Re: The heat over Achebe’s war memoir (3)

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BY ROBERT OBIOHA

Concluding part of Bamiduro’s piece and others. Yes, the Igbo have been wronged but the wrong is our mutual fault, it is our mutual responsibility. The Yoruba is not an enemy of the Igbo as I believe the Igbo is not an enemy of the Yoruba. There are many detribalized Igbo as there are many detribalized Yoruba; I am thoroughly de-tribalized.

I have supervised 11 PhD candidates in a foremost Nigerian University but located in Yoruba land; only two are fellow Yoruba; the first and the best is an illustrious Igbo; he is my brother, my friend, my colleague, my benefactor. There are others and I dare confess that it is the Igbo among them that I love and cherish most.

I feel like crying and confused when there is an occasion like this, somebody recalling events to sow seed of animosity between two brothers when we have a common enemy of our faith, our freedom, our common heritage and beliefs and a common enemy that are threats to our essence and our existence.

In sum, these are times for the Igbo to make friends not enemies; to repair and not to destroy bridges, to be tactical and calculating not to be careless and superficial, to be circumspect not to be reckless. That great race has suffered deprivations. I have argued that there should be one more state in the South-East to remove imbalance in our zonal structure; we should have more appointments of men and women of Igbo extraction as heads in critical arms of government and military or paramilitary; there should be greater attention paid to erosion in the South-East.

But the revered Achebe has not allayed the fears of many that the Igbo want power only to avenge perceived wrong, to correct injustices done to their race, to prosecute programmes and policies of exclusion, and probably proceed to the Hague to seek posthumous trial of Awolowo whom they hate and accuse of being the architect of all their woes. Igbo problem has always been the North but they have always found the Yoruba a convenient scapegoat.

This is a stance that would not help anybody, Igbo, Yoruba or even Hausa/Fulani. It is a great achievement that the Igbo could come back from that war to be where they are now in industries, commerce, the economy, etc. It takes a great mind to achieve so much. But the achievement is not only because the Igbo are what they are, a resilient race. It is also due to the cooperation of neighbours particularly the Yoruba.

They should give the neighbour the acknowledgment. Prof. Bayo Bamiduro. Bob Obioha, I salute you for this fine lecture. The truth can never be eclipsed. Whether those deceitful fellows accept it or not, Achebe simply retold the story of the banality exhibited in the bid to exterminate the Igbo race. I was not surprised that a Femi Fani-Kayode would rise in defence of those that committed the war crimes whom Achebe recalled in his account of the war. He is a typical ‘oti mkpu.’ When Obasanjo and Atiku were embroiled in a battle of supremacy, it was the same Femi Fani-Kayode that nominated himself as OBJ’s praise singer, and rained invectives on Atiku.

So nobody should join issues with FFK. As you mentioned in passing, I’m looking forward to the year when the main actors in that war of genocide will face the ICC. The fact remains that as long as the major butchers in that obnoxious war have not deemed it fit to say sorry to the Igbo nation, but rather delude themselves with the mirage that it is all past, the wounds of the war will still remain fresh in the mind of every true Igbo son and daughter. Beam Truth.

Your comment on this issue is commendable. Thanks for your well written treatise. How I wish the Yoruba folks should learn to criticize rationally without insults. It is Chief Achebe’s right to put things as he saw them, more so when he was a major player. Once again big thanks to Mr. Obioha. Emstev. Hello, I just read your piece on Achebe’s book. Your research was in-depth. The truth must be said at all times… genocide against a tribe. Well done. Chris Ike Anyanwu. Good day Mr. Robert, I have just read your write-up entitled, “The heat over Achebe’s war memoir.” It was superb and timely.

Please how do I get the new book and The Trouble with Nigeria by Achebe? 08039535662. Your article published in The Sun of October 19 on Achbe’s new book was fantastic. It is an epic of the matter. ‘Nwa beke.’ Really, for God’s case why the noise from those individuals? One of them even wrote in his reaction, ‘The war has just started.’ What war? Come war they will never go to the front.

I hope he never meant the kind of war I am thinking about. Thank you my friend. A. Inneh, UK Dear Robert, please help by stopping this ‘war’ among the Igbo and Yoruba ethnic nationalities as a result of Prof. Chinua Achebe’s recently published book, There was a Country. For those of us who saw the war, it is sad reminding us what we passed through in Biafra for over three years. My prayer is let us forgive those who offended us and forget the past, then commit the whole thing to the hands of God, who is the judge to do His will.

I pray that elders from the two ethnic groups should come together as they were before politics of divide and rule was introduced to them by the colonial masters. From all indications, the Igbos of today knew where they can stay and sleep with their eyes closed or open. Let there be peace in this country. O.B. Asonta, Orlu, Imo State.

