Wanted: A strategic and constructive Competition Between Ndigbo and Yorubas, Necessary to build a prosperous SouthEast and a Prosperous Southwest
Ndigbo and Yorubas since Nigeria's independence, and even before it,
and as the last elections show, have been engaged in unproductive
non-beneficial antagonisms, name-calling, recriminations, and mutual
distrust. They have been mostly on opposite sides of the political
spectrum and generally do not see eye to eye on national issues. It is
time that these antagonisms stop as they are neither helpful,
productive, nor augur well for state, regional, or national
There are allegations of scheming out of one group by another in Abuja
in government ministries and parastatals. The sharp divisiveness is
not lost on those who perennially take advantage of it to the
detriment of national cohesion, stability, and progress.
The mindless preoccupation with ascendancy in far-flung Abuja, must
stop as there has been little, if any, significant benefit to either
region when Ndigbo or Yoruba persons occupy elevated positions in
I propose a solution.
Yorubas and Ndigbo should employ their God-given resources and
talents for the socio-economic development of their states and region
and bring to an end the current state of socio-economic disaster in
Yorubas and Ndigbo should apply and concentrate their energies,
resources, and abilities, not in mutual recriminations, or jockeying
for advantages in Abuja, but in developing each of their states and
regions to a world-class standard.
No excuses will suffice. Nobody stops Ndigbo and Yoruba governors from
performing spectacularly in their states and regions. No one stops
Ndigbo and Yorubas from supporting their states and regions with
their resources and talents.
It is time for a cease-fire from the perrenial verbal vituperations.
It is time for the hard work and financial sacrifice required to
develop the states and the regions.
A comparison of the economies and budgets of the states of the
Southwest and Southeast with a country of a smaller size in land and
population, Singapore, should spur Yorubas and Ndigbos to action.
The total budgets of the Southwest and southeast regions in 2014 were
approximately $2 billion US dollars and $1 billion US dollars,
respectively, compared to about $50 billion US dollars for Singapore,
a country less than the size of Lagos or Enugu, and a population of
only about 6 million people!
Yet Ndigbo and Yoruba people worldwide each have an estiimated gross
annual incomes of over $250 billion US dollars, or a total for both
groups of over $500 billion US dollars. The budget to income ratio for
both regions is astonishingly low: less than 1% for each of the two
Singapore marshalled its people and resources to build a world-class
city-state with first rate infrastructures for its citizens. It has
full employment and excellent educational and social services for its
peoples. Its GDP of over $300 billion US dollars is comparable to the
estimated combined GDP of the Southwest and Southeast with a combined
population of over 60 million people in a significantly greater land size
It is now time for a joint leadership forum of governors and civil
society to emerge in each region who should impose a levy on working
Yorubas and Ndigbo worldwide to raise up to $5 billion US dollars
each region needs to pay for the infrastructures that will propel
regional socio-economic development. This will enable both the
Southwest and Southeast to break the addiction of, and dependence on,
the oil resources of the Southsouth.
Enough of the destructive rivalry between Yorubas and Ndigbo! It is
time for Yorubas and Ndigbo to engage in cooperation or constructive
competition that will stimulate socioeconomic development in the
states and regions of the Southwest and Southeast.
The joint leadership forum of governors and civil society in each
region can use Singapore as a benchmark, and work to build the
economy in each region to surpass that of Singapore! Doing
this will make both the Southwest and the Southeast formidable drivers
of national cohesion and development. A concerted effort to transform
the shameful socio-economic state in each of the Southeast and the
Southwest should be the focus of the attention of Ndigbo and the
Yorubas worldwide, not persistent unproductive and diversionary mutual