In less than fifty years after the genocidal Biafran war which brought Ndigbo to their knees, they have once again, restored their dignity and position as the most prosperous ethnicity in Nigeria. The length and breadth of the country is replete with Igbo owned businesses and investments. The economic activities in the country are a testimony of the ingenuity of the Igbo man–both on the North, West and the far South which are not even Igbo land. Yet there is something disturbing which places a huge question on the enterprise of the Igbo man and leaves a huge hole to be filled in the heart of his machinations.
What is this hole, one may ask? It is nothing but the fact that despite the Igbo man being the most industrious of his counterparts, the Igbo land which is his home remains the most underdeveloped region in his country. For a region which has produced more industrialists and intellectuals than any other in Africa, Igbo land has very few industries and gigantic investments to show. This is partly as a result of the region being marginalized by the ethnically prejudiced government of the country. But then, it is also largely as a result of the fact that Ndigbo have allowed themselves be marginalized more by taking their investments and business ideas to other regions outside Igbo land. This is not a very helpful trend. Ndigbo should take note of this maladious mentality and take appropriate steps to redeem themselves from it.
It is very clear that our Governors and senators have continually failed us in their cowardice and inability to speak to power, the truth about the suffering of the Igbo and have instead decided to play stooge to the Hausa/Fulani dominated oligarchy. But this doesn’t mean we should fail ourselves too. It is our collective responsibility to encourage ourselves to bring down our investments home. And when we see people with ideas, who have plans of taking it outside Igbo land, we should encourage them to do the opposite. We should strive to make them see how their ideas can thrive at home too. The Igbo are a very gifted people. Recent findings on a survey conducted by the UN shows that despite the outright marginalization of the Igbo, the South East of Nigeria still has the lowest poverty index. We can even make things better in our region by bringing down our wealth here.
One of the reasons Ndigbo are not as respected as they ought to be in this contraption is the fact that they have not exhibited as much enterprise st home as they have done outside. And it is rightly so. We cannot blame those who deride us for building their places for them while ours lie in deterioration. Ndigbo sị na, “Akụ ruo ụlọ, a mara onye kpatara ya”. (When wealth reaches home, the owner is known). Let all Ndigbo come together with their ideas and businesses, let us build our home that it may become clearer for the blind to see and the deaf to hear, how industrious and gifted a people we are.