Igbo, Yoruba at war over Chinua Achebe’s criticism of Awolowo in new book

Obafemi_Awolowo

A massive row has erupted between the Igbo and Yoruba ethnic groups in Nigeria over foremost writer, Chinua Achebe’s portrayal of former premier of the defunct Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo, in his new book, There was a Country.

Mr.  Achebe lambasted Mr. Awolowo’s civil war policies in the book, and that has fired up a rare dichotomy between Igbo and Yoruba, each side teaming with their kinsman.

Nearly a week after the excerpt of Mr. Achebe’s memoir, blaming Mr. Awolowo for starving to death of over two million Biafran children, became public, leading Yoruba leaders and activists have poured vituperations on the writer.

In turn, Mr. Achebe’s Igbo kinsmen have sided with him, justifying his claims and attacking Yoruba critics in return.

Notable leaders from the region and commentators on the blogosphere with Yoruba pseudonyms, have remained furiously unified in condemning the respected author.

Same has held for the contrary. Igbo leaders speaking, fewer though, as well as virtual commentators, have upheld Mr. Achebe’s allegations with an equal dose of invective directed at Mr. Awolowo, who died in 1987.

Amongst the latest Sunday, Rotimi Fashakin, the National Publicity Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), warned that Mr. Achebe’s remarks were inciting and capable of stirring conflict.

“It is akin to the great Madiba, the irrepressible, indomitable Nelson Mandela writing a book and cataloguing only the heinous crimes of the white supremacists of the apartheid era,” Mr. Fashakin said in a statement.

“The first thing that runs through the mind (before depreciating the worth of the man), is: what is the portent of this at the ‘quarter-to-grave’ status of this old bloke?”

In excerpts of Mr. Achebe’s war memoir, There was a country, published Tuesday by the UK Guardian, Mr. Achebe blamed Mr. Awolowo and war time military ruler, Yakubu Gowon, for instituting a no-food policy against the secessionist Biafran side, mainly Igbos and the present South-South.

The policy, which Mr. Achebe calls “diabolical” is said to have killed over two million people.

A transcript of Mr. Awolowo’s interview in 1983 has come handy for Mr. Awolowo’s supporters in responding to the issues Mr. Achebe raised.

In the remarks, made by the former leader on a campaign trail for the 1983 presidential election, Mr. Awolowo admitted the policy, but denied it targeted civilians.

He said the policy targeted the fighting personnel, as a way to end the three-year old conflict. Food supplies dispatched for civilians use in Biafra, were cornered by the soldiers, he said.

Mr. Awolowo was finance commissioner, and vice-chairman of the Federal Executive Council under the Gowon regime. He played a prominent role in that capacity, acting like a second in command.

Images of children dying from Kwashiorkor, occasioned by the starvation, came to define that deadly war across the world.

The Yoruba and the Igbo have always dealt with one another with suspicion. Mr. Achebe’s remark in the book appears to have deepened that dichotomy.

The Secretary General, Afenifere, Seinde Arogbofa, was quoted last week by the Punch as saying of Mr. Achebe:

“He has the right to live anywhere he likes but to start denigrating one of Nigeria’s founders and builders like the Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo are not only unfortunate but a great abomination especially when he knows that the man is dead and cannot defend himself.”

The Sun quoted the immediate past president of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dozie Ikedife, as saying:

“The facts are naked but only that truth is better. Igbos would not start another war but for Nigeria to move forward, she must acknowledge injustice done to Ndigbo during the war.”

The paper also reported a former National Chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chekwas Okorie, as also speaking in support of Mr. Achebe:

“It is a general knowledge that the civil war has only ended in the battle field but it has not in reality. Go to the South East and you will pity the Igbo. All the roads are impassable and there is no federal presence. The policies of federal character and educational disadvantage are created to deter the progress of the Igbo people.”

Ebenezar Babatope, a former minister and a protege of Mr. Awolowo, said in a statement : “While Achebe is free to write on any topic that suits his fancy, he has no right whatsoever to irresponsibly murder history by his recklessly attacking a great leader like Papa Awolowo.”

The Tribune owned by the late Mr. Awolowo, quoted Yinka Odumakin, a member of the Save Nigeria Group, as saying,

“It is unfortunate that a great man of letters of Achebe’s status has descended to the arena of Biafran propagandists who are always ready to sacrifice the truth to achieve emotional blackmail.

“He has betrayed his intellectual calling by joining in the circulation of low quality rumours against Awo. I had looked forward to read the book, but now I doubt if I would pick up a copy even if dropped at my gate.”

In his own reaction to the controversy, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, said by writing the book and “making some of these baseless and nonsensical assertions, Achebe was simply indulging in the greatest mendacity of Nigerian modern history and his crude distortion of the facts has no basis in reality or rationality.”

“We must not mistake fiction and story telling for historical fact. The two are completely different. The truth is that Professor Chinua Achebe owes the Awolowo family and the Yoruba people a big apology for his tale of pure fantasy.”

He urged Mr. Achebe  to “leave Chief Awolowo alone and allow him to continue to rest in peace.”

He added, “This subtle attempt to denigrate the Yoruba and their past leaders, to place a question mark on their noble and selfless role in the war and to belittle their efforts and sacrifice to keep Nigeria together as one will always be vigorously resisted by those of us that have the good fortune of still being alive and who are aware of the facts.”

The Vanguard quotes Chinwoke Mbadinuju, former governor of Anambra state, Mr. Achebe’s home state, as cautioning such remarks:

“I have not read the book. I don’t want to speculate. During the civil war, I was studying in the United States of America. However, I have absolute confidence in Prof Chinua Achebe. He is an acclaimed international scholar and figure; whatever he says about the civil war should be taken seriously,” Mr. Mbadinuju said.

Mr. Awolowo’s daughter also spoke of her “disappointment” with the author of Things Fall Apart, according to Vanguard.

“One is still trying to come to terms with the sense of disappointment about the person who wrote what is now a brewing controversy in the country,” Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu said. “While a formal statement responding to the offensive comments of the writer is being prepared by the family all I can say for now is that I feel so disappointed.”

Mr. Achebe’s book is due for release on Tuesday.

Twenty-five years after he died, Mr. Awolowo remains a venerated personality in Nigeria.

For most of his adult life, he was the rallying point for the Yoruba, charting their political direction and implementing policies that made his people the most educated group in Nigeria.

  • OBINNA

    Nigeria is dead,when the youth engage in tribal centiments all the time. our politicians used it as a tool to distract us from their evil deed. believe me, when is time to share the money, there is no igbo, yoruba or housa, but come to issue, we hastly devide our self along tribal line.
    Truth be told, as an igbo man,blaming awolowo for war famine is not entirely right,becos he is not actually in commander ic cheif. that is not to say that he shared no blame at all.
    secondly, in war situation everyone want to win at all cost, the rule of fair play exist only in a dream world. America the so called professional human right oal keeper are heavily blamed in riaq afgan etc.
    My people, war is nasty, it is the last option . lets avoid it at all cost.
    As an igbo man, i see yoruba tribe as the best friend of the ibos in nigeria. call a spade a spade. lets begin to find what unit us instead of 52 years of wasted tribal supremacy madness. one lov to all . long live 9ja. lets desist from stupidity, and fight a common cause. politics have killed nigeria.

    • Paschal

      My dear Obinna, saying half-truths or being sensationalistic is not the same as being objective. I have not read the book first hand and you probably have not. Awo was the person who that decision of blockade would have come from and if not from him, his is the office t have adviced against it. Yes it is war and that is what they felt was going to help win it right? Ok, then why fret about it when somebody points it out. The truth is that explain or try to rationalise all they may, it was to inflict civilian casualty or at least they saw and allowed the civilian casualty. Before a million dies it takes time and if it were not targeted at civilians, that unprecedented number would have caused a re-strategization. I will here post a link of the readiness of the US to send aid back then and their definitive skepticism that the Feds of Nigeria then would not allow it through.

      Coming to sensationalism, don’t try to deceive the reader (lemme presume you won’t like to deceive yourself), Igbos have never seen ‘.. yoruba tribe as the best friend of the ibos in nigeria.’ that’s a big illusion. Igbos have always taken the yorubas to be two-timers and general lacking spine (just stating facts here – no pun intended). Even our professional comedians allude to that: portraying Igbos as after the money and yoruba’s as noisemakers/snitches.

      Find the declassified cables of the US government on events before and during the war here: This link is especially where the US diplomat states that they have planes ready to fly in rellief but that the only challenge is the refusal of the Federal Govt of Nigeria. http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v24/d402

      Like I have said somewhere else, lemme quote myself:
      “On recounting the hidden details of the
      Biafran war,I’m interested not in trying Awo or Gowon or officially
      crowning them douchebags but that the truths come out. I believe it will
      change a lot of attitudes, (bring some bad blood may be) and eventually
      lead to national reconciliation n healing.If we must keep being one. I
      love us to be one. Why? Big market potential and economics. Good for
      everyone..”

      Paschal
      Lagos.

    • ilajeeseodo

      I am going to factual and based my response on simple
      questions. Chinua Achebe made the following statements: “Awolowo was
      driven by an overriding ambition for power, for himself and for his

      Yoruba people. There is, on the surface at least, nothing wrong with those

      aspirations. However, Awolowo saw the dominant Igbos at the time as the
      obstacles

      to that goal, and when the opportunity arose – the Nigeria-Biafra war – his

      ambition drove him into a frenzy to go to every length to achieve his dreams.

      In the Biafran case it meant hatching up a diabolical policy to reduce the

      numbers of his enemies significantly through starvation — eliminating over two

      million people, mainly members of future generations…”

      1. Fact 1. I am 65 year old. My mother inherited a Kola nut coastal
      trading business between Okitipupa and Lagos from her mother. In
      other words my grandmother travelled on waters from okitipupa to lagos to sell
      kola nuts. According to my mother, my granny would return from Lagos after
      weeks and months with clothes to sell in Okitipupa and adjoining areas. My own
      mother inherited this business married my father and used these resources to
      train us their children-in both African and western education.

      2. I am Yoruba. My granny lived and traded between okitipupa before Nigeria as
      an entity was created. In other words, my grand mother and her family had a
      cultural, social, economic and business lives before Nigeria. They and we
      are Yorubas even when given our contemporary social experiences my
      siblings and I see ourselves as Nigerians and Africans -period. We just say we
      are culturally Yoruba only but that we are Nigerians and Africans.

      3. I have trained my children from the emotional, social, economic and
      cultural investments and proceeds of my parents which dated back to
      pre-Nigeria. Because these social, economic, cultural and business
      investments date to pre-Nigeria, it means they are pre-Awolowo era both
      in Nigeria and in Yoruba land.

      4. Now readers should place items 1-3 in my write up against Mr. Chinua
      Achebe’s assertions which I pasted at the begining of my response.

      5. let us take Chinua Achebe on. What can we deduce.? (i) Mr. Awolowo held down
      the Igbos so that his Yoruba people can make progress, and (ii) the Yorubas
      given that they are rational like all humans are, took advantage
      of Awolowo’s strategy of holding down the Igbos.

      6. Many commentators have talked about how Mr. Achebe took an aspect of
      history of 4 years and turned that aspect to the whole history. That is a
      theoretical challenge in real historical scholarship to Mr. Achebe, his
      academic assistants in the university where he works and his social
      and political defenders to deal with. While that is a legitimate
      theoretical issue in the job of the academia that is not what i am concerned
      with here in this post.

      7. Rather in this post I am concerned with a basic lie undeserving of an
      academic in a university to give the impression to his students that my
      grandmother’s business (and the extension of that in my mother and us her
      children) which pre-dated Nigeria and Awolowo is a product of or
      benefitted from an alleged policy of Awolowo which was designed to hold down
      his own people-the Igbos-for the benefit of the Yorubas. This is what I am
      concerned with. This is what others have not pointed out and which is really
      troubling. It unsettling consequences of Mr. Achebe’s assertions that may
      be the reason why some people have said that this man should stop writing
      history and continue to translate Igbo proverbs to English as literature. In
      other words, they mean this man does not know what he is talking about whenever
      he ventures out of his literary enterprise.

