Wednesday, 27 September 2017 22:14

A blueprint for the economic development of Alaigbo

Written by 


Ozodi Thomas Osuji

This summer, while in Europe, I gave the Nnamdi Kanu movement to bring about what he calls Biafra into being a great deal of thinking. God, how I hate the name Biafra; I do not know its origin and do not call myself a Biafran.

I am an Igbo man, therefore, call me an Igbo man, and call my place of origin Alaigbo. Anyway, I thought about Mr. Kanu's dreams.  I tried to communicate with him to get a clear understanding of what his goals, objectives and plans and ideology are.

Whereas, I stayed at the Kensington part of London, where you seldom see black folks, I deliberately chose to move to Southeast London, at New Cross Road area, so as to be close to the Nigerians in London.

Most Nigerians, Africans and Jamaicans live in southeast London. Kanu lived in a small apartment in Peckham, a part of Southeast London.  I spent several hours in Peckham public library, in the heart of Nigerian London.  That part of London looks like Lagos!

While socializing with Nigerians I pondered what I would do if I were in cahoots with Mr. Kanu, which I am not.

I am an Africanist and desire a Unified Africa Federation where each ethnic group is a state in the federation.  While still in graduate school, I wrote a book on the subject, and still believe in what I wrote in that book, The Ideal Constitution of Africa.

For the purposes of dreaming, I asked myself what I would do if I were in Mr. Kanu's bandwagon.

You see, Africans do not read and write! They just talk, make noise, really. They do not put pen to paper and delineate their economic plans and political ideology so that folks know what they are trying to accomplish.

Given that Kanu just talked and did not tell us what he wanted to accomplish other than separate from "the zoo," I decided to help him out and write down on paper what Alaigbo ought to look like.

This particular essay completes the trilogy I wrote on how Alaigbo ought to be governed. The first part was an essay on the Ideal political structure of Alaigbo; the second essay was the Ideal Constitution of Alaigbo; in this final essay I delineate the blueprint for developing Alaigbo.


If I were to govern Alaigbo I would make an objective assessment of the land. I would not allow my pride to cloud my perception of reality.

The objective reality is that Igbos are backward. This may seem to shame and humiliate our vanity but I am not in the business of gratifying our egos desire for importance and prestige; I am in the business of stating the truth as I see it. Igbos, Nigerians and Africans are backward.

All human beings were at some point primitive. Europeans were a primitive people until the rise of Greece.


Twenty five hundred years ago something happened at Athens, Greece and the people began using their minds to think about the nature of reality. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Democritus, Leucippus, Anaxagoras and others used their minds to understand phenomena. They posited rational views on many aspects of life.


Rome supplanted Greece. Rome was known for its empire building not for producing ideas on reality. Romans were a practical people not philosophers although they managed to produce a few thoughtful persons, such as Cicero, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, Ovid, Horace, Virgil, and Pliny the younger, Epictetus, Plotinus and others. But, by and large, when you think of the history of ancient European ideas you do not think Romans you think Greeks.

Roman philosophy was an elaboration of Greek philosophy. Stoicism, Sophism, Epicureanism and Cynicism which were the major philosophies of Rome had their roots in Greece.


The oriental crowd in the far flung Roman Empire brought their superstitious views of reality to Rome. In time, one of those superstitions, Christianity challenged the religion of educated Romans, Gnosticism.

An Emperor of the Roman Empire, Constantine, in 312 AD embraced Catholicism and in 325 AD had Christian bishops in his realm give him a unified book on what their religion teaches hence the Council of Nicaea that produced what we now call the Bible. Christianity, a Jewish superstition became the official religion of Rome.


Reason was driven out of public discourse and people merely used nonsensical beliefs as to what they thought that Jesus said to guide their lives.

There is no historical evidence that a chap called Jesus ever existed in Roman Palestine; however, a Jewish historian called Josephus made reference to a crucified Jewish Rabbi; he did not mention his name.

