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« Plight of Bakassi: Local and International Conspiracy? | Main | Re: Thomas Osuji's "Revisiting Chinua Achebe's Okonkwo Character" »

July 31, 2006

Igbo Diaspora Most Wanted Man

The Ambrose Ehirim Files by Ambrose Ehirim (Los Angeles, California) --- Yes, I have been chastised uncountable times about my critique of a particularly confused Igbo bunch who would rather not get anything done to help the Igbo Nation. I have been called all kinds of names. Just for exercising my right to free speech, I have, like NBA basketball player, Shaquille O’Neal, been called the “Big Felon.” I have been called “Maradona” after the wizard dribbler in FIFA World Cup Finals. Also, like Hollywood script writers and movie makers, I have been called a “copy cat.” Wow!

Maybe I should stop dribbling and change my writing style. I have been asked to stop criticizing and condemning Igbo “elite” and “intellectuals” and their coterie of wannabes even when it’s obvious they are taking us to hell.

I have been accused of not being Igbo, thus, writing with a pseudonym to incite anger and frustration within the Igbo elite and intellectuals who write behind closed doors in Igbo-related forums mostly at yahoo. It has been said that the name Ambrose Ehirim doesn’t exist, that it is a “handle.” I have been accused of money laundering and using the funds to engage in “terrorist activities” in support of MASSOB and to cause havoc all over Igbo land. I have also been accused of being an uppity Igbo radical and a “mad man,” which would take me nowhere but create a series of confusion.

For instance, the wave of civil unrest in Onitsha and elsewhere in Igbo Land caused by the poor leadership of Mr. Peter Obi is now said to be my making. Never mind that it was the clueless Peter Obi who invited known enemies of Nd’Igbo to slaughter Igbo youth in the name of fighting an anarchy in Anambra, an anarchy that Peter Obi himself and Chris Ubah formulated in the illicit pact that put Obi in power. I have been accused of using the proceeds from BiafraNigeriaWorld to engage in anti-elitist activities as portrayed in my columns, which continues to address the ills in the Igbo Nation.

I have been accused of trying to break up the country using the resources of BiafraNigeriaWorld. I have been accused of using BNW to destroy the political ambitions of the Igbo Diaspora “elite” and “pseudo-intellectuals” who are running around in the US in Nigerian political campaign vans, gunning for public office in BiafraNigeria. I have been told that I am wrong to take sides with the underprivileged class and the powerless in Igboland. I have been accused of a growing lip, whatever that means.

I have been accused of writing under the influence of akanaeme and other spirits. I have been accused for lamenting the fallen standards of Igbo ideals. I have been accused for writing extensively and nearly exhaustively about Igbo problems grand and small. I have been accused for lamenting Obafemi Awolowo’s orchestrated “Economic Blockade,” which starved Igbo women and children to death.

I have been accused of in-your-face attitude telling the Hausa-Fulanis that they slaughtered my kith and kin in the most brutal of circumstances, and yet would not offer an apology. I have been accused of saying it aloud that the Yorubas stink and can’t fight to save their own lives. Bbut no one, absolutely no one has taken into account the ethnic slurs of “nyamiri,” “okoro,” “okobokobo” frequently bandied about by the Awusa and the Yoroba. I have been accused for calling Igbo a nation state. I have been accused for asking the bookkeepers and managers of World Igbo Congress to put their acts together before it gets too late. According to Bob Dylan, “It’s not dark yet, but we are getting there.”

I have been accused for having the guts to “attack” the gutless leadership of Chibuzor Onwuchekwa of WIC. I said it was lousy leadership when Chibuzor Onwuchekwa made nku ukwa and ill-gotten castles in Abuja his blueprint, while Anambra, his home state, is burning. I have been accused for citing Senate President Ken Nnamani’s disappointment during WIC’s annual picnic and efulefu dance at the basement of Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel. I have been accused of telling the simple truth. According to Peter Tosh’ lyrics, “I have been wanted dead or alive by the evil forces” at Igbo forums at Yohoo. I am “FBI’s most wanted man,” said one crazed Igbo Yahooligan.

Aaarrggh, Holy Moses! Ah ah! See what my little biro has caused me!? Imagine!

