​The Arewa Youths’ threat and the opportunities therein –  by Livy-Elcon Emereonye 

One of the best things that can happen to anyone is for his enemy to make the mistake that will advance his cause. This almost always brings about a total turn around for uncommon self-realization and meaningful exploit. So let your enemies make the mistakes even when they cause you pains, transient pains, you will end up better, bigger and stronger.

In a typical problematic polygamous family, problem ends up making some half-brothers wiser. Yes, when you are accused of foolishness, the right thing to do is to put your senses into task and become wiser after re-examining yourself and retracing some of your steps. When your liberal life style or philanthropy is abused by the recipients, imbibe some culture of reservation to avoid further abuse because it does not worth it making sacrifices for people that will trample upon them and turn around to attack you. When insulted and assaulted out of complex and greed, re-strategize for self-preservation, which is the first law of life. At the end, you will realize that everything happens for a purpose, working for your ultimate good.

The cause of an average Igbo man, outside Igbo land in Nigeria, has been erroneously perceived as a case of indecision and indirection or at worst a show of confusion but by those who benefit most from his adventure because while he sees the entire Nigeria as his constituency that must be developed and beautified without fear or hindrance, others see him as a “brilliant but unintelligent” opportunist that must be dealt with and destroyed at all cost. In striving to build a better Nigeria, the Igbo man has been seen as a threat that must be eliminated and annihilated. Thus he has been constantly attacked, marginalized and excluded from the inherent benefits of the “One Nigerian” project resulting to Igbophobia. It is like the fear, the attack and the desire for the domination of the Igbo is the only thing that unites other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. This is evident from the harsh realities on ground.

It is on record that while Ndigbo invest and develop every part of Nigeria non-Igbos rarely invest and develop Alaigbo yet this developmental stride and nation building is almost always derided and treated with hate. This is very unfortunate and to say the least regrettable.

Whatever anyone can say about the liberal, capitalistic but competitive and republican nature of the Igbo, events of the recent past have placed a big question mark on it with a loud call for sober reflection. By commission and omission, the fragile nature of Nigeria has bitterly told the Igbo that north or west, home is the best – and no person except the Igbo will develop Alaigbo!

The recent 3-month quit notice given to the Igbo in the north by the Arewa Youths had sent a very bitter but needed message into the sense of Ndigbo – and any of them that care will get the real essence of the message and make amends for better.

Like the retrogressive “97% vs 5%” ideology that ended up uniting Ndigbo, the quit notice will turn around to be a blessing in disguise because it will surely result to massive and absolute development of Alaigbo in the nearest future for more than ever before the Igbo have been forced to think more and strategize on how best to invest at home for employment opportunities and wealth creation. Just imagine how Alaigbo will look like if just 10% of the purported “N44 trillion” Igbo investment in the north is repatriated to Igbo land? In other words, the Igbo have been knowingly and unknowingly ordered to go home and develop Alaigbo – and this order must be obeyed.

Some have genuinely argued on the true essence and possibility of the quit notice, wondering “What will happen to their businesses and property in the north,” and “how they can lose their possessions to start all over again”! To such concerns, I tried to answer with another question: “What will you do if your business and property are burnt by fire or destroyed by natural disaster when you least expected it and thus was not prepared?” “What will happen in an event that ‘you’ lose both your property and your life in a bid to secure your property?” Painful as it may be, we must not forget that problems and pains are part of life. Again, man makes money; money does not necessarily make a man.

Though the quit notice has been widely condemned, and nothing will happen, I appeal to every Igbo person whose business and investment is outside Igbo land to see such venture as a gamble, a lost asset or even a liability so as to pick up the piece in hard ways and start all over again but this time around invest more in Alaigbo for better.

Whatever the case, there will always be opportunities for the living. Regardless of loss, life goes on; and where there is life there is hope and with every hope comes better ways. Good enough there has been no loss so it is better to repatriate parts of these “invests and property” while we enjoy our unity in diversity.

On this note, every Igbo person should embrace the Igbo “Think Home Initiative”. So whatever your calling, trade, occupation and profession; whatever goods and services you deal on, have a branch however small in Alaigbo now and by tomorrow, it will germinate and grow like the mustard seed.

Today, the world is a global village so wherever you are, those that need your goods and service will patronize you. Do it and you will not regret that you did!

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