Ojukwu was better in all aspect of life than Gowon and Obasanjo hence they hated him with passion ,that why in Obasanjo’s sarcastic condolence message when the general of the peoples army travel to join his ancestors, the sadistic and unstable Olusegun Obasanjo could not resist sticking a dagger in the side of dead Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu one more time by stating that his only regret is that he failed to convince or may-be force Odumegwu Ojukwu to express remorse over the decision of the people of Eastern Nigeria to separate themselves from Nigeria and declare their own sovereign independent State of Biafra .
This was after they had been repeatedly and remorselessly hounded, burned, raped, murdered in cold blood, slaughtered in tens of thousands, and their property looted and burned; and then finally chased away from all parts of Nigeria by Nigerians who claimed to be fellow citizens of the same country. Obasanjo was the commander of the 3rd Marine Division of the Nigeria Army that decimated the Ibibio civilian population; he was the one who in Ikot Ekpene locked up the living and their dead relatives in the same enclosures and starved them almost to extermination until Biafran forces eventually regained control of Ikot Ekpene, released the survivors only few of whom could still walk or move.
It is also common knowledge that there are several mass graves in and around Owerri where Obasanjo commanded by a coward in Dodan baracks Lagos and his Nigerian forces dumped the bodies of Biafran civilians they had murdered in cold blood as the Biafra-Nigeria war ended and people were returning to their homes. It is baffling to me that the Ijaw and Tiv expressed shock and surprise when in 1999 this sadistic, megalomaniac ordered the slaughter of more than two thousand innocent civilians at Odi and two years later in 2001, the invasion of Zaki Biam and murder of more than two hundred innocent civilians. Why were General Malu and other Tiv elders surprised?
The most dangerous human being is the one who will kill you while smiling at you. The perfect example of this is Yakubu Gowon. 49 years after Gowon committed genocide on the Biafrans ,he is still not remorseful. In his so-called tribute to Ojukwu he stated: “my greatest happiness is that he went away a happy Nigerian …… If there was no secession, there would not have been a civil war ….” [Blame those victims] “Yes, what happened to the Biafrans in Nigeria at the time, it was really bad enough, but I do not think that it should get to the stage of whereby any leader of a people would wish to take his people out of the nation.” Yakubu Gowon the unrepentant psychopath is certainly one of the chief architects of the slaughter of tens of thousands of Easterners; soldiers and civilians from July 28 to the end of October 1966. On July 28 1966 Northern soldiers broke into a meeting of army officers and killed Major Obienu, Lieutenant Orok [Easterners], and Lieutenant Colonel Okonweze, [Midwesterner]. As this was happening, Yakubu Gowon, a Lieutenant Colonel, moved into Ikeja Barracks and assumed command of the coup and the Nigerian army. His boys led by Major Theophilus Danjuma kidnapped and murdered the Head of State, Major-General Aguiyi Ironsi and his host, Col. Adekunle Fajuiyi, military governor of Western Nigeria. He then ordered that all officers, soldiers, and even policemen of Eastern Nigeria origin be captured and shot. All those his boys could corral were thus murdered. At Abeokuta Northern Nigeria soldiers identified all officers and soldiers of Eastern Nigeria origin and shot them. The same thing happened in Kaduna .
In Ibadan Lt. Colonel Joe Akahan, commanding officer of the 4th battalion convened a meeting of his officers. As they arrived all Easterners among them; (74 in all) were arrested and murdered. Then Northern soldiers rushed their homes looted all their property and raped their wives. At Ikeja, Yakubu Gowon assured soldiers of Eastern Nigeria origin most of who were in hiding, of their safety and asked them to report to barracks. They believe him and as they reported they were promptly rounded up tortured, forced to eat a mixture of urine and feces then had their throats cut with knives just like goats. All this was happening while Gowon was drinking beer in his 2nd battalion headquarters, Ikeja less than 200 yards away. In Enugu , Northern Nigeria soldiers on the instruction of Gowon attempted to seize the armory, arm themselves, kill Ojukwu, and slaughter soldiers of Eastern origin but were foiled by Lt. Col Ogunewe who had been alerted of the plan by a phone call from Abeokuta . All the Northern soldiers in Eastern Nigeria were later safely repatriated to the North. Not one of them was ever harmed or even brought to justice. Not one. Even Awolowo was released from Calabar prison by Ojukwu where he was serving a ten years jail term for treason and chauffer driven back to Okenne by Ojukwu’s personal driver.