      8. I call your attention to items 4 and 7 in my response. If my Yoruba family’s
      social, economic, business and cultural investments predated Nigeria and
      Awolowo era, how on earth can I be beneficiary of an alleged plot by Awolowo
      against Igbos and for Yorubas? I am putting this to Chinua Achebe’s assistants
      in his university-Does this make sense? is this something about age telling on
      this fellow? In other words, we presume that knowledge is about truth. We know
      it is an assumption, but we still make that assumption. therefore to put pen to
      paper and write is to make a claim about search for truth. Scholarly, why
      should and how can Mr. Chinua Achebe ever suggest that Mr. Awolowo
      designed a policy to hold down Igbos so that Yorubas will benefit.?
      How is it that my Yoruba family’s commercial forays back and forth
      Okitipupa, Ilaje, and Lagos Coasts and which my lineage and
      generation inherit and develop to train our children to be highly cultured,
      cultivated and respectful and to be good citizens of the world wherever they
      are on earth be the benefit of holding down the Igbos? This assertion is
      a shock Nigerians will not overcome from. It will set us back and has set
      us back in a very sad and shocking manner.

      9. For some Igbos who defend Mr. Achebe NOT to see the implications in
      item 8 and attempt to paper over it is even more shocking and revealing.

      10. Now I have the following questions for Mr. Achebe, his academic
      assistants in the university he teaches, his university, and his political and
      social defenders on the net.

      a. To Mr. Achebe’s university: Is Mr. Achebe’s assertions as quoted part
      of what he teaches American and non-American students in the university? Mr.
      Achebe teaches at Boston University, US.

      b. To Mr. Achebe’s university: what is the epistemological and historical
      and worth and implications of assertions such as this? What are American
      and non-American students learning from these assertions from Mr. Achebe?

      c. To Mr. Achebe and his academic assistants in the university: Is this what
      Mr. Achebe calls knowledge and teaches?

      d. Is this what you help him to moderate and pass on to American and
      non-American students which must include African and Nigerian students?
      So you teach them that Mr. Awolowo held down the Igbos so that the
      Yorubas will make progress at the advantage of the Igbos.

      e. To Mr. Achebe and his academic assistants: You are supposed to be men
      and women of culture-So my question is: Is the development of Yoruba
      cultural imagination as an aspect of African, Black and world imagination
      and cultures a result of a policy by Awolowo which held down the Igbos
      and allowed the Yoruba inteligentsia to develop and extend this imagination?
      Is this what you people teach in the American classrooms? You have the
      moarl bligation to answer these questions. You may also not. You are not
      compelled to answer. But we must put everything in the public square. That is
      the nature of knowledge-its production and dissemination.

      11. Just in case you miss out the relevance of 10a-e as result of the length of
      this post, i will again call your attention to Mr. Achebe’s words:
      “Awolowo was driven by an overriding ambition for power, for himself and
      for his Yoruba people. There is, on the surface at least, nothing wrong with
      those aspirations. However, Awolowo saw the dominant Igbos at the time as the
      obstacles

      to that goal, and when the opportunity arose – the Nigeria-Biafra war – his
      ambition drove him into a frenzy to go to every length to achieve his dreams.
      In the Biafran case it meant hatching up a diabolical policy to reduce the
      numbers of his enemies significantly through starvation — eliminating over two
      million people, mainly members of future generations…” Subsequently from item
      12 and on i will call your attention to the deductions from this assertion.

      12.a “,,,Awolowo saw the dominant Igbos at the time…”

      12b. “…obstacles…”

      12c. “…goals..”

      12d. “…when the opportunity arose…”

      12e. ‘diabolical policy to reduce number of his enemies…”

      12f. Since Awolowo is culturally Yoruba he did not act alone. So Awolowo saw
      Igbos as dominant. The Yorubas saw Igbos as dominant. My question is :Dominant
      about what? How does the life of the Igbos in the East affect my family
      businesses in Okitipupa and Lagos? What kind of illusion and
      self-delusion are these? These are too revealing historically. But more
      importantly did Mr. Achebe and his assistants teach this in
      American classrooms?

      12g. “over riding ambition for power for himself and his people..” I
      am a Yoruba man culturally. So whatever I have become today, whatever citizens
      of the world who are of Yoruba extraction culturally have become today and
      whatever respect Yoruba cultures as aspects of Black and African cultures
      have today is a result of the ‘over riding ambition for power for Awolowo and
      his people” Mr. Achebe, do you teach this to students-American,
      non-American, Nigerian and other African students in American classrooms?

      12h. “obstacles and enemies..’ Igbos are obstacles and enemies that need
      to be cleared for Yorubas to rise. So my parents’ transfer of their age old
      business between Okitipupa and Lagos are irrelevant to my success and to that
      of my children wherever they are in the globe. What is relevant to Mr. Achebe’s
      historiography is that the Igbos were obstacles and enemies that were cleared
      for the Yorubas to rise. And the Yorubas rose as a result of this. Mr. Achebe
      and Mr. Achebe’s assistants: Do you teach this to Boston University
      students? Will this be a scholarly representation of Nigeria to
      Boston University students? Can you defend this theoretically and
      rationally in the public space outside the academic freedom the
      sanctity of the university classroom give you to teach what you like?
      Mind you your academic freedom to teach what you like as you deem it fit is
      given. No one can take that away or dilute it. But outside the halo of the
      classroom, and in the public square, can you rationally defend this?

      13. These are the rationally and intellectually untenable l issues in Mr.
      Achebe’s historiograohy and literatures. Even when the African Yoruba thought
      asserts that you cannot walk without your head shaking-in other words no one is
      imbued with perfection, we all make mistakes. This is one mistake too much. I
      doubt if Nigeria will recover from this. I hope so.

      • MARVEL

        ilajeeseodo
        The witless chronicle of how your mother inheriting a kola nut business from her mother and the wealth she made from it as a show of how Achebe’s quoted comments by you, are absolutely unfitting to the matter at hand.

        You are a typical Yoruba man who is clannish, full of tribal bigotry and absolutely lopsided view of events.
        your tribe is known for nepotism in employment, award of contracts and in every sphere of national life where you find yourselves. now. Awolowo is as typical a Yoruba as everyone of you is now.
        By the time your parent and grand parents were into business were they not for just your family? Where there no Igbo people doing business for themselves and even doing better in them than your parents?
        How has that become a basis for saying that Awo could not have done what he did for the COLLECTIVE interest of Yoruba people as opposed ti INDIVIDUAL business aspirations?
        Are daft of just attempting to deny the fact that Awo went into the political bed of the Hausa Fulani to spite the Igbo and pave way for the perpertually opportunistic people known as Yoruba?
        Didn’t Yoruba people have aspirations of self governance of their own?
        for your information:
        On November 2, 1962, Awolowo and 28 other members of his party were put
        on trial for treasonable felony. After a hearing lasting eleven months, he was
        sentenced (September 11, 1963) to ten years imprisonment, and, on appeal to the
        Federal Court the sentence was upheld.
        what did the cowardly Yoruba people do about it?
        Nothing!!!!
        Was it not Odumegwu Ojukwu that released your ill revered Elder statesman from prison?
        When it comes to Nigerian issues, the Yoruba have never I said never held their own against HAUSA-FULANI.
        In recent years we have seen the prostrations of Tunde Bakare to Buhari, in continuation of this.
        Your stupid hatred bearing on fear for the Igbo does not let an average Yoruba man differentiate between Igbo people and other southern non – Igbo people. anyone who is not Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba or Edo is termed Igbo.
        Your people have seen every Igbo man as an enemy.

        Now you have come out to write hog washes on the internet in defense of an opportunist.
        Achebe had a burden of truth on him and he delivered.
        it would have been too bad of him to keep the truth for the sake of hurting the plastic feelings of the Yoruba people.
        Posterity will salute him as I now am.
        when anything happens to your people and one of you comes out to say the truth, may all of you who stand against the truth today never be believed.
        Rubbish.
        What part of history as it bears on the Igbo and events leading to the civil war have the Yoruba been truthful about?
        Has anyone ever mentioned that Arewa republic actually hoisted their flag in Ikeja barracks for a month there seeking their own state?
        Has it not been said before? Well I say it that Yoruba had and still have aspirations of Oduduwa republic but they intending to impress the Hausa and the British went ahead to prosecute war against the Igbo to gain stake in the contraption called Nigeria.

        You have need for education, you lack it seriously.

        • alabi

          Marvel, you can see how it is very dangerous to trust the Igbos again. Basic information, you cannot even get right. How will you not declare a stupid war and turn around to accuse the Nigerian state of failing to feed your soldiers, and of not letting you feed your soldiers with food meant for those who might not be fighting when you could not even get basic information on the person that released Awolowo from prison right? Basic information you cannot get right, and you want Nigerians to trust your judgements? That is the Igbo sense of truth!!! Elementary fact which an ordinary current affairs high school student will know shows that Odumegwu Ojukwu did not and was not even in a position to release Awolowo from prison. See yourself? This is the kind of ignorance that led to the the declaration of the stupid Biafra war, which you were pleaded with not to declare. If you are this ignorant about basic and elementary facts why would tribalists like Chinua Achebe and Odumegwu Ojukwu not successfully deceive you people. With education you hold your leaders accountable-it is not raw physical strength-carrying guns and shouting. It is basic education, information and knowledge that you use to hold people accountable. Now you do not have this when you said Ojukwu released Awolowo from prison. When you cant even know this why will characters like Achebe and Ojukwu not deceive you and lead you to a stupid and blind war? get some education my friend. Get your facts right on issue so that you will be well prepared to use to be led to secede by Chinua Achebe this time around.

  • ABIODUN

    Being a good writer of english does not qualify one to be a TRUTH teller. And now, one is sure convinced of the immature nature of the internationally reputed literary expert. The first time he displayed such immaturity, to my chagrin, was when Wole Soyinka was awarded the Nobel Prize. If Achebe believes, as he insinuates, that Awolowo implemented a policy to deliberately kill off igbo/biafrans, then he and his own clan must be capable of doing worse things. There can be and there is no justification for any measure of atrocities towards any individual or group of human beings, but it is not unlikely that the war-lords in the then biafra did exactly what Saddam Hussein did in Iraq, by diverting resources meant for civilians, to cater for the military. Who then is to blame for the deeaths of the poor civilian citizens? It has taken Achebe twenty-five years after the demise of Awolowo, to update himself on this matter!!! Did he not have the ‘facts’ before the Sage died, or did he not possess the courage to challenge the man he now has the temerity to accuse unfairly?

    • Paschal

      Like Tam David-West said, denying the Biafran genocide is like denying
      the holocaust. He went further to say that Achebe is not wrong in saying
      that it was a bad policy, but pointed out that it was the whole
      administration of Gowon that should be accountable for it. then he makes
      an important distinction which i find very compelling: it is not
      achebe’s version o history that he finds problematic, he says it is true
      and happened. The issue he had with Achebe was his saying that Awo (and
      in extension the Gowon government) did it for personal reaons and
      ambition. He said they did it to end the war.

