us. Igbos should think home.

  6. Igwe Daniel

    April 10, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I commend your critique. For people commenting otherwise she just made a factual analysis of the whole issue and provided a gateway which is citizenship. When we understand the meaning of citizenship, then NOBODY will ever have the guts to talk less of any tribe.
    Nne” dalu” Ibu ogene ndi Igbo.

  7. Uche Nnolim

    April 10, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Wow !!! Stanley Nwokocha …. I just read your comments and I wonder, …. Did we really read the same write up by Chimamanda? It is indeed true that individual understanding really differ. But I can’t still help to wonder, is it better, to be factual and honest in ones writing or to use ones writing to be “politically correct”. Stanley, Chimamanda was not partisan in her write up. She was simply unbiased and honest and it is obvious you can not appreciate that.

  8. okechukwu

    April 10, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    the problem nigeria have is not all about the good leader, you can not mixes old and water together, we hate each other in this country . hausa / fulani and yorubas hate us with passion , likewise we hate them too, with this so much hatred you can’t expect anything good to come out of it, until this nonsense zoo called nigeria is divided, even the angel come down from heaven to rule nigeria nothing good can come out of it, we all know the truth,Nigeria is an expired contraption which was created since Jan 1st 1914 and expired on 31st of December 2013, We have had enough of this blood sucking demons who hated us with passion, but always clamoring for (one) Nigeria while we never related in any shape or form,traditionally, morally,religiously,mentally and otherwise. the only thing that makes us one is the property/Natural mineral resources they found in our land

  9. Femi Adelugba

    April 10, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    I totally agree with Stanley Nwokocha’s comment of Chiamanda’s write up. Instead of promoting more hatred and divisiveness amongst Nigerians such as she did in this article, she ought to be preaching love, tolerance and unity. The Oba’s speech is, without a doubt, a hate speech and it is shameful and condemnable. But a response like Chiamanda’s is equally not right and unacceptable, especially from someone of her stature and exposure and one of the people thousands of Nigerians would like to consider as a role model and guiding light to our youths. Two wrongs can’t ever make a right! It’s the voice of reasoning that we need at this time not the one that will further widen the divide!

  10. Emerem

    April 10, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Am not sure Stanley understood the very basic english that Chimamanda communicated her writing. She wrote for even the simplest of minds by using very short sentences and short paragraphs, with beautiful and easily understood words. The young lady did an excellent expose with very mild language for the Oba’s excesses. She neither cursed nor incited but enlightened. she tried to say what apology is not and how it is becoming a trend demeaning the Igbos. You cannot dismiss such horrendous threats from the Oba by saying, ‘calm down’, or move on. Spot on, Chimamanda. God bless

  11. Julius I.O Ononuju

    April 10, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    @Oba Akinolu of Lagos.Its rather unfortunate that such statement was made somebody who has
    served this Country as a security agent,a retire IG of police
    who might have had the opportunity to have travelled round the Country
    ,to me it wasn’t mere words bcos the words of a king is his power.Secondly, the politicians has
    succeded in bying over the traditional kings thereby reducing them to be mere political errand boys,they’re paid
    by their State governments, imagine where a traditional king will be summond to a meeting by a State governor just on phone call,no courtsey, so,the Oba of Lagos is acting upon the orders from above to save his face bcos his allowance
    is at stake not his intergrity.Bet who will persuade
    the king to swallow his words
    when ppl like Gov,
    Owelle Rochas Okorocha has even said the worst,instead of redressing the issue,he went further to encourage the Obas speech.Bcos
    of politics and power,Ibos are sabotures.Well election is here and we must vote.

  12. Huddersfield Town

    April 11, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Aunty, good words.At the same time please address the frequent terminology of no man’s land. It seems like a covetous culture that pervades amongst some folks from your side. Sadly such talk would only lead to animosity.

  13. Oganiru

    April 11, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Stanley, Chimamanda stated her truth. She has not called for arms. You only need to look around you, listen intently to the audible voices and read the handwriting on the walls to understand the times. Interestingly, the same Oba after the purported apology on Monday, subsequently ordered the closure of some “Igbo owned shops” in Idumota on Tuesday, forcing the Owners to join the APC rally. This is a case of beating a child and taking away tears from the child. We would move on, but let us understand the statements in its full ramifications, internalize and move on at our own time. Glossing over it is deceitful and may have far reaching consequences. May God save the Igbos after tomorrow.

  14. vicky

    April 11, 2015 at 12:07 am

    This coming from the educated and literate is dissappointing. What has this write up proven? Think about it, is it possible for a person to place a curse on a people in this age and time? How will it be possible for a person to destroy a people in the lagoon? Are they the only people living on the island? Is the lagoon an instrument a person can weild to destroy other people? Common!I expected more! And to think the man went out of his way to explain the intent behind what he said. Please.Let me tell you if God forbid there happens to be War here we know those who will pack their bags First.Property or no property so what are we saying? Please we know this is political, dont try and bring up some complex and minority issues out of it. #muchadoaboutnothing. Wike, the rivers state governor made worse pronouncement on Air recently, i See no chimamanda saying anything about that so far.Enough with all these joke.

  15. Kalu

    April 11, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Igbos were never loved in Nigeria, but Ojukwu’s foolish war sealed it. Compare a couple of hundred Igbo deaths in the north to all those hungry looking Biafran children – over 2 million deaths. Ojukwu would give 10 hungry guys 1 gun and asked them to walk on a straight line, so that when one is killed the next could carry his guy. What a general? He rushed to that war and perhaps thought it was a carnival. But when it was his own turn to shot himself on the head, to kill himself, he ran away, saved his life instead. You ask in your article why the Igbos are treated with some mistrust… Have the Igbos stoped chanting the songs of Biafra? Have we left Biafra alone? We keep marginalizing ourselves in Nigeria, but are not ready to confront the truth. Its time we stop blaming the others. Thats my opinion.

  16. chidi

    April 11, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Nobody should blame Chimamanda for her observations concerning the way the igbos are being treated in this country called Nigeria, it is just like what the blacks are going through right now in hands of white police in U.S,Nobody want to say something because if u do then it will be that u are promoting hatred, how can someone who calls himself a traditional ruler make such a statement concerning his fellow citizens, STANLEY NWOKOCHA u are trying to blame her for saying what is clearly true,and u think by saying that the Yorubas love the Igbos will change the way Igbos are been treated? you know too well that it will not, For how long will it go on? I just think that what the Oba said is totaly unaceptable and I totaly agree with Chimamanda.

  17. john hassan

    April 11, 2015 at 12:31 am

    I am pleased with the beauty of your fiction, the exactitude of the narrative, but when it comes to social commentary, you fail and fall badly. I have decided that to throw tantrums on this matter is not something that is worth it. To properly engage this, we must either agree to the constitutional strengths of indigeneship or discard it.

  18. Dr Bolu Sarumoh

    April 11, 2015 at 12:38 am

    Interesting comments here. I appreciate comments by Stanley. I mean for me I have had to make apologies on behalf of my Oba so many times as if i was the one who made the speech its really starting to get to me. Let me explain something about true integration which i think may be lacking between ethnic groups in Nigeria. A people who are unsuccessful at true integration eventually run into problems with the local population. My Father is from Ibadan Oyo State and my mother from Lagos State (YES LAGOS STATE). when i fill forms, i fill Oyo state as my state of origin even though i was born, and bred in Lagos. I have never seen Lagos as “NO MANS LAND”. I used to hear this phrase growing up and just shrugged it off as inconsequential but you will NEVER hear it from a person of Yoruba extraction. It is almost always exclusively from Igbos and you start to wonder. You start to wonder about a people who are very particular over their land and heritage that they still have organizations called MASSOB. When such a people call your land (referring to the indigenous lagosian) no man’s land and your yoruba cousins from a couple of kilometers away dont, you naturally start to get cold shivers. I dont feel it, but i understand it and i believe you’ve got to except you dont want to be honest with yourself. I see myself as a visitor in Lagos. Lagosians and indeed lagos has been good to me, however, If the chips are down here (God forbid), I know where my homeland is and there is no confusion there. For the indigenes of Lagos thats another matter. they are stuck in this. The average Yoruba would understand this and not do or say things that will hurt sensibilities. The PDP unfortunately used the race card as a devisive plot to win votes and it has spilled over to this disgusting situation. Secondly, Yorubas are known for a high degree of respect for elders and constituted authority. The Oba (now my Oba, since i am resident here (notice i am not saying Alafin or Olubadan)) may have spoken inappropriately but my culture will NEVER allow me speak back to him in an insulting tone. Now when an outsider does this it could be quite frankly, unnerving. I try to be patient (not easy i swear) because i understand that the Igbo does not understand the culture and the position this person holds in the context of our culture. True multiculturalism even in more supposedly advanced societies is frought with its own problems. In the UK for instance, far rightists are beginning to strongly oppose immigration and shout slogans of “England for the English”. Nontheless accept my apologies on behalf of My Oba. Whatever pushed him to act in a manner so uncharacteristic may have been just as terrible if not worse. Since i dont have his ears, i may never know. However please accept apologies.

  19. Usman

    April 11, 2015 at 12:44 am

    My only problem with your epistle is that it is poorly referenced. Thus, it falls short of acceptable academic standard. When you alleged that people were attacked in the 60s for being light skinned or Igbo, and etcetera. The least expected of you is to provide the source of your information to enable your readers to check up their efficacy. Especially, when you cannot pretend to be an eye witnessed to these events. If i may add, Achebe is hardly a credible source on this issues because he wrote from a based point of view.

  20. Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi

    April 11, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Very well said! Too many comments on this issue miss the point.

  21. Akwafue

    April 11, 2015 at 12:48 am

    the words of my dear sister is not abusive or harsh to any person but it the expression and the pinpointing of the action and reactions of the life style the Igbo’s are facing in Lagos. but let’s take every situation with love because , I quote ” the love of two person Na one person hold am”

  22. dapo

    April 11, 2015 at 12:54 am

    so amazing she still alive to write about Yoruba or she is planning to move to Lagos as well, She has been part of Nigeria tribalism problem, created many evils mind to Young igbo about Yoruba in general, she might sounds, she is supporting of Yoruba, she wrote a full book antagonizing Yoruba and no one ever took her serious or maybe she just use every opportunity about Yoruba to gather fame about herself, or her weak self loosing a story competition to a Yoruba boy, still hurt till day. The only part i grabbed from her article, was when she make it indirectly, Lagos is a Yoruba land, i wonder if this young igbo can ever relate to that.

  23. Teekay Akin

    April 11, 2015 at 12:57 am

    Re:Chimamanda Adichie: On The Oba Of Lagos

    A friend recently drew my attention to the article titled ‘Chimamanda Adichie: On The Oba Of Lagos’ and even though before reading it I knew exactly what to expect, I wasn’t disappointed at all.

    I’m not one that take celebrities – actors, musicians, fiction-writers and the likes any seriously outside their field and most importantly in the political, historical or social field.

    I simply knew what to expect already. Very few in these positions will be able to write objectively without trying to impress their ever teeming fans with liberalism which is the world’s new hype.

    Being Igbo, I expected, you, Chimamanda to condemn the words of the Oba Akiolu of Lagos. And actually not simply because you are Igbo, because if it had also been an Ibo King that had stated this you would have also condemned it, under a different pretext, which is – liberalism. I really didn’t expect your honest and unbiased opinion on the issue even if the tables were flipped and the land and people in question were Ibos.

    You simply have your fans to consider while writing these sort of things. You wouldn’t want to be considered tribalistic or prejudiced to another nationality within Nigeria, not after having waxed lyrically about foreign cultures and Africa.

    Well, I on the other hand, even though a writer, do not feed from the masses and thus speak my blunt mind at all times, as I have on this issue in a few long and short articles and will on here as well.

    Firstly, Yes, as I’ve said Oba Akiolu, the Eleko of Eko, might have gone a bit far in our eyes and we might sit around and pick parts or the whole of his statements and try and analyse every bit and questioning the weight of the words but have you for once asked yourself where is he coming from?

    Now, that is a valid question the vast majority of you have failed to ask yourselves. Maybe if you understood and knew where he was coming from you can then understand the anger and bluntness of his words and the complete disregard in the context.

    Looking back at the video, I mean, these were Igbo leaders in Lagos and even they cheered and praised the King after his words, not one complained or grumbled. Again, why was that?

    Are we saying we the online revolutionists understand more than these on-the-ground so called leaders?
    Are we saying that we with a smart phone, a laptop and internet connection somehow understand the historical and social natures of the problems we face more than these?

    Somehow every Uche, Adamu and Wale has taken to the internet to rant over this without touching the foundations of the issues nor flipping the coin over to see how he/she would have reacted if he/she had been in those shoes.

    When I read the speech and watched the video, all I could think of was how the Yorubas lost Ilorin to Alimi, the Fulani, through Afonja back in the 18th century or there about. All I could say was this sounds like Deja vu all over again. Something the Oba wants to prevent from happening.

    Why didn’t the Oba mention this during the last election or the ones since 1999?
    Why during this time?
    Why against Jimi Agbaje who is actually his blood relation as he mentioned?

    Now, look at Jimi and his party princinples and rhetorics in Lagos. In Lagos alone the PDP has used the majority Ibos in some areas to override the indigenous people and place Ibo candidates in the House, four, in all if I’m not mistaken. Do you think the indigenes have not complained or aren’t worried that the identity of their communities is being washed away?

    During this period we have heard many from this party claim -Lagos is a no man’s land – that rhetoric has been louder during this times and even some going as far as saying, they could make an Ibo man a governor in Lagos and even an Oba.

    We’ve all read these comments in whole or quoted in various forms over the weeks. Somehow, you people saw it as being funny, liberal, One-Nigeria in nature and all that, but never for once placed yourselves at the receiving end of this.

    You also mentioned that Lagos is different from other cities in Nigeria,say Onisha,Ibadan, Kano etc, because it’s been developed as the first capital, but did the indigenes of Lagos pray this ill upon themselves?
    Did they choose that their lands be defiled in such a manner?
    Wasn’t the idea of Nigeria and the capital city enforced them by the British at first and the subsequently by the Nigerian state itself?
    So are we the indigenes of Lagos the condemned to this fate, this curse, which to you seems a blessing?

    But simply because the idea of the cosmopolitan Lagos is a blessing to you or most immigrants to the state, the feelings of curse and destruction felt by the indigenes of Eko must be overlooked,discarded and swept away, right?

    Our feelings makes no difference whatsoever, do they?

    You mentioned Igbos being scapgoated for political reasons and gave the example of Chinua Achebe leaving Lagos in the 60s, but somehow you never failed to mention the other thousands of Yorubas, Hausas and Fulanis who also had to leave various parts of Biafra to return to their home lands, places they also called home and felt unsafe to be in because of their various ethnicities or should I say nationalities.

    Were they not also scapegoated by the Igbos for political reasons?

    Or are you somehow telling me that only the Igbos were victims of scapegoating during the 60s?
    I’m sure, Chinua and those from his era should have schooled you better in history.

    You say the Oba’s words ‘bring worrying echoes of the early 1960s in Nigeria’, and you never asked yourself why?

    I’m sure you must have read or heard the interview Ahamadu Bello gave in the 60s about his lands and the development measures they had taken and his opinion of the Igbos in his lands. Now, crises on-going in Lagos and the rhetoric and disregard being drummed up by the PDP brings worrying echoes of that deja vu to mind as well.

    At the time,I thought Bello went to far, I condemned him, but a Hausa man told me, that when I am in those shoes I’ll feel where they hurt, well, now I’m in them and I completely understand and see where they hurt.

    You never for once placed forward a logical solution.

    Yes, Yes, Yes, we can cry One-Nigeria from now till dusk and through dawn, but we mustn’t be foolish to assume there is anything like that. If there were,we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    We can’t learn to live together, con-existence doesn’t come from learning, but rather from providing a conducive environment that all parties agree to. I can’t learn to live in an unfair, un-conducive union.

    We can’t simply wake up and start feeling a collective sense of ownership to Nigeria. If we could, if it were that simple we sure would have. But that’s not the case.

    How can anyone feel a collective ownership to a union which even according to you ‘…has, by turns, been violent, unfair, neglectful, of different parts of the country’.?

    Should common sense tell one to first try and fix that state itself?
    Try and eliminate the system which makes it unfair,neglectful and violent?
    Shouldn’t one first seek to bring every nationality in Nigeria to the table and re-discuss this union called Nigeria?

    Where everyone can finally agree to disagree over various issues, from land, to culture to religion, to society, to politics and the whole lot of them. Shouldn’t we try and for once re-define what it means to be Nigeria instead of cowering under the definition of the British and the lame,plagiarised document called the constitution?

    If the constitution was any valid, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. If the various amendments were valid, we wouldn’t be having these problems.

    The sooner we understood these the better. The sooner we cut off the folly of sentiments-playing and got down to the bluntness of the situation, the better for us.

    By Teekay Akin Adeseye

  24. Adewumi J. Elusoji

    April 11, 2015 at 1:00 am

    For any one that has live with Yoruba people’s very well especially in Lagos will know that Yoruba calling his bosom friend madman( Were) does not mean he wants him to get mad. A Lagos based Igbo lawyer and industrialist, one of the person at the said meeting spoke recently that Oba is only talking to his friends at the meeting. You can see in the video tape after Obas speech it was ovation and applauds. The recorder of the scene is a devil and he has bad intentions against Nigeria as a Nation. This is not the time to be promoting country disunity. We must move on and we shall get there ijn. God bless Nigeria AMEN.

  25. Teekay Akin

    April 11, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Re:Chimamanda Adichie: On The Oba Of Lagos

  26. Naomi

    April 11, 2015 at 1:05 am

    I totally agree with you @Emerem.i pray and crave for that day when Nigeria n’s will not see themselves as sections and tribes and look towards unity, then CHANGE will come. I must commend my mentor, Chimamanda for this post.without inciting hate you just drove your point home, Nigeria is for all,lagos is for all.only yorubas can’t change this country neither can only igbos or hausas do it.there is strength in diversity and strength in unity.the Obas words to me are derogatory and at the same time meaningless. @vicky leaders should lead by examples.this democracy doesn’t mean we should all go crazy.words once said, can’t be taken back.