You do yourself a great service when you allow your page to carry such a piece as appeared today (November 2). Odia Ofeimun, Lagos. Robert, I did read your defence of Prof. Chinua Achebe who could have made whatever point he wanted without attempting to humiliate Awolowo. Unlike other people, the Yorubas have leaders and value them. But some people are bent on creating enmity between the Igbos and the Yorubas whose support is clearly needed to make Igbos’ presidential dream a reality. Akinloye Ayinla, Agbado Lagos.

Hi Bob, More grease to your elbow. I read with delight the matured reaction of Prof. Bayo Bamiduro on your article, “The heat over Achebe’s war memoir.” I enjoyed his reaction because he wrote as a matured mind unlike the bolekaja critic and politician, Ebenezer Babatope, who enslaved himself to Abacha when other wise Yorubas rejected the dictator’s government.

Please let the professor remember that the late Gen. J.T.U Aguiyi-Ironsi was in power for only six months for him to have released the imprisoned Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Simeon Olua. Simpson Ventures, National Stadium Complex, Surulere, Lagos. On Jonathan’s prayer project Sir, do the Americans and the West pray? It is clearly an outdated fashion and Nigeria is about the only country that offers prayer as panacea to her multifaceted monstrous problems. Jonathan will get it straight if he frees himself from the gridlock of those obviously deluded spiritual contractors and the numerous political charlatans feeding fat on his naivety.

He should simply start working and stop praying.. Adebayo Ademola, Isashi Lagos. Thanks for your wonderful piece on Jonathan’s one year prayer project. Please give us more things like that. Chief Ehenemba, Warri. God is God. He is neither foreign nor local. He is omni-everything.

He can change everything because all things are His. The heart of the king (leaders) is in His hand. We need serious prayers for Nigeria. Prayers change a lot of things, QED. Iheanyi Obasi. The question the piece asked is important: if regionalism was the best political arrangement for the country, why did the First Republic collapse? The problem is that the bourgeois class does not want the status quo to change so its members must try to confuse the exploited. The way out is not regionalism.

What the exploited should do is to take power so that that they can build a society where no man is oppressed. The bitter truth is that Nigeria is a class society: the rich and the poor. Amos Ejimonye. Isuikwuato, Abia State.Your write-up on regionalism was great.

The mistake Atiku made was to remain Obasanjo’s running mate in his second term bid. If he had stayed behind Ekwueme, he (Atiku) would have been the president now. Unitary government was a product of Gen. Aguiyi-Ironsi regime after the failed Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu’s coup.

That was one of the reasons he was toppled by gen. Yakubu Gowon. Yet Gowon created states to avert secession by Eastern Region under Lt.Col Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. Regional government still remains the best for Nigeria. Rev. Monye J. Gold. I read your article on Atiku and regionalism.

People like Atiku should please excuse us. He had the ample opportunity to bring these lofty ideas to bear on the polity while they held sway. Eight years was enough to actualize these brilliant ideas. Sunny Coco, Isuochi.Sir, with due respect, why didn’t Atiku canvass for this regional autonomy when he was with OBJ especially during their first tenure when he appeared to be more powerful?

Don’t be deceived, politics is a game of deceit. Politics in Nigeria is fraud. Believe them and you will believe anything. 08076449754.Obi, I like the way you write. Tell them and God will teach them a lesson. U.C Newi. Bros, I support your views on regional autonomy because I believe that it will encourage economic integration more than creation of weaker states.

Hammer it well so that it can be endorsed. 08069846048.Congratulations on your excellent and insightful article in the daily Sun of September 14. May God bless you abundantly. J. Agba, Benue State.   Top of Form Bottom of Form Top of Form Bottom of Form Top of Form Bottom of Form Top of Form Bottom of Form

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21 Comments

  1. I ve experience a lot on this episode concerning our ethnics in nigeria i searched nd believed that no amount of prayer ll keep this 3ethnics together wit peace 4 prayer wit out loving ur nieghbour is useless.So the best way to get out of this mayhems is peace seperations if a little luv can be attached,any thing apart 4rm this is like hand push of a trailer.

  2. The major provocative aspect of the discussion is the attempt by most of the people on Achebe’s side to take everything Achebe said as being right and every defence Awo gave as being false. Awo would no longer be human if he was not fallible or made mistake. But nothing hurts a man more than a misinterpretation of motives for his action. Achebe should simply have stated what he knew happened without imputing motives behind it which he could not have substantiated. Achebe drew the blood when he ascribed the pursuit of Yoruba domination and Awo’s personal ambition as motives for the use of starvation during the civil war. Some of the facts of history do not seem to support the motives Achebe has ascribed to the issue.Even if food supply was cut off (though Awo and Gowon denied this), why did Awo have to wait for so long to do this if he had the motives ascribed to it.He would have done it earlier in the course of the war. If it actually happened, events would support its use as a last resort to end the war rather than the motive Achebe has ascribed to it. Also, if that motive was right why would Awo have bothered to do all the persuasions to avoid the war including taking the risk of a visit to the East.

