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Uche Anichebe: The Trouble with Ethnicity

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I am writing this piece from my apartment in Lagos State. Two months ago, I did not live here. I was one of those hundreds or thousands of newcomers in Lagos State, who had to grapple with accommodation issues. At first, I had to put up in a rather overcrowded and regimented corpers lodge, which was miles away from my place of primary assignment, so that as soon as the year commenced, I started a very desperate search for an accommodation relatively closer to my place of work.

The houses showed up and so did the troubles that came with them. There were the rather expensive, rather small, rather unventilated and other undesirable options that came my way.

At that time, two things struck me. The first is the gulf of difference between the written law and the law in practice. As a student of law, I came across several reformative laws which were enacted to provide remedy to societal issues. Of particular relevance is the Tenancy Law of Lagos State, which contains copious provisions aimed at making houses in Lagos available to all and sundry. The law forbids landlords from demanding rents in excess of one year. The applicable practice is a sharp contrast from the intendment of the law. Surely, if the draftsman were to take a stroll around most parts of Lagos State, he would be shocked at how the law is flagrantly disregarded and would certainly feel sorry for the efforts he put into drafting the fine provisions of that law. Whatever the size of the building, the quality of its structure or the level of its completeness and readiness for habitation, most landlords request for at least two years rent upfront. Some others are even bold enough to ask for three years rent advance!

One day, I and my agent came upon a building which was undergoing steady construction and the landlord insisted that we were to pay two years rent advance. Surprisingly, when I hinted Mr. Landlord of the Lagos law, he did not make any attempt to feign ignorance of its existence. He merely screwed up his face, and retorted sarcastically, ‘Fashola is a very funny man! Go and tell him that I said that just as he is the oga of the government house and treats it as he pleases, me, I am the oga of my house and whatever I like, I will do with it. Even if I want fifty years rent in advance, I will collect it and pocket it, and nothing will happen. Absolutely nothing!’

The second and more significant thing that struck me is the discriminatory considerations of agent and landowners in renting houses to willing tenants from other tribes. Weeks into my search for a house, I received a call from my agent.

According to him, there was a vacant apartment in a part of Yaba. I was elated by the news, but upon full disclosure of the actual location and condition of the house in question, I developed cold feet towards it. He gave me two days to make up my mind and conduct the customary inspection. But before the expiry of the agreed time, my agent called again. the landlady had changed her mind. Upon being told that I was Igbo, she had instantly expressed her disapproval. The information both mortified and amused me. I was mortified because but for that incident, I would never have believed that such tribalistic people existed; and never in my life had I been a victim of ethnic discrimination. My amusement stemmed from the fact that I was being denied that which I truly never wanted and for which I had displayed all the reluctance there are in the world. So with the wave of a hand, I decided to ignore the old bigoted woman and her rather unsuitable apartment.

My search continued and thanks to my agent, in a couple of weeks, another vacant apartment surfaced. It was undergoing steady renovation, and was prospected to be completed in a matter of weeks. The structure on ground held fantastic promises and the terms of tenancy were good. Since there were a couple of other interested persons, I decided to evince seriousness by depositing a large fraction of the agreed rent. Upon the completion of the house, I gave the Landlord a call, and informed him that I was coming that weekend with the balance of the rent and some of my baggage. He raised no objection, so I acted accordingly. Unlike the landlord, he did not pick my calls that morning. But because it was Saturday, I had all the time in the world to wait for him to surface. At noon he returned with a blank face and cellophane bag, which I would later find out contained the earlier paid deposit. He informed me that he had innocently assumed that just as my agent, I was Yoruba, but that upon enquiry, he had found otherwise. He said he had a policy that no non-yoruba, (especially Igbo) would reside in his house. I was helpless and tried to reason with him but he remained unmoved. As the time passed, my pleas and that of my agent metamorphosed into threats, but the man’s decision was firm like the rocks of Gibraltar. He threw the cellophane bag into my hands, asked me to count the cash therein, and no sooner was I done than he walked away with that gait of a man who thinks himself a god. My helplessness obviously bloated him! I was conscious of the fact that I had a large amount of money with me. Not wanting one bad tale to lead to another, I picked up my luggage and departed for good.

That situation did not amuse me. I was greatly pained and disappointed. Till date, I still struggle to come to terms with the happenings of that day. At the time, I felt the overwhelming urge to ventilate my right to non-discrimination in the Court of Law. Someone had to be sued and thought a lesson. Unfortunately, the Courts were in lock and key due to the strike action of the judicial staff and from my experience in law, I knew that it would be foolhardy to presume that the I would get justice as soon as I desired.
The Nigerian court process is slow, painfully slow. So, rather than chase shadows, I decided to attend to the more urgent need- my housing issue, after which I will go in pursuit of justice.

Some weeks later, my agent called. According to him, he had found a vacant house, but had had a tough time convincing the landlady to rent same to me. Just like the other landowners, she also had rather odd policies which bordered on ethnicity. However, owing to their long-standing relationship, he had successfully vouched for me, and she had given in to his persuasions. The negotiation process went through with success and that week, I moved in without any event. At first, I noticed that the landlady regarded me with scepticism, and acted as if she felt she had acted under duress when she agreed to rent her house to me.

At the time, upon the slightest misunderstanding, she would waste no time in reminding me of how she never wanted an Igbo person as tenant at the outset. But those days are over. Only few days ago, I overheard her telling a visitor of hers that though I am Igbo, I am one of the few tenants in the compound who do not give her any ‘wahala’. She must have thought that I was away, and so, was not cautious enough to assume that the walls may also have ears.

More often than not, Nigerians who venture to the Western world, come back with a tale or two of their encounter with racial discrimination. Presently, the ugly tentacles of xenophobia has a grip on South Africa and from the manner Nigerians lament, a foreign bye-stander would actually assume that Nigeria is bereft of all forms of ethnic discrimination. But that assumption would be far from reality. Beyond the prevalent discrimination on the basis of tribe and origin, we are very ,much inclined to hasty generalization and stereotype along the path of ethnicity. So bad it is, it has become some sort of national culture. There is a widespread fallacious insistence that all Hausas are humble but incurably primitive, all Igbos are industrious but inordinately greedy, while all Yorubas are confident, but egoistic and cunning in many respects. These are notions which I became acquainted with while growing up, but which I have never permitted to becloud my first impression of the people from these tribes.

On my way home from work one certain day, I sat behind a man and woman who spoke in tones as loud as megaphones. Their conversation turned to politics. Before the bus got to my destination, both parties had admitted that one of the candidates for the presidential election was more qualified, nevertheless, they unanimously agreed to vote for the other presidential candidate on the sole ground that that other was their ‘nearer brother’. The preferred candidate was neither from their state nor geographical region, but they hastily concluded that it was his ancestral roots that had greater proximity to their, and them, that was all that really mattered.

The above scenario gives an idea of the prevailing culture of ethnicity in Nigeria. It is a venomous seed which breeds hatred, envy and antagonism and of course, we reap whatsoever we sow. I am convinced that if Nigeria were free from discrimination, I would not go through the needless pain I went through getting an accommodation in the Lagos state; the landlord would have noticed that I was weary and kitted in my NYSC gear and would have presumed in my favour (especially as I had my luggage with me) that I was a new-comer who was in dire need of shelter and protection. Certainly, if my face were etched with any semblance of tribal marks, I wouldn’t have been a victim of the seeming conspiracy of the landowners I encountered; if this country were free of ethnicity, my Igbo colleagues at work would not have been unsurprised at my harsh experience, for they too had had their fair share of ethnic discrimination when housing was an issue for them; if I had been accepted as a Nigerian, without primary regard given to my ethic origin, I would certainly not have spent these long hours, writing this piece.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Daniel Sroga

Uche is a practicing lawyer who is enamored with literature. She is the co-author of the book, Whispers from the Desert and has written a good number of short stories.

103 Comments

  1. benito

    April 27, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    And yet we keep screaming about Racism. I have always said i understand a white man not liking me because of the color of my skin, what i can’t comprehend is another black man not liking me because of my skin color, tribe, ethnicity or whatever. I am of the opinion that BLACKS are more racist than whites. The BLACK race is a very very sorry and pathetic race.

