Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, the 2019 Presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party, YPP, has received backlash from Nigerians on social media for using the phrase, ‘Nigerian Igbo’ to address the Igbos.
In a series of tweets on Saturday night, Moghalu said, “Nigerian Igbo complain about political ‘marginalization.’ While true because of the civil war, and while Nigeria needs ‘a new grand bargain’ between its ethnic nationalities, the Igbos themselves have harmed themselves.
“They must first shed the victim mentality. Then they must address the disadvantage of being ‘led’ by selfish, greedy and self-centered political elite masquerading as political and social-cultural leaders who are the first to shoot down their own.
“Many Igbo leaders are fine men and women. But there are too many that are envious and self-hating, choose to be politically second-class so long as it serves their little interests.
“Ndigbo needs a strategy, with high impact strategic engagement with other ethnic nationalities with a win-win proposition, not ethnic noise-making.
“Do you think it’s a surprise that @BarackObama became US president despite the attempts of many other black Americans like Jesse Jackson? Obama succeeded because he did not have a chip on his shoulder, though he acknowledged the systemic injustice of racism.
“But he had a proposition, not just a sense of entitlement. He was able to largely because he was the son of a Kenyan man and a white American mother who did not descend from a line of former slaves and therefore was spared of their psychological insecurities.
“The joke in Kenya is that a Luo (his father was from the Luo tribe) could be a US president but not a Kenyan one! I ran for President in 2019 as a Nigerian candidate, not as an Igbo candidate, and no apologies. I love Ndigbo. But I also love other Nigerians, unburdened by the hang-ups of history.
“All of this is not to say we should not deal with the civil war in our national history. It is the elephant in the room. I have argued that Nigeria’s leaders must apologize for the millions of lives lost in the Nigeria-Biafra war if we are to heal. That’s the right thing to do,” he said in the statement he shared on Twitter.
Moghalu tweets, however, received a wide range of criticism as some Twitter users see the Professor as pitting himself against his own people.
Some of the responses to Moghalu’s statement read:
@Tonihamilton922, “Sir, with this thread you are standing firmly on quicksand because politics is local. If you’re actually a good listener, you’ll discover what real Igbos want. And of note, ‘Nigerian Igbo’ is the victim. You’ve successfully removed yourself from them, yet may hardly impress the lords.”
@Unclechach, “Moghalu really referred to Igbos as “they” and “them.” Also, what the hell is “Nigerian Igbo”? This is the same person that referred to Gowon as “humane.”
@Ndukaebubedike, “Mr. Moghalu uses ‘they’ and ‘them’ in this thread because maybe he doesn’t consider himself Igbo. Or at least he sees himself as someone looking in from the outside.”
@Kiqbucket, “‘unburdened by the hangups of history’, you see that phrase? I lost all the respect I have for that man.”
@Mickeynon4u, “Not mincing words, that man is a real disgrace to Igbo race, imagine him referring to us as ‘Nigerian Igbo’.”
@,UcheOkeyep, “What do you mean by “Nigerian Igbo”. Putting Nigerian first before Igbo. That was intentional. How have we harmed ourselves in Nigeria?
How do we shed ‘Victim mentality’ this sounds like what a BMC would say. You are part of the leaders, so you must address you too.”
@War_ina_babylon, “The ‘Nigerian Igbo’ was very much intentional. Good spot. Another thing is his use of ‘They’, ‘Them’, etc. Trying to portray a people different from himself. Showing his masters that he is one of the ‘good ones.’”
@Chuchu231, “Honestly sir Kingsley Muoghalu, what do you mean referring to the IGBOS as ‘Nigerian Igbo’? And calling us ‘they’ and ‘them’? You come to a whole bird app like twitter to embarrass yourself. Yes you embarrass yourself not Igbos, and no true Igbo will never vote for you again till you apologize.”
@Chydee, “What does Nigerian Igbo even mean? Are there Cameroon Igbos? Nevermind, the rest of the thread is still completely terrible. Today is for peace and happiness, so I might come back with tiger gen tomorrow.”
@Wangyu, What is Nigerian Igbo? When you hear things like this from these greedy lot one thing comes to mind – political patronage. You are one of the politicians that have continued to distort our history and who we are.”