As a concerned Nigerian, I have watched with utmost dismay the leaked e-mail message awash the online media lately, purported to have emanated from the Managing Director of Pepsi Nigeria on its intention to sublime or eliminate Nigeria companies that rises to play in the soft drinks market, smacks of serious acrimony on the part of the Pepsi boss.

It however beats my imagination that in this age and time a civilized human can descend so low to utter such unprintable words to attack competitors is a brazen hatred for local businesses/Nigerians that hold their ace in the market.

The better the level playing ground for the brands, the better for the market, and the better for the country and the consumers. This will in no doubt be a special tool to re-invent ones plan for a greater future if the brands play in the market where the population is large enough for every brand and product to have a sizeable chunk of the market.

According to Philip Kotler, a management expert and proponent of the challenger cannot challenge the leader, is an old proposition that has been overtaken by events, today dogs eat bone hung on their neck.

The challenger, the B-Brand (s) as Maalouf Ziad had referred to it in his e-mail address to the heads of the company’s depot across the nation.

However, Ziad without mincing words, called for the total elimination of indigenous brands, which seems a threat to his company. There are no excuses and explanations for giving marching orders to its heads of departments “put to bed once and for all, by any means,” home grown brands whose only crime have been, planning smartly, investing hugely in their businesses, and growing enough, to announce their presence strongly on Nigeria’s carbonated soft drinks (CSD) market.

‘By any means’, means a lot, that statement is pregnant with meanings, it sends shivers down the spin of any full blooded Nigerian who think straight to rethink the meaning ‘By any Means.’

Nigeria faces an alarming rate of poverty, corruption, battles poor infrastructural facilities, should war be added to these problems?

‘WAR’ was mentioned six times in the e-mail, Nigeria was cursed by a foreigner; “…it will become a curse that ensures no one takes such a decision again!!!”, the decision being, owning an indigenous brand. This line is enough evidence to show that Maloouf does not mean war against beverage industries only but the WHOLE NATION.

Nigeria needs investors and which better investor than the companies making money off of us? Our indigenous brands invest in Nigeria’s economy, and the foreign brands do not. If they say they do, let them show us round their factories and present their workforce for interview about their welfare; ” …incentives are not paid as and when due” Ziad stated in his controversial email. Yet, they plan to destroy one of our own.

Furthermore, according to the email, ‘A player’ and ‘B brand’ are used to point out foreign and indigenous brands , respectively. Are there any criterion concerning how to be an A player? Or a B-brand? If there are, who made them? Who named them the A players and indigenous companies B brands? Who died and made them king?

Abroad, Nigerians are not allowed to flourish in their businesses, yet a foreigner, Lebanese for that matter, would come here to order us never to dream of prospering in our own land? He stated, “B-brand dream of taking over Nigeria from A-Players must be put to bed…..once and for all!!! ” This is highly preposterous. Annihilation of Nigerian indigenous brands will not be successful, not on our watch. Nigerians have the right to dream. We have the right to build factories, develop companies and flourish in our motherland. No one can take that from us, especially not foreigners.

Moses Ekpenyong writes from Lagos