  27. ngozi

    April 11, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Femi please dont go there with “two wrongs can’t make a right”.when people in authority spread hate you rebuke them at once.I can condole everyone’s opinion but it should be free from any kind of hate.bigots are social don’t know the igbo story so you should jump into a comment like that.chimamanda is trying to straighten this here by stating the obvious.history isn’t taught in schools maybe we should start saying the civil war story that story is the most untold story in Nigeria.

  28. Emeka

    April 11, 2015 at 1:14 am

    I wish to tell all igbos living in Lagos that we all should be ready to take over Lagos from the Yorubas since they believe they can insult us and get away with for fire .peace for peaceful not be taken prepared at all times

  29. Condolina Ima

    April 11, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Tee Kay Akin… clap for yourself…. You know I would have stuck to the issue and picked your comment, which by the way, was longer than the article itself. If it took you such length to make just one point, I believe at the end of your massive effort you came to appreciate what it means to be a world acclaimed multiple award winning writer. Only fools will make the statement you made in your opening two paragraph. You have no respect for intellect, It will be your ruin.

  30. Ugwu Fortunatus Nduka

    April 11, 2015 at 2:03 am

    I would have pencilled down a comment but doing so would be an exercise in futility. You rightly identified the issue of citizenship as the antidote to our concept of nation and nation building.

  31. Lifebender

    April 11, 2015 at 2:06 am

    Why u no carry cane come beat him nah???

    Am not suprised,you are one of the main problem we have in nigeria.Tho iam yet to read any of your books,i pray not to,but Chinua Achebe is my best author in this world.I do not even conpare him with the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien,shakespeare,alan paton and others.Which is shows my love for An igbo man.
    My point are as follows:

    1.Do you know when we talk about tribalism,the igbos takes the lead?No sentiment here,if a yoruba man fight an igbo man,even if the igbo man is wrong he’ll be sided by his kinsmen(What is,Is).That is why i can ne’r allow any igbo man to watch my back.
    2.Igbos are highly gullible.You harldy hear from the wise ones,it is the one eyed ones that usually takes the lead,and all others follow without thinking twice..You lot got that info probably from PDP agent.Why are ur leaders that were there still keeping mute on this matter?.Ofcos they are in a pposition to shed more lyt on this and yet they are no where to be found.Are they enjoying the saga?
    3.You claimed some people are saying let bygones be bygones..Ofcos that is the rule.If you pursue this issue further do you think its goin to help the already strained relationship between the 2 tribes?
    4.The Oba said something bad,accepted.But he was disrespected and called so many names,moreover the daring attitude of ur kinsmen like making a cloth titled”I want to die in the lagoon”and ”lagoon bus”.Do you you think all this will let the matter come to an end?
    5.Honour the anointed says the bible,the Oba has been called so many unfitting names.Yoruba people revered the king.You dnt xpect this to continue and be xpecting a unity between the two tribes.
    6.The igbos are daring,Bcos lagos is developed doesnt make it their state.Just last year they wanted a market renamed bcos they populated the area,can such happen in SE?(The yorubas havent forgotten the history of ilorin;Why they have Emir instead of Oba).Iam a yoruba man.From Ekiti precisely but i live in Ogun.Here in Ogun,people say it to my my face where are you from,you are not a son of the land..And whatnot with igbo.When u’rea away from home,u play cool.
    7.The utterance of the Oba doesnt mean all yorubas are Tribalist.The yorubas are the most accomodatin of all the tribes.You can find so many Igbos and Hausas in SW.But not so many Yorubas in N and SE/SS.

    Judge fairly:i believe ”What is,Is”And if you do not accept what is,it only makes you a fool.

  32. Temi

    April 11, 2015 at 2:28 am

    What the Oba said was infantile and belittles the post he holds in the society. Those are his views and it shows how politics has eaten deep through his thinking cap, making this act the most embarrassing goof of his tenure so far. If everyone tolls this same line of thought, condemning the Oba, I strongly support that the Oba should remorsefully apologize to all Nigerians and not to the Igbos only. However, caution should be infused In a situation where every body is consoling you like a crying child, to stop crying and move on, but you continue crying, there will be a point when it will become a nuisance like this long epistles Chimamanda has written, probably calling for the head of the Oba. Then we say o fé té… Looking at the way she has also blown it wider than Lagos and making us remember the spoilt old days that can never be lived again to make amendments and neither can amendments be made by an article that replies foolish sentences from someone who bribed his way to reach the top. It is only a fool that will say Lagos is developed because it is a Yoruba land and not because it is part of Nigeria… The Oba must apologize before Chimamanda cuts his head off… This article is heavy…

  33. Rabbi

    April 11, 2015 at 2:38 am

    The fact remains that, Nigeria is what it is today because, some people who are in position to promote utmost possibility of unification have invariably turned themselves into agents of division and primordial tribal sentiments. Without mincing words, what was demonstrated by the Oba of Lagos; considering someone in his capacity as retired AIG and, now a traditional ruler of a cosmopolitan territory like Lagos is a huge disappointment. It also go a long way to show his mindset towards the Igbos in general. Reading comment from someone like Stanley Nwokocha castigating Chimamada’s article is laughable. I think he either read the article with a prepared biased mind or he totally lacked comprehension of its essence. The fact remains that: Igbos are quite stronger and self-motivating than what most barbaric individuals have anticipated. Are Igbos the only tribe in Nigeria? We talk about Igbos because, there are pertinent things to talk about. Anyone trying to tell the Igbos how to forget their past is like telling the Jews to forget about the holocaust experience, which has in no small way made them stronger. The Igbos need no pity from anybody to wax stronger and forge ahead in prosperity. What is extremely necessary is, let no individual or any authority directly or indirectly tends to inflict any form of social or political discomfort through inciting utterances on tribe in Nigeria. It should be clear to all and sundry that, as long as Nigeria is still one country, nobody is more Nigerian than the other.

  34. Sevza Asongo

    April 11, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Good piece from an attractive,dimpled lady.

  35. Skoybus

    April 11, 2015 at 2:49 am

    This is well spoken. This is the time for all Nigerians to be one.
    We must all like together to build a better nation.
    Nigeria should come first in all we do.

  36. Dele

    April 11, 2015 at 3:13 am

    victimhood syndrome let loose! It’s disingenious!

  37. Abara Uzoma

    April 11, 2015 at 3:15 am

    Igbos are being toyed with because they alway preach peace, but a day shall come. This is all I have to say.

  38. Igwe Chike

    April 11, 2015 at 3:15 am

    ” Though tongue and tribe may differ in brotherhood we stand,” was too much of a glaring indictment on their unpatriotic treatments on the Igbos and they quashed the National Anthem and gave us this funny one. For the first time someone analysis this sad episode the way I have always felt it. Igbos are taken for granted in Nigeria, majorly, because the disappointments of Biafran war hinders them from going violent in certain instances where most Hausas and Yorubas would have killed all the Igbos dwelling in the North or West, respectively. The funny part of our existence in Nigeria is depicted in who bears the brunt when two nationals fight in Nigeria. If two Hausas, or a Hausa and a Yoruba, or two Yorubas fight; they burn Igbos shops and homes. I thank you for this piece.

  39. Adesina Oluwafemi

    April 11, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Which republic is this? Banana republic???
    Igbos in Lagoon?
    I have lived in Eastern Nigeria, I have lived and hovered Northern Nigeria,….. I was born in western Nigeria……….One Nigeria is still in the paper not yet practical as it should be. However Yorubas are the most accommodating tribe I have witnessed. Then why is this new development? Who are those selling us for politics sake?
    As a rational thinker, I have always opposed this idea of following a political party like a blind man. Greater populations of Nigerians have this habit. If a party is popular in Yoruba land, every Tom, Dick and Harry wants you to be a member. No! We must not live as people in medulla slave camp. Leasing out our cerebrum to another popular individual tell less of our capacity to think. Where is our independence of thought?
    Whoever wins between Agbaje and Ambode, should be result of free will of people. The threat and coercion of voters to vote for a candidate belong to stone age. I am not at ease with the statement by Oba Akiolu of Lagos that Igbos must vote Ambode and that if they don’t, they will die in lagoon. I know Yoruba Obas believe in pronouncing a curse such as we read in annal of history when Aole cursed Ilorin. However, we are no more in such age and this should be condemned.
    My serious wonderment is in the comments am hearing from educated people who are leaving leprosy aside and curing ring worm. They find a reason to support why Oba Akiolu was furious, basing it upon Agbaje’s plan to make Lagos no mans land in support of Igbos.
    Where have we left our objectivity? Where is our right thinking? Is it not our adage that says “taa ba beran wi, aa beran wi” (balance is the anchor of judgement) “Ani a bole wi, eeni oninkan o fii i bi o daa?” (We said we should togetherly correct a thief, you now say the owner did not put it in right place). Where have we put our “Omoluabi” (right thinking) which does not “s’egbe l’eyin enikan?????” (which is not partial).
    Yes LAGOS IS YORUBA LAND and Agbaje can not attempt making Lagos no mans land without trouble springing up. If he said so, Agbaje should be criticized on that I agree but not to the point of pretending we never hear the threat of the Oba against the Igbos.
    Words are powerful and eyin l’oun , to ba ti bo sile ko se ko mo. Proffessor Chinua Achebe before he died already wrote in a book …”there was a country” that Chief Obafemi Awolowo planned a genocide of the Igbos during Biafran war. The family debunked this and I support the debunking because Awolowo is highly respected and much more why should the two dead men leave a trouble behind for us…??? But where do we put this one by this prominent oba.
    If any small thing that could be seen as normal on a normal day happen to any Ibo man on Saturday, no one will see it as natural. Oh they already said we will die inside lagoon. It is very easy to start a war.
    …..and it is very easy to stop one from starting.
    Are you a politician Oga Femi? Yes I am, but that is not my motive of writing. Jesus taught me in the scripture to be at peace with all men, without which no man shall see the Lord.This is my motive.
    Maybe my points above are not right or maybe the Oba is right, may I welcome your view because only fool is right in his own eyes always

  40. Olivia

    April 11, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Chimamanda thanks a lot. You never dissapoint. It is quite ignorant and ridiculous for anyone to say this statement is one sided and promotes hatred, when we know the issue being talked about.

  41. Nath

    April 11, 2015 at 3:54 am

    To cut the long story short. Igbos and Yoruba do not like themselves. Hausa and Fulani does not like themselves. And so many other ethnic groups in Nigeria. Solution: Let the nation called Nigeria be discussed by all parties. Do we still want a Nigeria or we should all go our separate ways. Honestly with this so much hatred, there can never be development and growth. We would continue to be termed the third world country. That paradigm shift requires peace, unity and love.

  42. Belonwu Jude (Esq.)

    April 11, 2015 at 4:07 am

    I am of the view that this period should be the very right time for every nigerian to thread with caution both in our reactions and actions, utterances and considerations.

    Such a derogatory statement, proceeding from the mouth of a very important personality, like the Oba of Lagos, is capable of engendering instability, political insensitivity and tribal chaos which may undoubtedly, lead to economic crisis.

    However, to solve this issue permanently; getting its effect relatively deleted from the memory and mindset of every present person of Igbo extraction, demands a sincere open written apology on a public media by His Highness, Oba Akiolu, from whom such statement proceeded from. To this extent, humility should play a very crucial role here and simultaneously, magnify the sanctity of the leadership role and traditional regard of the Oba of Lagos on the assumption that the aforestated view of mine is objectively considered by the Oba.


    April 11, 2015 at 4:13 am

    It is obvious that there is no basics for the unity of this geographical expression called Nigeria. I invoke and align myself with the age old reasoning of Alhaji Ahmedu Bello, the then Sarduana of sokota that “the amalgamation of 1914 is the most regretable political mistake Nigeria ever made”. The only tribe that so much believe in one Nigeria is Igbo. This is evident on the fact that Igbos see every part of Nigeria as their home, lives and settle anywhere in Nigeria and contribute in development of the economy of that region. There is virtually no part of Nigeria one will go without an Igbo living there. This is the spirit of one Nigeria. Regretably, Nigeria have consistently shown that Igbos are not wanted. Not even a comment in condemnation of the Oba’s genocidal threat on Igbos have been officially released by the Lagos state Government which had once deported Igbos from Lagas to Onitsha in the same Nigeria. Can one be expelled from his own country? The Federal Government are as well silent in the Oba’s genocide speech. This brings to mind the silence of our government during the pogrom of Igbos in the 60s. History is about repeating itself. I therefore, state as in clear and strong terms that the Oba’s threat is completely unaccptable and the silence of the government highly suspicious. The Oba is not above the law of the land and as such the cosmetic and proxy apology by Nigerians on his behalf simply makes the Oba a supper man who is above the law. The Oba should apologize and withdraw in person his genocidal threat. Arguing as it is currently done now by his palace officials that because he is Oba, it is a taboo for him to withdraw his threat is at best a beautiful nonsense. If I had what it takes, the Oba would be answering Charges at ICC by now.

    In conclusion, I align myself with the reasoning of Chimamanda and as well urge my Igbo brothers and sisters to face reality, let’s come together to carve out an entity we can call our own where we need not show gratitude for being a citizen.

  44. temi

    April 11, 2015 at 4:16 am

    What the Oba said was infantile and belittles the post he holds in the society. Those are his views and it shows how politics has eaten deep through his thinking cap, making this act the most embarrassing goof of his tenure so far. If everyone tolls this same line of thought, condemning the Oba, I strongly support that the Oba should remorsefully apologize to all Nigerians and not to the Igbos only. However, caution should be infused In a situation where every body is consoling you like a crying child, to stop crying and move on, but you continue crying, there will be a point when it will become a nuisance like this long epistles Chimamanda has written, probably calling for the head of the Oba. Then we say o fé té… Looking at the way she has also blown it wider than Lagos and making us remember the spoilt old days that can never be lived again to make amendments and neither can amendments be made by an article that replies foolish sentences from someone who bribed his way to reach the top. It is only a fool that will say Lagos is developed because it is a Yoruba land and not because it stole that vital part of the Nigerian economy, being the gate way for virtually everything… The Oba must apologize before Chimamanda cuts his head off… This article is heavy…

  45. Bose

    April 11, 2015 at 4:22 am

    Well said. I don’t know why we all are so intolerant of each other irrespective of our ethnicity.

  46. jamiu

    April 11, 2015 at 4:22 am

    Oba of Lagos is not threathen it was just transfar of anoryanace. for a canndidate to asure Egues in Lagos that their status wiil be race above the indigenous paramont ruler. Am sure no Egue can take such.

  47. ola

    April 11, 2015 at 4:25 am

    igbos are very good friends of the south west natives why are they treated in this manner is it because the yorubas are not accommodating enough or they don’t respect the right of the yorubas and others in their respective habitation, come to think of adichie’s words about yorubas been tribalistic ,ill treatment towards her tribe,please which tribe have more accommodating if not the yorubas.I am not trying to praise the Yoruba But accusing them of being too soft on their right and tribal issues giving too much space for other ethics groups at the detriment of theirs .. taking the character of the ignore people towards then selves is filled with arrogancy, ego, lack of social norms,tribalism domiciliary attitude

    etc these attitudes are what the Yorubas been condoling since their advent in our midst, what an attitude.even within themselves is they are not good to themselves their relationship filled with hatred and all sort of.
    So coming to think of, claiming they also own Lagos, they want to be in the house of reps, or wanting to be the next vice governor of Lagos, isn’t that redicule to the ordinary Yoruba man talk less of the a king of the Yoruba land,very rediculous indeed.please if I may ask adichie, if your home town was Lagos and a Yoruba man ,an intruder comes to contest for a post in the house of reps,please would he be allowed ,I am very sure he would have been kidnapped of even murdered. So u better be just sister author. we accommodated you just like the hausas and they have not been has arrogant and domicile as you are.
    if the oba said such a word he had the right to protect his land from intruders.
    perhaps all you brought to us is high cost of living, bad social norms like nudity,alc,etc
    so therefore be grateful.

  48. Barley Okeadu

    April 11, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Perhaps this could be a wake up call to Chimamanda Adichie, who – in many of her writings and speeches – identifies herself as a Nigerian. Before we begin to talk of unity, citizens’ rights and all that, there must be a real nation. Nigeria has never been a nation. It has only been a collection of peoples who never have yet freely agreed to share a geo-political space. That is the fundamental issue to be addressed first. The very few people who have been benefitting from the existing contraption have been avoiding that frank ‘make-or-break’ discussion we inevitably need to have. Until then, the identity and citizenship confusion will remain intact. Teekay Akin Adeseye somewhat touched on this reality in his comment.

  49. Banton

    April 11, 2015 at 4:44 am

    I like your courage and you’re nothing but Igbo… Or ibo, your people have not done anything for themselves even in your town… So many divisions. But they wanna wang tongue on the OBA of Lagos for a comment…. If you know the history of IGAIDUGANRAN in Lagos … Every houses was rented to no one but IBOS and that’s the thrones lands and on the Lagos island alone built all the foundations of success of majority of your people today. But you wanna talk stories you don’t even know… In truthfulness tell me where in your place that is most receptive like any place in Yoruba land… You mentioned landlords don’t give houses or rent properties to IBOS, you know that is so disingenuous of your contributions, instead of you to be thankfully you talk about one Nigeria… Whereas IBOS are the one that sowed the seeds of splitting Nigeria which is still on the table till today…. You can get angry all you want… IBOS will sell their mother for monetary gain… And that’s the truth. Yorubas have policy and that’s why you wanna stay in Lagos …. We protect all IBOS properties even during the war… And I know many Yoruba sacrifice their lives for the IBOS cause during the civil war…. Till moment tell me how many IBOS did that… I’ll wait…. In Yoruba land if you bite the hand that feeds you, you’re nothing but a traitor. The OBA is human and he can make mistakes but if you think you can bully our OBA to eat his words… It won’t happen and every Yoruba will die for him… Can you die for EZE’S? Answer I’ll wait… You do not follow history ask the housas…. They know better not to mess with us like they do to your people because one of you somewhere is getting paid for all the trouble and he’ll come back home to be splashed with titles that’s why they don’t mess with us we have policy and traditions of self identity politics and no matter what we stay together for common purpose can Igbos say the same? No…. He from ABAKiILIKI he’s not Anambra or vice versa have you heard anything like that in Yoruba land despite our different tongues… Do not drummed up war sounds if you don’t know how to dance to it and if it explode there will be no place to run… So to move on let the if iigbos respect their landlord and peace will rain after… Those that’s backing up the EZES TO disrespect the OBA will tell them later that they never send them any errands. HERE OBA talks no body argues not even the president of Nigeria as long as he sit on his chair anything he says goes…. My friends a word is enough for the wise ones, don’t start what you cannot finish….I have a lot of Igbos in my family and friends, so stop.