Around 450 AD the Roman Empire fell to German barbarians (who were actually the major recruits in the Roman army; Adolf Hitler claimed that Jesus Christ was fathered by a German soldier in the Roman army serving in Palestine hence had blond hair and blue eyes; he said that no dark colored Jew or Arab could produce a man as bold as Jesus; to him, only Germans are a courageous group of human beings; never mind Hitler's Aryan supremacy, I am just reporting what the man said in his books, Mein Kampf and Table Talks).

After the fall of the Roman Empire, superstition reigned in Europe. No new ideas came out of Europe. In effect, Europeans reverted to primitive states. This period, 500-1000 AD, is called the European Dark ages.


The followers of Mohammed (570-632 AD) conquered Palestine in 638 AD, Egypt in 633 AD and Spain in 711 AD. Arabs swept into Spain and Portugal and reached Southern France in 733 AD.  Germans, Franks, under their king, the harmer of God, Charles Martel stopped Arabs from conquering all of France at the battle of Poitier, near Tours (close to today's Paris).

When Arabs conquered Egypt and southern Italy (especially Sicily), they read the Greek books in the Library of Alexandria, Egypt and transcribed them into Arabic. When they entered Europe they came with these Greek books, written in Arabic.

Europeans began reading Greek rationalism, in Arabic. That is correct, when the major universities of Europe, Cambridge, Oxford, the University of Paris came into being in the eleventh century they used to study Arabic! I bet that you did not know that fact!

Europe rediscovered reason and soon translated Greek learning into the language of the ruling classes of Europe, Latin. Thus, folks now began studying Greek, Latin and mathematics and astronomy, all given to them by Greeks, via Arabs. This stimulated a spade of thinking and writing called the Renaissance.

Folks like Saint Thomas Aquinas, Erasmus, Meister Eckhart, Dante and Machiavelli began writing from the perspective of pure reason not just the gibberish of the Roman Catholic Church.


The return to pure reason led to challenging the teaching of the Catholic Church by Martin Luther in 1517. Luther was followed by John Calvin and other religious thinkers.

The protestant revolution swept through Europe and everywhere people challenged the authority of the Pope and his princes, cardinals.

King Henry VIII in 1532 established the Anglican Church; the Scotts established the Presbyterian Church; in Northern Germany and Scandinavia the people established the Lutheran church.

Now, Europeans were reading and interpreting the bible as they see fit. Johannes Guttenberg's printing press helped to publish many bibles so that individuals could then have their own copies of the bible (hitherto, only Catholic priests had bibles), read and interpret it without waiting for the Vatican to tell them what God said or did not say.


Once people begin thinking there is no stopping them. Europeans soon discovered that they could use pure reason to solve their problems instead of praying to a non-existent god of their imagination to solve them for them.

Thus, the French enlightenment came into being. People like Rene Descartes, Blaise Pascal and Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Jean Jacque Rousseau, Charles Montesquieu, Henri Bergson and other French men used their thinking to posit how they believed that society ought to be governed. This is humanism.

The French Enlightenment swept into England. Men like Francis Bacon (he established English empiricism), Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume, Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Thomas Malthus, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill posited ideas on how to govern society.

The Dutch and Germans gave us ponderous, idealistic philosophy, such as the writings of Spinoza, Leibnitz, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Feuerbach and Ludwig Wittgenstein.


In 1543 Nicolas Copernicus challenged Ptolemy's notion that the earth is the center of the universe and said that the sun is.

In 1600 the Catholic Church killed Bruno Giordano for saying what Copernicus said. In 1610 the Scientific method was born when Galileo used observation with his telescope to establish that the sun is the center of our solar system. The church made him recant his discovery.

In 1687 Isaac Newton established Physics by positing the three laws of motion (mechanics) and gravitation. Johannes Kepler, Christian Huygens, Tycho Brahe and others contributed to the birth of modern astronomy and physics.

