"I have not come to praise Caeser but to bury him" ~~Mark Anthony In Julius Ceaser. I am neither Mark Anthony nor a Roman citizen. I am a proud Son of the Igbo race. So, unlike Mark Anthony, I am here to praise the sheer Resilience, Resourcefulness, Ingenuity and the Never-Say-Die spirit of the Igbo man. That the Igbos are the most resilient, the most resourceful and most ingenous black people on the surface of the earth is a fact which even Lucifer himself would not dare dispute. Records in public spaces support this assertion. The Igbo man is one person who could be killed and buried and right there in the grave, he would either be looking for a way to play a fast one on Mr Death and come back to life or he would be looking for business opportunities right there in the grave. Whatever happens, one thing is certain: he would never just resign himself to death and remain lifeless in the grave. Such is the Indomitability of the Igbos. And sadly, this uncommon Resilience, Resourcefulness and sheer Ingenuity have drawn the ire of their Nigerian neighbours and made them object of hate-induced envy, murder, state-inflicted genocide and economic and financial terrorism and litany of years of institutionalized marginalization spanning decades. But what seems to defy logic here is that the more the Igbos are hated and all manner of demonic policies invented to keep them perpetually down, the more they keep making mockery of the usual line "The Sky Is Your Limit", for with the Igbos, it would seem, the sky is nothing but the starting point rather than the limit. There is one other fact about the Igbos; They don't do well in captivity. And it is for this reason that they would always employ all manner of resistance against tyranny and oppression. Suicidal resistance if need be but trust me, they would never live in servitude. No king no matter how powerful is above being questioned in Igbo land. Even their gods are known to have been "dis-goded" and stripped of their god status whenever they appeared to be getting too demanding. "Arusi wakaria anya, egosi ya osisi ejiri pia ya" is a favourite saying among the Igbos. Such is how far the Igbos are willing to go to ensure that not even their own gods enslave them. In Nigeria, the Igbos have been subjected to all manner of death (be it physical, emotional, financial and economic) on number-less occasion but like the mythical bird known as the Phoenix, they always rise from the dead and become even better than they were before their hate-induced death in the hand of the Nigerian state. As far back as 1945 in the North central Nigerian city of Jos and 1953 in the city of Kano, long before independence, the Igbos were subjected to two major pogroms by their Northern neighbours. Hundreds of thousands of them were slaughtered. Millions more were displaced. Yet, they refused to remain dead. Not even the ethnic cleansing they suffered after the 1966 coup was able to keep them down. A coup was carried out by soldiers from Igbo, Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba, Tiv and Esan ethnic groups but it was tagged an Igbo coup even when the same coup was foiled by two brave Igbo sons in Lagos and Kano. Characteristically, the blood of hundreds of thousands of Igbo soldiers and civilians was again used to appease the vampiric god of the Nigerian state. But like Klaus Mikaelson, the Igbos yet conquered mortality and survived the ethnic cleansing. Even when the combined firepowers of world powers such as Britain and Russian aided by Nigeria and Egypt were bombing them during the Biafran war from all corners while outgunned, outnumbered and blockaded from both land, sea and air, they not only resisted for a whole 30 months, they equally did the unimaginable within those period and under the harshest of conditions. Here, their ingenuity came to the fore as they were able to refine their oil from a variety of non fossil fuel, manufacture surface to air missile which they also adopted to surface to surface missiles and converted passenger planes to fighter jets and weaponized them. They would go on to construct the Uli Airstrip and repair it each time it was bombed by the enemy forces. And with nothing other than the sheer patriotism of their men and women and the desire to defend their right to life, they were able to hold off the aforementioned 4 countries even under constant bombardments from both land, air and sea and full blockade from all angle for a whole 30 months. They broke those technological barriers and achieved those near impossible feats as far back as almost 5 decades ago under the harshest condition known to man. Today, almost 50 years after, the Nigerian state is still romancing the idea of producing pencil by the year 2018. After the Biafran war, all manner of economic, financial and administrative policies were invented to keep the Igbos perpetually on the ground: First, their properties were seized and shared as spoils of war with the tag, "Abandoned properties". Then came the state-sponsored financial terrorism of seizing all their monies in the bank to ensure that those who survived the genocide during the war would die of penury. Regardless of how much millions and billions you had in the bank before the war, as long as you are Igbo, you'd be given just £20. So, when the rest of the country were getting interest-free loan to buy up national assets, the Nigerian state made sure the Igbos wouldn't have enough to even put food on their table and this is a people who are coming straight from a 30 month civil war with nothing but their battered and traumatised lives. Even their jobs were taken from them. So basically, the Nigerian state robbed the Igbos of their lives, their monies, their jobs and their properties. And left them with nothing. And what was their offence???? They sought to save themselves from annihilation by declaring "Biafra" when it was beyond argument that the Gowon-led Lagos based govt was neither ready nor willing to protect them from hate-induced killing which started as far back as 1945 in Jos, fifteen years before we even gained independence and 20years before the first coup which mischief makers have tried to use to justify the senseless killings. Today, decades after the war, the Nigerian state is still carrying out an open war against the Igbos with every instrumentalities of the state. Even when members of two terror groups from other parts of the country are being released from detention and even protected with special army taskforce, Igbo sons and daughters who are neither armed nor violent are being killed and maimed and bathed with acid right inside a church by Nigerian soldiers just for daring to remember their fallen heros who gave their lives during the Biafran war. The demonic path that led to the war is the same path the Nigerian state is still treading today. But remember, I said I was here to praise the Igbos. So, let's not dwell on the criminalities of the Nigerian state. Perhaps, one thing that appears to have defied explanation is how these same Igbos who have been subjected to all these demonic treatment have still managed to remain top in all spheres of national life. Quite frankly, Charles does not have a satisfactory answer to this. But certainly, the answer is in you as an Igbo man/woman. Despite not having had access to political powers for 50 years, their region remains far better developed than that of those who have ruled the country all through those period. And despite being dispossessed of their lives, their monies, their jobs and their properties, they are today the biggest owners of landed properties in the country, they are among the wealthiest with chains of businesses scattered all over the country and beyond. In sports, they hold the No1 position. Even in education, their children always come first. WAEC, NECO and JAMB results confirm this. Now, ask yourself, how did the Igbos overcome the agonies of the Biafran war, the state-sponsored killings, institutionalised marginalization and other devilish policies of the Nigerian state designed to keep them permanently down, to become the very nucleus as well as the mitochondrium of the Cell called Nigeria which they are today?? Surely, you can figure this out, can't you? When a man is in accord with his Chi, even the curses from his enemies turn to Blessings for him. Being born an Igbo is the proudest feeling I could ever have. We Will Never Apologize For Being Igbo!! By Charles Ogbu.