By July 30, 1966 Yakubu Gowon had hoisted a new flag, not the Nigerian flag at the 2nd battalion headquarters in Ikeja. The colors on the flag were red, yellow, black, green and khaki. This was the flag of the “ Republic of Northern Nigeria ” and it flew at Gowon’s headquarters for six months before it was taken down. Northern Nigeria political leaders and soldiers had concluded plans to secede from Nigeria . Gowon called Brigadier Ogundipe and told him that the only thing that will make Northerners stop killing Easterners was if the North was allowed to secede from Nigeria . Ogundipe called Ojukwu and told him Gowon’s condition for stopping the massacre of Easterners.
Ojukwu called Gowon who confirmed the condition that the North be allowed to secede. Ojukwu agreed to the condition. But the British High Commissioner, Sir Francis Cumming-Bruce promptly held secret discussions with Gowon and Northern leaders and convinced them to abandon the idea of secession since they had regained control of the federal government of Nigeria. Gowon’s speech to announce secession and declare the Republic of Northern Nigeria was hastily edited and in the haste he omitted to remove the phrase: “ suffice it to say that putting all considerations to the test, political, economic as well as social, the basis for unity is not there ……” In October Yakubu Gowon finally appealed to his fellow Northerners to stop slaughtering Easterners not because it is gravely wrong but according to him because: “God in his power has entrusted the responsibility of this great country of ours, Nigeria, in the hands of another Northerner … “
one of those who was most strident about separation was Lt. Nuhu Nathan who reportedly told Gowon: “Let us all leave now – we all go back if we cannot form a confederation”. Gowon replied: What is that word you mentioned”? Nathan said “Confederation”, to which Gowon retorted: “What does that mean”? As Nathan proceeded to explain, Lt. Malami Nassarawa said “I have an encyclopedia”. DS Abubakar explains that “They brought an encyclopedia and Gowon saw the meaning of confederation in it. He was about to buy the idea – thank GOD the British High Commissioner and some of the permanent secretaries advised against it.” DS Abubakar says ‘the British High Commissioner said: “If you dare do this kind of thing – confederation – that is the end of you”. So that is why we came back to federalism.’
It is the same Yakubu Gowon who supervised the planning and execution of the slaughter of tens of thousands of people of Eastern Nigeria all over Northern and Western Nigeria at army barracks, airports, railway stations, motor parks, in churches, hospitals, schools, post offices, markets; in cities, towns and villages from July 28 through the end of October 1966; the same Yakubu Gowon who flew the flag of the Republic of Northern Nigeria at his 2nd battalion headquarters, Ikeja, for six months; who gave the condition that the only way to make Northern soldiers stop slaughtering Easterners all over Northern and Western Nigeria was if the North was allowed to secede; the same Yakubu Gowon who designated the July 29, 1966 coup, “Araba Day” [day of secession]; the same Yakubu Gowon who stated in his address to Nigerians that “suffice it to say that putting all considerations to the test, political, economic as well as social, the basis for unity is not there”; it is the same Yakubu Gowon who went to Aburi, Ghana and negotiated a peace settlement, essentially a CONFEDERATION with Ojukwu and all the other military Governors and who on getting back to Lagos promptly reneged on the agreements he voluntarily acceded to at Aburi; it is the same Yakubu Gowon who contrary to the clearly agreed decision at Aburi not to use violence or force to settle the conflict, promptly declared a genocidal war on Biafra on July 6, 1967 by opening up two fronts at Nsukka and Gakem; it is the same Yakubu Gowon who as Head of State and Supreme Commander of Nigeria ordered the total blockade of Biafra by land, air and sea refusing even medicines, and baby’s milk to be flown into Biafra, insisting that food is tantamount to ammunition: In his interview with Tom Burns of the Tablet on Dec. 7 1968, Yakubu Gowon stated, “Food is the means to resistance: It is ammunition in this sense and the mercy flights into rebel territory are looked upon as tantamount to gun running” [The Spectator, December 27, 1968]. When Gowon was told that thousands of Biafran children were dying every day of starvation, he said: “Babies are also rebels.”