In the 1800s science came to its own. In 1803 Thomas Young performed his double slit experiment showing that light is wave, not particles.  Robert Boyle wrote his law of gasses. Dalton rediscovered the Greek idea that atoms are the basic unit of nature.

By the middle of the nineteenth century Europeans pretty much had a good handle on mechanics, heat, light, sound and electricity. Thus, modern physics was established. Charles Darwin (1859) in his book, The Origin of Species, posited his view on how animals evolve. Michael Faraday and James Clark Maxwell improved the study of electricity and magnetism.

In the 1890s physics turned to the study of sub atomic particles.  J.J. Thompson discovered the electron in 1897; Henri Becquerel discovered radiation in 1896; Rontgen discovered X ray. In France Marie and Pierre Currie discovered how the nuclei decayed into other atoms.

In 1900 Max Plank established quantum mechanics by showing that light has particles that he called quanta.  Albert Einstein took it and ran with it; in 1905, in his paper on the photoelectric effect of light he showed that light has particles that knock off electrons from hot black bodies, he called his particles of light photons.

In 1911 Ernest Rutherford showed that the atom is not the smallest unit of matter but that atom has nucleus (which he called proton). In 1932, James Chadwick showed that the nucleus has both proton and neutron.

In 1913 Neils Bohr showed how electrons circle nuclei of atoms.  In the 1920s, quantum mechanics, such as Louis Broglie, Weiner Heisenberg, Emil Schrodinger, Paul Dirac, Max Born and Wolfgang Pauli showed us how atoms behave.

In the 1930s, Lise Meitner, Otto Hahn, Strassman, Enrico Fermi, Thomas Oppenheimer showed us how to explode atoms and gain access to the nuclear power inside them.

Alexander Friedman, George Lemaitre, Edwin Hubble, Fred Hoyle, George Gamow refined the study of astronomy and showed us that the universe began in a spot, exploded and is expanding out (Big Bang).

In biology, folks like Mendel, Jennings, Flaming, Francis crick, James Watson and others improved our understanding of our bodies; the study DNA has yielded a wealth of information on how cells function.

In Chemistry the West transformed alchemy to the science of understanding how elements interact. Anton Lavoisier, Robert Boyle, Joseph Priestley, Laplace and others transformed chemistry into a science.  Now we know a lot about the states of matter (liquid, gas, solid and plasma), the composition of atoms (electrons, protons and neutrons), how elements combine (valences), chemical mixtures, compounds and organic chemistry (which studies how carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen and a few other elements form biological life forms).

The point of note here is that beginning from Copernicus Europeans embarked on scientific mission; prior to that date they had rediscovered Greek rationalism. We can, therefore, say that Europeans have a rational philosophy and science and technology (think of James Watt, Stephenson, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Benz, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg...these are the masters of technology).

We can say that from about 1000 AD Europeans discovered reason (Greek thinking) and from about 1543 AD they discovered Science. Therefore, we can say that Europeans have had a one thousand year history of using reason, science and technology to deal with their world.


In narrating the history of modern science, as I did above, did I mention any African's name? In fact, do you know anything contributed to physics, chemistry and biology, astronomy and astrophysics and geology contributed by any African?

Can you say anything about the contribution of Africans to history?  Probably all you can say is point to Egyptian civilization and claim that it was African.

Listen, Egyptian Civilization is Hamitic; Egyptians lived in the Mediterranean region of the world and thus were a brown people; they were like todays Berbers and Arabs.

I am not interested in taking ownership of Egyptian civilization for it does not explain contemporary Africans backwardness. You can tell yourself that Africa is backward because of slavery. Okay.

I wrote reviews of Franz Fanons books, Walter Rodney's How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Chancellor Williams, The Destruction of black civilization, Ben Yoseph Jochannan, Africa mother of Western civilization, Cheikh Anta Diop, The African Origin of Civilization, and such writers.

Here is a question: who enslaves whom? The powerful enslave the weak, right? Arabs, beginning around 700 AD enslaved Africans.