    • Egusi Soup

      April 27, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      The BLACK race is a very very sorry and pathetic race… Including your father, mother, sister, grandfather, uncle, girlfriend and housemaid. OLOSHI! MR. WRITER if ur vexing because they didn’t give you house get out of Lagos and stop writing articles that make idiots like Benito comment nonsense. Mtschewwwwwwwww

    • Damilola

      April 28, 2015 at 4:12 am

      Igbo people are funny. Another “cry me a river” and opportunity to say “Yorubas are tribalistic” article. Igbo people, aren’t you guys tired of constantly victimizing yourselves. I worked in port harcourt for years, before moving to the U.S. Living in port harcourt was cool but when it came to buying houses or renting it can be tough if you are not connected to an oil company or a native. I was once rejected renting, when the landlord heard I’m Yoruba, he said Yorubas are not clean and won’t maintain the house very well. I kept it moving, looked for another place and got it. I don’t have time for pettiness. Then I worked on a project in Owerri for few months. So, I wanted to rent a small place, so I won’t have to travel so much. Another tough one. It was a terrible experience, from the landlord. The landlord was very outspoken about putting his people from the area first. I ended up paying double of the rent money out of desperation. I moved out early though, bcos the environment wasn’t as welcoming. Guess what, I don’t hate Igbo people for it or be crying tribalistic BS. My Igbo friends make fun of Yorubas from saying we have lines on our faces, our accent, and being so dark. Should I hate my friends now for their opinion. My parent couldn’t even buy a house in certain areas in Lagos. They are Yoruba, so it’s also about class, money, connection, etc. Then in the U.S, whites reject blacks access to certain areas bcos they want to protect and keep it all white. It’s due to racism or even bad experiences with blacks. My point is, whinning or accusing one group of this will not solve the problem when the same group is not innocent. It will only provoke more. Every group favors their own people whether it’s based on skin color, the same features or the same ethnic group who speak the same language. I personally don’t see it as hatred. Now, if you treat the person less human than you, like slavery, Jim Crow, brown vs board of education or apartheid. Now, that’s a deeper problem.

    • Bullet

      April 28, 2015 at 7:24 am

      Thank you so much for this piece. So much pity party, tea and sympathy, cry me a river whatever you can call it with them….are they the only tribe in Nigeria?…..they are not innocent at all, this same thing they do it other tribes in their area but the other tribes chose to be matured about it and let it go all in the name of peace but ……..for them…nah!!!they will hammer it down pples throats……

      You just captured all that’s on my mind in one piece. I can identify with you because I lived in PH too for 7 years. I was opportuned to get an apartment from a Yoruba landlord there who initially didn’t want to rent out to me because am single. I pleaded with them and they finally yielded…..unfortunately a colleague of mine ,Igbo guy was looking for an apartment too and asked me to talk to the landlord to which the landlord said No!!…and I asked him why?…he said he has small kids and doesn’t want anyone single or with the habit going out late at night etc….He wants a family person!!

      I told my Igbo colleague about it and he agreed to behave and vouched for him…..unfortunately he reneged on his promises…..smokes Igbo, comes and goes late nights like 11pm. Landlord increased rent which is normal, the guy refused to acknowledge the increase….the landlord hammered down on me because of that and i regretted my actions and since then I made up my mind not to vouch for anybody again…………tell me next time will the landlord go against his will just because someone pleaded with him?………..He said he has decided to tolerate him because of me………Fortunately I was posted to another town and unfortunately for my colleague, his rent was due at that time and the landlord just told him to keep his rent and move out within 2 months that he wants to renovate his house.!!!!

    • Someone Naughty

      April 28, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Clearly you have missed the point of this article thanks to your myopic and misconstrued way of reasoning. The writer was shedding light on how tribalism is rife in Nigeria. She has shared her experience as an Igbo woman in a South Western state, which doesn’t stop you from sharing yours. You went to the South South and experienced it too. No one is trying to have a pity party here. She never said that Igbos were the only ones at the receiving end. Sharing her experience has not discredited yours, your myopia blinds you from seeing beyond your problems. Segregation and bias occur in many forms. She has highlighted one of them.
      p.s.: I am not Igbo, I am proudly Ibibio.

    • Nanya

      April 28, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and most opinions are derived from one’s experience or the experience of family and friends or people around. So do go trying to attack a certain tribe, no one wants a pity party or whatever you call it, The renting experience is just an analogy to send the message. Shikena!!! Everyone is prejudiced to an extent……be it about tribe, religion, lifestyle, race, social status, etc.

    • Temi

      April 28, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      What you said made ABSOLUTELY no sense. Especially for someone that lives in the U.S. I’m usually not rude (ok I lied; maybe sometimes) but yeah… senseless. So we should just accept bullshit situations the way they are, because…. they are? We should go through life kanye-shrugging everything, and just roll over to say “wo, that’s how it is jare. Na so we see am” abi?

    • Engoz

      April 28, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      Igbo people have always refused to deceive themselves, bury their head in the sand and pretend that discrimination does not occur. If other ethnic groups prefer to pretend about tribalism with silly statements like “cry me a river”, it does not change the fact that we will continue to divulge all discriminatory practices wherever we smell it. If you are comfortable being discriminated against and cowardly prefer to look away, that is your freaking cup of tea.

    • propertyowner

      April 29, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      The hell my wife and I, went through with Igbo tenants, not even in Lagos, in ondo state. Our property turned into brothel. I’m not exaggerating. This man, called “yellow”, Rented a room, sooner or later he brought bunch of family from village, no notification. Can you even show some level of you have a brain? Instead of behaving like an animal. Through, long argument with being condescending he said, that these people will be paying their rent. Na business, let’s help each other. Ok, we agreed. Not only he stopped paying rent, he asked other tenants to pay the rent directly to him, he will argue, threaten, fight, influence others to go against us, going back and forth to court etc there were these bunch of bleached women he brought from the village. He turned prostitution into business. The house became dirty and filthy. Men will come and sleep with these women. They will drink, be drunk I mean the worst kind of living. Other Benin, Yoruba tenants moved out because they couldn’t take the barbaric behavior. We Yorubas can be foolishly nice at times just to avoid trouble. Never again will I be that stupid. He eventually took over the property. Court system here only applies in favor to thieves and criminal, so let’s not even mention oh, why didn’t you go to court. He bribed the court, he just knew his way around crooked things. An Igbo person can be an angel that fell from heaven, never ever again. I’ll rather burn down the house than rent it to an Igbo person. It still angers me so much just talking about it. We have another house and we’ve had Benin, Yoruba and Ghanaian tenants and it’s been very peaceful. Even when they miss rent, or things I find inappropriate they will respectfully ask for another time and we will talk about it like civilized people.

    • BusBusBus

      April 28, 2015 at 8:38 am

      The Igbo are more divided than any tribe. You guys don’t even like one another. If you mistaking call an Ekwere man Igbo, it is like brewing another world war.

      When you keep shouting foul then you have to look deep within yourselves. Although it is bad to generalize but the bad eggs keep spoiling the good ones. And the good ones instead of solving the problems within their tribe, blame other tribes for their misfortune.

      Ask corp members. Take a sample and ask them where they prefer to serve. If not for the recent insecurity in the north most prefer far north to any Igbo village. You guys are not friendly.

      Another example is Festac, Lagos. Festac used to be one of the best areas in Lagos until our dear Igbo brothers started to dominate the area. Most initial residents of Festac already moved out of the area.

      I wonder why Nigeria was amalgamated this way ahhhh. Complain, pity face all because GEJ lost the election.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      April 28, 2015 at 11:01 am

      My heavenly Lord, give me patience.

      The tribe is the Ikwerre group of people and its indigenes are not Igbos. I have no idea what is being taught in school these days but something needs to be done to reacquaint us with the geographical locations of the different ethnicities of Nigeria. Rivers State is NOT an Igbo State.

    • Damilola

      April 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      @ someone naughty

      I didn’t miss any point, my dear. I’m right on point. Whether she verbalized it or not, the tone of the article speaks for itself that’s if you want to be truthful. Igbos have an undertone of implying Yorubas being tribalist every chance they get. Just few weeks, peculiar okafor, who I think is a good writer, talked about tribalism, tried to be neutral but ended of being one sided. Everyday life, blogs, social media, Igbos have it ingrained in their head, we hate them. This is based on nothing or pettiness. You can’t come out with such and don’t expect response from Yorubas. Every tribe, including yorubas have their own bad experiences with Igbo people. But for some reason, Igbos just want to make it their job to point out, being discriminated against only by yorubas, as if we are the only bad people in the world. We don’t get much due credit, or compliment it’s constant wrong accusation and insult. No group is more welcoming, diplomatic than Yorubas. If there’s truly hatred from us, we would not even want to see any Igbo person. It’s getting annoying. I mean, itS geering towards, a Yoruba person looked at me somehow, he/she hates me and a tribalist. Even if there’s truly tribalism, their approach provokes rather than solve any problem. Another annoying part is, when we mention our experience, it’s disregarded. So, only Igbos are allowed to be victims or what? Trust me, I have nothing personal against Igbo people. I grew up mostly around south and Igbos. I love my close Igbo friends die but this whole petty accusation is causing more problem than anything else.