  50. Akin Tewe

    April 11, 2015 at 4:54 am

    This lady is so fake. Why twist everything to fit her narrative? I know many Yorubas including myself condemned the speech in very clear language. This woman just writes from some preconceived notions, the truth be damned. I am so turned off by the prejudice and bias with a total disregard for truth that this piece of fiction stands for. Go write another book to condemn your people, that is where you make your money, even though it is all lies, as usual.

  51. Lee Gyamfi

    April 11, 2015 at 5:04 am

    I don’t have to be a Nigerian to see sense in what Amanda is saying.

  52. Ayo Babatunde

    April 11, 2015 at 5:16 am

    we like deceit a lot in Nigeria. Please let’s try as much as possible to live in peace and harmony in Nigeria.

    When people say Lagos is No Man’s Land, the Lagosians and populace usually laugh over it.

    When PDP produces 3 non Lagosians as HOR members if we can possibly laugh over it let’s do but it if generates Indigeneship Sentiments please stop laughing and stop writing these epistles which further buttresses the points we are not yet ready for Citizenship Sentiments.

    I am a Nigerian but every time I feel any official form I am required to feel in my state of origin. I don’t update Lagos State. Voters Register, International Passport, Bank Account Details, Drivers License, Jamb Form, Job Applications, General Hosiptal Records, University Bursary Form, State Secretariat Application, Ministerial Nominations etc

    If all the above still considers state of origin and not place of birth honestly it will be very deceitful to claim Lagos is No Man’s Land. It is also very unwise and one sided to claim Lagos is not like Enugu, Kano or Ibadan. The Lagosians are shorter in height or they get extra quota from the competition arising from everyone crowding up his own state of Origin. Or does Lagos have more Local Government allocation from the center for the crowded land space? You also forget so soon when Lagos tried creating more local government councils to take care of this same accommodating nature and the resultant problems, where was the brilliant Chimamanda then to fight and write so succinctly on behalf of Lagos or was there support of the Ibo senators to add to the call for more LGs from the senate floor.

    Nigeria is not yet ready Citizenship as are operating in the era of ‘Indigeneship’. Before then it will be very selfish of Chimamanda to advocate Lagos is No Man’s Land and it effectively has no Indigenes to take up those seats. It is deceit to write this way especially when you are not on ground or are you waiting to write a sequel to your earlier one! If the indigenes recent your writings with mayhem, the ibos lose fortunes/peace/homes/commerce and you gain another book! God Forbid.
    I heard an Ibo man say Yoruba can’t fight and are not violent. I thank God for that but don’t take it for granted. It was the Wild Wild West. The Yoruba’s say when the house is still in peace and harmony it is because the bastard child is not yet mature.

    Please stop this deceit and deal with issues from the root not from the leaves.

    Lagos has owners, Lagos has Settlers and we are all mostly Nigerian Citizens. Give some honour to the owners of the land called Lagos until a reciprocal gesture can be given everywhere in Nigeria. I look forward to the day an Egba Man will be representing Abia East Senetorial District in the senate wearing free flowing Agbada and an Abeti Aja Cap.

  53. emeka

    April 11, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Ms Adichie, I read your writeup voraciously as I am wont to your novels and writings. Your points are noted. But i would have been happier if you had some things to say to our people. For example, at what point did the presidential campaign and elections become a tribal war between igbos and hausas? At what point did pdp become an exclusive igbo party, why the ugly campaign in the east that apc is a yoruba party and anyone associated with it is anti igbo and anti Christian as if we are really true xxtians? In history groups don’t vote for no reason. A greater number of Hispanics vote the Democrats because of its immigrant positive policies. Why did igbos vote Gej, because he is our brother, for your info Gej is not our brother, for who is your brother, in that sense read the story of the good samaritan. My point is that we have a lot of work to do on ourselves, we must learn circumspection, we must learn to kowtow to people of intellect, a fat bank account does not an igbo leader make. The truth is that no matter what we say, Nigeria is made of ethnic nationalities that cling to their ways and if we desire peace we must show respect. We should not boast that we can determine who rules Lagos whether the indigenous people want it or not, if we do, a serious fight back is not unexpected. On a final note, THE OBA WAS NOT CIRCUMSPECT.

  54. Oluwakemi

    April 11, 2015 at 5:27 am

    I agree with a lot that has been said by Stanley, Femi Adelugba and Vicky. Chimamanda, you’re a great writer and we applaud you…but please stick to your calling as a fiction writer not a social nor political commentator. To be this, is to have a BALANCED view on things. You tend to stay on one side on A LOT of issues and speak from your own perspective. If it’s not feminism, its tribalism, and if not, it’s liberalism, all some form of extremism. Except you are truly called to be a voice to our great nation, of which in that case, one needs a tremendous amount of middle ground posture. You’ve done very well in your field. Leave others be, that matters may not be aggravated…hm? Daalu

  55. francis christian

    April 11, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Adiche has done her personal analysis on Oba’s speech, no matter the angle you are seeing it from, it is her perception. It marvels me why such statements will even come out from the mouth of the Oba, because out of the abundant of heart mouth speaks. A good thematic analysis of comments here reveals majorely of defensive approach from those their names sound yourubas and their quick acceptance of Stanley whose name sound ibo.Yet you can not deny the fact what has been spoken has been spoken. No one can be in some’s heart to interpret what exactly he or she meant when we speak. Apart from contexual and situational analysis, we address the statements directly. My friends, this Oba should be responsible of anything that happens to Igbos in lagos and as a matter of fact, federal government should also deal with this, if not the future consenquences may be disastrous.

  56. Mayen Moyo

    April 11, 2015 at 5:33 am

    The reality is the civil that has further ingrained ethnic sentiment in the minds of our people. Ethnic politics is not necessary a problem, but it’s instrumentation for wrong purpose. Now, we have overblown the oba’s statement when we should be promoting unity among our people. Much as I respect Chimamanda, this article is part of what’s taking that statement out its proportion. What should we do when everyone is getting confrontational? Who’s to bring the peace that’s needed?

  57. Anorue Juliet

    April 11, 2015 at 5:36 am

    If anyone is by any means criticising what Chimanda wrote then you fail to understand her clearly. If you’re truthful enough, you’ll agree with me that Ndi igbo have suffered in the hands of other ethnic groups. They ignore every derogatory words and keep moving on. For an oba as a traditional ruler to come on to any trash to the Igbo is tribalistic, an act of hatred and it is unacceptable. For anyone who tries to feel bad because of what Chimanda wrote in a polite manner, try to put yourself in Ndi Igbo shoes…!

  58. austin

    April 11, 2015 at 5:53 am

    Absolutely correct! I equally thought as much Chimamanda, Lagos has been a cosmopolitan city right from the time of colonization. If non-Nigerians from West African countries can live and thrive in Lagos without being asked to be “grateful” for it, how much more the Igbos who were in the forefront during the struggle and realization of an Independent Nigeria? did Lagos develop by itself?? Is this the idea of “one Nigeria” that Nnamdi Azikiwe fought to establish?? What do we say about the American nation??? God help our old prejudices.

  59. Tony Okeke

    April 11, 2015 at 6:02 am

    We are always mearnt to believe that we are one nation and is clear that we are not and we have reason to go our seperate ways instead of fakeing and pretending that we are one….. let THE IGBOS BE!

  60. Offor Chinedu

    April 11, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Adichie has made a historic mark through her write-up but many fake igbos will continue to live in perpetual unawareness. Igbos lets wake up from our deep feelings that Nigeria is one. It is not
    . If an oba can drop such comment , what do think of an average Yoruba person. It is written: “out of the abundance of heart the mouth speaketh”. So, oba Akiolu’s statement was premeditated . Igbo please note this: “You cannot protect from without what you cannot protect from within”.

  61. Temitope Ol-Sunmonu

    April 11, 2015 at 6:07 am

    I would like to applaud Ms.Adichie for her passion and commitment to her people. I am not the Oba, but I join many Yoruba people I know, to apologise on his behalf. I love the Igbos a lot. My best friend is Igbo and I had a swell time serving in Anambra. Most of the people who genuinely looked out for me were Igbo and I was really looking forward to marrying from there. Undoubtedly there are Persons like the Oba, persons who live in the past, who cleave to their heritage and forget that a nation has been born and must be co-owned. I don’t know what we are to do about such persons but I wouldn’t like the world to continually believe there are tribes which are endangered species in a volatile nation. I know the Igbos are entitled to their pride, but we must not respond to contempt with contempt, so that we wouldn’t be guilty of what we complain. Please, do hear the well meaning plea of Nigerians, your brothers from various part of the country who offer a balm for your wounds in an encouragement that realises That you are brave enough move on. Hopefully, generations to come will be rid of this venom. Please, lets not toe the line of the “insignificant” few and stir animosity within.Let’s not yield to the evil stirring of countrymen who exploit our pride for their selfish gains in a divide and rule style, knowing that they as well could be the very ones who turn around to act like they have given us liberties no human can claim to give. Let’s collectively own Nigeria and people like Ms. Adichie should consistently petition the leadership of this nation to deal with these issues. And while we are waiting for the New Nigeria we can all be proud of, let’s go the part of persons like Martin Luther King Jnr. Who refused hate in the quest of justice and equality, and in no distant time we all would have the equality and ownership we so crave.


    April 11, 2015 at 6:08 am


  63. Stephen

    April 11, 2015 at 6:08 am

    This is a masterpiece by Chiamanda Adichie. She has said it all. The Oba should understand that he does not have monopoly of violence. The Igbos have what it takes to match violence with violence but we are keeping quiet to let peace rein, but if any one or group feels strong enough to declare war on The Igbos, there will be a more than commensurate reaction. I think the Oba is begging for another Civil War.

  64. Pilot One

    April 11, 2015 at 6:10 am

    Chimamanda, this is an excellent piece. I’m not Ibo but I felt the disregard when I watched the video clips of the Oba’s statement. I was reffered to an Ibo guy when I use live and hustle in Lagos. Why? Because of my tenacity and driving force to succeed. Ibos are very hhard working people and have also contributed in making Lagos what it is today. Nigeria is one and that the Oba’s statement was tribalistic, it should be retracted apologetically.

  65. Ugwu Ogechukwu

    April 11, 2015 at 6:22 am

    I feel so sorry for the Igbo race. Can we really be seen as Nigerians?

  66. Urch

    April 11, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Beware of the naked man that who offers you his shirt. When someone use an ambiguous language to some people in a one nation without minding the impression, that man should class as a man without integrity, a man with anger that is literately senseless. Igbo’s, are of good understanding not minding the political state of the nation where they are, not minding the indirect marginalization, When you call someone a fool and he look at you after looking at you laugh, that means you are the big fool. Time will tell!!!. A barking Dog don’t bite, a noise maker is seeking for notice. Major statement or words use by Oba of Lagos and TY Danjuma to Igbo’s, is a word that has shown the anger of mankind to Igbo’s, yet nothing happen non-Igbo man said anything, that shows intelligence and of good Character. Do not take it for Cowardice, rather watch it time will tell. If you look down the economy of the nation and the commerce you will be amaze, which is the reason there is no time to bark back to barker. Monkey smart Monkey smart, it is because tree near tree!! Time will come tree will be far from another tree then Igbo’s will become gripper. So now do not be exited in the head of a scorpion, because on his tell there the power lies on.

  67. Aruoshla Lord

    April 11, 2015 at 6:36 am

    Weldon dear, A clear cut lane to the Oba from your pen. Lagos is not like any other city in Nigeria, Lagos was once time Nigeria CAPITAL. Mr Tong Said take your time and read this work again, you will understand her stands on Lagos. The Oba speech was evil and un-patriotic, the Oba words were of a drunker who forgot he is an Oba and his words counts in that part of the country. The OBA speech should be condemn in totality and should not just be seen as a mere speech but a punishable one as such. I rest my case. 18157

  68. Tosin

    April 11, 2015 at 6:45 am

    Honestly coming from a huge fan of Chimamanda I’m a bit disappointed. I at least thought she was wise and educated enough to know that if you’re going to write about a social issue like this one, being a public figure, you would know to consider both sides. I am in NO way condoning the Oba’s words..AT ALL. But come, would a native from Anambra find it alright for me, a Yoruba, to go to his land, build my house and all of a sudden refer to his land as ‘no man’s’? Yes Lagos is Nigeria’s metropolis but just as every man/woman would like their culture and traditions respected. So would native lagosians. Nigerians should be allowed to settle wherever but instead of reinforcing old tribalistic ideals, Chimamanda, how about we preach respect for each others heritage. Did it ever occur to you that yorubas were acting out of anger towards igbos because they felt there was a lack of respect for their culture, heritage and land? I expect that if I travel to the east, I will try to understand the culture and maybe there will be bits I don’t agree with but I will in no way try to enforce my ideals on the people. I’ve lived in Europe and encountered many Nigerians abroad, how is it that none of them are trying to force our culture down their throats but we think it’s okay to do that with our fellow Nigerians. Don’t preach hate against igbos please, we are trying to move away from that mindset. The Obas words were spoken out of frustration that we ALL can relate to, it wasn’t right however. But please don’t spread the seed of hate… I’m Yoruba, I hold no hatred in my heart for Igbos and I’m sure my igbo friends don’t hate me too, I’m even more sure that my igbo grandmother loves me. I love and respect all tribes and the diversity they come with.

  69. kc king

    April 11, 2015 at 7:07 am

    It is so unfortunate that most nigerians love political statements and lies more than the truth. Some people said that chimamanda is biased why because she should not say the truth but “preach” on 1 nigeria … Why because the truth is that almost every year the hausas kill the biafrans (mind you igbo is a language and biafra is the people. go and do your research) and the yorubas never condemned it .in recent years they (yoruba and hausa)have been destroying businesses owned by igbos like chiscos motor park attack where they burnt so many coaches ,another is the markets where many of the shops belong to the biafrans popularly known as igbo man burnt down Just to mention but a few… Hmmmm!. some like Stanley said “we are coming. out of that”, that amanda should “preach” 1 nigeria and every non igbo speaking Person says yes! Why Because they natural hate biafrans but at the same time like the natural recourse in biafra. If nigeria is coming out of tribal hatred and killings, can you tell me why buhari should be allowed to come out for a political post with all his terrorists attachments and comments, no education,age,memory loss ,no agenda(buhari said he will fight corruption by probing all past leader the nextwe heard is no, he will not but if you steal money in his regime you will be punished) and the yorubas supported him and voted for him because his vice is a yoruba. This is just a recent example not history . Nigerians should learn to accept and live with the truth not dirty lies or politicizing every thing evEn at the expense of other lives. coming to think of it you have lived together as nigeria for a hundred years and still preaching 1 nigeria…. Because we hate each other. Why was there a civil war in the first place because there was genocide on the biafrans, why was there genocide…. Because hausa and yoruba hate igbo man . I am fed up of telling lies to my self in the context of 1 nigeria .

  70. funmi

    April 11, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Did you know that these igbo leaders ended the meeting by eating pounded yam and fresh fish with the Oba.

    Honestly I am disappointed with this write up, but what did I expect considering your fixation on the civil war era and the constant mimicry of Yoruba pple in your books.

    Anyway you are entitled to your opinion and have stated it, just like Oba Akiolu is entitled to his opinion and has stated it. Should Yoruba pple now take umbrage at your words, me thinks not, we are too busy to waste our time.

  71. Sheriff Adeola Sulaimon

    April 11, 2015 at 7:15 am

    With due respect madam,hatred is not only from Yoruba people to the Igbo but the Igbo people also dislike Yoruba.However,you fail to comment on general believe of Nigerians on issues relating to indigin,the ambition of Your tribe as your writing suggest to even become governor of the state because its no mans land.division exist among all ethnic group so we don’t have to pretend Lagos is different .you may be right base on constitution provision,but in reality,you are wrong because no Yoruba or Hausa man can attempt to be even a councillor in portharcourt,another city just like Lagos.promote unity with your writing as you have always do,which has being the reason why you are a mentor to young Nigerians irrespective of tribe

  72. Jonathan Odetola

    April 11, 2015 at 7:26 am

    You may not realise it. I believe you have been brainwashed by the story you have been told over the years. To quote a ranscind and billious tribalist like Chinua Achebe says it all. No one can liberate your mind for you; only you and you alone can do liberate your mind. Until Igbos do a lot introspection, they will not understand why their behaviour is so nauseating. Can you invite someone to your house and expect the person to take over your house?. Other Nigerians live peacefully with their neigbhours and essentially, there is no problem. Have you meditated over why only Igbos have problems with their neighbours in this contraption called Nigeria. To liberate your mind you need to go STUDY the Nzeogwu coup of January 1966. This is a quote from another Igbo lady “I am Igbo and have spoken to many of my people within Nigeria and in the UK concerning who they wanted to win. ALL were uninterested in whether GEJ was crooked or honest. Later, when the Ekitigate fraud came out, that did not sway anybody against GEJ. The only reason Ndi-Igbo voted for Jonathan and would do so again tomorrow is because of tribe and religion. Most of us Ndi-Igbo fool ourselves that we are Christians – we are not, and don’t even care to be. What we are is CHURCH-GOERS and that is all that counts to be called “Christian”. GEJ is a church-goer so that’s enough. We like to refer to ourselves as “Christians” because it sounds nice to our ears but Money is what we live for. Plus, GEJ is from the South near enough to Ala Igbo (Igbo land). I cannot hate my people but we have some poor thinking and character traits as a people which we are not admitting to and therefore not addressing. Just like alcoholics who want to be cured through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings have to admit to and speak out their vices, we too must do the same, so we can begin to heal ourselves of our tribalism, fake christianity and greed. I hope that when we see a different style of governance from Gen Buhari – Prof Osinbajo, many of us will begin to change and next time vote for whichever party is best placed to rid our nation of corruption, looting, kidnapping, importation of fake medicines (= poison), importation of sub-standard goods (= injurious), drug pushing, climate of greed and “big man” lifestyle. By Ndidi

  73. Mkpo ikechukwu kyrian

    April 11, 2015 at 7:40 am

    I like nollywood movies because it was the best of the best in the industry.