    • shola

      The Lord bless you Abbey

  • Imodoye

    On this I have this to say. Depending on someone’s job , my question : is what are
    your goals on your job? On your role in a job situation what should you
    do after you have a specific definition of your role? If you are a
    teacher called John , what are you supposed to do, what are your
    ultimate goals as a teacher? I think it is to teach. And in doing that
    you take EVERY segment of the PROCESS of teaching into consideration,
    i.e. your job. That PROCESS includes, (i) pre-class preparation, (ii)
    actual classroom teaching of your students, (iii) post class review of
    your teaching including grading the scripts of your students,
    examination etc. And that PROCESS takes place EVERYDAY from DAY 1 to the
    last DAY of the term of about three months, and for a WHOLE year of
    THREE TERMS if you are still on the job. Okay. If you want to write a
    HISTORY of the teaching of John for the term or for the year, what
    SHOULD YOU DO as a historian? You can do either of two things. (i) You
    can become atomistic. What does being atomistic in your writing of the
    history of the teaching Mr. John mean? It means you may take an
    aspect-just pre-class and in a day! And if you are a previously popular
    writer, everyone will say “Oh that is so great , it was well minted in
    sweet words, well written by XYZ excellent writer” But kindly recall
    that that history of Mr. John’s teaching includes THREE ASPECTS THAT
    COVER THREE MONTHS OF A TERM. AND THAT YOU HAVE THREE TERMS IN A YEAR
    OF 12 MONTHS!!!. Our “great” writer of Mr. john took AN ASPECT IN A
    DAY! Is that coooool! Now there is a SECOND way to
    write the history of Mr. John’s teaching. The second way is to take ALL
    THE THREE ASPECTS IN ALL THE THREE MONTHS OF A TERM, ALL THE THREE TERMS
    of 12 MONTHS IN A YEAR of Mr. John’s teaching. Regrettably, and
    disappointingly, Mr. Chinua Achebe DID NOT DO THIS. If you apply this
    to what Mr. Awolowo did with the role the nation called Nigeria gave him
    to perform AT THAT TIME, he was part of a NIGERIAN TEAM to (i) prepare
    to end the war, (ii) end the war, (iii) clean up our collective grief,
    sadness, negative economic consequences, tragedies, -in other words post
    war roles.-what in Mr. John’s analogy will mean post class activities.
    Mr. Achebe our renowned writer TOOK AN ASPECT. This is a DISASTER in
    scholarship if we all want to be honest with rational
    thinking and rise about a tribal enclave. Now each one has a right NOT to
    rise above a tribal enclave. As legitimate and necessary as it is, however, I am NOT saying everyone should or can. But if you SIT
    in your tribal enclave , then DO NOT call a defence and
    explanation of Mr. Achebe’s explanation of an aspect of our life in the
    civil war a rational engagement of the issue.
    As a Nigerian, I do
    not know what to call what Mr. Achebe has done. Given his intellect, it
    cannot be about his intellectual skills and knowledge. As someone on
    this platform pointed out, if he were a practising politician, we will
    understand for we will say this is mere politicking. Since he has the
    intellectual skill to write a FULL HISTORY and he did NOT and since he
    is openly(at least openly) as a vocation not a politician, and since we
    must be able to analytically explain this intellectual disaster which he
    has lend himself to commit, we can only say perhaps Achebe is an Igbo
    tribalist all along and we did not know. Now like someone said, he has a
    right to defend his Igbo tribe, but he has NO RIGHT to ASSAULT the
    integrity of SCHOLARSHIP and METHODOLOGY in INTELLECTUAL pursuit. Mr.
    Chinua Achebe HAS DONE this, i.e. conducted an ASSAULT on REASON as
    REASON in scholarly work. At his late age HE TORE to PIECES ALL the
    PUBLIC ESTEEM he has garnered by allowing his Igbo tribalism to make him
    fail to pay attention to the basic conditions in scholarship-something a
    part 1 student in a good university will not do. I have read Chinua
    Achebe for over twenty five years. I have taught him to my children. Now
    he did this in his late age? What am I going to tell my Nigerian children about who he
    is? Now my children are reading all these, and they will come after me
    to defend what I have told them about Chinua Achebe. Honestly, I am in a
    situation of “had I known…” hmmm the egg has broken, the wind has
    blown and we have seen the behind of the fowl. Had I known….

    • Paschal

      Nice work. But you missed the point fatally. You have tried very long and hard to justify a genocide. I doubt you succeeded. Like Tam David-West said, denying the Biafran genocide is like denying the holocaust. He went further to say that Achebe is not wrong in saying that it was a bad policy, but pointed out that it was the whole administration of Gowon that should be accountable for it. then he makes an important distinction which i find very compelling: it is not achebe’s version o history that he finds problematic, he says it is true and happened. The issue he had with Achebe was his saying that Awo (and in extension the Gowon government) did it for personal reaons and ambition. He said they did it to end the war.

  • concernednigerian

    Achebe should
    concentrate on fiction writing and leave matters of politics to those whose
    craft is suited for that. His venture into this unknown territory has earned
    him nothing but derision from the intellectual community. Story telling about
    the tragedy of Okonkwo is different from political treatise which must be based
    on facts and not imagination of a fertile mind. His first political book called
    ‘The Trouble with Nigeria’ was worse than useless because of lack of knowledge
    about the subject matter and unbridled hatred for Chief Awolowo. His reviewer,
    Ken Saro Wiwa described the book as a ‘very troubled, troubling book’ and
    advised Achebe to stay well clear of political writing. But for fear of being
    forgotten, Achebe has come out again with another shameless exhibition of
    ignorance. What is the relationship between Awolowo and Biafra? The answer is
    nothing. Why must Biafra go to war without adequate preparation and securing
    its Southern underbelly? The answer is that Biafra was Ojukwu’s war to militate
    against irrelevance following the declaration of states for the minorities of
    Eastern Nigeria. Were Easterners being massacred at the time of the declaration
    of Biafra? The answer is capital no. So Achebe should look nearer home for his
    blame game if indeed he must write on political issues. By the way what was in
    a unitary state of Biafra for the 40% non-Igbo population of the former Eastern
    Nigeria? If Achebe can provide an answer to the above he will have educated
    himself to stop blaming others. Do you expect to be fed by your enemy in a war
    situation? Why must the loss of Biafra be blamed on others and not those whose
    madness led them into arrant stupidity. The Ijaws were blamed for the loss of
    Biafra as if they were a party to the declaration of Biafra. Awolowo is being
    blamed as if he wrote the Biafran national anthem. Gowon is being blamed for
    keeping Nigeria one. The people Achebe and his ilk would not blame for
    ‘starvation’ of Biafran children are themselves. Everybody else is guilty for
    not making Biafra a success. Zik abandoned them in the midst of war to
    negotiate his pension with Gowon yet Achebe is angry with Chief Awolowo.

    • Ukanna

      Yorubas are angry. But the question they should ask themselves are these: Did Achebe lie in the book he has written?
      Have they read the book? Did millions of Igbos not die as a result of
      Awo’s civil war policy? Were Igbos not given 20 pounds after the war?
      Were Yorubas not the main beneficiaries of the privatization few years
      after the war? If Awo and Gowon’s claim of “no victor, no vanquished”
      was a reality, why did they rush to privatize when Igbos were still
      struggling to survive with 20 pounds they were given? What is a memoir? Should Achebe
      tell lies in a memoir because the Yorubas will begin to cry that bitter
      truth has been told? It is only in Nigeria that war criminals are
      praised and given national honours and called “revered statesmen”. Of
      course Nigeria will continue to remain the way it is if truths must be
      covered and the real issues not addressed. May I ask Yorubas. The way
      Nigeria is today, is it the Nigeria your great Awo has fought (through
      starvation policy) to keep together?

      We all know that some Nigerians would not want people to hear that Gowon
      and Ahidjo of Cameroun Republic signed an agreement to hand Bakassi
      over to Cameroun if Nigeria is supported by her eastern neighbour to
      ensure Biafra was blocked. This was done to “keep Nigeria together” of
      course. So why are some Nigerians unhappy that Bakassi is gone.

      Please dear Yorubas, you know the truth. Awo was a great man. He even
      admitted taking those decisions. No one is a saint. Leave my dear Achebe
      alone

      • iretiidajo

        Odumegwu Ojukwu and Chinua Achebe (a past and current member of the Biafra structure) cold bloodedly murdered Col Victor Banjo a Nigerian and a Yoruba. Chinua Achebe wrote a memoir about the civil war making claims that Nigeria will not move forward until the past is addressed. We do not have information on why and how Victor Banjo was killed by Biafra-of which Chinua Achebe was and is still part and parcel of. Under what laws was Col Victor Banjo murdered by Biafra? Was he murdered under United Nations Conventions or Laws? Was he tried under the laws of Organization of African Unity? Was he killed under Nigerian laws-obviously he could not have because “There was a Country Called Biafra”? Where are his remains?. I do not grudge Chinua Achebe to defend his Igbo people. I am Nigerian and I have a right to defend Nigerians-Col Banjo was one. And I happen to know at least ONE of Col Victor Banjo’s children while growing up. I will not not go beyond that. So under what laws was Col. Victor Banjo murdered by Biafra which Chinua Achebe worked for and still works for from Boston University USA-where he supposedly teaches Igbo Literature under the guise of teaching African Literature. It really does not matter if Chinua Achebe ignores this major issue for Achebe writes for Igbo and NOT for Nigerians or Africans. But we Nigerians are asking (i) Under what laws was Col Victor tried and murdered by Biafra which Chinua Achebe worked for and still works for? Where are the remains of Col Banjo? Ukanna, it may take a long time to resolve this, but Achebe given his role in Biafra has serious questions to answer with respect to the killing of Col Victor Banjo. That is all I have to say for now.

        • Paschal

          To give yourself some relevance Mr or Mrs iretiidajo, you should have at least prentended to attempt’ to answer the questions posed before rattling away on a single question that you had. Yes, all your questions point to Banjo. May be u don;t even realise it is a single question that you have. Now lemme answer you. Victor Banjo was not a Nigerian soldier last he was alive. He was a Biafran soldier and so under Biafran laws and command. Biafra was a legitimate nation for as long as it lasted, if not to Nigerians then but to a host of other countries. Get that into your head, i know u don’t like the sound of it. He was tried for treason and found guilty. What these ranting (selfish, tribalistic, two-timing and nepotic – i will show some proof just beyond this close of bracket) Yorubas don’t talk about is the other guys Banjo was tried alongside and convicted with. They are about their ‘Banjo’ who didn’t even fight ‘on their (Nigerian) side.’ There goes the proof. Ok, he wasn’t really a Biafran soldier right? he wanted to fool the Biafran nation? There goes that. You guys can’t seem to realise the difference between A SOLDIER dying in his war business that he signed up for and almost THREE million civilians, NOT PART OF THE WAR, but just women and children, dying! Are you guys retards or what?

          Read the link of Tam David-West’s interview with Vanguard Newspapers on the issue. The only Yoruba elite bold enough to talk sense when Awo is under scrutiny. I can’t get the link now but u can see this from Elomba http://elombah.com/index.php/special-reports/12919-the-entire-gowon-s-cabinet-promoted-genocide-not-just-awolowo-prof-tam-david-west

          We are talking of a genocide and u are shouting ‘Banjo!’ Wake up!

          • Titilola

            I have read all the bullets being exchanged so far. 1st, I sympathize with the Ibo. I am a woman, and I have been watching biafra video clips since I have an ibo friend just to find out the reason for Ibo hatred and bitterness against the Yoruba. He shared the same views with Achebe. Many things went wrong but we should not be sentimental. We should speak as brothers or at least human beings. The first error was the amalgamation of the north and south. Zik should be blamed for that. A US trained lecturer accepted the post of a ceremonial president and a grade 2 teacher (Balewa) was the prime minister! In the hurried quest for independence they accepted an odd fusion of an islamic state that successfully withstood the British from building schools for them. (book has always been haram for a long time) that is boko haram!!! The Ibos claimed there was corruption, they did a pseudo-revolution. In the French revolution, all the politicians of that age were publicly hanged. It did not matter if your uncles or father were among. The Ibos only felt marginalized as they are ever domineering but met with a stronger Nigerian resistance. Up till date ppl are not still comfortable with that attitude.That led them to commit blunder by plotting the first coup. They slaughtered the Sardauna: not just an Emir but the Sultan of the whole North. Soon afterwards they went to the market square in kaduna telling the Hausa ‘ Ubanku shege!’ they mimicked how the late sultan cried like a goat. They maliciously tortured, before killing other ppl and hid their bodies for almost 1week to rotten away! They could not even remember that Jesus said ‘ let the dead bury their dead. They claimed the military was sanitizing the nation by killing its corrupt civilians but had gone ahead killing top Hausa and Yoruba ranking officers to make them on top in the army! The Hausa simply carried out jungle justice on them. While Awolowo was in prison in calabar, Akintola took his place, the Ibos had masacared Akintola and hid his body. I’m telling Nigerians that the prison saved Awolowo! Were there no trouble btw him & Akintola, Awo would have been killed in their malicious coup! if Awolowo had supported them it means there was no more wisdom in his head! He went to see them but Ojukwu never allowed him to see Zik! Awo had the right to fight or not to fight, he was obliged to protect Nigeria because he had sworn no oath of allegiance to Biafra, He only pitied their plight. And the main man Ojukwu, the arrogant man that led Biafra to distruction was seeing the children dying, why didn’t he drop his weapons then for their sake??? he only did so much later, when he reached his waterloo. Ibos should learn how to live in a multi-cultural environment. They have poor relationship with their neighbors, they have no allies even in the south-south!!! whatever strategy anybody adopted, it was only meant to weaken Ojukwu and was never targeted at the children. Nobody feels comfortable with their pride. To live with them peacefully, you must choose to become a fool otherwise there will be problem. It’s a pity they have not learn anything!.

