Prince Justice Faloye
Before Europeans arrived Igbos were the largest consumers of Yoruba civilizational goods of kolanuts and beads, and now that Oyinbo have left Igbos are the largest consumers and collaborators of Yorubas Afrobeats and other civilizational products, being the cultural heartland. Vice versa before Oyinbo came, Yorubas traded with the iron smelting Nri Civilization that produced and supplied Igbo iron and agricultural impediments, and now Oyinbos left, Igbos are Yoruba’s largest suppliers of spare parts and other iron related products. The predominantly red Igbo attire is that of Ogun/Ekwensu’s essence, with Lejja Nsukka being the world’s oldest iron smelting site upon which the Nri civilization was built by Awka blacksmiths.
Politically, the Original African civilization moved from Ifa-Afa-Iha-Fa-Efa theocracy into monarch as all Obi monarchies of Ndigboland are tied to the Oduduwa monarchy. The Obi monarchy had started spreading from the Ndigbo heartland of Onitsha-Nri civilization to replace the Eze priesthood theocracy across Ndigboland, but was disrupted by European dumping of guns on Niger River to promote slave trade that engulfed the Nri heartland.
The civilizational unity was not only confined to Yoruba and Igbo, the two most populous Indigenous African groups in Africa that also lived as neighbors, but also included other South and Middlebelt groups that appreciated and patronized each other’s goods and collective aspirations, since they all share the same genetic and civilizational foundations of Ifa-Afa-Iha-Fa-Efa. Their civilizational episteme informed them of their common origin in Lower Niger, being the true origin of humanity, with Oduduwa representing planet Earth literally interpreted as the Yoruba progenitor while meaning spiritual leader of the Earth in Igbo.
Unfortunately, Abrahamic colonial epistemicide confused them that they evolved from Northeastern Africa and were chased into the forest as Waka alone unrelated groups. However recent DNA evidence has now proven that indigenous Africans now called Yorubas are the world’s oldest full sized humans, 87,000yrs old, and spread as a continuum of dialects all the way to East and South Africa.
A people prosper first by selling their goods within their own civilization, so the best way to economically and politically arrest a people is to denigrate and divide their civilization. Therefore the foreign Abrahamic civilizations had to break and bastardize the Original African civilizational economics before they could enslave us economically and politically. The outgoing 165 years cycle of collective consciousness, whose seeds were planted between 1847 to 1862, resulting in the 1849 fall of Ile Ife, the 1850s rise of Oyo Atiba, the 1861 Lagos colonization and the writing of the Bible in our languages, ultimately led to denigration and derailment of our Ifa-Afa-Iha-Fa-Efa civilizational foundations that tied us together historically and culturally.
Even though our civilizational economics had been under attack in the previous two 165yr cycles dating back to early 1500s, with our beads, kola, iron and other productions counterfeited, our civilizational economic sabotage became institutionalized in the new cycle of coloniality. In this colonial cycle, even before the amalgamation of Nigeria, the British changed our West-East civilizational trade routes by building North-South railways to push colonial economics of emptying our lands of its resources and dumping their manufactures on us. Instead of us focusing on producing civilizational economic goods for each other as done in precolonial times, the new psuedo elites of the two most populous Indigenous African groups competed for the crumbs from colonial trade and jobs.
The most ardent tribalists evolved from competition for foreman jobs from the Western Powers economics and their local colonial administrative systems. From the academia to the church and civil service, there was ferocious competition based on who could sellout the most. Those deculturized became universalists whose worldview was Westernized. Therefore the African collective was robbed of an essentially important grouping in human relations that starts from the family to the clan to the tribe, then to the civilization before universalism. True universalism should be a worldview from ones civilization and it’s linkages to other civilizations, but when you move from tribalism to universalism, you are a civilizational slave on the world stage without an agenda for your own civilizational aspirations.
