One of the Reasons Igbo People Top Education Rankings In Nigeria -By Rees Chikwendu

Filed under: Educational Issues,National Issues |

Rees Chikwendu


In Nigeria’s publicized educational rankings, it is no more news that the Igbo people have the leadership in the education sector. The statistical rankings in consecutive years are evidence that the top ranking of Igbo states in education is not a fluke. Although, some Nigerians from other ethnic groups may want to undermine the Igbo successes with other arguments, but the facts are glare on the face. Anyone who understands the structure of Nigeria would know that it’s skewed against the Igbo people. The socio-economic and political formations of the country are not in the favor of the Igbos. But this same people have thrived unexampled in every sector of Nigeria’s socio-economic, political, and cultural endeavors. The credibility of those stats can be found in the fact that those who are in the helm of authority of the institutions that put those statistics out, are not from the Igbo ethnic group. Therefore, it would only be sheer envy, hate and bigotry to undermine the Igbo hard work and achievements with unverifiable theories. In fact, the successes and achievements of the Igbo people are not only evidenced within Nigeria, but also in diaspora – anywhere an Igbo man is found – they demonstrate sheer hard work and ingenuity. It is not something they do to dominate others, but the desire to succeed as any other human anywhere would.

What is the push for the Igbo achievements in a country that despises them?

Nepotism. The Igbo people have this proverb: Onye ajuru aju anaghi aju onwe ya (English: A rejected person must not reject him/herself). Nigeria has rejected the Igbos. Everything about the Igbo people is fowl smelling to Nigerians. Anyone could easily observe this in rasping speeches and cruelties of Nigerians towards the Igbos. They misunderstood the Igbo philosophy and ambition as a desire to dominate therefore they heap the blames of their woes on the Igbos. By the way, most humans always look for others to blame for their sufferings. For example, in Western nations, the migrants are often to blame for the economic woes of the indigenes of the country where they live. In Nigeria, even though the Igbo people are a major landlord, other ethnic groups in Nigeria have come to blame them for their economic woes.

However, one of the things that made the Igbo people a hard stock brick is Nigeria’s nepotism. Nepotism is one of the worst forms of corruption that has destroyed the country called Nigeria. But it has become the Igbo advantage in that it has given them the push motivation to strive to be achievers, while other ethnic groups benefiting from the vampire estates of Nigeria have become mentally and physically lazy. So while most Igbo students are awake burning candlelight, pushing themselves to break personal records, and to improve their grades, students from other ethnic groups are snoring in deep sleep because of being favored by the system. Since after the civil war, the estates of Nigeria have been shared among the other ethnic groups excluding the Igbo people. And the state institutions are structured to discriminate and marginalize the Igbo people. This every Igbo person understands. Every Igbo child who goes to school in Nigeria understands that she/he has no parent, uncle, brother, or sister in position of power to hand him/her a plum job after graduation, therefore, must work harder than other Nigerians to be found worthy of any of the crumbs in the form of jobs that others may not find interesting. Even when they have someone in such position of power, the Igbo traditional philosophy of meritism does not allow favoritism and quota system.

Students from other ethnic groups know that they will get the best jobs in Nigeria’s petro-industries where the wealth of the country is shared after their graduation. Whether they work hard or not, the jobs are waiting for them after school. Therefore, why would you expect them to put effort to be the best in education? The quota system is theirs. They don’t need to work hard. The petro-wealth of Nigeria belongs to their parents, uncles, and brothers. The Igbo society does not recognize hereditary privilege and that is why they are wired to be industrious. In Africa, the Igbo people are the most industrious ethnic group and the most educated, and their successes are demonstration of their hard work. In Nigeria, the Igbo man is like the non-privileged black man who has to work thrice harder to be noticed in a white majority nation. The difference, though, is that the Igbo people are a majority (over 50 million population) in Nigeria but are still marginalized. The point here is: Nepotism has bolstered the Igbo people to have unexampled achievements in Nigeria. Nepotism in Nigeria is working in the Igbo advantage to be educationally inclined and to be achieving. These Igbo achievements in education also translate into their economic advantage. That is why the Igbo people are the richest ethnic group (in per capita income) in Nigeria.