EXCLUSIVE: U.S. blames Ojukwu, Gowon for Biafra starvation deaths

Ojukwu
Ojukwu

At the peak of Nigeria’s civil war in 1968, as hundreds of thousands starved to death in Biafra, it was deadly politicking between the conflict’s two key figures-Yakubu Gowon and Odumegwu Ojukwu- that kept food out of the region, escalating the death toll, a secret U.S. dispatch detailing the war says.

The document says disagreement on shipments between Mr. Gowon and Mr. Ojukwu, were more to blame for the failure of relief materials reaching dying children, women and men desperately in need of food.

The confidential cable, obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, provides a rare insight into one of the most fatal angle of the war, as narrated by a superpower that regarded itself neutral in the conflict but which seemed to have sympathy for Biafra.

The disclosures came as the nation recalls devastating details of the conflict that killed millions; a recollection shovelled into national consciousness by foremost writer, Chinua Achebe’s new book, There Was a Country.

Mr. Achebe’s portrayal of the late leader of the defunct Western region, Obafemi Awolowo, as the mastermind of Nigeria’s policy of blocking food shipments to Biafra, ignited a week of  fierce verbal exchanges between the Igbos and the Yorubas.

But in part, the U.S. account offers a sharp contrast to Mr. Achebe’s position, blaming instead, war-time military ruler, Mr. Gowon, and secessionist leader, Mr. Ojukwu, for the imbroglio.

Mr. Gowon, the cable said, discontinued air shipments to the Eastern region despite pressure from the United States and the Red Cross, fearing transport airplanes were being used to convey arms to Biafra.

Initial shipments by the Red Cross, suspected to be pro-Biafra at the time, had delivered 16 to 20 tons of food a night in a lone DC–4, feeding an estimated 850,000 people in Biafra three meals per week, the memo said.

But the Gowon-led military government barred the airlifting, which originated from Sao Tome and Principe, a Portuguese colony at the time. Portugal was amongst the few European nations that backed Biafra.

The Nigerian side, the cable written from the United States said, was however willing to allow land shipment, and would offer air permit only on guarantees they will not be abused for arms shipment.

Those were conditions Mr. Ojukwu refused to accept, even while thousands of his people, including children, were starving to death.

The former Biafran leader also rejected food shipments sent by road fearing they might be poisoned, and that such route might open an advance corridor for federal government troops, the dispatch adds.

The Red Cross too, would not implement any relief operation without the explicit approval of both sides.

While all these happened, at least 400 to 600 died a day from starvation, the document stated.

“All of this is happening in the shadow of what is pretty clearly a buildup for a new federal offensive designed to take the 10,000 square miles still held by the rebels,” the memo said.

“There are also mounting reports on increased Biafran military activity, allegedly (though probably falsely) led by French officers. If either or both sides take the offensive, the relief problem becomes almost impossible,” it warned, adding that the US needed to take “a strong go at the Feds (federal government) on this point, but their answer is a forbidding “The other side has left us little choice.”

The “other side” mentioned in the document, appears to refer to Mr. Ojukwu’s Biafra, which, more concerned with winning the war, refused to accept the conditions spelt out by the Nigerian government for delivering food to the troubled region.

The details dated August 12, 1968 was sent by Edward Hamilton of the US National Security Council Staff to a Special Assistant to the then US president, Lyndon Johnson.

They appear to have been compiled from diplomatic filings and media reports which surged with the discovery of children dying of starvation on the Biafran side.

The document formed part of confidential U.S. State Department central files on Biafra-Nigeria, between 1967 and 1969.

Since becoming public last week, Mr. Achebe’s war memoir has stirred some of the most rabid sentiments since the war ended in 1970.

The award-winning writer’s criticisms of Mr. Awolowo’s role in the war, has put Mr. Achebe up for blistering criticisms from Mr. Awolowo’s supporters, mainly fellow Yorubas; while mainly Igbo  have also attacked the Yorubas, while siding with Mr. Achebe, a kinsman.

Somehow, in his 1983 electioneering remark, republished recently in the heat of Mr. Achebe’s allegations, Mr. Awolowo admitted initiating the food policy, but said it was targeted at Biafra’s fighting personnel to help bring the war to a quick close.

The U.S. memo speaks of a diverse section of influences that leveraged Mr. Gowon’s decisions and the role of the international community in the conflict.

It speaks of the possibility of a rare agreement between Mr. Ojukwu and Mr. Gowon to allow relief through a designated airstrip succeeding, “although Gowon is under immense pressure from his hawks-which include almost the entire Hausa population- not to allow any relief, particularly any which involved air traffic into Biafra.”

The document referred to a frustrating showing of former colonialist, Britain, acting “as though they have decided that the only solution is a military solution imposed by Gowon.”

It spoke of France as “actively pro-Biafran,” the defunct Organization for African Unity, OAU, as “pro-Nigerian” while Russia was “largely disinterested and identify with the Nigerians to the degree that they are interested.”

The Pope made “strong statements” but was largely powerless, it said.

At the time the memo was compiled, a meeting of the OAU was being held at the group’s Ethiopian capital, Addis Abbaba, where the country’s former leader, Haile Selassie, attempted a go at a truce on the relief issue, separate from the political wrangling between the warring sides.

For all that happened, it was the frustrating relief failing that was more disturbing particularly to the American population, whose opinions the cable says, was “pro-Biafran.”

Even so, the cable found that the US mission in Lagos was “too sensitive to the feelings of the federal government to have done much pushing” on Mr. Gowon for a fresh commitment on opening a relief corridor.

But the US policy overall, the memo said, was stimulating the Red Cross to serve as the international cover for a relief operation; asking both sides to agree to a settlement, or at least to a relief agreement; offering help necessary to make a relief operation work; and asking Mr. Gowon to “dramatize the fact” that it is not the federal government that is keeping the food out of Biafra.

Download & Read the Full U.S.-Biafra Memo here

 

  • Obabayito

    Well, what did President Lyndon Johnson and subsequently President Richard Nixon of the United States do to prevent the starvation and death of three million innocent, helpless, Biafran children? America’s interest would always lie somewhere near an oil well, and as long as the free flow of oil is guaranteed, the world’s self-appointed policeman is always happy to look the other way.

    • mikegodon@yahoo.com

      This is clear, USA was neutral with sympathy for Biafra and they blame the starvation on both sides, they even blame the Northerners in the administration for encouraging Gowon to blockade the food aid. No mention of Awolowo or Yorubas. My questions? Why did the Ibos started a war when they cannot even provide food for themselves. Why should Nigeria feed its enemy that is planing to destroy it. Achebe is just a frustrated, senile, bitter and very tribalistic Ibo man that cannot hide his hatred and jealousy for Yoruba race and its chidlren. He is also very ignorant or he is distorting historical facts. On page 64 in his book, he claimed that Ahmadu Bello Sardauna of Sokoto founded Northern poeples Congress (NPC) but it was Dr Barau Dikko the father of Alhaji Umaru Dikko that founded NPC. Shame on a professor who did not check his facts before publishing or may be he was delibatley publishing falshood.

      • igbiki

        The Nigerians, if totally left on their own, couldnt even be able or have the expertise to kill a dead rat. It was the Russians’ operated Ilyushin Il-28′s and MIG 17 ‘s piloted by Egyptians, Ukranians and East Germans pilots and the British military advisers’ operated tanks and heavy artillery combined with Awos’ starvation that won the war for the Nigerians.

        And they were bombing, straffing and shooting anything that moves or doesnt move, markets, churches, roads, bridges, farms, etc. people coudn’t even go out of their bomb shelters talkless of going to their farms.

        An Awolowo’s Ijebu kinsman, Chief Duro Onabule, in one of his articles in the Daily Sun, stated that it was unbriddled opportunism that drove Awolowo into the bear hug of the North, to the extent that Awolowo became the very thing he had spent his life fighting against: Injustice!!!

        Awolowo was madly in pursuit of national relevance and he felt the only way he could ever achieve it was to ally with Northerners, forgetting (blinded, rather) that he was a mortal enemy of the North so was never trusted by them so was used to execute a masterstroke against the Igbo (Easter Region), in particular, and Southern Nigeria, in general.

        What happened after his services were no longer needed? He was flushed down the drain, the rightful place he belonged, and died an unfulfilled man!
        Awo is a disgraced war criminal who burns in the deepest depths of hell. Ojukwu got a State Burial in NIGERIA but Awo didnt.

        The Yorubas are callous bigots just like their unsung deadleader. Their base ethnic instinct has beclouded their reasoning medula.

        Achebe has raised specific points and questions, and has drawn his
        own conclusions and Awo has indeed admited using starvation as an
        instrument of war.

        People should attempt to address those specific points and or answer
        those questions or they can continue hopping, barking, wringing their
        hands or necks, crying, hitting their heads on a wall and dancing around
        the issues

        • lucabracee

          why don’t we reason like educated people? has your hate for the yoruba tribe blinded you of all objective reasoning?
          premium times have quoted a united states secret cable blaming all the major participants for the starvation including ojukwu yet you are here talking about chief onabule whose accounts onabule or the united state is more credible?
          repeating falsehood over and over again will not turn it to truth,and have you noticed that while the yorubas are even answering you or making the efforts to defend themselves the hausas don’t give a fuck about your views if you like jump up and down they don’t give a damn..

          what you have stated is the sad reminder of why war is always supposed to be the last solution ojukwu was warned,pleaded with and negotiations convened all in a bid to avoid war yet he wouldn’t agree until he made the first move and led his people to suffer the consequences..the only analogy i can use to compare your complaints is that of a little boy who smacks a fully grown man and tries to fight him,the fully grown man tries to reason with him but the little big would have none of it,now the fully grown man beats and wounds him while using his adult wisdom to defeat him then the little boy starts crying and showing everyone his wounds while telling everyone that the adult man is a bully and calling him all sorts of name…

          did you read gowon’s comment? he waved the whole incident to one side and didn’t even bother to make a comment of more than 100words talk less of issuing a statement and he even in sited he has no cause to regret

          • igbiki

            Was it the Igbos who cross-carpeted in Ibadan, planned and executed “Operation Wetie”, the 1966 coup and counter coup, commited massacres and pogroms in Lagos and the north?

            Awo was the hatchet man of the north and I expect the yorubas to live with that reality and to be objective in their defense of the Asiwaju. Or what do you expect a 30+ years old Gowon and his cohort to do to the antics and evil machinations of a old foxy Awo?

            Achebe did raise specific points and questions, and has drawn his own conclusions and Awo has indeed admited using starvation as an instrument of war.

            I do not see how a boy slapping a man fits into this picture, as you alluded.

            People should attempt to address specific points and or answer simple questions or they can continue hopping, barking, wringing their hands or necks, crying, hitting their heads on a wall and dancing around the issues.

            I rest my case.

          • olatunde olaniyan

            the specifics have been answered but you gys would rather accept achebe’s personal opinions as gospel so how does that even leave room for any intelligent debate if you have closed your mind to anything else?
            they say a closed mind is the most difficult to get through in this world..please note that i don’t care what the ibos think or what the yorubas retort is. my only interest in this issue is purely from an educational /historical angle hence i am being completely objective in my outlook,comments and contributions not supporting anyone just following the facts and sources cause I’m considering this topic for my post grad dissertation.

            personally even though I’m yoruba,my submission of the whole issue is that awolowo had a blame gowon had a blame ojukwu had a blame just like george bush jnr and sadam hussein’s ego and personality clash caused a war where soldiers and civilians on both sides lost their lives all these 3 men above also allowed their ego and pride to cause the death of ibos,yorubas and hausas more the ibos..

            addressing the main issue specifically,speaking objectively strictly from the evidence open to us awo has explained himself that he used starvation as an instrument of war”towards the biafran soldiers” he never admitted or said he used starvation as an instrument towards the ordinary citizens…. this is where the bne of contention lies and where the argument lies..

            the american cable has also validated this angle as well. they have stated that the ego and pride including distrust amongst them including the pressure of the hausa fulanis played a huge part…as a scholar this are all the issues achebe should have espoused and discussed in his book he is a lecturer in an american university and he will not give an incomplete or open ended subjective essay of that nature a pass mark..i studies pol science both in my first nd post grad degree presently in a british university and one thing lecturers like achebe has always warned us about is never to be subjective in a course work or a literary piece…we are told to write in the third person and to address both for and against the first essay i ever did in my year one was the justifications of hitler for 2nd world war and i started writing how evil hitler was and how he killed the jews and bla bla bla with more than 25 different sources guess what i scored 22% because my essay did not conveying what it should…what i would have applauded in his book is to write exactly what he has written and in addition to add awo’s account,gown’s account, the evidence for an against the sources that can be obtained and then let everyone make up their mind that is a literary work..

            apart from awo,ojukwu and others accounts i believe as a student of history and a scholar in pol science i always avoid sentiments,emotions hearsay my daddy said,my mummy said as sources anyone that relies on these three as sources for a literary or academic work will get a big fat zero..in that sense so far i believe the american diplomatic cable is the most credible source for now and they have validated my assertions above..

            show me evidence contrary to awo’s assertions more credible than the american cables devoid of my mummy said,my grandfather said or achebe said and speaking for myself i will instantly castigate awo as a murderer

          • Lanre

            Olatunde Olaniyan, I thank you for your erudite comment. You are a true Yoruba scholar. Brotherly advise.Please proof read your comments. There were one or two errors in you post. But that is not the reason for my reply to you. Please, Tunde. Mo be e ni (I plead with you). Awolowo did not starve anybody. Historical research is still going on but this was what Awolowo did. He stopped arming the enemy. You remember what Napoleon said about an army not being able to fight without food? Where did Ojukwu plan to get food from? Nigeria? A country you were fighting? So Awolowo had nothing to do with what some call starvation. It is not in my dictionary for Chief Awolowo. The other thing from one friendly Yoruba to another. DO NOT ENGAGE ANY IGBO ONLINE ON THIS MATTER. Their minds are made up and you are wasting your intellectual strength and energy with them. When you are fighting the enemy there is a language you speak that he or she will understand. For Igbos right now, our language should be silence.

          • olatunde olaniyan

            many thanks for the correction…i was in a hurry while typing the comments and it was on an iPad balanced on my knee in an hotel lobby so you can appreciate the difficulty in typing almost 500words or thereabouts..if you notice the immediate knee jerk reaction to achebe’s book by most yorubas is defence of awo without a proper rebuttal..the achebe supporters as well post their retorts in defence of achebe who is one of their own without credible facts now it has degenerated to personal insults which has absolutely nothing to the matter at hand do a cursory search of all the newspapers where any of these articles are featured and you will find majority of the comments insults and verbal barbs..

            let us be sincere as a country the civil war was a watershed in our history and its very important as students of history to learn much more about it in order that we will fore stall it from happening again,and also to have a deeper understanding of the part played by each of the fore players..

            awo has clearly stated his part,in addition to your explanation i believe his emphasis was on starving the biafran soldiers in order for them not to have the strength to fight,unfortunately gowon/awo and ojukwu including the hausas allowed mutual ego,distrust,pride to colour their decisions leading to the death of a large number of ibos by starvation we have seen the diplomatic cables and they have validated this premise if american diplomatic cables are credible enough for wikileaks and the international community surely they should be good enough as a credible source for a nigerian civil war especially considering the part america played …the same way awo cannot be totally absolved from this sad episode is the same way gowon and ojukwu cannot be absolved..

            the fault i am laying at achebe’s feet is that being an erudite scholar,an elder and something approaching a statesman before this sad debacle what he should have done is an objective and balanced book clearly laying out every single issue and everyone’s defence of the parts played but this late in his life he allowed his personal opinions of awo to colour his book…a rookie mistake even an undergraduate student of politics should not make how much more a professor….
            this book should have been a credible source that will be reffered to in literary circles and intellectual circles amongst the yoruba ibo and hausa for hundreds of years from now but it has been blighted by the negativity of being a book espousing his tribe at the essence of other tribes especially the yoruba.. there were mistakes in factual accounts,one sided accounts personal opinions being advanced as the truth e.t.c

            my stance is simple i will follow credible facts,evidence where ever it leads me so far the most credible fact i have read in this debate is the american diplomatic cables until something much more credible comes along

          • Lanre

            Thank you, Olatunde. You are a true son of your Father (and Mother) as we Yorubas say :). Hmmmmm. You have raised some very important points which I will clarify as best as I can.