    Why are people not considering the possibility of diversion of the food at all. Would Biafran soldiers have allowed food supplies through the battlefront and camps to the civilians in the east without hijacking it.
    If the food blockage actually happened, how did the Biafran soldiers got food to eat to look so well fed after the war compared to the children and civilians that we have seen in the pictures of the civil war.

    The killing of the Igbos before the war was rather wicked and devilish and highly criminal. The decision by both parties to fight the war was highly condemnable and immature.
    But I actually wish that all the actors (including Awo, Gowon, Ojukwu, etc) were taken to ICC and allowed to defened themselves. I have my doubts that Awo would come out with a guilty verdict in the face of the defence that he offered.

    I never knew Awo defended himself on the charges even before he died. It also shows that Achebe’s accusations are not new and he was not the first and only courageous and forthright person (as is being portrayed) that could have raised them.

    Unfortunately, the fall outs from this new memoir has made some people I know to be less symphatetic to the cause of the Igbos than before.

    If we agreed that Achebe is entitled to express his opinion, I found it difficult to understand why others who expressed divergent views on the issue should be condemned. Do they also not have the right to express their own views no matter their antecedents?. It is wrong for anyone to expect Achebe to make the allegations and that should be the end of the matter. Most especially given the fact that the main accused is dead and given his status,personality and followership across the nation.

  3. @yusuf, point of correction, Awolowo has no followership across the nation, rather among his fellow betrayers, the Yoruba people.

  4. Nduka Felix mobolaji uzuh on

    @John yusuf, the untrue story, that was fabricated by awolowo and promoted by the nigerian press, that foods being sent to biafra by nigeria was hijacked by biafran troops was a big lie. In actual fact nigeria never offered to send any food to biafra, the only food that was sent to biafrans durring the war, came from the international communities. The problem with most nigerian youths of today, is that we have easy access to informations, which has been made feasible by the availability of the internet, Google etc. Yet we dont make use of this internet opportunities. Instead our youth prefer to belive and dwell on ethnic motivated fabricated stories. From all the researches i have made, and all the books i have read about the war, i think i can say it here, and i dare anyone to say otherwise, that awolowo, lied by telling nigerians that foods were sent to biafra by Nigeria. It is on record that the food awolowo talked about was being sent by the international communities, and that gowon blockaded the whole biafran territorial waters to stop this foods from getting to biafrans, with the excuses that arms were being imported into biafra by foreign ships Carrying relief items to biafra. Gowon wanted this relief items to come in trough nigerian lines to biafra. It is also on record that ojukwu rejected this idea, because the health of biafran citizens could be exposed to more danger. Because how could one expect biafrans to accept food from an enemy who is bent on exterminating them. An action nigerian the nigerian soldiers has displayed by the massacre in delta and raping of women, the bombing of refugee camps and market places, the bombing and destruction of farm lands, infact if i continue to mention all the atrocious activities of the nigerian army and their British, Russia, and Arab collaborators on defenceless biafrans, it will take my whole time. Gowon and some others who think in the same line with him want ndi igbo and biafrans as a whole to forget the ills of the war. But thay themselves Never made any attempt to lay the true foundation of forgiveness and reconciliation. Von rosen was one of those people that was sad about the blockade and starvation of biafrans, because he said that in all the history of war he knew, that starvation was never used as an option on an opponent. But awolowo stopped and blocked other foreign countries from bringing food to biafrans just because they were in a hurry to win the war by all means. Even nigeria as a country that is not at war now can not feed her self, talkless of biafra that found her self in a war situation. 60% of the food we eat in this country is still being imported. And when obasanjo tried to experiment with the ban of rice importation, we all know what happened, that nigeria witnessed food shortages, thus the ban on rice importation was lifted. Awolowo starved millions of biafrans to death, by blocking international communities like Israel, Gabon, Haiti, ivory coast and etc from getting food into the biafran enclave.

    • @Nduka Felix M .Uzuh it is NOT a fabricated facts ,please read below:-

      Allow Your Starving People To Be Fed
      Published on November 5, 2012 by pmnews · 12 Comments
      Being the full text of the resignation letter of Robert S. Goldstein, Public Relations Representative of Biafra in the United States

      Ojukwu
      As your Public Relation’s Representative in the United States, it is my distasteful duty to tender my resignation based on the following points:
      POINT 1 – In November of 1967 when we met in Umuahia, you and your Cabinet were very impressive. You told me of the woes of your little Republic, that thousands of people had died, were dying and more were prepared to die for freedom’s sake.
      You and your Cabinet told me you believed world opinion would help your cause if you could get your story across.
      You expressed the opinion that very few if any people in the United States knew of the plight of the Biafrans.
      You asked me to tell the world that Britain had teamed up with Russia in a conspiracy with the Federal Government of Nigeria to murder every Ibo in Biafra. You suggested I use my talents to induce the Press to write about the Biafran side of the war, as at that time all news came out of Lagos.
      You will recall I did not take the asssignment that day but stayed on several days before deciding to take that job.

