The Indigenous Aliens: The Case of the Igbo in Nigeria, 1953 – 2013

Okonkwo C. Eze


There exist commendable great strides in the studies of the Igbo especially since the end of the Nigerian Biafran  War in 1970.  In spite of this plethora of literature on Igbo studies, there exist yet vistas awaiting historical interrogation and or re-interpretations.  Since the end of the ill-fated Biafran experiment, Ndigbo have continued to be seen and treated as indigenous-foreigners in Nigeria especially in some parts of the North.  This brings about the relative deprevation theory where the Igbo successes in business and other endeavours are believed to be occasioned by deprivation suffered by their host community.  The relative deprivation theory has engendered dispossessionist tendency in the psyche of some individuals who forment ethno-religious crises in order to appropriate immovable investments of Ndigbo outside Igboland.   In other words, this feeling of deprivation has characterized the relationship between Ndigbo and their host community; a development which is everything but cordial.  The paper avers that the experiences of Ndigbo in the larger Nigerian society especially in the North have remained more or less the same with those of the pre-war years.  It also affirms that the vicious and unprovoked attacks on the Igbo and their property are but a subtle way of continued persecution of those regarded as indigenous aliens in their fatherland.

Keywords: Indigenous Aliens, Deprivation, Citizenship, Domination and Aggression

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