            1). Please correct me if I have errors in my posts too. I cannot stand half-baked online commentators that cannot string together a single sentence correctly. Thank you for being mature about it.

            2). Care needs to be exercised about certain Historical Facts, Events and Statements. You see, Achebe (and his intellectual followers and supporters) has made a big mistake. Chief Awolowo was a human being. He had his faults. Some of them included being very straight-forward. Sometimes caustic. He would say things straight from the heart. Some did not like it. However, I studied Chief Awolowo (his books), had the great eternal pleasure of meeting him (twice). Chief Awolowo is and was not a killer. This was a humanist who wrote books, had his own family, organized the Western Region with the best minds: Chief Akintola and him had their sqaubbles and quarrels. But it was over their love for Nigeria. Chief Awolowo abhorred and detested injustice. Do you know how many Igbos came to the Western Region due to the introduction of free education? Why did he not start the killing of Igbos then like Chinua Achebe wants us to believe. Olatunde, envy has no cure for a biased mind.

            3).The Civil War: Some of these Igbos going around talking now that Yorubas did this, Awolowo did that. Before these bigots started talking, did you ever hear any Yoruba man say Igbos killed Akintola or Ademulegun or Shodeinde. Did you ever hear any Yoruba say that Aguiyi-Ironsi (an Igbo man) refused to release Chief Awolowo in 1966? The same man (Aguiyi-Ironsi)who refused to try and court martial Igbo officers that killed mainly Hausa and Yoruba elite? It was the Igbos that started this revisionist attempt at rewriting history. I have met a couple of them online. They are a sad picture. Their parents have lied to them. Even though many stay abroad, they were raised to hate Yorubas, vilify Awolowo and now Chinua Achebe a respected literary figure puts a stamp on their statements. I know people who know people. Olatunde, this is a fight for our ancestry. If Chief Awolowo did any wrong (on this matter) as much as I love him, I would rather keep quiet than come online to discuss with you. Chief Awolowo helped the Military Government led by Gen. Yakubu Gowon (who released him from Calabar Prisons) to prosecute a war against rebels. The same rebels who ran away (Ojukwu) leaving their people rudderless. Got pardoned and never wrote his own memoirs. Why do you think Ojukwu could not write his own memoirs? Because he could not lie. He knew as a good soldier he had failed. He was a failure as a Political and Military Commander.

            4). Finally, my brotherly advise to you I will repeat it:DO NOT ENGAGE ANY IGBO ONLINE ON THIS MATTER.State your position but do not reply to their posts or if they reply to you just acknowledge with some meaningless keyboard strokes. Many of them are Biafran Operatives. You see,(and I am chuckling as I write this),There is a saying: WHAT THE OLD MAN CAN SEE LYING DOWN ON HIS BED, THE TEEN CANNOT SEE STANDING UP STRAIGHT. I am not that elderly o, before you start thinking that I am 50 or 60 or 70 or something like that :). But seriously, the gloves are off and the Igbos are throwing everything they have including lies into this. Just like Abraham and Lot did when they separated, Let Biafra be. Let the Igbos go. My children should not have to be in the same country with those who call our own elders killers and murderers while their own leaders are not responsible for their misery.

          • Eddy

            I am going to deal with each issue raised starting from number 2 in paragraphs.

            I will agree with you that Awo did a great thing in
            establishing free education for the Western region. But to suggest that this
            was why the Igbos came to the West is standing the truth on its head. They did
            because the necessary factors of production existed in Lagos more than anywhere
            else in the land. This continues to be the case even today. No one is saying
            that this is a bad thing.

            No one is going about saying that Yorubas in general did
            this and that. It is patently untrue. The only issue being discussed is what
            went on during the war and what Awolowo did or did not do. At that, no one is
            even contesting the fact that he was a great Nigerian and did great things for
            his people not withstanding what may have happened during the war.

            I am completely dumb founded about your assertion that
            Ndigbo on the Net are mainly Biafran operatives. This is just as bad as
            a babalawo’s promise that his potion is a cure all. When you say that you know
            people who know people what exactly are you trying to intimate? Are we still in
            the realm of expressing our opinions freely without fear or favour? To be you seem to be frightening someone into thinking the same way as you.

          • olatunde olaniyan

            don’t you see this is where the main problem lies?
            the reason the yorubas knee jerk reaction will be to go on the defensive is because achebe and indeed south eastern leaders are not ready or willing to accept that ojukwu and several of his advisers were equally complicit .

            singling awolowo out in a civil war involving all the tribes in nigeria is like hanging the blame for everything round his neck which is totally unfair and subjective…we all know without mincing words that ojukwu and his political and military advisers played an active part and this should have been highlighted and acknowledged,gowon and awo played active parts and this should be highlighted and acknowledged as well..are we saying awolowo commanded more power than all the military leaders combined?
            are we saying both gowon,the hausa fulanis pressure group,ojukwu and his advisers including the intellectuals which achebe was part of were these meek and gentle children that awolowo the dictator and overlord were commanding and sending on errands?
            of course we both know this is absurd and untrue..let us face facts and drop hollow innuendos that won’t take us anywhere..
            what in my opinion is causing the whole argument is like you separating 2 children fighting rather than holding them apart is holding the hands of one while the other secures a chance to get some free punches in..

            the only way to have a proper and constructive debate about this truly horrific watershed in our history is to have a truly objective,impartial elder statesman and then set up a bench platform from which to start the debate my own suggestion of the benchmark is that all the leaders are complicit…the issue for me now is how complicit were they?
            which part did each of them play and what could they have done differently

          • olatunde olaniyan

            thanks for the compliments sire,and i appreciate the candour in your retorts this is the way and manner anyone calling him/herself a scholar and genuinely interested in history supposed to conduct themselves…
            even if we physically fight and wound each other still does nothing to change the historical chronology of events.
            the day i began to fear this out country called nigeria was the day a friend of mine who is a core fulani young man and the son of one of the prominent politicians introduced me to his girlfriend guess where the girl is from? imo state also the daughter of a prominent businessman..
            when the boy told me this,i just though to myself that imagine all the hausas and ibos killing and hating each other while the rich and influential are busy connecting with each other the funny thing is that the said dad of the girl in question too has made a comment in recent times supporting achebe yet we never learn..

            i totally agree with you on some of your comments but i will beg to disagree on others.like i said before i might be yoruba but i only allow historical facts to lead me devoid of emotions or sentiments or tribal affiliations..

            starting from the 2nd paragraph i totally and unequivocally agree with you on this..the free education policy is one policy that anyone cannot take from him it was brilliant,innovative and the first of its kind in this part of the world benefiting both yorubas and non yorubas amongst other laudable achievements of his which must be acknowledged and celebrated..

            i also agree with you that the coup including aguiyi ironsi’s actions or inactions,set the platform for the ethnic mistrust and hatred for want of a better word which led to other events culminating in the secession bid.

            where i begin to disagree with you is on the assertion that we are fighting for our ancestry..i don’t believe so simply because there is simply no cause for it..apart from the fact that the pertinent question on ground has nothing to do with this i believe each of the major tribes in nigeria at this stage should be confident in itself and their individual histories for this not to be an issue.

            personally i believe that the biafra war its causes and effects including the starvation needs to be highlighted..the issues surrounding it needs to be explored and debated..
            i agree with some comments that dealing with it,talking about it will to a large extent heal some families’ wounds and it will also help some psychologically to deal with the loss they have suffered…

            having said that,since these debates have started,achebe has raised his own grievance which can be gleaned from the coloration and his portrayal of his civil war accounts,the supporters of awo too have raised pertinent issues some of which you have also re iterated here concerning the ironsi coup…others have also raised the issue of the context in which awo used the controversial comment of starvation being a legitimate weapon.. and lately we have the american diplomatic cable which have shed some light on some issues..
            all in all this shows that issues are being dug up,regurgitated debated and thrashed out slowly but surely leading up to a psychological healing for all concerned in this sense we can surely see a positive in these?
            if a house is being renovated it will be gutted inside and out the whole house will first have to be torn down to the skeleton before it begins to be repaired and made habitable again…right now we are in the process of making things better now.

            everyone has heard about achebe’s book which i strongly believe is subjective and incomplete,our work as students of history,scholars and intellectuals is to come away with a resolve to do an in-depth research into the areas achebe did not mention or dwell on and to come up with an objective and a more historically accurate chronology of events…that in my opinions will better serve the next generation of nigerians better than being defensive along ethnic lines..

            no single tribe so far can absolve their leaders of complicity in the death of the women and children..personally i believe both gowon awolowo ojukwu and their advisers are guilty by association and complicit in the death of those women and children that in my opinion is an objective platform we should start debating from or we won’t get anywhere

          • Lanre

            Hi Olatunde,
            Thank you for keeping it decent.Trust me we can go back and forth on this matter as long as Premium Times allows us. :). I am sure you have heard the maxim ” You are entitled to your opinion but not to your facts.” I mentioned the bit about ancestry because no one is going to be on this earth forever. The Yoruba people are going to be in existence in 1,000 years. Do you want 30 generations from now comparing Chief Awolowo to Hitler or Idi Amin? This is the plan by the Igbo Biafran Operative. It is not to research history or to get to the facts. They are bitter about their defeat in the Civil War; for them the war is not over and the Yorubas and their leader Chief Awolowo will bear the consequences.
            Olatunde, make no mistake about this. From your writings, I believe you are genuine and not trying to deceive me.This is a battle for the soul of the Yoruba. Many underestimate it until you meet a Finnish friend who tells you Chief Awolowo was a tyrant, murderer and a killer of children. Haba! I knew this man Chief Awolowo! The Igbos have gone far enough with this belligerence that has gone on since the end of the civil war.
            I have stories (of Igbos is Diaspora and how they treated some of my relatives). It has never beclouded my relationships with them. When I was in Nigeria, I can tell you my best professional colleagues were Igbos who intermarried. Trust me, I am not a bigot and I am not stupid. But while some do not care about their legacy, some of us met, knew and know Yoruba elite. We are a cultured people who love life, music, art, books, dine fine with good wine.
            From Wole Soyinka to Samuel Ladoke Akintola. Fela Anikulapo- Kuti to Gani Fawehinmi. Ayodele Awojobi to Sanya Onabamiro. Ojetunji Aboyade to Kunle Olukotun. That is who we are. There was a war in Nigeria from 1967-1970. Two governments battled the moral questions of that day on the battle field. One of them (Biafra) could not feed its own soldiers and depended on the enemy to do that. The leadership (Ojukwu) ran out of the country; the winning side led by General Yakubu Gowon declared “No Victor, No Vanquished” policy; commenced the three “R’s” of Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation. Olatunde, Nigeria has hurt a lot of people. I was around and alive on June 12, 1993. I still carry wounds from that day till date. They are eternal. I have never blamed Igbos for what Nzeribe did which was really to make sure that Yorubas went to war. My intelligent Yoruba leaders saw through the whole plan. Some of us wanted war. Let me stop at that.
            This is going to be a long drawn battle. I am prepared for it. There will be no apologies and no regrets. We are all adults, eyes wide open, prepared to bear full responsibility for our actions.

          • Lanre

            Hi Olatunde,

            Thank you for keeping it
            decent.Trust me we can go back and forth on this matter as long as Premium
            Times allows us. :). I am sure you have heard the maxim ” You are entitled
            to your opinion but not to your facts.” I mentioned the bit about ancestry
            because no one is going to be on this earth forever. The Yoruba people are
            going to be in existence in 1,000 years. Do you want 30 generations from now
            comparing Chief Awolowo to Hitler or Idi Amin? This is the plan by the Igbo
            Biafran Operative. It is not to research history or to get to the facts. They
            are bitter about their defeat in the Civil War; for them the war is not over
            and the Yorubas and their leader Chief Awolowo will bear the consequences.

            Olatunde, make no mistake about
            this. From your writings, I believe you are genuine and not trying to deceive
            me.This is a battle for the soul of the Yoruba. Many underestimate it until you
            meet a Finnish friend who tells you Chief Awolowo was a tyrant, murderer and a
            killer of children. Haba! I knew this man Chief Awolowo! The Igbos have gone
            far enough with this belligerence that has gone on since the end of the civil
            war.

            I have stories (of Igbos is Diaspora
            and how they treated some of my relatives). It has never beclouded my
            relationships with them. When I was in Nigeria, I can tell you my best
            professional colleagues were Igbos who intermarried. Trust me, I am not a bigot
            and I am not stupid. But while some do not care about their legacy, some of us
            met, knew and know Yoruba elite. We are a cultured people who love life, music,
            art, books, dine fine with good wine.

            From Wole Soyinka to Samuel Ladoke
            Akintola. Fela Anikulapo- Kuti to Gani Fawehinmi. Ayodele Awojobi to Sanya
            Onabamiro. Ojetunji Aboyade to Kunle Olukotun. That is who we are. There was a
            war in Nigeria from 1967-1970. Two governments battled the moral questions of
            that day on the battle field. One of them (Biafra) could not feed its own
            soldiers and depended on the enemy to do that. The leadership (Ojukwu) ran out
            of the country; the winning side led by General Yakubu Gowon declared “No
            Victor, No Vanquished” policy; commenced the three “R’s” of
            Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation. Olatunde, Nigeria has hurt a
            lot of people. I was around and alive on June 12, 1993. I still carry wounds
            from that day till date. They are eternal. I have never blamed Igbos for what
            Nzeribe did which was really to make sure that Yorubas went to war. My
            intelligent Yoruba leaders saw through the whole plan. Some of us wanted war.
            Let me stop at that.

            This is going to be a long drawn
            battle. I am prepared for it. There will be no apologies and no regrets. We are
            all adults, eyes wide open, prepared to bear full responsibility for our
            actions.

          • Hilary

            You are a true Nigerian. Your rationality confounds those
            who try to groom you. I am aware of the fact that in the debacle that was
            Nigerian Civil War, no party can claim a clean hand. But at the end of the day,
            millions died and it is left for the living to explore what went on so that we
            do not fall into the same situation ever again. Contrary to what some are now
            saying with jingoism, I see no war between the Igbos and the Yorubas only a
            spat between individuals on an important matter of history.

            While the American cable is important, how could it be more
            important than the words from the mouth of Awolowo [http://www.punchng.com/news/for-the-record/my-role-in-the-civil-war-awolowo/]
            himself with regard to the matter?

          • Hila

            You are a true Nigerian. Your rationality confounds those
            who try to groom you. I am aware of the fact that in the debacle that was
            Nigerian Civil War, no party can claim a clean hand. But at the end of the day,
            millions died and it is left for the living to explore what went on so that we
            do not fall into the same situation ever again. Contrary to what some are now
            saying with jingoism, I see no war between the Igbos and the Yorubas only a
            spat between individuals on an important matter of history.

            While the American cable is important, how could it be more
            important than the words from the mouth of Awolowo [http://www.punchng.com/news/for-the-record/my-role-in-the-civil-war-awolowo/]
            himself with regard to the matter?