  74. Peter

    April 11, 2015 at 7:44 am

    STANLEY NWOKOVHA, it’s obvious that you already had an entenched position on this matter before you started reading the piece by Chimamanda.The day a writer writes to be politically correct ,that is the day he or she starts to atrophy .A writer uses the writing skill to poke,interogating and and educate with a view to agitating the minds for positive societal norms . Chimamanda has pointed out the helplessness in “let’s move on” and asking an aggrieved people to be grateful for being law abiding and paying their taxes within a particular domain .It s “let’s move on ” which is always preached after every riot in Northern Nigeria where Igbos would be made scapegoats and their lives and property attacked sometimes for issues as remote as a fight between two local factions of a group or a misunderstanding between a Yoruba and Hausa men.After they had all done their evil and extracted each other’s pound of flesh on the Igbo man lives and property ,they start preaching “let’s move on”.This is what snowballed into the monster called Boko Haram today because impudence without punishment was allowed to fester.The igbo trend of voting has been described as tribalistic voting and that beats me flat. Buhari is an Hausa Fulani man and he was voted massively by the Hausa Fulani . Osibanjo is a Yoruba man from the West and was voted massively by the Yorubas .Jonathan is from the South South and an Ijaw man .The Igbos voted for him from the South East.
    The Yoruba and Hausa Fulani voting was not considered to be tribalistic but how that of the igbo man suddenly gained the notoriety of the tribal toga beats me.

  75. Igwe Ezeudo

    April 11, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Chidimma is doing wonderfully well,until the Igbos know that it is high time for them to start thinking of development across River Niger and stop filling every river in Lagos to build mansions,stop clearing every forest to build international markets,stop thinking that Nigerian affairs is for some people not for everybody but only to think of how many container of goods they will bring without knowing that I single policy made can hold every effort made to ransom,until majority of the Igbos’ have the ideologies of investing in the East more than what they are doing in other places they will continue to witness second class citizens in Nigeria.Nigeria is one only in our natural resources but we are not one as people interns of Tribes,Religion,Believes,Culture,Regions,etc,we need to know that we can not be despite what we pretend to be so let sit down and separate for peace to reign in Nigeria

  76. Osagioduwa Eweka

    April 11, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Adichie, the (in) famous comment of the Oba of Lagos is far less agitating, far less worrisome, far less Iinciting, and far less ethnocentric than your responsive chronicle here-above. You must watch it, madam, so as for your assumably palliative intentions not to culminate into a divide matchet. Besides, It is expected of you, at least by me, to apply your acclaimed distinguished analytical techniques to the Oba’s comment, thanking God that you have accepted him as a traditional ruler and an extraordinary spcie. More so, you of all people ought to be appreciative of figurative expressions. In fact, you have the onus to, for the sake of peace and unison, figuratively interpret the Oba’s comment to the public, assuming it were actually literal.

  77. Obinna Henry

    April 11, 2015 at 8:12 am

    I must commend you Chi, for being very objective about the issue. But I don’t trust myself to be as perfect. No need to beat about the bush, the oba of Lagos or whatever he calls himself has shown how he feels about the Igbos. It’s a pity they are all shielding him. I am highly infuriated at his derogatory remarks towards the Igbos, who he should even be grateful to for many developments in Lagos at present. It’s a shame that one who calls himself a traditional ruler could be so insensible as to let that statement out of his miserable mouth in the first place. The truth is he is now too comfortable with those thoughts that he feels at home saying them in public. He should be closely watched; for he is an enemy of the Igbos.

  78. trevor nuru

    April 11, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Come on, Chimamnda. Stop exaggerating the situation. The Oba was joking with his friends (many of whom have come out to say this). In any case, the oba is not as significant as you purport.

  79. Ségun Adéfilá

    April 11, 2015 at 9:06 am

    This exposé just dropped my admiration for a writer I consider ‘worldy wise’ a notch. Rwanda escalated as result of uncontrolled outbursts like these. It’s presently herculean for me not to start thinking ‘otherwise’. But for some voices of reasoning devoid of ethnic ‘colouration’, I would have thought we’ve had it.

    When ethnicity precedes humanity,one begins wonder…

  80. Adah Michael

    April 11, 2015 at 9:14 am

    The earlier the generality of Nigerians mature onto the thought that we are all diverse and as a matter responsibility grow out of the mindset of abusing ethnicity and religion as a tool for resource grabbing, the earlier we will all escape to the sane process of development for common good. Nobody can survive alone. We all wont be here after our live times,its only willful stupidity that prides itself with any sense of ownership. The Igbos need to stop occupying a position of the exclusively victimized in Nigeria, we are all victims of the dysfunction of the Nigerian way of things. The move ideology is a mediocre way of postponing future abuses and cruelty for posterity to reinvent in more gory forms. The bulk of Nigeria like you rightly pointed is guilty of what the Oba of Lagos was caught expressing even the Igbos in question.

  81. uju

    April 11, 2015 at 9:14 am

    No matter how much humans try, we cannot bring peace to earth. These same issues we have in Nigeria occur worldwide!! And people are honestly trying to bring these to an end using different means like poetry, literature, music, self development etc but unfortunately it gets worse. Have we ever sat for one moment and asked WHY?? This is because there’s a force, a power controlling the world and humans cannot defeat this power. That’s why we were taught to ask “nna anyi no na enigwe, ka otito diri afa gI, ka OCHICHI gi bia, ka emee uche gi na uwa ka esi eme ya na enigwe……” Only God’s kingdom (ochichi) can bring about peace on earth because the whole earth is lying in d power of d wicked one SATAN. And only when d above prayer is answered by God can we achieve world peace. In d meantime, I think its wise for us all to concentrate our minds and energy in finding out how to be part of that kingdom or government. Pls Ask Jehovah’s witnesses around you.

  82. Femi

    April 11, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I commend her writeups tho but I think is high time she stopped taking us back to the dark days. The Oba’s statement was totally wrong but Nigerians expect something better from her. Talking about hatred, Lagos is undoubtedly the most accommodating state in the country and majority of what’s condone here can never be tried in the eastern/southern part of the country. We can clearly blame the Oba for his outburst but lagos in its true state has demonstrated the love and act of accommodation expected from other states in the country to make it the Nation we all crave for.

  83. Obi Ifeanyi Somtochukwu

    April 11, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Igbo Kwenu!!!

  84. Bamimore-Joseph Gbenga

    April 11, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Stanley Nwakocha, thank you very much for your line of thought.
    I think it’s time our literary brilliant minds curbed the method at which they display their ‘bookly’ prowess and indirectly and unnecessarily cause stares. No one doubt the fact that certain tasks and obligations are expected of them but not withstanding they must apply caution and remind themselves that they have admirers outside their kinsmen.
    If Nigerians had woken up to this consciousness in a long time, a lot of blameworthy and malicious experiences(mistakes) that we have had in the past would have possibly been averted.
    With due respect to the memories of the victims of the mistakes that were made in the past, we don’t have to live our lives like the killy-loo bird that flies backwards and is more interested in where it had been than where it should go. We should place precedence on moving forward. We have to move above mediocrity, to run for our children to soar. God Bless Nigeria!
    G. Bamimore-Joseph

  85. Vegil

    April 11, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Ada Nigeria that is a master piece. It’s unfortnate that several comments replicated the attendant tribal view colouration that has become the Nigerian state but yours was a treatise that opened every knot about the topic in discuss. It is important for every Nigeria to learn to have an open mind and drop our tribal bias. The Oba defecated in Public. You cannot expect such from Ooni of Ife, Alaafin of Oyo or Oba of Benin.
    If we want to be a nation we must learn to condemn in one voice such aberration. His statement to me is a security breach that should be condemed by all. Such out pouringof venom to some other tribe in Nigeria may trigger bad reprissals. Igbos are peaceful people but seem to be hated for being endowed by God.

  86. Uche

    April 11, 2015 at 10:05 am

    I hate what we are turning our country into. So many here have criticized Chinua Achebe. I admit I had to keep that recent book of his: “there was a country” because I couldn’t read it without hating a tribe in Nigeria. But honestly he is objective to an extent. I am an Igbo boy, you grow up hearing how other tribes hate you. But I think every Igbo needs to buy a copy of the “The trouble with Nigeria” and see how Chinua Achebe identified not the Hausa or Yoruba as a trouble but the Igbos. He said and I agree “Igbos are really one of the troubles with Nigeria” because of the issues he identified which can be seen in this saga. I admit I used to see Zik as a saint till I read the book. Even in his book the trouble with Nigeria, he criticized Ojukwu for failing to save the day when Nigeria actually agreed to run a true Federalist which in his opinion would have happened (before some people here start educating me) and Ojukwu blatantly said “No”. Since I saw that I detested Ojukwu’s logic in fighting that war. Let it be known Nigeria may have been better without Ojukwu insisting on the War. My reference please buy There was a country but don’t be too biased about a tribe.
    So even if the Oba was wrong, don’t you know that how you react to it could trigger further hate? Let’s be honest and this has been my question even on Nairaland. I mean who really cares who becomes Governor, President, Senate President etc etc as long as there is a fair playing ground except those from his immediate constituency. So why be bothered? For all the years that the military ruled, what did the North benefit? Igbos are now been taunted for Senate President. For all the Years we had it (Okadigbo and co) what did we gain? Why are we allowing these guys deceive us? Moreover, two wrongs can’t make a right. So if Oba was wrong, you don’t have to respond wrongly as well.
    I think we Igbos need a post Civil War leader. By that I don’t mean Rochas or any politician who are just selfish. Igbos need to start preaching forgiveness. We need a leader to engineer that. Common we are not going anywhere with this crab mentality of ours. I have always felt however that since Nigeria shares the revenue of the Niger Delta, that it would be unfair to place any tribe in an area ahead of others without being hypocritical. Think about it. Its just like the former Zamfara Gov banning free Education for non indigienes (please he didn’t target Igbos and I don’t care who he targeted but his policy was wrong). Or more recently, the Abia governor did the same by sacking non indigenes in his state. I didn’t see all this rage over the internet. Especially from the so called Igbo patriots. Even Ohaneze were silent. Are you so blind? Politicians are playing us. This was a worse sin that the Obas alleged threat.
    Nevertheless, I would not also call Lagos a no man’s land cos those who did that in America by saying Columbus discovered America as if Red Indians weren’t there before, paid dearly for. But if I was Yoruba, I would rather educate than let this foment trouble. Common let’s unite. The Yoruba or Hausa isn’t our enemies neither are the Igbos. Politicians are. They always want to use our differences against us. They will come to the Yoruba and say do you know the Igbos are now taking over our land. They will go to the Igbos and say do you know these Yorubas are planning to do this. They will go to the Christian and say this, go to the Muslim and say that-just to win. Let me ask every Igbo who has been to Aba over the past 8years of T.A Orji’s administration a question. If a Northerner or Yoruba could have ruled Abia and made it better than T.A has left Aba and environs, would you have cared? Honestly we don’t really care deep down except we have selfish motives. Or how many churches or mosques did Jonathan or Yaradua build?
    I will end by asking: How many Igbos know Soyinka risked his life for the Igbos during the Civil war? He was imprisoned. Please read “the man died” I think our politicians are to blame for all these and we Igbos must start forgiving. That is the path to greatness again.

  87. The Liberal Blokes Diary

    April 11, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I agree with Chimamanda’s sentiments. These are the same problems that we are facing in many parts of Africa, if not whole. Here in Kenya, negative ethnicity seems like a culture. Where each tribe has its own image of badness as described by others, where citizens know where they belong i.e i am a Kikuyu and i should that Western is not home. Unless we decide on how to shun these vices, we will always remain, live as groups of people rather than a nation, a bigger family.

  88. Emeka

    April 11, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Let the Oba swallow his ego and apologies for that unfortunate comment! Instead of people doing that on his behalf. As for me personally, am not perturbed abt his comment because I know it a mere ranting of an unpatriotic monarch.

  89. Dr Will

    April 11, 2015 at 10:52 am

    I agree perfectly with you Chimamanda.
    Until we define who is a Nigerian, the concept called Nigeria will remain a mirage. My Bible said “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” The Oba didn’t just three then the Igbos but he revealed a predominant mindset of his people and their attitude towards us. Taking such for granted means that we are ready for history to repeat itself.
    Thanks for the piece… Time will prove you right to your critics!

  90. Aliyu Ahmed

    April 11, 2015 at 10:59 am

    The Oba was very wrong. But You have to choose your words carefully, because you used the words ‘will be thrown into the lagoon’, insinuating that the people will descend on the Igbos. From the clips I watched , the Oba was acting as a deity, telling the Igbos that the lagoon will eat them up if they fail to vote for Ambode. This is left for the society to believe or swallow his crap. Lastly, the Igos as a bloc chose to vote for a corrupt government just because a Fulani man is on the other side. They are the biggest losers, and they will live to see this Fulani man change Nigeria for the good.

  91. Tutzy

    April 11, 2015 at 11:07 am

    I have to say Chimamanda needs to stick to writing fiction as she doesn’t have the moral balance to be a social commentator. I respect her as a writer but she is one of the most tribalistic Nigerian writers I know – which I guess is fine for a fictional writer.
    First of all, I wholeheartedly condemn the Oba’s public display. I will not talk about the historic issues that led to that moment because people have thrashed it here.
    I will however just say that calling Lagos a no-man’s land is out-rightly insulting . On every Nigerian form I fill, I have to fill in my state of origin which is Ogun state even though I was born and bred in a combination of Ibadan and Lagos. This means that for some people who are indigenes of Lagos, they have to fill in that they are from Lagos – that is THEIR LAND, that is THEIR HERITAGE. It is very rude to dismiss that.
    Let’s stop deceiving ourselves about one Nigeria until the time comes when all I have to fill in a form is that I am Nigerian and political posts, allocation on the national football team etc stop being zoned to regions. Im kinda guessing that time will never come- sadly.

  92. kamso

    April 11, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Most of us here are biased, if only we can say we Nigerians than this ibo, youruba talk. The last I checked we are all Nigerians, but it’s time you and me begin to move this country forward and forget this tribal sentiments, it was the jargon they fed us. Now that you and i know better lets move on.
    Regardless the oba has to apologise and retract his , Nigeria, lagos, belongs to us all.

  93. Anugwo Dickson

    April 11, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Do not worry yourself my sister. “Ndigbo are naturally ahead of other tribes in Nigeria or Africa if you like. Igbos are the only tribe who beleive in this project of “one nigeria”-National unity. This they have proved by their strong resolve to settle and develope any part of the country in wich they find themselves as their home. Even after all that hapened during the war. But i have said it before and still saying it that’ the adversities of “Ndigbo” during the war are really their greates worst of times and ironically, their greates factor of dogedness and heardwork. The result is the igbos’seemingly strong economic, social and educational strenghts or developements ahead of others. While igbos should be commended and emmulated for their sense of “one nigeria”-national unity and integration in building development of igbo communities across other ethnic nationalities in nigeria, those other nationalities should be commended and emmulated for their sense of tolerance and accomodation so far.

  94. Odiaka

    April 11, 2015 at 11:31 am

    All opinion writers are vulnerable to bias – consciously and unknowingly – whichever way the words are been drafted. What Adichie wrote is right; STANLEY NWOKOCHA’s comment is also right (if you ask me.)


  95. chinyere Nwachukwu

    April 11, 2015 at 11:41 am

    This is the most intelligent articulation of the rantings of the Oba of Lagos against the Igbos in Lagos. Ms. Adichie, you’re right on my lane in your perception of the Oba’s infantile suggestions. Thank you so much for letting us know that it is not okay to let ‘sleeping dogs lie’.

  96. paschal

    April 11, 2015 at 11:47 am

    a very big write here but i must say that oba dnt mean what he said its just a joke i have to replay the recorder words this morning to be sure…..

  97. gde

    April 11, 2015 at 11:55 am

    TEE KAY AKIN Said it all…

    I Rest My Case

  98. Chris Nzemeke

    April 11, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Well written. ‘The Oba’s words were disturbing, but its context is even more disturbing’.
    I cannot agree any less with the Playwright.

  99. Kayode Jonathan

    April 11, 2015 at 11:58 am

    On the Oba of Lagos and the Ndigbo, Chimamanda’s comment provides additional insight on this Nigeria inter ethnic issue as an author and with the particular reference to “The danger of a single story”.

    Houwevet the author went as far to pass judgements that is already a wild card castigating on all different views: already aired and any other would be view that may still appear on this issue. I personally have received my whips – my conscience! I have initial waived the Oba’s statement as nothing so serious and rebuffed most comments that follow it as too sentimental.

    I have shifted a little on my initial stand because I was convinced of the heavier weight the Oba’s statement carried as against that of an Ndigbo, Andy Uba sstatement that Lagos is ‘ terra nullus’ a no man’s land.

    I am no longer bothered about how did the Oba said what he said and how about his body language and more. But my worries is about how will the indigines and the settlers leave together in peace after now.