Recently, we saw how our leading presidential candidates filed to sell their candidacy to the British at Chatham House, and how President Tinubu’s quest for Western support led to his fuel, currency and educational subsidy removals, despite the IMF that he was trying to woo clearly admits that the global average of fuel subsidies were 7% of GDP compared to our own meagre 2%. The British spend 23% of government expenditures on subsidies across the board. This is how we cut our noses to spite our tribal rivals faces, trying to conform to others civilizational agenda while not identifying our own civilizational narrative from origins to aspirations.
The third step of European civilizational imperialism was the administrative breakup of our Original African civilization, first by cutting off the Indigenous African groups of the Middlebelt and adding them to Northern Protectorate controlled by the Afro-Arabic civilization. Second, was the breakup of the Southern Protectorate into West and East regions to break the Original African civilizational unity under Ooni of Ife, while the much larger Northern Afro-Arabic Protectorate was left intact under the Islamic leadership of Sultan of Sokoto. This is why today Southerners have to beg for Northern Afro-Arabic political hegemony to achieve political aspirations since Yoruba-Igbos can’t unite any of the three Southern regions.
To obscure Yoruba and Igbo traditional institutions and breakup their civilizational linkages, the churches especially Catholic Church absorbed Igbo traditionalists whose sustaining civilizational economics had been destroyed. On the Yoruba side, they inspired challenges to Ooni’s leadership with Oyo and Edo supremacy. The colonists empowered Oyo by making it the dominant dialect through writing the Yoruba Bible in Oyo dialect and decreeing all Yoruba communication must be in Oyo dialects, while Edo also revised previous linkage narratives to Ife and were given a region of its own to burn the bridge between Yorubas and Igbos.
With these divisive colonial machinations in place to break the Original African civilizational center, things fell apart and continue to drift apart. Therefore, the civilizational sibling rivalry, being witnessed was organised to make sure that neither Yoruba nor Igbos will break free from the arrest of their economic and political development. They have been decivilized to be tribalized.
Without Yoruba and Igbo civilizational unity, they can’t impart their civilizational philosophies and aspirations on the Nigerian political system. They can never achieve restructuring nor separatism since neither has more than 20% of the total Nigeria population with hundreds of tribes. Only selfish personal ambitions can be achieved by politicians that align with the Afro-Arabic or European civilizations to the detriment of their civilization as a whole.
It is alarming that Yoruba tribalists don’t appreciate the civilizational economics that continues to make Yorubaland the most prosperous land in Black Africa, and are ignorantly feeding xenophobic tendencies that would chase out investors and self destruct Yorubaland economics. Igbo tribalists don’t appreciate that they have been given free access to trade across Yorubaland and Nigeria as a whole, the largest market of the Black Race.
Our colonially inspired tribal perspectives that replaced our civilizationalism, results in civilizational economic leakages and redundancies. It is because Yoruba-Igbo graduates can’t develop their own profitable civilizational economics that they have become economic immigrants scrambling for a foothold on the lowest rungs of the ladder of other civilizations. Instead of emigrating to Western economies where they are underappreciated, they should be moving into other Original African civilizational regions to sell and make profit from our civilizational goods and services.
If civilizationally united, Yorubas could help push for the national empowerment of Igbos automobile industry like Innoson, to continue their civilizational role of producing iron products, instead of Igbos selling other civilization’s expensive iron goods, computers and spare parts. Likewise, instead of Yoruba’s selling Pentecostalism and other Abrahamic cultural influences to other members of their civilization, Yorubas should return to propagating Yoruba cultural influences, especially as the source of new and improved civilizational goods and services in this new age of digital economy, as the world moves from scientific materialism to scientific spiritualism that would become the leading economic driver for the next 2000 years. For example, Ifa traditionalists could make several times more gains within the South and Middlebelt than it makes from Diasporans markets.
Together Yorubas and Igbos can be first among equals and masters of the universe, if only they think civilizationally, but our miseducation to take up tribal instead of civilizational worldviews turns them to myopic self serving slaves of European and Afro-Arabic civilization.