          • Hilary

            You are a true Nigerian. Your rationality confounds those
            who try to groom you. I am aware of the fact that in the debacle that was
            Nigerian Civil War, no party can claim a clean hand. But at the end of the day,
            millions died and it is left for the living to explore what went on so that we
            do not fall into the same situation ever again. Contrary to what some are now
            saying with jingoism, I see no war between the Igbos and the Yorubas only a
            spat between individuals on an important matter of history.

            While the American cable is important, how could it be more
            important than the words from the mouth of Awolowo himself in the Punch on 8th
            October 2012. It is titled’ My role in the civil war – Awolowo’

          • olatunde olaniyan

            thanks sire,i appreciate your level headed and objective comments devoid of the usual insults which seem to be the hallmark of most threads the past couple of days..
            i totally agree with your first paragraph in its totality and i believe i addressed this in my retort to lanre right now..
            you and i know that awolowo in his speech did not categorically state that war is a legitimate weapon against biafran children and women..no educated individual will ever say that even if he means it..he said that concerning the biafran military…we have to look at the time in question and then view the context in which the comments were made..

            another thing people are doing is to mix awolowo and general adekunle..they are both playing different parts in the war even though they are yoruba,awolowo cannot dictate to or command general adekunle neither can he sensor his speech we are both nigerians and we know the power the military wielded in the 6os,70s,80s until 1999..its like telling shonekan to comment abacha not to kill people

            the american cable is an impartial link on our journey to self discovery as a nation..i am not saying that the story ends change the chapter because of the cable but it just shows that there are many many issues surrounding this highly complex civil war of ours and we shouldn’t let something as petty as ethnic or tribal differences rob us of the golden opportunity to debate and work on perceived grievances attached to this civil wars and other issues connected with it both before and after the war..for instance we have been talking about yoruba and ibo

            what of the south south and their own grievances?
            what of the hausa fulani who were reported to be pressuring gowon and awo not to capitulate or agree to the food corridor?
            what about highlighting,recognising and applauding those who played heroic parts in the war?

            a prime example…our family friend who is a yoruba chief in his 60s now harboured bishop mike okonkwo during the war for several weeks feeding him and helped him to escape and they are still life long friends and confidantes till today there are several people like that some hausas,some yorubas did anyone acknowledge or recognise these people?

            what were the reasons awo gave for the £20 policy? was the reason tenable considering it was highly impractical to settle every single individual never mind the fact that its in human nature to highly exaggerate or even lie..if i or you were victims of war and all we had to do was write a figure on a piece of paper as what we lost of course i won’t write 1million when i can claim at least 50million in that situation how will the govt authenticate real claims?

            so you see there are many issues which still needs to be discussed…

          • Eddy

            This is the sort of discussion the book should have
            engendered in the first place. You mentioned the part played by others in the
            war. It is just as relevant to the discussion at hand. As we all know, there have been many pogroms
            of people of Igbo extraction in the North.
            The fact that this was a contributing factor the war is not in dispute. It
            was therefore not a surprise to learn that the Northern elements in Gowon’s
            Administration were baying for blood. But, did you know that before he died, Murtala Mohammed offered some form of
            apology for his actions during the war? Unfortunately today, the Boko Haram phenomenon
            means that even as we speak, ordinary Southerners are still being killed for no
            reason other than the fact that they are Christians up North.

            With regard to Ojukwu, there are many arguments for and
            against seceding. That it happened is now
            a matter for history. In the prosecution of the war especially as it relates to
            the starvation policy, there were options on the table. Should he have accepted
            the delivery of aid by road? Would this have been used by Nigerian Army as a
            dry run for invasion? Could the aid have been poisoned to incapacitate the
            enemy? Did the food which was donated by the international community first have
            to pass through Nigeria? If you agree in principle that the aid was required,
            what was the issue with it coming in by air?

            I understand that human beings will try to get as much as
            they can given the opportunity. The £20 pounds policy however was devastating
            to the Igbo man. You would surely appreciate that being a millionaire is different
            from having a few hundred pounds in the bank. To end up with just £20 pounds as a sum total
            of the compensation for what you had in the bank is enough to send some to an
            early grave and unfortunately it did in many cases. It was not a solution
            worthy of a scholar, one size never fits all.

            In the same vein, the abandoned property policy disposed the
            Igbo people of their hard earned possessions. Why was this rule so rigidly
            applied in all parts of the country where Ndigbo lived and worked before the
            war? Could it be said to have helped the re-integration of the people into
            Nigeria? Discussing these issues without vitriol will help our national
            healing.

          • Mohammed

            eddy It may be nice for you to include the mass murder and porgrom of non-Igbo military leaders by Ironsi and Nzeogwu coups as part of what led to the civil war. That is when you are talking and objective-Okay?

          • Eddy

            Please read up the meaning of the word pogrom, then reconsider your post.I am not in support of coups and counter-coups. But tell me, how many prominent people have been killed in subsequent coups in the country? The genesis of the killings in the North pre-dates war. It was in fact a contributing factor. Tell me, how can you compare the coup killings with the murder of Ndigbo before, during and after the war? The numbers do not add up.

          • Mohammed

            baby eddy soorrrryy oooo!!! By your post you seem to be the first Ndigbo post that will acknowledge that the civil war started with the coups and counter coups, and therefore make you to become more sobre and accept your own responsibility and the part the Nidigbo played in the mess that was the civil war . Or do you want to withdraw that? My broda, one life is as important as ten lives. DO NOT mistake that. What the Igbo propaganda led by Chinua Achebe has done in the past is to DELIBERATELY BLIND HISTORY AND PRETEND THAT THE NIGERIAN CIVIL SUDDENLY STARTED ONE DAY LIKE DAT !!! You see that often in the Ndigbo historiography which is a historiography of UNTRUTH and outright FALSEHOOD and therefore an unethical disposition to history and memories of peoples who died in all the stupid things we did to ourselves. When the Ndigbo take a less than half view of history , you see where that leads to? You see that it is an INJURY TO TRUTH for Achebe and the Igbos to write like that as if there were no coups and counter coups that actually led to the civil war?You see the Igbo strategy is to BLIND the argument by presenting selected events (NOT EVEN FACTS, JUST EVENTS), and screen off the rest of our HISTORY. Look eddy abi wetin you call yourself, THE HISTORY OF THE 1960s IN NIGERIA IS THE HISTORY OF COUPS AND COUNTER COUPS, AND THOSE LED TO THE UNFORTUNATE CIVIL WAR. By this I AM CALLING YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT YOU SHOULD NOT DECEIVE YOUR IGBO CHILDREN AND YOUTHS BY PRESENTING HALF OF THE STORY, BY PRESENTING EVENTS AS THE FACTS which will naturally make the civil war look like it just happened and people started killing one another. Such DUBIOUS HISTORIOGRAPHY AS THE IGBO AND ACHEBE HISTORIOGRAPHY will always make the Ndigbo FAIL to take responsibility for their own actions. And failing to take responsibility for one’s own action is NOT a good moral position. Ndigbo, the meaning of pogrom is obvious(you have to be encouraged to wake up out of your self delusion), DO NOT DECEIVE YOUR CHILDREN BY TELLING THEM HALF OF THE STORY AND BY MAKING THEM FEEL THAT ONE LIFE IS DIFFERENT AND BETTER THAN THE OTHER. If you do that, YOU WILL NEVER be able to build bridges across Nigeria. BE FRANK with yourselves, tell the truth, DO NOT follow the old cargoes like Achebe that are interested in fanning embers of disunity. Though, you have a right to follow your leaders, but I a only advising you to FOLLOW THE TRUTH and TELL SAME TO YOUR CHILDREN rather than follow persons(like Chinua Achebe) who may have their own personal grudges, personal agenda and psychological challenges and problems to deal with. I hope this is a sufficient meaning of pogrom!!!!!

          • igbiki

            Achebe was not writting an essay or a dessertation , he wrote “There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra.

            I do not know how long it will take you people to know that what he wrote is what he saw, thinks and feels.

            And that was exactly what every Biafran, man, woman and child saw, thinks and feels.

            Let us be specific in apportioning blames and this could only be achieved by knowing who exactly did what.

            As long as you are yoruba and I am Igbo, we are forever going to feel the other side is not being objective enough but truth is eternal.

            First there was the issue of starvation which you claimed was directed at the great Biafran soldiers. How one could do that, that is, punish the soldiers but not the civilians beats me hollow.

            The starvation policy was enforced by the airforce through a policy of zero movement, that is not allowing any movement in the Biafran terittories whatsoever and bombing and straffing anything that moves of do not move.

            Markets, chuches, farms etc were not spared and the majority of the war civilian casualities were claimed by these indescriminate use of air power.

            The casualties claimed by Awo’s starvation policy were the future generation, children, and it was estimated by the Caritas that an average of 40,000 children died every day before the end of the hostilities.

            Through Awos’ machinations, the Biafrans also lost their properties left at the other parts of Nigeria during the war, as if that was not bad enough, their accounts were frozen and they were given 20 pounds each no matter what one had in his or her account berfore the war.

            That was when the eternal scoundrel, Awo, sprung us another suprise. He privatised federal assets and the Biafrans do not have any money to by anything and that was exactly how it was meant to be… la la la la laa laa.

            May the good Lord bless his poor soul, for no matter how hard he tried to destroy the Igbos, he failed woefully. because wishes were not horses and the rejected corner-stones are now the movers and the shakers of the Nigerian economy.

          • adams

            Igbiki,
            These are your words
            “Achebe did raise specific points and questions, and has drawn his own conclusions” The old Nazi Hileric propaganda fox did not TELL US that (i) food was sent in that his Biafra soldiers ate the food, (ii) that ways were sought to send the food by road, but Biafra rejected Federal Govt”s offer (iii) t ah He Chinua Achebe was part of the biafra body that rejected such offer. Given this he LIED on his specific points and questions, and conclusions. This is why I agree with what someone said on this that Chinua Achebe as one of the surviving operatives of a genocidal Biafra leadership structure and who is still steathily moving around should be tried of Genocide. He lied to cover his genocidal act.

        • alabi

          Mr. Igbiki,
          These are your words. I have cut and pasted:”The Yorubas are callous bigots just like their unsung deadleader. Their
          base ethnic instinct has beclouded their reasoning medula.” Now tell me which Nigerian state , and which Igbo state is as inclusive and welcoming as any Yoruba state? Tell me which Igbo state has non-Igbo as public officers as Lagos state, a yoruba state has? If you cannot give me one, I think you should hide your face in shame for insulting your hosts. No Yoruba man will look at his host in the face and insult him. Civility and civic relationship to other is part of our culture. Obviously given the uncouth thing you said , this kind of civility is alien to you. So give me ONE Igbo state that has non-Igbo as part of its public staff. Like I said a Yoruba state leads here-Lagos has even Igbos as public officers. Yet you abuse the Yorubas. If you can give me one Igbo state that does this, that is when you have spoken factually.-otherwise your comments are propaganda similar to the propaganda of the Igbo Joseph Goebbles-Chinua Achebe(Joseph Goebbels is the lying Hitler Nazi Chief propagandist whose mouth drooled in uncontrollable lies-your mouth and that of Chiuna Achebe drool from both sides of your mouth in lies like okra soup) engaged in before, during and after the war against Nigeria. So tell me ONE Igbo state that is as inclusive as any Yoruba state. Refute this factually and DO NOT resort to the usual Igbo Hitleric Nazi propaganda.

          • igbiki

            Lagos though a Yoruba enclave, is a federal territory and what do you expect if the Igbos filled swamps and developed and owns more than 50% of Lagos state?

            Thats why some governors said, if Igbos should leave, Lagos state would collapse.

            The Yorubas are masters in deception and doggery, thought we were having a discussion about STARVATION and GENOCIDE. You should do well to read this.

            http://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/nixon/e5/54841.htm

        • segun

          Igbiki, said “Awolowo was madly in pursuit of national relevance and he felt the only
          way he could ever achieve it was to ally with Northerners, forgetting
          (blinded, rather) that he was a mortal enemy of the North so was never
          trusted by them…” Now listen . I remember that Alex Ekweume is Igbo. Today because the Igbo are desperately looking and begging to be president of a country that Awolowo prvented from breaking the Igbos led by Alex Ekweume are begging the North, speaking to the Norht talking to the North they claim is their enemy!!! Yiou can see where opportunism will lead you? Beside this I have a question: Awolowo prevented Nigeria from breaking. You attack that Awolowo. Now you are begging every dick and harry is sight to help you become the president of that same country you are attacking Awolowo who prevented it from breaking. hmmhmmm. Your opportunism and immorality know no limit. This stinks. What you need to do is to continue your campaign against Nigeria. That is the honorable thing to do-and not for Alex Ekweume to begging their sworn enemy to let them be president too at least once!!! Immorality will know no end .

        • Alicia

          I am ashamed of my Igbo people, even the intellectuals among them thinks like a kid when it comes to Awo. In fact the men are ready to blame their impotency on Awo and while the women will blame their worst behavior on poor Awo. Why do you people hate him so much. The Hausas that kill you in millions, you love unconditionally! You guys are very strange fellows.

          With this cable now you know Gowon and your beloved Ojukwu are the real enemy of igbos. Ojukwu particularly was greedy for the SS oil, period! That is the major reason for the war and that is why the those minorities hate the Igbo race.

          This revelation will let the Yorubas know who their real friends are. Igbo think!

  • Prosper

    At least this is coming from a neutral party that is pro Biafra. That’s y their country is progressing because they chose to be truthful unlike our so called respected poet. I want to belief the book is fiction and not fact otherwise he should bury his face in shame. Its unfortunate.

  • jennifer

    Smh, which US, which scret cable gave u pple the Information. We tribalis everything in ds country and dats why we wil not move forward. Awo, ojukwu, nd gowon have a big shaRe of blame in d civil. D attempt to exnorate awo is rather disturbing and insulting to d pple that died during the war

    • MaryAnne

      Ms Jennifer, Read that news very well. That news is NOT an attempt to blame anyone. It is REPORTING A CABLE. So you can say the CABLE IS FALSE. That is a better way and more reasonable thing to say. And finally, since the TIME ACHEBE the chief propagandist of Biafra during the war and NOW LIED in his book, I have read virtually every comments on his BOOK WHERE HE LIED WITH BOTH SIDES of his mouth. There WAS NO ATTEMPT by the Igbo commentators to accept ANY RESPONSIBILITY of any step they took. Now this Cable says Ojukwu is also culpable. The Cable does not say Ojukwu alone, but it says Ojukwu has questions to answer. So if it is genocide as you people say it is, that is fine, but Ojukwu was also Guilty of genocide AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE. Now you want to dodge that by running away. Madam Jennifer face the fact. It is more honorable to face the fact and tell the truth even if it is not comfortable.

      • amaro

        what fact do u know maryanne, how old where u during the war that you accept what an internet cable news writes,i repeat its not USA opinion its the writer and his pals,,the truth about the war and Nigeria will be known very very soon

        • maclaw

          Food came late to Biafra. l remember as a kid , Relief and food being flown midnight continuously and being dump in every feild or open places. The food comvoys came by midnight, ceaslessly flying i in one after the other. lt was tremendous and frightening, followed by Redcross white officials with their touchlights looking for sick children to be treated or those very sick were flown away overnight with the family permisino to either Gabon or ivorycoast. They saved a lot of life, Against every risk this white men with thier small landrover trucks circle every nook and orner secretly by night to ensure food materials are supplied to all available area. Thier food materials are mostly stockfish,with salt, cornmeal ,medicines etc. We thank God for them, it could have been much worse without them.

