Home » Perspective » Biafra: Who Is Afraid Of Nigerian History? (1)

Biafra: Who Is Afraid Of Nigerian History? (1)

NFJ. Ibelegbu
The Civil War ended 46 years ago. Our ‘loss’ still represents the worst thing that would ever happen to Igbos, worldwide. Biafra would have been one of the greatest nations in the world. Of course, I am old enough (and appropriately knowledgeable) to know this. The most courageous Army in African History had however, acquitted itself most creditably. In spite of all the materials and other advantages enjoyed by the federal troops-together with the gang-up of Britain, Russia, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, etc-it took Nigeria all of 30 months to defeat us. Look, every ex-Biafran soldiers still alive should hold up his head, high!
‘Biafran Technology’ was the best in Africa. Indeed, Chapter 5 of my book should make every Igbo person proud. I mean POST-WAR NIGERIA, RECONCILIATION AND UNITY… (Ark Publishers, P.O. Box 1044, Owerri Nigeria, 2009)! From way across the Oceans, the perceptive Whites had quickly concludes that real technological competition had finally arrived in Africa.
Tragically, Gowon and his corrupt, visionless Supreme Military Council were operating from a level of hate and envy. They did not see what the wily Britishers saw and so allowed themselves to be persuaded to throw away the baby with the bath water. The same Whites had quickly snapped up the best of the Biafran Scientists and Technicians who were ignored and rejected by blind Nigeria. The end result is technological inferiority, political instability, corruption, mediocrity, unemployment, crime, prostitution, violence, disease, ignorance, etc –amidst numerous resources.
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Apart from what I have gleaned from the Newspapers these past few months, I know next to nothing about the quest for another Biafra. I cannot really say what makes those ‘new Biafra’ proponents tick. However, there is one thing I do know for sure. Those fellows do not know much, if at all, about the 1967 Biafra. From their actions and utterances, they do not, at all. This is a big minus for their Cause. Another hindrance for them is lack of unity. The third is low elite participation.
I personally do not believe that a ‘new Biafra’ is the surefire panacea to the Igbo person’s numerous travails in a corrupt, insecure, rich/poor, satanic, historically-daft, retrogressive and technologically – bereft “Giant of Africa”.
Throughout history, wars have been a-dime-a-dozen, especially Civil Wars. At the last count well over 73 countries (including the United States, China, Spain, Angola, Liberia, etc) had fought wars since the year 1735. Unlike Nigeria however, many of those countries had come to their senses quickly, learnt from their mistakes, forgiven one another (as much as possible) and initiated genuine reconciliation exercises. They knew that without reconciliation, Post-War unity, peace ad progress shall remain a mirage.
Naturally, it takes more than one party to fight but apparently, many Nigerians do not know this. They even stupidly accuse us of having caused the Civil War. In this e-mail, I have debunked quite a number of malicious, fallacious and devil-inspired claims.
• Are we at the Crossroad?
This question is not only for Igbos! It is for everybody. What Nigeria sowed over the years is what she is now reaping. Having continued to sow evil seeds Nigerians have on their hands a (suppressed) Ijaw militancy, a deadly and yet-to-be-buried Boko Haram insurgency; a Biafran resurgence; murderous and sacred cow, Fulani Cattle rearers; a veiled threat of an Oduduwa Republic; stinking corruption; instigated religious riots; armed Robberies; Cultism; Sexual immorality galore; kidnapping; do-or-die electioneering; ritual killings; etc. Can you now see that our problems today do not pertain to Igbos, per se? The Biafran resurgence is just only one of the consequences of leadership failure. I hope to discus more on that in Part 3 of this mail.
I can write over 40 pages on my topic very easily. You see, I have the historicity of the period 1960-1970 in Nigeria right at my finger tips. However, I intend to make this mail (which is in three Parts) as brief as possible. After all, more than 90% of what I could have written here happen to be in my 20-Chapter, 430-page book.
Lest I forget, let me say that the proponents of a ‘new Biafra’ have an uphill task. Among other things, they should, first of all, read Chapter 4 of the Book- captioned “WHY WE LOST”, Anything short of that would amount to jumping in the dark. Those fifteen reasons should give them food-for-thought. Most of them do not even know anything about the 1967 Biafra and yet they are talking about a ‘new Biafra’.
Those Igbos who were fully involved with Biafra are gradually phasing out. Oh, how time really flies! When I look at my youngest brother todays, I feel sorry for Igbos generally. When Umuahia fell in mid-April 1969, he was just about 8 years old. I was in the Biafran Army. On a visit to their Refugee Camp at Ekwerazu Mbaise (now in Imo State), a few months later, I still vividly recollect how smallish (and vulnerable) he was. The major problem my parents and siblings had to cope with was hunger. My father looked terribly gaunt. The best father in the world, He was ready to go hungry so that his family could eat. Luckily, I had some back pay on me. When I gave him the bundle of Biafran currency, the relief on his face was indeed palpable… Sorry for the digression. I want to say that my brother is now 55. What can he claim to know about the 1967 Biafra? Do you now see why you need to acquire knowledge about the most terrible and traumatic period in Igbo History? Do it fast so that you can answer questions from your children, younger siblings, students, etc. finally or this, it is now clear that non-Igbos can also be refuses in their country…
• Who caused the Civil War?
So, who caused the war? “Ojukwu and the Ibos..?” This is the usual answer from the millions of brainwashed folks in this country – big or small, educated or illiterate, rich or poor, young or old. What a pity! How then can there be genuine reconciliation amid falsehood. What is all the hypocritical talk of peace, unity, progress etc?
The Nigerian Civil War, (July 1967 to January 1970) was caused by the (moslem) North, Britain, the Yorubas, the Igbos and the rest of Nigerians, in that exact order. I intend to provide cogent and documented reasons to back up my assertion. However, since this is just an e-mail, these shall be very brief. Part One of my book (Chapters 1-5) have provided all the facts and figures. The Igbo Chapter (Chapter 19) has also shed a lot of light on some post –war issues that pertain to Igboland as a whole. One of these happens to be the deliberate reduction of Igbo population figure. Igbo politicians and so-called leaders have not though it fit to open their mouths.
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The North had been in political control since September 1957 when Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, in his bid to promote a united Nigeria, accepted to relinquish the Prime Ministership in favour of a relatively-obscure Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Sir Ahmadu Bello had refused to participate in the Independence moves. The Britishers were stunned at such Statesmanship while Chief Obafemi Awolowo was bitter and disgusted. In his usual frank manner, the man said so openly. That was the beginning of his feud with Sir Ahmadu Bello and his henchmen. The Igbos were, of course, not happy with Zik. He did not consult anybody before deciding to please a difficult-to-please moslem North.
Balewa’s ineptitude later came to the fore but this did not prevent the man and his Party from shamelessly manipulating the 1959 General Election figures. Earlier on, a controversial Census had been held which, with the aid of the British, was rigged in favour of the North. Goats, sheep, cows, etc were said to have been counted. By March 1961, over 85%of the country’s military Formations Facilities, Armories. Air Force Bases, Trainings Schools etc had become firmly concentrated up North. Protests from Southern politicians were contemptuously ignored. The major hidden Agenda was to encourage the perpetual dominance of the entire country.
The Sardauna had also been quoted as having said something about dipping the Koran into the Sea. In 1964, the Defence Industries Corporation was also established in Kaduna. With the boiling over of the feud between Chief Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello-as well as the Awo/Akintola problem which was engineered by the North, Western Nigeria virtually got to a boiling point. I am talking about the Wild, Wild, West saga. Awo was later confined to the Island of Lekki while Akintola was banished to the Olokemeji Forest Reserve.
We must also not forget the deliberate politicization of the Nigerian Army by Sir Ahmadu Bello-aided by Brigadier Samuel Ademulegun. He was the Commander, 1st Brigade, Kaduna and used to visit the Sardauna at any time of the day-or night. Senior Officers as well as politicians, especially from Western Nigeria, had frowned at it all. In fact, Chief Awolowo and Brig. Ademulegun were on very bad terms.

