Questions For My South-East Brothers, By Frank Ofili


Truth hurts, but it must be told. Any society that wants to make a headway must at some point turn to truth for the compass. Here are the questions I want you to ponder this morning.
The South-East easily shout of being marginalized, but they refuse to do that which will give them upper hand in any political situation. I have been an adult since the Second Republic. I witnessed all the regimes since Shagari, and at one time or the other people from the South East occupied influential positions in government. What did they do for their people? 
When Jakande\Tinubu\Fashola were planning and executing the transformation of Lagos what did the governors of the South East do? When Donald Duke and Akpabio were transforming Cross River and Akwa Ibom what did the governors of the South East states do? When Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu contested for the Presidency of Nigeria respectively, what did the South East people do?
Fashola started the Eko Atlantic Estate – a project that would see to the transformation of Bar Beach into Africa's Hong Kong. Regardless of their differences, Governor Ambode would continue that project from where Fashola left off, no matter what. My question is, what are the South East governors doing today to reposition their states in say, 15, 20 years time? The other day I was at Aba. I was shocked at what I saw. Aba is an eye-sore. Yet Aba can be Africa’s Italy or France in terms of fashion. 
I know many South East personalities who were influential Ministers, Senators, House of Reps members, party chieftains etc., can we point to one specific government policy they influenced in favour of the South East? The roads in the South East are among the worst in the country. Who are you expecting to repair them for you? Why can't South East political leaders influence the Federal Government to repair Federal roads in the South East? 
Onitsha and Aba markets arguably have the biggest markets in West Africa. What have the South East leaders done to make them the hub of African commerce? Nnewi is arguably Africa's Taiwan, what have South East Leaders done to make it the hub of African technology? 
Why can't South East governors come together to turn Onitsha, Aba and Nnewi into Dubai, Shanghai and Japan of Africa? It is possible, the means are there, intelligent Igbo men and women are there and shrewd investors are there.  Ndi Igbo are the most hard-working people I know. Why can't the leaders of the South East create the enabling environment for them to realize their full potential? Why do you wait for someone else to make that happen for you, and when it is not happening, you cry marginalization? 
I make bold to say that of all the South East governors I knew in the past, and those I know now, only Chief Sam Mbakwe worked for his people. What did the others do? Please let's tell the truth. The South East are their own worst enemy.
And ah! before anyone accuses me, let me own up that we in the South-south are as guilty as the South-east. I reserve comment on my people for another day. Good morning.