    • Hickey

      I think you are on the wrong podium thinking the report is concocted.I’d like ta logical rebuttal of the arguments put forward by the article, not merely querying the source of the report. that in itself is the tribalism you are talk about. Again this is US view, does not mean is true.

      • amaro

        This writeup is not USA view its the writer n his pals trying to hide from the truth which d perpetrator or d 2nd in command then accepted during his campaign days which d north madesure he never rules because they dont trust him,he won Shagari but Obasanjo acting from the orders of the North madesure he lost 2 times 79&83 ,remember he was stoned in Aba,the facts are there and the North is still using the South West as it errand boys,Ojukwu remains a hero if we like it or not,what he saw early in the country is still where we are today,the country/economy managed by the North and Yoruba after the war remains the worst oil producing nation,hates that exist in nigeria will never stop,if Nigerians dont sit down and talk then we must surely go our seprate ways if not now certainly later,,,,,,younger citizens of Nigeria are divided by tribes which Awo n his group left us with,,,its everywhere in nigeria

  • igbiki

    The US was at best apathetic and at worst partisan to the plight of the Biafrans during the war. It could have pushed or forced both sides to an agreement but the British will have none of that and because the US always defer to the British and the British were keeping an eye on the Russians, Biafra was totally destroyed by two super power and allowed to starve to death by a third, the US.

    The Nigerians, if totally left on their own, couldnt even be able or have the expertise to kill a dead rat. It was the Russians’ operated Ilyushin Il-28′s and MIG 17 ‘s piloted by Egyptians, Ukranians and East Germans pilots and the British military advisers’ operated tanks and heavy artillery combined with Awos’ starvation that won the war for the Nigerians.

    Once an arbiter profers a solution he automatically becomes partisan, that was exactly what the US did, making it abundantly clear they want to maintain the status quo ante.

    And it all boils down to oil. If the Syrians had had oil like the Libyans, the US would have sent in the French to bomb out the whole place or would have gone in on their own. But while their is no oil, the Free Syrian Army have been left to their own devices, just making do with what they captures and the little the US allows the Saudis to give them.

    The said US memo was an internal relaying of one or many individual(s) observations, feelings and advices to higher authorities.

    Here is a minute of some US foreign departments officials meeting with their Biafran counterparts on Sept. 22, 1969. Its left for the reader to make his or her own judgements and or conclusions. http://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/nixon/e5/54972.htm

    • NAGODI

      THE IGNORANT HAUSAS AND YORUBA WHO COULD NOT FLY A PLANE HAVE THE FORESIGHT TO ENLIST THOSE THAT COULD AND WON THE WAR. THE ALKNOWING ALL POWERFUL IBOS COULD NOT BUILD ALLIANCE BECAUSE OF THEIR ARROGANCE AND WERE CRUSHED. WHO IS STUPID NOW? THE ONE THAT WON THE WAR OR THE DEFEATED? IF THE IBOS CAN FLY PLANES, DRIVE TANKS, AND BUILD THEIR OWN WEAPONS BUT LACK THE COMMON SENSE TO WIN A WAR THEN WHAT IS THE USE OF THEIR INTELLIGENCE. THE DAY THE IBOS LISTEN TO CHRIST AND SIT AT THE BACK SEATS IN THE BANQUET WILL BE THE DAY GOD WILL UPLIFT THEM. AS LONG AS THEY CONTINUE TO LOOK DOWN ON OTHER GODS CREATIONS AS LONG AS GOD HIMSELF WILL ENSURE THAT THEY WILL NOT AMOUNT TO ANYTHING.

  • UZOH EKULIDE FROM LAGOS

    YOU HAVE NOT QUOTED ANY SPECIFIC U.S DEPARTMENT BUT TALKING ABOUT CABLE,THERE ARE LOT OF CABLE NETWORKS IN U.S IF YOU INDEED KNOW WHAT IS CALLED CABLE NEWS,OK.AWO IN 1983 ACCEPTED THAT HE WAS LIED TO BY NIGERIAN SOLDIERS THAT BIAFRAN TROOPS AMBUSH THE BABY FOODS AND MEDICINE FOR THE SUFFERING CHILDREN,THEN HE ORDERED THAT NO PLANE SHOULD BE ALLOWED INTO BIAFRA,THAT IS THE BLOCKADE AND HE ACCEPTED THAT HE KNEW THAT WOMEN AND CHILDREN WILL SUFFER BUT THAT SOLDIERS WILL SUFFER TOO.FOR HIS INFORMATION A GOOD SOLDIER ALWAYS FINDS SOMETHING TO EAT INCLUDING NIGERIAN TROOPS IN OUR LAND.
    AWO ALSO ACCEPTED THAT AS AT THE TIME HE CHANGED THE NIGERIAN POUNDS,AS MINISTER OF FINANCE THAT IT WAS ONLY GOWON AND EBIRI-CBN GOVERNOR THAT WAS INFORMED,SO HE CHANGED THE CURRENCY IN ORDER TO MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR BIAFRANS TO USE THE NIGERIAN POUNDS TO BUY FOOD AND ARMS.AWO IS NOT A COWARD NOT TO ACCEPT,HE EVEN ACCEPTED THAT HE SAW KWASHIOKOR CHILDREN THAT LOOKED TERRIBLE BUT STIL WENT AHEAD TO ORDER 3RD MARINE DIV OF BRIG.GEN.ADEKUNLE TO SHOOT DOWN EVEN BIRDS THAT FLY ANYHOW.OTHER YORUBAS IN THE ARMY THEN ARE STIL ALIVE,ADEKUNLE,AKINRINADE,WOLE SOYINKA,OBASANJO,ETC.ALL THESE CHILDISH DEFENCE WILL NOT TAKE AWAY WHAT WE KNOW AS IGBOS THAT AWO WITTINGLY OR UNWITTINGLY DID TO OUR RACE.IT IS HISTORY NOW AND IT IS CURIOUS THAT THE ENTIRE YORUBA RACE ARE APPROPRIATING AWO’S ACTION AS YORUBA ACTION.AWO WAS AN INDIVIDUAL YORUBA IS A RACE,WE MUST DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN AWO’S ACTION AND YORUBA ACTION.ALL THESE BLACKMARKET AND SPURIOUS EXCUSES WILL NOT EXPLAIN AWAY THE WICKED AND BARBARIC ACTIONS OF GOWON’S GOVT THAT AWO WAS DECEIVED TO SERVE.
    DON’T FORGET,GOWON WAS CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF AND DEFACTO PRIME MINISTER UNDER IRONSI GOVT,HE DID NOT RELEASE AWO FROM PRISON IN CALABAR BUT WHEN THE CRISIS AFTER JULY 1966 COUP CAME UP OJUKWU RELEASED AWO FROM PRISON AND HOSTED HIM IN GOVT HOUSE ENUGU,ASK PASTORS KUMUYI AND ADEBOYE BOTH STUDENTS AT UNN AT THE THAT TIME.WHEN HE GOT BACK GOWON LURED HIM ON THE GROUND THAT AFTER THE WAR HE WILL HAND-OVER TO HIM,PLS FIND OUT HOW AWO LEFT GOWON’S GOVT AFTER THE WAR.THOSE WHO SEEK TO STAND THE TRUTH ON ITS HEAD SHOULD KNOW THAT NO HUMAN IS INFALLIBLE INCLUDING AWO OR OJUKWU.

    • FreeKick

      did you read that “dramatize “part in last paragraph? I guess an article that highlights that to show the deception on the Nigerian/Gowon/US/British side, wouldn’t intend to wrongly blame Ojukwu or any other person for that matter..

    • Michael

      Uzo Ekulide,
      Answer ONE QUESTION. Given that Chinua Achebe and some Igbos have pointed to GENOCIDE, my question to you and Chinua Achebe is: WAS COL ODUMEGWU OJUKWU THE LEADER OF THE BIAFRA PART OF THOSE WHO ARE GUILTY OF GENOCIDE OR NOT? Second question: GIVEN THAT CHINUA ACHEBE SERVED AS ONE OF THE CHIEF PROPAGANDISTS OF BIAFRA AND HE STILL SERVES AS THE CHIEF PROPAGANDIST OF BIAFRA NOW IN USA AND ABROAD, HE MUST KNOW THE FACTS IN THIS CABLE, HE MUST HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE DECISION COL OJUKWU TOOK WITH RESPECT TO THIS ISSUE IN THIS CABLE WHICH THE CABLE REFERRED TO, THEREFORE WAS CHINUA ACHEBE AS PART OF THE INNER WORKINGS OF BIAFRA WHO PARTICIPATED IN THIS DECISION EQUALLY GUILTY OF GENOCIDE OR NOT? Please see the logic here and THE FACTS OF THE CABLE and answer. They are simple questions.

  • george

    Useless igbo people, have u now read a neutral account of how Ojukwu killed his own people just cos of power and greed. That Achebe is surely a frustrated old man who should bury his head in shame for attempting to heat the polity just cos he wants to sell his book. Tell me, how can a true leader rather allow his people to die of hunger just cos he did not want to loose power and what happened at the end. So Awolowo did not kill ibo’s children rather they were murdered by Ojukwu and other Igbo leaders. Besides can someone tell me where Zik was during the war?

    • amaro

      George ur useless,its ur generation that is useless a fool like you,am laughing because sooner or later many of your living legends will held to ICC for questions,i guess your a small boy that`s why your comments are sectional

  • http://twitter.com/TexTheLaw Rotimi Fawole

    Premium Times should release a copy of the cable so we can read and draw our own conclusions.

    • tunde

      but Premiumtimes has released it. Download it and read for yourself now. abi wetin?

  • FreeKick

    this only reaffirms my belief that Awolowo was typically Yoruba in the war: a greedy traitor!

    • alabi

      Freekick, where is the mention of Awolowo in this US cable? Are you talking about a different thing?

    • otitokoro

      FreeKick, Articulate intelligibly the basis of your conclusion. Let us see. I guess you and your Chief propagandist -Chinua Achebe are unsettled when the FACTS are thrown at your faces. This has completely shredded the remnants of the reputation your chief propagandist -chinua Achebe has even with the international community. So please state succinctly the basis of your claim so that we take you on headlong rationally. That is all we are concerned not with some petty side claim. Let us go now baby. State it.

  • Rev Ayoba

    So it was Ojukwu that released Pa Awolowo from Calabar prison? hmmm…more to come I guess.

  • FreeKick

    this only reinforces my belief that Awolowo acted pure Yorubaish in the war:traitor

    • Bala

      Freekick, Where is Awolowo mentioned in that story.? Why dont you ask your chief propagandist during the war and now Chief Chinua Achebe to answer questions.? Why is that difficult for you?

      • amaro

        Awolowo`s name was not mentioned because its a cable news run by yorubas and there pals to discredit Achebe if not how come even people not born then and those staying in areas were there was no war commenting on lies they were feed by there parents,,,,we know the truth now,thats why it was only Obasanjo that had a divided parenthood{real father not known till date} can be allowed by d North to rule as yoruba man.the north still show their lack of trust on any yoruba man ruling in 1992 when Abiola was denied ruling after winning elections
        am happy Nigerians are hearing whats happening on the internet for weeks now on this issue and the case for Biafra will restart,,,,watch n see…… Ojukwu`s name was brought to exonerate Awolowo who was used by the North and today still remain same,,,,,,,North knows they cant mess with Igbos but yorubas are their mumu they use,,,,,,it still on till today

        • otitokoro

          Amaro,
          Do one thing ALL scholars do. Check the facts. You may not be a scholar. But try to be one or pretend to be one. I know to try to be a scholar may be hard for you. Go to the main PremiumTimes news. Download the original CABLE document. That is the ORIGINAL CABLE. The Yorubas did not write the ORIGINAL CABLE document. But you may stretch your imagination and say “ah the Yorubas became white Americans during the Biafra war, one of the Yorubas(at least there is nothing Nigerians who are Yorubas, your cooked up arch Nigerian enemies cannot do!!!) became the white American undersecretary who then wrote to Mr. Johnson the then American president.” But remember that the Americans pretended to be your (Biafra) friends then because of the South-South oil you annexed and called Biafra. Anyway GOING TO THE ORIGINAL CABLE DOCUMENT will be a good way to rebut THE FACTS as presented by Premiumtimes. You need to begin to think like an academic. Amaro, try a bit, I know it is hard to be a scholar who investigates relentlessly. But try small my broda. But that is the way we do things in the field of investigation. Okay-small boy. Even given the barefaced lies in the book by your chief propagandist-Chinua Achebe, the old man(he must be feeling miserable now, I no no why e put himself in dis wahala) he Chinua Achebe DID NOT MEET that minimum academicand scholarly standard.
          Okay let us round this off briefly, Finally, these are your words: “North knows they cant mess with Igbos”-if so amaro why Alex Ekweume come begin deg beg beg di North make dem be president after Goodluck Jonathan now my broda!!!! But on a humorous note, you wan become president, you are desperate and your Chief propagandist threw a blackmail on ALL Nigerians that you have not been integrated, apparently because you have not been president, and you dey abuse di same country you want be president on. Na wa o. And your politicans are begging the same North you say cant mess with ndigbo. Can you see how you are thinking. It is opportunism that will make you think this miserably. You and your chief propagandist actually think Nigerians are stupid not to see the ultimate agenda. “we have not been integrated into Nigeria, because we have not been allowed to be president because of civil war, …” That is the whole game my broda-otherwise why write did master Biafra propagandist write all those silly lies at this time? But back to you again “North knows they cant mess with Igbos” but ndigbo is begging the North in PDP to help them become president after President Jonathan!!!! You need to learn the civilsed and civic way of relating to neighbors. You just DO NOT HAVE IT with all your stay in Lagos. but try more you will imbibe some civic way of doing things rather forcing your way and abusing your fellow citizens. Okay my broda, make i go jare , i go back if you talk talk nonsense.

  • CZFR

    Where is the cable, premium times?

  • TheWiseOne

    Pinning the war and the terrible fallouts of it on any single person is begging the question. Clearly all the various actors; Biafrans, Nigerians, the International community – all had their self interests in mind, and therefore were all culpable one way or the other. Including Achebe himself who was (and maybe still is) the Chief Propagandist – everyone had their agenda for power to control resources of the land, which still continues till today. The average Nigerian goes through a daily war to feed and secure the basic things of life, while many are cut down on a frequent basis. Interestingly, supposedly intelligent people gather here to go back in history to re-open evil that human beings visited on their fellow beings. One may then ask, for what purpose? It is certain that every human being, will atone for their evil deeds – either here on earth or where ever they end up! Those of them that are still alive are probably now realising the impending end of their sojourn on earth, and recanting their part or blaming others for their sins, maybe to free their souls or extricate themselves from their horrible deeds and the demons that has been tormenting them? Whatever the reasons, those of us still alive need to realise that carrying over hate or un-forgiveness corrupts the mind, body and soul and eats it away like cancer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dedun69 Dedun Sonaike

    While the elephants were fighting, the grass was suffering. No wonder they call civillians grassroot!!!!

  • Abiodun

    Igbiki,
    Now since you started using the word -”genocide” it is paining you when it is becoming obvious that Ojukwu and Chinua Achebe as one of the Biafra “Joseph Goebbels-chief propagandists are guilty of genocide against their own people. Chinua Achebe since he is still alive will have to be tried for genocide since he participated in the decision to refuse food to enter Biafra. He is still living so he will go on trial for genocide. You cannot cover anything. These are facts and as Biafra chief propagandist he was responsible and he must be tried.

    • igbiki

      Dear Abiodun,
      I am convinced that you either did not read or did not understand or failed to understand my comments. Despite the facts and the personal admission of Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo that he was the architect of the civil war starvation policy, your only contribution to this forum is that Biafran leaders commited genocide, without elaborating on how. Therefore I refuse to join issues with you.