Ironically, these accusations leveled against me have been from none other than the free-based Yahoo groups forums catering to various Igbo groups. As one is weary of pointing out nothing gets done at Yahoo and even the archives have been wiped out because the operator are loud mouths who wouldn’t spend a dime to preserve the records.

What’s going on here? What are the raging and the beef, and the prize on my head all about? That I wrote an article based on what I witnessed regarding a fractured WIC and its funny bookkeepers and managers? That WIC’s annual picnic and efulefu dance is disturbing and has become a trademark for a bunch that would never get things done? That MASSOB leader Ralph Uwazuruike is languishing in jail and WIC would not say a word while his alleged “co-conspirator” Frederick Fasheun has been granted bail on “health grounds?” That I was concerned that innocent people were being killed in Onitsha by Obasanjo’s Gestapo and nobody is saying a word? That I “was crazy” to comment on the debacle in Anambra on the ground that I am not from “Onitsha?” or from “Anambra State?” That I should shut up for whatever happens in Anambra is none of my business? That “their” master Olusegun Obasanjo is doing some pretty good stuff in Igbo land, and I have no right to question or criticize him whatsoever? I don’t get it!

First, I should begin by blaming Acho Orabuchi and Magnus Ekwueme, the moderators of the refrigerated free Yahoo Igbo Forum for allowing fake names and dubious handles to run wild in an Igbo community discussion group. It is really disturbing when Orabuchi and his group of moderators at the Yahoo Igbo Forum, even though the Yahoo shack is now running without memory, would collaborate with a gang of Dallas-based pacifists to use all kinds of concocted names in attacking me, when Acho Ohawuchi himself knows exactly who I am down to the village I hail from. Did I say “Ohawuchi?” Yes, as Acho Ohawuchi’s fellow Orlu man, I should know, as they say in the Igbo proverb, how water entered the pumpkin’s pipe and transformed an Imo man from Ohawuchi to Orabuchi. But, I kept calm, thinking I was in polite company.

The following is typical of one of many incoherent responses and write-ups targeted at me in the Orabuchi-Ekwueme managed Yahoo Forum where any subject matter may arise for discussion and engagement at any given time. Of all the responses, I shall cite two. One is wrong and totally a piece of garbage because it fails to address the issues in question, and the other I address because the writer wrote of interest. In the Orabuchi-Ekwueme Forum, one of the cowards who operates behind handles and is not bold enough to say who he really is contributed the following response to my article on Onwuchekwa and the inept and corrupt World Igbo Congress. The fake handle is “Texas Memorial” and here is what he had to say:

Ambrose Ehirim is one of FBI most wanted man, if that is the real name of the writer. Ambrose, challenging WIC on Onitsha; Ambrose is a Money Launderer, and a Felon with a record of evading paying Taxes, and illegally transporting large amount of cash to Nigeria in support of MASSOB, and killing of innocent civilian, Youths and women. Ambrose with his support of MASSOB has witnessed young girls raped in Igbos states, and with his money laundering to Nigeria, saw large cashes of weapons and ammunitions transported to Nigeria that MASSOB's are using in killing our people, the Police and destruction of the Prisons.. Ambrose is not an Onitsha Man. Ambrose Ehirim is at USA while our young ones are dying unnecessarily. Ambrose should go to Nigeria and represent MASSOB in Nigeria and not in Diaspora…


Now, how does the above line of nonsense parallel to the subject matter? But the irony to all the brouhaha in Yahoo Igbo Forum could be drawn from a bunch of moderators who work in concert or use the dimwits to keep dragging the forum to hell, in which nobody understands why its archives shouldn’t be kept intact, losing its credibility since it was established seven years ago. When rhetoric like the one above by a name that doesn’t exist keeps popping up with rubbish in Yahoo Igbo Forum, why would someone take Orabuchi and his group of moderators seriously? When the kind of nonsense above keeps making the headlines in Yahoo Igbo Forum, what has that reduced the Igbo nation and intellectuals to? When we keep seeing such lines that has no meaning to a subject matter in question, even though the handle speaks for itself of being fake and yet allowed to be drawing attention with irrational thoughts, and nobody is saying a word, what does that make the group moderators and management team in Yahoo Igbo Forum look like?