It is this deceitful, murderous, lying Yakubu Gowon who himself had insisted on the North seceding from Nigeria, was only hours away from making the secession announcement, and who flew the flag of the Republic of Northern Nigeria for six months at the 2nd battalion headquarters in Ikeja, that is now telling us that it was the secession of Biafra (former Eastern Region) from Nigeria that caused him to declare a genocidal war on Biafra. And he wants you to believe him just as he had earlier stated that his reason for declaring war on Biafra was to protect the minority ethnic groups in Eastern Region from the Igbo. He has not told those ethnic groups in Eastern Region why in 1969 as the Nigeria Biafra War was still raging, he, Yakubu Gowon by military decree (Petroleum Resources Decree) confiscated the petroleum resources in the land of the same people he purported to protect.
He then followed that up by purportedly giving away Bakassi Peninsular to Cameroon in return for Ahmadou Ahidjo’s opposition to Biafra . Did he tell the owners of the land? No. Did he negotiate with them? No. Did he seek their approval? No. He simply confiscated their private property, their resource and sold the people of Bakassi into slavery. His sadistic mate Olusegun Obasanjo not satisfied with just seizing the petroleum resources passed his own decree, (The Land Use Decree) by which he seized the private land of different Communities in Eastern Region. No evil goes unpunished and we will still be alive when Yakubu Gowon goes to war with the Hausa Fulani to retain ownership of his fatherland in Pankshin. Yes, it will happen.
Why is it important to revisit this history? There are two reasons: (a) Nigeria has been feeding her citizens, especially her young people, a diet of garbage, and lies, about the Nigeria Biafra War. You must have read and heard even intelligent young Nigerians state with straight face that “Ojukwu started the war; Biafra attacked Nigeria; Nigeria wanted to protect the Minorities in Eastern Nigeria; The Igbo declared war on Nigeria; the war was against the Igbo; Ojukwu fought to protect the Igbo” The truth is that Yakubu Gowon started the war; Nigeria attacked Biafra and crossed into Biafran territory at Nsukka and Gakem; Nigeria had absolutely no interest in protecting any Minorities in the Eastern Region – Nigeria’s interest was and still is to take over the Petroleum and Gas resources in the Eastern Region. If there were no Petroleum and Gas in the Eastern Region, or if the P&G were located in the Northern or Western Regions, Nigeria would have been very happy to wave goodbye to Biafra- as surely as the sun rising in the sky every morning, there would have been no Nigeria-Biafra war. The war was not just against the Igbo but against all the people of Eastern Region – hundreds of thousands of civilians and soldiers of all the ethnic groups in the Eastern Region were slaughtered all over Northern and Western Nigeria by Nigerian soldiers and civilians – numerous officers and men of the Biafran armed forces were from other ethnic groups in the Eastern Region; Ojukwu and the entire Biafra Army and civilian population fought to protect all the people of the Eastern Region, not just the Igbo. These are the facts.
(b) The second reason for revisiting this history is to remind all the people of the Eastern Region ( Biafra ), especially the Igbo that a wise man does not allow the same thorn to poke his eyes two times and that a person who does not know where rain started beating him will not know where he dried his body.
(C) Gowons audacity to call the general of the peoples army a coward.
Close socio-political association with Nigeria in the form of a common National Identity is the greatest threat to the survival and thriving of the people of the Eastern Region. Nigeria is like a millstone, an albatross hanging around the neck of every man, woman and child from Biafra. Every person and every community from the Biafra must recognize that Nigeria will keep dragging him/them down until they finally land in the deepest trough of the sea of hopelessness and despair. There is no getting away from it-until you recognize where this rain started beating you and then commence the task of drying yourselves by separating yourselves from this albatross called Nigeria , all of you people of Eastern Region are in mortal danger.A young man from Cross River state once told me to remember what happened between 1966 to 1970, i reminded him that he is also an inyamiri whose womwn wear wrapper and the annhilator never then differentiated between us then and now when they start their killing hubby and the first victim of the 1966 counter coup at Carter bridge was a major Ibang of the Nigerian army from Cross River.So if yoy think that this freedom that has cost Biafrans over 6 million souls is only Igbo cause, you are risking the life of your generation because when they come for earthnic cleansing, we are all going to be their inyanmiri victim.
