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Monday, September 15, 2014

Why I opted for American citizenship at 78 -Sir. Emmanuel Nwude, former CEO, SCOA

Written by Azuka Jebose Molokwu

Sir. Emmanuel Nwude
In these interesting times of his life, Sir Emmanuel Nwobu Nwude lives a life of action and vibrancy. Even as an octogenarian, he is dashing from continent to continent, visiting his children and grand children scattered across European and American continents. He does so effortlessly. At 83, Sir Nwude is an astute esquire, eloquent in your presence and leaves you breathless with years of life's teachings. Sir Nwude is wise, prudent and a sensual essence of life, an impeccable dapper dresser.

"Jebose, you don't let age slow you down, especially when you have a loving wife and wonderful children and grandchildren. At my age, I thank God for the vibrancy, the vitality and this life of action. I can't slow down."
Sir Nwude evolved from a sassy harsh economic climate of pre-independent Nigeria. He survived the trenches; rose from a shop boy of the SCOA Nigeria PLC in 1950, to become, years later, the Chief Executive Officer, favoured with wealth, power and privileges within the ruling oligarchy then.

In 1926, the French-based company, SCOA debut in Nigeria's emerging colonial economy with business activities and investment opportunities covering most Nigerian lifestyles and new consumer demands. The company quickly transformed the transportation and mass transit businesses in Nigeria with its famous Peugeot vehicle models. By the end of the civil war, this company had positioned its automobile division as "one of the leading automobile companies in Nigeria specialising in the distribution and service of a wide range of passenger cars, trucks, buses and trailers."

The rise and rise of Sir Nwude in this company was fast paced, anchored by transfers through the Northern hemisphere of the country where it was making inroads.
"I was moved around, all over the North until the civil war started. Towards the end of 1966, Lt. Col Odumegwu Ojukwu made a broadcast that there was no basis for continued Nigeria's unity since the Igbo nation was being marginalised by the then Federal Government of Nigeria. He thus deliberately declared a secession and urged all Igbo in the North to head back East. Many Southerners and Igbo heeded the call. I was in Jos office, in charge of the Trading Department of the company. I wanted to leave but had no relief. There was an exodus in North of non indigenes to their various towns and villages. War was approaching. The nation was no longer at ease. Chaos and mayhem were imminent. Things were falling fast apart as we lived in fear and conspiracy theories of the war."

Few weeks after waiting for relief, Sir Nwude resigned his appointment, handed over the responsibilities of the company to another senior manager, then fled to his hometown in Awka, Anambra State, where he remained until the end of the civil war.
"In 1970, soon after the war, I received a letter from my employers that I must resume work immediately in Lagos. Biafra currency was still in circulation in Eastern Nigeria where it was legal tender, but outside the East, the money was illegal. That was all I had when SCOA came calling for me to return immediately to work. Through the help of some merchants and traders, I raised funds and proceeded to Lagos to resume. The management quickly rehabilitated me and I was posted to a subsidiary of the company as manager of one of its departments."

He continued to shine with his new position, travelling all over the country, opening new branches as the company expanded its business outreach. Few years later, the Federal Government, as part of its economic empowerment to Nigerians, initiated a policy of indigenisation which allowed Nigerian indigenes to own major stakes and shares in corporate businesses and also empower Nigerians to become more integrated into mega companies as executives and senior management levels. Sir Nwude became one of the beneficiaries of the new indigenisation policy.
"A subsidiary of SCOA, UCODIS Nigeria Limited was affected by this new government policy. So, the company was sold to three which included me. I became the Managing Director and CEO."

His new position connected him to the corridors of power. He was able to move with the new military leaders, basking in wealth, power and privileges. He was among the elite business class that ran the economy of dear native land Nigeria.

"In my time, life was much better than what we are seeing and feeling today. There was a good sense of contentment and satisfaction then, but today, our politicians seem not contented, no matter what you give them. Give them Nigeria, they are still not contented. These lifestyles of our politicians can't help us live decently as one people. Jebose, contentment is essential to life, good living and caring for the rest of the citizens of this great nation. We are yet to see a leader with focus, foresight and vision. We need leaders that would consider the lives of our unemployed graduate youths and the lives of the elderly. But the infrastructure is not there, yet these leaders buy personal and or private luxuries with the country's money. "I have no regrets being a Nigerian. My regrets are related to bad leadership and governance. I worked and retired well. I can live in Nigeria and have my three meals daily without help from the government. Early 1970 after the war and indigenisation policy, my annual salary after tax was N48, 000 00. The tax that I paid to government was more than the salary of a permanent secretary then. At that time, my family could not finish up to N1000 a month. Naira was at par with the British pound. The naira was very strong compared to all major currencies in the world. Our leaders did not follow the right path of independence. Those that the expatriates handed over the major economic mechanisms and nucleus of this nation deviated from the work culture. The engineers stopped doing field works and only remained in their offices. Things started getting worse. This happened in nearly all offices. Productions failed. "Jebose, I think the British should have remained longer in Nigeria after independence. Our work culture changed soon after the colonialists left. Work culture became nepotism, not by qualification. Those left in charge of major industries started employing their relations when vacancies existed, whether qualified for the post or not. Quality and excellence disappeared. And nobody gave a damn. Instead everybody followed the practice. That's the country we have today. That is why the government departments are not functioning well. See the way companies are progressing in US and other western economies? There is no nepotism, they select the best staff and treat them well. Didn't I tell you how I resigned from my job in Jos? The company didn't want to lose me. They sent two letters to my home address and Jos address; eager to re-hire me after the war. I was connected to some former presidents, governors and even vice presidents. I had opportunities to transit into government where I would have made money like my counterparts. I would then be known by everybody and even received honours like others. But that's not my conscience. My position gave me access to these rulers and top government officials. My wealth was through my determination, dedication and loyalty to my job until I retired."

His wealth enabled him to give best things in life to his six children. He sent them to best colleges in Europe and America. The children after their education settled to life outside Nigeria.

At 78, his children in United States encouraged him and his lovely wife of 54 years to relocate to America. Soon after they moved, Sir Nwude went through the legal process of documented aliens and years later, Mr. and Mrs. Nwude became citizens of United States. At near 83, he is entitled to various senior citizens' benefits from the US government.
"Jebose, I agreed to relocate late in life to be able to enjoy my grand children who are across two continents and also be privileged a decent aging lifestyle from an organised society. As an American citizen, I am entitled to several benefits. You should know about the Social Security benefits for seniors and handicapped. We have Medicaid and Medicare, covering all our medications, free transportation to doctors, hospitals, and shopping, and some cash paid to your account monthly. Free physical exercises and GAMES to keep fit. Here, this climate recognises, appreciates, respects and cares for its senior citizen population. Food stamps are available to those that wish for them. These are things you need from a decent country, especially after you had spent the best parts of your life in serving it and contributing to its economic development. But Nigeria doesn't have such infrastructure. I still have a home in Nigeria. I don't like the cold weather here. So in the cold, I travel to Nigeria and return here when it begins to get warmer.

"I decided to relocate to USA about 10 years ago, because I lost hope in Nigeria. Nigeria has no plans for the aged and its people. There is no country like Nigeria, blessed with abundant resources from God, with very good weather and climate, yet so corrupt and without basic necessities of life for its citizens."

No comments:


I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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