      To help win the peace

      At that time I stated to you and your cabinet that I was taking the assignment making it crystal clear I would try my best to help win the peace not the war.

      POINT TWO – I immediately arranged the first world Press conference in Biafra inviting the US Press as well as journalists and television people from England, France, Switzerland, Africa and other parts of the Globe. This was the first news break through. I arranged regular trips into Biafra for the world Press, helped set up stringers, etc., so that your statements and the statements of your Cabinet would be heard.
      At that time, I was absolutely positive you were right and your cause was a just one in the best interests of the free world and your countrymen.

      POINT THREE – Finally the Republic of Biafra was recognized first by Tanzania, then quickly followed by Gabon, the Ivory Coast and Zambia. Our public relations work was paying off, world opnion was starting to side with us.
      Peace talks were arranged at Kampala. I thought that if anyone walked away from the table it would be the Federal Government. But to my dismay it was Biafra that left the Conference. After all the fighting and killing, I knew that peace would not come easy but I could not understand leaving the Peace Conference until the last point was negotiated and the avenue explored.

      POINT FOUR – Then urgent telex messages were received from ‘Biafra’ telling of tens of thousands of people starving in the refugee camps, the villages, the bush country – stating if something werent done in the next few months over a million women, children and aged would be starved to death. I immediately contacted the Press, urgently petitioned the State Department for action on their part. Food, medicine and milk were sent to the only available ports open for immediate shipment to ‘Biafra’ via land routes through Federal and Biafra territory, under the auspices of world organizations such as the International Red Cross among others.
      Then came the incredible answer from ‘Biafra’ that land corridors could not be acceptable until there was a complete ceasefire, and that an airlift was the only solution to feed the starving.
      You then appeared before the various Heads of State and representatives of the OAU at Niamey in Niger. I fully expected you to at least accept the world help that was offered your starving throngs. However, you delayed, hoping to use these unfortunates with world sympathy on their side as a tool to further your ambition to achieve war concessions at the upcoming peace talks in Addis Ababa. Thus innocent victims continue to perish needlessly of starvation, the most agonising death that can befall any living creature.

      POINT FIVE – This was incredible to me. I am now convinced that I have been used by you and your cabinet to help in military adventures of your origin….using your starving hordes as hostages to negotiate a victory.
      If at some later date, following the isuance of this letter, you do concede to allow a mercy land corridor…would you expect me to agree to espouse before the world Press the incredible delay of your decision. What explanation could I honestly give for the needless prolongation of this horror.
      Inconceivable acts
      I pray this communication may in some small way influence you to move affirmatively, allowing the mercy land corridor to be born.
      It is inconceivable to me that you would stop the feeding of thousands of your countrymen (under auspicies of world organizations such as the International Red Cross, World Council of Churches and many more) via a land corridor which is the only practical way to bring in food to help at this time. It is inconcivable to me that men of good faith would try to twist world opinion in such a manner as to deceive people into believing that the starvation and hunger that is consuming ‘Biafra’ is a plot of Britian, Nigeria and others to commit genocide.

      POINT SIX – I cannot in all conscience serve you any longer. Nor can I be a party to suppressing the fact that your starving thousands have the food, medicine and milk available to them…..it can and is ready to be delivered through international organizations to you. Only your constant refusal has stopped its delivery.
      I am this date, tendering my resignation and am returning to Mr. Collins Obih of the African Continental Bank all the fees you have given me (Letter of Credit No. 354 $400,000 US.)
      I have sent your representative in New York a Bond in the amount of 800.000 pounds that I was holding in your behalf. I have also this date, sent the Bond of 200,000 pounds issues by the Central Bankl of Nigeria back to them for disposal.

      POINT SEVEN – I am now convinced that one Nigeria is the only solution to peace. I also call upon you Mr. Ojukwu to allow your starving people to be fed. Their well-being is of deep concern to me as well as other right thinking people of the world. Your acting in the utmost haste in this matter is in my opinion the first step toward any lasting peace in your country.
      – Published in the Morning Post, Lagos, August 17, 1968

      • Nice digging…but I don’t dig it. Has it not crossed ur mind that the letter was a conspiracy. Ojukwu has his reasons for not allowing the reliefs. As for the Idiot who wrote this garbage, God will judge him for allowing himself to be used by the Nigerian Government and Britain. When you listen to his tone in the last part of that horible article, he sounded like he already has his mind made up. The bastard was paid to write that shit. He paid back all the money given to him for his services, which means that he never touched the money. In other words portraying himself as a man with conscience. A sensible man ought to know that those who were sponsoring the bastard gave him the money he paid back. Now to you all (especially YOU) who have made urselves the devil’s advocate: remember this saying, ”the same thing thou done them, will be done to thee”. i rest my case.