    • Homa

      April 29, 2015 at 3:30 am

      Ikwerre people are not igbo. WE DONT HAVE THE SAME CULTURE!!! Different food, different language, different attires so what are you saying. Division is Anambra nit agreeing to marry Abia abeg leave ikwerre people alone thank you and God bless!

    • Homa

      April 29, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Mz socially awkward a big THANK YOU! Most people in Lagos don’t know that there are other tribes in Nigeria asides igbo and hausa. Nigeria has about 200 ethnic groups people. Refering to what BUsbusbus commented below as well, GEJ is not even igbo he is IJAW! Completely different from igbo and ikwerre. If an igbo family is looking for an igbo bride anybody from any of these tribes will be disqualified! Ever since I moved to Lagos I notice yoruba people call everyone else (except northerners) OMOIGBO and its always said in a very sarcastic or derogatory way. Even when you complain some people will telk you bluntly if your not yoruba or hausa, you’re igbo now! And all the bad stereotypes they have for igbo people they bestow it on you. I’m not saying igbos don’t discriminate cause they do. The issue is that bellanaija is largely based on events in Lagos than anywhere else so the experiences of tribalism is coming from the perspective of the visitors I.e. igbo and other tribes. Yoruba people in Enugu, PH, Calabar and Warri can understand what being a minority and discriminated against feels like not those who have never lived in other states.

      You are not more accomodating than anybody. People have to move to Lagos because HQ are usually in Lagos and many other reasons. If they move these offices elsewhere many yoruba people will be forced to move and also more investors will set up in those places to make profit from the residents, so be thankful that Lagos is a business hub.

    • Busola

      April 28, 2015 at 9:37 am

      My dear Uche has met other Yoruba’s that have been kind to her but No she had to write about that one Yoruba Landlord that was not welcoming. She couldnt write about how the Yoruba agent finally helped her secure a house. Or probably the house she stays now is owned by a Yoruba.

      Human beings are such that they easily forget the good done by others.

    • Bullet

      April 28, 2015 at 10:52 am

      No mind am…simpletons!!!

    • Kadara

      April 28, 2015 at 10:14 am

      only if my face were etched with any semblance of tribal marks

      See what madam poor me, I was discriminated against wrote! You are nothing but a hypocrite, clearly you are tribalistic yourself

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      April 28, 2015 at 11:08 am

      @Benito, I’m also determined to stop taking our clamouring against xenophobia and racism seriously because we can’t scream “foul” at someone else, when we’re yet to deal with our own issues.

      @Damilola… and a deep sigh was heaved as prepared to write this. And first of all, just for clarity, you spoke about your landlord in Port Harcourt who wanted to put “people from the area first”. From that detail, I’m assuming that you either dealt with an Ikwerre man or some other indigene of Rivers State. Please go ahead and correct me if I’m wrong but if I happen to be correct then I’m surprised that you lived in Port Harcourt and didn’t come to the realisation during all of your time there that it is not an Igbo state. Apologies for my ire but it continually irritates the heck out of me when I hear anyone referring to all inhabitants of all states in the south (be they Benin, Bayelsa or even Calabar) as Igbo. Much the same way that I’ve previously seen people write about GEJ being “an Igbo man”… that kind of ignorance pisses me off.

      And I’m confused by you saying Jim Crow laws, apartheid and slavery are deeper problems but tribalism and racism aren’t really about hatred. What do you think slavery was about? Or even the Jim Crow laws and apartheid you speak of? Forgive me but you’re making no damn sense, brother. Racism is based on a loathing for another race and is the reason why your black forefathers were classed as animals to sell and yoke for labour. Tribalism is an equally dangerous evil and it is never going to be acceptable on the basis of “groups favouring their own people”. What happens when it gets to a point where an Igbo doctor refuses to treat you in your very sick condition, based on your ethnicity? Or your children are physically attacked by another indigenous tribe for no other reason than the fact of where they’re from? Will you still excuse tribalism, then?

      Nigerians… we keep sitting on this volcano, not realising that when it explodes, all of us will suffer the consequence. Teach love! Preach acceptance! Let’s have open and honest conversations about what is wrong with us instead of sweeping the whole mess away. Or is the plan to continue passing on the same message of bias to our children as we raise them from the cradle? Nigerians, still blindly rejecting progress 55 years after “independence”…

    • Busola

      April 28, 2015 at 11:31 am

      My dear SA the point I am making Ikwere, Igbo should be one. You people are more divided than any part. An example is the Yoruba tribe; we have the Egba, Ijesha etc. But you hardly hear this clear cut division. Mschewt even if they cut out you guys from Nigeria, you will still have tribalism within you. You are just tribalistic.

    • Damilola

      April 28, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      @ Mz socially Awkward

      Comprehension, might be a bigger problem for you than tribalism we are talking about. How in the world did you skip over and come to such conclusion. I mentioned my two personal experiences in port harcourt and owerri. Isn’t owerri an Igbo place? All of a sudden, you went blind. Lagos, is a melting pot other tribes speak Yoruba or even have Yoruba names. But nobody gives benefit of a doubt, just want to latch on Yorubas are evil people. My point is, certain things people call tribalism is really not. Just bcos an ethnic group favors their own, doesn’t mean it’s hatred, it’s human nature. And my two unpleasant experiences won’t make me accuse a south or Igbo person of being tribalist. Every group in Nigeria has a story for days to tell how they feel about the other group based on their experiences or what they heard families and friends say. So, to have constant stories of Igbo people talking about Yorubas being tribalist against them is getting ridiculous bcos if that’s the case then Yorubas have their stories too, Northerner have their stories, etc In Kano, most northern states, Igbos are heavily discriminated against but no Igbos want to attack Yorubas every chance. Despite, the west been the most welcoming place. Some of these things are bound to happen in a world of different people from different background, different languages, etc Outside of Nigeria, most Nigerians will favor each other over another black. Is it bcos you hate other blacks or it’s natural inclination, comfort ability of someone sharing the same culture or language as you.

      Tribalism is a problem but it’s becoming more of sensationalism and Igbo people are blowing it out of proportion. Yes, I mentioned Jim Crow, slavery etc because it’s a dehumanizing of another humanbeing. There are substantial evidences, which is not the case here with this whole Igbo vs Yoruba drama.

    • Temi

      April 28, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      @Mz Socially Awkward- my sister, I commented before I saw your comment. I should have waited since you always so eloquently phrase my angered thoughts. <3

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      April 28, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      First of all… dammmnnn eeeeeeeeeeet mehnnnn!!!!! I had actually taken my time to type out a response with my “church mind” and then my wandering fingers mistakenly shut down the page. I dey vexh, ehnnnn…..

      @Busola, Ikwerre people have worked very hard on an identity that is very separate and independent from Igboland. Therefore, it is condescending to even suggest that they should be considered under the same ethnic grouping as the Igbos.

      @Damilola, I owe you an apology. The point which I was trying to make about Rivers State not being Igbo should have been draw out of your experience with the landlord who wanted to rent to “natives” and not the one who wanted to rent to people “from the area”.

      However, and even with your example of the Igbo landlord, that is tribalism in practise. I wish I could regurgitate my entire argument made before this blasted mouse clicked on the wrong thing… suffice to say that even though we can choose to favour our own, we cannot do continue to do that at the reverse cost of disdaining, maligning and generally scorning another tribe because that’s what tribalism is doing to us as Nigerians. We are becoming monsters, oh. Look around you and start calculating how long the hatred will fester until we start doing what the South Africans have done.

      That’s why these discussions need to be initiated now. I had other things to say but can’t even begin trying to restructure them.

    • Olufemi

      April 28, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      Just because of an article, No need to condemn your entire race. We are not a pathetic race. Every group has their own problems, we are more vocal about our issues than others.
      Don’t mind Igbo people, they are secretly in love with Yorubas, vice versa. I’m currently dating this fine Anambra babe, her family welcomes me even more than Yoruba family. Speaking from my observation, I may be wrong. Igbo people want to have their way in everything, and if they can’t, na problem. And the easiest way out is to throw in tribalism which is not always the case. When I first moved from UK to Lagos, it was difficult getting a job or buying a house. If I’m Igbo, I will be convinced it’s bcos I’m Igbo that’s the reason. I heard, you are not a true Lagosian(despite being Yoruba), to you are not competent for this position, your last name doesn’t sound or look familiar , etc I mean it was all type of nonsense. Nigerians are peaceful, happy people lets not allow all this unnecessarily drama to divide us.

