AGBOR INDIGENES, ANOTHER KIND OF PEOPLE By Morsi
By Chucks Dominic Morsi
Agbor Kingdom is fast growing into a metropolitan city, making the place a home for all. Notably so, the indigenes are hospitable and accommodating. Little wonder, the Kingdom is serving as a host community to strangers from far and near. Agbor indigenes as much as I can tell, do not segregate or discriminate against strangers, irrespective of tribe or ethnic nationality.
Most importantly, the people are hardworking, rather than waiting for or over dependent on what the government of the day can provide. By self-efforts, the people are daily, making ends meet. And this is highly commendable. Moreover, the present co-existence that the indigenes and non-indigenes alike have being enjoying over the years, has continued to sort of, strengthen this kind of mutual bond between Agbor and other communities. And right now, Agbor may be seen to be congested, but it is all part of development. And it will keep evolving. Of course, the exponential growth we are experiencing as it were, will yet keep attracting more people from other places who may be seeking refuge in Ika Land. This is informed by the fact and given the home away from home nature of the community. Again, Agbor indeed, is a safe-haven. A land so much blessed and fruitful on every side.
However, it suffices to say that there are certain unhealthy traits that have seem to phenomenally become a part of us as Agbor indigenes. And this unabated cankerworm is eaten deep into the fabrics of our society. Howbeit, this idea of not supporting one another in a common course? For example, we Agbor indigenes hardly see ourselves as “one brother” as it is with other tribes. But why? Here we make more enemies than friends. Here we sometimes fight ‘cold war’ without a gun. Many of us carry the load of bickering, bitter hatred and fighting cold war in our hearts against our neighbors. In most cases, the fight does not have a justifiable reason. Though life may not be as difficult as we may think, but we make it difficult for ourselves. But for what purpose?
For instance, I lived in Lagos for several years, and there, I discovered that as it is at home, so it is everywhere that you find Ika People who don’t often want to associate with their own; so, they prefer they give a stranger an embrace and give their own people a distance. Such individuals would rather relate with strangers or even favor strangers more than they would to their brother who ordinarily is an Agbor person like themselves. Just imagine, meeting some of our people elsewhere, maybe on the street or in a bus, hearing that you speak Ika, should make one happy that you have found a brother, but rather than embracing you as their own, they turn to speaking English, feigning or pretending that they ever knew you or where you come from. Sad, isn’t it! Meanwhile, both of you are from this same Agbor, but suddenly become strangers to each other in another man’s land.
Other set of people are this type you meet and while exchanging warm banters, then out of curiosity you ask, “Sorry brother, where are you from”? one will be quick to say, “Oh, I am from Umunede” yet another with this kind of strangeness would tell you, “I am from Owa” and by the way he will reply you, he had sent a message by the looks in his eyes, that you both have nothing in common. Funny enough, we all speak same language. So, why can’t we see each other as one? What is there to gain by been divided? After all, the power of the Towel of Babel in the Bible, was because of their oneness and unity. In Ika land, it is not what we do while we are still alive that matters, but the legacies we will leave behind for the future generation yet unborn is what counts.
That reminds me of the other day, I had a conversation with a well-educated man from Owa. One topic led to another until we came to a boiling point where he bluntly and with strong emotions told me that Owa is not part of Agbor and that we just have a common boundary and nothing more! Though I didn’t argue with him, but in me, I felt this blandishment. Agreed, we may not be together as one because politics have made it so. Yet, we become one, speak same language and mind same thing as one people anytime it was for elections. Looking for cheap numbers. Isn’t that ridiculous! Come to think of it, how long shall we keep seeing ourselves as strangers or fighting over supremacy? For me, it doesn’t really make common sense. Anyway, that is just a thought. Now back to where I am directing my point to.
If you check an average Agbor man in particular and Ika in general, there’s one thing that you are likely going to discover about them. First, an average Agbor man is a proud person! And this kind of highhanded character garnished with pride often ignores warnings and disobey laws and this usually result to downfall and death, when care is not taken.