  5. HISTORY MUST BE TOLD.PETERS on

    i think we shld put a stop & 4get all these rancours and, i mean my dear brodas & SIS IGBOS & YORUBAS as we can see tht those yorubas we respect most did not utter any word on this matter
    ,its only those political BIGGOTS and 4 that we can see those respected ones are not in supoort ,so 4 tht reason we shld ask ourselves some questions and bury the whole matter so tht we move ahead as this man said above tht d IGBOS of now knows where to sleep in this entity 2day and closes their 2 eyes and where they sill not, i know u know what he means on tht comments, so everyones shld bury everythin down and let the yorubas and igbos unite again., GOD BLESS IGBOS & YORUBAS.

  6. Bamidele Akinwe on

    Please read through this extract of the minute of meeting when Pa Awolowo talked about the west not ready for war. This was during the first day session of the meeting held at State House, Enugu, on Saturday 6th May, 1967. It started at 5.15 p.m. and adjourned at about 8.25 p.m.
    From Nigerian Tribune:
    Awo and the Nigerian civil war: PART TWO: MEMORANDA OF THE MEETINGS BETWEEN HIS EXCELLENCY, LT. COL. ODUMEGWU OJUKWU AND A DELEGATION OF THE NATIONAL CONCILIATION COMMITTEE LED BY CHIEF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO
    Chief Awolowo: This morning I got a word from lbadan, from the Commanding Officer of the Battalion in Ibadan. We passed our resolutions and Col. Adebayo did very well and gave us certain Yoruba Officers with whom to go and deliver the petition to Lt. Col. Gowon. I did give him an ultimatum up to the 15th of May to remove these Northern soldiers from the West. Of course, he agreed to remove them by the 31st of May, but by the time we returned to Ibadan Northern soldiers had taken up arms and wanted to kill me, to kill Adebayo and all the others. Just now Adebayo does not sleep in his house. Somebody told me that he has not been sleeping in his house. The populace, of course, turned against the Northern soldiers. They now want to send away their wives and children before they themselves finally leave; I understand they are waiting for transport. I don’t know why Adebayo should issue the release that soldiers should not be taunted. But this is the way we have been doing our own quiet fighting. You are remote from the West; you have advantages which we do not possess. WE cannot rush without rushing to our death at the same time. We are not cowards in the West but we have to move cautiously, because if we do not do that you might not have us alive; you would only have monuments all over the place.
    And may I say in this connection of Southern solidarity – I am sorry to go into what has happened in the past – in 1953 there was an understanding between the banned N.C.N.C., and the banned Action Group; we entered into an agreement, which I hope would be used sometime, to the effect that if the North remained intransigent we would declare a Southern Dominion. This was signed by myself and Zik and I still stand by it. I don’t think you need assurance from me that we have a lot in common; but we prefer that you should send your delegates to this meeting, so that we should, known to everyone, enter into negotiations among ourselves and present a common front to the North. Then nobody can accuse us of conspiracy or trying to divide the country into two parts. We want to work for one Nigeria on certain basis which would be agreed to by all of us. You did say that when I spoke people said that the East and the West are united. That is a manner of speaking. There are certain points which you hold dear on which we do not agree but if we are able to have a dialogue, certainly there is need for dialogue between the East and the West on the one hand, and between the West and the Mid-west on the other, I think it will help us to have a common basis. It is not enough for us to say that we do not like- the North. That is a negative approach. I think a positive approach will be for us to meet. Unity will last only if it is based on common understanding among us and the basis will start with this meeting. If the North is stupid enough to turn down our demands, at that meeting, then it would be faced with opposition and then we shall go out and tell the whole world that this is where we stand. And if it is misconstrued then we can hold our meeting initiated in the South. This is the way I see it.
    I want you to look at it from our point of view. If there were no Northern soldiers in the West the position would be different. And even if by the time I return home the Northern soldiers have gone I still do not want to be accused of perfidy.
    According to the Western Area Commander, Nigeria Army, they are now arranging for transport and my attitude is that if they are anywhere in the West, I will not attend any meeting anywhere even if their cap is left. So, we want you to appreciate that point. As I said before, I want you to give me a chance of meeting your people regularly and Sir Adetokunbo Ademola has provided the forum. Let us resolve our differences and get what we want and quickly too.

  7. THE WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN THE YORUBAS AND THE IGBOS

    AS YOU MAY HAVE KNOWN, I AM FROM RIVERS STATE AND MARRIED AN IGBO WOMAN FROM UMUAHIA. THE ATTITUDE OF MY WIFE AND MY INLAWS TELL ME A LOT OF STORIES ABOUT THE IGBOS. I CAN CONFIRM THAT GOD IS WITH THE IGBOS. MY WIFE AND MY INLAWS ARE FANTASTIC PEOPLE. I HAVE 8 CHILDREN , FOUR BOYS AND FOUR GIRLS FROM MY DEAR WIFE. THEY ARE THE PRIDE OF MY COMMUNITY TODAY. MY SECOND WIFE IS FROM IS FROM AKURE AND SHE HAS 3 CHILDREN FOR ME. SHE ALWAYS COMMENDS THE IGBOS. SHE IS STILL WITH ME AND ALL OF US LIVE IN HARMONY TOGETHER.