    • Naijatalk

      April 28, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      My dear na real secretly in love. The tribes just love to hate on each other. I think the Igbos are still shaken from what was perceived to be a Yoruba betrayal in the past. Previously the tribes were fine with each other, or appeared to be.
      I am igbo married to a Lagosian. The issue of tribe never came up between us or our families because thank God we are able to reason beyond the pettiness. Perhaps if we were of different religious beliefs, that would have been an issue as religion is also very personal for people.

  2. lacey

    April 27, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    My dear ethnicity is real in Nigeria! In my former job Yoruba female managers were seen as competent compared to me and getting a house as well was horrible! I had to relocate to the US after all the nonsense discrimination and funny enough I have fantastic yoruba friends who hardly speak yoruba and are so cultured and have been overly helpful in my being able to function professionally here in the US! I do not ever plan to live in Lagos again if I decide to get a job back home in Nigeria,its either I live in Abuja or move back to my state!
    Lagos is a big No!

    • Bola

      April 28, 2015 at 11:21 am

      @lacey, maybe the Yoruba female managers were truly more competent than you. Igbos have become black Americans who look for discrimination even when there is non.

  3. Engoz

    April 27, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    You say you’re a student of law, right? I hope you won’t let this matter die down just like that Compile as much evidence as possible. Do not protect evil. These are the same fools that would still turn up their noses when Igbo people talk about secession but rather prefer to practice their devilish inklings and prejudices while living in the same country with Igbo people.

    If I were you, I would start up an anonymous blog or join a Nigerian forum and post the addresses of those houses, so that decent people can keep off of such properties. Or do a documentary on it…and post it on youtube. One or two scapegoats need to be made.

    • BusBusBus

      April 28, 2015 at 8:55 am

      A beg make una pack comot. Wetin sef. Ha. All these pity game. “Manipulative” set of people. Mschewt. Every tribe has a story to tell about the other. So, her petition won’t be the only one, probably Uche’s uncle in the village is also guilty of same. All thz victim card won’t help you.

      Just because GEJ lost the Igbo tribe has been robbed and all the Igbo people must have a story to tell. GEJ that has no Yoruba in his top cabinet. Mschewt.

    • Engoz

      April 28, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      You too can post your own discriminatory stories if you like. You say you don’t want to rent to Igbo people? No problem. But there are going to be consequences for your actions in this age of social media. So ride on the tribalism! Some of you are really going to be dealt with and used as scapegoats.

    • Dear engoz

      April 28, 2015 at 10:54 am

      Darling,
      You dont have to go all vulgar, this is a mature conversation.
      People are here to learn.

      Also tenant should documents when past tenants refuse to honor increments or sanity of coexistence.

    • Dear engoz

      April 28, 2015 at 10:55 am

      landlords/ landladies should document……..

    • Engoz

      April 28, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      Dear Dear Engoz,
      Calling someone a fool is not vulgar, but depicts the mental status of the person. Only a mentally unbalanced person would dislike a group but still want to live in the same country with that group. It’s beyond logic!

  4. mo'

    April 27, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Truth is_I don’t really blame the landlords sha cos their reason for behaving so might be because of their previous dealings with such tribe.

    • J

      April 27, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      My dear Uche as much as I may understand you on this tribal issue, we can’t blame this landlords oh! Like “mo’ rightly said, it’s based on past experience oh! From personal experience concerning this housing issue, we are facing a very complicated and sorry case with an Igbo tenant right now (making it the third and same experience). It’s not easy coming to that decision of never having them as tenants again. With a three timer at different locations, property and family member, with friends saying they had same experience, we can’t help but refuse them tenancy for as long as we can…

    • CovertNigerian

      April 28, 2015 at 12:18 am

      Some day, when you are outside Nigeria and someone that knows nothing about you treats you like a thief, or refuses to offer you service because of past experience with a Nigerian, or maybe even an African, I hope you remember your warped logic here.

      Let’s condemn what is bad and not make excuses for bigotry regardless of who does it or where it is done.

    • Damilola

      April 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

      It happens everywhere, and it’s not warped logic. Some of these experiences are legit, especially when it comes to your personal business. The world can’t be perfect. In the U.S, everything is not racism. It’s not always about white people, Every group has created their own little town, from Chinatown, Armenian, Indian, Ethiopian, Caribbean, Hispanic etc and guess what if you don’t belong to that particular ethnic group, don’t waste your time trying to rent or buy houses in these areas. It’s not particularly wrong, it’s more of a group protecting their own people which is human nature. There are black suburban areas too, where whites don’t have access to just live there. My sis lives in upper manhattan, they gave her a tough time getting that apartment.Then another black person moved in to that area but for some reason, there was more crowd coming every day, it became so loud/noisy. So, if in the future if they reject blacks you can’t blame them. And there’s a popular nigerian landlord who owns apartment complex in the New England area he used to rent specifically Nigerians/Africans but when these Nigerians didn’t pay on time or even at all. Too much wahala. He made it strict to only Americans. It’s business, you can’t just accuse someone of racist or tribalist and not look at the bigger picture. Celebrities with big money usually live wherever they want. I’m sure Igbo celebrities don’t have the same complaint. Lagos, is a city where everyone wants to live e for better opportunities. It’s overpopulated, and if you don’t have big money, connection, etc renting or buying won’t come as easy. There are many Yorubas who can’t easily rent or buy houses too in Lagos. So, Igbos constantly complaining about Yorubas discriminating against them is ridiculous. Igbos even discriminate among each other, and towards Yorubas but they are blinded to that. Igbos, just want to have everything, have their way all the time. Stop the greed, and self pity party.

    • CovertNigerian

      April 28, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      @Damilola, unfortunately your argument is basically some people have acted and continue to act stupidly, and so when someone else does the same thing it is justifiable. ALL of the scenarios you’ve described are wrong. That it happens “everywhere” is an extremely poor justification for anything – I hold myself to a much higher standard.

      Once upon a time, much of the world believed that it was okay for those with power to enslave weaker peoples, yet I bet even you would not accept that as justification for that practice. I am generally a quiet person, and am super conscious of how noises I make in my apartment may affect my neighbours, yet you argue that it would be okay for someone to deny me accommodation because some other black or Igbo person was noisy and I MAY be too? Whatever happened to building certain rules about noise into the lease agreement? Also, someone had tenants that did not pay rent at all? What happened to credit checks before accepting a new tenant? What happened to the usual practice of collecting first and last months rents to forestall these kinds of issues?

      Obviously you are entitled to your views on this issue, but I fail to see the big picture to which you refer as justification for discrimination and it is quite okay that we disagree.

    • CovertNigerian

      April 28, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      @Damilola, I drew conclusions from and responded to what you wrote and not what you were thinking when you wrote it – there’s no way for me to know that. In your comment, you appeared to be excusing certain circumstances in which discrimination against an individual may be excused because of perceived behaviour of other people in a group to which that individual may belong. I’m not sure how you expect a reader not to see that as an attempt to justify discrimination. I have reviewed your comment again, and if you honestly feel that I have drawn the wrong conclusion, you need to express yourself better.

      Furthermore, if Uche is being accurate and she was refused accommodation because of her tribe or perceptions of people from her tribe and no other reason, I am not sure what you believe we should call that if not tribalism. It is also unclear to me where in her account she attempts to accuse any group of mass tribalism. As far as I can tell, she just shared specific personal experiences, which are by no means unique, that the rest of us can recognize as symptomatic of a much wider problem in Nigeria. In fact the word “Yorubas” appears only once in her essay and it is to dismiss stereotypes not to make any accusations. You are the one that is guilty of making generalizations about Igbos.

      To be clear, if a non-Igbo person experienced similar discrimination at the hands of an Igbo person, my condemnation would be consistent. I’m not about condemning one group and making excuses for another when they are guilty of the same poor behaviour.

    • Damilola

      April 28, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      @ covertnigerian

      I stand on my opinion, you don’t have to agree. The writer of the article is writing a “bashing disguise” article about yorubas. She’s writing about discrimination yet says maybe if she had tribal marks on her face. I can’t take her story serious because it’s full of pettiness. When I worked in owerri, and a landlord said, he puts his people first. Therefore, the apartment I wanted to rent wasn’t available, but after much begging I ended up paying double. I’m not jumping to cry tribalism bcos. I won’t use one petty situation from one Igbo guy to judge and accuse a whole group of tribalism. Yet the writer still ended up finding a place in the same Lagos full of Yorubas and probably a Yoruba landlord. Now, if I had couple of bad experiences being rejected an apt in the same owerri then I have more substantial evidence, conviction that Igbos are tribalist.
      You are lying and deceiving yourself if you say you don’t judge one’s character based on couple of experiences. Let’s be realistic here, especially when it comes to your business. If you’ve had the same problem with the same group, not one but couple you will be hesitant. The only thing you can do is, overlook but emphasize on your rules and expectation. And life is about proving yourself. If you want to be seen as smart, you read, and get an A right. An Igbo accused of not paying rent, pay your rent and that will be a positive experience. A Yoruba accused of being dirty, be clean and prove. It’s not that complicated.