What of the bloody problem between the core North and the TIVs? At the height of the TIV Riots, their leader, Joseph S. Tarka had escaped to the East where Premier M.I. Okpara shielded him. Paradoxically, the same TIVS had helped to murder Igbos after the July 1966 coup in North… All these – and more-had given rise to the January 1966 Coup.

• Major Katsina and the ‘Ibo Coup Plot’
According to late Dele Giwa as well as Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Yakuba Mohammed, etc, in their Special Newswatch Edition of January, 1986; “in the shameful catalogue of subsequent Coups in Nigeria, the January 1966 action enjoyed the briedest participation of ethnic groups…. The Coup only failed because Gen. Ironsi was able to rally the Army, and defeat the attempt. Col. (Ojukwu who was also on the ‘hit’ list had thwarted the plot in Kano…”)

Definity, from all my research and study, January 15, 1966’ was not “an exclusive Ibo Plot..” Certainly not! Undoubtedly, Igbos had led the putsh but there were also a number of Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba Officers and men, among others. Is it not on record that Major Usman Katsina had been Nzeowgu’s right hand man, from start to finish? Please try and lay hands on the NEW NIGERIA Newspapers of January 16(?)1966. I hear that Edition was mopped us, much later, when Katsina became Governor of the North. However, but some people should still have it. In there, you will see a photograph showing a smiling and elated Katsina, Nzeogwu, some other Officers as well as a number of troops immediately they came back from the Sardauna’s residence.

Again, all the soldiers who went to deal with Sir Ahmadu Bello were from the North, Every single one of them! Now, if you are afraid of the truth, drop this mail quickly and go jump into the Kaduna River… Do you know about the thousands of Igbos- soldiers, men, women and children that were killed in the North between July 29 and December 1966? What of those that were killed or maimed during the war, simply because of the lying and devilish “Ibo Coup” propaganda?