Since his death, the slew of comments on Dim Ojukwu’s life and legacy has not only surprised me but sometimes left me miffed. “He was a Nigerian who was driven by his convictions and pursued his goal in life believing in his convictions. Even in old age, Dim still believed in the cause he fought for.” [Babangida] “His endless quest for fairness and justice was reflected in his unmatched love for his people and the sacrifices he made on their behalf … the issues that led to the Nigerian civil war of which Ojukwu played a pivotal role are yet to be fully resolved…”. [Alhaji Lai Mohammed] “Ojukwu’s exit has changed the complexion of the leadership not just in the APGA but the entire Igbo race.” [Bernard Akoma, APGA Pub. Sec.] “Ikemba Nnewi lived a fulfilled life and died a great man. He left an indelible mark on the political and social turf of this nation” [Gen. Owoye Aziza, NSA]. “Ojukwu was known for his untiring pursuit of what he believed in especially justice and equity.” [Ogbonnaya Onu] “He was always a visionary, forthright, courageous, outspoken, nationalist and patriotic. He wanted to see a Nigerian nation where all ethnic nationalities are recognized and fairly treated, not a country of disparate and desperate ethnic groups. Imagine that he succeeded and Biafra had become a State, going by the feats they achieved at a very difficult time, Biafra would have become the toast of Africa by now. Perhaps many other new States would have been born.” [Samuel Ogbemudia]. (In spite of the contradiction, the truth shall set you free.)
What if people, especially our people set aside their wacky comments and asked serious questions; what if we stopped the stupidity of anointing someone the next “Igbo leader” as if the Igbo are just a herd of sheep; what if instead of arguing about which useless house or pot-holed street to name after Ojukwu we actually asked serious questions such as: “What did Odumegwu Ojukwu believe? Where can we find them? What does Ojukwu symbolize? What does Biafra mean? What does Biafra really stand for? What principles, values, beliefs made Biafra very unique? Why was Biafra so enormously progressive and successful in several areas of national life in that short three years? What about Biafra made and still makes political unification with Nigeria intellectually and practically incongruous and impossible?” The answers to these questions are immensely important because as Biafrans, we have a responsibility to examine those beliefs, and appraise them in terms of their progressive or retrogressive content, and then pass the progressive philosophies, values, beliefs, and attitudes on to our children and generations yet unborn. That is how progressive societies think and behave. Secondly we will forever curse anyone who describes Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu as a “Nigerian.” He isn’t, never was and never will be.
Do you want to know why? Read “The Ahiara Declaration”, an encapsulation of his thoughts. Go to “The Myth About The Negro” – Where he talks about Racism, Arab-Muslim Expansionism, and White Economic Imperialism. Can you see Racism? Do you see Arab-Muslim expansionism in Darfur, Southern Sudan, and Northern Nigeria ? Can you see White economic imperialism in Nigeria ? Go on to “Self Determination” where he talked about Freedom, Liberty, and the right of a people to make decisions and choices for themselves; where he severely criticized Black leaders for their slavish mentality: “Because the Black man is considered inferior and servile to the White, he must accept his political, social and economic system and ideologies ready made from Europe, America, and the Soviet Union. Within the confines of his nation he must accept a federation or confederation or unitary government if federation or confederation or unitary government suits the interest of his White masters …, ”
One of Gowon’s purported reasons for opposing self -determination for Biafra and declaring genocidal war on Biafra was that he did not want other African countries to divide into new countries for fear that they will “take over the United Nations.” From 1990 to date, Eastern and Western Europe have produced some twenty-eight new, sovereign, independent countries. Most of them have been admitted as full members of the United Nations. I’m still waiting for Gowon’s placard carrying protest to the United Nations for Europe ’s takeover of the UN. Now, go on and continue reading. Read “The Exploitation of Africa; Anglo-Saxon Genocide; Nigerian Corruption; Negro Renaissance; Rediscovering Independence; and The People, where he reaffirmed the primacy of the ordinary individual Biafran as the center point around which Biafra is built.” He closed that section of his thoughts thus: “You see, you make a mistake when you greet me with shouts of “Power, Power”. I am not power – you are. My name is Emeka. I am your servant, that is all.” Are you still in any doubt about what Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu believed or what Biafra stands for?