    • Mo's Medicine

      April 28, 2015 at 2:54 am

      Mo’/Maloo, you need help seriously. For example, a Nigerian stereotype is that Yoruba women are dirty and promiscuous, so therefore going by your useless analogy, we can safely conclude that ANY Yoruba woman that we come in contact with is dirty and promiscuous and should be treated as such right? You better grow up and learn to treat people as individuals that they are.

    • dear mo's medicine

      April 28, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Then a yoruba lady should be ready to prove them wrong that they are not all promiscuous and dirty(truthfully many have shown that they are not all that but better). This is applicable to an ibo person, If they claim that you do certain inhumane things then prove them wrong… and this will be the beginning of people seeing beyond what they have experienced.
      No need insulting people that comment, they are entitled to their opinion.

    • Damilola

      April 28, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      @ covert nigerian

      Im in no way condoning neither justifying discrimination. It’s unfortunate, that’s how far your brain was able to go to draw out such inaccurate conclusion. First of all, there’s a difference between actual discrimination influenced by hatred than illusion/assumption of hatred. There should be substantial evidence not stereotypical assumption influenced by pettiness. Uche wants to talk about tribalism based on renting to judge a whole group, then every tribe will come out accusing each other of tribalism based on their one or two experiences which brings me to the point that what people call tribalism is not always tribalism influenced by hatred by the other group.

    • CovertNigerian

      April 28, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      @Damilola, I drew conclusions from and responded to what you wrote and not what you were thinking when you wrote it – there’s no way for me to know that. In your comment, you appeared to be excusing certain circumstances in which discrimination against an individual may be excused because of perceived behaviour of other people in a group to which that individual may belong. I’m not sure how you expect a reader not to see that as an attempt to justify discrimination. I have reviewed your comment again, and if you honestly feel that I have drawn the wrong conclusion, you need to express yourself better.

      Furthermore, if Uche is being accurate and she was refused accommodation because of her tribe or perceptions of people from her tribe and no other reason, I am not sure what you believe we should call that if not tribalism. It is also unclear to me where in her account she attempts to accuse any group of mass tribalism. As far as I can tell, she just shared specific personal experiences, which are by no means unique, that the rest of us can recognize as symptomatic of a much wider problem in Nigeria. In fact the word “Yorubas” appears only once in her essay and it is to dismiss stereotypes not to make any accusations. You are the one that is guilty of making generalizations about Igbos.

      To be clear, if a non-Igbo person experienced similar discrimination at the hands of an Igbo person, my condemnation would be consistent. I’m not about condemning one group and making excuses for another when they are guilty of the same poor behaviour.

    • CovertNigerian

      April 28, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      PS: @ Damilola: Whether it is tribalism based on hate or something else (and I’d be interested in your examples of what else there is), it is still tribalism and by its very nature discriminatory.

  5. Me®

    April 27, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Tribalism is the deadliest problem plaguing Nigeria today. It is ugly, wicked and has the capability to tear this nation apart. I pray it doesn’t. We are one Nigeria and though what happened was uncalled for, I want to appeal to uche n all the aggrieved parties. Those people who did that to you belong to an older generation where Tribalism was Lord and that’s the only understanding they had growing up. We can do better as a generation. We the younger one’s can break the jinx of this tribal burden and find a way to move forward as one nation United under God… It may not be easy but it certainly can be done.
    Anger only begets more anger but never brings about positive change… one Love. #TheOriginalMe

    • Erinma

      April 28, 2015 at 3:35 am

      I agree with you, but it will shock you that these ideas are also carried by some people of the ‘younger generation’. The matter is for us to be constantly aware and working on our prejudices everyday, because in some way or form, we all have prejudices.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      April 28, 2015 at 11:15 am

      We aren’t ready. Speak candidly to your generation and you’ll see that we aren’t ready to break the jinx. It is crazy how prejudiced the younger Nigerians already are… just insane.

      One thing I was hoping the writer would do was to juxtapose her experience with that of someone from another tribal group who received equally biased treatment based on ethnicity. As cogent as her article was in trying to open up the issue for discussion, I fear it’s now turned (once more) into another Igbo/Yoruba war in the comment section. And with the attendant cries of “go back to your village if Lagos isn’t hospitable enough for you”. Just the same mudslinging match over and over again which causes my soul to be very, very weary.

  6. always happy

    April 27, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Una too like labels sha, whether na ethinicity, racism , xenophobia, etc they’ve all been trending since Jesus came AD, bottom line is individuals you are not dollar bills and some people will find any and every reason to hate you for no sensible or justified reason. Is it right? No, Is it wrong ? Hell yeah but the legal system is not responsible for changing how humans relate to each other, humans are responsible for that. Until that day, the solution is to brighten your corner by loving those who hate you, pray for those who pre-judge you and ask for a heart that is quick to forgive those who hurt you.

    • Author Unknown

      April 27, 2015 at 11:56 pm

      “…but the legal system is not responsible for changing how humans relate to each other, humans are responsible for that.”

      Legislation and the legal system aren’t necessarily about changing people’s mentality. They are about making sure there is sanity and adherence to certain rules and values…at least officially. It however has the effect, over time, of changing societal values and norms. People will always discriminate, like you have identified, but we have a duty to ensure that people don’t think it’s okay to discriminate. Without rule of law however, we’d all be wasting our time.

  7. annie

    April 27, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Quit playing d Yoruba victim card, the south west are still d most welcoming of the three major tribes. Many of these Yoruba states are run over by ibo businesses with land and properties. So they you keep buying land , houses and building businesses but you keep singing about discrimination . what you acquired in these places were they not from d yorubas how many yorubas r in the south east, talk less of having properties. Can we just stop d pretense, we go to the east but would not want to stay for obvious reasons but you come to the southwest and want to die there. What does that tell you as about d two tribes.

  8. Blah blah

    April 27, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Is this another let’s bash the yoruba tribe in disguise?
    My parents live in an Igbo populated area in Lagos and the majority of them make good tenants. They are hardworking and pay rent on time. The only apprehension landlords I know have is that when an igbo man packs into your house sooner or later he brings his nine brothers from the village to live with him. So your compound becomes overpopulated. And then they try to Lord it over you. Then you have landlords intimidated in their own houses.
    Can we stop this sly tribe bashing articles? I am sure everyone can sit down and come up with stories of how they’ve been dealt the short end of the stick with one tribe or the other.

    • Blah blah

      April 27, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      ‘Certainly if my face were etched with any semblance of tribal marks……’ The cheek of you! That is such a derogatory statement. My parents house keeper is igbo and he has tribal marks on his temples. Tribal marks cut across tribes. I am sorry but I think you are part of the system you wish to eradicate. Seems like tribalism is ingrained in us. More than we care to acknowledge or imagine.

    • Iwa

      April 28, 2015 at 3:17 am

      I thought that sentence you quoted was weird too. It certainly changed my mind about everything I had been reading so far in the article. To make such generalization is ridiculous. She sounds like part of the problem she’s complaining about.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      April 28, 2015 at 11:18 am

      True, I was thinking that as well – about other ethnic groups having tribal marks. Maybe not the best kind of allusion to acceptance she could have made…

  9. uc

    April 27, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Sometimes we are very quick to judge others based on past encounters based with ppl of their race, ethnicity or whatever box we have them in. I hope we can consciously remind ourselves that we cant generalize. We need to give people a chance to prove themselves

  10. Author Unknown

    April 27, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Why all of a sudden (since PDP’s loss) has this tribalism conversation become front and centre? Why do most articles I’ve come across make it appear like a particular ethnic group faces tribalism disproportionately? I’ve said it over and over again. No Nigerian is immune from ethnic discrimination.