    I think we needed writers who will promote the our various cultures to emphasis the virtues we must imbibed to make us to leave in peace. In Yorubaland you bow to greet elders but in Igboland you can offer an elder a hand shake and there will be no problem after that. Can we find wisdom in “If you are in Rome you do like Romans”?

  100. Itotoh Cyril O.

    April 11, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Nice write up Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I must confess that the Igbos heard what they wanted to hear by going to the Oba’s place. The Hausas, Efik, Binis, Ishans, Igala and many other Nigerian tribes and ethnic groups didn’t pay courtesy visit to Oba, but the Igbos did. Norther parts reverence their Emirs, the Yorubas reverence their Obas but Igbos will never have united head. Everybody you are on your own life style. The Igbos should not always be sentimental about everything. Honestly, i cherish your kind of person keep the flag flying.

  101. adeoye ogabi

    April 11, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    adichie can only see things from the prism of her igbo origin. the nigerian nation project was derailed by igbo elites who wanted to inordinately dominate the other nigerian nationalities of yoruba west and the hausa-fulani north by truncating the first republic in a coup that only favoured them imposing ironsi and introducing unitary decree which was against what the nationalities negotiated at independence. igbos will always be suspected by other tribes because of their past actions until when they repeated behave otherwise.

  102. sunny sam

    April 11, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    my dear tell them, Nigeria will be a nation any day we learn how to respect people’s right and what our constitution says.

  103. Jideofor akpa

    April 11, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    A nation without an ideology will come to naught! Collectively as a nation we stand for nothing and until our nation is built on a ideology with a firm foundation our current system of statehood will bring us to ruins ! As long as our desires are governed by a system where our collective desires are based on specific ethnicities and not on a national ideology we will all collectively fail! My prayer thus is that a new generation of leadership will arise which will design and craft a national ideology for which we can be identified in the comity of nations! For me, I will continue to sow my seeds for unity so we can all prosper as a nation! Shalom

  104. Mubanks

    April 11, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Ibo people why must you always play the victim? You people need to look inwards and accept that you are the authors of your own misfortune in this country. The first coup was staged by Ibo officers, they killed politicians around the country, but spared their own in the eastern region.

    You dabbled in Lagos politics and elected your own into the Lagos house of assembly. Would you people allow that in your part of Nigeria?

    Why are you constantly causing trouble everywhere you go?

    Please chimamanda, you and your ilk fool no one.

  105. Nneka Eze

    April 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Chimamanda, u are really great. I thank God for u. I pray the information will really get to our Igbo leaders. I think D’s pour notion of IGBO ENWE EZE and sabotage is really affecting the Igbo. May God save the Igbo nation other tribes are really after them for no just course. The worst is dt we and our leaders are so blindfolded.

  106. Emmanuel

    April 11, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    What sort of country do we live in? How can the Oba of Lagos be applauded for his remarks. More still, i read some comments here and i really want to puke! The point is that no political leader, most especially a respected traditional ruler should condescend so low to say what this Oba said. It is extremely wrong for an Eze or an Emir to say the same. What is WRONG is WRONG!! I’m extremely disappointed in our traditional institutions and how partisan our Kings have become. They have become puppets in the wilful hands of the politicians. An besides, why should an Ex Police officer issue such a threat. i believe he understands the full implications of that.

    As enshrined in the constitution, every Nigerian have a right to live in any part of the country he so pleases. A Yoruba will never be stopped from living in the East or North, neither will he be stopped from running for any position of leadership.

    But for Christ Sakes, any Traditional leader who makes this violent statements needs to issue an apology. Chimamada is being very neutral and unbiased in her perspective. What is WRONG is WRONG! Haba Nigerians…

  107. Humphrey Okechukwu

    April 11, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    The comments so far goes a long way to reveal the thinking pattern of an average Nigerian. It is full of animosity. You don’t need to ask anybody his tribe but people tell you their tribes through their comments. If we talk about one Nigeria, Lagos should be a fulcrum for that as it were in places like Accra, Cotonou, Johannesburg and other cities like that. If you are not a Ghaneian, you can hardly see a person in Accra and say his tribe. Unless we copy from cities like that we can never achieve a detribalized Nigeria and our leaders know that. Can Abuja continue to exist if you appoint a non northerner as FCT Minister? Let us redefine Nigerian’s citizenship, to me that is all Chimamanda has said.


    April 11, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    It is unsuorisingly a master piece. We can not be second class in our own contry. When they think they are tired of one Nigeria, they are free to declare it. For as much we have been coersed to be part of d Nigerian State as it were, we must excercise our right. In my thinkinf, Oba has challanged us. We will surely respond.

  109. Sylvanus Onwuanaku

    April 11, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I can’t be more proud of you Chimamanda Adichie. You nailed it.

  110. Nnaemeka

    April 11, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Reading through the comments on this article leave me with the sad reality that Nigeria may never really know true unity. Individuals here dismissing other comments as ‘laughable’ add nothing to the discussion. If you disagree with an idea or perception, why not add to the discussion by explaining why you do not without being offensive or derogatory. Adichie is an interesting author. However, I find her latest attempt at social commentary redundant and at best provocative. An Oba in Lagos made a silly comment about Igbos in d presence of Igbos who cheered as he said so. Was it insensitive and disrespectful to Igbo people? Yes. Does it warrant condemnation and criticism? Yes. Does it warrant an article such as this? I don’t think so. To begin with, this article is laced with a lot of flaws. It is lazy in it’s investigation, biased and exceedingly one-sided in its arguments, and lacks total credibility in its assertions especially as it fails to profer any new ideas or solutions. Adichie ought to know better. The Igbos aren’t the only victims of tribalism and ethnic discrimination. They never will be. The Oba made a foolish political statement (that’s precisely all there is to it), there’s absolutely no reason to ‘overtribalise’ the matter. If we Igbos think praising, worshiping and propagating the ideas of ‘celebrities’, who gain from insighting social violence are the clever things to do, then we are in deep trouble. The western world find tales of african war and genocide intriguing. Adichie did well to satisfy that demand once. She should be content with the fame and commercial success she enjoys from her book on Nigeria’s civil war history. We don’t need to be reminded of how our fathers hated and killed themselves. We shouldn’t repeat their mistakes. Personally, I feel Nigeria’s ethnic problem will be solved if we replace ‘State of Origin’ with ‘Place of Birth’ because I believe the questions ‘where are you from?’ And ‘where is your father from?’ Are the roots of Nigeria’s tribal problem.

  111. austin iyashere

    April 11, 2015 at 12:38 pm


  112. chika

    April 11, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    1 Oba is not ordinary citizen, former AIG
    2 u cant whip a child n say cry not or cry thus!
    3 Oba’s threat is grave nt bc it wl come to pass bt bc its Oba 2his subjects
    5 Adichie may nt be 100% objective by u bt she spoke 4d present n future
    6 Nigeria belong 2us all including Lagos/any part of 9ja
    7 DID WE ALL READ SAME ARTICLE, hw is ds tribalic, inciting 2warrant some comments
    8 Many senior Yorubas n Nigerians hv condemned it
    9 Oba has apologised blaming Orijin Drink
    10 we hav 4gvn bt it wl always be credited 2Oba!!!

    God Bless FRNG

  113. peace amamchukwu

    April 11, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    The Obas’s statement matters alot. let him appologise to the IGBO’s. Bcause he represents the voice of spiritsordinary being can not see. In his position,he should not make such attrance. He is a traditional head. The mouthpiece of d gods. Anyone who knows tradition,does not dare d gods!

  114. Remi

    April 11, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Brilliant piece by a respected author. There are questions popping up in my mind: Chimamanda wrote: “…Anti-Igbo violence began under the British colonial government, with complex roots and manifestations. But the end result is a certain psychic difference in the relationship of Igbo people to the Nigerian state. To be Igbo in Nigeria is constantly to be suspect; your national patriotism is never taken as the norm, you are continually expected to prove it.” If this is true, does it make sense to ask “why”? For, instance, is it a case of more sinning than being sinned against?
    Chimamanda also spoke about citizenship rights and she’s absolutely right. This raise the indigene/settler dichotomy issue, which is often reduced to a constitutional matter. But it is first about access to ancestral land, which is an emotional matter. How is an indigene supposed to think, when a “settler” isn’t just removing access from indigenes by force of commerce, while holding strong allegiance to his own homestead, in what can easily be read as expansionism? There are many more questions that need to be dispassionately examined in civilized discussions as Chimamanda seem to have attempted here. I have elsewhere characterized Oba Akiolu having presented with an acute case of foot-in-mouth disease, which requires, in current-speak, a huge dose of Jegamycin from all of us, especially the Igbos. I do not accept that as dismissive.

  115. Niyi

    April 11, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Nice write-up but tainted by ethnic cleavage. Even after several bashing of the Oba of Lagos by non-Igbos, it’s surprising that Ndi-Igbos are not interested in conducting a thorough root cause analysis on why they appear to always be at the centre of similar verbal assaults. Clearly as the only tribe with widest spread geographically, highly gifted in trade and commerce – the Igbos need no one to school them in the art of responsible cohabitation with their hosts. It is on record that the Igbos took to the street in the North celebrating the murder of Aminu Kano and others, what manner of indiscretion can be greater than that? – the carnage that followed is known to all of us.
    With the fading mentality of ‘Born to rule’ which the old North was despised for comes the innuendo of the SE to dominate everybody, everywhere most times. Lagos is a cosmopolitan city, the foundation is built on Yoruba’s egalitarian and hospitality culture so regardless of your creed, culture and colour – Lagos is home away from home.
    When you come to Lagos and you want to dictate en-bloc how and who govern Lagos without completely integrating into Lagos value system, cultural system and even Language, you are insulting the people and outburst like this one will always come.
    As this discussion continue, I’ll like to hear from Ndi-Igbos how they reacted when Orji Uzor Kalu disrespectfully described Lagos as No man’s land, how will they react if a prominent Yoruba son describe Enugu, Onitsha or Aba as no man’s land in similar fashion. Why is it difficult for Igbos to accommodate others in SE? Why have we not had any non-Igbos resident in SE appointed (not even elected) into political office in the entire SE states yet you place demand on your hosts elsewhere?
    It should be no problem for settlers to thrive in any part of the country including seek political offices. But for the sake of peace and orderliness, the settlers must first of all integrate; this includes but not limited to speaking the local language, ingrain the host’s culture and way of life. Nigerians do well abroad because they, without question, embrace this principle. I learnt Dutch when I was in Holland, learnt Norwegian when in Norway; had to juggle between New Norsk and Bokmål variations of Norwegian as I shuttle between Oslo on the east coast and Stavanger on the west coast. I even acquired the taste for rakfisk even though I have to close my nose eating the raw fermented fish. Trying to register in the city town hall, first week of arriving with family in Holland, the lady at the desk questioned, ‘warren spreek jou niet nederlands’ – why don’t you speak Dutch ?. I got the message, I hope you do too.

    One solution which most Nigerians I have discussed with agree upon is to let each federating unit set its own rules that will foster peace and orderliness to allow it develop at its pace based on its own aspiration and value system, while at the same time allowing for diversity and inclusiveness. Settlers on the other hand, must come full circle to recognizing that it’s safer to be accepted than to be grudgingly tolerated.

  116. Sam

    April 11, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Chimamanda, I really appreciate your indefatigable efforts even as a pride to the black continent. Nice writeup in itself. However, This perspective could be misleading and form a mental feeling of hatred. The Oba’s issue can be better dealt with solely without tribal attachments.

  117. prisca chioma

    April 11, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    With all due respect, I bliv we shld all say tins as dey are .well I c nufin wrong wif her write up cos she onli expressd d mind of igbos livin in d west nd northern part of Nigeria. If d oba referd 2 d hausas in such language I bliv we all no wah d next result wil b.buh d igbos I must confess do not ve a single human right due 2 my experience in d north especially. I dnt fink d oba was jokin or unda d influence of alcohol as he claims, when he proudly wif out ani fear or feelins uttered such dishearten words or will I say threat 2 d igbos? We now no our stnd

  118. famous

    April 11, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I subscribes to the opinion behind this writeup by one of my favourite writter Chimamada but the problem we are having in this part of the world is what I called “poor mentality in reading and reasoning”
    So for a highly respected man to make such a tribalitics ultereances in form of a threat should be tagged as unacceptable even if he’s joking or not. And he should be made to apologize publicly with immediate effect because if care is not taken such kind of words can result to conflicts.

    May God bless and protects the good people of this nation Nigeria. Onelove

  119. JoeDee

    April 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Very good piece. Hope Nigerians will continue to live as one!

  120. Ifeanyi Chukwu

    April 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    My beloved, you see, one thing is to read, another thing is to comprehend and the other is to assimilate well. Mr. STANLEY NWOKOCHA you have spoken well but from what i gathered in your comment(s), you’re either been myopic in your sense of judgment or a clear indication of an element of cowardice in your person. You claimed to be more IGBO but a true igboman is in no way a coward. A threat to life should not be treated with kids glove talk more of threatening a whole race. It is worthy of note that you already know the implications by mentioning genocide in your comment and you are so afraid of it coming to you. As for the Oba’s threat on the Igbos it is not surprising, after all, “out of the abundance of heart the mouth speaketh”. I can categorically say that Igbos are the most abused, hated and dehumanized tribe in this entity called Nigeria. But let the message be sound straight and clear to those who cares to listen, as long as Nigeria remains Igbos have the right to live and leave wherever and whenever they chose to without any fear of molestation or any form of gratitude to the so-called host/indigene. They fear challenge while igbos dare challenge that’s why they (igbos) go to other parts of they country to develop the entire length and breath of our beloved country, indeed they are the ones to actually show gratitude to the Igbos for developing their so-called homeland. God bless Nigeria.

  121. Munachiso Anyanwu

    April 11, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    One little piece of history some people on this tread are forgetting is that sometime in 1967 the Igbo people with other minority tribes in the eastern region left Nigeria. When they left Nigeria the northerners in alliance with the Yorubas in the west to some extent and other regional blocs fought for three years to make them part of Nigeria again. If that is true why this sudden rhetoric about what the Igbos can do and cannot do? No one has the right to speak to the Igbos in that manner and guise. if the oil in the south south and south east is for all Nigerians why would Lagos not be for all Nigerians?

  122. fatima

    April 11, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    you have said it all

  123. Ifeanyi Chukwu

    April 11, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    My beloved, you see, one thing is to read, another thing is to comprehend and the other is to assimilate well. Mr. STANLEY NWOKOCHA you have spoken well but from what i gathered in your comment(s), you’re either been myopic in your sense of judgment or a clear indication of an element of cowardice in your person. You claimed to be more IGBO but a true igboman is in no way a coward. A threat to life should not be treated with kids glove talk more of threatening a whole race. It is worthy of note that you already know the implications by mentioning genocide in your comment and you are so afraid of it coming to you. As for the Oba’s threat on the Igbos it is not surprising, after all, “out of the abundance of heart the mouth speaketh”. I can categorically say that Igbos are the most abused, hated and dehumanized tribe in this entity called Nigeria. But let the message be sound straight and clear to those who cares to listen, as long as Nigeria remains Igbos have the right to live and leave wherever and whenever they chose to without any fear of molestation or any form of gratitude to the so-called host/indigene. They fear challenge while igbos dare challenge that’s why they (igbos) go to other parts of the country to develop the entire length and breath of our beloved country, indeed they are the ones to actually show gratitude to the Igbos for developing their so-called homeland. God bless Nigeria.

  124. Funso Duyile

    April 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Chima in my own opinion is not acting alone. There is an agenda and the script is just unfolding. I mean this insults on our collective sanctity by a group seeking relevance in the face of a thrown up lifeline in the guise of wanting recognition through ethnicism must stop. Igbo people are Igbo people and Yorubas are Yorubas. Each should know where the comparism stopped.Shikennah

  125. kelechi B. Onyegbule

    April 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    chimamanda’s comment simply put things into perspective. It has not incited anything, and she is not inclined to anything. If that statement were to have been made regarding northerners, will they be divided in their reactions? It is this disunity, we are demonstrating here, that has been used against Igbos. let us focus on the message; and stop displaying our command of English language, with these elaborate counter-narratives.

  126. olumorin

    April 11, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    whatever u are called, u have to admit the fact that the Yorubas have been accommodating of the igbos and this shouldn’t be taken for granted. can Igbos in kano say kano is no man’s land? pls u Igbos shouldn’t be oblivious of comments credited to some of ur renowned elders like zik and cos as regards whom the leadership of Nigeria and Africa has been entrusted. Igbos pls show some appreciation to the yorubas, at least respect the accommodating spirit.

  127. Blossom Nnodim

    April 11, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    I wish to start by commending Chimamanda for effortlessly communicating my very thoughts in ways that I cannot even muster. There is absolutely nothing to add or subtract as the entire piece embodies the basic ingredients that can inform, caution and unite if adhered to.

    I am however not shocked at the attempt by some individuals to derail the essence of the message and thereby shift attention away from the saliency of Adichie’s words. This is the attitude that has brought us to this quagmire that we find ourselves. This is not a politically correct piece that will assuage unmoved individuals but rather a candid and timely call to make us reflect on the real meaning of citizenship. I sincerely hope that these words will reach and impact those that truly wish for a healing in our land.

    I wish to close by reminding us that we cannot claim to be 100% nationalistic if we fail to appreciate that it is embracing our regionalism that adorns us with the nationalistic garb. God bless Nigeria.

  128. Yetunde

    April 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    My comment is not on Chimamanda’s article, but on the events that inspired it.

