The igbos are blessings to Nigeria – Reno Omokri

On the 15th of August 1945, the axis nations fighting in the Pacific
theater defeated imperial Japan and two weeks later, Japan
formally surrendered to allied forces led by the U.S. General,
Douglas McArthur, who formally accepted the signed articles of
surrender.
But though the U.S. defeated Japan, they never decimated
Japan’s great technological and industrial complex. They were
visionary enough to distinguish these from Japan’s military
industrial complex, which they scrapped.
Realizing that Japan was decades ahead of the West in many
technologies, the allied powers, led by the US, allowed those
industries to remain as a going concern and took the unique step
of enacting legislation and policies to enable them flourish.
What they did in Japan, they also did in Europe. In Europe, the US,
acting unilaterally, even went a step further by introducing the
Marshall Plan through which America sent financial and other
types of aid to help Europe (and especially Germany) recover from
the ravages of the Second World War.
The point of the allied and American actions in Japan and Europe
is that technological advancement belongs to the human race and
should not be allowed to suffer because of a quarrel or war
amongst humans.
This lesson was thoroughly established in 642 AD when the Library
of Alexandria was burnt to the ground during the Muslim conquest
of Egypt.
It has been argued that that act set the world several centuries
back in technological advancement and has become something to
watch out for during the prosecution of a war.
A war is a quarrel between or amongst people that is settled by
means of violence. It is not a quarrel between or amongst
technology, so civilized nations have pursued the policy of fighting
wars while preserving technology.
Gone should be the days of the scorched earth policy which is why
despite the bestiality of the apartheid regime, President Nelson
Mandela did not do a Mugabe, but rather left intact White owned
farms, industry and universities and only insisted that they be
opened to Blacks and other races.
This brings me to Nigeria. I would like to state a fact that will be
argued against, but still a fact that even those who would argue
against it know to be true.
The Igbo (or Ibo) ethnic nationality of Nigeria are the most
technologically advanced Black race on planet earth, bar none!
This is a fact. A fact that was proven to be true for 30 months
while they were landlocked in their constantly shrinking enclave
known as Biafra.
Cut off from the rest of the world, the ingenuity of the Igbo came to
the fore during the civil war as they constructed the Uli airstrip and
when that airstrip was bombed, they repaired it in record time and
under the most trying circumstances. They would go on to repair
Uli not once and not twice.
The Igbos refined petrol from a variety of non fossil fuels,
including from but not limited to palm products (from which they
also produced diesel) and manufactured surface to air missiles
which they also adapted to surface to surface missiles (the
Ogbunigwe).
They converted commercial planes to fighter jets and weaponized
them. That was no mean feat in 1967.
In fact, when in 2012, the Nigerian Army rolled out the igirigi and
promoted it as the first indigenous armored personnel carrier, they
were wrong. I am not a Biafran. I am proudly Nigerian. And
beyond that, I am a proud dark skinned Black African yet I make
bold to say that the igirigi is not the first indigenous APC.
In fact, the first indigenous armored personnel carrier in Black
Africa is the Red Devil, built by the Igbos during the Nigerian Civil
War.
The Nigerian Civil War ended in January 1970 and the Nigerian
Army unveiled the igirigi in July of 2012. If they had converted the
Red Devil to their own use, they would probably be talking about a
greater feat in the year 2012.
My question is what happened in the intervening 42 years between
1970 and 2012? Why didn’t the Nigerian Army integrate the military
industrial complex of Biafra into its Defence Industry Corporation
of Nigeria, DICON?
Why did we have to reinvent the wheel at great cost in terms of
time and money?
The Nigerian Civil War ended on a note of ‘no victor no
vanquished’. That was a watershed moment inspired by the
Christlike mind of General Yakubu Gowon. That gesture is to be
applauded.
But why did we as a nation not go the whole hog and take
advantage of Biafra’s technological advances and integrate her
scientists into our Research and Development sector much like the
US did with German and Japanese scientists?
That is where we failed as a nation.
I remember growing up as a child and how other Nigerians scoffed
at ‘Igbo made’ electronic products. There was hardly anything
including electronics, pharmaceuticals, spirits and wines that the
Igbos could not counterfeit.
