Since June 6, 2017, when he north their youth wing issued a quit notice to Ndigbo in all parts of the north, in what they tagged “Kaduna Declaration”, Ndigbo and Nigerians all over have been served enough of thought for food. However, one crucial aspect that has obviously deeply agitated Ndigbo, costing them their peace and rest to the extreme is the issue of their propensity to lose their huge investments and physical properties in their different northern stations of residence.
Truth, however, is that the sequence has since the Nigeria-Biafra civil war earned space in the lexicon of Nigeria’s political development as “abandoned property’! In other words, the thought of Ndigbo abandoning their property across Nigeria is not to be treated as new. If the Kaduna Declaration is eventually consummated as both the north and the east sincerely want it, then properties may be abandoned by both northerners and easterners here and there. It will not be the first Ndigbo would be forced by intolerable circumstances beyond their control to abandon their property and even real cash in billions!
History holds it that in the so-called first republic when Ndigbo fled from all parts of Nigeria including Port Harcourt to save their lives, so much of lives and properties were abandoned when there were slim chances of safety and security. I believe if the north has as little as been open as they are now, Ndigbo would have preferred to abandon their properties all over Nigeria than lose the hundreds of lives that were lost to the sharp knives of the Hausas. That is why I feel that this 90 day automaton is ample enough for Ndigbo to salvage whatever is salvageable and abandon the rest. Nobody accounts for all he earned as at the time of his death!
It is not in doubt that it is the ghost of the very gruesome experiences of Ndigbo in Nigeria in between 1966-1970 and even till date in many ways, that the Kaduna Declaration has re-invoked. And in every way it may be looked at, the question of abandoned property is most sacrosanct. Nobody will love to build only to lose it to wicked strife and political insecurity. That is one reason why domestic and foreign direct investment has eluded Nigeria after 57 years of independence. The madness of the north is so very unpredictable that no sensible foreign investor will invest in Nigeria. Incidentally, by their nature of trade and commerce, Ndigbo do not discriminate about where to invest. Hence, in every part of Nigeria, Ndigbo are prime investors. That should have earned Ndigbo respect but unfortunately they are being told by the north once again how mistaken they are.
Not a few Ndigbo are blaming or are being blamed for investing heavily in other pats of Nigeria, while leaving Biafraland orphaned of investment and industrialization. In fact, many Ndigbo are blaming themselves for taking Nigeria seriously about “One Nigeria” and erecting so many buildings in other parts of Nigeria. Than at home in the east. But “Had I known is always the brother of mister late”! As one of our own, Oliver De Coque reminds Ndigbo, it is not wisdom to plant beautiful flowers in another man’s house where you are a tenant! Sadly, Ndigbo have ears but it seems they do understand the need to move their investment back to the east. How many houses do we see in the entire east belonging to Hausas and Yorubas? These are the people who preach “One Nigeria”, why then do they forbid themselves from erecting buildings in he east? Even where Ndigbo decide to continue to remain in Nigeria, let them be like the biblical wise men from the east and think more of investing and developing the east just as Hausa thinks about developing the north and Yoruba thinks about developing the west.
However, there is a very good news for Ndigbo who have been served quit notice from Nigeria. And that good news is what I stated earlier in the passing that when the issue is about abandoned property, Ndigbo should relax in peace. It ha been established that the north stand to abandon more property in the east than all Ndigbo will abandon in the Nigeria. How? It is not possible for Hausas and Yorubas to quit Ndigbo from Nigeria and seize their property and expect to retain the over 80% of oil wells they are illegally holding against easterners over these years. Remember that over 80% of the entire oil wells in the east are owned by Hausa and Yoruba people. It is a proven and confirmed fact.
Now, I am persuaded to reason that by econometric considerations, only one per cent of those oil wells are worth more than all the physical properties that Ndigbo may be afraid that they will lose. The ordinary, less informed category of Ndigbo may not understand this because they will think more along individual lines, how it will affect them directly. But so also individual Hausas and Yorubas own the oil wells. When it becomes very clear that Ndigbo must go, the economic implications of the oil wells that Hausas and Yorubas will abandon in the east will very much outweigh the physical property Ndigbo will abandon in the north and other parts of the abandoned country. Agreed, it won’t be as easy said when the time comes for implementation, but the expected separation of Ndigbo from Nigeria is a precedence. There have been and there are still ongoing separation of countries all over the world. However, those countries coed with their separation, Ndigbo would be able to cope and adjust.
Therefore, the present phobia for abandoned properties is uncalled for as it is a sheer waste of costly emotions. The burst of the gathering dark cloud will not pour on only the roofs of Ndigbo. The scream and screech below will be replicated above! So, there is nothing to fear. All Ndigbo really need to do is to take very good inventory of their property that may likely be abandoned. They must lift any and all that can be lifted. And whatever cannot be moved should be allowed to remain wherever it is. After everything if Nigeria eventually eases out Ndigbo from their midst, affected Ndigbo may still go back and attempt the reclaim of their property as Ndigbo did after the war. Some were able to reclaim their properties.
That reasoning is based on the notion that Nigerians, Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba, own properties in different countries of the world. Moreover, there is a provision for dual citizenship for those Ndigbo who may still find Nigeria attractive for their businesses. There are international laws that support immigrations from one country to the other. Ndigbo can always travel to Nigeria to live and do business just like they travel to Ghana or South Africa to live and do business. Yet, I believe the best thinking should be for Ndigbo to repatriate their investments back to the east and begin to grow the east to meet their taste. And they can be guaranteed that instead of travelling all over the world contributing to the development of such places, when they develop the east, the people of other countries of the world will begin to come to the east to live and do business.