Now go on to the “diamond nuggets” of his belief and what Biafra stands for – “The Principles of the Biafran Revolution” : (1) Sanctity of human life and dignity of the human person; (2) Protection of a people, their security, right to life, property and progress and firm stand against genocide; (3) Love and devotion to the fatherland- patriotism and willingness to pay the supreme price for the Nation because you believe in that Nation; (4) Unity and brotherhood based on geography, consanguinity, intermarriage, culture as well as common foundational beliefs, values, and mode of interpersonal and intercommunity relationships; (5) Respect of Individual Rights and preparedness to defend them whenever and wherever they are threatened; (6) Sovereignty and Power belonging to the people, not the leaders who must be accountable to the people at all times; (7) Public Accountability – those who exercise power (the executive, legislature, judiciary, civil service, police, armed forces, business) are accountable to the people at all times and the people retain the right to terminate their mandate whenever they choose to do so.
Then he expands on The Task of a Leader [leader as a servant of the people, not their master] ; Social Justice [equal opportunity for all, reward for honesty, hard work, achievement, talent, impartiality, fairness, and protection of the weak and infirm]; Property and Community [respect of individual and community property; balance between crass individualism and community development and progress];
Egalitarian Society [rejection of rigid classification, guarantee of opportunity for economic and social mobility, striking a balance between tradition and progressive change, guarantee that “no condition is permanent”];
Putting the Revolution into Practice [continuous discovery and development of talent, skill, ideas; education as the engine of development and progress, developing the Biafran personality through art, literature, music, dance, drama]; The Legislature [as the primary instrument for effecting the will of the People]; Politics and
The Revolution [emphasis on the delegation of power from the people, clear separation of powers in the different arms of the government, freedom to vote and be voted for wherever a Biafran chooses to live; cold, formal, aloof, slow and ponderous treatment by civil servants must give way to quick, efficient, energized, civil, modern treatment]; The Judiciary [a most important arm of the State whose foundation is the Rule of Law; laws must be in consonance with the values of the people, every Biafran must have easy recourse to the law courts, legal redress must be available to all, laws must be understandable to the citizens, must be for the protection of their life, freedom, and liberties and in the defense of the integrity, stability, and moral health of the nation.;
The Police Force [very important institution, maintain law and order and guard the security of the people and the nation, must be scrupulously honest, dedicated, fanatically devoted to protecting the security of the people and the state; not there simply to arrest criminals but help people avoid going wrong by teaching citizens their rights and responsibilities];
The Armed Services [holds key position in Biafra, in the frontline of the defense of the Biafran Nation, must be truly a People’s army – have love, unity and co-operation between the officers and ranks and between them and the people, must rid itself of rigid class distinctions, must never maltreat fellow citizens, or loot their property and must treat Biafran womanhood with respect and decorum];
The Public Services [a public servant is the servant of the People; must not be arrogant, insolent and overbearing; must have the right training for his job so he can provide efficient service; no room for inefficient, corrupt, or indolent public servant; a public servant who cannot or will not do his job will be fired]; Training and Education [need for orientation to shift from narrow technical training in one area to a broad-based skill set that will make the individual more adaptable to changing and challenging situations; use several modalities of information dissemination to educate the People];
Right to Work [guarantee of equal opportunity for employment and labor irrespective of sex (gender), equal pay for equal work irrespective of sex (gender); merit and output will be criteria for reward of labor – “to each according to his ability, and to each ability according to its product” shall be the motto in Biafra; guarantee of security for workers and those incapacitated by physical injury, old age or disease];
Health and Welfare [health and physical well being of the Biafran citizen shall be the responsibility of the State, medical service for all citizens in accordance with available resources; wage struggle against epidemic and endemic diseases; promote knowledge of hygienic living; develop social and preventive medicine; emphasize purity of water that people drink and air that people breathe];
Culture and Higher Education [recognize the vital importance of the mental and emotional needs of the Biafran People; pay great attention to religion, education, culture and the arts; ideas that inspire inferiority and dependence on foreigners must be discouraged while those encouraging a sense of national and racial pride among our People will be fostered; embark on training scientists, technicians, and skilled workers for quick industrialization and the modernization of our agriculture; develop higher education and technological training and encourage intellectuals, writers, artists, scientists, researchers, inventors to contribute significantly to knowledge and world culture; provide special care and assistance to soldiers and civilians disabled in the pogrom and the war and assume responsibility for the dependents of those who paid the supreme prize in defense of the Fatherland.];
Self-Reliance [pursue an active policy of self-reliance; take control of the main spring of our economy–production, distribution and exchange; pursue an enlightened dynamic policy concentrating on employing our primary products in various domestic manufactures; primary goal must be self sufficiency in food production; form cooperatives and make your members take pride in their work; achieve balanced development between industry and agriculture between regions and provinces in Biafra]. Finally, always have faith in The People; believe in them for they are the bastion of the Nation, the makers of its culture and history.