      • Abiodun

        Dear Mr. Igbiki,
        I have read your response. This is my answer. The Igbos who have contributed to
        this unfortunate thing Chinua Achebe caused in the social media cannot run away
        from the uncritical support they have given to the Achebe’s barefaced lies in
        his book. Now follow this.

        1. The Chief propagandist of Biafra Chinua Achebe started using the word
        genocide in his so-called book. In doing this he excluded ALL FACTS AND
        BACKGROUNDS to an unfortunate conflict. Please know that Achebe’s work is NOT
        literature. He is carrying on his duty as the Chief propagandist of Biafra.

        2. So what does a propagandist
        do? Take a slice of something. Spin it around. Blind your readers who for
        whatever reason do NOT have ALL the information. Present the spinned slice as
        THE WHOLE FACT. Give a figure and NAME IT GENOCIDE. Finally, the propagandist
        WILL NOT NAME ANY OTHER PARTY LIKE HIMSELF AS BEING CULPABLE EXCEPT the person
        and people he is at war with.

        3. Where the propagandist is also
        culpable and knows that he will be exposed, he uses attack as defense. He makes
        sure he is the first to go to town to attack in order TO COVER HIS TRACK –THE
        TRACK OF HIS CULPABILITY IN THE GENOCIDE. That is what Chinua Achebe did.
        Remember he is an Igbo propagandist masquerading as a teacher of African
        literature. Mr. Igbiki, as an Igbo you know this. But I need to expose this to
        you just in case you claim not to know or you pretend not to know.

        4. Chinua Achebe was a member of the inner governing circle and decision-making
        body of Biafra. He is still a current member of the inner structure of the
        decision making body of Biafra. This is why everyone is happy at the revelation
        of his so-called latest book.

        5. Now the premise of Chinua Achebe’s claim for genocide was about
        FOOD not getting to Biafra during the war. That involved the Federal Republic
        of Nigeria – a state Awolowo worked for as Deputy Chairman of the Federal
        Executive Council.

        6. The Federal Republic of
        Nigeria sent food to Biafra. Biafra army cornered the food for themselves.
        Starvation ensued. Even in the thick of the war, a dialogue was called as a way
        out so that food will get to those who the food was meant for. THE FOOD WAS
        MEANT NOT FOR BIAFRA SOLDIERS BUT FOR CIVILIANS.

        7. The food will be coming in from OUTSIDE NIGERIA-some from
        countries and organization Biafra and Chinua Achebe’s propaganda had managed to
        bamboozle. Nigeria said given documented FACTS, there are reasons to conclude
        that arms will be flown in ALONG with Food. In Igbo language and vernacular,
        you know the word ‘mumu” –an idiot. It is ONLY an idiot, a “mumu” that will not
        know that Biafra will work under the belly of the organizations working for Biafra
        outside to fly in arms. So? Nigeria said
        use land to get the food in. Ojukwu and other Biafra leaders like Chinua Achebe
        as the chief propagandist refused. They said “oh Nigeria will poison it” This
        was food that will be transported via road and managed by non-Nigerian
        organizations. Since the ultimate goal of Biafra was obvious, since it is
        humans that were under pressure and dying, the refusal of Biafra leaders to
        accept that food be transported via road became a propaganda weapon in Chinua
        Goebbels Achebe’ hands. This man called Achebe went to town WITHOUT GIVING THE
        FULL FACTS, WITHOUT SAYING NIGERIA GAVE AN OPTION WHICH THEY AS BIAFRA LEADERS
        REJECTED, HE NEVER INFORMED THAT WHAT LED TO THIS WAS THAT BIAFRA FIRST
        CORNERED FOOD THAT WAS SENT IN AND DID NOT ALLOW IT GET TO THOSE THEY WERE
        MEANT FOR. CHINUA ACHEBE NEVER TOLD ANYONE THIS. HE WILL NOT. HOW CAN HE WHEN
        HE IS LIKE JOSEPH GOEBBELS THE CHIEF NAZI HITLER PROPAGANDIST, WHO WOULD LIE
        FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE MOUTH.

        8. Achebe never told the world an option was given which he and other Biafra
        leaders REJECTED. He accused the federal govt and in particular Awolowo of
        being responsible for this.

        9. But you ALL know Awolowo as
        man who will not lie. As a PUBLIC SERVANT of the Nigerian state
        he had a duty to do, and as a Christian he did not lie,(WHICH WAS THAT IT WAS
        IMPOSSIBLE TO ARRIVE AT A DECISION ON HOW TO TRANSPORT FOOD TO BIAFRA WITHOUT
        BIAFRA ARMY CORNERING IT FOR THEMSELVES WITHOUT BIAFRA ARMY USING THE AIR TO
        TRANPORT ARMS AND AN UNFORTUANTE
        DECISION HAD TO BE TAKEN, WHEN BIAFRA DELIBERATELY STALLED) He did NOT retract
        what happened. HE DID NOT SAY HE
        WAS NOT A PARTY TO A DECISION. When the Biafrans talk they talk as if what we are talking
        about is BIRTHDAY PARTY even when Biafra was the first to draw blood. But
        Awolowo said the truth even when it was difficult, even when he knew the truth
        will be spinned. He did NOT DENY he was part of a policy team. But this team
        talked with Biafra, and Biafra
        rejected their offer. What should they do? He said FOOD WAS BEING DIVERTED BY
        THEIR OPPONENTS THE BIAFRA ARMY-TO BIAFRA SOLDIERS. THEY GAVE AN OPTION, WHICH
        BIAFRA REJECTED. THEY HAD TO TAKE A DECISION. AFTER OJUKWU, ACHEBE AND OTHER
        BIAFRA LEADERS REJECTED THEIR OFFER.
        Naturally that policy had negative, sad effects and consequences. But
        that is the FULL STORY. QUESTION IS:
        WHY DID AWOLOWO TELL THE FULL STORY EVEN WHEN IT WAS NOT COMFORTABLE, EVEN WHEN
        HE KNEW BIAFRA LEADERS WILL SPIN IT, AND WHY DID CHINUA ACHEBE REFUSE TO TELL
        THE FULL STORY? Chinua Achebe CANNOT TELL THE TRUTH BECAUSE HE IS NOT AN ELDER
        STATESMAN, he is a mere petty Biafra propagandist who must use attack as
        defense to cover the CULPABILITY of BIAFRA LEADERSHIP which included himself
        then and NOW. This is why CHINUA ACHEBE MUST BE TRIED FOR GENOCIDE.

        10. The FACT is about HOW FOOD SHOULD GET TO BIAFRA SIDE. A DEADLOCK ENSUED. No
        one has denied that except the chief propagandist himself Chinua Achebe and
        other Igbos who are adroitly SILENT ON THIS. We understand why. Do not worry.

        11. Premium times reported a
        UNITED STATES cable with NAMES MENTIONED that Ojukwu’s Biafra and the Federal govt were
        the main forces responsible for food not getting to Biafra. So? We are
        EFFECTIVELY back at the question of HOW FOOD SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN THERE AND DID
        NOT GET THERE. The Cable reported that Ojukwu’s Biafra and fed govt were
        responsible. You only need to deny this CABLE WITH CONTRARY FACTS IF CHINUA
        ACHEBE IS GOING TO BE FREE FROM BEING TRIED FOR GENOCIDE OF HIS OWN PEOPLE OVER
        SOME SILLY AMBITION.

        12. Chinua Achebe was A MEMBER OF THE DECISION MAKING BODY AND THE CHIEF
        PROPAGANDIST OF BIAFRA THEN AND NOW. He MUST know about this
        decision. He was a party to the decision TO REFUSE THE FEDERAL GOVT OFFER OF
        TRANSPORTING FOOD BY ROAD. There
        is no problem if you reject the offer of the road as the means to transport the
        food. BUT THE POINT IS THAT YOU COULD NOT HAVE REJECTED THAT OFFER, FAILED TO
        TELL NIGERIANS THAT YOU REJECTED THAT OFFER, FAILED TO ACCEPT YOUR OWN
        RESPONSIBILITY AND CULPABILITY AND TURN AROUND TO ACCUSE THE OTHER PARTY OF
        GENOCIDE. This man Chinua Achebe is hoping that the International community
        will take him seriously in his charge of genocide. He DID NOT KNOW that since
        the same International Community has ALL the information INCLUDING THE CABLE
        UPON WHICH THE PREMIUMTIME BASED ITS STORY, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL
        JUST BE LAUGHING AT HIM FOR HE HAS PUT HIMSELF UNDER TRIAL FOR GENOCIDE.

        13. So if Ojukwu’s Biafra is guilty, it is the members of THE GOVERNING BODY
        AND DECION MAKING BODY OF BIAFRA THAT ARE GUILTY. CHINUA ACHEBE WAS AND IS A
        MEMBER OF THAT GOVERNING BODY. CHINUA ACHEBE IS GUILTY OF GENOCIDE AND HE
        SHOULD BE TRIED.

        14. I hope that satisfies you.
        You and other Igbos have a right to
        your opinions on this matter. You have a right to continue with what you
        are doing. But one thing is that Nigerians are happy at Chinua Achebe’s book.
        If you people want to secede NOW, and you should, we Nigerians WILL HAPPILY
        ENCOURAGE YOU TO LEAVE. Not a shot
        will be fired if you do not do same. Enough is enough. We Nigerians strongly encourage you to
        leave.

      • Abiodun

        Mr. Igbiki,
        This is my response to you. The Igbos who have contributed to
        this unfortunate thing Chinua Achebe caused in the social media cannot run away
        from the uncritical support they have given to the Achebe’s barefaced lies in
        his book. Now follow this.

        1. The Chief propagandist of Biafra Chinua Achebe started using the word
        genocide in his so-called book. In doing this he excluded ALL FACTS AND
        BACKGROUNDS to an unfortunate conflict. Please know that Achebe’s work is NOT
        literature. He is carrying on his duty as the Chief propagandist of Biafra.

        2. So what does a propagandist
        do? Take a slice of something. Spin it around. Blind your readers who for
        whatever reason do NOT have ALL the information. Present the spinned slice as
        THE WHOLE FACT. Give a figure and NAME IT GENOCIDE. Finally, the propagandist
        WILL NOT NAME ANY OTHER PARTY LIKE HIMSELF AS BEING CULPABLE EXCEPT the person
        and people he is at war with.

        3. Where the propagandist is also
        culpable and knows that he will be exposed, he uses attack as defense. He makes
        sure he is the first to go to town to attack in order TO COVER HIS TRACK –THE
        TRACK OF HIS CULPABILITY IN THE GENOCIDE. That is what Chinua Achebe did.
        Remember he is an Igbo propagandist masquerading as a teacher of African
        literature. Mr. Igbiki, as an Igbo you know this. But I need to expose this to
        you just in case you claim not to know or you pretend not to know.

        4. Chinua Achebe was a member of the inner governing circle and decision-making
        body of Biafra. He is still a current member of the inner structure of the
        decision making body of Biafra. This is why everyone is happy at the revelation
        of his so-called latest book.

        5. Now the premise of Chinua Achebe’s claim for genocide was about
        FOOD not getting to Biafra during the war. That involved the Federal Republic
        of Nigeria – a state Awolowo worked for as Deputy Chairman of the Federal
        Executive Council.

        6. The Federal Republic of
        Nigeria sent food to Biafra. Biafra army cornered the food for themselves.
        Starvation ensued. Even in the thick of the war, a dialogue was called as a way
        out so that food will get to those who the food was meant for. THE FOOD WAS
        MEANT NOT FOR BIAFRA SOLDIERS BUT FOR CIVILIANS.

        7. The food will be coming in from OUTSIDE NIGERIA-some from
        countries and organization Biafra and Chinua Achebe’s propaganda had managed to
        bamboozle. Nigeria said given documented FACTS, there are reasons to conclude
        that arms will be flown in ALONG with Food. In Igbo language and vernacular,
        you know the word ‘mumu” –an idiot. It is ONLY an idiot, a “mumu” that will not
        know that Biafra will work under the belly of the organizations working for Biafra
        outside to fly in arms. So? Nigeria said
        use land to get the food in. Ojukwu and other Biafra leaders like Chinua Achebe
        as the chief propagandist refused. They said “oh Nigeria will poison it” This
        was food that will be transported via road and managed by non-Nigerian
        organizations. Since the ultimate goal of Biafra was obvious, since it is
        humans that were under pressure and dying, the refusal of Biafra leaders to
        accept that food be transported via road became a propaganda weapon in Chinua
        Goebbels Achebe’ hands. This man called Achebe went to town WITHOUT GIVING THE
        FULL FACTS, WITHOUT SAYING NIGERIA GAVE AN OPTION WHICH THEY AS BIAFRA LEADERS
        REJECTED, HE NEVER INFORMED THAT WHAT LED TO THIS WAS THAT BIAFRA FIRST
        CORNERED FOOD THAT WAS SENT IN AND DID NOT ALLOW IT GET TO THOSE THEY WERE
        MEANT FOR. CHINUA ACHEBE NEVER TOLD ANYONE THIS. HE WILL NOT. HOW CAN HE WHEN
        HE IS LIKE JOSEPH GOEBBELS THE CHIEF NAZI HITLER PROPAGANDIST, WHO WOULD LIE
        FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE MOUTH.

        8. Achebe never told the world an option was given which he and other Biafra
        leaders REJECTED. He accused the federal govt and in particular Awolowo of
        being responsible for this.

        9. But you ALL know Awolowo as
        man who will not lie. As a PUBLIC SERVANT of the Nigerian state
        he had a duty to do, and as a Christian he did not lie,(WHICH WAS THAT IT WAS
        IMPOSSIBLE TO ARRIVE AT A DECISION ON HOW TO TRANSPORT FOOD TO BIAFRA WITHOUT
        BIAFRA ARMY CORNERING IT FOR THEMSELVES WITHOUT BIAFRA ARMY USING THE AIR TO
        TRANPORT ARMS AND AN UNFORTUANTE
        DECISION HAD TO BE TAKEN, WHEN BIAFRA DELIBERATELY STALLED) He did NOT retract
        what happened. HE DID NOT SAY HE
        WAS NOT A PARTY TO A DECISION. When the Biafrans talk they talk as if what we are talking
        about is BIRTHDAY PARTY even when Biafra was the first to draw blood. But
        Awolowo said the truth even when it was difficult, even when he knew the truth
        will be spinned. He did NOT DENY he was part of a policy team. But this team
        talked with Biafra, and Biafra
        rejected their offer. What should they do? He said FOOD WAS BEING DIVERTED BY
        THEIR OPPONENTS THE BIAFRA ARMY-TO BIAFRA SOLDIERS. THEY GAVE AN OPTION, WHICH
        BIAFRA REJECTED. THEY HAD TO TAKE A DECISION. AFTER OJUKWU, ACHEBE AND OTHER
        BIAFRA LEADERS REJECTED THEIR OFFER.
        Naturally that policy had negative, sad effects and consequences. But
        that is the FULL STORY. QUESTION IS:
        WHY DID AWOLOWO TELL THE FULL STORY EVEN WHEN IT WAS NOT COMFORTABLE, EVEN WHEN
        HE KNEW BIAFRA LEADERS WILL SPIN IT, AND WHY DID CHINUA ACHEBE REFUSE TO TELL
        THE FULL STORY? Chinua Achebe CANNOT TELL THE TRUTH BECAUSE HE IS NOT AN ELDER
        STATESMAN, he is a mere petty Biafra propagandist who must use attack as
        defense to cover the CULPABILITY of BIAFRA LEADERSHIP which included himself
        then and NOW. This is why CHINUA ACHEBE MUST BE TRIED FOR GENOCIDE.

