United Nigeria Airline boss laments lack of brotherly love among Igbo

Obiora Okonkwo

The absence of camaraderie within the Igbo community was denounced by Professor Obiora Okonkwo, the Chairman of United Nigeria Airline.

Speaking at the End of Year gathering organized by Aka Ikenga, an Igbo socio-economic and think tank group, Okonkwo expressed dismay over the fact that many prominent Igbo individuals face challenges primarily from their own people who go to great lengths to undermine them.

During the event, Okonkwo, a politician who was honored by the group with the title of “Enabler of Ndi-Igbo Vision, Strength, and Resilience,” highlighted how numerous Igbo individuals utilize social media platforms to discredit their own brethren due to a dearth of mutual affection within the community.

He said: “The problem is no longer what outsiders are doing to us, ndị Igbo, but what we ourselves are doing to each other.

“We have spoken about what others have done to ndị Igbo, without addressing what we Igbos are doing to ourselves. The spate of hate is too much among many Igbo brothers and sisters, who, instead of collaborating, see themselves as competitors and strive to pull others down rather than working together and showing solidarity.

“People now go to the internet, generate stereotypes, and present them as truth, and people believe these narratives. A recent example is when a man went to the Air Peace portal and compared a business class ticket to the Southeast with an economy class ticket to a state in the North without considering the difference in pricing for each class.

“He started hurling insults and attacks at Air Peace. That’s plain wickedness and ignorance.

“When I entered the industry (aviation), there were people who thought I would fight and compete with my brother, Allen Onyema. Perhaps they believed Igbos were always antagonistic towards each other, thinking I would be a better weapon for them to attack Air Peace.

“However, when I got in, they saw the opposite. Instead of fighting and competing, we decided to collaborate and work together; this has made us the target of the industry.

“Ndị Igbo, we are known for our resilience, strength, and ability to succeed amidst challenges. If we manage to overcome the ‘pull him down’ syndrome that has now pervaded our people, external attacks would be nothing.”

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