If you are still unclear about what Ojukwu believed and what Biafra stands for, then read his address to African Heads of State at Addis Ababa , on August 5, 1968. You want to know what he thought and continued to think of Nigeria until his death, read “On Nigeria, The Flag of Shame” in which he summarized Nigeria thus: “Nigeria in the end came to be run by compromises made and broken between the Northerners and consenting Southern politicians. This led to interminable violent crisis, to corruption and nepotism, and to the arbitrary use of power.”
Now ask yourself this: What has changed since he said this in Umuahia in 1968? Concerning all the bare-faced lies about how in Biafra the Igbo would dominate other ethnic groups, read his address to the convocation of the University of Biafra , Nsukka on July 1, 1967 in which he laid out the working of the Provincial System of Government and the Minorities. He later gave an interview to a German journalist, Dr. Ruth Bowert on the same subject on March 25, 1968; and addressed the Efik Community on the same subject on June 11, 1968. He summarized his thoughts on the Provincial System of Government in an interview he gave on February 11, 1969 to Charles Goodell, a United States Senator who was visiting Biafra with a team of experts. You may want to read Senator Goodell’s report in the United States Congressional Record.
What is totally incomprehensible and sincerely maddening is to hear some Igbo leaders talking about subsuming Biafra within the confines of geographical Nigeria . What in the world would make someone from the Eastern Region entertain this sort of decadent and shriveled thinking? Which of the principles of the Biafran revolution do you see in Nigeria ? Which of those principles outlined in the Ahiara declaration do you see in Nigeria that makes you think of subsuming the Biafran Revolution under the umbrella of decadent Nigeria ? As you can see from the outlined principles, Biafra is rooted in democratic, progressive, self-reliant, sociopolitical, economic philosophy whose goal is self-determination, and social and economic emancipation of the Black people.
Nigeria on the other hand is rooted in feudalistic, conservative, retrogressive, sociopolitical philosophy whose goal is domination, exploitation, corruption, dependency and wretchedness of the Black man. The two systems are so mutually exclusive they are antagonistic to each other. They are like two parallel lines, they never meet. It is therefore inconceivable and out rightly nonsensical for anyone to even entertain the thought of merging these two mutually antagonistic philosophies; these two mutually exclusive sociopolitical systems into one workable, successful political entity.
Nigerians living in the twelve Northern Nigeria Sharia states have strongly expressed their preference for Sharia law as the core of their constitutional arrangement as well as their legal, political and economic system. They insist on this as the bedrock of their sociopolitical and socioeconomic system and have clearly articulated their wish to separate from Nigeria .
To press their demand they have resorted to terrorism organized through their pressure group “Boko Haram” which has been bombing churches, private homes, and businesses, and killing thousands of innocent people.
The Nigerian federal government has been dithering, unsure of what to do. It is rather simple. These people are entitled to live their lives in the sociopolitical system of their choice in their NEW COUNTRY. No one has the right to deny them their right to self determination. Note that political, social and intellectual leaders in the Sharia Northern States have not condemned the killing of innocent people and bombing of churches by Boko Haram until the Christmas bombing; not even the Sultan of Sokoto.
The peoples living in the South Eastern Region of Nigeria have clearly expressed their choice of the Biafran politico-legal and socio economic system articulated here as the system under which they prefer to live. They have articulated this through several pro-Biafran organizations as well as the Lower Niger Congress and have adopted non violent means to press their case. Again, the Nigerian federal government has been dithering, unsure what to do. But it is really simple. The principle of self-determination grants them the right as human beings to live under the kind of sociopolitical arrangement that they choose in their NEW COUNTRY. The same thing applies to the peoples living in the Middle Belt of Nigeria as well as those living in the South Western Region of Nigeria. This is fundamental human right and nobody or government has the authority to abridge this freedom of choice.
So the federal government of Nigeria must now put into action the process that will enable the peoples of the Sharia States in the North; the peoples of the South Eastern Region, the South Western Region and the Middle Belt Region to actualize their respective self determination demands without further bloodshed. It is foolish and irresponsible for the leaders of the federal government of Nigeria to continue to pretend that there is really one united political entity called Nigeria when all evidence points to the contrary. To continue to use brute force to hold together the disparate nation states in geographical Nigeria is terrible injustice and a crime against humanity.