On their way to India, in the 1490s the Portuguese saw Arabs using African slaves in East Africa and the Indian ocean islands and when they got to the Americas (in Brazil in 1500) came and bought African slaves.

The Europeans did not enter into interior Africa (except in temperate South Africa where the Portuguese established shop at the Cape of Good Hope in 1488)). They parked their ships off the coast of West African towns, such as Badagry, Lagos, Calaba, Bonny, Accra, Dakar, Lobito and had Africans go inland and capture their people and bring them to sell to them and they shipped them to the new world.

Around 1509 Igbos began selling their people into the transatlantic slavery. Probably over 50% of black Americans were Igbo slaves.  Aro-Igbos worked out a deal to sell Igbos to the Efik at Calaba and to the Ijaw at Bonny and the latter sold them to Europeans.

However, when in the mid-1800s quinine was discovered and white folks who ventured into interior Africa would no longer die from malaria, they entered Africa and scrambled for possession of it. They divided Africa among themselves: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Johnny come lately, Germans (after their unification in 1870 by Otto Von Bismarck).

For our present purposes, Europeans had advanced science and technology and used it to develop their lands; they used their higher technology (especially weapons) to enslave Africans; they used Africans to develop the Americas

(Elsewhere I pointed out that because the Americas were developed with free African labor they belong to Africans; the USA belongs to Africans,  for Africans built it; if you consider what I just said aggressive, well, I am an aggressive fellow and do not apologize for it.)

Anyway, in our effort to develop Africa we must begin with the reality that at present Alaigbo, Nigeria and Africa are backward Vis a Vis other lands. We do not have to deny this realty. We have to accept it, as the Russians accepted their primitive state, and then embarked on modernizing Russia in a jiffy.

We have to modernize and industrialize Africa, and for our present purpose, modernize Alaigbo, in a jiffy.


In 1862 the Tsar of Russia finally woke up to the fact of the backwardness of Russia. The Tsar emancipated his Russian Serfs. Thereafter, Russian Tsars embarked on borrowing Western science and technology. They began building railways, factories and universities.

Russia remained a primitive place when the Bolsheviks took it over in 1917. V.I. Lenin, Trotsky and Joseph Stalin accepted that their people are primitive. They did not try to deny their reality with pretended pride of equality with the West.

In 1923 Lenin died. There was a protracted power struggle between Trotsky and Stalin; the more aggressive Stalin won and chased Trotsky out of Russia and eventually murdered him in Mexico; if you want your ship to sail smoothly you cannot have two captains of it. We are talking real politics here, not emotional, sentimental politics.

Stalin hashed economic plans with the aim of industrializing Russia (now called the USSR) in hurry.  The Communists built universities, technical colleges, roads, airports, seaports, factories, hospitals and generally tried to industrialize and modernize primitive Russia.

However, as we speak Russia is still primitive; it is, perhaps, 100 years behind Europe and North America; indeed, California, a state in the USA has more GDP than all of Russia! And Russia is twice the size of the USA!

What needs to be done in Alaigbo is what the Russians did. Igbos must consciously industrialize and modernize Alaigbo in a hurry. I mean planning to catch up with the West in a generation (which is about 33 years).

All resources must be mobilized to construct roads, seaports, airports and build factories that actually manufacture something.

Elsewhere I gave a sketch of what the school system in Alaigbo should look like. Education must be free and compulsory in Alaigbo. All Igbo kids must begin school at age three (kindergarten), then go to six years of elementary school, then go to six years of secondary school. After secondary school 33% of the top graduates go to universities and study, mostly, the sciences and applied sciences, and the other 67% go to technical-vocational schools to learn how to fix things.

All Igbo children must be at school until age twenty-two when the typical young person graduates with a bachelor's degree or technical specialist degree.

Only about ten percent of top university graduates, the best and brightest, are capable of doing graduate schools work, so let the best 10% of college graduates go to graduate schools. After four years of graduate school they take their doctoral examination and leave school.