    YORUBAS LISTEN. IT IS US NON-IGBOS THAT DID WRONG TO THE IGBOS DURING THE CIVIL WAR. THIS WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE LIES GOWON AND HIS BROTHERS TOLD US IN THE RIVERS STATE AT THAT TIME. THEY TOLD US THAT IF WE LEAVE THE PROPERTY OF THE IGBOS, WE WOULD BE THE GREATEST LOSERS. CEAZE THEIR PROPERTY AND THEY WILL NOT HAVE MEANS TO SURVIVE AND YOU WILL BENEFIT FROM THAT. THEY TOLD US THAT THE IGBOS ARE BAD AND WOULD BUILD ALL OVER THE STATE AND OUR CHILDREN WILL HAVE NO PLACE TO BUILD IN FUTURE. WE BELIVED THEM AND SEAZED THEIR PROPERTY. WE SACKED THEM FROM OUR STATE. THEY WENT TO THEIR STATE, SOUTH/EASTEN STATE. WE THOUGHT THEY WERE DYING. THEY SURVIVED MORE THAN US WHO WERE DECEIVED BY AND AWOLOWO. PLEASE DO NOT BE ANNOYED BECAUSE I MENTION AWOLOWO HERE. WE NIGERIANS OWE APOLOGY TO THE IGBOS BECAUSE WE DID THEM WRONG BY THE WAY WE TREATED THEM DURING THE WAR. I DO NOT KNOW HOW YOU WILL FEEL IF THE BUILDINGS YOU IN ONITSHA , OWERRI, ENUGU WERE TO BE SEAZED BY THESE STATES ESPECIALLY IF ANOTHER PERSON FROM ANOTHER STATE WERE TO INSTIGATE THAT SEISURE. IF YOU ARE FROM LAGOS , AND HAD BUILDINGS IN IBADAN, AKURE, ONDO OSHOGBO WERE TO BE SEIZED BY AN INSTIGATION FROM SOMEBODY FROM THE NORTH. YOU ARE FROM THE WESTERN REGION AS THE IGBOS WERE FROM THE EASTERN REGION. WE WERE THE SAME REGION UNTIL GOVWON DECEIVED US TO DO WHAT WE DID.
    HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOU HAD £2,000,000, IN YOUR ACCOUNT AND SOMEBODY CAME AND SAID YOU HAVE RIGHT TO ONLY £20? THINK ABOUT IT. SURELY YOU WILL FEEL VERY BAD. DURING AND AFTER THE WAR ONE OF OUR BROTHERS, A WRITER WOULD NOT LET IGBOS TO REST. HE PAID FOR IT. YOU CANNOT SLAP A BABY AND AT THE SAME TIME TELL HIM NOT TO CRY. I AN NOW 84 YEARS OLD AND WHAT I SAY IS TRUE BECAUSE I WAS AROUND WHEN MEETINGS WERE HELD TO SEE WHAT TO DO WITH THE IGBOS. I DID NOT KNOW THE IMPLICATIONS UNTILL SOME FEW YEARS LATER. WE THOUGHT WE WOULD BE BETTER THAN THE IGBOS. WERE NOT.
    MY DEAR PEOPLE FROM YORUBA LAND, CHINUA ACHEBES WRITE-UP DID NOTN INSULT THE YORUBAS. HE TALKED ABOUTG ONE PERSON LATE CHIEF AWOWLO. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN IT AS IF ACHEBE INSULTED THE YORUBA RACE. YOU ARE WRONG. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY AND WRITE. THE HOUSAS ARE LAUGHING AT US HERE IN THE SOUTH IF YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT. THE OTHER DAY A FRIEND OF MINE TOOK US TO HOTEL PRESIDENTIAL IN PORT HARCOURT. THIS WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN THE YORUBAS AND THE IGBOS CAME UP. ONE ALHAJI AND HIS FRIENDS WERE ON A DIFFERENT TABLE EATING AND DRINKING. I HEARD THEM SAY THAT IF THERE IS A WAY TO MAKE THE YORUBAS AND THE IGBOS FIGHT, THAT THEY IN THE NORTH WILL BE VERY HAPPY. I WANTED TO CHALLNGE THEM BUT MY FRIEND RESTRAINED ME FROM DOING SO. THE WRITING OF ACHEBE SHOULD NOT CAUSE THIS TYPE OF ACRIMONY. MY PEOPLE SAY NOW THAT IF THE IGBOS ARE ELIMINATED, IT WILL BE VERY EASY FOR THE NORTH TO OVER RUN THE SOUTH TO FULFILL WHAT AHMADU BELLOW SAID. THAT PUSHING THE SOUTH INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. YORUBA PEOPLE, PLEASE STOP THIS WAR.

