Reno Omokri has said that the believe that Yoruba people are cowards, is a false stereotype. Omokri said the false stereotype is one which the Igbo people must shun.

Taking a walk down Nigeria’s history lane, Omokri noted that only two men have returned to Nigeria to face almost death even when they had the option of a very comfortable political asylum abroad.

The former aide to Goodluck Jonathan stressed that both men who returned were Yoruba. In his Facebook post, Omokri narrated that “In 1985, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida toppled the Buhari regime while Major General Tunde Idiagbon (mixed Yoruba/Fulani) was at Mecca yet Idiagbon returned.”

He further noted that in 1995, “Olusegun Obasanjo (pure Owu Yoruba) was accused of planning a coup by the blood-thirsty tyrant, Abacha (if you don’t like the truthful description of Abacha you can go and join him where he is) while he was away in Copenhagen. He returned to face almost certain (sic) death.”

Omokri who said he admired Ojukwu, however, noted that Ojukwu disappointed many people when he (Ojukwu) fled. “I wish he remained,” said Omokri.

The charismatic cleric also informed that he admired Azikiwe, “but Awolowo would NEVER abandon his people as Azikiwe did when he defected to the federal side during the civil war.”

Throwing more light on the courage of the Yoruba people, Omokri stressed that Awolowo was in prison because of his people and he could have been released had he compromised his beliefs but he stoutly refused. “That is courage not cowardice. I have been in direct communication with Gowon whom I admire but he did not return after he was accused of being behind the Dimka coup. Obasanjo and Idiagbon are probably the bravest Nigerians ever. They are certainly braver than Murtala Mohammed who was safely in London waiting for Joseph Garba and co to topple Gowon,” Omokri opined.

According to Omokri, the stereotype of Yorubas as cowards is false. “Every ethnicity has cowards and brave men. As we celebrate #BiafraAt50, I hope the Yoruba and Igbo can find common ground and unite as Southern Nigeria’s two main ethnic nationalities otherwise the South will continue to be politically disadvantaged even when it is the most educationally advantaged part of Nigeria,” Omokri stressed.

In a similar vein, Omokri has said that it is true that the Igbos are marginalized in Nigeria, however, a lot of the blame for this can be laid at Ndi’Igbo’s doorstep.

Earlier, Omokri noted that the major undoing of Ndi’Igbo is their misunderstanding of the term “strength.” He stressed that as a general rule, to the Igbo, all strength is physical. “They do not seem to realize that strength is your ability to assert your will on earth and that that ability may not always be physical,” Omokri noted.

Omokri said the proverb-discretion is the better part of valor-is not understood by the Igbos. He said Igbos tend to be reactionary and consider pausing to study a situation before you respond (not react) as cowardice. “One or two of them may get it, but as a race in general they do not. They do not consider diplomacy as a first step,” Omokri said.

TARKAA, Moses Kator

Writer and Student of Law, Benue State University.

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