      • iretiidajo

        Ukanna, The matter is simple. These are questions before the public.
        1. Chinua Achebe was and is still an operative of Biafra.
        2. Biafra under the Command of Odumegwu Ojukwu murdered Col Victor Banjo.
        3. Chinua Achebe operated and still operates for Biafra -even when he claims he teaches in the US. So he was part of the governing council that murdered Col Victor Banjo.
        4. Chinua Achebe aspart of the governing Biafra structure that murdered Col Victor Banjo is alive and must answer legal questions on Col Victor Banjo’s death.
        5. Therefore, was he properly tried under a properly constituted court?
        6. Under which and what laws was Col Victor Banjo tried by Biafra of which Chinua Achebe was part?
        7. Was Col Banjo tried under the United Nations Laws? if so which ones?
        8. Was Col Victor Banjo tried under the laws of the Organization of African Unity(that was what we had then)? If so which ones?
        9. Was he tried under Biafra laws? if so which ones? Who was/were the judge(s)? Who were Col Banjo’s lawyers during the trial if there was one?
        10. What does/do the laws say about the remains of an innocent soul like Col Banjo who was murdered in the circumstance he was murdered by Chinua Achebe’s Biafra? Where are his remains? Were his remains given to his children? I know at least one of his children.
        These are some of the questions. There are more. And we will cross the bridge as we get there. This is a long haul, and we Nigerians will see that justice is done to the memory of Col Victor Banjo.

    • Ukanna

      Yorubas are angry. But the question they should ask themselves are these: Did Achebe lie in the book he has written? Have they read the book? Did millions of Igbos not die as a result of Awo’s civil war policy? Were Igbos not given 20 pounds after the war? Were Yorubas not the main beneficiaries of the privatization few years after the war? If Awo and Gowon’s claim of “no victor, no vanquished” was a reality, why did they rush to privatize when Igbos were still struggling to survive with 20 pounds they were given? What is a memoir? Should Achebe tell lies in a memoir because the Yorubas will begin to cry that bitter truth has been told? It is only in Nigeria that war criminals are praised and given national honours and called “revered statesmen”. Of course Nigeria will continue to remain the way it is if truths must be covered and the real issues not addressed. May I ask Yorubas. The way Nigeria is today, is it the Nigeria your great Awo has fought (through starvation policy) to keep together?
      We all know that some Nigerians would not want people to hear that Gowon and Ahidjo of Cameroun Republic signed an agreement to hand Bakassi over to Cameroun if Nigeria is supported by her eastern neighbour to ensure Biafran was blocked. This was done to “keep Nigeria together” of course. So why are some Nigerians unhappy that Bakassi is gone.
      Please dear Yorubas, you know the truth. Awo was a great man. He even admitted taking those decisions. No one is a saint. Leave my dear Achebe alone.

  • Amos

    In my humble
    opinion, the matter that Achebe raised needed airing. This is because it has
    been grinding away at the relationship between the two great people for a while now. This
    discussion now seems discordant and tribal in nature, which is unfortunate, but
    there is a need for everyone to air their views on the matter, so that we can
    find a way forward.

    The Yorubas remain one of the best friends of Ndigbo. While we have
    teased and taken the piss out of each other, we have also had cause to laugh
    together and be friends. The Yorubas have never clandestinely sought out Ndigbo
    for slaughter and as we know, this is a regular occurrance in the North. This
    was after all a major contributing factor to the civil war, and unfortunately, it still
    goes on today. While it is clear that sessation is not the answer, I cannot presume
    to tell Ndigbo what to do, but we must move forward taking cognisance of all
    the facts. Long live Nigeria.

    • Michael Ajayi. Chicago, IL

      Well Said Amos. I was going to be tribal while reading all the responses, but after reading your response, cool head prevailed. Thanks

  • Anne Ijeoma Evans

    This is a personal recollection of war. No one is forcing people to read it. It’s relevant to me as an igbo person. While people may forgive and move on, we can’t forget what happened with Biafra. Because the lessons haven’t been learnt, Nigeria is in chaos today. Igbos were only fighting for their lives and defending their ancestral land, yet they were treated worse than the mass murderers called Boko Haram. There was a blockade. Millions starved to death because of it. That is historical fact. Awo’s words were historical fact. Maybe he regretted them. He appeared to when he went to Aba in 1979 and praised the industrious nature of Igbos. He was obviously moved by what he saw and loved the people he met. That doesn’t mean he didn’t decide that starvation was a weapon of war. It happened. We should all learn from it and move on. I still feel Nigeria is an artificial construct that would never work. The south east zone is crime ridden and under-developed. However, create Biafra today and watch the south east and south south zones turn into South Korea & China overnight. Fact!

    • Enitan

      When a writer like Chinua Achebe lurks such
      intense hatred in himself and we have taught this same tribalist of a
      writer to our Nigerian children for years you must re-examine your thoughts. Anne
      Ijeoma , one basic condition of history writing is called total facts.
      You do not exclude ANY of the FACTS. I just do not know why this is
      difficult for you and those who defend Mr. Achebe to understand. If you do not understand the meaning of
      history writing, then we must begin to check and question the
      intellectual skills we had assume for Mr. Chinua Achebe beyond being a
      good speaker of Igbo and English languages. Some of us have taught Achebe
      to our children as a Nigerian author. We did not know he is an Igbo
      author and NOT a Nigerian author. It is ONLY a sectional and tribalist
      author that will attack TRUTH so un-scholarly as he has done. Now I am talking about basic ingredients of scholarship in history writing. When a historian decides to be selective with facts, he must be unmasked for who he is. He has a right to be selective. Since he has come to be public square to do it, we also have the duty to say precisely what he has done. This does not stop him from continuing to be an Igbo tribalist which he has a right to. But we must say it precisely as it is.
      2.
      Listen to the illogical and sickening thought. I understand that you
      said that you cannot forget. Is it why Mr. Nnamdi Azikiwe talked about
      being persecuted as Igbo when all contestants to the presidency in 1978
      elections were asked to produce evidences of having paid tax to the
      Nigerian state, and Mr. Azikiwe could not produce? He ran back to the
      East to shout that he was being persecuted because he was Igbo? Isnt
      that kind of complete failure to look at things rationally and sickening
      tribalism that will make a fellow like Mr. Achebe take an aspect of a
      thing for the whole? Isnt tax paying a basic requirement of a modern society? Why must the whole Zik of Africa put a tribalist spin on a basic requirement of a modern state after he failed to meet this simple requirement? Is the tribalist spin a question of “I cannot forget..”? such that everything has to be tainted with a tribalist spin?
      3. Third, Ms Anne Ijeoma Evans, you claim you cannot forget. You attack the
      person that made Nigeria to continue to stand as one today. Yet, you
      said Nigeria has not learnt some lessons about the past. This is similar to what I read about what Mr. Achebe said during independence. I guess he
      and the Igbo elites and intelligentsia among other things were alluding to the quest of
      the Igbo person for Nigerian presidency. Now this is the moral
      opportunism Nigerians see and are reflective about. You have the temerity to say Nigeria has not learnt
      lessons. You attack the very basis of Nigeria’s unity, yet you want to
      be president. And Nigeria has not learnt lessons because you have not
      been allowed to be president of a country which you in your OWN WORDS claim is unworthy to be preserved and which in your OWN WORDS you vilify the person that has contributed to making it stand till today. Why will you want to eat your cake and
      have it?. This is basic rational thinking and some sense of morality. If Nigeria’s unity is unworthy and not good and the person that made
      that possible must be vilified why (i) morally is it worthy to be
      president of that same country, (ii) why is it that Nigeria has not learnt
      lessons when on one hand you vilified the person that made possible the
      country whose presidency you want to contest to continue to exist and on the other hand you claim that unity and oneness is unworthy? See what I mean? There
      is some sickening opportunism here. Please check it. I think it is more morally worthy to go all out and campaign to break Nigeria rather put yourself in such a difficulty position of wanting to have your cake and eat it.
      4. I
      understand why you will hold on to the South-South.
      You are landlocked. So you desperately need the South-South. You can delude yourself
      about an alliance with South-South. But Have the South-South told you
      they need you the Igbos? You think they forget the forced coercion of
      the 60s? On the contrary, Yorubas DO NOT NEED ANY PART of Nigeria (South, East or
      North)to succeed. You Igbos need it. If you are smart, and you know the
      meaning of nation building and the natural resources needed for that
      sense of autonomy in nation building, you will know what I am talking
      about. Just check Ondo and Lagos states and the coastal resources and
      you will be more introspective. You will understand why we allow you to
      make noise about breaking Nigeria when you know who that will profit
      most. And do not get me wrong. The Yoruba intelligentsia know the meaning of a vibratnt modern state. So they will prefer a bigger and ever bigger Nigeria. They look at US and China and say “Yes those are the countries we want to compete against…” They want to be the African country where ALL peoples of black descent want to come to and live. So they know and want a bigger country for all humans to live in inclusively. But if other people like you do NOT want this , so be it. We will take what you want democratically and everybody leaves. We will know we tried our best to build a nation that will rival the best and the biggest in the world, but that some people do not want it. And that is okay. We move on. But we are not landlocked-period. We are not desperate. I guess this will make you keep
      quiet. You will be more modest, reflective and introspective. The reflectiveness of
      the Yorubas is a sense of internal confidence about their natural
      environment and God given and cultivated capacities, and high culture.
      It is NOT cowardice. It is the reason Lagos state, a Yoruba state is the
      ONLY inclusive state in Nigeria. You guys just talk. But you have NEVER
      told us which other part of Nigeria you will find non-indigene being
      part of the state? Which part of Nigeria is more welcoming than the
      West.? We check and caution you only when you take such high sense of
      culture and inclusiveness which ALL modern societies require to be
      stupidity, when you take them for granted. And this is done all the
      time.
      5. Finally, I read some posts here where some people say Mr.
      Achebe should apologise. I disagree. I do not think he should apologise.
      Those who say he should apologise still wrongly think this fellow-Mr.
      Achebe- is a Nigerian writer, an African writer. He is an Igbo writer and a tribalist. Why
      must someone apologise for what he genuinely believes in as a tribalist?
      For example why should I apologise for my person? I think we should say
      we made a mistake to have all along thought that Mr. Achebe is more than
      a tribalist who speaks good Igbo and English. I think what some of us
      will have to undo is what we have fed our children about Achebe. Because
      children are smart, they will ask we adults straight questions: they
      will ask “if you have said this Mr. Achebe is a pan-Nigerian writer, why
      did he do this…why did he write this…? As adults who are genuine and patriotic about our
      country, and who want our children to grow on Nigerian literatures and
      we have made it a duty to teach our children Nigerian cultures through
      Nigerian writers we have to live forever regrettably with that mocking
      question from our children. A word is enough for the wise.

      • Lanre

        Whoever you are Enitan, God Bless you. Oh my.

      • Michael Ajayi. Chicago, IL

        Enitan, all my thoughts and ideas have been said by you. Very eloquent and well put. I pray Mr. Achebe will focus more about United Nigeria, instead of divided nation.

      • shola

        Listening to someone like you is a huge privilege. Thanks.

  • Lanre

    I don’t care what Achebe has to say. Chief Awolowo kept Nigeria one. Now without firing a single shot let us give this ungrateful bigots their Biafra. The longer Nigeria waits, the more dangerous the situation.

    • Inyang

      Lanre, to be honest with you i think so. I agree with you. They should be allowed to go with their Biafra Republic. The thing we need to agree on is a democratic way out , so that these fellows should stop disturbing us. I did not know that a writer like Chinua Achebe will fall this flat. Too bad. We lose it everyday. So I think they should go so that they will not see everyone as their enemy. We cannot be talking about this when other nations are moving forward at jet speed. So give them their Biafra. Sebi dem get flag already. Make dem go I beg. hm I beg.

