I (Ena Ofugara) made this post on Facebook over two years ago. So when I write about Igbos, it is not a new-found love for Igbos but a love for Nigeria as I see them as essential for Nigeria to achieve her potentials. I shared the blog post in the preceding update.
On my post “MEANINGFUL MONDAY Part 5” I shared the fact that we could have made the cheapest car in the world if only Sanni Abacha understood that one good product could change a country and its economy. WE COULD HAVE MANUFACTURED CARS FIVE YEARS BEFORE INDIA. WE WOULD HAVE NOT BEEN EXCHANGING PETROLEUM FOR BUSES WITH BRAZIL TODAY. They would have paid CASH which we would have directed elsewhere, sorry to buy our own made in Nigeria cars. Yes, most of the buses you see in Nigeria are from Brazil, a country almost as third world as Nigeria.
My whole being tells me it was because it was an Igbo Man that made the discovery. I want to like Sanusi has admitted and as Amaechi blabbed, that it is an “ARE WE BIAFRANS” mentality.
IF ONLY WE TOOK FULL ADVANTAGE OF OUR POTENTIALS
If I was Gowon, I would have pondered and ruminated how an Ojukwu who did not stockpile arms could hold off the Nigerian army for 3 whole years.
Indeed Ojukwu did. Without money or planning, without foreign support or arms build up, he fought a war for three years against a ready army and large population. So if I were Gowon, I would ask him who made his guns popularly called “awka” after where it was made and how and how we can improve it to become Nigeria’s arms.
I would have asked him about those bombs and improvised landmines…made by hungry engineers at Okigwe and Ogbaku in Mbaitoli Local Government Area. I would have wondered what they can make with full stomachs.
I would have conscripted Igbo mental capacity in production and by now Nigeria would have been…..
No seriously, think of all that would have been achieved if “Aba made” had not been disparaged and looked down upon as if it was excrement.
Now let me tell you a secret your electrician will not tell you. NIGERIAN COPPER IS THE BEST. But they will make you order for foreign ones. Nigerian copper is able to transmit currect far better than anything imported.
But Nigeria had already gotten used to sneering at what is local. Uncle Bens rice is immediately superior to “Ekpoma rice even when Ekpoma rice had the visible starch which is white when parboiled as compared to the polished nutrientless stale UNCLE BENS”
BUT WE ALREADY WERE LOOKING DOWN ON ANYTHING LOCAL. In fact “THAT IS SO LOCAL” is an insult till date.
Ahmahdu Bello it was that said in his “Northernization program” that “we try and get a Northernern (not bad) for any open position. If we cannot find any, then we get a foreigner (STUPID WICKED EVIL) and if we cannot find any before we give it to the Igbos.
Too bad the policy did not just stay local to the Northern region, but became a National policy.
“Oyibos” became transport managers in Nigeria. He “oyibo with his high school diploma, comes and bosses graduates.”
Just imagine that as at 1967-1970, we were manufacturing armoured tanks (as the one displayed in this picture) and making bombs and guns in wartime, with little assess to materials and perfect factories. Our Eastern engineers where rustling a bomb up at short notice.
YET WE AS A NATION REFUSED TO HARNESS THIS ABILITY
So yearly we spend the highest chunk of our National budget buying guns from sundry countries when we CAN make them and even become sellers and use the money instead to do other big things.
Ditto for medical equipment.
DO YOU KNOW IN UNIBEN THE DOCTORS HAVE SUCCESSFULLY CHANGED THE GENOTYPE OF A SICKLE CELL PATIENT? DO YOU KNOW THIS?
I THANK GOD FOR GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN. Yes I supported him because he was Niger Delta but since then, I am beaming with pride at his achievements.
You will not understand my gladness at seeing INNOSON MOTORS.
Then he did not give Julius Berger the contract to repair police college. He said “Army, Nigeria spends money teaching you architecture. Come and keep yourself occupied).
- They built the police college before the set date.
- The Nigerian Military has manufactured a car.
- The Nigerian Military has manufactured a drone….an unmanned plane.
Sahara reporter told you it could not fly. It flew and circled. All this in 3 years of a believer-president.
I hear he wants to ban importation of cars, textiles, and so many things. I can only ask that you read up Tai Solarin’s “MAY YOUR ROAD BE ROUGH” or some other article I read as a child in Tribune then when he talked about Singapore or some other Asian Country. He said while Nigeria was busy buying imported “table salt” which ran and had smooth grains, singapore’s salt was brown from impurities and was clustered. THEY BANNED IMPORTATION OF SALT. He said when he went back a few years later, Singapore’s salt was “table salt” as the grains were now smooth and ran.
So I plead with Nigerians. We cannot go forward doing the same thing that keeps us behind. I am making small money sending cars down from America. BUT IF IT IS BANNED, SO BE IT. Make I find something else do.
Again, WE CANNOT GO FORWARD DOING SAME THING OVER AND OVER.
This is not like the silly wheat ban by IBB when he was not planting wheat or when he did not have a researched wheat variety that can grow all over Nigeria. Nisan and Renault and more companies will produce cars locally and the money will not be seent abroad by wiring. People will find jobs. THERE WILL BE FOOD ON OUR PLATES.
If they ban foreign clothes, (I dont know if the want to) then let us get creative with our local fabrics. WE CAN MAKE JEANS ETC. I even find girls sexier on Sunday in their Ankara and “local’ fabric than in clubs with those foreign tights(true to God, ok I no go swear). And who says we cannot make those tights, be it leather or any materials?
Let Nigerians allow these policies come on and watch Nigerians with money from all over the world come home to set up industries. WE WILL TAKE LOAN FROM BANKS HERE AND FALL BACK HOME which is something the BBC article takes into cognizance.
MY POINT IS LET US MANUFACTURE.
Let us stop importing what we can manufacture at home. It should not matter if the Ibos are more blessed in this regard. A goal scored by Mikel Obi is a goal for Nigeria whether you consider him an Ibo boy or a jos boy. I remember Abass and Waziri (are their names right) that used to run long distances for us from the North. I use to say “the South has sprinters (Chidi Imoh, Mary Onyali, Innocent Egbunike) while the North has the marathoners.
LET ALL FEDERATING UNIT BE SUPPORTED by government and more importantly by their people…our people to discover their forte and develop it. Let the Yorubas arise with their cocoa and go on to invest in a Chocolate-making factory. Nigerians like chocolate. We will buy for our girls on Valentine Day. Let the cocoa beans not be only for export.
Let the South South produce their woods and rubber and indeed begin to manufacture things with it and export finished products.
Let the North give us groundnut pyramids again. Let us eat their rice..their tomatoes their wheat.
LET US MANUFACTURE. LET US GROW literally
God Bless Nigeria
God bless The people
God bless the president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.