For instance, let’s talk about disobedient to traffic rules everywhere you find traffic light around the town. Even with the presence of such traffic lights, which was meant to control lawlessness on road users, yet, we don’t obey traffic rules! Everybody always seem to be in a hurry and still, hurrying to nowhere. Unfortunately, many have died out of carelessness. The amber light (yellow color) was supposed to keep us at getting ready, while the green says go, the red light suggest that we stop. Funny enough, while the light is on red, that is when you see people rushing to go! What a daft thing to do! Anyway, this attitude as amusing as it may seem, paints an ugly picture about us to be uncouth; especially creating this kind of uncongenial atmosphere shows that we are not socially civilized even though we claim to be so.
Many of our sons and daughters live abroad and elsewhere in other cities where without much ado, obey traffic rules but coming to Agbor, is like, those rules doesn’t matter. That’s not good enough. Let us change our wrong attitude and perceptions. We need to change our mindset by humbling ourselves and then learn how to obey simple rules and regulations. That is how we build a sane and better society.
Again, talking about pride, the Bible even said that pride goes before fall. By the way, what are we actually proud of? What is it that you have that it wasn’t given to you by God? In the instance of that, we ought to be humble. An act of genuine humility is when you don’t think that you are better than the other person.
Again, if you watch very closely, you are likely going to see that Agbor people are living a life of competition. This person wants to outdo the other person. Is it worth it? If you understand the concept of life, it is a matter of Live and Let Live. We are in this world to fulfill a destiny and not necessarily run a rat race. The idea of competing with each other to find out who wears the best dress, who builds the best house or rides the best car, can only keep plunging us into error! Life can become complaisant once we begin to live by people’s opinion.
This competitive nature of Ika people actually cuts across board in the way we do business, conduct marriage ceremonies and funerals. It is so because you wish to please the world and displease yourself, consequently, many are having loads of debts hanging on their necks. And others, going bankrupt! That is wrong. At all time, learn how to cut your coat according to your pocket.
Secondly, jealousy grows in the mind of an average Agbor man when he sees his brother progressing. What is this jealousy for? Why should you be angry or unhappy, just because your brother or neighbor have something that you wish it could have been you that should have it! That for me, is witchcraft. You should be happy when God lifts your brother or sister up and that, same blessing can locate you and your family sooner than you could ever imagine.
The prognosis here is that, if we don’t change our attitudes, those attitudes will keep haunting us and that is really worrisome. Moreover, one of the defaults (among many others) of Agbor people is that they are vindictive by nature. What do I mean? I am saying in a situation where someone feels that you have harmed him or her and he must harm you back by all means. In that case, they begin all the journey of inviting all the powers of darkness because he must have to pursue a perceived vendetta against the offender. In other cases, it is a personally conducted vendetta against a rival gang member! This kind of bloodletting situations cannot help us make progress as a people because any blood you spilled, brings a curse to yourself and the land. God have mercy on us.
Shockingly, many of the people who engage in some of these vices are those who on Sundays, have a place in the front roll of a church seat, where pastors can see them and assume that they are Christians, but in deeds, they are no less than the devil. I am not being judgmental, yet, we cannot keep glossing over some of these cancerous vices destroying our values as a people, without talking about them.
On the basis of other matters, I have come to realize that an average Agbor man, does not support his own. Instead, there is this common phenomenon that seem to have become a syndrome “Pull him down” “Kill him before he grows” an evil attitude, in every way, is negating progress and developmental transformation of Ika Land. Take it or leave it, we are a different kind of people embedded in the spirit of greed and self-centeredness. Ask our sons and daughters abroad, the home mentality has since followed them down there in such a way that they do not work to lift each other up. What most of them does is to set others up just to destroy their career! In our society, it is usually a case of, everyman for himself and God for us all! That is, also not good enough.
see also: INEC, CAUGHT BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA
We must try to change this mentality of “Is either I am better than him, or I will pull him down”. The most dangerous ways these people carry out this treacherous act, may not be by weapon, but most of the time, by the words of their tongues and slanders just to destroy the name of the other person. Don’t forget, the good book says, the power of life and death, is in the tongue. It also went further to advice that we should bridle our tongues.
