Ndi Igbo: Beyond LA FBI 80

By Ikenga Chronicles August 24, 2019

Ndi Igbo: Beyond LA FBI 80

— Dr. Vitus Ozoke

Before you condemn the Los Angeles FBI 80 as criminals, see if this similar video adds any wrinkles to your view of the whole situation. Optically, do you see any difference? I don’t. The difference is in the details, not the graphic.

What you see here is a Nigerian pastor (an Igbo pastor) engaged in, and encouraging, the same behavior for which 80 Igbo men have been arrested in Los Angeles. And he was doing that in his church in Onitsha. Had the LA FBI 80 been a little smarter, they would have evaded FBI arrest had they hosted their baby shower in this pastor’s church in Onitsha, Nigeria.

Ndi Igbo, we have a serious value problem. Our relationship with, and devotion to, money is sinful. A society where a man’s worth is measured only by his wealth is a doomed society. Those who acquire wealth, mostly through illicit means, turn oppressors of those who don’t.

The Igbo rich and the Igbo society oppress and taunt the poor both physically and psychologically. To escape that harassment, many a young Igbo man turns to crime. And you wonder why more than 95 percent of kidnappings in Nigeria happen in Igbo land and are committed by the Igbo.

An Igbo young man, uneducated by the way, wants to go to a baby shower in Los Angeles to make dollars rain. He wants to go to his pastor’s church and make it rain for his joyous and jubilant pastor. He wants to go to the Igwe (traditional ruler) of his community and make it rain for him. Remember, he is as illiterate as a dump truck. He cannot open his mouth and string together an articulate sentence. But who cares that he is dumb when his money does all the talk for him?

He gets called to the high table in community and church events, and nobody cares to ask the source of his money. His pastor wants his cut and holds him up as testimony of his power of miracle.

FBI 80 is an everyday story among the Igbo. But let me be very clear. Ndi Igbo are not the worst criminals in Nigeria. No, they don’t even come close. They are just the most psychologically oppressive criminals when they stumble on money.

Among Nigerians in Europe and America, Yoruba and Bini boys dominate and control the crime for which 80 Igbo boys were arrested by the FBI in LA. The difference is that Yoruba and Bini boys are a little more measured in the way they display and celebrate their proceeds of crime. They don’t need to taunt their less crime-minded and, therefore, less advantaged friends and neighbors.

In the Nigerian circle, the Igbo have dominated the social media news trends for one week running, and will continue to do that way into the next. IPOB, a group of Igbo political agitators, ambushed and physically assaulted Senator Ike Ekweremadu, an Igbo politician, at a new yam festival in Nuremberg, Germany, an event so sacred that such a barbaric conduct would have been punished capitally.

Ike Ekweremadu has since returned to Nigeria to a tumultuous welcome by his Enugu constituents, the type reserved only for heroes. And here you have 80 Igbo boys arrested in Los Angeles for acting dumb and stupid. Who can confound the world with so many contradictions in so short a time ? Only the Igbo can. Ndi Igbo, ‘na only una waka come’?

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