Culture The Beauty of Africa

The Most Hated Tribe in Nigeria and Why

most hated tribe in Nigeria
Avatar of Teresa Mwangi
Written by Teresa Mwangi

With a population of 212 million people, the Igbo tribe knows the taste of being the most hated tribe in Nigeria.

Some people say that the hate against Igbo people is both subjective and relative but there is general consensus on disliking these clansmen. A fact is that Nigeria is deeply tribal, a character fueled by its 250 tribes. Such a huge number of tribes only bring ethnic division much as they promote cultural diversity. The biggest dark side of having such a huge population in Nigeria is the like-hate scenario.

What Is The Most Jealous Tribe In Nigeria?

Above the most hated tribe in Nigeria, the Igbo tribe isn’t so lucky because it is also perceived as jealous. As stated earlier, this is subjective but talk in the town has it this way. Nonetheless, the big question is; what fuels this strong dislike, whether it is perceived or otherwise in a country made up of 250 tribes?

For starters, there are 45 million people living in Nigeria who identify as Igbo. They are the main inhabitants of Imo, Delta Ebugu, Bia, Rivers, Anambra and Ebonyi states. Surprisingly, they are among the largest Nigerian tribe after Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani tribes respectively. History has it that things were good for this tribe in the 18th century until the arrival of the British.

most hated nigerian tribe

Igbo Tribe from Nigeria. Photo/Africa OTR

The Igbo and their neighbours co-existed peacefully about the year 1700. They mostly interacted with the Anioma people in Delta State and the riverine people in the south. But with British colonialism, Southern and Northern Nigeria came together and this is the most logical explanation of the hostility Igbo people are treated with. The advent of the British sparked mistrust, contempt and aggression which Northern and Southern Nigeria haven’t shed off since the pre-colonial days.

Over four million Igbo people couldn’t get citizenship from the British during the colonial era for decades due to their claimed backwardness. Not a single Igbo community had the franchise as of 1940s and they paid high taxes without one of their own representing them at the British-ran Executive Council. Sad enough is that they got no social amenities to show for the high taxes they paid.

Making Up For Discrimination With Success

This discrimination provided a harbour ground for the most hated tribe in Nigeria. For the decades that the British colonial rule disenfranchised the Igbo people, they [the tribesmen] made up for it by being aggressive in business, education and other facets of the economy. They are among the smartest people in Nigeria running the economy of the north. Moreover, they make up the largest percentage of the middle class, who, ideally, are the bedrock of Nigeria’s economy.

Their success has earned them a lot of jealousy and hate because they stop at nothing to get what they want.  What’s more, is that the Igbo economy is by far flourishing despite lacking a seaport and an international airport.  This business savviness puts them ahead of well-resourced tribes.

Which Tribe Is The Most Friendly In Nigeria?

The Yoruba tribe is the most-friendly community you will come across in Nigeria. Nigeria’s Yoruba tribe is renowned for its warmth and friendliness. The Yoruba are amiable for simple things that many people overlook. They place a strong emphasis on community and respect. Treating elders, visitors, and strangers with respect is something they value to the core. Additionally, they have a great sense of community and are constantly eager to assist others which extinguishes the debate about the most hated tribe in Nigeria.

Richest Tribe in Nigeria 2022

Yoruba tribe. Photo/Medium

Further, the Yoruba are historically traders which places them as the most culturally cognizant tribe in Nigeria. Trading requires them to travel far and wide which exposes them to different cultures. They practice a high level of tolerance and openness to other people based on lessons they pick from other cultures. They are more hospitable to outsiders because of their sense of heritage and pride. For example, a guest in a Yoruba home is warmly welcome. The host will always give the guest a kola nut to chew which symbolizes hospitality.

A guest in a Yoruba home must be comfortable, some of which come from the free meals and hearty chitchat.  This tribe’s generosity always baffles many people.


While the Igbo stands as the most hated tribe in Nigeria, this ill feeling about them is unfounded. Failing to understand their drive for excellence and way of life, gives credence to this hatred. Nigeria doesn’t understand people whose only motivation in life is to live better and make more money through hard work. The irony is that the Igbo can create anything out of nothing and that they openly display their wealth which rubs people the wrong way.

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About the author

Avatar of Teresa Mwangi

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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