When you have a forum like that, and of course, where every individual matters based on sponsored or referred registration, shouldn’t a handle in the name of Texas Memorial be questioned based on its lack of signature with the real name attached to it? Why is nobody talking when a handle of this kind is ruining our credibility in the outside world, and why would they, the outside world, be taking us seriously? What is wrong with Igbo people?

On the other hand, I must not fail to address the second citation which I thought to be necessary. I found it necessary because the writer made a “valid” point, in the sense that he strongly believed a dialogue could be reached in apprehending the ills of the WIC and Igbo matters in general, that is, if put on the table as the Boston magic is “dedicated” to present. But I must also not fail to point out that it doesn’t make sense at all when we take a dovish stance while surrounded by hawkish neighbors who use every opportunity at any given time to attack and slaughter us on the streets, at the market square and anywhere that Nd’Igbo gather. We must continue to defend ourselves at all costs, under any circumstances to prevent a repeat of the past.

Never again!

For a variety of reasons, Nd’Igbo must be on guard to produce robust leaders in order to effect change, especially given that the battered and bruised WIC that claims to be Igbo Diaspora umbrella is now colossal failure. We must honestly choose who to lead us based on character and conduct over the years. We must keep up with the basic ethic of transparency and accountability to avoid the conflicts of funny bookkeeping and dubious managers. We must continue to watch and report the ways and means of those that keep our records. We must never allow riff raffs because they have sacks of money to the brim to keep running the shows in our name. The politics of “Godfatherism” should not have been allowed to occur in the first place. We must rise to the occasion to defend worthy causes and give honor to whom honor is due and restore the merit system on which the Igbo Nation was founded.

If the WIC is Igbo umbrella like it claims, we must ask for its monthly, bimonthly, and quarterly reports. But that has not happened in the many years since WIC’s formation; rather, what we see is a continuous cycle of “no gain, no loss” in every convention, which indicates the bookkeepers and managers are not being honest in dealing with Igbo Diaspora. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of each convention when profits cannot be made? Again, of what purpose is the WIC picnic at a record loss in every convention? Just to see people, dine, wine, womanize and flirt?

I am compelled to cite Mike Ozulumba’s note of interest with regards to WIC’s annual picnic. We must bear in mind that Ozulumba was speaking on behalf of WIC’s Boston area organizers who promised a better convention, this time around. However, to set the record straight, my article did not suggest in any way that Igbos should follow my path to actualizing Biafra, and I had no “personal dislike for Onwuchekwa.”

Ozulumba writes:

Obviously, your article consumed a rambling plethora of dubious subjective analysis based on your apparent preconceived belief that unless and until Igbos follow your path to actualization of Biafra, nothing is working. I find your argument internally inconsistent in many respects. While collaboration is an accepted avenue to actualization of strategic needs, you see Ichie Onwuchekwas efforts with our other ethnic partners as futility. I am amazed at your devotion of undue time to vent personal dislike for Ichie Onwuchekwa and your sweeping insult of Igbos especially in the Los Angeles area. I must tell you that Igbos in Boston mean serious business. We will not have much patience here with you when you reduce yourself to insulting individuals. Granted you may share a differnce of opinion with respect to how best to make WIC a veritable organization. We sure may have problems of leadership, but with heinous and venomous followers like you the journey will sure be more ardous. I will not profer advise to you here on how best to actualize your Biafra. I understand that fringe lunatics may exist among us and you sure are not doing the Biafran cause a good favor in the manner you write and express your views. I hope you will not find time to come to Boston, but if you do, you will be pleasantly surprised. It takes several steps to complete a good journey. Ichie Onwuchekwa may not have impressed you thus far, but we need to work together to assist him or replace him.

While Ozulumba could not see how Igbos had been trapped in an uncertain and troubled nation and not helping chart the course, he agreed with me on lack of profound leadership; but he patently declined to confront the most vital issues within the Igbo nation today. From his observation, I guess there is no way to avoid active engagement with Egbe Omo Yoruba and the Zumunta even at the point of death because Igbos may not have the chance or would not have a choice doing it alone probably that her survival relies on the status quo. This line of thought is irrelevant and disingenuous.