Thus, around age twenty six to twenty eight formal educations end. The young person goes out and gets a job and writes his dissertation when he wants to.

The state must build enough schools to accommodate all Igbo kids from age three to age twenty six. This must be done. And schooling at all levels must be paid for with tax dollars (so must health insurance).

Alaigbo is to be divided into 100 counties. Each county must have, at least, one university and several technical colleges.

Private folks are encouraged to have private K-12 schools and colleges and universities.

There must to be a single minded determination to industrialize Alaigbo within thirty years. This is doable and must be done.  To avoid doing it is to shack our responsibility.


The political ideologies are liberalism, conservatism, fascism, mercantilism, capitalism, socialism, communism and corporatism. If you do not know what these are read about them or take political science 101 and understand the political spectrum. Here, I am just going to define them.

Liberalism is the American belief that government ought to be used to serve public good; liberals believe in paying taxes and using the money to expand the role of government, use government to provide certain goods and services for the people; they relish big government. Unfortunately, they use government to tell every person what to do, such as telling people who oppose homosexuality that they must support it. Liberals and their political correctness have been used to browbeat people into going along with life styles they deem unnatural. See, liberal Barak Obama tried to force Africans to support his homosexual friends' life style or else he would cut off the paltry economic aid the USA gives to Africa.

Conservatives in American politics embrace John Locke's idea of limited government (see Locke's Second Treatise on Government); they fear that big government equals tyranny. They define the role of government as just providing security for the people. They want a strong military, police, courts, jails and prisons and are willing to pay for those but otherwise do not want to pay taxes with which those they consider lazy bums are helped (by lazy folks they mean black folks, of course, even though they do not mind using black folks labor for free to develop America).

European conservatism is a bit different from American conservatism. European conservatism is rooted in Edmund Burke's negative assessment of the French revolution of 1789. Burke does not believe that we should overthrow institutions that have served us well, as the French over threw their ancient monarchy and thereafter had two hundred years of political chaos (see Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France). European conservatives want to preserve old traditions that worked for them. They are not against helping the poor as racist American conservatives are. European conservatives, for example, have given all their people publicly paid health insurance. Racist American conservatives redirect government's money from the poor to the rich. For example, they do not want to give publicly paid health insurance to the poor but would like to give the money they save from Medicaid to rich insurance companies (where they have share-holdings).

Fascism is an ideology associated with Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler; fascists do not recognize individuals' civil liberties; they define the individual as part of the folk, the nation and that he should be provided for by the nation and the nation should use him to fight wars that make it great. They are extreme nationalists.

Mercantilism was the economic theory that existed in Britain and France before Adam Smith's epoch changing 1776 book, the Wealth of Nations. Mercantilism is sort of like what we have today when the nation controls international trade for the good of the nation, such as levy import and export taxes on goods coming into the country.  The British used to decide even what ships the American colonists transported their goods in and where they bought and sold them.

Socialism is belief that we can realize Karl Marx's communism through parliamentary elections, not through revolution as Marx envisaged.

Communism is belief that the state (workers) ought to own the means of production to avoid excessive disparity in wages. In America there are billionaires like Trump, even though he is a virtual illiterate, whereas the masses are poor, many living on the streets.

Communism wants to take from peoples abilities and use them to serve society; in the Communist Man1festo (written in 1848) Marx and Engels said: from each his abilities and to each his needs.  Extreme communists like Joseph Proudhon believe that all private property is stolen, is theft; they believe that everything in nature belongs to all of us and we should share them equally.

Anarchists, in addition to eschewing organized society, believe that private property is theft. The Libertarians are kind of like adults who refused to grow up and accept the need for organized society; they yearn for maximum civil liberties; these folks do not want to pay taxes to generate the money with which to pay for government.

Corporatism is where the state and business people cooperate to do what serves the nation's economic welfare. Japanese business and the ministry of International trade cooperate to dump goods (sell goods at low prices) to western economic sectors where they want to kill their western competitors, drive them out of the market and replace them and thereafter raise prices.