And rather than our leaders seeing the potential in those products,
we all scoffed at them. Igbo made products were a pariah.
Did it ever occur to any of our leaders that if government had
supported these technological advancement, Nigeria could have
become an industrialized nation today and Igbo made products
would have been exported abroad as made in Nigeria products?
It would surprise many that a number of the greatest technological
advancement and products that came out of America after the
Second World War were the work of German or Japanese
scientists!
In an operation code named Operation Paperclip, 1500 German
scientists, engineers and technicians were airlifted to the United
States and given US permanent US residency and citizenship
immediately after the defeat of Germany in 1945. The primary aim
of Operation Paperclip was to prevent these skilled men and
women from falling into Soviet Russian hands.
Hans Erich (Eric) Hollmann who was one of the fathers of radar
technology was one of such scientists airlifted to America.
Kurt Lehovec the pioneer of the integrated circuit systems in
electrical engineering is another. He was airlifted to America in
1945 where he became a Professor at the University of Southern
California and passed on his knowledge to America’s next
generation of scientists.
The allies had been having issues with the jet engine and were not
able to develop planes like the German Messerschmitt Me 262. But
after the defeat of Germany, US forces gave safe passage to Rudi
Beichel who went to the US and became an adviser to the US army
on liquid propulsion. Other German scientists such as Magnus
“Mac” Freiherr von Braun and his brother, Wernher Von Braun
helped reverse engineer German jets which led to the development
of the US American F-86 Sabres, a plane that helped the US
dominate the air during the Korean War.
More importantly, Wernher Von Braun provided much of the know
how that helped America build the Apollo spacecraft which allowed
America beat Russia as the first nation to get to the moon.
Methamphetamine was invented by Japanese a Japanese chemist,
Nagai Nagayoshi and the drug was shared with their German allies
and helped their soldiers stay awake and focus. After the war,
German scientists helped American scientist synthesize the drug
which revolutionized the US health industry.
Why can’t we do the same in Nigeria? Can you imagine what our
technological base would have been if we as a nation had a policy
of patronizing the so called Igbo made products right from the end
of the war till today? What if we had absorbed the the Research
and Production Organisation of Biafra (RAP as it was then known)
into the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers?
By now, we may have been manufacturing jets and we would not
be dependent on foreign nations for weapons to fight terrorists.
This is why I was so disgusted with the minister of science and
technology, Ogbonnaya Onu for aspiring, on Nigeria’s behalf, to
produce pencils by 2018!
I mean this man is the first civilian governor of the old Abia state
which today encompasses both Abia and Ebonyi states.
Right there, under his own nose, Nigerians of Igbo extraction,
without ANY governmental support, are manufacturing electronics
and heavy machinery components and Onu is caught up on
pencils!
Onu should visit Nnewi if he knows where it is. Right there he
would see a city that does not wait for government. Nnewi people
are so industrious that after years of waiting endlessly for
government to provide basic amenities, they have built their own
roads, have their own power stations and their own water works.
Just like Japan, Nnewi has manufacturers of such things like
batteries, pistons, automobiles and other products. These Nnewi
manufacturers have built schools for the kids of their workers on
site, just like in Japan.
You just need to visit Nnewi or Aba to see what is going on in
Nigeria. These guys are Nigeria’s most guarded secret because
even the federal government is not aware of them.
And the reason why this is so is because these people are Igbos!
It is time for Nigeria to forgive the Igbos for being Igbo and accept
them as full partners and equal partners in the Nigerian project and
use the entire strength of the Nigerian federal government to
provide them the support to fulfill their destiny as the Black African
people that are nucleus of the technological advancement of
Africa.
Notice I say Africa, not just Nigeria. I don’t say this lightly. All over
West and Central Africa, Nigerians of Igbo extraction are the
backbone of the commercial and technological sectors.
I can say what I have said above without any accusation of self or
group interest promotion because I am not Igbo neither am I
married to one. I have said the truth as my conscience sees it
because I am committed to advancement of the Black Race
because as a proud Black man, I know that no black African tribe
is as great as the Black Race when it is united.

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