Conversely, by law of retribution, we must understand that, what you sow, is what you reap. A character assassination that will not do anybody any good, why start it in the first place? Yet, it is in our human nature as Ika people! This type of attitude, in the real sense, is worse than a heinous crime. So, do well to keep those venous tongues in check instead of using it to destroy friends and families. Tearing marriages apart because of our tongue. On a second thought, if there are no listeners, there wouldn’t be gossips and talebearers.
Again, Agbor people seldom, if ever, show their brothers the way to success. Here, the Ibos and the Yoruba people are doing better. A Hausa man does not care where another Hausa man comes from, provided he speaks the same language, you are regarded as a brother and in all areas, he is treated so. But because an Agbor man does not want the progress of his brother, he goes to any length to thwart his efforts. He discourages others from a potential success, by either criticizing you or he does otherwise.
Thirdly, because of personal interest and not minding about things that would help other people around you, that is selfishness. This kind of behaviour has never and will never help us to become better as Ika people. The lesson here is that, the time has come whereby we see next neighbor as a brother. Time has come when we should create harmony, think less of self, but more of others.
Let us be our brother’s keeper and our brothers’ helper. Eschew evil in our hearts against one another. Of course, we rise by lighting others’ candle and not by pulling them down. We are not in this life for competition but we are here to make positive impact and to complement one another. Therefore, don’t live to impress anybody but yourself. With all sense of humility, we please God and humanity.
So, if there is anything that should fascinate you or be your driving force, it should be, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” That is the golden rule.
Low self-esteem, I have also discovered is one of the problems of our people and the best way to attract attention to themselves and wanting to be relevant, as certain individuals think, it is by fire, by force. Life doesn’t work that way.
Competing with someone else does not help you, but rebranding your personal self-worth is the way to go. It is only when you feel like a boring old fart, then the need to wanting to become relevant through competing with others arises. No need for all that. Just be yourself. No matter what comes your way, no matter the circumstances, be yourself. In wanting to be like someone else, you become a photocopy, as you know, photocopy can never be like original.
Maintain your own line. Life is a journey and it requires only you and you alone to make up your mind what you want on that journey or what your destination would be rather than allow others to form your opinion.
2 thoughts on “AGBOR INDIGENES, ANOTHER KIND OF PEOPLE By Dominic Morsi”
I’m not sure if this writer is talking about Agbor people or Ika people. He keeps switching. In one breath he lumps them together and in another separates them.
Taking a cue from the rave reviews on your treatise, “Agbor Indigenes, Another Kind of People” on Ewuru Elites WhatsApp group, I was compelled to albeit speed-read the full story. Back in the days, I recall that you had a flair for writing and and a wordsmithing proclivity, so I thought it’d be interesting to see the flanks of the literary fiefdom you have carved out for yourself.
First off, I quite agree with you that Agbor has become a burgeoning metropolitan city– like you rightly noted in your article, replete with hospitable, friendly and industrious people. However, my views on a couple of the “unhealthy traits” are divergent.
I think that if I had serendipitously run into you on the streets of any city anywhere in the world, leveraging on friendship back in the days, I would not have had any reason not to associate with you. However, I do not think that anyone should strike an instant rapport and “open up” to just any person who happens to speak his or her first language. This is not to say you should not help if you’re in a position to, or display a reasonable level of recognition and friendliness like you would to any other human. I think the reason for not wanting to “associate”, which is not even peculiar to Agbor Indigenes alone, is when there’s been no existing friendship against the backdrop of the reality of today’s Nigeria.
Going forward, it’s a popular opinion that the average Nigerian would break the law knowing that there’d be no consequences if they didn’t get caught. That’s applicable to the frequent violation of traffic rules being witnessed on a quotidian basis. I think that running red light and amber gambling are common traffic offenses across the length and breadth of the country.
By and large, I think that you have done justice to the subject matter considering the hardwork you have evidently put into the content just to make the article interesting to read.