        10. The FACT is about HOW FOOD SHOULD GET TO BIAFRA SIDE. A DEADLOCK ENSUED. No
        one has denied that except the chief propagandist himself Chinua Achebe and
        other Igbos who are adroitly SILENT ON THIS. We understand why. Do not worry.

        11. Premium times reported a
        UNITED STATES cable with NAMES MENTIONED that Ojukwu’s Biafra and the Federal govt were
        the main forces responsible for food not getting to Biafra. So? We are
        EFFECTIVELY back at the question of HOW FOOD SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN THERE AND DID
        NOT GET THERE. The Cable reported that Ojukwu’s Biafra and fed govt were
        responsible. You only need to deny this CABLE WITH CONTRARY FACTS IF CHINUA
        ACHEBE IS GOING TO BE FREE FROM BEING TRIED FOR GENOCIDE OF HIS OWN PEOPLE OVER
        SOME SILLY AMBITION.

        12. Chinua Achebe was A MEMBER OF THE DECISION MAKING BODY AND THE CHIEF
        PROPAGANDIST OF BIAFRA THEN AND NOW. He MUST know about this
        decision. He was a party to the decision TO REFUSE THE FEDERAL GOVT OFFER OF
        TRANSPORTING FOOD BY ROAD. There
        is no problem if you reject the offer of the road as the means to transport the
        food. BUT THE POINT IS THAT YOU COULD NOT HAVE REJECTED THAT OFFER, FAILED TO
        TELL NIGERIANS THAT YOU REJECTED THAT OFFER, FAILED TO ACCEPT YOUR OWN
        RESPONSIBILITY AND CULPABILITY AND TURN AROUND TO ACCUSE THE OTHER PARTY OF
        GENOCIDE. This man Chinua Achebe is hoping that the International community
        will take him seriously in his charge of genocide. He DID NOT KNOW that since
        the same International Community has ALL the information INCLUDING THE CABLE
        UPON WHICH THE PREMIUMTIME BASED ITS STORY, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL
        JUST BE LAUGHING AT HIM FOR HE HAS PUT HIMSELF UNDER TRIAL FOR GENOCIDE.

        13. So if Ojukwu’s Biafra is guilty, it is the members of THE GOVERNING BODY
        AND DECION MAKING BODY OF BIAFRA THAT ARE GUILTY. CHINUA ACHEBE WAS AND IS A
        MEMBER OF THAT GOVERNING BODY. CHINUA ACHEBE IS GUILTY OF GENOCIDE AND HE
        SHOULD BE TRIED.

        14. I hope that satisfies you.
        You and other Igbos have a right to
        your opinions on this matter. You have a right to continue with what you
        are doing. But one thing is that Nigerians are happy at Chinua Achebe’s book.
        If you people want to secede NOW, and you should, we Nigerians WILL HAPPILY
        ENCOURAGE YOU TO LEAVE. Not a shot
        will be fired if you do not do same. Enough is enough. We Nigerians strongly encourage you to
        leave.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Nigeria is an unfortunate country if not why should the issue of Biafra Republic war that lasted from 1967 to 1970 be the concern and focus of Nigerians in the twentyth century raised by Professor Chinua Achebe?
    Elders like professor Chinua Achebe is an elder that lacked wisdom,foresight and possesses poor quality eldership of his community at his sunset years.
    If professor Achebe is an elder with elderly wisdom acumen,he wont be re-opening the old wounds and pains suffered by the Igbos over forty years ago caused by late General Odumegwu Ojukwu war monger mentality based declared civil war without good foresight and future consequences.

    Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan,
    Writes From Canada.

    • Matriculation

      Are you sure you graduated? You English leaves a lot to be desired.

      • Mediator

        You couldn’t even write a single sentence correctly and yet you criticize?

    • AtomLike

      Sorry! I do not blame you. If you had survived the Biafra-war and the present killing flashes in your memory the incidence of you being in in your hide-out watching your mother being raped and slaughtered by Nigeria soldiers.
      You said a healed wound?? You did not have any wound? ask those that had the wound if it has been healed.

  • Abiodun

    Igbiki,
    Look I have read this minute. It is on a different issue which DOES NOT CONTRADICT THE CABLE RELEASED BY PREMIUMTIMES. So what is your problem. The two talk about two different things that do not contradict one another. So you have NOT REBUTTED premiumtimes. You only gave information on a different meeting. Actually, on a different note, your own minute which I read now will support Premiumtimes cable. Why? Your own minute shows US was friendly to you because they want oil. At least you want to show that they are friendly to you-never mind that they see you as boy boy- servant. But if your “friend” (as portrayed in the minute) said what Premiumtimes said they said then it is true the Biafra committed genocide against itself and Chinua Achebe the Biafra chief propagandist MUST BE TRIED for genocide.

  • Bill Hansen

    Considering that this is an extremely important issue with Achebe’s new book, this is an extremely poorly written article. There is a difference in the English language between the present and the past tense. Thus “blames” and “blamed” (as in US blames), “speaks” and “spoke”, “offers” and “offered” convey entirely different meanings depending upon the time context. To use the present tense in an article describing a memo written 42 years ago strikes me as mendacity, not to mention poor journalism and even poorer writing ability. Unfortunately, the entire piece is riven with ambiguities. See paragraph #7, for example.

    • premiumtimes

      Dear Mr. Hansen,
      We enjoy engaging our readers in conversations as much as possible. But we hate being defensive whenever readers point out holes in our reporting. We are not perfect, and so are quick to make corrections when we are wrong.
      However, we are offering this explanation because you have raised a similar issue a number of times in the past. You are an immensely knowledgeable person, and we like the rich and enlightening perspectives you bring to conversations on our site. But we like to explain that headlines are better when written in present tense (even while reporting on past events), in active voice and in a way that give the reader an impression of the entire story. This is how even the best newspapers in the world treat headlines, and we agree with these principles.
      Thank you very much for being a loyal reader of our site.

    • Datti

      In reality there is nothing new in Achebe’s allegations. He had said it before and I am sure he will repeat it tomorrow not because that was the truth; it is because it was a fact he helped propagate while a Minister in exile for Biafra. Apparently as we know the truth is constant while a fact may change depending on new revelations. I wish you read widely; please consult the write up of Odia Offeimum in saharareporter, the resignation letter of Biafra propagandist in the US, Hilary Njoku’s book on the war, an opinion expressed by Tony Nwaeziegwe, a research fellow at UNN, in today’s edition of the Punch and many others.
      The Igbos left the architect of the pogrom to chase after the Yorubas, its akin to arresting a bus conductor for a traffic offense committed by the bus driver.
      The truth is sacred: Ojukwu and co went on a suicidal mission for a completely selfish ambition for which they were never adequately prepared for. Their so called nation imploded due to greed and poor strategies. The big men raised money abroad for arms and supplies that were diverted for other uses. Ask Achebe about the money he and others collected from donor countries and agencies. Children of ‘big’ men were sent abroad while the masses rot in hunger and poverty melted on them by the biafran solders that robbed them of their rations and arbitrarily refused to open a corridor of mercy for food supplies.
      Scapegoatism of Awolowo or the Yorubas will not solve this ‘victim mentality’, you should remember that the biafra principals did the Igbos in and there is nothing anyone could do at this time to rectify their greed and poor judgement. I sincerely wish the Igbos will leave the Yorubas alone and if they are still annoyed to leave the SW completely and move en mass to the SE where they belong. Its only mischief makers that would claim to develop the properties of their neighbors while allowing theirs to dilapidate – go home please! Lastly, the Biafra project is dead – brought in dead as they say in hospitals – can never be resuscitated because the SS is much wiser now.
      Its on record that It was the fear of Igbo domination that ceded Southern Cameroon to the republic of Cameroon till date. The portion was ‘Nigerian’ during the 2nd world war, the NCNC behaved like the lord of manor and this drove southern Cameroon away. Compared this to Adamawa state that was also Cameroonian before the 2nd world war, Sadaruna treated them well and they opted to remain in Nigeria. Those blaming past leaders for the loss of Bakassi should turn their searchlights to the poor Igbo leadership qualities that resulted in the loss of that region to Cameroon in time past. If that portion were to be in Nigeria, would anyone have the gut to contest Bakassi with Nigeria? This to me, is a major reason why an Igbo man may never become President of Nigeria in the near future. This tribe needs someone in the mold of Awolowo to wake them up – will greed allow such an individual?

      • Bobby

        This is a load of rubbish…

        • Abubakar Sokoto

          Bobby,

          Is it a load of “rubbish” because you were offended by THE FACTS, and because THE FACTS RUBBISH and rebut Achebe’s fairy tale? Bobby I think a more rational thing to do is to engage what Datti said and rebut it fact by fact. You did not do this. Doing this is what we need to learn to move on. You need to do this., but you did not.

  • Lanre

    Premium Times,
    thank you so much for producing this. You guys, we all have a duty to the
    present and future generations to tell the truth. The intellectual dishonesty
    coming from the Achebe Camp can only have one good purpose: The creation of
    Biafra. Let the Igbos go. I do not care about them. But you will not, I repeat
    not lie about Chief Awolowo and Yorubas just because you are broke and you need
    money. This is a war for the survival of the Yoruba Ethos. What we stand for
    and who we are. I call on all Yorubas everywhere, to start getting ready to
    contribute ideas to telling the truth. Details will be emerging from some of us
    very soon on our plans. Chinua Achebe and his fellow Igbo intellectual minions
    have woken a sleeping tiger. I, Lanre, I have drawn the line in the sand. The
    truth about Nigeria will be told.

    • Hilary

      What we expect of any right thinking Nigerian is to tell the
      truth. Why do you all of a sudden think it is inimical to anyone? By all means
      Lanre tell the truth, there is no need to threaten it, just tell it as you see
      it. You sound as if you have uncovered a secret exposé that will blow the
      received facts out of the water. Please bring it on. Shakara man!

      • aliciaolympics8070

        I am ashamed of my Igbo people, even the intellectuals among them thinks like a kid when it comes to Awo. In fact the men are ready to blame their impotency on Awo and while the women will blame their worst behavior on poor Awo. Why do you people hate him so much. The Hausas that kill you in millions, you love unconditionally! You guys are very strange fellows.

        With this cable now you know Gowon and your beloved Ojukwu are the real enemy of igbos. Ojukwu particularly was greedy for the SS oil, period! That is the major reason for the war and that is why the those minorities hate the Igbo race.

        This revelation will let the Yorubas know who their real friends are. Igbo think!

        • Hilary

          If you are truly an Ibo, there is no need to be ashamed.
          Instead, there is a lot to be proud and hopeful about. We are not beholden to
          any group. Indeed we are very direct and forthright in our dealing with others
          and this is what annoys others. The fact that the debate has been discordant
          and high pitched is due to the horrific experience people went through. In any
          case I don’t believe that you are Igbo. This is because you speak of us in the second
          person as more than you do in the first.

    • Chidi Henry

      Your empty boasts and claims to some form of intellectualism are mostly laughable. Who is lying about who? Did the persona (Your God obviously) deny his role in the food blockade to the biafrans? You Lanre have drawn the line in the sand? Delusions about one’s self worth is the shortest path to destruction. Guy, go take a jump in the lagoon. Nobody will notice.

    • bridecom

      I hate tribe even if i came from one, just hear ur self talk what do you know about battle and line be greatfull to GOD u drew it on a sand were it can be washed away. start being positive my friend and see how the world can feel your existence as we feel Faraday the Wright Brothers and not the likes of tribalist and oppression. have a nice day

      • bridego

        it seems chinua achebe the chief Bafra war propagandist drew the battleline by lying and insulting others thru his dubious lies. or what do yu think? i think you yourself will be culpable of being a tribalist if you do not distance yourself from what chief tribalist chinua achebe has done. did he tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? nope! if he did not and he lies profusely against others, do yu think people should not point that out? that is the point bridecom!

      • bridego

        it seems chinua achebe the chief Bafra war propagandist drew the battleline by lying and insulting others thru his dubious lies. or what do yu think? i think you yourself will be culpable of being a tribalist if you do not distance yourself from what chief tribalist chinua achebe has done. did he tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? nope! if he did not and he lies profusely against others, do yu think people should not point that out? that is the point bridecom!

  • moa

    Thank you!

  • Ezeike

    THIS PREMIUM TIMES NIGERIA SHOULD STOP DECEIVING YORUBA BROTHERS AND SISTERS. When one reads the intelligence code,

    Download & Read the Full U.S.-Biafra Memo here

    they did not mention Ojukwu as halting the supply of relief material to biafrans read”8. There is one possible break this afternoon. The Red Cross thinks Ojukwu is about to agree to set aside a particular airstrip
    solely for relief use. The Red Cross has instructed its Lagos man to try that out on Gowon. This may work, although Gowon is
    under immense pressure from his hawks (which include almost the entire Hausa population) not to allow any relief,
    particularly any which involved air traffic into Biafra.”

    there was no where that code referred Ojukwu as been responsible for starvation as premium time had suggested. Ojukwu accused nigeria for planing to poison the food the want to send to Biafra through land. And if Nigeria should sent food through land into biafra, Have you watch a movie call TROY where soldiers invaded a city by means of hiding soldier in a molden giant horse as a gift to that city, which they have attacked for more than 15 yrs.

    All those tricks were from Awo, and Gowon, also after the war the continued their wickedness, 20 pounds policy against the biafrans, abandoned property, quota systems,.and many more evil.

    • ekpene

      Ndigbo Ezeike, this thing has no source. It cannot be accessed that readers can go to independent of you. Just like readers were able to independently the premiumtimes story because Premiumtimes provided the original cable, please do same. Until readers are able to INDEPENDENTLY verify, the information it remains a story you just post, and therefore lacks credibility. I hope you understand what I mean. The Premiumtimes story had credibiity because after the story they provided the ORIGINAL SOURCE, THE CABLE. Ndigbo, do the same for your own story.

    • ekpene

      Ndigbo Ezeike, this thing has no source. It cannot be accessed It has no source that
      readers can go to independent of you. Just like readers were able to
      independently access the premiumtimes story because Premiumtimes provided the
      original cable, please do same. Until readers are able to INDEPENDENTLY
      verify, the information it remains a story you just post, and
      therefore lacks credibility. I hope you understand what I mean. The
      Premiumtimes story has credibiity because after the story they provided
      the ORIGINAL SOURCE, THE CABLE which we all went to INDEPENDENT OF PREMIUMTIMES. Ndigbo, do the same for your own story.

    • ekpene

      Ezeike,
      it is some time now that I asked you to give us the SOURCE of your news. We want to check INDEPENDENT of you. Premiumtimes gave their own SOURCE. And we were able to CHECK INDEPENDENT OF Premiumtimes. So please give us the source. It is important for TRUTH and OBJECTIVITY. For now the information you gave remains your personal opinion and we have NO MEANS of verifying your personal opinion.
      Let us have the source . It will help.

    • bademasi

      Ezeike,
      Ekpene had asked you several times to give us the source of your story like Premiumtimes did, you have not. Why? Is it fiction like the usual Biafra propaganda a-la-Chinua Achebe? Since the Nigerian civil war, we have learnt the “effectiveness” and dubious nature of Biafra propaganda which Chinua Achebe has continued even in peace times. This is the strategy of Biafra dubious and immoral propaganda as perfected by Chinua Achebe “drop a news item, pretend it is authentic, spin it a bit, DO NOT provide your source and insist it is the truth” So If you do not give us the source of your story, we have good reasons to conclude that you have LEARNT VERY well from your CHIEF PROPAGANDIST HIMSELF, BIAFRA PROPAGANDIST CHINUA ACHEBE. If you do not want us to reach this conclusion please give us the source of the story. Please do.