Ozulumba declined to “proffer advice” on how to strategically go about the Biafran struggle. He deliberately ignored to comment on the crises in Anambra, his home state, which has no end in sight. He ignored to share with me the problems of the WIC since its formation and why WIC should not be granted the privilege to bear the name Igbo Umbrella. He did not share with me on Onwuchekwa eating up his own words when he said every Igbo indigene would be a WIC card carrying member, and when he insulted Yahoo Igbo Forum writers as “noise makers.” He (Ozulumba) believes in pacifism and would not explain why his neighbors are hawks because it’s okay for ones kith and kin to be slaughtered without saying a word on the ground that uttering a word might hurt the healing process and jeopardize any prospect of dialogue with the Hausa- Fulanis and their Yoruba co-conspirators. He refused to see a confused Igbo Diaspora bunch on the basis it’s not timely and perhaps the “Boston RSVP Party” will change all that. He ignored the fact that WIC is a fraternity like any other social club and nothing Igbo-related. Yes, the WIC is a fraternity. It is a social club. It has no Igbo interest.

So my learned friend, for being “pleasantly surprised,” hold on, and let go. I have no desire to attend WIC’s annual bash until I am well-convinced that the WIC has ceased to be a fraternity by way of taking care of Igbo-related issues. And since your interest in organizing the Boston RSVP Party was to use that platform to boost your campaign for public office, hang in there. I have news for you. To be honest, I was not surprised at all to learn about your political ambitions in your home state of Anambra to represent Ihiala Federal Constituency, and I am totally not impressed for you to have taken such a step using Boston’s convention on your doorstep to campaign for an election your war chest could never match that of your opponents back home, and for the fact that you have not spent enough time with the electorate to sell your ideas.

So would the campaign for public office and chance of nku nkwa be the reason why you have decided not take the wrong side when bad things happen. You will be the candidate of self-interest for the BiafraNigerian House of Representatives from Okija? Would the quest to be lawmaker be the reason why WIC cannot be wrong because your campaign team is very likely to be WIC card carrying members? Would mentioning the name Biafra jeopardize your chances, and if so, be the reason why you thought the Biafran struggle is all a waste of time because you couldn’t wait to fall in line for your own share of the nku ukwa? Would the fear of missing out on WIC and its party lines be the reason why you are tongue-tied when hoodlums and the likes of Chris Ubah have turned Anambra into a state of empire and anarchy?

As it also happened, on July 15, 2006, as part of my early morning rituals, I drive to Venice Beach, California. Normally, I listen to Philly Sound and Tamla Motown classics—Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, Temptations, Commodores, Marvin Gaye, etc.—while driving to the coast. I find a parking spot and jog on the beach’s sidewalks with workouts in between. When I’m done, I check the newsstands and comb through the headlines. Then I head back home for shower and breakfast.

On this particular day, while driving back home after my morning rituals, my phone rang and a friend of mine was on the line requesting I should join his entourage scheduled to be paying condolence visit to a colleague whose father-in-law had died. I honored his request and was picked up later in the day for the visit. On arrival, we were offered a table as we joined others in showing sympathy.

As usual, gatherings of this nature are not complete without political discourse about “our” troubled nation. Enter Igbo matters and Biafranigeria politics. I was engaged and here it goes:

“Don’t you guys think Obasanjo’s third term defeat was a Hausa political victory? It sounds to me like the presidency is going back to the North with that kind of victory. What do you guys think?”

“In fact, Obasanjo will never allow power to go back North. I think we’ve had enough of Hausa drama.”

“Who wants another Hausa-Fulani oligarchy? No way, we’ve had enough.”

“I have no idea why Ambrose would want power back to the North.”

“I did not say that. I only asked a question.”

“What do you mean you did not say that?”

“I didn’t. All I said was that the third term showdown in favor of an overwhelming majority denying Obasanjo a third term was a Hausa political victory.”

“You can say whatever you like; Orji Kalu is going to be the next president.”

“I think Orji Kalu has done a good job. He challenged Obasanjo. He deserves to be the next president.”

“Are you guys sure?”

“Of course he is the man! It is our turn and he is the man!

“You see why Igbo people have a problem? Ambrose doesn’t want an Igbo president.”

“I did not say that. Ok., let’s for the sake of this argument let’s assume Orji Kalu gets the mandate, and I mean if he could not deliver as governor what guarantees he would perform diligently as president?”

“That’s the problem with Igbo writers. Have you ever seen a Yoruba or Hausa criticize their own? If you go to Yahoogroup forums, you will see Igbos criticizing our leaders, something the Yorubas and Hausas don’t do.”