  • En

    This is a frustrated grudge-writing by the old Achebe. He is a good fiction writer who has not won the ultimate prize he so much cherishes – the Nobel. So the old man left fiction and tried to write history with a grudge, thinking that he would be noticed by the award committee. No! I have never heard it anywhere that an adversary will supply his enemy with food. So ridiculous. Achebe is an arch tribalist! He has left his people to migrate to the US. Good luck to him

  • En

    You are a typical Ibo tribalist! Was Ojukwu not given an option to create a free zone for the food supplies to civilians? Did Ojukwu accept that? Why did he not? Of course, he wanted to divert the food to his foot soldiers! Next time you fight your Biafra battle, please remember to feed your enemy.

    And talking about the way the Igbos feel about the Yorubas, we don’t feel a damn. We feel worse things about the igbos, just like how other tribes feel about you. So go and fight for your Biafra, nobody is stopping you. But remember to start it from Enugu, not Lagos, as you will be whipped again. We are waiting for you to go!

    • Paschal

      You sure are no Igbo. For your info its not Oboe but IGBO. I’m not surprised you read the reference to suit your opinion. I won’t get as slanderous as u have. I will point out facts.
      I’m sure u gracefully avoided where Ojukwu was practically begging the US enjoy to ask his goverment to persuade Nigeria feds to stick to the agreement n avoid a war. You also conveniently left out Ojukwu n Co’s concern over poisoning of the supplies. You also left out where the envoy told Nigeria the aid will be brought to their side and it be inspected to make sure no weapons are included. You didn’t see the blatant refusal by Gowon to meet with a Delegate of the envoy saying he was too busy.
      You are obviously bent on your opinion. No problem. But it doesn’t remove from the truth. You are proud of having killed millions in the guise of stopping food for soldiers. Congrats. You won. You can’t stop the Igbo. We are everywhere. Provided there’s a many as a single Igbo man, there is no finishing the Igbo. Deal with it.
      Then after the war, Nigeria gives Igbos only twenty Nigerian pounds for whatever it is they got in the bank. That is wickedness and an attempt to frustrate Igbo. How much did it work? very well. We fought back and we are on top. Deal with it.
      So long. I know u r not interested in facts but I have to lay it down anyway for the benefit of other people reading. Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

      • adams

        And those facts should include how Col Victor Banjo was murdered-abi? What is good for the gander ought to be good for the goose. Paschal, what do you think? I am holding you up to Chinua Achebe’s “standards”.

        • Paschal

          Thanks Adams,
          Victor Banjo faced a court marshal for treason. What more need I say. He was a soldier tasked with pushing forward to victory who decided to turn back on his fellow soldiers thereby putting them in grave danger and sabotaging the effort of the Biafran Army. That sadly, is another sad case of a Yoruba turning on those supposed to be his own. It wasn’t a civilian case. I don’t think Achebe cried out about Biafran soldiers falling in battle. They all knew what they signed up for.

          ***********************************

          Paschal Chukwuemeka Amah
          ************************************

          • adams

            Okay that is good. It is “good” for Col Banjo to be murdered bu Achebe and Ojukwu’s Biafra, but the Biafra treasonable cuase against the whole of Nigeria must not be questioned. If the Federal republic of Nigeria deal with Biafra that turned back on it, it is bad. If Biafra sabotaged Nigeria it is good. You see yur sense of morality. That is precisely the point. Thank you so much for revealing the Igbo sense of morality which is what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. We managed to get to a rational point on this. And ALL NIGERIANS can see this NOW. Good job Paschal Chukwuemeka Amah . Yes we now can see clearly.

          • Paschal

            @Adams: You don’t seem to have a good grasp of logic. I didn’t think you would say this upon all the explanations I threw in. Soldiers die in battle. Did the marshal order the execution of the Banjo family because they were his family? No. It was Banjo, a soldier, who was involved. The Biafran soldiers got killed in their thousands. No one is shouting. There was no point killing millions of women and children. Can’t you see the difference Mr?

            Pls stop writing for the sake of replying. Make points.

            ***********************************

            Paschal Chukwuemeka Amah
            ************************************

          • adams

            Under which laws was Col Banjo murdered Mr. Paschal? Were the laws governed by United Nations laws and convention? Just answer. Okay.

          • Inyang

            Paschal, you have exposed the whole illegitimacy in law and in morals of the biafra project. You have shown how immoral Chinua Achebe memoir is. Given your answer Chinua Achebe’s memoir , his morals, your answer, and Biafra project, Chinua will call to question what happened in the battle field with respect to Igbos, but will morally legitimise as you are doing on behalf of biafra and Chinua Achebe memoir the murder of Col Victor Banjo. hmmm “Good” job

          • Paschal

            @Inyang and Adams:

            It is interesting how it is difficult for both of you to distinguish between a soldier dying in a war and civilians dying (especially avoidably) in war. We are talking over 2 million WOMEN AND CHILDREN who have no impact in the outcome of the war. You are talking about a soldier who was found to have committed treason by sabotaging the efforts of the army on whose side he chose to fight thereby comprising fellow comrades in arm and the entire war.
            BIAFRAN SOLDIERS WERE KILLED TOO IN WAR AND IT IS A STANDARD THING OBTAINABLE ANYWAY.  That is not what we are talking about. MILLIONS OF CIVILIAN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN, what business have you killing them in war? If the situation were reversed and it is the Biafrans who occasioned the killing of millions of civilians, Igbo or not, I will condemn it. Wake up people. Stop making me repeat myself. Open your eyes. ah ah.
            IT IS A SIMPLE CALCULATION, NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. HABA!

            I have done my best to explain but sentiment obviously has not allowed you guys to grasp the difference.
            You can’t wish away that atrocity. It happened and we need to tell our children and their children, not for an apology or for restitution or for a national award or recognition but for posterity. History and parts of it repeat from time to time and we want to make sure we don’t fall prey of the same two-timers and pretenders.

            **********************

            Paschal Chukwuemeka Amah
            **********************

          • adams

            So Paschal, this is your logic. It is good and legitimate to murder a Yoruba man in a war situation-(even though you have not cited ANY LAW that makes that legal) , but it is not good to kill an Igbo man in a war situation. I understand that you will defend Igbo, but it is so strange that you will stand morals and logic on their head. Some Igbos even said Col Banjo case was treasonable. When asked treasonable to what?. The igbos and Chinua Achebe answer and say treasonable to Biafra. When the Igbos are told that Biafra secession, was treasonable to the Nigerian state, and the FEDERAL republic, they say ahh ahha no nono, not so. You see how you blindly turn logic on its head. Now Biafra was not even a state, so NO LAW can justify any decision TAKEN under Biafra. The thing that yo can appeal to is jungle “justice” , mere state of nature, yet you and Achebe will claim Col Banjo’s case is treasonable(WITHOUT CITING ANY LAW SINCE BIAFRA WAS NEVER A STATE, yet the Biafra secession was never a treasonable act aginst a legitimate state, the Nigerian state. Can yo see yourself the Ogbunigwe Rocket scientist. This is precisely what makes chinua Achebe’s ( one of of the inner caucus of Biafra) tribal morality stinks. It is the reason some of us are so happy that he finally unmask himself. Honestly we never thought he was like this.

          • Paschal

            Youngman, if u cannot make a distinction between soldier and civilian then I’m afraid I can’t help u. Banjo banjo banjo. He and who were tried or was it only him? You can’t even put aside yorubaness n attack facts.
            Nigeria didn’t recognise biafra yes, many other countries. So Biafran laws were legitimate as long as biafra lasted. I know u n your ilk are intimidated by the mention of Igbo. Yes, Ogbunigwe scientist. Fret at that. You guys are tongue scientists. We know that much.
            Permit me to sign out but look up civilian nd soldier and see if u can find a difference. Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

          • adams

            Paschal Chinua Achebe .So this is exposed finally. Since you failed to show the law under which Chinua Achebe and Ojukwu’s Biafra murdered Col Banjo, you shifted your argument to a “some countries recognised biafra.” so the countries that “recognised” biafra is the law that gave biafra the legitimacy to murder-not Universal Laws reconised by the UN which give countries their soverignty. So anything can be a country! This stinks. Can you see your “logic”? But Now come on baby tell us the number of countries that “recognised” biafra. After you have given us the number , you will follow this train of thought.
            1. Since the ‘countries” which recognised your Biafra gave Chinua Achebe and Ojukwu’s biafra to kill, then If I declare my street a “country” and “some countries” recognised my street, and I murder on my street, then that murder is “legal.” Abi Igboman. This is LOGIC!!!
            2. I think you know what is called United Nations. Which United Nations Law gave you the legality to murder Col Victor Banjo.? You refuse to answer this basic question. The reason we have laws is to prevent humans from resorting to the beastly state of nature which your Biafra fell back to in murdering Col Banjo. Since Biafra operatives prowl the streets and since Chinua Achebe and your dear self are part of these operatives you need to answer that on behalf of your Biafra. So which laws prevented you from receding to that beastly state of nature in murdering Col Banjo and in constructing your Biafra? If none, other than “war sitiation” and if “war situation” is NOT a law, as it is NOT a law, you can see how Biafra was nothing and will be nothing but a the Hobbesian STATE OF NATURE governed by the nastiness, brutishness, and shortness of life as Thomas Hobbes referred to the STATE OF NATURE in his well celebrated book on the early beginings of society. In other words, Achebe and Ojukwu’s Biafra simply receded into jungle STATE OF NATURE in the murders they committed including that of Col Banjo.
            3. You appealed so ridiculously to the distinction between “civilian” and soldier’. So my question is: Was Col Banjo murdered by Nigerian forces in the battlefield? Did he die fighting? Or he was murdered by Chinua Achebe and Ojukwu’s Biafra in non-combat situation. ? Please answer.
            4. You talk about Yorubaness in mentioning Col Banjo. You do not even know who I am. But suppose I am Yoruba, what is wrong with a Yoruba talking about the murder Achebe and Ojukwu’s Biafra committed? So there is no Igboness in you and Achebe as Biafra operatives talking about your Igbo, but there is a Yorubaness in a Yoruba talking about the murder you and Achebe as Biafra operatives committed. Can you see how immoral you and your Biafra operatives are?
            5. Finally, do you remember Saddam Hussein and his fight during the Iraq war? You remember how he used civilians as human shields. Is that different from what Achebe and Ojukwu’s Biafra did during the Nigerian civil war ? And when Biafra soldiers ate the food meant for non-soldiers, do you in your right sense really feel that the Nigerian state should feed Biafra soldiers that were not captured by the Nigerian state and kept in custody? . Let us suppose for one second that you are “right” that Biafra jungle law is acceptable in the murder of Col Banjo, so it was acceptable for Biafra jungle law to murder Col Banjo, but it was not acceptable to you that the Nigerian state should NOT feed Biafra soldiers in a war situation. This is serious LOGIC given your reference to logic. You refuse to caution your secessionist leaders-Chinua Achebe, Odumegwu who led you unprepared to a stupid war. Yet you want Nigerians who you committed treason against to again feed your soldiers. Haba! This crude logic is what is at the base of the immorality and illegitimacy of Biafra’s chief propagandist’s- Chinua Achebe-failure to rise above his tribalism in his intense and silly hatred for other Nigerians and other Nigerian national group. But like other commentators have said on many platforms that have taken this up, we are all happy that Chinua Achebe exposed himself so badly. Hypothetically, Just two weeks ago if he contested the Nigerian presidency many of us would have gone all out to campaign for him. He would have won handsomely. But alas, we would have worked for a tribal bigot. We would have put a bigot in the state house. This is why his memoir is our joy. It exposed him finally for what he truly is-a common biafra bigot masquerading as a story teller. Bye and cheers.

          • adams

            Paschal Chinua Achebe, Court Marshal under what law? Can you state the law? Was it a United Nations law? Who defended Col Banjo when Chinua Achebe’s and Ojukwu’s Biafra murdered him? If Biafra was a civilized group and act can you give us the name of the lawyer who defended Col Banjo when Achebe and Ojukwu’s Biafra murdered him under a law you have yet to articulate? If Biafra is legitimate act under the law, if it is civilised act, please give Nigerians that law. This should settle your logic. Right? You cannot eat your cake and have it. You could not have lived under babaric jungle laws which the Biafra project represents and you want to claim civilised norms for yourself only. You cannot call to question an age old and universal truth that what is good for the geese is good for the gander. But I understand characters like Achebe do not care about that.

