Ndigbo And Yorubas Must Unite To Build A Prosperous South - East And South - West

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, namecalling, 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 development.

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

each region.
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 regions!

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 than Singapore!

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 recriminations!

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Articles by Abitunde Taiwo