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I greet you in Jesus Christ name; I am one of you who used to live in the North. Many of you supported me when I finished Youth Corps Service and started a printing business. I now live in London; however, I have a keen interest in what is happening in Nigeria.
The latest being that we have been asked to leave the North. Please do not take this threat lightly even thou they may tell you that it was just a few youths that are doing this. Igbos are being killed regularly and nothing is done, for example, the 70 year old woman killed in Kano, is it not a fact that the courts released the perpetrator?
I now teach strategy and enterprise in a university and the best strategy in business is to have other plans of doing business. Therefore, this letter is to tell you to gather yourselves together, develop and put to action other plans. Igboland with over forty million people is big enough to run a business for everybody because when we return there will be a bigger market for buying and selling.
In fact, the whole of Africa and not only Nigeria can come to Igboland to buy their goods and services if we do what our Nnewi and Aba brethren are doing, today Nnewi has the largest auto parts market in Africa. It is a major manufacturing centre in Africa producing not only motor parts and cars but building materials, agricultural products, petro chemical materials etc. We can make, Igboland bigger and better if we do the following and other ideas you may have.
1). Go back home and start new businesses and markets. There is enough business for everybody if you know how to satisfy customers. There over 40 million Igbos that is a big market that many countries do not have, all you need to do is to find out what the 40 million people need and do the business that people need and God will bless you. If you sell motor parts in the north and people do not need your motor parts in Igboland change your business that is what business is about. Business is about satisfying people’s needs. So if you need to sell food instead of motor parts do it and God will bless you. How can the Igbo have 40 million people and are looking for market in other places.
How can there be no jobs or no business or work to do? The mere fact of the Igbo population is a market in itself. There are so many businesses we can do in Igbo land that will keep the money flowing in the Igbo economy. If you cannot start a business in Igbo land then blame yourself or your lack of education and experience and also blame your political leaders who should be creating an enabling business environment. You can also come together and force your state government to support you just like the Anambra Government is doing. Don’t ever think that Igboland is too small for us- never.
2). Start Farming no matter how small: We must all have farms in the village and be involved in agriculture, do not build on all your land in the village, in London here, there is enough land for farming despite the population (12 million people in this small London), we build small houses here in London, so that we can have farms, and recreational gardens. Every family in Igbo land needs to ensure that they have land for farming- make sure you are farming poultry, crops, cash crops etc.
They in the north are laughing at us saying we can’t feed ourselves, this is a Big lie from the devil, the problem is we have not managed our land well, if we manage this land well and stop building houses that are too big for us, we will have enough food to feed ourselves and export. As small as Israel is, they are the leading Agricultural nation exporting food to other parts of the world.
The land mass of Israel is 20,770 square miles less than Igboland that is 41000 square kilometres. Although there population is smaller, Israel is feeding itself comfortably and exporting food to so many countries. This can be so for Igboland if everyone has a farm and does something about Agriculture today. The Governor of Imo state gave Hausa Fulani cattle herdsmen 1100 hectares of land in Okigwe to farm Nama, but he did not have the common sense to develop Igbo cow’s ranches all over the state.
Do you see how unwise the Igbo leaders are? The Igbo cow (Ehi Igbo) and goats are not reared on an industrialised scale. In my next letter I will talk about how technology and innovation can increase our food security.
3). We Igbo must stop thinking Nigeria but Africa. There are many countries in Africa and the world that need Igbo business and services, so why should you think only north. They kill us every day and stop you from living in freedom. We learn of Igbo killing regularly. Joe Igbokwe of APC Lagos states that Igbo land is too small and the North feeds us. This is very lazy forms of thinking that ceases to be innovative and creative with our God given resources.
If we sit down and plan our resources such as making sure that every village in Igboland uses a minimum of 50 % its land for Agriculture things will change. Furthermore the policy should be different in the Agricultural belts of Igboland were 90% of land resources are kept for Agriculture, these include Ebonyi and Enugu state, Ngor Okpalla, Ohaji, Egbema and all the river basins were we can crop thrice a year.
4). Organise yourself: Once you have established at home you can organise yourself into groups or associations and do some business investigation by contributing money to send some of you to other parts of Africa to see where you can sell your goods and services or set up a trading branch. This is what we are known for- commerce.
5). Educate yourself, go back to school informally and formally- read books and business pages on the Internet. It will make you a better and successful business person. This is what Chief Claytus Ibeto has done, despite his business success he went back to School later in life; he did his school certificate and also went to university. He applied this knowledge and his business grew so much that he is now one of richest men in Africa despite what the Buhari government has been doing to frustrate his business.
6). Let quality be your motto. Please do not make or sell fake products or do bad work, if you make a mistake, admit it and compensate the customer whoever they may be- God likes honest people. Quality must be your watch word, do not cheat anybody even non Igbos, if you see anyone of you doing this sanction them by ostracising them. Igbo products and services must be the best in the world and it starts with you. Today, Ethiopia is known for a major shoe manufacture when Aba was ahead of them, we must make our products to the highest standard. Please spread this message to our people.
7). Work together in Groups: Come together to fulfil your common goals and you will achieve so much more. Please forget about wanting to be the greatest above all, it is killing us and leading us into temptation and death. It is time to help each other. You helped me the past now, so you are good people. I am trying to repay your goodness. Most times not working together is the Igbo challenge but with planning and a good constitution you can work together.
What stops you coming together and going to other countries and making business connections and starting an international business? What stops you coming together and building an industry and putting a competent manager in charge? You can come together and build and industry or factory, in any sector, nothing is impossible. In Japan traders came together and built major companies that are big today.
8). Do not spend your money on useless things that have no value e.g. burying your relatives to the extent that you run down your business or get chieftaincy titles or spend so much on your marriage. Why should we allow all these foolish ways destroy us? All these people in the village that collect our money to bury people must stop. Stand your ground.
No more showing off that you are better than your brother, the Igbos are facing a big challenge and if we can pass this test, it will be well with our children and the future of the Igbo People. You do not need to prove yourself to anybody. Cut your coat according to your size, stop looking at others and being jealous thank God for where you are and live in peace and harmony, just work hard and wisely and see God bless you. The Bible states that godliness with contentment is great gain. Praise God for where you are and work hard and innovatively.
9). Give your life to Jesus Christ by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as Lord and saviour. He will bless and give you eternal life in heaven. I did not say go to church but give your heart to Jesus, whether you go to Pentecostal or Catholic Church we must be truly Born Again or converted in Christ. Tell Jesus you want to follow him now by confessing your sins and asking Him to show you the way of life.
10). Truly Give Your Heart to Jesus! If you are sincere and love God, please pass this message to other brothers and sisters. It’s time to develop our own and be free.
11). One thing I know about the Igbos is that they love knowledge and believe in merit, equity and justice. This is what has made us one of the greatest nations in Africa. Even if you did not go far in school, you can start now to develop yourself and your business.
I feel I have done my duty as a brother to advise you all, life is higher than money and the blessing to get wealth can be done at home in safety and freedom and contentment.
God bless you
Please if you know me and want to contact me about anything please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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