    My brother once told me Igbos are not respected. My aunty said they don’t respect their elders. I thought they were being tribalistic. (They were, but that’s another story).
    However, over the past week or so it has become glaring that their statements are unfortunately accurate. Just look at the comments thrown about on social media.
    Yes, the Oba’s comment was vile, disgraceful, etc. Ever since, Yorubas have taken it upon themselves to appeal to the Igbos not to take offence. This hasn’t been enough. I have seen people demand for a royal apology, insult the Oba, even call for his dethronement.
    Can we just acknowledge that this is in itself extremely disrespectful? While it can be argued that the Oba no longer wields as much influence as his predecessors, he’s still THE OBA. You cannot expect an OBA to retract his statement, vile as it is. You’ll have to make do with the apologies of his subjects. This is a painful fact, and one that my beloved Igbos would have to live with as long as they choose to call Yoruba land their home.
    When you’re in Rome, act like a Roman. Don’t act like you know better than the Romans, or expect the Romans to defer to you.
    That said, on behalf of my Oba, make una no vex. We appreciate you and your contributions to the greatness of our state.
    Now to figure out how to tell my family that I want to bring home a Chibuzor.

    P.S.: Pretty ironic how Chimamanda tells a single story with this article.

  129. Olusina Ishola

    April 11, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Does democracy means conspiracy ? Lagos state, that harbours millions of Igbo who can not can not survive in their home town, has been neglected by PDP government for over a decade. Now that APC that has a strong support from Lagos and other southwest state emerged to win Presidential election what grateful attitude do you expect from Igbo people than to support Lagos to be among the governing party at the center. The ingrate character of those Igbo people to relegate the ambition of Lagos state, where they are not only prosper but also send to thier villages, deserves more than Monarch curse.

  130. Ejanafish

    April 11, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    This is nothing but pure trash. Coming from someone like you make it more detasteful.
    pls tell me what the Hausas are supposed to do or say to the Igbo’s that are very good in calling them stupid abokis.

  131. Kunle Ajegbe

    April 11, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    It is true that we need to discuss the national question, but until then we do not have one nation and there are no Nigerians as you’ll talk of Americans, British or Italians. We have a country of many nations and that is why the Oba could have talked the way he talked. I’m sure other monarchs in the other parts of the country are like Oba of Lagos. I’m also sure you know the source of problems in the plateau state between settlers and indigenes. It’s the same problem all over the country. So, the Oba’s comment is just to remind all of us of our state of nationalisation and integration. We should therefore not deceive ourselves thinking we have one nation. The easterners would have done the same if other tribes want to influence local politics in the east. Until we decide on what we want to do with the present geographical expression called Nigeria, let us always remember we are for now, Ndigbo, Yoruba, Efik, Ijaw, Hausa, Fulani, Nupe, etc and take caution on what we do or say in strange environment.

  132. Ebi

    April 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Interesting read.
    Your words and works show a pained and tribalistic stand point.
    Lagos is not the only place that can be tagged a metropolis.
    Why can’t Easterners develop the east? Every other tribe suffers on almost every part of Nigeria because of the Ibo tribe…why? You all should think deep! There is no smoke without fire.
    Who can come to South South or North or even Benin and call it no man’s land. Even in the vehicles,places of worship,offices etc…ibo’s are extremely tribalistic!
    What percentage of other tribes settle in the east or are allowed to own property there?!

  133. Njideka Ezeigwe

    April 11, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    All our current leaders be it political or traditional should see themselves as servants rather than monarchs.We should all learn from the current events in Nigeria.Any body or group of persons has a right to vote for a candidate of their choice Any Nigerian if voted for rightly or wrongly in our imagination, can be the flag bearer.Let us learn from our past mistakes and understand that all Nigerians are equal before the eyes of the law.In holding our leadership offices, we should show respect to doesn’t matter that we don’t like those people.Above all, we should be humble and respect ourselves,

  134. Jide Badmus

    April 11, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    The Oba’s words were unpatriotic and condemnable and I believe every right thinking Nigerian will disapprove of threat. However, if the Oba’s words were crudely incitive, yours are intelligently doing same.
    Firstly, despite being the Oba, his words do not speak the mind of all the Yorubas in Lagos. Your article is filled with a lot of generalisations which tells me you are not dealing with this issue from a neutral point of view. “The anti-Igbo rhetorics” who have you been listening to? And what is it about Igbos needing to prove their loyalty? I’m sorry to say but your point of view is totally skewed…
    You seem to want to re-open old scars…it’s like you have bottled up a lot of sentiments and this Oba saga just uncorked it!
    The calls for people to move on is not to protect the Oba or cover up his misdeed, but to promote peace and calm nerves and that is what I expected to read from you.

  135. emeka

    April 11, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Read some comments here and has come to the conclusion that we, as a people, are driven by so much ethicity. If I leave in region out side my perceive region & has invested so much in that region but can’t be accepted as a citizen. Then I don’t see reason why we should all benefit from resources from some regions.

  136. Aegon

    April 11, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    “Chimamanda, nice piece but this is not a matter to over-flog. You’re not more Igbo than me and many others saying “let’s move on” “calm down”. Many of us your fans will like to see how you can promote national unity through your writings. You write with too much ethnic fervour for a writer that all Nigerians will like to see as a national ambassador. At the end, what reaction do you expect from your readers in writing this poignant criticism of what you consider to be anti-igbo trend? That we Igbos should hate those of our countrymen from other tribes more, feel oppressed, disliked and hold our heads down like an ostrich or take up cudgels against the Oba of Lagos who showed so much scorn for our tribe?…”

    The above is a post by Stanley Nwokocha.
    Absolutely ridiculous!
    I understand you’d rather bury your head in the sand like an Ostrich and pretend ignorance to the things happening around you, but for the love of God, don’t criticize someone of inciting violence and hatred for merely pointing out her views which are plain obvious!

  137. chukwu Arinze

    April 11, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I think its high time igbos should live that Lagos ……..I mean the discrimination is much ……any way well said sis……

  138. Chris Nwosu

    April 11, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Thank you my daughter. You have spoken well.

  139. Joel Chukwu

    April 11, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    The Oba of Lagos I believe spoke out the minds of traditional council of western Nation,echoe power behind the word if we began to way it bigger than the Oba as one person,but I will say nothing of the threat and Intimidation it does’nt start today,who are the Igbos?…the are the insulted and degraded amongs Eathinic group here,the out going Gov.Fashola ones told The Igbos to go away from Lagos stated that the state is conjested by the Igbos,hence he will provide transportation and a bag of Rice for deportation of Igbos,are we non-entity?No.I really think is wise to call meeting and sort out our differences.

  140. tara

    April 11, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    I am for all Nigerians being treated equally and Nigerians having a state of residence policy rather than state of origin. But this must be done through out the breadth and length of Nigeria.
    The Yorubas are very accommodating but no one wants to hear that their land is no man’s land and that they will be colonized or that another tribe will determine the votes in their land.

    I have nothing against the Igbos but I would not allow anyone to do to me, what they cannot allow in their own stars. What is fair is fair

    We must all learn to treat ourselves with mutual respect

  141. Nnaji

    April 11, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    There is no hope for the future. Black people hate each other intensely both at home and in the diaspora and that is the origin of all these. This is not only happening in Nigeria, just check out all the African states you will understand what i am talking about. We chased away Europeans, chased away fellow Africans and later turned against ourselves.There is no love in our people and that is why other races do not respect us. If what the Oba said had come from a white man against blacks in the UK France or US by now hell will be let loose. Afrcans will call for his or her head. This is the same mindset that destroyed Zimbabwe and Fiji. Wake up Africans, what is the use of land if the indigines dont have jobs and food. Does it matter if even a Lebanese win an election in Apapa or Enugu if he has great ideas to change the lives of those he represents. With the mindset of most of the contributors here Africa will continue to run around in circles. We are happy when black people win elections in France England and US but not when a fellow Nigerian win in the place he lives. The question you all should ask yourselves is why do we hate each other so much. Most people writing here are Christians but to me there are no Christians in Nigeria because black people are not capable of love and that is the basis of the problem afflicting us.

  142. Hope Lawrence

    April 11, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Well.. I have read various comments on Adichie’s Reaction to the Oba’s Statement concerning the Igbos and I have come to these conclusions:
    1. The Igbos are not loved in Nigeria just bcz they are very daring, more industrious than most tribes and very intimidating. I don’t see reasons why everybody esp th Yorubas would go this far to castigated these people if they were really stupid or not relevant as the other tribes in Nigeria claims.
    2. Whether the Igbos, Hausas or the Yorubas like it or not, we exist as one Nigeria. Each of these tribes are very important to the continuity of our country. But, let me ask this question: which tribe do you think will survive more on their own if Nigeria should be divided? To be frank with you, the Igbo’s will survive more cz they haven’t been depending on the federal government to survive. The Igbo’s are hustlers and can do anything to survive. Let’s all get over it.
    3. If the Yourubas are really afraid of losing Lagos state to the Igbo’s then I understand their fears. The Igbos should learn that Lagos is not a no man’s land belongs to the Yorubas (this does not mean thatthey ddon’t have equal rights as the Yoruba’s in Lagos. In fact, I strongly support Adichie’s view on the issue). All I am saying is that the Igbo’s should go back to their home towns and develop them just like they have helped developed Lagos. We can’t deny it, the Igbo’s have really helped develop Lagos. Therefore no Yoruba man should tell them what to do in Lagos and how to live in Lagos. If you go to the Yoruba’s dwelling parent of Lagos (to ba honest, it shames me), you will understand why the Yoruba’s shouldn’t tell the Igbo’s what to to in Lagos.

  143. uche obiagba

    April 11, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    an Ibibio man once told me his experience with lagosians. in late 70s.the wife had a child in hospital & then state govt were giving free drugs.but pls @ the hospital started shearing it amongst Yoruba names alone.onecs ur name changes from Dele or Ago to Uche or Akpan,they will tell out of stock.
    Anyway,my word of advice is not to Yoruba tribe but to lagosians in particular where we have the main problem. Lagosians are lazy pls that’s why Igbo’s have dominated their home to milk all d honey around.yes the truth is that any land u didn’t see an Igbo man,that place is unproductive. most of time if u want to rent an apartment belonging to a Yoruba ,they will deny u having even with ur money.not knowing that they re pushing young Igbo boys to build their own houses.Later what do u expect,envy,jalousies, & hatrad.. Pls in my house @vilage,a Yoruba plumber is living there free with no treat of throwing him & his family into d river or fire.Pls my fellow Nigerians,Igbo’s has gone through a lot of hail in d hands of LAGOSIANS.I

  144. Anonymous

    April 11, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Young Yorubas in our generation to STOP!!!!! SOWING SEEDs of hatred. Every body I know shouting democracy democracy, but don’t know what the hell it is, anybody can run for office anywhere in the country they like, provided the have a constituency and sound ideas, if 500,000 Yorubas move to Enugu and are the majority residents in a particular area there it’s likely that a Yoruba man CAN!! beat an Igbo man in the election free and fair cos the Yorubas living in that area outnumber igbos this is not hard to understand

    It’s called democracy!!!!!!!!!

  145. Bernice Chiedozie-Nwaubani

    April 11, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Stanley Nwokocha, i was quite disappointed after reading your comment to Chimamanda Adichie. Where do i start? Words just fail me, all i can say is just go back and read what she wrote all over again. And by the way Ms. Adichie lives in Lagos although she goes to the United States for work assignments. I remember the late ikemba nnewi telling ndi igbo in a kind of sacastic tone that they will never hear, i pray my people will see sense, relocate back to the East before we fall victim of the Nigerian state again. Thank you Uche Nnolim for your comment, you just said all i was unable to put down. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, thank you for everything, don’t ask me what because i cannot explain myself very well but well done nnem

  146. astronomer

    April 11, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    emm i dont think there is any need over emphasizing but let me put Small flesh to the most grim record interest and thanks to the blogger chimamanda adichie for her voting of courage and concern to talk about this rude demeanour from the oba of lagos,our time of inconcequencial bold talks from the igbos,our igbo trend remains no fear,putting an unrecognized threat to the igbos is like a cripple climbing a tree.

  147. Onyebuchi Nwaeze

    April 11, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Chimamanda’s reaction is on point. For the meaningless comments like that of Stanley Nwokocha(coward), I say sorry.

    It is high time the Igbo know that they are not accepted in Nigeria except for the oil in their land.

    The restoration of Biafra is the only thing that will save the Igbos from these anti-Igbo, anti-semitic comments by idiots like the Oba of Lagos; Rilwan Akiolu. Who knows how many Igbos he unjustly murdered while in charge of police? He is a murderer and his death threat should not be taken lightly by any reasonable person.

    Biafra predates the contraption you call Nigeria. It will re-emerge and the rest of Nigeria can enjoy the properties and stolen money. They are quick to point out the abandoned property in Port Harcourt (Igwe-ocha) rather than the 20 pounds they returned after war and stole the rest. Silly Nigerians. Look, we know better now. Igwe-ocha is part of our land and have no abandoned properties. You cannot succeed in dividing us further. Go to hell, you Nigerians, I am a Biafran.

  148. nzekwe eric

    April 11, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    God bless u chimamanda, to be honest, i strongly condemned Oba’s speech.a high profiled traditional leader of a state is meant to be a tool of peace, Lagos is not a baby state in nigeria, and is made of men and women of substance but politically and tribally. coming up with such inappropriate piece of word in this time the country is going through pain is only going to bring an aggravating manner of hatred between the citizens of our beloved country…i am totally disappointed with the Oba as this is not a typical good quality of anyone worthy to be called Oba.

  149. chinwe umeakuana

    April 11, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Nne, you have my thumbs up on this, when I grow up ,I will definitely want to be like you. All you have said does not deserve even a single criticism, not to talk of that ,coming from anybody that calls him or herself igbo,that is why we are finding it difficult to work together and are allowing other tribes to make mockery of us.

  150. STM

    April 11, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Thanks Amanda, you said it all.

  151. Warwick, Paul Onyeama

    April 11, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    I am yet again impressed with the clarity and thoughtful logic of Chimamanda’s essay on the subject of the Oba of Lagos’s distempered diatribe. Having read the bulk of the responses I have a single item of advice: don’t be too surprised. The points you raise and the arguments you advance in support of those points would be entirely clear to any reasoning being in the First World. But Nigeria does not inhabit the first world and most of the respondents in this thread are unable to either understand or respond with rational arguments. So be forbearing and perhaps forgive the people because they know not that of which you speak.

  152. Dotun

    April 11, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Lagos is not a “no man’s land”. Because they use Nigeria’s’ money to develop it does not mean there are no REAL indigenous natives there else Ijaw plus oil states owns the whole of Nigeria going by that logic. Do you know how long we have been living off their resource?
    Very poor logic there Chi.

  153. MeMe

    April 11, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    With the comments below, it is clear that there are so many unintelligent people in this country. How can one say “she is speaking from her point of view and not from a general point of view”? Isn’t it stating the obvious? Of course, she is speaking from her point of view! And this man that holds “so much respect” in the land, how come he didn’t have the decency to hold on to his statement? He had to disgrace himself further by saying he was under the influence of alcohol. If that “apology” was truly from him, then please permit me to call him a big goat! He has no respect for himself, his position, his land, his people and everything he represents. As for all the unintelligent comments here, because you are not exposed to other cultures, u really can’t know much! So please, some of u should widen ur horizons more, travel a lot more around Nigeria, then come back here and read this post again, before attempting to drop meaningful comments. If you still think u r right, then I’m sorry!

  154. Nwanze cliff

    April 11, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    This is fact that the Igbos lost everything they have decades ago,why are they still building houses and factories in Lagos this days.

  155. Emeka Azike

    April 11, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    I wonder what will happen if roles were reversed. I witnessed my own people frustrated and drive away honest hard working Yoruba families from Onitsha and Aba markets. Bottom line is that we are all THE SAME.

  156. Emeka

    April 11, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Chimamanda must be commended for raising this subject rather intelligently and attempting at a wider ramification in discussing the position of igbos in Nigeria. What was the context the on which the Oba placed the curse or made the shameful threats? Is it not that two of his sons are justling for a position. What is the offence of the igbos to deserve the verbal genocide. If my two sons are fighting over my property and they both need my neigbbours to win in court, the much I can do is to plead with my neighbors to support mmy prefered son and not to threaten them with death. After listening to the threat I felt ashamed of this contraption called Nigeria. It is unfortunate that I am expected to be grateful for living in Lagos. You pay a landlord his rent and he or she expects you to be grateful. Who realy should be grateful? Is it the person buying or the person selling. I have alway thought the customer is king. How come it is the other wa y round. It is high time we decided if we want to continue in this deceit called Nigeria.

  157. FOLARIN

    April 12, 2015 at 12:20 am

    i can’t say the article was the best she could have come up with because though she may not be implying it she is though encouraging the fact, she might have not called for ARMS directly but she is inciting it indirectly. a writer of your caliber should try to make things better by promoting ethnic unity not favoring one side for the other even while putting the fact of the statement into context. The statement from the OBA of LAGOS just further helps to better explain how stupid a man of that position could be and that been an OBA does not make one wise because money buys all in Nigeria this days. Please i want to emphasize on this (When Igbo people are urged to be ‘grateful’ for being in Lagos, do they somehow have less of a right as citizens to live where they live? Every Nigerian should be able to live in any part of Nigeria.) seriously? you talk it but the Igbo’s hardly allow or practice it.

  158. sholly

    April 12, 2015 at 1:03 am

    @Banton-u r an uneducated person who should go read his/her history books well. U sound like a goat.

  159. sholly

    April 12, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Weldone Chimamanda!

  160. john kennedy

    April 12, 2015 at 1:32 am

    Nigeria is the only country were an individual or group of people can threaten a particular ethnic group or a certain religion and go scot free. The igbo’s have always been the victim of any political crisis, they are always living in fear and treated as immigrants in a country we all belive belongs to each and everyone of us. While others are intoxicated by the seat of authority,nigeri has never had an ibo president. Every four years they are been reminded to be grateful for living in a country meant to be for all,if hey exercise there civic right they will be accuse d of being bias,i think it’s time we define democracy in line citizenship life is not so dear or peace so sweet to be purchased in the price of chain and slavery,peace be kept aside let’s preach equall right and justice.