          • Paschal

            I understand you read or respond only to the parts you think you have something to say. But let post one last reply from a 2009 thread (you’d be surprised. people knew whats up all the while) in case you are open to objectivity. It’s long but insightful. Then assuming I knew you personally, I would lend you a published book of the court marshal on Victor Banjo, Phillip Alale, Ifeajuna and Sam Agbam. (I’m sure you don’t know the name of the rest of the pack, but I do and many others too. You only stick out yoiur neck for your Yoruba Banjo; reason why you just can’t open up to the possibility of a truth you don’t like.

            “OJUKWU AND THE IGBOS DID NOT DECLARE WAR ON NIGERIA. WHAT HAPPENED WAS THAT AFTER THE MILLITARY COUP BY NZEOGWU AND HIS GROUP ON JANUARY 15TH 1966, (This is the list of convicted coup plotters: Here are the names and tribes of the plotters of January 15, 1966 military coup. 1. Maj. Adewale Ademoyega (Yoruba) author of “Why We Struck”. 2. Capt. G. Adeleke (Yoruba). 3. Lt. Fola Oyewole (Yoruba) author of “The Reluctant Rebel”. 4. Lt. R. Egbiko (Ishan). 5. Lt. Tijani Kastina (Hausa Fulani). 6. Lt O. Olafemiyan(Yoruba). 7. Capt Gibson Jalo (Bali). 8. Capt. J. Swanton (Middle Belt). 9. Lt. Hope Haris Eghagha (Urhobo). 10. Lt. Dag Warribor (Ijaw). 11. 2nd Lt. Saleh Dambo (Hausa). 12. 2nd Lt. John Atom Kpera (Tiv). 13. Maj. Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu (Delta Igbo). 14. Ifeajuna (Igbo). From the list above how can someone termed the coup Igbo coup.) THERE WAS A LOT OF FEELING AROUND THE COUNTRY THAT THE COUP WAS TARGET AFTER A SECTION OF THE COUNTRY BECAUSE MOST OF THE VICTIMS OF THAT COUP WERE NORTHERNERS. THERE WAS A COUNTER COUP IN JULY OF THE SAME YEAR AND SUBSEQUENTLY POGROMS ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY WHERE EASTERNERS WERE TARGETED, AMBUSHED AND KILLED. MANY OF THE IGBOS FLED NORTHERN NIGERIA AND THOSE WHO CAME BACK HAD SORDID TALES TO TELL. THE POGRAM WENT ON AND ON AND THE THEN GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA LED BY YAKUBU GOWON DID NOTHING TO STOP THE KILLINGS AND COULD NOT OFFER SECURITY AND PROTECTION FOR THE IGBOS. SOME WHACKED BODIES RETURNED HEADLESS AND SOME WERE LUCKY TO COME HOME WITH A LIMB OR AN ARM MISSING. SEEKING SOLUTION TO THE IMBROGLIO, OJUKWU AND GOWON HAD A CONFERENCE AT ABURI GHANA AND GOWON CAME BACK HOME TO INTERPRET THE RESOLUTIONS OF THE ABURI CONFERENCE DIFFERENTLY FROM WHAT THEY AGREED ON. OJUKWU MAINTAINED “ON ABURI WE STAND”. I AM SURE THAT EVERY STUDENT OF HISTORY KNOWS THOSE WORDS ON ABURI WE STAND. GOWON REFUSED TO IMPLEMENT THE AGREEMENTS REACHED AT ABURI AND WHICH HE SIGNED. SO WHILE THE KILLINGS CONTINUED, THE IGBO ELDERS MET AND ASKED OJUKWU TO GIVE THEM PROTECTION SINCE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA CANNOT OFFER THEM PROTECTION. THEY EMPOWERED OJUKWU TO DECLARE A SOVERIGN STATE OF BIAFRA AND GRANT THEM ALL THE RIGHTS AND SECURITIES THEY SEEK. THUS ON MAY 29TH OF 1967, THE STATE OF BIAFRA WAS BORN. SAME YEAR, THE FEDERAL FORCES OF THE NIGERIAN RFEPUBLIC ENTERED NSUKKA IN THE SOUTH EAST AND BEGIN TO BOMBARD THEM, SAYING THEY ARE FIGHTING TO KEEP NIGERIA ONE. WHAT ELSE WILL OJUKWU AND THE IGBOS DO RATHER THAN TO DEFEND THEMSELVES?
            SO LET IT BE NOTED, THAT THE IGBOS DID NOT STRIKE THE NIGERIAN REPUBLIC FIRST. LET IT ALSO BE NOTED THAT OJUKWU DID NOT TAKE THE IGBOS TO WAR UNPREPARED. THE IGBOS WERE FORCED TO DEFEND THEMSELVES FROM GENOCIDE. THE IGBO ELDERS ASKED OJUKWU TO DECLARE BIAFRA AND NOT THAT HE DID IT ON HIS OWN.

            I ADMIRE VICTOR BANJO A LOT. HE WAS IN PRISON
            IN THE EAST WHEN THE WAR BROKE OUT. OJUKWU RELEASED HIM AND FOUGHT ON THE BIAFRAN SIDE. IN WAR SITUATIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES, MANY THINGS HAPPEN. VICTOR BANJO WAS TO LEAD THE BIAFRAN FORCES TO ENTER LAGOS. ACCORDING TO THE BOOKS I HAVE READ SO FAR, HE MARCHED ALL THE WAY TO ORE GALLANTLY WITH LITTLE OBSTRUCTIONS AND WAS TO CAPTURE LAGOS IN A FEW DAYS UNTIL HE STOPPED THE FORCES AND SATRTED DELAYING THEM UNNECESSARILY. THAT INVASION OF LAGOS WAS PLANNED FOR LONG AND BIAFRA GAVE IT ALL THEY HAD. IT HAS NEVER BEEN CLEAR UP TILL NOW WHAT VICTOR BANJO’S INTENTION WAS IN ABORTING THAT INVASION. THEY WERE CLEAR TO LAGOS AND SHOULD THEY HAD CAPTURED LAGOS, HISTORIANS BELIEVE THE WAR WOULD HAVE ENDED THERE AND THEN. SO IT REMAINS UNCLEAR HIS INTENTIONS OF ABORTING AGAINST THE ORDER HE HAD FROM HEADQUARTERS.

            VICTOR
            BANJO WAS TRIED AND CONVICTED OF TREASON. I DO NOT WANT TO BELIEVE THAT OJUKWU DID HIM IN INTENTIONALLY. IF HE DID NOT LIKE BANJO WHY DID HE RELEASE HIM FROM PRISON AND TRUSTED HIM WITH A COMMAND OF A SENSITIVE OPERATION TO INVADE LAGOS?”

            If you are going to reply, try to respond to issues. And don’t pretend your question i answered hasn’t been answered.
            I keep replying eventually for the sake of other readers. Mostly.

            **********************

            Paschal Chukwuemeka Amah
            **********************

          • adams

            Paschal, ah ah . I have asked SIMPLE QUESTIONS. Those QUESTIONS ARE: UNDER WHICH LAW was Col Banjo courtmarshaled and murdered? Was or did Col Banjo die in COMBAT SITUATION? You see I cannot condone anything bad-deaths inclusive. But one of those things that lead to bad things is also basic failure to be consistent about humans as humans-in other words failure to qualitatively treat humans as humans. Will I say quantitatively that the death of one person is same as death of one hundred? No. I will not say that. But will I say that each life is qualitatively the same. Yes I will say that. It is accepting that qualitative sameness of all human lives that will lead to we humans telling the WHOLE STORY and TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH about an event, which will STOP tribalism which Chinua Achebe displayed so subtly and intensely in his book and which you are doing now on this platform. You see you mentioned LOGIC when all these started. And you are BEING CALLED to stand by that. You are asked simple questions, you went to story telling like Achebe and ventured into serious discourse you are incompetent in just like Achebe went out of comic story telling into a serious academic area only to end up revealing a deep seated tribalism against ALL Nigerians. What I am saying (you cited LOGIC) logically is that Paschal if you cannot cite a single LAW (UN or OAU) that justified the murder of Col Banjo in a non-combat situation (other than he was court marshaled for treason), it must be concluded that you, Paschal are saying that your criterion is WAR SITUATION and NOT LAW and this is the criterion that justified the death of Col Banjo. Now since you cited LOGIC, the question which I am not comfortable with as a human and as a Nigerian(because the civil war deaths are unacceptable to me as Nigerian and as human) is: how do you describe or name Biafra’s secession-a love story or a treason to the Nigerian state and the Federal Republic of Nigeria? You have to take everything and ask this COLD LOGICAL question about the unfortunate civil war and the death of Col Banjo and others in non-combat situation.
            Now let me round off on a constructive note. The Nigerian civil war is not acceptable to me. Many of us were raised on the diet of unity, and we still breadth that diet and we will continue to until we all agree to call it a day. And honestly we should if we want. But the end to the sickening tribalism which Achebe sadly displayed so badly in his book is that we must TAKE A QUALITITATIVE APPROACH TO THE MEANING OF HUMAN LIVES. IT IS NOT TAKING A QUANTITATIVE APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING HUMAN LIVES AS ACHEBE DOES AND AS YOU ARE DOING HERE. Part of the root of tribalism, racism, sexism, supremacist ideology etc is taking human lives quantitatively and putting value on that quantitative difference. But if you say all lives are the same qualitatively, you have undercut sexism, racism, tribalism, any supremacist ideology etc. So for you and Achebe to say we should look at the deaths of Igbo and NOT the deaths of non-Igbos who are Nigerians, and for you to use a non-rational criterion (such as Col Banjo was court marshalled and found guilty of treason without citing a single UN or OAU law that allowed Biafra to murder him) to justify and explain away Col Banjo’s death is for you to take life quantitatively and inscribe values on that quantitative difference. That is the root of sexism, tribalism, racism, supremacist ideology, their sustenance and perhaps by extension a renewal of another civil war by those like you who believe in a silly supremacist ideology. This what Achebe’s book is pointing to and this is what your stubborn defense which is out of sync with any rational criteria is pointing to. Stop this Supremacist thing. It is irrational.

          • Paschal

            Adams:
            Let me quote you:
            “Those QUESTIONS ARE: UNDER WHICH LAW was Col Banjo courtmarshaled and murdered? Was or did Col Banjo die in COMBAT SITUATION? You see I cannot condone anything bad-deaths inclusive.”1. He was tried under Biafran Law. Biafra was a country with its own laws, currency not in the least government, even if it were for just a day. 2. He faced a firing squad as a result of no. 1. I don’t know what you mean by ‘bad-death’ there. Addendum: No country needs a UN or OAU law to try local traitors, unless it is in Mars. Incidentally i am not Martian, I come from earth.
            Quoting you further: “What I am saying (you cited LOGIC) logically is that Paschal if you cannot cite a single LAW (UN or OAU) that justified the murder of Col Banjo in a non-combat situation (other than he was court marshaled for treason), it must be concluded that you, Paschal are saying that your criterion is WAR SITUATION and NOT LAW and this is the criterion that justified the death of Col Banjo.” Looks like your understanding of court marshal is a court without power or without jurisdiction. You might wanna check that up. It means a military court. Banjo is a soldier. Do see the relationship?