  • Hilary

    ‘… we Nigerians WILL HAPPILY ENCOURAGE YOU TO LEAVE’ You
    have made a lot of bold statements full of lies and tribal sentiments and then
    you conclude by inviting the Igbo people to secede. Who are you to presume to
    speak for Nigerians? I will tell you categorically that Ndigbo are more
    Nigerian than a tribalist like you would ever hope to be. Reading through your
    crap, it is obvious that you have chosen not to let the truth get in the way of
    the story you want to tell. The facts are out there and there is little need
    for me to go over them here again. You read but you do not understand,
    sometimes you pretend to have read posts when in fact you haven’t, you talk but
    you do not know what you are saying. You are truly Mr. Irrelevance.

    • Abubakar Sokoto

      Messers Hilary and Igbiki,
      dont you know what Abiodun is saying which is correct. Listen , this is it. Are the Igbos changing their views and position about we Nigerians? I think the last time what the Igbos said was that you the Igbos hate (i) the South -South people because you said South South people took your property(abandoned property,)during the war, (ii) the north because they kill you and the Yorubas because they did not support your Biafra. So if you hate everybody and your Oga Chinua Achebe you have not been integrated and that we Nigerians will not make progress because of the Igbo problem, we believe that we should allow you to leave this time. We stopped you the last time, you were not happy. But now we want you to be happy, so we will allow you to leave. Or dont you want to leave again because the South South has told you boldly that the oil IS NOT Biafra. But we think you should leave because we do not want to live with problems anymore.

    • Ali

      I am ashamed of my Igbo people, even the intellectuals among them thinks like a kid when it comes to Awo. In fact the men are ready to blame their impotency on Awo and while the women will blame their worst behavior on poor Awo. Why do you people hate him so much. The Hausas that kill you in millions, you love unconditionally! You guys are very strange fellows.

      With this cable now you know Gowon and your beloved Ojukwu are the real enemy of igbos. Ojukwu particularly was greedy for the SS oil, period! That is the major reason for the war and that is why the those minorities hate the Igbo race.

      This revelation will let the Yorubas know who their real friends are. Igbo think!

      • Chijioke

        @Hilary, I am sure you are not Igbo. Don’t hide under an English name and claim what you are not just because you want to lean to one side of a broad debate. The naivety I have seen the Yorubas exhibit over this issue is most appalling. Many of them who rained abuses of Achebe, never even read the book to understand what the erudite professor is saying. No amount of abuse you rain on him, can diminish his achievements. PREMIUM TIMES have unfortunately gone the way of most Yoruba-controlled publications. I am disappointed that our journalists allow tribal sentiments to override their professional judgement. This Awo-does-wrong philosophy is childish and archaic. If Nigeria must develop, we must learn to confront our bitter past and confront it honestly and with open mind.

      • Hilary

        Please do not post the same comment multiple times. At best it is annoying. I can understand if the double postage was a consequence of internet speed in which case they would have been one after the other. See my reply above.

  • Kunle

    “The wartime cabinet of General Gowon, the military ruler, it should
    also be remembered, was full of intellectuals like Chief Obafemi Awolowo
    among others who came up with a boatload of infamous and regrettable
    policies. A statement credited to Awolowo and echoed by his cohorts is
    the most callous and unfortunate: all is fair in war, and starvation is
    one of the weapons of war. I don’t see why we should feed our enemies
    fat in order for them to fight harder. It is my impression that 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.” HOW INCREDIBLE! HOW ONE-SIDED. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN BALANCED HAD OUR CELEBRATED PAPA ACHEBE EXPLAINED WHY OJUKWU REJECTED OTHER OPTIONS….IN FACT, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER IF IT WAS COMING FROM ANY OTHER IGBO MAN BUT OUR DEAR CHIEF CULTURAL AMBASSADOR OF BIAFRA. “overriding ambition” “his
    Yoruba people” “frenzy” “dominant Igbos” “his enemies” “eliminating” these are hate-induced words making him guilty of the same allegation he levelled against Papa Awolowo, namely. Tribalism.

  • Abubakar

    Hilary ,
    The American Cable gave us what propagandist Chinua Achebe deliberately hides from us because Achebe was culpable. Given that exposure which Achebe hides from us, it shows how immoral Achebe is. It shows that basically Chinua Achebe is liar, and he cannot be trusted. That is the side the truth of Cable shows.
    Thanks

  • BABAZARIA

    I HOPE NOBODY AND I MEAN NOBODY IS TRYING TO USE ACHEBE’S “THERE WAS A COUNTRY” OR THE STRATEGIES USED DURING THE UNFORTUNATE CIVIL WAR TO CAUSE ANY DISAFFECTION OR DISUNITY IN OUR COUNTRY. WHAT WE REQUIRE NOW ARE WAYS AND MEANS OF HOW TO ACHIEVE A SUCCESSFUL NATION BUILDING FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL NIGERIANS.

    • Abubakar Sokoto

      Babazaria,
      The Chief Biafra propagandist Chinua Achebe was thought(i) to be an elder statesman, and (ii) a scholar. These two status are highly regarded for their moral stature in ALL civilised countries. Why? Whoever is a scholar and an elder statesman IS NOT SUPPOSED TO LIE. And more importantly if he is a writer, it means his works are also being taught our children. Chinua Achebe used to fit this high moral status. Then we did not know that (i) he is a Biafra propagandist, (ii) he can look Nigerians straight in the face , write a so-called book and LIE about events everyone knows has more FACTS than what he presented. We thought he was an African writer. We did not know he was a mere Igbo writer masquerading as an African writer. Whoever is an African writer MUST stand above petty , blind and jaundiced tribal sentiments and loyalities. Achebe fell into all these, and LIED badly. It is immoral, hence the angst of the average Nigerian. became deepened when ordinary Igbos could not even see such basic lies as lies. Do you understand all these? If old men lie the way Chinua Achebe’s mouth drools with lies like okro soup, and he did that on during the week of Nigeria’s Independence, what is the hope of our children? That is the question Babazaria, wetin yu think?

    • Abubakar Sokoto

      Babazaria,
      The Chief Biafra propagandist Chinua Achebe was thought(i) to be an elder statesman, and (ii) a scholar. These two status are highly regarded for their moral stature in ALL civilised countries. Why? Whoever is a scholar and an elder statesman IS NOT SUPPOSED TO LIE. And more importantly if he is a writer, it means his works are also being taught our children. Chinua Achebe used to fit this high moral status. Then we did not know that (i) he is a Biafra propagandist, (ii) he can look Nigerians straight in the face , write a so-called book and LIE about events everyone knows has more FACTS than what he presented. We thought he was an African writer. We did not know he was a mere Igbo writer masquerading as an African writer. Whoever is an African writer MUST stand above petty , blind and jaundiced tribal sentiments and loyalities. Achebe fell into all these, and LIED badly. It is immoral, hence the angst of the average Nigerian. became deepened when ordinary Igbos could not even see such basic lies as lies. Do you understand all these? If old men lie the way Chinua Achebe’s mouth drools with lies like okro soup, and he did that on during the week of Nigeria’s Independence, what is the hope of our children? That is the question Babazaria, wetin yu think?

    • alabi

      I think what Achebe himself wrote is the MAJOR CAUSE of DISUNITY. Now let me give you a slice of what he said. The FULL thing has been quoted many times since the so-called book was published. Achebe wrote :”It is my impression that Awolowo
      was driven by an overriding ambition for power, for himself and for his
      Yoruba people.” What follow? Therefore according to this man called Achebe since Awolowo saw Igbos as obstacles, he cleared them for his Yoruba people to rise! So if I am a doctor, professor, engineer, or lawyer today and I am Yoruba , then according to Achebe’ s wretched and sick assertion it is because the Igbos were occupying those places and posts before and Awolowo cleared them for his Yoruba people. And this Achebe man presumably teaches students who will include Nigerians who are Yorubas and Igbos in the SAME CLASSROOM. I hope you can see the IMPLICATION of that and THE POTENTIAL PRESSURE IN THAT POSSIBLE CLASSROOM among students Mr Babazaria alias Indigbo. Babazaria alais Ndigbo, you know that this your Achebe fellow DOES NOT LIVE IN NIGERIA. He is enjoying himself abroad. Is this kind of statement what can guarantee unity? So when you said some people are using Achebe’s book to cause disunity, my question to you is: does this statement ensure unity? If you say yes, then you have said that you and Achebe are the ones CAUSING DISUNITY. I think there is this strategy of characters and people like Achebe. They SOW the seed of DISUNITY. People respond and say YOU HAVE TO STOP this nonsense, Achebe’s people will respond and say “oh I hope some people are not using Achebe’s book to cause disunity. Are the stupid things in the book what can guarantee unity? if your answer is yes, then you and Achebe are the sources of disunity in the country. The strategy used in the pre-civil war days will NOT work in 2012. People like Achebe the chief propagandist of Biafra then and now will be held responsible for their, words, they WILL NOT be allowed to pass the buck, then we will sit down and decide peacefully what we want to do with the country. They days of guns and tanks are GONE. NOBODY will be intimidated. WE SIT DOWN AND TAKE A DECISION WHAT WE WANT TO DO WITH THE COUNTRY. A WORD IS ENOUGH FOR THE WISE AND THOSE WHO WANT TO SPIN AND TWIST THINGS.

  • Osaze

    Confidential cable indeed,This kind of write up smells with tribalism and desperate attempt to cover the well documented evil plans of Late Obafemi Awolowo

    • jare

      Osaze,
      The best way is to FACTUALLY deny it. Or what do you think? Names are mentioned. So if you have contrary FACTS, present them. If you do not then Chinua Achebe the Biafra chief propagandist LIED too badly, and this is NOT good for our status internationally and locally for our children. So I encourage you STRONGLY to provide CONTRARY FACTS to challenge the Cable. SUCH OPEN FACTUAL challenge of a claim is the way of open and civilised societies, and not the way of village wars.

    • jare

      Osaze,
      The best way is to FACTUALLY deny it. Or what do you think? Names are mentioned. So if you have contrary FACTS, present them. If you do not then Chinua Achebe the Biafra chief propagandist LIED too badly, and this is NOT good for our status internationally and locally for our children. So I encourage you STRONGLY to provide CONTRARY FACTS to challenge the Cable. SUCH OPEN FACTUAL challenge of a claim is the way of open and civilised societies, and not the way of village wars.

  • NAGODI

    IN HAUSA WE EXPRESS IT AS “AN BAR JAKI ANA DUKAN TAIKI”, OR BEATING ABOUT THE BUSH. ON SOME OCCASIONS I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REMIND THE IGBOS THAT THE 1966 COUP KILLED YORUBAS AND HAUSAS ONLY. WHILE NOT ONE IGBO POLITICIAN WAS KILLED. THE LEADERS OF THE COUP WERE MAINLY IGBO. ANYBODY THAT LISTEN TO THE NZEOGWU INTERVIEW WILL NOT MISS HIS PLEASURE AND BOAST OF THE WAY HE DRAGGED THE UNARMED SARDAUNA FROM UNDER THE BED AND COLD BLOODEDLY MURDERED HIM. THE HASSAN USMAN COUNTER COUP DID THE SAME THING FOR THE IGBOS AND THEY HAVE NEVER RECOVERED MILITARILY OR POLITICALLY EVER SINCE. ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WAR AND WHATEVER HAPPENNED IN IT LAYS WITH THOSE WHO STARTED IT. FEW PEOPLE WILL DENY THAT THE CHAIN OF EVENTS THAT LED TO THE WAR WAS STARTED BY IBOS. IF WE MISS THIS, THEN AWOLOWO OR GOWON OR NORTHERNERS WILL BECOME THE SCAPEGOAT.

  • NAGODI

    “You remember what Napoleon said about an army not being able to fight without food? Where did Ojukwu plan to get food from? Nigeria? A country you were fighting?” LANRE THANKS LANRE FOR THIS APT SUMMARY. IF ANYBODY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE IBO STARVATION IT THOSE THAT LED THEM TO WAR WITHOUT THINKING OF HOW TO FEED THEM. IT IS NOT NIGERIAS RESPONSIBILITY TO FEED ITS OPPONENTS DURING CONFLICT.

    • Lanre

      Thank you, Nagodi. The truth must and will be told. A man who is about to go to his grave wants to take many more with him. So much for igbo culture.

  • BABAZARIA

    MR. ALABI/ABUKAR SOKOTO: YOU ALL GOT ME WRONG. WHEN I SAID “NOBODY AND I MEAN NOBODY” I WAS NOT EXCLUDING ACHEBE HIMSELF. INFACT WHAT OUR I AM SAYING IS THAT SUCH WRITINGS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO CAUSE DISUNITY IN OUR BELOVED COUNTRY.

  • Emeka

    Commentators are still writing, talking about and dissecting the American Civil War. Why shouldn’t talk about the Nigerian Civil War that ended 42 years ago? I am really disappointed with the tone of some Yoruba “intellectuals’. Awolowo is not God no matter how hard some people try to deify him. Its time for them to stop foaming at the mouth. Achebe has stated a fact that even Awolowo himself admitted to. He did not deny that he used starvation as a weapon of war. That fact is beyond dispute. However, Achebe’s opinion on why Awolowo did it remains that, an opinion. You can challenge that opinion as we are all entitled to but please can we stop all this Igbo bashing and Yoruba bashing. One fact is certain, there is still a lot of latent animosity that people who personally experienced the war are still harbouring. A kind of truth and reconciliation commission after the war would have helped. It is still not too late for such an exercise to be done. I do not know what we are afraid of.