How many millions of innocent lives have been snuffed out by Nigeria since Yakubu Gowon engineered by his foreign masters embarked on this foolishness? How many tens of thousands of innocent people have been slaughtered since 1980 as Nigeria continued this foolishness? President Jonathan should ask himself how many thousands of butchered innocent young lives he is willing to have piled on his head in the pursuit of this foolishness called “One Nigeria.” The seeds of disintegration were planted in geographical Nigeria long, long time ago.
The refusal of the political and military rulers of Nigeria to come to terms with the reality of the incongruity of Nigeria as one political entity has resulted in mind-numbing massacres, genocidal war, and now horrific acts of terrorism all of which have claimed more than five million innocent wasted lives. Ask yourselves; honestly is Nigeria worth this price? Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union initiated and supervised the dissolution of the monstrosity called the Soviet Union thereby liberating fifteen autonomous independent Nations that had been engulfed by the Union . He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 and the Harvey Prize in 1992. I hereby urge you President Jonathan to borrow a leaf from Mikhail Gorbachev and do the “Right Thing.” As we sprint into 2012, will President Jonathan have the courage to do the right thing?
It boggles the mind that some Igbo elders and some elders of other Ethnic Nations in Eastern Region still do not accept this reality that Nigerians do not like them and do not want to be with them in the same country. Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sarduana of Sokoto made it very clear in his interview with a European journalist as far back as the 1950’s. You can see and hear it for yourself on YouTube. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa said essentially the same thing. You can also see it on YouTube. Numerous members of the Northern House of Assembly said the same thing during their budget session in 1964.
This information is readily available on the internet. Yakubu Gowon said the same thing. Jibril Aminu recently demanded that CAN be disbanded. The current Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, in an invited address at the Samuel L. and Elizabeth Jodidi Annual Lecture he gave at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 10, 20 11 never once condemned the activities of Boko Haram blaming it on poverty and the failure of the government to take care of those poor folks. He ended his address with this shocking comment: “We should all remember that in the final analysis, it is not what the perpetrators of violence do that really counts. It is the actions we take, individually and collectively that would shape the fate of humanity.”
So what did the man, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu stand for? What does he symbolize? What lessons can we learn from his life, from Biafra and pass on to our children? What is Biafra and what does Biafra symbolize? Brig. John Shagaya (ret.) stated: “Given Ojukwu’s position and disposition during the troubled days of the First Republic , anyone would have done what he did. Any soldier worth his salt would have acted the same way as the Ikemba did in 1966 when he ceded Biafra from Nigeria . Nobody in that position would stand aside and watch his people being killed because the situation in 1966 would have pushed anybody to do what he did, especially after the retaliatory coup of July 1966. Not many people would have had the courage to do the things that he did. He was a source of inspiration to many of us during those turbulent years.”
He concluded by saying: “What is happening in Nigeria today is far greater than what happened before the civil war. I think we should try to avoid a repeat of that unfortunate incident because what is happening in Nigeria today could be worse than what Ojukwu saw in Nigeria of 1966.” John Shagaya, the truth shall set you free. Ojukwu’s thoughts do not in any way fit into the crummy, degrading Nigerian philosophy. His thoughts fit snugly only into the revolutionary, progressive, self-reliant and self-determination Biafran philosophy and emancipated way of living for Black people. Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu is intertwined with Biafra ; you cannot separate them; and together they symbolize the emancipated, progressive, self-reliant, prosperous, Black man.
I have been most impressed by this culturally appropriate assessment of Odumegwu Ojukwu’s contributions in Igbo history and philosophy which goes thus: “The trinity of Igbo character is “Akpa Uche” [cult of wisdom]; “Ukwu n’ije” [striving and enterprise]; “Ikenga” [the pride of Achievement]. A good score by an Igbo man in these three areas pronounced him to have attained “Ntozu” [Accomplishment] which will entitle the individual to the title of “Odenigbo” [Global Acclaim]. Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu not only attained “Odenigbo”, he was a mirror of this trinity.” This assessment of Odumegwu Ojukwu was purportedly done by the Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, a Yorubaman.
In conclusion, the Igbo and may be other people of Eastern Region of Nigeria must accept the reality that their destiny does not reside in “One Nigeria” as is clearly articulated in the tenets of the Ahiara Declaration. We are a very different people philosophically, socially, culturally, and especially in our world view from the peoples of far Northern Nigeria . The grave error of “tying” us together in one political entity called Nigeria has resulted in perpetual, irresolvable, conflicts culminating in the slaughter of millions of our people-men, women and children since 1945. We have suffered pogrom.