            First you were fretting about the fact that Banjo (a soldier) was executed and after i pointed out the millions of civilians and children who died cos of the obnoxious and unwanted policy, you decided to start asking the question of what laws. Like i said, you choose to answer the questions you will. I understand that your qualitative view of human life means that one soldier (who went outside of his orders and endangered the lives of other soldiers and the entire war economy)’s life is same or equal or more than nearly three million woman and children who posed to threat. YOU GRACEFULLY FORGET TO ASK ABOUT THE OTHER PEOPLE COURTMARSHALLED WITH HIM, probably cos they were not Yoruba, and still you talk about tribalism.
            Speaking of logic, i don’t see how this your statement follows. I quote: ” Will I say quantitatively that the death of one person is same as death of one hundred? No. I will not say that. But will I say that each life is qualitatively the same. Yes I will say that.” (This is the premise as it stands.) Then you conclude ” It is accepting that qualitative sameness of all human lives that will lead to we humans telling the WHOLE STORY and TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH about an event, which will STOP tribalism which Chinua Achebe displayed so subtly and intensely in his book and which you are doing now on this platform.” Only thing is that I don’t see how it follows, but i agree that truth must be told. This is the issue i have with lots of your points. They jump up and about and dodge the issues raised, but i try to answer u, only that each time u reply u raise another objection which is a sign that you are just trying to win or defending the Yoruba.
            Thank you Abubakar.
            You seem to have a better grasp of Adams point than Adam himself. I have told him treason since but he didn’t seem to want to quip that Biafra committed treason by seceding cos he sure knows that would be ridiculous. Biafra’s crime to Nigeria is TRYING TO SAVE THEIR OWN LIVES FROM THE KILLINGS FRONT AND BACK. The USA also declared their independence from Britain and this ‘treasonable’ act is now the precursor to the virtual masters of the world as we know it now.
            It is absurd that you want to liken the quest for freedom and the very right to life of a people, to the disobedience of a man of war to the very order he swore to. It’s mind bogging. This has been your whole script all along.
            As I have answered your questions, lemme finishing BY POSING SOME QUESTIONS OF  MINE AND SEE IF I GET ANSWERS: 1. Was it a crime for Igbos and Biafra to run for their lives in the face of massive slaughtering and possible genocide. 2. To (Adam in particular) why are you not concerned about the other people court marshalled apart from the Yoruba Banjo and is that not tribalism? 3. To Adam still: quantitatively or qualitatively, is it sane to try to compare Banjo to nearly three million women and children that died needlessly? 4. Was Awolowo the architect or complicit in the demonic policy to starve people to death and so ‘end the war faster’?

            ***********************************

            Paschal Chukwuemeka Amah
            ************************************

          • adams

            Now you have talked. No need for any conversation anymore Have you read Thomas Hobbes Leviathan? So if I declared my street out of my local govt and country to be a state, that is the end full stop. It becomes a state onto itself? hmmm bobo. That is the state of nature Hobbes talked about-a jungle where human emotions are short, nasty and brutish. Every street becomes a country, that is all we have to say and that is legal even against the original source. hmmm bobo Paschal. Go and read Thomas Hobbes , you will know what I am talking about.
            2. And the original place where Biafra is coming from nko? What is the legal meaning of that declaration of secession by Biafra to the Nigerian state? What is called? Love story or treason? If it is treason, then those you committ treason against should buy you food? If Achebe ‘s Biafra did not give Col Banjo “food” (you see me too can tell comic story and use metaphor like Achebe), but gave him bullet when he committed treason according to you, what should the federal republic of Nigeria do to Biafra?
            3. Finally, this is just something for you on the side. You Biafra is a “state” because it has its own “currency”. Now suppose we accept that, when you were told that Biafra looted the Nigerian central bank in Benin and carted away Nigerian currency to buy arms abroad and that Nigerian has a right to change it currency, you and Achebe against shouted “murder”. Why do you want to want to eat your cake all the time and have it all the time. You see what I am saying. Everything Biafra did against Nigeria is correct without a single reflection on it, but the responses of the Nigerian state to your treason is wrong. The Nigerian state should just look at you Biafra , did you just look at Col Banjo when you said he committed treason and you murdered him ? That is the question.

          • Paschal

            ºː̗̀☀̤̣̈̇ː̖́~t•h•a•n•k•s~ː̗̀☀̤̣̈̇ː̖́. I didn’t think u would answer my questions like I answered yours.
            Nice u know of Hobbes but not his theory cos it doesn’t apply here. You can also tell me the Hobbesian state of nature was obtainable in America when they declared independence from Britain.
            I can answer them for u n summarise. It is ok to kill millions of women and children provided you r ok with it. It is a crime to be Igbo so they must all be killed of. It doesn’t matter if other people were executed with Banjo the Yoruba.
            At this point I’m satisfied that anyone who has taken time to read wouldve have seen your ‘LOGIC’.
            ºː̗̀☀̤̣̈̇ː̖́~t•h•a•n•k•s~ː̗̀☀̤̣̈̇ː̖́ for your time.
            Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

          • adams

            So mr. ‘logician” Paschal assistant to Chinua Achebe on Biafra affairs. I will just take what you said and expose them. Paschal says:” One treason is good-the Biafra treason against the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the other treason is bad-Col Banjo’s treason against Biafra.” The Federal Republic of Nigeria’s response to Biafra’s treason is bad, Biafra’s response to Col Banjo’s treason is good. Your assertions are made in the context of: Nigeria is a country. Biafra was not and is not. Nigeria is a legal entity known to civilised laws-UN and OAU, Biafra was not a legal entity, known to any civilised law-UN and OAU. That summarises things. As usual Chinua Achebe has helped us expose these things. They continue to be exposed. Everyone is making choices. I only appeal that choices be made peacefully this time so that each person and national group decides under civilised conditions and norms.

          • Abubakar

            Paschal, what Adams is simply asking is that: if Banjo committed treason, what did Biafra commit against the Nigerian state? I mean just say it. And the matter will end there. Banjo committed treason against Biafra and Igbo people. That is okay. But what did Biafra commit against Nigeria? I am hausa-fulani, I do not want to bring my own into this thing because everybody will begin to shout northerners, northerners etc the allegedly “original sinners”. So I will not talk. But I have interest too in adams question to you. Col Banjo committed treason hmm hm . He was tried hmm hmm. He was killed hmm hmm . Adams asked : under which law was he tried and killed? Second, if Col Banjo committed treason against Biafra, what did Biafra commit against Nigeria? Answers to these questions need not be long. While your story is good for you, you may want to answer these questions and TAKE THEM together.

  • Abasam

    What truth are you after? The man Awo said it as it is, even before he died, you win a war by any means necessary. I am still surprised that Ojukwu, a Sandhurst trained military officer can declare a war he know that he cannot win. You guys are not serious.about apology. War is not a carnival. It is nasty.

    • Paschal

      @Abasam. No one is asking for an apology and no one ever asked and will ask. Not even compensation nor any form of help. We are fine and will keep being. We just need our generation and the next to b aware. You may not know but history repeats steady. So that when its time again, they will know who is who. Our fathers didn’t know. It was even Ojukwu who was most instrumental in the releasing from prison of Awo. And this is what he gets for it. Make no mistake, its for posterity not for any kind of restitution.
      A war he cannot win? Tell that to the US about Vietnam or Germany about the world. I’m sure u know little to nothing about conflicts or wars. I don’t claim to. Know that like the war in Iraq, Nigeria estimated that Biafra will b over in months. Ask your pops how long it took. just saying. Ask for facts. Don’t let us all be sensational. Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

    • Ukanna

      Please Abasam, say the truth. Did Ojukwu declare war? What happened in Aburi, Ghana? Who started the shelling first? Stop distorting the facts.

      • iretiidajo

        Not only that my dear Ukanna. You need to read your history very well. Ojukwu declared war. And more importantly we need to know about the murder of Victor Banjo which hangs on the head of ALL Biafra operatives then and now. And this includes Chinua Achebe. It is going to be a long haul. Please be ready.

        • Paschal

          Iretiidajo Banjo, I wonder what history book narrated to you that Ojukwu declared war on Nigeria. Ok, you said to read ‘history very well.’ I guess that the version you read. History says otherwise. I hope you catch the drift.

        • chichi

          lol..im sorry ireti but every fool in nigeria should know that nigeria declared war..it just sucks when you are trying to have conversations with ppl who dont know jack

    • akpos1

      The Yorubas are demons who never fight alone. The Hausa fulani continue to ridicule other Nigerians and virtually want to hold the whole Continent – Nigeria to ransome all because of the cowardice of the Yorubas who ever prostrating, will always negotiate with them through the back door.

      Achebe was perfectly right. He spoke for his Ibo country to which he must be a patriot. There is nothing wrong with that. But the Yoruba will want one Nigeria even at the cost of the senseless killings of BH, incongruity and backwardness of the North all because of two reasons:
      1. They are scared of surviving and indeed may never survive as a nation
      2. Pure innate cowardice which makes them play second fiddle to laggards from the North in other to have numerical strenght to match the enterprising Ibos and SS peoples without whom they (Yorubas) will not survive.

      Imagine MKO & wife killed just like that and the whole Yoruba nation cowardly looked on. In fact, they still court the H.Fulanis. This is in contrast to the bravery of the SS pples & their revolutionary war Generals who have fought bak & redefined the Continent Nigeria political landscape after Ken was hung.

      Nigeria is not a country but a Continent. Break up NOW!

      LONG LIVE THE SOUTH SOUTH & SOUTH EAST REPUBLIC

      • Paschal

        Nof said.You couldn’t be clearer.

      • Titilola

        Your politics of hatred will make all Yoruba states to drive u ppl back to ur villages and being a land that is not fertile, you ppl will soon start eating humans like clifford ur brother! When they kill you in the north we received you ppl. You are just ingrates! The ibos have no wrritten history, you have no warring tribe that could unite the whole of ur 50 scattered hamlets when the great Oyo empire flourished! The Yoruba had always practiced a federalist govt under the Alaafin of Oyo while the pride of the Ibo will not even allow them to have a royal father like other ppl of the world. The Oyo army colonised the whole of Benin Republic (former Dahomey) extending to Togo!!! check your history book, you wild cannibal from the landlocked bush country! instead of u ppl to unite and have a centralized govt, and assimilate the small tribes in the SS you withdrew into ur hamlets until 1914 when Lugard made u warrant chiefs that later became your artificial Igwe. You ppl had never fought any notable wars b4 Biafra and you think it is child’s play. Just yesterday, the British came to stop the Egba-Dahomey war which was the last of d Yoruba civil wars. My mother told me the horrors of Ekiti-parapo wars. You ppl are just inexperienced!!! war is war1!!! The Ibos should learn to be humble and stop intimidating the Hausas. For God’s sake everybody knows that unlearned ppl always feel insecured with the learned so why do ppl always like to intimidate them? with ur half educatn and ill gotten fake drug money. The Yoruba will always have their way because they are a peace-loving humble and learned human being just like the ppl of America. The earlier you like Yoruba, the better for you, because you ppl don’t know Yoruba war tactics. You will just be surprised that the gentility of a leopard is not cowardice! The Ibadan army, just a fraction of the then Oyo army destroyed the fierce Fulani warriors in Oshogbo during their last Jihad. if they had entered Iboland, they could have butchered you ppl like chickens bcoz of ur lack of unity. Ur muscles and bravery has failed you and you are still suffering for it. You ppl are so unwise: How could you expect your enemy to feed you!!! We will forever revere Awolowo. afterall your Ojukwu said it all, he was the best president Nigeria never had.

  • iretiidajo

    Who Killed Col Victor Banjo?

    Chinua Achebe the Igbo novelist
    and writer who now lives in the US has written a memoir. This memoir includes
    events of the unfortunate Nigerian Civil War between 1966-1970. I am a Nigerian
    of Yoruba extraction. I am concerned about the death of many Nigerians during
    the unfortunate civil war. One of the numerous deaths was that of a promising
    young family man-Col Victor Banjo. The factual information we have are as
    follows:

    1. Col
    Victor Banjo was in the Biafra Army.

    2. Col
    Victor Banjo was a Nigerian of Yoruba cultural extraction who joined forces
    with Col Odumegwu Ojukwu the leader of the Biafra Army who was fighting the
    federal forces.

    3. Col.
    Victor Banjo was sent by the Biafra Army under the command of Col Ojukwu to
    take over Lagos, the then seat of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

    4. We
    are not sure of the details of the fact. But we have the information (to be confirmed) that Col
    Victor Banjo allegedly had 7000
    ill equipped troops under him on his mission on behalf of Biafra to
    capture Lagos.

    5. We
    are yet to make confirmation. But the unconfirmed information was that Col.
    Victor Banjo honorable made a detour in Ore, in the present
    Ondo state on learning of the inferior troop under him for his mission
    to capture Lagos on behalf of Biafra.

    6. Col
    Victor Banjo returned to Col Odumegwu Ojukwu. But Col Odumegwu Ojukwu shot and
    killed Col Victor Banjo.

    7. As
    a Nigerian and as a Yoruba man of over 70 years, I make the following proposition.

    8. Chinua
    Achebe was involved in the Biafra crusade and he should address the death of
    Col Victor Banjo in the hands of
    Biafra soldiers.

    9. Chinua
    Achebe was a cultural ambassador
    of Biafra so he is liable as part of the Biafra structure for the death of Col
    Victor Banjo a Nigerian of Yoruba extraction.