    TO THE IGBOS

    YOU SUFFERED HUMILIATION AT THE INSTANT OF THE NORTHERNERS. YOU DID NOT DIE RATHER YOU CAME UP STRONGER THAN YOU WERE. I WOULD ADVISE YOU TO FORGIVE AND FORGETWHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST. LOOK AQT THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS. THEY SUFFERED AND NOW SEE HOW STRONG THEY ARE. MY FATHER USED TO TELL ME THAT IGBOS HAVE JEWS ORIGIN. MY SON WHO WENT TO ISRAEL LAST MONTH TOLD ME THAT SOME NAMES THERE ARE LIKE IGBO NAMES. A BOOK I READ SOME FOUR YEARS AGO SAID THAT THE IGBOS HAD THEIR ORIGIN IN THE HEBREW. THEY ARE GOD’S PEOPLE. PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW THIS WAR OF WORDS TOBRING SOMETHING NASTY IN THE SOUTH. THE HAUSAS ARE LAUGHING AT US IN THE SOUTH. YORUBA/IGBO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. LET US IN THE SOUTH FORGE AHEAD TOGETHER. NO MORE RANCOUR, NO LOVE LOST. LET US LIVE TOGETHER. WOLE SONYINKA, PLEASE ADVISE YOUR PEOPLE. CHINUA ACHEBE, PLEASE ADVISE YOUR PEOPLETO STOP AND FORGIVE THE INJURIES THEY SUSTAINED. GOD WILL HELP THEM.

    LONG LIVE YORUBA, LONG LIVE IGBO, LONG LIVE US IN THE RIVERS STATE. I SAY RIVERS STATE BECAUSE WE HAVE MANY TIBES HERE. SO I PREFER TO USE THE WORD RIVERS STATE.

    • MR.JEFF YOU ARE NOT SINCERE IN YOUR JUDGEMENT,I BEG TO DISAGREE WITH YOU.CAN YOU SIMPLY POINT OUT THE FAULT OF THE YORUBAS TO ME PLEASE.!! DID THE YORUBAS SEND THE IGBOS TO WAR?.WHAT THE YORUBAS HAVE DONE TO THE IGBOS WHEN THEY RAN AND LEFT THEIR PROPERTIES IN YORUBA LAND AND THE YORUBAS KEPT THEM FOR THE IGBOS WITH THEIR RENTS INTACT,CAN THE IGBOS DO THAT FOR THE YORUBAS? THE ANSWER IS NO!!.COL. FAJUYI DIED FOR HIS FRIEND IRONSI,CAN AN IGBOMAN DIE FOR THE YORUBAS? -NO !!.GO ANYWHERE IN YORUBA LAND THE YORUBAS ACCEPTED THE IGBOS WHOLE HEARTEDLY BUT GO TO THE IGBO LAND IT IS THE REVERSE,THE IGBOS POLICY IS MONOPOLY EVEN BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR.YOU SAID YOU ARE FROM THE RIVER STATE AND I SPEAK 3 LANGUAGES FROM THE DELTA AND RIVER STATES AND AFTER THE CIVIL WAR DID ANY OF YOUR RIVER STATE PEOPLE GIVE BACK TO THE IGBOS THEIR PROPERTIES LEFT BEHIND? NO !! ,ONLY THE YORUBAS DID.I WONDER WHY EVERY IGBO MAN ALWAYS THINK THAT THEY ARE RIGHTIOUS AND ALWAYS LIKE TO CASTIGATE THE YORUBAS AS THEIR PUNCHING BAGS !!. TO ME I CAN CATEGORICALLY SAY THE IGBOS ARE VERY VERY UNGRATEFUL .WHY SHOULD CHINUA ACHEBE PUT THE ENTIRE YORUBA RACE AS ENEMIES OF THE IGBOS ?.WHEN ONE THINKS OF THIS,ONE THINKS NEVER NEVER AGAIN TO ACCOMODATE ANY IGBO MAN.I PERSONALLY GET OFFENDED ABOUT THIS BECAUSE I KNOW HOW MANY IGBO SAWMILLS AND THEIR MACHINES MY LATE BROTHER SAVED FOR THE IGBOS BUT WITH NO APPRECIATION,THEY ONLY TALK ABOUT THEMSELVES AS THE LORD GOD OF NIGERIA.THE IGBOS SHOULD DO UNTO OTHERS AS THEY WANT OTHERS TO DO UNTO THEM !!.DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY DELTAN YORUBAS HAVING SAME BORDER WITH MIDWEST REGION DIED IN THE CIVIL WAR KILLED BY THE IGBOS WHEN THEY WERE TRYING TO INFLITRATE INTO THE WESTERN REGION? .I WAS INVOLVED IN THE SO-CALLED CIVIL WAR SO I KNOW WHAT WENT ON.WHAT YOU HAVE JUST WRITTEN IS JUST PURE NONSENSE AND I DON’T CARE WHETHER YOU HAVE 10 YORUBA WIVES BUT DON’T BE A HYPOCRATE !!

