Eastern Nigeria is not just a geopolitical expression it is a connection that spans different facets. Although contemporary political events in Nigeria had vowed to demarcate Eastern Nigeria, the agenda of the region is far beyond what politics of geography can stop.
Although the Igbos are the most populous nationality in the Eastern region, an outlook on the Igbos shows a pattern of life that is very common among the ethnic nationalities of the Eastern region.
The impact of the Eastern region goes far beyond the true east of the Nigeria country as neighbouring ethnic groups outside the eastern regions also shows some traits of these Eastern nationalities examples of such nationalities outside the east that have more in common with the Easterners are the Tiv and Idoma of Benue state, Igala of Kogi State and even up to Southern Kaduna, although some tribal similarities aspect of some of these tribes had been a lot diluted by the several contacts between some of these tribes with several other tribes like, Edo, Yoruba and even Hausa/Fulani
Most ethnic nationalities in the Eastern region have so much in common that goes beyond politics.
Some of the major traits that define the Eastern Region are
1. Christianity: Most of the tribes in the Old Eastern Region are Christian communities, although the Igbos are the biggest Christian block given their numbers, in reality, the rest are more Christian than the Igbos, who have a lot more practising Islam, Judaism and traditional religions.
2. Political Ideology: The Eastern region still have a very crucial similar political ideology, currently the majority of the Eastern region do not just have a block vote pattern in common but also vote for a particular political party, although not official but the voting pattern in the old eastern region follows a semblance of political ideology.
3. Islamophobia: Most if not all the tribes in the old Eastern region are Islamophobic, although the Igbos are usually seen as being Islamophobic, the rest are as Islamophobic as the Igbos if not more islamophobic.
The rest of the Eastern region never knew Islam until recently, Northern Igboland like Nsukka had known Islam for quite a long time, and have little to no phobia about Islam, remember that although some Islamic, extremist carry out jihad and terrorism, some are still human and peaceful, but given the attitude of extremism that leads to Jihad and Terrorism among some Muslim, it had created a lot of phobias, especially as it seems like these Jihad and extremism are targeted on Christians.
Tribes in Eastern Nigeria are a lot Islamophobic especially the firsthand Christians like the tribes of the Niger Delta, they were with the missionaries, they are more white than black, they are more Christian than the Igbos, as such they are even far more Islamophobic.
4. Peaceful but stubborn: The tribes of the East are a chunk of peaceful tribes but that goes as far as you don’t trouble them, trouble any Eastern tribe and it might end in fire and Furry.
5. Competitive Spirit: Most of the Eastern tribes believes in merit as such there had been a real competitive spirit within members of the tribes, the Igbos are the most visible tribe in Eastern Nigeria, but they share a lot in common with the rest, the rest of the Eastern tribes are travellers as well, but most especially they travel towards Igboland where they are easily assimilated.
6. Boldness: As far as boldness is the question, give it to the Easterners, from Igbos To Ijaw, to Efik,, Ibibio, Ekoi etc. these people are some fearless guys ever, they are really not scared about the capacity of their adversaries, they so much believe in themselves, and when they say they will fight, don’t take it as a joke, in fact, don’t ever take the threat of any Eastern tribe lightly, no matter the size of the tribe or people, these people do not frequently give threats, and when they do, it usually not an empty threat.
7. Entrepreneuring spirit: The tribes of Eastern Nigeria are Entrepreneurs in their own individual capacity, there are some bunch of hardworking tribes in Eastern Nigeria. As far as entrepreneurs is the question, Eastern Nigerian tribes are some of the most business-minded in the whole of Africa, even during colonial Era, the whites were marvelled by the class of trade and commerce in Aro Confederacy (Arochukwu), which then was the unofficial business capital of the East.
Today, the East is still the Engine house of business in West Africa, when we look at Aba, Onitsha, Nnewi, Port Harcourt, Uyo and Calaba, we see the East represented in areas of business.
8. Dominating Aura: The Eastern tribes have a very misunderstood Aura, where it seems like they are dominating, as mentioned earlier, The Igbos are the most visible tribes and as such it seems like the domineering trait is only an Igbo trait but in reality, it is a general Eastern thing, it is an Aura mutually shared by most of the tribes in the East. This aura is usually also misinterpreted as being loud or boastful, but within the East, it is not seen as loudness at all, it a matter of self-expression.
9. Love of freedom: Most Eastern tribes cherish freedom a lot, maybe as a result of early contact with the whites or just about the nature of the people in the East. Unaffected by pre-colonial tribal dominance, the East was the land of the slaves where freedom was mostly treasured.
No slave hardly ever return to tell the stories, and slavery was seen as death. Even though the Eastern tribes engaged a lot in slave-raiding, they knew not what fate the slaves went through as the slaves were loaded in the ships and sailed across the Atlantic but the treatment in the coast should be able to tell that slavery was no joke hence, the East love Freedom as much as they love life itself.
10. Pursuit of Peace and success: It seems like a common trait in the East, the pursuit of peace and success. This needs no further explanation as it is currently evidenced in the everyday life in the East, Eastern Nigeria are some of the most peaceful and successful geographic areas in the whole of Africa.
11. Extremist: The tribes of the East are a little Extremist, it does not matter if it is religious Extremism as Christians or traditional practitioners or political extremists or statehood extremists, the East are generally a bunch of extremist people who would almost go to any extent to achieve whatever they desire.
13. Loyalty: The Eastern tribes can be loyal when they want to be, should we talk about loyalty to their country, loyalty to Christianity or Loyalty in politics, you can always count on Eastern tribes as far as justifiable loyalty is concerned. Although Eastern tribes are generally seen as cunning, they can be loyal when they really need to be especially if they had already perceived you as a friend or family.
Conclusion: These and a lot more are some of the things that Eastern Nigeria have in common, you will even find more and more similarities as you delve more into these people, the beautiful and lovely people of Eastern Nigeria.
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