    10. Since we
    are in the season of investigation and memoirs, and Chinua Achebe
    who is a member of Biafra is still alive, he should be invited to answer
    questions on the circumstances surrounding the death of Col Victor Banjo.

    11. I propose
    that this call to Chinua Achebe should involve a trial for the death of Col Victor Banjo who
    is a Nigerian of Yoruba extraction.

    12. Chinua
    Achebe can be found. He is alive and he lives in the US. He teaches presumably
    African Literature in Boston University, US. I am concerned because I am a Nigerian and I am Yoruba. The
    blood of Col Victor Banjo and other Yoruba sons and daughters who died in the hands of Biafra is on the head
    of Biafra operatives dead or alive. Chinua Achebe ( we do not know if he has
    renounced his Nigerian nationality and citizenship, but we are investigating)
    was and is still a Biafra operative . Therefore the blood of Col Victor Banjo
    is on the head of Chinua Achebe. And he has to be tried for murder of Col
    Victor Banjo. Boston University
    authority where Chinua Achebe works should be properly notified under the law
    for this is an open issue that concerns the law and human lives. I know Col
    Victor Banjo and I know that his
    children are still alive. Part of this legal process is that Chinua Achebe
    should be asked to produce the corpse of Col Victor Banjo for proper burial. Chinua Achebe a previous and present
    operative of Biafra should be tried for the death of Col Victor Banjo a
    Nigerian who is also Yoruba.

  • Bold-Truth

    Achebe
    was beclouded with hatred, tribalism and grief over the loss of Biafra war. Otherwise,
    what could have made a person of Achebe’s intelligence to accuse his enemy of
    not feeding him during an active military campaign? Think of Hitler accusing
    the Allied forces of not feeding Germany during the Second World War

    • shola

      Intelligent observation bro

  • ilajeeseodo

    Now let us take some facts. My answer to you is to make a joke of you by calling your attention to some facts. Okay.
    1. Yoruba is “clannish”. Igbo people are not “clannish”. They are so “nationalistic” hmm , you will wonder. But let us take some historical facts so that you do not mystify things.
    2. Being clannish is not genetic. It is a social thing. That is you can explain it. It is not in the blood nor is it genetic. I hope you had some education so that you can follow me. In other words being clannish is a function of environment. Now this is the social explanation of “clannishness. Traditionally Igbos do not build cities. They build clans. This is why the phrase “my village” is second to Igbos. The word “clannish” is got from “clan”. Please check ALL the novels written by your chief tribalist-Chinua Achebe. The Chinua Achebe setting is ALWAYS Clan. So I did not say so. The fact is from your Oga-Oga Chinua.
    3. Now Yorubas build cities traditionally. Please check your history. I will make a joke on you , I will not mention one example in order to ridicule you, make you go and do some research, and see if you went to school at all. Because I know you will rush to deny this. Then you will mess yourself up. Then the real scholars will descend on you. So Yorubas build cities, and this act of city building influences the social thought of the Yorubas. The common phrase in the typical Yoruba mouth is “my citiy”, NOT “my village.”
    4. if you went to school, based on 2 and 3 and if you can engage in elementary social explanation, the question then is: who is the one whose environment pre-dispose him to being clannish? And who is actually clannish? The village and clan men and women or the city builders? The fact that you do not build cities explain your clannishness. Given that this trait has been with you for centuries, it has become your second identity.
    5. For example, take the Owelle of Onitsha. I think you call him Zik of Africa. let us look how that empty phrase stands vis-a-vis the village mentality of the average Igbo. Zik went to school in America where payment of taxes is core to the American public life. During the 1978 election in Nigeria, one of the conditions for all the presidential contestants to fulfill was that they must have been seen to be performing their civic duties to the Nigerian state. The cardinal point in duty to the Nigerian state was the payment of taxes by ALL presidential candidates. They were asked for their tax receipts as evidence that they have been paying taxes . Other contestants were Waziri, Awolowo, Shagari. They all produced their tax receipts. Zik of Africa, the Owelle of Onitsha could not. FEDECO, the then electoral body informed Nigerians, Zik shouted. What did he say? The whole Zik of Africa (not of Nigeria ooo, of Africa!!!), Zik of Africa said he was being persecuted because he was asked whether he has been paying taxes because he was Igbo. What do you call this Marvel? Is this cosmopolitanism? This means the Igbo man can go to ten Americas, go to America ten times, you cannot take the clan out of the average Igbo person. Look I am saying Zik of Africa went to school in America where payment of tax is key. He wanted to be president, he was asked for evidence of tax payment. O yari!!! he said he was being persecuted because he was asked to pay tax because he was Igbo. My broda Marvel, what has payment of tax got to do with being Igbo? He ran “angrily”back to Onitsha! That shows the acuteness of the clannishness.
    6. Take contemporary times. Out of all the states in Nigeria, which states are more welcoming of non-indigenes and outsiders in Nigeria? The Yoruba states. You can deny it if you want. This genteel sense of civility, you even call docility when we are also always at the vanguard of social criticism of bad rulers in Nigerian society! But the issue is so clear such that Lagos state even have non-Yorubas as public servants and commissioner. Which Igbo state does this?As recent as today, Lagos is asid the be the 25th most innovative city in the world ready to lead Africa. Lagos state is a Yoruba state. Additionally, which part of Nigeria has the religious inclusiveness that we have, which the global world craves for everyday? Let me stop here for you for a while. Try to be more educated before you talk. The problem is that we Yorubas thought it would be possible to build mega cities, turn Nigeria to a place that will give countries like China and US a run for their money. This is one reason we believe that the bigger the better both in quality and size, and the sky is big enough for all birds to fly. But it seems the Igbos do not believe in this, they see enemies everywhere, they see obstacles everywhere, they see rivals and opponents everywhere, every national group in Nigeria is their enemy. When we do not even notice that there is rivalry because of our alleged “docility”, you see us as rivals!!!. More importantly, the Igbos love their villages and they do not want that big country that will contest and rob shoulders with the biggest countries and the wealthiest countries in the world. The village mentality of the average Igbo (as you can see even in Achebe’s novels) does not want the big country, the mega cities where everybody in the world will be welcome, where ALL peoples of African descent that were enslaved and scattered in the diaspora will proudly call theirs and want to return to. The Igbos want their villages, and villages do not accommodate the huge size of people I have talked about. You will have your villages this time around for that is Chinua Achebe’s agenda. Nobody will stop you. It is ‘to your tent oh Israel” this time around. The only thing that we demand is that do not rush anything this time around like you did the last time, so that you do not start another round of accusation about XYZ being your enemies. Just leave quietly to your clans and we will allow you to go.
    Thank you

  • Tosin

    Be reminded that Yoruba and Igbo people love each other. We are a bit different, but we are one. Inter-ethnic love story –> http://lifelib.blogspot.com/2010/12/not-too-much-pepper.html Inter-ethnic music video –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtU2vttOdyM
    The great Chinua Achebe should come back home. It’s not that bad here, we will welcome him better than the USA. We are begging.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1219903263 Olaitan Eyiowuawi

    Much as I admire Ojukwu for following his convictions way back when
    his ilk elsewhere were still labouring to weld an impossible union that
    is now glaringly on the brink of failure, his was a defective strategy
    to prosecute a war on the premise that his adversaries will keep
    channels of supply of essentials available to him to continue in war.
    Ojukwu kept a number of important units in the dark and declared war,
    even if imminent, a little too early. Even Zik and a few Eastern leaders
    were in the dark. I was shocked to find a copy of a document signed by
    Ojukwu giving the Rothschilds of France absolute rights to explore all
    minerals in Eastern Nigeria. Already singing the victory song before the
    first shot. (You will find this in the book, The Struggle for Nigeria
    by Michael Gould). I wonder what was the motive for Ojukwu’s apparent
    generosity. What were his real motivations for going to war a little too
    early?

    Achebe at page 233 says “It is my impression that Chief Obafemi
    Awolowo was driven by an overriding ambition for power, for himself in
    particular and for the advancement of his Yoruba people in
    general…Awolowo saw the dominant Igbos at the time as the obstacles to
    that goal, and when the opportunity arose-the Nigeria-Biafra War-his
    ambition drove him into a frenzy to go to every length to achieve his
    dreams…a diabolical policy to reduce the numbers of his enemies
    significantly through starvation-eliminating over two million people”

    Achebe betrays his admirable but lopsided ethnic sentiments and
    perhaps dislike of Awolowo by ascribing a cabinet decision to the man
    when ironically on page 234 he ascribes the same act of starvation as
    “The federal government’s actions” even going further as picking on
    Gowon for not stopping it and Ayida and Enahoro for advancing it. Why
    did he centre such scathing remark on Awolowo? Even as I will admit
    Awolowo was no saint, Achebe’s account could have been more objective.

    I commend Achebe’s book to Nigerian history students with the caveat
    that it should be read with a clear prism. Achebe’s brilliance was
    hindered by his difficulty in tempering his strong even if admirable
    ethnic sentiments. Quite weighty for Achebe to ascribe the
    non-integration of the Igbos as one of the main reasons for Nigeria’s
    continued backwardness. Who has refused to integrate the Igbos?
    Achebe’s comments on page 74 that “Nigerians will probably achieve
    consensus on no other matter than their common resentment of the Igbo”
    though true,diminishes his person. Is Achebe saying Nigerians, bar the
    Igbos are wrong in their estimation of the Igbos? What is the origin
    and fuel of this resentment? A more objective assesment would have been a
    study of the difficulty of
    the Igbos to win the trust of the other nationalities in Nigeria.

    A note of caution, for those criticising Achebe, it is a less than
    honourable thing to do without first reading the book. Shorn of some of
    Achebe’s lopsided nationalism, I will commend the book to our history
    teachers. Nigerians need to know more about their country.

    • shola

      Intelligent and objective exposition. God bless you.

  • akpos11

    The Yorubas are demons who never fight alone. The Hausa fulani continue to ridicule other Nigerians and virtually want to hold the whole Continent – Nigeria to ransome all because of the cowardice of the Yorubas who ever prostrating, will always negotiate with them through the back door.

    Achebe was perfectly right. He spoke for his Ibo country to which he must be a patriot. There is nothing wrong with that. But the Yoruba will want one Nigeria even at the cost of the senseless killings of BH, incongruity and backwardness of the North all because of two reasons:
    1. They are scared of surviving and indeed may never survive as a nation
    2. Pure innate cowardice which makes them play second fiddle to laggards from the North in other to have numerical strenght to match the enterprising Ibos and SS peoples without whom they (Yorubas) will not survive.

    Imagine MKO & wife killed just like that and the whole Yoruba nation cowardly looked on. In fact, they still court the H.Fulanis. This is in contrast to the bravery of the SS pples & their revolutionary war Generals who have fought bak & redefined the Continent Nigeria political landscape after Ken was hung.

    Nigeria is not a country but a Continent. Break up NOW!

    LONG LIVE THE SOUTH SOUTH & SOUTH EAST REPUBLIC

    • Promasky

      I Think akpos you are diametrically myopic and don`t have a historical clue on the complexity of Nigeria. You called the Yoruba`s Pure innate coward and play second fiddle to laggards from the North. To me you are not a patriotic Nigerian. Your comments is an act of treason against the Nigeria Nation. Tell me if you are intellectually sound to answer, `Is there any country on earth where internal conflict or disagreements doesn`t exist?`. Do you know that the roles played by the Yoruba has helped in the unity of Nigeria. If the Yoruba`s had decided during the Biafrian war that they will form their own nation, what would have been the fate of a nation called Nigeria today?

      GET THIS FACT RIGHT! IF NIGERIA BREAKS TODAY, THE NORTH WILL NOT SUFFER, THE YOURUBAS WILL ALSO NOT SUFFER. THE IGBOS AND YOUR SO CALLED SOUTH-SOUTH EAST REPUBLIC WILL SUFFER BEYOND WHAT THEY ARE EXPERIENCING NOW.

    • shola

      Unintelligent uninformed vituperations

  • crash

    Another reason for stupid hatred. achebe might be true but has also sown discord amongst men(prov 6:16-19).
    He realy shud know better at his age. And for those old immature dolts taking sides-grow da f*#k up.

  • truthbetold

    Not a bad story but a small error of fact. 25 years after his death Chief Awolowo remains a venerated figure in south western Nigeria, certainly not in all of Nigeria