On Thursday, 22nd April, a number of Imolites particularly those from Owerri zone witnessed the commissioning of 2 kilometers road built by a business mogul, philanthropist and Pro-Alaigbo development agent Mr Alex Mbata.
The road under review is located in New Owerri and named after the builder Alex Mbata, an indigene of Owerri.
Imo State Governor, Sen Hope Uzodimma represented by his deputy Prof. Placid Njoku performed the commissioning of the well asphalted and solidly built dual carriage road with wonderful drainage system.
Ndigbo in the 60s, 70s and even 80s were known for self help projects achieved vide communal efforts without much reference to government. This accounts for why most Primary, Secondary Schools and most importantly good hospitals known across the South East, most of which had been taken over by the government were built by town unions and good spirited individuals.
Another people that held sway as builders of public facilities and infrastructures in their domains were churches and faith based organisations, prominent among which were Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches.
Time was, when the only Airport in the entire Southeast was the Enugu airport, the military administration in Imo State then, came up with the idea of an Airport project which was actually actualized under the era of the enigmatic Dr Samuel Onunaku Mbakwe.
History will always be fair and charitable to one Igbo Iroko and Business genius, Sir. Engr. Dr Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu (Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo) who without looking backwards provided huge funds that aided to a very large extent, the realization of what is known today as Sam Mbakwe International Airport.
Iwuanyanwu and a few others in Alaigbo wrote their names in a tablet of gold in terms of achievements in our clime for younger ones to hear, see and emulate.
Somewhere along the line, Ndigbo became “oka mma na ama” and became so dangerously externally oriented that they forgot home with reckless abandon and began to sing the Lord’s song in a strange land.
The end product of the whole flight to unknown destination is the fear every where now that, should the war broke out or the secessionist agenda eventually works, Ndigbo are going to be the biggest losers. This is true because up to 70 percent of Igbo investments are outside.
Those who insist on investing outside Igbo land always give lame excuses that Igbo land lack the basic infrastructures like roads, power and enabling environment for business to thrive and blossom.
This is not correct at all. Ndigbo have a wonderful spirit from creation, spirit of ingenuity, making nothing out of nothing. Many tribes still believe that even in the grave and in the spirit world, that Igbo still trade and market all sorts of goods to their contemporaries because they have the spirit to survive in every situation.
What has suddenly come over us that we have left the weightier matters of the law to do absolutely strange things that we were not known for?
Most businesses in Imo State operate in environments with little or no presence of government. In most of these areas, roads, water supply, electricity are alien and business owners look the other way. No empathy for their customers and clients, nor support or concern whatsoever to their host communities, not even effort or intervention via Corporate Social Responsibility guaranteed by our official extant laws and policies. This bad spirit among most Igbo industrialists and business men must be suffocated and exorcized out of the
Our people must head home now because agwo no na akirika. The likes of Sir Alex Mbata must be commended, celebrated and emulated in Imo and beyond.
Our multi millionaires and billionaires must jettison this habit of looking up to government to do everything for their people.
If 50 of the billionaires manage to tar at least 2 kilometers of road in their villages or business areas, we would have at least 100 roads tarred in each state in the Southeast outside the ones our corrupt governments would manage to do.
We in the NIGERIAN NEWSGUIDE support in it’s entirety the spirit of “Akurulo, Okpataozuoha and not Ori nani ya”.
We must activate a new mode to usher in dawn of a new era in the development of Alaigbo by renewing the old spirit of building public facilities and infrastructures via communal and individual efforts. In a bleeding country like Nigeria, resort to regional system of government and conscious efforts to develop states within by indigenous people is nothing but the answer.