We have suffered genocide. Now we are suffering terrorism. Between December 25, 2011 and January 11, 2012, (18 days) more than one hundred Igbo were murdered in cold blood through terrorism in Northern Nigeria . The leader of the terrorist organization called Boko Haram in a youtube video bragged that they will continue to kill our people. The president of Nigeria , Goodluck Jonathan has admitted that members of the terrorist group are in his executive arm of government as well as in the legislative and judicial arms of government and the armed services. The implication of his admission is that the federal government of Nigeria is incapable of protecting the Igbo living in any part of Northern Nigeria . So are the state governments in Northern Nigeria . Therefore Igbo who continue to reside in Northern Nigeria are on their own.
It is silly to tell our people still residing or trapped in Northern Nigeria to stay and defend themselves. The ridiculousness of such suggestion becomes apparent once you ask certain questions. How do you defend yourself against an enemy you don’t know and can’t identify? Is Boko Haram the man coming to your shop and pretending to buy something from you? Is he the person coming to worship in the same church that you attend? Is he the policeman assigned to guard your church? Is he the manager of your bank or your child’s high school teacher? Boko Haram is armed with sophisticated IED’s, automatic assault rifles and military grade bombs. What weapons will you use to defend yourself without the federal or state government of Nigeria arresting you and charging you with terrorism? Igbo living in the far North are segregated and isolated in stranger’s quarters called “Sabon Geri.”
The terrorists know where you live; they know where your business is located; they know where your church is located and when you attend service; and they also know where your children go to school. Since you don’t know who they are and can’t locate them they have enormous advantage over you. They can surround any of your locations anytime and slaughter you.
That’s how they killed forty-seven and injured more than forty Igbo who went to Mass on Christmas Day, 2011 at Madalla, Abuja; six Igbo who were worshipping in a church at Gombe on January 5, 2012; twenty-one Igbo who were holding a meeting at Mubi on January 6, 2012 to arrange to ship to Igbo land the bodies of four of their relatives murdered by the terrorists three days earlier; eight Igbo who were relaxing at a beer parlor in Potiskum on January 10, 2012; and four Igbo who were fleeing the North in their mini bus on January 11, 2012, and only stopped to buy petrol at a petrol filling station at Potiskum.
All this happened in only eighteen days and the numbers are just those given officially. Targeting and killing Igbo all over Northern Nigeria has been going on regularly and systematically. More than fifty such attacks have been recorded since 1980 resulting in tens of thousands of Igbo civilians ruthlessly slaughtered in cold blood in that period.
No sane Igbo can continue to pretend that Nigerians love them and want to live in the same country with them. The harsh truth is that Nigerians hate the Igbo and do not want to live with them.
The Igbo have no choice but to use the principle of self-determination to establish the political arrangement that will guarantee their freedom and the security of their lives and property. Biafra already provides such political framework and structures like the BGIE, BILIE, Lower Niger Congress and other such organizations must be used now as springboard to the actualization of an autonomous political arrangement that guarantees freedom, liberty and security for our people. Hiding our heads in the sand and pretending that we can “fix” or “appease” Nigeria into accepting us is foolish and self-destructive.
No people hated, persecuted, and hounded have secured their freedom through appeasement – not African-Americans in the southern United States [the great migration from the south to the north and the civil rights movement], not the Jews in the 1930’s and 40’s of Europe [the Jewish State of Israel], not the Southern Sudanese with the jackboot of Khartoum on their neck [the independent state of Southern Sudan], not the East Timorese under Indonesia [the independent State of East Timor], not Black people of South Africa under Apartheid South African government [the free Republic of South Africa], not Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Slovenia; not Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Tajikistan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Estonia or Russia. All these countries and their peoples are now free, and independent with the responsibility of charting their future, following their destiny, and guaranteeing freedom, liberty, safety, security and prosperity of their citizens.
If the Igbo continue to fail to stand up for their freedom they will become victims of their own foolishness and shortsightedness for as Benjamin Franklin wisely counseled: “Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Once more, i say to Gowon and Obasanjo, since you are now at the tamarc to join Ojukwu, can you ever get such acolade as Ojukwu recieved on his demise.?