  8. Forgiveness from Ndi Igbo is necessary for the much desired unity of Nigeria but d offender must own up his offences and applogise for the offended to consider forgiveness. This is what I expect every accused party in this issue to do rather than sing songs of blind defence against established facts of history.

    To say tht crimes were committed against Ndi Igbo before,during and after the war is an Understatement.Heighnous crimes were committed. It should never be debated by any informed, sane human. It is a fact of history.Infact, documented history has not and can never incorporate all that happened.Much crimes than has been written and will ever be written down were perpeterated against Ndi Igbo.

    I did not fight d war but many of my uncles did and a few survived(many died). Their experience, judging from their narrations is hellish. According to them, it was even at d end of the war (when they had surredered) that the real war was fought by d Nig. soldiers. U may find it hard to believ what I’m about to tell.U cant even Imagine it. But it is true. Can u believ that after d declaration of ‘One Nigeria’, hundreds, may be thousands of Biafran soldiers(who were unlucky to be identified as such) were arrested and locked up for many week inside lock-up shops in the then deserted Aba markets and starved to dearth under the watchful guard of heavily armed and wicked Nigerian soldiers? One of my uncles was a victm of this cruel crime.But for God and intervention of Ecowas forces he would hav died. many of His coprisoners in those shops (containin minimum of 3 BIAFRAN SOLDIERS each) was not as lucky.(If u refuse to die, d decaying remains of d dead in your own cell will torment u till u accept to die or commit suicide).Terrible!Infact it better told from the horses’mouth. This has never been documented.I dont think so.

    Who says Ndi Igbo does not deserve unreserved appology if The prosecutors of that war are to escape trial at Hague and BIAFRA rested?

  9. Did Awolowo realize that the people trapped in Biafra territory were his compatriots and despite the declaration were entitled to the protection of Nigeria. If he were to be around today, would he suggest the extermination of the North east as cure for Boko Haram?

  10. Though our haste to seceed without adequate preparation for war, made the genocide a possibility. This I blame the Eastern region elite, mostly col Ojukwu. But still, its only when the Igbo are apologize to, that this nation would move forward. And all subtle laws, to continue strangling the Igbos by the Nigeria govt should be sincerely discarded. Just as the holocaust became a guiding principle to the Isreali, Biafra has become a philosophy and cultural belief amongst the Igbos. A determination to survive in the face of extermination. This is what makes we Igbos thick. So other tribe shouldnt miscontrue the chant of Biafra by the Igbo youths as rash pride. The war is part and parcel of our collective history, and should never, ever be swept under the carpet, as was done by succesive Nigerian government.

    • I WONDER WHO WILL BELL THE CAT?.WILL THE IGBOS APOLOGISE FOR THE NON -IGBOS THEY KILLED? PLEASE THINK ABOUT IT !!.DID THE AMERICA NORTH APOLOGISE TO THE AMERICA SOUTH DURING AND AFTER THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR? NO !!

  11. prof Chinua Achebe in his work ‘there was a country’ was an account of nigeria/biafrd war,d work is emperical and rational,how could Gowon and Awo subject Ndi igbo to starvation where as they re supposed to take proper care of them.I dont want to sound tribal but d truth must be told and Again if those generals involved re not prosecuted for the genocide, nigeria wil still be in acrimony and rancur.

  12. My brother let not deceive ourselves. Anybody who is angry just because one recounted the brutal massacre of Ibos without remorse till today, before, during and after the war, know you that such a person is ready to repeat that act again if he has a chance, The attrocities are not supposed to be swept under the carpet and forgotten. Ruwanda has not forgotten the genocide that it went through but I tell you what happened in Ruwanda is a child’s play compared to what happened to the Ibos. Why cant the Nigerian nation acknowledge the unfair treatment of the Ibos. Today Ibos have no share in corporate Nigeria because the indigenisation policy of foreign enterprises was implemented in the early 1970s when the Igbos have nothing and no provision was made for them thereafter. Is it, among others, how fair minded statesmen should act just to promote inequality in the national affairs?

  13. emmanuel ishaku on

    D igbo should try nd forgive dos dat have wrong dem in d past, so dat de wil b forgiven also 4 wrong done on odas. many ppl are sympathetic to wat happen to d igbo during d war. but d problem is dat d igbo haul insult to even dos dat wil reason wit dem. bcos gowon is involve every middle belter is guilty, nd bcos awolowo is involv every yoruba is guilty. even though dos allegation by achebe cannot b substantiated, bcos i read an account by odia blaming ojukwu 4 d starvation. d ibo should build bridge across to achieved their objective in 2015 or 2019 after GEJ. u cannot achiev ur goal by beating drum of war, most of dos clamoring 4 war hav not witness riot not to talk of war, war dos no one good, we need peace .

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