Capitalism believes that individuals are motivated by self-interests and tend to work hardest when they pursue their rational interests and that they would be left to pursue their goals, produce and sell and make profits. However, since buyers are also rational, they want to buy at the lowest price. Therefore, sellers compete to produce goods and services as efficiently as they could so as to sell at low prices and make profit.

The unseen hand of the market, the forces of supply and demand, makes for efficient production of goods and services and allocation, distribution of goods and services. Let the market determine price, and what people produce and sell.

Milton Friedman and his Chicago School of economics want the government to hands off economic activities even if it means that the few, as in America, owns most of the wealth.

In America one percent of white folks own everything whereas the other 99% of the people, mostly non-whites, are their wage slaves.

Arthur Laffer tells us how if we reduce or even eliminate taxes for the job creators, businessmen, that they would make profits and invest their profit in factories and produce more jobs for the people (actually, they buy gold, luxury Yachts and other luxury goods  and don't produce jobs for any one).

Capitalism is very productive; it is probably the most productive economy known to man; if you over regulate the economy you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. People need to have the profit incentive to work hard and produce goods and services.

However, what conservative economists do not realize is that the excessive disparity in income in America has set up the scenario where the poor would rise and, as in the French revolution, chop off the heads of the rich. It is a matter of time before there is a violent revolution in America to rearrange the lopsided economy that benefits the few at the expense of the many.

We are not talking about America here; I merely used America to make the point that a good economy must balance free enterprise and how the masses are treated. There will always be the poor with us but we do not have to treat them as garbage, as America does.

Go ahead and have capitalism but do not make the poor starve. America's poor often do two minimum wage jobs just to be able to pay their rent and eat food. Is this right?

If you argue that in nature animals compete and the few strong or cunning ones take over territories where there is plenty to eat you have also said that there is no morality in nature, right?

If there is no morality in nature what prevents the poor from killing the rich, for killing is as natural as exploiting the poor.

America's conservative thinkers will soon reap the whirlwind that in their unmitigated selfishness they sowed.

Look, I am a political realist; I am not sentimental at all; I understand power politics and know that throughout history a few have always ruled the many. I do not think that that reality is going to change.  Be that social realism as it may, I am a mixed economist; I accept the mixture of capitalism and aspects of socialism.  In political matters, I am a social democrat. I do not hide my prejudices; I simply state what makes sense to me and leave it to other persons to accept what makes sense to me or reject it.

In my opinion, what Alaigbo needs is a mixture of capitalism and socialism, with a dose of corporatism. The competing economic ideologies in our extant world are capitalism (see Adam Smith, the Wealth of Nations), socialism (see Karl Marx, the Communist Manifesto, Der Capital) and mixture of capitalism and socialism.


What should Nnamdi Kanu and his cohorts do? They should write an economic and political blueprint on how they are going to develop Alaigbo. They can study Stalin's various economic plans. They can study all kinds of books but for Christ's sake they must put down on paper what they plan to do if they were to come to power in Alaigbo.

They can use my writings, especially the trilogy I wrote on how to govern Alaigbo. They can appropriate my ideas; they would not be plagiarizing my ideas if they call them theirs.  I give away ideas for free so they may take my ideas and call them their ideas.

Igbo separatist must write a book of, say, 200 pages delineating their plan for Alaigbo, what they are trying to accomplish.

It is not enough for Nnamdi Kanu to dress like a primitive African chieftain and have his unemployed peasant followers kiss his feet (Kanu, apparently, is a narcissist); he must actually work to develop Alaigbo if he is to be relevant to Igbo history.

I have given him pointers, here. So, let him and his type take my pointers and get on with their dreams.

As for me, I adhere to what makes sense to me: the unification of all Africans into one African Federation. If Igbos succeed and operate as a separate state, in the future some African political realist will figure out a way to get them into the proposed Africa Federation.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD (University of California)

September 27, 2017

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(907) 310-8176


Read 418 times
Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176