The deceitful, ungrateful and wily Katsina, when the “Ibo Coup” got foild by Igbos, ran to Gen. Ironsi, told some tales and got promoted to Lt. Colonel. Later, he was appointed the Military Governor of the North. It is pertinent to mention here that the Yoruba Officers, as a condition for their participation in the “Igbo Coup Plot”, had insisted that as soon as it got successfully executed, Chief Awolowo must be released from the Calabar Prisons and made Prime Minister. This was accepted by all.

• Gen. Ironsi’s Disastrous Outing
Considering the man’s military exploits in Africa, Europe, et, Ironsi’s death at the hands of subordinates masquerading as angry, undisciplined soldiers was Brutish and humiliating in the external. It was after they had succeeded that the massacre of Igbos in the North after the July 1966 “Counter Coup” had begun in bloody Ernest. Since the assumed Igbo champion (and symbol) had fallen shamefully, who was to stop the murderers?

Gen. Ironsi was an honest, good, brave and kind “top Officer” who had risen from the lower ranks to eventually become the G.O.C., Nigerian Army in 1965. Incidentally and contrary to subsisting, lying and malicious propaganda, he was the person who foiled the ‘Ibo Coup’ in Lagos after overpowering those sent to get him. General Ironsi never planned, for one day, to become a Head of State. However, that should be no reason to excuse his terribly woeful outing. Major Nzeogwu would have done much better as Head of State if that had become necessary. In actual fact, Gen. Ironsi would have been a goner if Nzeogwu had not been pressurized into dropping his original plan of Tackling the “Soldier’s soldier”. He told them the man was tougher than Sir Ahmadu Bello but they had thought otherwise. Ironsi had later played to the gallery-in every sense of the word. For inexplicable reasons, he chose to keep Igbos at arm’s length while surrounding himself with Northerners. Before he found out, like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, how so very futile it was to please certain elements in the North, it was too late. For example, the Inspector-General of Police, Lewis Edet was suspended, for no just cause. Alhaji Kam Salem was given the top Polio job. The Commissioner of Police for Northern Nigeria came from Kaduna to head the equivalent of our Directorate of State Security today. Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon came from “nowhere” and became Ironsi’s Chief of Army Staff (and blue-eyed boy). He actually had Ironsi’s ear on every matter. Ironsi’s Aide-De-Camp, Chief Security Officer, Principal Staff Officer, Personal Secretary, Driver, Cook, etc, were all Northerners. What unbelievable naivety!.

The man’s next blunder was the abolition of the powerful and unifying Igbo State Union at the instigation of his scheming friends from the North. This action had helped to make the killings in the North easier. To cap it all, Ironsi simply sacked Dr. Okechukwu Ikejiani, Chairman of the Nigeria Railway Corporation and an ally of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. This had paved the way for the victimization of Igbos in the Corporation. Incidentally, when Dr. Ikejiani was in the saddle, the trains ran regularly and on schedule. Over 8,000 youths were employed. Thereafter, the Yorubas, Indians, Hausas, Chinese, Dutchmen, etc, had tinkered with the hitherto buoyant Corporation. Billions of naira have severally been embezzled. At the moment, President Buhari appears to be romancing with the Chinese, all over again. Petroleum products which hitherto went by rail now go by road. The tankers are not averse to smashing into everything in sight.
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If you are a Publisher, Editor, Correspondent or Columnist, reproduce my Part (1) in your tabloid and simply inform me so I can buy a copy. Those other persons who truly love their country should please ensure that the mail gets forwarded to at least 20 persons. I have about 1200 readers on my own list. However I still want more. Genuine knowledge helps to engender peace, unity and progress.
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For those who desire to buy and read my book, especially Igbos, the price is N3,000.00 (Three Thousand Naira) per copy. This includes portage within Nigeria. Remember that wise people discuss what they know about. Before you can talk about a ‘new Biafra’, you have to be conversant with what happened before and during the 1967 Biafra. You cannot throw away history. If you want to buy one, two or twenty copies (maximum) simply send a text message to the number below stating your intention and forwarding your names as well as correct Postal Address. My Bank Account. No. shall reach you promptly.

Finally, let me wrap up my Part One. Within two weeks, past 2 shall be read, you will read more details about the General who came, saw but was conquered why are Igbo Statesmen, Governors, NASS Members, etc shying away from commenting on MASSOB/IPOB? Do you know there are many counterfeit Igbos around? The first batch were born in 1970, when “victorious” Federal soldiers began to abduct, rape and ‘marry’ Igbo girls. Also, right before our eyes, Igbo population is being consistently and deliberably whittled down. I have discussed Obasanjo’s so-called Census 2006 in Chapter 19 of the book. Do not forget that Igbos make up over 25% of the population of Lagos State, 15% of Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto and other States. Forget about the millions in the Diaspora.
Thank you.
08052400349 (sms only)

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