  161. Prince Emmanuel

    April 12, 2015 at 2:22 am

    I patiently read all the comments and that of the author of this piece and came to a conclusion that this “tribalism” of a thing has been sown in every citizen of Nigeria and we are finding it hard to uproot it because its roots has gone deep into our minds and affected our reasoning in a way.
    Funny enough, am tribalistic in a way, just as all of those who have commented, and even Mz Adichei.

    Our past leaders (traditional inclusive) are the architect of all these troubles and problems facing Nigeria right from amalgamation to date, and we are towing that part. No doubt, greed, avarice, power and control contributed greatly to this.

    Truth be said, Oba hasn’t spoken well this time, which the Yorubas themselves acknowledged, but don’t expect Oba to recant his statement. It’s a tradition we have to accept; though not all will. The Chiefs or whoever had apologized on his behalf had done well to pacify the aggrieved party and the nation because this in a way affects the coexistence and harmonious relationship expected of a people under the umbrella of a country.

    The Ibos are the 3rd largest ethnic group in Nigeria finding it difficult to sustain a relationship for long away from home. Maybe because of their enterprising nature that have made others envious of them, or their proud nature and disregard for other cultures and traditions especially when they are gaining more grounds or have attained some level of fulfillment in “diaspora.” Ibos need to do a thorough check on themselves.

    Truth be told, religion, politics and government in this country is the cause of this saga, and an average Nigeria, is prejudiced. History says it all. We are not united in love because hate sown years ago still prevail. Until we truly know what citizen mean, and how pure love that breaks every barrier is being expressed, we will continue like this till eternity.

    Am happy, we all know where the problems lies, where it is pinching us. We all know the state of our country and the manipulations and deceits of public officers and politicians that have robbed this country of its true identity, leaving it in a state of hate, prejudice and injustice. When we tackle all these problems and challenges that hinders growth and development of this nation and put the interest of all first, then we shall breath fresh air.

    All minds expressed by the commentators and writer here are neither right or wrong when viewed from their point of reasoning, but one thing we should know is that, with all these differences, hate and inciteful words, we still identify ourself as a nation and know that these problems inhibiting the growth and oneness of this country, can be resolved when we all come together with one mind and purpose to address the situation as it should.

  162. olusegun

    April 12, 2015 at 3:00 am

    Chimanda.. Great perspective as always. I totally agree with you on perspective. The oba ‘ s utterances are inexcusable by any means humanly possible. But he poses some questions that should be thought about by all n sundry. Reckless and annoying as it seems. It’s a general Nigerian issue that needs to be addressed. Why can’t an igbo man be representative of his people in a democracy no matter whethe re he’s situated or otherwise? The issue is that the diatribe of the oba is a collective response to ethnic issues and needs to be addressed nationwide. But even with the seemingly sentimental responses, it shows a deviation from the norm. And I’m sure we will eventually get to a better place. Keep on keeping on. And I apologise for my people’s hypocrisy. Cosmopolitan vs “semitism”

  163. Emmy


    April 12, 2015 at 4:09 am

    When I heard the Oba’s comments, I thought: “The gods must be crazy!” It would be in our best interest if we took it as a joke in bad taste. The Igbos aren’t so docile as to be drowned in the Lagoon, and if the Oba had expressed the overriding view of a people, then no amount of apologies or reproach can change that. We should just consider it the rantings of an inebriated monarch and nothing more. However, the message in the article, which is the need for proper citizenship, is very timely

  164. Alaba

    April 12, 2015 at 4:16 am

    Chimamanda has only advertised her ignorance about yoruba culture and use of language. Or could it be deliberate hypocrisy she refused to analyse the whole scene before commenting? That is the easiest way to be biased .Chimamanda i believe is not a simpleton and should understand this unless she chooses to be mischievous.Nobody in his right senses would support the Oba’s statements, but as a literary icon, i expect you to understand the culture vis a vis language used in the palace visit that day. The same Oba after the speech brought out kola and drinks which were happily shared. Action they say speaks louder than voice.For us, we live happily with our Ibo brothers and for some of us we don’t even see the difference and where this sentiments still exists, we are working for positive changes to enhance our mutual co existence, not the negative albeit cloaked tendencies this your write up is promoting. You really need to go to school to learn more about our culture.

  165. Ope Okeowo

    April 12, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Stanley Nwokocha’s point is spot on

  166. miss rondo

    April 12, 2015 at 8:28 am

    I took the time to read this piece twice. The second tine, after reading through all the comments in response, just so I could respond as best as possible to the article.

    First…let me say ro the author…I thoroughly enjoy your works of fiction and only treat them as such…regardless of whatever overtones of feminism or tribalism that I may personally perceive from them, I disregard…because they are fiction

    And therein lies my first grouse with this article. It is not a work of fiction, and therefore you the author must be as careful. Not only because she does not want to become what she has mocked, but also because he written words are indeed more persuasive to the more enlightened and therefore essentially more powerful.

    Saying as she did in paragraph 2 for example that…
    There have been condemnations of the Oba’s words. Sadly, many of the condemnations from non-Igbo people have come with the ugly impatience of expressions like ‘move on,’ and ‘don’t be over-emotional’ and ‘calm down.’ These take away the power, even the sincerity, of the condemnations. It is highhanded and offensive to tell an aggrieved person how to feel, or how quickly to forgive, just as an apology becomes a non-apology when it comes with ‘now get over it.’
    is cavalier and misleading. No yoruba person’s response I have come across has portrayed this!…on the contrary ans surprisingly because it is so disaligned with our culture…people have condemned his words. In whatever context, they were inappropriate even by a “commoner” and more so by this royal. I guess the real question is…does the author want a pound of flesh? Not just for this, but for the civil war as well?

    Which brings me to my next point. Bringing the civil war to this is sooo totally inappropriate. What is her term of reference? correlation? insinuation? That the Oba of Lagos has been waiting since 1967 for this opportunity to get back @ I bought people?!

    And rightfully you defend your people. But your defence must also be right. Have you seen lagos during Christmas and Easter? The markets are empty! I couldn’t fix my car at the end of last year cos there was no one to sell spare parts at Ladipo. Though not as pronounced (maybe because of distance), it’s more or less the same during Sallah for Northerners. Even for those born in Lagos, home is home. Home is where you build your edifice while living extremely conservatively in lagos. Home is where u retire. Where u are buried! This is home! I ask then who is Lagos home to?

    But then a man’s home may be open to as many as he chooses depending on his hospitality. But to say a man is hospitable is not warrant for the guest to trample on his sensibilities And this is what many yoruba people mean. Because Lagos is now cosmopolitan does not mean there aren’t people trying to retain her heritage and culture pre – colonialist ion. Because for such people…Lagos is ALL. They do not have a secondary location for succor or refuge. So madam author… No one asked for an Igbo man’s gratitude to live in lagos. Merely his respect for the sensibilities of those he met upon his arrival.

    Finally…The author is correct.
    “The only expectation for a Nigerian citizen living in any part of Nigeria is to be law-abiding.”
    And as such all who device means against this expectation in ANY location must be constantly rebutted. Hopefully with as much vehemence as this article was written.

  167. dayo

    April 12, 2015 at 9:11 am

    It is a pity this kind of statement is coming from Oba of lagos. We all have a right to live wherever we wish and work but in nigeria it is not so.Instead of the yoruba people should think on how to help eachother, instead what they are after is political power and their selfish interest. No job in country and the exploitation on the people of lagos is there… All the job in lagos is now contract, to live in lagos and survive is hard, that is not enough for them to think and do the right thing but all they are after is the seat of power. We all have right to vote for who we want. Don’t know why some people don’t like peace, when Buhari lost power to Jonathan last time, he said he will make the govt ungovernable for Jonathan era, that alone cause alot of thing in the state. But now that he won the power now, nobody threaten him and some people are so happy for the same man that said something that unsettle the country.

  168. Shera

    April 12, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Well u can say that again. But always remember that no matter what lagos is still home to some people n they have no where to go to if anything happens, unlike some who can relocate to their states. Aside that have you seen d way igbos treat other people? How do you expect d oba to feel/act when there is a promise of equal authority as the oba. When you are a guest at another’s home you act in accordance with your host’s rules not aspire to take his home away.

  169. Isioma Kemakolam

    April 12, 2015 at 11:20 am

    ‘Though tongue and tribe may differ in brotherhood we stand…..’ (Nig National anthem). As a young woman with many youth followership I would have love to see a write up from you that would seek to promote brotherhood and integration. I understand how you feel. I feel same if not worse but should we continue to nurse our wounds by looking and reminding ourselves and our unborn children of the past instead of drumming lessons learnt and way forward ? What are we the present day igbos doing about our situation? What values do we have as a people of one tongue? Politically where is our place value?

  170. seun

    April 12, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Most of the comments here have just hammered on how the different tribes detest each other. This is done not realising that they engaged in the same cycle of hatred. I was born in the 80s and I’ve always seen Nigeria as one. I have friends from all over and we see ourselves as different colours in a painting. Everyone who has refused to move forward from the comments made by the Oba (which has been widely criticised) is no better than the Oba.We hv survived this long After biafra, the different tribes hv flourished where they find themselves and yet we want to throw it all away over a comment that has been generally condemned? I apologise as a Yoruba man to all my Igbo brethren but the hatred that is brewing will hurt us all if we do not forge ahead. I promote One Nigeria

  171. Chinazamoku Uwakwe-James

    April 12, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I have read most of the comments here with deep sadness and discomfort. They are testimony to the storm that lies just beneath the surface of the apparent social calm, waiting for the wrong words to set it off. The Oba should have known better than to provide those words. Though I was born and bred in Lagos, I am fortunate not to have encountered anything but warm accommodation and respectful regard by those Yoruba among whom I have spent my life as an Igbo so far. It would be mischievous of me to deny that. Nevertheless, the Oba’s words are a revelation that indeed there exist a certain animosity in the hearts of some Yoruba towards their Igbo brethren which may in fact have been contributed to by several factors including not only the political expediency and ethnocentricity promoted by Yoruba politicians like the great Awolowo himself, but also the often perceived overbearingly competitive nature of Igbo’s themselves.

    We do not deny that we are an enterprising people, adventurous, strong and irrepressible. The civil war broke us to pieces and the Machiavellian post war economic reintegration policy ground us to dust, yet barely a half-century after, here we are! To paraphrase Michael Jackson, “it’s Igbo nature!” We were created with the God-given ability to take dust and spin it until it becomes gold. Please do not blame us for that for we will not apologize to anyone for it. If we have grown in the years following the most devastating war in our history to a place of importance in the major towns and metropolises of this country it is due to our imbued vibrant energy, constantly expanding and reaching out to find new challenges. We did not coerce, deprive, kill or destroy to attain our present place in Lagos or anywhere else. We simply saw a vacuum, negotiated for it and filled it through hard work and sacrifice. How, then, is it fair to us to be castigated or otherwise suffer coercion, deprivation and destruction when we have not offered such. Are we not entitled to the fruit of our labour in Lagos or anywhere else?

    Lagos is well aware of our energetic contributions to it as a center of commerce. Itis a love-hate relationship that requires us to continue to provide a good part of the financial income to the state but have no say in its administration. How is that fair to us? The political entity called Nigeria is predicated on certain rules of engagement to which we are all participating parties. It is only natural for the vacuum left by those who cannot to be filled by those who can – remember, we have not killed, coerced or deprived anyone! Rather we have immensely contributed to the diversity and richness of Lagos.Let me also remind us that state creation was a purely political invention in the case of Nigeria, which helps us place within proper context the true traditonal domain, dominions and authority of the Oba of Lagos within the larger political entity called lagos state baring any political clout he may have. It would therefore be wise of him to stick to his constituency and place proper context on his utterances. Culturally and traditionally, we have no business with him, but politically, we retain the constitutional right to engage with him. If he wishes to curtail the presence of the Igbo within his kingdom then he must urge his subjects to greater industry and resourcefulness that there may be no vacuums we can exploit.

    Having said that, I must now take up issues with my Igbo brethren. I salute your courage and resourcefulness. You have proven to be strong and capable. Nevertheless, I urge you to tread with caution. It is a thing of pride to have come so far from so little in the time we have, yet pride goes before a fall and must give place to wisdom. The yoruba are different from us. The have accommodated us and befriended us despite the presence of less charitable sentiments among their ranks. It would be a mark of wisdom in us if we strive to understand our difference and refrain from insulting or otherwise assaulting their sensibilities with ill thought out remarks and conduct. Let us remember deep traditional wisdom of “I jide ofor, jide ogu”, that is an inherent principle of igbo culture and speaks in part to the principle of forebearance in the face of percieved discommodation all in the interest of peace and the justice that posterity must assuredly ensure. You have much to give to the world. Do not waste it in meaningless conflict.

  172. Peter Ndeche

    April 12, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Our God of justice shall defend His own; and punish the wicked.

  173. Anonymous

    April 12, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    My dearest Igbos, I am a Yoruba who happen to have lived in other parts of Nigeria more than in the SouthWest.
    My simple advise for you all is to stop acting the victim all the time.
    You have representatives in the NASS who can work to get a seaport and all you think you need as you claim to develop the East. We all need that cos development spread across, helps reduce unnecessary pressure on infracstrutures in one state. That I’m sure will be for a common good.

    Learn some element of sincerity too in the cause of doing business. I have learnt the enterprising skills from my Igbo friends but the level of dubious methods is so repelling. Try to be more trustworthy. We don’t want to keep checking our backs while dealing with you.

    Be more accomodating and hospitable. It could be very uncomfortable to live in your midst unless the person has something especially monetary to continously offer. Not everybody should be an opportunity for money making.

    Learn to see each person as an individual before attaching his tribe to everything he does. Identifying every statement or act of a man with a tribe is very common with you.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love the igbos as majority of my friends are igbos and I tell them same.

    Pls let go of every bitterness.
    One love Nigeria!!!
    Without clothes on and lips sealed, you can’t tell where anyone is from. We are all FIRST, Humans… Always remember that.

  174. Michael Uche Iheanacho

    April 12, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    It is about time to take the bull by the horn. If an Oba should look at my people and issue a threat, then its time to part ways with this colonial contraption. The same Oba evicted non-yorubas resident in his house at Ogba Lagos for no just cause. The Oba of Ijebu-ode wouldn’t rent his house to Igbos. Its a standing policy in Yoruba land. My people should arise and chart their course and stop fooling themselves about a united Nigeria. That is a pipe dream! Oba Akiolu just reminded us that we are not citizens of Nigeria but migrants from Igboland. This fact have been demonstrated in the North and Western parts of Nigeria. Now it is verbalized by one of the revered traditional stools in Yorubaland. The We have heard and have taken this to heart. Echi ga eforiri.

  175. Moses Chima Ekenna

    April 12, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I think is high time people stop deceiving themselves in the unity of these entity called Nigeria, I have said these before if the Igbos failed to read the hand writing on the wall once again, there will be no safe haven for the Igbos.

  176. Tariela

    April 12, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    It is a shame a whole Oba of Lagos would utter such abhorable statement, when a time like this, the nation need leaders, elders and true citizens to have their wisdom hats on. I know want thing for sure, the Igbos expanded Lagos State with their insatiable knack for trade. Anyway, I see the lack of wisdom in this Oba. May God forgive him.

  177. Rev Michael Arimanwa

    April 12, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    The traditional institution and those that represent it should stay away from partisan politics. When a white bird begins to play in the mud it loses its whiteness.

  178. ikwue Michael

    April 12, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    This is nice.No ethnic group should be at the mercy of others.Oba Akiolu should tender an unreserved apology to (he Igbo ethnic nationality in particular and to Nigerians at large

  179. Richard

    April 12, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Am not an Igbo man but like I recently rebuked a friend on fb, I get worried when people like Akin Tee kay claim the Igbo are taking over Lagos becos they won some seats in the FHA. In the heat of the Michael Brown Saga in Ferguson, what the world kept saying including CNN ,was that,the area is predominantly a black population,so why having so many white police? We have all agreed Lagos is a Cosmopolitan state, so why on earth can an Igbo dominated region not produce an Igbo man in the FHA or even in the state…. I get worried by such statements TK!
    I think some of the knocks Adichie has gotten are unnecessary, truly, igbos are like the Jews, they are about the most persecuted tribe in this nation,the irony of it is that they prosper wherever they go like the Jews. they need no Oba to prosper like he(oba) wants to claim,he should not claim God,or else…..
    I think the write up is cool, Igbos have no gratitude to express to anybody,they are Nigerians!!!

  180. Emmanuel

    April 12, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    The only offense the Igbo committed is that God made them so. Try God; even if you don’t believe in Him and do what you want to do. It is called Ethnic cleansing, or racism if you are in America. As God lives, you can never drawn out any Race or Tribe. Be it Igbos, Tutsi, Jews or Black Race. Play all the Politics you want, at our funeral or the end or exit, it is still God’s World. Psalm 24:1 Oba of Lagos does not own Lagos.The Oba of Lagos threatening to drawn the Igbos in the Lagoon except they vote for his chosen party or Candidate is a direct Challenge to the Almighty God as Hitler did. It is also an insult to Democracy or Royalty.

  181. Ope

    April 12, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Chimamanda has written a nice piece here. And she’s right on all points. I have however failed to find anything that sounds like a proposal or an attempt to proffer a way forward here – should the Oba apologize? Should the Ibos fear for their lives and “not calm down” or “not move on”?

    I think as a citizens of a country where tribalistic sterotypes still exist, as it so does in lots of other countries, proferring solutions or burying the hatchet is the way to go – over flogging , no. And in my opinion, what Chimamanda has done here is overflow the issue.

    Brilliant write ups like this only tend to breed internal resentment and increase the coldness between tribes – which is exactly what we should aim to stop.

  182. Chioma Okafor

    April 12, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    I would have wished to say that this is a nice piece Chimamanda, but i am being challenged by my inner thoughts to question the actions that this piece portrays. I wanted to hear more about solutions to this public dishonour from the Oba’s (Should i say this oba with respect or not?)catastrophic promise to igbos.
    Truly i have been watching and listening to see his reactions or better said an open apology that will emphasize how sorry he is to Igbos but i guess he his lack of regard for unity and diversity has exposed his distaste for Igbos. I am writing this not only to igbos but to all Nigerians who wishes to see our country grow to being a nation worthy of being emulated to question the Oba’s comment and call for a public apology in that case no man born of a woman will ever wake up one day to question any ethnic group in this country that is still striving to be a nation.