  11. uju anyafulu

    April 27, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    I feel your pain. Am Delta Ibo. I experienced the same discrimination when I was looking for accommodation. It took me almost 1 year. My case was compounded by the fact that am single. The fact that am a responsible, working mother of 46 did not make any difference to the house owners. One asked me why am single at my age, and I replied that I was going to marry someone from your tribe, but I lost him because of a bigot like you. I had the satisfaction of leaving him with his mouth wide open from shock. An agent once asked me to pretend to be yoruba, but I said I won’t deny my tribe . I wish things were different. I have lived in Lagos on and off for almost 40 yrs, I speak fluent yoruba. My best friend is yoruba and yet……

  12. Fisayo

    April 27, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    d annoying thing abt ds tribalism is d way ibo pple makes it look like all other ethnics re tribalistic xcept dem… funny enuf, dey r d most tribalistic one… tribalism is wah we shld all take a stand against cuz we all take part in it… we all ve been tribalsitic at one point or d oda in our lives yet we complain about racism. wn ur parents tell u nt to marry anybody dts nt ur tribe or wn u choose to vote or a leader cuz hes from ur side or u r in a gathering of frndz who r nt dsame tribe wt u and all of a sudden, dey start speaking dre language… #tribalism. we are all involved so we shld all take part in eradicating it by doin d little we can.

  13. lola carey

    April 28, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Am I missing something?seems bellanaija only features igbo being discriminated by yoruba.pls Bella naija..try and feature real life stories of how Igbo pple discriminate against the yorubas.thank you!

    • Kiiki

      April 28, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Excuse you. I hope you are aware that Uche (Bella Naija) is married to a yoruba man.? So, clearly, there’s no preference here.

  14. el patron

    April 28, 2015 at 12:05 am

    we are a accommodating tribe..so much so we had a Igbo commissioner in lagos sometimes ago, but the Igbo have taught us so much lessons, they are more tribalist than any tribe in Nigeria.. they have this na my brother mentality.
    just one question with the amount of igbos in the western region, how many Yorubas are settled in the East? they are not accommodating at all and they are very stubborn
    am sorry for generalizing but its real

    • Jay jay

      April 28, 2015 at 5:22 am

      Lol. There are ibos in Lagos becos ibos hustle and would manage what ever condition is thrown at them just so they can survive the moment that’s the only reason you find more ibos in yoruba land than vice versa. It’s not that ibos are not accommodating but the main reason you don’t find Yorubas in Ibo land is Becos they naturally cannot take as much hassle as the ibo Man. That’s actually the truth, check your heart.

      I schooled in a yoruba town and would cry at all the tribalistic things that were thrown at me yet I survived and was determined to let it go and just finish my education, the hustle was reallllll. Now reverse the case and put yourself in my shoes, I think you might have changed schools. “screw that am going back home” mentality is the reason you don’t find as much Yorubas in ibo land period.

    • Bullet

      April 28, 2015 at 6:50 am

      I guess what you mean by saying ”they naturally cannot take as much hassle as the ibo Man” ….is that till they gand up against you and kill you for no sensible reason?….or they squeeze out your blood just because you set up a business in your area?…..or they even slaughter you n your family when you express your mind truthfully?……what you said as I quoted is arrant nonsense….why would a sane person live in an area with fear all the time and you cant even express yourself freely?…..Abeg hold your own jare….they want peace and that is paramount than going to cause trouble in any mans place.

    • Truth hurts

      April 29, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      There are Igbos in Lagos and other Yoruba areas simply bcos there are more opportunities for them to build themselves and businesses in these area. If Igbos are such hustlers, why can’t you guys be hustling in your states but no most migrate to the west. Let’s call a spade a spade. Igbos have a strong attitude and will show you pepe if they feel cheated. Yorubas are peaceful and don’t like trouble, so they tend to tolerate Igbos more than the other way around.

    • M4

      April 28, 2015 at 7:51 am

      Now above is the problem we are talking about..Smdh for you.your mindset is disgusting!

  15. Arc kenny

    April 28, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Hmm, its real ethnicity and discrimination, I am using this late time to suplicate to almighty God to help us in this country, it happen in either ways. The hausas will not acommodate you if you don’t believe their faith. The Igbo man will acommodate you on condition that he can cheat and render you pennyless otherwise he prefer his fellow speaking man. Then the Yoruba man according to Uche, egoism, pride, demanding for much respect and cunning in the name of wiseness and wisdom forgotten they are the most foolish people.
    As regard to Uche’s experience am not supporting such inhuman and babaric discrimination, but some of these so called owner might have experience.
    These made me remember one faithful I was coming from my traditional introduction, at Lagos, when I get to pack with my wife, we enter the bus with different people all of us were speaking English, Yoruba and pigin and we were all going to the same destination, suddenly along the road way in the bush, forest, two guys among us hijack the bus with guns and change their dialet to Igbo, very sweet at their leeps beaten us mercilessly, they throw us in the bush way in the night and went away with all our belongings, the bus and turn back to Lagos that night. it was was a sad moment, sometimes these people are heartless.
    Black race lets emulate the whites and be white in mind and stop this xenophobic attack on ourselves. God bless Africa, God bless Nigeria.

    • Bullet

      April 28, 2015 at 6:52 am

      Bros, he that calls another a fool is himself the biggest fool because its only a fool like yourself and your pple can recognize another so called fool…………………stop contradicting yourself!!!!….you are tribalistic. Take it or leave it….you don’t need to fear anyone!!

  16. nigerian first

    April 28, 2015 at 12:49 am

    So the issue is not that there is tribalism….rather its that Bella naija is selectively posting stories of tribalism against igbos? I don’t understand. can’t we focus on the problem and suggest real solutions. This kain ‘u do me, I do you’ attitude is getting us no where! Ok every tribe is tribalist. We agree. Now what? Can we shift the conversation already?! By the way making assumptions about someone on the basis of your experience with a few (3 in the case of one commenter) is soooooooo ridiculous! and so very sad. These comments trully make me sad for the future of our nation.

  17. ayoka

    April 28, 2015 at 12:54 am

    We are all different and each Nigerian ethnic group is tribalistic,Period!Sincerely,i have heard agents &landlords express bad experience with some of our Igbo relations&i guess a lot of them just took a stance and generalise..
    However let us all celebrate our unity in diversity,accomodate & respect one another and endeavour to build a beautiful strong country.Each ethnic group has it’s weaknesses&strenghths like all human beings.Just let us make conscious efforts to play down this tribalism which in my opinion will always be there because like usually and naturally take to like.

  18. indianbravo

    April 28, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Why do you think we are a labelled a ‘developing country’. We will never be developed until we accept diversity, which I don’t see happening anytime soon. Nigerians will leave their country and will want a political office in another man’s country, something that can’t be tried in your country. I wonder who we are fooling

  19. bb

    April 28, 2015 at 2:17 am

    I wish we could all sit down on a table and peacefully dialogue and separate Nigeria peacefully. Nigeria was created by a mad man and for us to continue to maintain this sham is nonsensical.

    • hmmmm

      April 29, 2015 at 3:05 am

      What planet do you live in? There will be no division wuthout blood, sweat and death. If nigerians are ready to die, and be left in shambles. Nigeria is already divided, now its a matter of everybody return to your papaland but thats easier said than done. Typical dysfunctional African way of thinking. Division has caused more pfoblems than anythinh else. Lets learn respect. Each group

  20. janeth

    April 28, 2015 at 2:57 am

    sometimes its hard to be black..we hate ourselves in our own land and small time we will say white are racist..too bad

  21. Iwa

    April 28, 2015 at 3:26 am

    I remember an experience a few years back. Something I certainly didn’t expect to happen to me in the US. I was in a store talking to a man from another African country when an Igbo man entered. Somehow we all got talking about tribes and such. The other man referred to me as the Igbo man’s sister who instantly became so annoyed by that. The man tried to explain that he only said that because we are from the same country. The Igbo man again stated that I am not his sister. His reason? Because I am yoruba.

    We all have our prejudices. The author certainly had trouble hiding hers towards the end.

    • Bullet

      April 28, 2015 at 7:28 am

      …Hypocrites…..don’t mind them…if it had been the other way round….they would term it tribalism instantly!!!….there are just some things you let go…..just to let peace reign.

    • Huh

      April 28, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Lol lol lol

      “some people you let go just to let peace reign???””

      Lol. Yet you are on every comment dropping insults and instigating tribal war / verbal violence lol lol. That’s not a “let go” tactic am I right?

      It’s funny that you opened your sentence with the word “hypocrites” looooooooooooollllll. Bullet my friend you are truly as your name implies lol.

  22. nnenne

    April 28, 2015 at 3:36 am

    My take has always been that we must clean our houses before we start cleaning outside. Charity begins at home.
    We all screamed at xenophobia but Nigerians have been killing each other, looting and burning people’s businesses because they are of different ethnicity, long before Boko Haram. We need to ask ourselves hard questions. All of us.