“Name one Igbo writer who criticizes our leaders?”

“Are you asking me? You should know better.”

“So you mean the Yorubas and Hausas don’t criticize their leaders.”

“Yes! Name them.”

“In October 1986, Dele Giwa was murdered in cold blood with a letter bomb for criticizing the Ibrahim Babangida military juntas. Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has been critical of Obasanjo’s regime and all the military juntas combined. Rotimi Durojaye of Daily Independent Newspapers and Gbenga Aruleba of African Independent Television were slammed recently for criticizing Obasanjo’s regime. What’s your point?”

“Look, I speak Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo fluently, so I know what I am talking about. Name a Yoruba and Hausa that criticizes their leaders.”

“I just did. Ok. Mike Awoyinfa and Hammeed M. Bello. Need more?”

“Name them!”

“Bayo Onanuga and Mohammed Haruna.”

“It’s people like you who don’t attend Igbo meetings that sit on the side and criticize.”

“How do you know I don’t attend Igbo-related meetings and conventions? I was at World Igbo Congress last summer and it was nothing to brag about. Don’t you remember?”

“Well, I didn’t see you.”

“You did not see me because you must have been hiding somewhere.”

“What do you mean I was hiding somewhere? Look, I am a staunch WIC member and I have attended every convention since the birth of WIC. You can’t say that about yourself because you don’t go to Igbo meetings.”

“Who told you I don’t attend Igbo meetings. For your information, I was at the last Igbo Cultural Association of California meeting held at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church. No big deal! The meeting was a disaster. I was totally disappointed to see our elite class behave like loquacious market women. Is that the kind of meeting you are talking about?”

“Yes and other meetings including your native village meeting. Where are you from, by the way?”

“Amazano.”

“Where?”

“Amazano!”

“Do you go to their meetings?”

“Of course, before it disappeared from Planet Earth. Maybe, it will reappear. Who knows?”

“Did Amazano ever register at the WIC for its own seat for recognition?”

“What recognition?”

“Other Igbo organizations are required to register with the WIC because WIC is Igbo umbrella.”

“Oh yeah? How is WIC Igbo umbrella and what has WIC done for Nd’Igbo?”

“WIC has done a lot for Nd’Igbo and whether you like it or not you are under WIC.”

“This is ridiculous! How can I be under a fraternity that has a history of funny bookkeeping and dubious managers? Do you know that WIC’s account is questionable under Chibuzor Onwuchekwa?

“All you do is criticize, criticize and criticize. It is people like you who sit on the side and do nothing but criticize. You need to come and join us and contribute your own ideas instead of criticizing your own people.”

“I have been told that before. You mean join a fraternity like WIC?”

“Yes!”

“So WIC is a fraternity, not an Igbo umbrella?”

“No WIC is Igbo umbrella and that’s why we meet every year at different locations in Diaspora to discuss issues.”

“What issues? You mean seeing people, the picnic and dance?”

“Maybe you don’t know how it feels to see people you’ve not seen in years. That alone is big business and we should be proud of it.”

“I see, big business, huh?”

“Now tell me if you know of any Igbo organization that has recorded a profit after overheads?” Not even your own native village convention has recorded a profit. Not even one.”


“Would that be the reason why the management of the WIC does not care about its account and openness indicating it is a fraternity?”

“Come on guys, knock it off. Enough!”

Evidently, like the 80’s university campus “Buccaneers” and “Pirates,” where nothing practically was achieved in that respect, WIC is a fraternity. It is a social club. It has no Igbo interest, period!

Without a doubt, the pen is mightier than the sword as a result of my article and other thought-provoking write-ups alike. It has cleared a whole lot of stuff. All of a sudden, WIC’s constitution has popped up. All of a sudden, we are beginning to see what WIC has been doing behind closed doors. All of a sudden, WIC is paying attention to critics. And, all of a sudden, Anambra State Association-USA (ASA-USA) in a press release is sounding positively engaged for MASSOB’s right to exist as in all democratic fabrics.

Mighty biro’s magic, you see? I am innocent until proven guilty in the court of uncut, uncensored and free press.

The saga continues!

Ambrose Ehirim,
Los Angeles, CA

Posted by Administrator at July 31, 2006 07:45 AM

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