  183. Daniel

    April 13, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Mennnnhh,I dey learn English here.So Nigerians get good writers,chai! How I wish we unify all these talents,we go beat americans.

  184. Emmanuel

    April 13, 2015 at 3:07 am

    He that wears the shoe knows where it hurts. Except you are black anywhere in the World, You have no idea what it means to be profiled as one. The so called STANLEY NWOKOCHA in his reaction to Chimamada is attacking her for speaking the truth. STANLEY NWOKOCHA, chose that name to pretend to be an Ibo person. Sorry, Your words gives Your Faceless disguise away. Those who support evil of any kind will over time inherit what they sowed. Don’t forget that.

  185. Akinjide Akinjobi

    April 13, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I don’t support the garrulous and careless Oba in his unwise, illegal and unreasonable speech. I also want to call the attention of the writer to the inexplicable pattern of Igbo voting pattern in the South East. A whole race can not understand that things are not working as they currently are? Other block vote might have been for change; most Nigerians are pissed off with clueless leadership. Even you know a bock vote from South East for status quo ante has no other rational other than connotations of Ethnicity, love of disorder, corruption and crime! Let us not mix issues of a useless Oba with Igbos shooting themselves on the foot.

  186. Franklin Okafor

    April 13, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Finally,some non-sentimental view by someone influential.
    Thankyou Chimamanda. You have just hit the nail right on the head. I am Igbo and live in my own house in lagos, but I am thoroughly against racism and tribalism.
    Thankyou very much.

  187. Buge Yetunde

    April 13, 2015 at 8:52 am

    In response to Adichie’s criticism . With due respect, Nigeria is still striving towards the reaching a developed nation. It’s no ones fault that we have diversities that we cannot help. If we have somehow be confined in a space to live together as a nation , we must learn to live and move forward. Your reaction to the Oba’s speech tells that you are first an Igbo before a Nigerian which is the same feeling for everyone. It is a feeling of nationalism. However outside nigeria if an unjust thing is done to a black, you share sentiments with the Blackman as a black, an African before a Nigerian.and these are all human feeling. We must move. Forward. The Obi of Onitsha cursed APC for holding a rally which co incided with a day for his traditional rites. People fail. People make mistakes. It is human to err, and divine to forgive. Letting go isn’t easy but the effect of not letting go is evil and destructive. To get to that stage of development we most desire as Nigerians, there are some of our history that our unborn generation must know and be made to understand as part of life’s issues so that their knowledge of these would not in the end have a poisonous effect on our progress a a nation. Adichie I respect you as a poet, Nigerian, black, literary artist, writer and a female. I also expect you to learn to be matured enough to leave the wounds of the past to heal and move forward. It won’t be so easy yet it is not impossible. God bless Nigeria.

  188. Obinna Chigozie

    April 13, 2015 at 11:46 am

    To start with, Nigeria is a fraud, and the fraud expired after 100 years of creation, secondly why can’t Igbo people live in Lagos? why? i thought we are all one nigerians, Why is it that we have only one seaport in Lagos when there are seas in Rivers States, Calabar and Warri, why can’t the zoo called nigeria build sea ports in all cities that have seas? why? Thirdly, the Igbo are not just living in Lagos, but they are Landlords in Lagos, very soon, Igbo people will chase away all Yorubas out of Lagos because soonest the Yorubas will sell all their lands to Igbos , then Igbos will take over and Yorubas must return to their villages in Ibadan, and so on … And I said, if i can not be a landlord and owns the land and buildings i have in Lagos, Then I must not be called a nigerian, But the truth is that I am a Biafran by birth and nature, And I must be called a Biafran … Oba Of Lagos is just an idiot, soon he will sell his place to an Igbo man……..The bitter truth is that Yorubas and Hausa-Fulani are the most useless entity ever seen in the planet earth…

  189. Chinaka Okoro

    April 13, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I so much appreciate Adichie’s position on the Oba Akiolugate, especially her submission on the issue of citizenship. I have always held the view that for Nigeria to be one, ”state of origin” should be expunged from any form to be filled by any Nigerian. This has continued to hinder our efforts towards a united country where the citizens are free and one. Thanks Chimamanda. I am proud of you.

  190. Gerald Barthson

    April 13, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    As much as we want to castigate Chimamanda, she has wittingly brought to the fore a burning issue which most contributors to the debate have unwittingly succumbed to.(citizenship) We have now bared our fangs and the adrenaline is now coursing through our veins and we are now spoiling for a fight.Let us sheath our swords and lick the intellectual wounds we have inflicted on each other. We are all aggrieved and have spoken well. In hindsight, we will all agree that the protagonist of past events have not always been correct as it is the case but let us be forgiving. The person at the centre of this furore is not too happy at the dust the issue has raised. Let us not in our righteous indignation forget our common humanity despite the ethnic,religious or political divide because we all need each other because that is what is important. I salut you all.

  191. Arzaqi Eidowuo

    April 13, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Chimamnda, I really respect your gift in the used of abstract language, despite that I don’t see European language has a figurative language, that as no semantic values. But our mind had been colonised with this language. Some time I see the failure of Africans scholars in the practical field is as a result of these lexicon western knowledge that has no semantic values, which happen to be the root of our academic information. I used the term semantic in reference to antiquity concept. Some time I do ask myself, what is the mind in the word ‘federalism’ and ‘democracy? And what connect the two words together in antiquity polithinking? And how we have reflect it into our present Nigeria socio-dichotomy, well I shall come to that in the end paragraph of this article. The fact is that the Igbo are not accommodative to other people in their own land while they spread to other people territory, and Yoruba land is not the only land that existed within Nigeria land space. some said that Nigeria is a nation that instituted Nigerians together as one citizen. I disagree, I see Nigeria as a nation forced together through power of gun, we are all conscious of our really natural ethnical nation, and I’m from Yoruba nation under Nigeria colony, which of my ancestors came together to sign any consensus that led to the formation of Nigeria. We cannot preach unity without accepting that unity developed through natural instinct of love. Coming to Nigeria scenario what love bind Nigeria ethics together? I respect your intelligent Chimamanda, but it’s very clear that the social formation of Nigeria today can only be compare with middle age, which is age of power struggle, which supposed not to be so. Where things go wrong again, is when some northern leaders aiming to made Nigeria their ethnic belonging, there-by wrongly structuring Nigeria states to their favour, instead of structuring Nigeria states to reflect their ethno-brethren territory, they some time mixed up ethnics together in one state, and in most cases grouping other ethnic land to their own ethnic dominated state. Is good for us to understand that Nigeria is an institution of different ethnical nations, and for Igbo man or any body from other ethnic to have same right with Yoruba in Yoruba land e.g. Lagos,he or she have to be under Yoruba values, a British man can never be president of France under British value,in the deep mind of different ethno-citizen that form Nigeria, Nigeria is just like European union, we are still conscious of defending our ethnical belonging, so therefore to avoid problems, some of Nigeria states still need to be restructure and indigenous of a state should be made to decide their destiny, either in voting or in electing whom will represent them in an administrative political post. Igbo or any person from other ethnic that want to vote or be voted for in an election within Yoruba land, should first of all become Yoruba, by doing what it take’s to become Yoruba, like speaking the language , embrace the culture with full heart, love the Yoruba people and ready to defend them in all circumstance, which is of same condition any Igbo would consider before accepting any body as Igbo. The mind in federalism I guess is to connote ‘love is good in fellowship, and the mind in democracy I guess is to connote ‘count my people’, it’s people that belong to same love brethren that form nation but not in this way the nation call Nigeria is been formed, and if there is a referendums to vote for dissolution of Nigeria to their natural ethnic along with their sub-dialect to form nation I will be the first to vote yes!!!.

  192. Al oshodin

    April 13, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    madam u have a tendency to speak on issues you have no idea about, writing novels does not make you have on the goings on in nigeria . Yes the oba made the comment but do you believe his subjects will carry out such an action. Fyi unlike most other tribes in the country nigeia the yoruba’s are the most enlightened and accommodating unlike the hostility foreigners meet in the east. how many yoruba traders are there in onitcha market how many yoruba’s are allowed to hold office in eastern states. How many states in the east voted change. Instead of running you mouth about criticizing other tribes and championing the igbo cause of we are marginalized and prosecuted, speak to your leaders on developing the east of nigeria which is one of the most underdeveloped parts of the country as we speak. The develop ur own and stop complaining when they stop you from trying to destroy theirs. And regarding the renting of properties to an igbo man. Here is my fathers personal experience in lagos. My dad is from the south south and rented his first house to an ibo man the man lived in the house for 8 years and only payed rent for the first 2 years. By the time the man was asked to leave the house he was making comments that the house was the reason for his business failing..Eastern Nigerians Go and develop ur home land and be proud of it.

  193. Chommy

    April 13, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    My fellow igbos wat ever the so called oba of lagos said is not my concern, d igbos all over nigeria shuld ve been more knwoledgable by now, is an open secret dat these people hates the igbos with passion and dey keep on pursuing people even wen we seek peace with them. Is not a hidden secret dat igbo nation is highly favored nd blessed by God, wat else could ve been d reason why wherever igbo peple steps dia feet dey are bound to take possession jst lyk d isrealites in d Bible. My resentment is not on d oba bt wif d igbos yes is a fact dat one has to live his/her village to seek green pastures else bt not dis way, d igbos are richly blessed wif gud climates conditions, my fellow igbos if we could jst come back home and reason together, if we could jst bring dose factories back home, dose refineries, dose huge buildings what else will we be looking for wif d yorubas, hausas or even wif d fulanis. The handwriting is clearly written boldly in wall dat the yorubas has also joined the hausas in their pursuit of d igbo. I am deeply sorry to say dis bt d igbos are still under breastfeeding they are yet to eat out of d solid food to be more sensible and u know dose dat are still breastfeeding are still babies. My fellow igbo plz lets us stop breastfeeding nd taste a bit of d solid food to be able to reason normally. Most houses buit in hausa land/yoruba was built by d igbo bt dis so called house builder have no place to lay dia heads wen dey eventually manage to return home for any festive months. I call on d igbos to arise and stop sucking. Aku lue uno okwuo onye kpatalia. Ndewo ndi igbo!!!

  194. david

    April 13, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    We are our own problem(the ibgos) the Igbo’s have a spiritual problem. Our land and what so ever happened in time past is a major set back.
    We fear our selves
    No unity
    We do ANYTHING to get money. Not minding who it hurts
    We don’t have respect for authority
    We are not satisfied with what we have
    We want to show up at every cost
    We sale our brothers among others tribes basically for money purposes
    We don’t trust ourselves
    We are afriad of going home because many unknown
    In this election, his many people who traveled died misterously. Many.
    We must go back to the place of prayers and seeking for divine assistance.
    Many are calling for Biafra. I laugh, because the Anambras will not agree with Abias. The Enugu’s to the Imos… Ebonyis and so on.
    Were they no igwes and traditional rulers when the Igwe made his speech? What was their reaction… They were busy laughing right? Money is talking dear. The Oba has apologised already. CHECK THE IGWES POCKETS.
    Some folks talk about over taxation of the Ibgos in Lagos. Have they seen that of the east. I mean the over taxation ON EVERYTHING. The way the Yoruba man pities or understand with his brother can’t be compared to the way an Igbo man treats his brother.

  195. Akilo Ynnob

    April 13, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    The good question has been asked “What does it mean to be a Nigerian citizen” The President elect, the governor elect and the traditional rulers should give us the answer, and tell us what the constitution said about the Nigerian citizenship.

  196. Emeka

    April 14, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Reading some of the responses to Chimamanda’s article, especially that of Teekay Akin, really got me scared about our existence as a nation.

    I believe she was not inciting hatred, but was plainly addressing a hurtful issue. There is an Igbo saying that you cannot beat a child and ask it not to cry. Even the most loyal Yoruba, like Teekay, accepts that the Oba was wrong in his outburst. But Teekay then went ballistic with his being Yoruba.

    Stemming from most of the other comments I read is the fact that we incline far closer to our tribal origins than to the Nigerian nation. Teekay’s position made nonsense of Chimamanda’s submission -CITIZENSHIP. That to me is scary.

    It’s scary because there are a whole lot of people who believe same. While I am not an advocate of “let bygones be bygones”, I believe we’ve been around together long enough to forge a Nigerian nation. A nation where no tribe loses itself but also assumes and embraces the national identity.

    I will never stop being Igbo, Teekay Akin may never stop being Yoruba and you may never stop being whatever tribe you belong. But we’ll be Nigerians, free to live anywhere we choose and free to express ourselves. Lagos can be Yoruba Land for all it wants but give me my space. Port Harcourt is Rumuigho and Rumuyoruba, for your information.

  197. Obor Michael

    April 14, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Many people have called Ms. Adichie’s response to the Oba’s rantings ‘overflogged’. But I think most of the reactions to her comments are even more overflogged than her’s, if at all it is so. When I read the comments of persons like Stanley Nwokocha and Teekay Akin, I wonder if it was the same write up by Adichie which we all read. I think some persons need a reset of their brains to understand written materials more objectively. There were of course some faults with her write up; she fails to adequately cite her sources and some others. But many of these antagonistic writers just missed the whole point. Some even went on to corroborate Adichie’s fears about a prescient ethnic-based prejudice. Teekay Akin was most guilty of this. It seems he just saw an opportunity to vent his illogical frustration and cover under the guise of his bloated ideas.
    Please, we need to put aside our ego and clamour for cheap popularity and heed the voice of Adichie’s calling us to national unity. It’s obvious that some made comments borne out of a desire to sound exceptional or acutely critical. I tell you it is not worth it.
    Attack a problem squarely and stop cowering under the cover of eloquence.
    Thumbs up Adichie.

  198. Dami

    April 16, 2015 at 7:00 am

    I’m a Yoruba from Osun, born and bred in Lagos, works in Enugu and studying in Kaduna. The biggest questions you should be asking are, Would a Yoruba man come to my state and enjoy the same privileges my people enjoy in Lagos? What is so attractive about Lagos that all other Nigerians and rushing there daily and why can’t it be replicated in other states? What is the true functions of traditional institutions in 21st Century Nigeria or have they finally outlived their usefulness? What is the cause of the “anti-Igbo rhetoric” especially with the recent seismic changes that have occurred in the political landscape of Nigeria and what can the Ibos do to improve their standing with other parts of Nigeria? It is not enough to assume the victim mentality. Unfortunately, your article does not offer solutions to the problems that affect you people within the entity called Nigeria. As enterprising and independent as the Ibos claim to be, their inability to develop their region to free themselves of their dependence on Lagos. That is their biggest failing.

  199. Ayo

    April 16, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Lagos is not the first national capital of the entity called Nigeria as the author posited. That honour belongs to Calabar city.

  200. Ufoaroh Kingsley Kenechukwu

    April 18, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Finally a voice of reasoning has emerged.The objectivity of this eye opening article has successfully conveyed the plight of not just the Igbo nation, but other nations in the Nigerian state who’s right to exist and cohabit have at any time been abused and trivialised. I absolutely concur with your patriotic observation my honourable Chimamanda Adichie.
    Moreover, my opinion is that the Nigerian state is like an experiment without a formula. As long as any Nigerian feels unsafe leaving away from his or her immediate community, as long as the Hausa man continue to trivialise the life the Hausas and vise-vasa, as long as we disrespect our very diversity in religion and culture, the Nigeria we dream will remain a pathetic fantasy. Our sense of belonging has been politicised and we’ve been silent for too long. Let’s begin to create the Nigeria that our children will be proud to call their fatherland. IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, DON’T JUST SAY SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING. GyouGod help us.

  201. Emmanuel

    April 19, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Proverbs 18:20-21International Standard Version (ISV)
    “The power of the tongue is life and death
    those who love to talk will eat what it produces.” (Prov.18:21)
    “The positive words that a man speaks fill his stomach; he will be satisfied with what his lips produce.”(Prov.18:20)

  202. Ehimen Irene

    June 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Dearest Nigerians, I totally understand all of us on the matter of the Oba of Lagos and on Chimamada’s comment.

    The Yorubas are talking cause they did not experience the massacre & stigma of the civil war, so they don’t understand the pains of the igbos.

    Chimamada’s article was only to remind the igbos of their home and the general public of the effect of the Oba’s words, not violence instigating.

    Lets call a spade a spade and not a shovel. Lets not talk/write because we fill like it. Lets always think of what is said & what we are about to say, because the wounds the igbos feel is still fresh & they are always at the receiving end of the nation as a whole like the minorities.

    Nigeria will not move if we dont stop seeing ourselves as tribes/regions instead of humans.

    Nigeria was not a mistake, we are all unique and vital in our own way, no part is better than the other.

    Those who are clamoring for division are immatured, cos we have all intermarried and lived too well amongst us that we cant part.

    Please, not for your selfish reasons or pride, let us learn to love one another, and that is the only way we can be healed… If not for any other thing but for our children, our future… If we dont move, we cant experience development & at the same time, if we dont build our homes, no one will build it for us.

    If we all return to our homes, what will become of us as a nation?


  203. Miracle

    July 6, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    A big kudos! Chimamanda who never cease to dazzle me with eloquence and her literary prowess.You are truly a diamond in the rough.What most of Chimamanda’s critics fail to realize is that she’s not in any way being racist or even waving an up-Igbo-no-matter-what flag but simply pointing out the fact that we are all citizens of Nigeria with the same inherent and undeniable rights,hence everyone should be treated equally and not one way another be threatened for ethnicity factor……do not put words into her mouth.We are all one.If the Oba’s comment was just merely swept under the carpet by all who read/heard it then any random person can wake up one morning to start a foolhardy war…….leading to the break up of Nigeria

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