  23. Deji

    April 28, 2015 at 3:49 am

    I live and work in Benin, Edo. I absolutely dislike people calling other you a folks at work my brother or sister! No they ain’t! I know what my siblings look like! Tribalists are simpletons.

  24. Stoner

    April 28, 2015 at 5:58 am

    Its a sensitive issue in my opinion because its hard to generalize, i was born in the states and i currently reside in lagos, the tribalist issue is true to a fault but no one tribe can be blamed, everyone fights for their tribe and tradition to be carried on. There is a saying though, when in rome, do as the romans do. Lagos state is not pnly the most developed and modern part of naij, it is for the Yoruba’s if generalized by its geographical location. Tribalism should be expected from them trying to protect whats theirs in all honesty, go to Nassarawa or bornu and try to rent somewhere, come back and drop an article, i bet you similar if not worse experiences. As long as different languages exist, there will always be tribalism, how about writing an article about what good a yoruba person has done for you, why do we have to make light of negative situations all the time. Smoke some weed and get over this shit, happens everyday.

  25. fga

    April 28, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Hell, I’m Delta Ibo and when I was younger my mom would have nothing to do with Igbo tenants because of one incidence of aggression or the other. It was either they came with a family load of people other than what they agreed to or the fellow decided to park two cars when he was entitled to a single car space for a single person, she however wanted nothing to do with Yoruba’s because she found them noisy. I understand that this sort of behavior doesn’t cut across people with an education, better outlook on life and the good fortune to know better but what do you expect people who only know stereotypes to do? I find that as politically correct as we try to be, stereotypes often hold true for significant portions of Nigerian populations, be it Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba and the problem is negative stereotypes outweigh the positive ones of members of such tribes who are indeed different. We should just all try to be better people because when it comes to the core of the matter, we’re all guilty of something or at least our parents are. The go-getter spirit of the Igbo is often admired and envied, the manner of go-getting however is something to be desired. It should be done in silence and with tact not aggression. You can’t be far from your home making money in another man’s land then choose to rub it in their faces, do it in silence and respect where you are. Yet, I’ve seen my people do it to everyone from Kano to Lagos and sayings its because they have a “republican nature”. I’ve been discriminated against for being Igbo as well, with an Ishan landlady in the MidWest, I just smiled and told her I understood and that there was no point trying to convince her otherwise. I’ve been discriminated against abroad for being Nigerian because of everyone from Igbo drug dealers, to Yoruba credit card fraudsters, Edo prostitutes and Hausa-Fulani terrorists. These days people hear I’m Nigerian and instantly ask me about Boko Haram because that is the stereotype they know and we haven’t changed the story. When they double check your passports at the airports they don’t ask your tribe, the fact that you are Nigerian is enough wahala. Let us start the change from above and within, especially for those of us who are educated and exposed enough to know better, and stop acting as if we’re all better than the next person, when the guilt cuts across.

  26. Bullet

    April 28, 2015 at 6:20 am

    See this hypocrite talking o……..we are all tribalistic take it or leave it!!!……and .quoting your statement..”‘Certainly, if my face were etched with any semblance of tribal marks, I wouldn’t have been a victim of the seeming conspiracy of the landowners I encountered””

    ……did you for once ask them why they turned you down. Am sure its based on their past experiences…..you rent a room to one person, the next minute 5 pple are living there and they will even make the environment noisy, also trying to dictate to the landlord just because you paid rent. The landlord will not be able to exercise his rights again!

    Everyone has the right to do whatever they like with their houses. If they don’t want you that means they don’t want you.Accept it..its always you. How many times have you heard Hausa or Yoruba announcing to the whole world that this is what Igbos have done to them?.. How many times?…despite atrocities committed against them daily…..they will not…as they will always respect your decision and stay away from trouble.

    Your statement clearly shows you are tribalistic as much as those you are attacking……….the same thing done to you as been done to other Yoruba tenants by the Igbo landlords. You hardly find Yoruba people shouting or making a mountain out of a mole hill. Most Yoruba people are level headed and don’t go looking for trouble where there is none and are also very respectful when they go to another tribes land. But can the same be said of you?…just because you were turned down because of your tribe now means all Yoruba are like that!!!…abeg go find somewhere sit down joor

  27. PACE

    April 28, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Truth is every Nigerian tribe is guilty of tribalism in some way or the other. This is what has been passed on to the younger generation(s). Even the writer who should know better is guilty of the same offense. “Certainly, if my face were etched with any semblance of tribal marks, I wouldn’t have been a victim of the seeming conspiracy of the landowners I encountered;”. The reason why Ibos seem to be on the receiving end most often times than not is because Lagos is a cosmopolitan state and you find more people from other ethnic groups migrating to Lagos way more than people from the west migrate to Eastern states. Also, Ibos are very industrious people and would migrate to wherever their business/trade has greater prospects. One thing I’ve learnt over time is this…. Quality of character has absolutely nothing to do with your race, ethnicity, skin colour or religion. I’m Yoruba myself and my closest friend is Ibo. Way more loyal than my Yoruba friends. It’s in the best interest of Nigeria that we all embrace each other regardless of whatever ethnic group or religion we belong to. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

  28. JAYNNE

    April 28, 2015 at 8:25 am

    I dont know about Lagos but here in Benin most landlords claim they wont give their houses to an igbo man because one igbo man would come and rent a house from you and then move in with half his village.All the same there is no reason to discriminate based on tribe, we are all Nigerians afterall.

  29. Funmilola

    April 28, 2015 at 8:44 am

    “Certainly,if my face were etched with any semblance of tribal marks”…….haba mana!!!

  30. loveoneanother

    April 28, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Now this is my experience and what many landlords experience.

    One of my mother’s properties is house to an Ibo tenant who has refused or delayed in paying their rent for 1 year, this is a retired widower. Since they have delayed/refused to pay the rent, she got tired of asking and 6 months notice in lieu to leave and guess what, they took her to court.

    With these experience, why wont prefer not rent her house to an Ibo tenant.

    So its better you find out why they don’t want certain tribes, educate them if you can and change their minds about your tribe positively than doing all of these and angering people against your tribe or the other tribe.

  31. TT

    April 28, 2015 at 8:56 am

    My mums uncle who is yoruba owns a lot of properties and he said he never rents to Igbos. This is based on previous dealings. When he first started out he had no problem with them, but he later realised that once one of them moves in, they bring their whole family with them. There was always issue with the rent and after their tenancy was up they refused to leave. Ever since then, he doesn’t rent to igbos anymore.

    I know many of you might expect me to condemn the landlords but I wont. And I’ll tell you why. I’ve always considered myself to be a very realistic person. I’m not one of those that feels sorry for myself. I see things the way they are and move on. And i’ve always said, “stereotypes” are not just created out of thin air! A lot of blacks for example, complain about the way they are perceived by other races, but do nothing to change their attitudes and behaviour. Blacks in America will complain that they are perceived as thugs, meanwhile a large majority of them are involved in violent crimes, don’t get a complete education etc. Do you know that in the UK, black on black crime is the most prevalent of all crimes to do with black people. But when police men stop them on the street in a rough area, they shout “racism”. I’ve watched shows when people make fun of Nigerians for doing internet fraud, being illegal immigrants etc. Please tell me, with which mouth am I going to use to shout “racism” or “prejudice”. Is it not true??? Obviously as a Nigerian I know that this doesn’t apply to all of us. But unfortunately, a large amount of us have done it to the point that it spoils our name.

    My point is, I don’t understand why people like to deceive themselves about their own shortcomings. If youre not honest with yourself, then you can never change. I don’t care but the truth is that a large majority of Igbos have left a sour taste in the mouths of Lagos landlords in the past. It’s sad that this has had an effect on the author, but thats just life. Once bitten, twice shy. All those people that have been scammed by our yahoo yahoo boys in the past, what do you think their reaction would be if a Nigerian wanted to do some business involving money with them again? Wont they run a mile?? And would you blame them??? Unfortunately, our intentions dont matter sometimes because a bad bunch can spoil the show for everyone. Look at how muslims have been perceived in the world ever since 9/11. Are all muslims terrorists? No. Do you think people in America care? NOPE!!! They’ll still make sure to over check them in airports etc.

    The moral of this my long point is – be the change you want to see and stop complaining all the time. Like I said, i don’t really have that much sympathy for the author because, thats just life. HOWEVER, she should be proud of the fact that her good behaviour has now shown someone who probably had bad experiences in the past with igbos, that not all igbos are like that. If someone says all yorubas are dirty and lazy, instead of shouting about it, go the extra mile to be clean and hardworking. Thats how negative stereotypes get changed. I think calling it a tribalistic thing is ignorant and over complicating the matter. Human beings see only one colour – green! If a white man is racist towards blacks, do you think he wont still do business with him? He wont invite him to his house, but he’ll still take his money. Its the same here, if these landlords think that a certain group is bad for business then they wont do business with them. Calling it tribalistic is just being dramatic.

    • Sophie

      April 28, 2015 at 10:49 am

      Thank you very much TT for saying exactly what was on my mind!
      Stereotypes come from somewhere and unfortunately, we are left with the burden of trying to change it.
      Plus, business is business; If the landlords have had bad experiences with a group of people, you cannot blame them from avoiding said group. I have heard of landlords who do not rent out their apartments to single women because they think they are promiscous, or to single guys because they think they are ‘yahoo boys’.
      Everyone has their own preconceptions about others, no matter how small.

      PS: Madam Uche, Yoruba people are not the only ones who have facial marks!

    • Naijatalk

      April 28, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      You did not try to disguise your unreasonableness TT. You managed to conclude that all Muslims are not terrorists however “a large majority of igbos have let a sour taste in the mouths of Lagos landlords in the past.” Somehow the Igbos do not get the benefit of doubt. Xcuse you! Has it ever occurred to you that this tribal divide is not really about bringing several family members to come and stay with you because EVERY EVERY tribe does that. Try the Hausa-Fulani for size. The truth is Nigerians have a bias against the other tribe PERIOD. For every 1 igbo tenant who brought in 5 other family members to stay, you have several igbo tenants who kept to the terms of their tenancy. I can also tell you stories of how my Dad an Igbo landlord in Lagos was dragged to court by his Yoruba and Igbo tenants. Instead of pointing fingers at one another, with issues concerning renting and tenancy, the laws should be revisited to protect tenants from discrimination and landlords from nuisant tenants.

  32. Fols

    April 28, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Whenever I hear tribalism, or hearabout a tribe that has “suffered”; it is almost always from Ibo people. I sometimes wonder if they really want us to move on and be one country, or if they will keep hammering on our differences and the “them against us” mentality. That’s why i thank God everytime I hear of an inter-tribal marriage; i think “one step closer to true Nigerian unity”.

  33. chifire

    April 28, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Dearest TT. Thank u so much for hitting the nail in the head.

  34. PH Boy

    April 28, 2015 at 11:02 am

    As i read all the hate comments, i am filled with nothing but sadness and absolute disappointment at the level of hate in our country today. It is so easy to judge others without judging yourselves. One thing is for sure, it shall never be well with you. God has employed us to love our neighbors as ourselves” – UNCONDITIONALLY!!! God does not discriminate how/ who he loves or blesses us so who are we to judge others. Be your brothers’ keeper or I tell you most solemnly that you will not make heaven.

    With the number of churches and mosques in this country, one would expect a very high level of spirituality but No!, its one hate spat after another. May God never have mercy on your souls with all your hate.

    Enough is enough! This hate has got to stop! No more hate! It is drowning our country and imbeciles like some of you with your dumb comments and opinions are just fuelling it. We all need each other!!!

  35. esteelauder

    April 28, 2015 at 11:16 am

    So my Da had a very terrible experience with one of his ibo tenants. Unfortunately, we had no idea he was not who he portrayed himself to be. Always on drugs and refused to pay house rent for a year. Gave him eviction notice, lailai o he refused to go to the extent he got my father arrested . He even denied access to the adjoining flat to his. This was a terrible experience for my family. Finally he left owning over a year’s rent. That experience is enough to prevent us from having a tenant from that tribe but we still have ibo tenants who are very responsible. Point is, do your due diligence on anyone regardless of tribe. Character is an individual thing so let’s stop with the judging.

  36. ebbie

    April 28, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Read the comments and see where our problem lies. SMH
    Why the attack on BN for publishing an ethnic story from an igbo? Has a Yoruba ever written an article on that and it was refused publication?
    Why do you all love controversy? The writer just aired her own personal experience and you all are ranting igbos and their cry-me-a-river; another cheap way of fueling another tribal inferno.
    You all need to educate your minds. It’s rigidly wicked!
    My bunk-mates in camp were Hausas and they were too nice. Way too nice!!!. Our neighbor is Yoruba and they are our favorite in our estate. Very warm human beings! It isn’t about the tribe, it is what you feed your individual minds with!
    Rant all you can on social media, change has to start from YOU. Disinfect your tribalistic hearts! Gosh!

  37. Moi

    April 28, 2015 at 11:46 am

    @ Fols – Inter-tribal marriage is not a solution o. Infact, it will make the volcanic eruption more bloody if there ever is one!

    I couldn’t agree more with you, TT. The overplay on ‘us against them’ is so overdone (empahasis intended). Those that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  38. Enn!

    April 28, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I’m an estate surveyor & trust that I’m saying this without any form of tribalism bias whatsoever but for some reason 80% of our clients that give us trouble are Igbo people.So u can’t blame anyone for trying avoid any form of wahala.

  39. Adenike

    April 28, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Forget Landlord and Tenant wahala!!!!! How about my Boyfriends mother who blatantly told me he cannot marry me because I am not Igbo or Catholic?????

    • Enn!

      April 28, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      that is a diff kettle of fish o
      personal preferences for rtnps and marriage will always differ & everyone has a right to make whatever choices they deem fit for themselves whether it’s based on complexion,tribe,education level etc.
      that being said sha his mom doesn’t have a right to choose for him.

  40. miss annon

    April 28, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    igbos are very tribalistic, i am pregnant for an anambra man who the family has vowed never to marrybecause am not igbo.The guy has abadoned me and gave excuse that the family are not in support.Igbos are beast, a yoruba man will never do that. Mind you i am from the south south.

    • Duchess Maria

      April 28, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      When you were laying under him to get pregnant, you didn’t know that Igbos were beasts abi? Girl bye!

    • Homa

      April 29, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      I’m very sorry to here that, please make sure you always ask if tney marry outside their state. It’s a very terrible thing but very common among them, it depends on the family but its not entirely true, I know someone that got pregnant for a yoruba guy and she wasn’t. Their solution was to take care of their child but theh didnt want her to marry him either and he couldn’t defy them.

  41. anonymous

    April 28, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    My mum is yoruba and has also decided to no longer rent to igbos. She made this decision after 2 of her tenants who were igbos refused to pay rent for over a year and refused to leave when asked to leave. By the time they eventually left, they had damaged the house terribly and in addition to the lost rent, a large amount of money had to be spent renovating before the apartments could be rented out to new tenants. I understand you cant judge a whole tribe by the actions of a few people (especially as my dad’s yoruba tenant also defaulted on payment for over a year and refused to leave but in fairness to him left the house in great condition when he eventually left), but that was the basis of her decision. I don’t agree with it but I understand it as I too have made assumptions about a certain people based on my experience with several of my classmates from that country. It is human nature to view a larger group of people based on your experience with the few you’ve related with.

  42. So what

    April 29, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    My black race is not pathetic maybe yours is. A biased article should not make you hate yourself this much. Abeg, it’s not that serious. Igbos can say all they want, in their heart, if they want to be true to themselves, Yorubas have been very good to them more than they’ve even been good to us. We have more tolerance than them. We hold our culture with pride but we don’t have hate in our heart. Igbos must not know the meaning of hatred, if we hate them all this one that they live peacefully with us in the west will not be the case at all. We will fight and do everything to push them out. Even if it will lead to another war. I don’t know of any other group that is more open, tolerate and want the unity of Nigerian than Yorubas. When Obasanjo was president, he appointed more Igbos than his own people. Some Yorubas were even mad at him based on that. Jonathan, a south president appointed few Yorubas. He appointed mostly his people and Igbos. More northerners than Yorubas. Northerners are power hungry who don’t care for Nigeria. They do their own thing but with Buhari, Nigerians are not going to let than happen again.
    And yes, Igbo tenants are not easy to deal with. Let’s even forget about them not paying rent, their negative attitude is something else. Igbo upon not paying will want to physically fight you, set you up with others, threaten to kill you and take you to court. It’s like migraine mixed with fire dealing with an Igbo tenant. A Yoruba who is not paying rent will just act jeje and beg you. The area, that I live there’s constant arguments, fights and they are all Igbos.

  43. annoy

    April 30, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Bus bus I think you shld go back to sch. U clearly do not know anything abt ur country. The ikweres are a tribe just like the ibos are. PH too is south south, ibos are south east. Better get your geography rite before talking. Ode

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