    • alabi

      Emeka,
      These are the facts.
      1. Biafra chief propagandist Chinua Achebe said given that Awolowo saw Igbos as obstacles to Yorubas, Awolowo killed the Igbos so that Yorubas will rise. So whatever I and my family become I am occupying Igbo position and I am who I am because Awolowo helped me to kill Igbos so that I occupy their position.
      2. Achebe wrote a so-called memoir, he NEVER TOLD US that the Biafra governing structure of which he was and is still a member REFUSED the suggestion from the Federal Govt to allow food in by road to Biafra. So since this has been revealed to be true, you are asking me as a scholar to believe a LIE told in Achebe’s book by Achebe? Is that what you are saying Emeka. You can accept a LIE because it was told by Achebe. That is you. You have the right to accept such LIES and teach them to your students and children. I cannot. My own child has asked me pointedly why Achebe should LIE so badly. Previously, I have taught her ALL Nigerian writers including Achebe. She had read Achebe and she put Achebe in a position of a grandpa. Emeka, it is not good that we should violate this badly (as Achebe has done with telling LIES ) the innocence of our children who read us and will tend to believe us . It is immoral. What is unethical is unethical even if it is told by our kinsman. It is NOT important to me that you agree. As scholars, naturally we all have different ethical standards in our practice of our profession. So you ARE FREE to accept anything and move on. But some people whose job is scholarship may not be able to do what you can do.
      3. Achebe teaches in a classroom. At least we must assume that. His assistants teach in classrooms, like we all do. Achebe’s classrooms and those of his assistants MUST include Nigerians who come from our DIFFERENT national groups. How will Achebe and his academic assistants look these students straight in the eyes after LYING so badly that (i) ONLY Igbo leaders wanted Nigerian unity, all leaders from other parts of Nigeria DID NOT, (ii) Dr. Azikiwe was the great pan -Africanist, others were not. ? Now suppose a student rises up in the Achebe classroom and say “Professor you said Igbo leaders were the only ones who wanted and fought for Nigerian unity, other leaders did not, but the same Igbo leaders declared a secession against Nigerian unity, while leaders from other parts of the country who you now vilify were the ones who kept Nigerian unity going with the declaration of secession by the Igbo leaders. Sir how do I reconcile that? Is secession a struggle for unity? Now to be more specific, suppose, a Yoruba student stands up in the Achebe classroom, and say ‘Sir, you said Awolowo saw the Igbos as obstacles to Yorubas and killed them so that the Yorubas could rise, sir are you saying that my parents who struggle day and night to pay my school fees from which partly sir the university pays your salary (since I have registered for your course) and those of other professors, are occupying the position of the Igbos who Awolowo supposedly cleared(as you wrote) to pave way for my Dad and mom, and even for me. Sir I am occupying Igbo position by being here. Sir can you look me straight in the face and answer that question?” Suppose another student stands up and say “sir you wrote that Dr Azikiwe was the great pan-Africanist of all time, but sir when in 1978 the electoral umpire asked all contestants to produce their tax receipts as evidence of their civic duties to the Nigerian state, others did , Dr. Azikiwe could not and he said he was being targetted BECAUSE HE IS IGBO. Sir the “great pan-africanist” DID NOT appeal to his Africannes or Nigeriannes or his civic duty, he appealed to his Igboness.. Sir what is that? How can he be such a great “Pan-Africanist” that others were not, and he was THE ONLY one that appealed to his base tribal instinct while others who were “modest” enough not to be “pan-Africanist” paid their civic obligation to Nigeria an African state, and they DID NOT appeal to any base instinct? Sir did you not read that before you wrote your memoir”?
      Emeka, these are the FACTS, and not interpretations. You have a right not to believe or agree. On your behalf I will defend your right to be ignorant, even when in civilised cultures it is NOT a fundamental human right to be ignorant. But here in Nigeria, some people have made the right to be ignorant a fundamental human right. Achebe has poisoned the Nigerian well (not because he wrote some piece of Biafra propaganda-but by LYING. It is immoral. Go and check the history of the rise and fall of civilizations and countries. It is funny that people will hold seminars, conferences, peace commission, talks on peace, security etc. But such activities are chasing the shadows. The core of strife is A NEGATION OF TRUTH because it simply ruptures the very BEING of human. When you negate truth as Achebe does in his propaganda sheet-called a memoir-you have called to question the very being of people and the country. It means you do not give a damn. Achebe has done that with his Biafra propaganda sheet. He does not give a damn to Nigeria, to our children, to our students because HE TOLD LIES. To be honest some of us did not see or know this Igbo tribal part of Achebe that would make him abandon the basic traditions of scholarship and academic writing.
      4. Emeka, I invite you to contest these FACTS with FACTS. Also tell readers what you think of those hypothetical students in a hypothetical Achebe class or those of his assistants? Are Achebe and his coterie of assistants so committed to the Igbo tribal agenda that they have become so insensitive to students in their own classroom and children who will read these LIES? That is the question to you.

    • adetutu

      Emeka, I guess you are not disappointed at the tone of the basic lies in Igbo tribe “novelist” Achebe and the illogical defense of the Igbo “intellectuals”. What do you think baby. Bottomline, the wind blows (in what the Igbo tribalist Achebe has written), and we seem to have seen the behind of the fowl. You know the Yorubas are very “docile” perhaps because they welcome everyone in their cities. This is why Achebe’s memoir is a GIFT to us Yorubas. We DID not know that some people think we see them as obstacles as Achebe has implied, such that they have been seeing us as obstacles. See what I mean Emeka. You cannot paper over things. If this falsehood is what the Igbo “intellectuals” are ready to eat, then we know what true “scholarship” is. Again Achebe’s memoir has shown us the poison, hate, mischief, venom that are deep seated in the average Igbo mind and psyche against other Nigerians. For that we are grateful to him. At least Achebe is one the best Igbo “intellectuals”(though we do not see any theoretical thing he has written beyond the Igbo comic relief books, the truth must be told, ) and he has accounted for the negative Igbo psyche against we Nigerians. Achebe has said that “this is how we the average Igbo man see you Nigerians”. That makes us know where we are going and not to take anything for granted anymore.

  • alabi

    Ndigbo Igbiki,
    I am just wondering what challenges you. Is it education, knowledge, capacity for analysis etc. I just do not know.Now let me again cut and paste your words:”The Yorubas are callous bigots just like their unsung deadleader. Their

    base ethnic instinct has beclouded their reasoning medula.” So nna Ndigbo Igbiki the question I asked you is if the “Yorubas are callous bigots…: as you put it, (i) how come they develop religious and ethnic inclusive cities such that all religions and ethnic groups co-exist and are more welcome in Yoruba states that any other state-(ii) and such that Lagos leads in this inclusiveness. I know you may be alien to rationality, but if rationality is your criterion what you need to show to contest this claim is how the Igbo states are more inclusive that the Yoruba states. But you cannot do that because rational facts do NOT PROVE IT. So if that is the case, who is a bigot? People who build inclusive cities or people who DO NOT. Please contest this ndigbo. You started it.

  • Chijioke

    PREMIUM TIMES I am disappointed in your team. This Awo-does-no-wrong philosophy must stop. It is too simplistic and naive to be true.

    • Olajumoke

      Chijioke,
      Two things are stake here. You cannot hold Premiumtimes responsible for tjhose two things. This is a newspaper. Like other papers, PT published what Achebe wrote. LIke all papers PT published what others said or wrote. Why is that difficult for you to understand?. Let me give you a good example. You have just commented. Did Premiumtimes put in your own mouth your words which show that you accept, legitimise, and validate that a so-called writer Chinua Achebe has a right to LIE with and from BOTH SIDES of his mouth to Nigerians? In a modern society (by this we are not talking about physical expression of human living like infrastructures), where truth is touchstone of the foundation of society, YOU DO NOT LIE TO DISTURB THE PEACE OF SOCIETY. When you are BIAS(and you have right to be bias), YOU MUST KEEP YOUR BIAS TO YOURSELF. You MUST not bring your BIAS to the market. When you DO like you and Achebe are doing you mUST be ready to defend every letter you wrote. This is simple condition of a modern society. Why did Chinua Achebe FAIL to inform us that the Federal Govt was ready to send food via road to Baifra, but Biafra governing authority under Ojukwu and people like Chinua Achebe REFUSE that offer? Why did this fellow called Achebe NOT disclose PUBLICLY that he was and still is the chief propagandist of Biafra? Why did he hide under the guise of a ‘writer” and PRETEND to be doing an objective so-called memoir? How can someone WHO WAS THE CHIEF PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER OF BIAFRA AND THEREFORE THE CHIEF PROPAGANDIST THEN AND NOW be objective? Look my friend why didnt this character simply tell us publicly and say “ladies and gentlemen I worked for and still work for Biafra?” Why this pretense Mr. Chijioke?. Some people are saying that some of us Nigerians had taught all Nigerian writers to their children including this fellow called Achebe, but that children ask them “mummy, why did the person you said is a Nigerian writer LIE so shamelessly on behalf of just one of Nigeria’s groups the Igbo tribe?” As a mother how do I respond to that? And you do not want me to say that publicly? And you want to hold a newspaper responsible for the actions of readers and commentators like you and I? This is simple Chijioke, if we cannot hold Premiumtimes responsible for what you as an Igboman, -a rabid supporter of the untruth in Achebe-had just written which I am responding to, why do you want to hold Premiumtimes responsible for what I am writing now as a response to you? You need to be more rational and thoughtful, such knowledge, truth, rationality and thoughtfulness are what prevent wars, they are what prevent a blind defense of UNTRUTH the way you are going, they are what ensure unity which people bandy around which Achebe has show that they DO NOT believe in and which the blind defense of Achebe by you is showing that you do not believe in.

  • Olanbo

    ah ah igbiki dis na wetin yu write again. You Igbos love a lot of verbosity-big words signifying nothing. Your Achebe must have taught you well in vomitting those big words that mean nothing in concrete reality.Example- Achebe says “Zik was the great pan-Africanist” But reality says Zik appealed to being persecuted because he is Igbo when he was asked for evidence that he was paying taxes during the 1978 presidential election. See empty words and how they negate concrete reality in Achebe and Zik? Now you Igbiki ‘Lagos federal territory”!!! Those are just mere words Igbos use to delude themselves all the time. Igbos never follow the Golden Rule “do unto others what you expect them to do unto you”. That is always your problem. Will you ever take it if someone wakes up and say your Enugu is Hausa or some silly “federal territory” That is a humor. You need to show Nigerians the geographical contiguities that will make Lagos Igbo. This is the kind of self delusion that often leads to strife when you begin to lay claim to what is not yours. Do not try it. When guests who are welcome warmly by their hosts begin to (i) lay claim to redefine a reality to fit their own delusion and (ii) to misinterpret the warmth and sense of culture, civic relations to others of their hosts, civility and decency of their hosts, then you know where will necessarily lead to. A word is enough for the wise.

  • alagbon

    All of you are idiots. Every single one of you that has one way or the other fanned the embers of disunity on this thread because of some phony tribal solidarity. This country is not breaking up or fighting another war for any reason whatsoever. Get that into your thick skulls, and get a life.

  • Abidemi Lasisi

    I am a fervent admirer of Prof. Achebe and all what he
    represents, except ethnic chauvinism. I had the opportunity to demonstrate my love
    and respect for him, when the Nigerian Literary community organized the famous Eagle on the Iroko Tree symposium at
    Nsukka, to mark Achebe’s 60th Birthday; I shunned classes to attend
    the week long programme. The prominent
    roles played at the event by many academics of Yoruba extraction are still
    fresh in my mind, even Prof. Soyinka that was not in the country at the time
    sent a goodwill message. Prior to the period, I have read all Achebe’s works and
    no one can resist t the unique and compelling style he employs in telling
    stories. I cannot just comprehend the
    reason such a renounced writer can stoop s to the level of ethnic bigotry.

    Anyone who watched events and monitored the kind of
    encomiums showered on the late Ojukwu, will appreciate the reasons an average
    Igbo can never be objective on any issue that concerns our collective interest
    as Nigerians. Although, Ojukwu was granted a state pardon, but having read the
    accounts of the key players in the civil-war, but it is only in Nigeria a man like
    Ojukwu will be given a state burial and the kind of encomiums showered on him when he died, given the
    atrocities he committed against his own people and Nigeria as a state. From the
    record of events that led to the war and the prosecution of the war itself, the Igbos’ selfishness, lack of respect for
    other people’ culture and rights, and coupled with Ojukwu’s arrogance led to the war and the senseless lost of lives. It is not only unfair
    but despicable that Prof. Achebe could blame Awolowo for the fate the Igbos suffered,
    after all, Yorubas, Hausas, and many other ethnic groups in
    Nigerian lost people to the war.

    Ojukwu’ account of the war in a book, Not my Will, convinces any discernible
    mind that the Igbos called for war when they were ill-prepared for one. Yorubas
    have an adage that says ‘A blind cripple who calls for war will surely be
    consumed by it.’ I cannot hold brief for the Great Awo, as I never had the privilege
    to meet and ask him to confirm whether he did see the Igbo as threat to his
    ambition to rule Nigeria at all cost as insinuated by Prof. Achebe. But what I
    do know and from all accounts on the war, the late sage did all he could to
    persuade Ojukwu not to embark on a war path. Ojukwu, rather than heeding to the words of
    wisdom from Awo, continued to beat the war drum. Ojukwu
    also shunned entreats from well-meaning Nigerians and other
    African leaders not to go to war. This explains why the Great Zik never identified
    with the war, though empathetic for lost lives and untold hardship the war
    inflicted on Nigerians in general. In fact, many Igbos till date have not
    forgiven the Great Zik for not being a believer and active participant in the Biafran
    project, unlike Prof. Achebe who chose to be the Biafra’s cultural Ambassador. If the truth must be told, the haughtiness of
    an average Igbo-man beclouded their collective sense of judgment and made them victims
    of the rhetoric of the Oxford-trained historian who wanted to govern them at
    all cost.

    Yorubas suffered a lot for Nigeria’s survival during war and
    are still suffering for their belief in the creation of an egalitarian society
    where equal opportunities are guaranteed for all. Awolowo sought political
    office for this purpose and where he had opportunity to serve he left marks
    that are yet to be equaled by any Nigerian leaders dead or alive. Today the
    UN’s Millennium Development goals are the cardinal progrmmes Awolowo implemented in the West, especially free access to education, reduction of poverty reduction, establishment
    of Farm settlement Schemes and
    agricultural research institutions, numerous health facilities, massive
    development of infrastructural facilities especially road network for
    transportation of farm-produce. Awolowo had
    long realized that the vision for an egalitarian society is only achievable
    when people have access to education, decent housing, safe and nutritious foods
    that promote health. He did his best to let Nigeria become a land he dreamt of
    all his life.

    In 1993, Nigeria missed the greatest opportunity for a rebirth
    to become one nation with one destiny. The hullabaloos that followed the annulment
    of the June 12 election are now history, but the it is an incontrovertible fact
    the while the Yorubas were being persecuted and unjustifiably sacked from
    Federal Civil Service, Igbos were busy patronizing Abacha and June 12 crisis was seen as a cross Yorubas should carry alone. Individuals
    who ordinarily in a sane society would be ostracized for their ignoble role in
    the June 12 crisis became superstars among the Igbos, while such people among
    the Yorubas had their political careers
    terminated with the death of Abacha. The penchant of the Yorubas to stand
    firmly for the truth, challenge oppressive social order and speak-out against
    any form of injustice dates back to pre-colonial era.

    Prof Achebe has only succeeded in telling the whole world
    how much he hates Awolowo and the Yorubas in general. If Prof Achebe wants the unjustifiable wasting of over 2
    million lives to be acknowledged and even reparation paid to the Igbos by
    Nigeria, his crusade for justice must start with a petition to the
    International Crime Commission for post-humus prosecution of Ojukwu for beating
    the war drum for his personal ego.

    • Lanre

      Thank you, Abidemi. I guess we Yorubas have no choice. The Igbos are everywhere today holding top governmental positions (that are not political) and yet we Yorubas are still the problem. What a terrible cross to bear just because you are in the same country with hateful bigots. In your own little way, make sure you tell the story of Chief Awolowo and make sure we do our part to build and develop Yorubaland. More to come.

    • AtomLike

      You are making a great mistake that Nigerians have a common Goal of staying together. Who did you ask. Or do you mean the goal of the colonial Master? Or the greed of other ethnic groups to exploit each other?
      Infact, Anyone negotiating for secession in this Nigeria is doing the right thing because only few ethnic groups can tolerate one another. You see it in Headlines of every news paper. What is happening now is the proof that he who fought for One Nigeria did the wrong thing and he who fought for secession had the foresight as a leader and his ideas would have liberated all Nigerians. Today all the seceeded states of Yogoslavia are doing better because the ethnic groups have taken their life into their hands etc..

    • http://www.facebook.com/balka.nigeria Balka Nigeria

      Love truth or hate it, Biafras spill their sweat and blood to unite and build a great ‘country’ out of British terrorist state’s carefully planned evil of forcefully mixing apple, pears, oranges, grapes etc,. Biafras stood for stood all the way for justice and peace for all, but that does not stop those wising to wipe them off. But nemesis has been settling all those that murdered that justice and peace, for they have and will never know either of them.
      Now continue enjoying your murderous British made ‘one Nigeria’, no doubt it will continue to consume all those that continue to sing that song of evil death!
      The souls of innocent Biafras will continue to strike back at those spitting on their unmarked graves!

  • Eddy

    What a travesty in creative interpretation! My piece was
    short and to the point, but for some reason, you have managed to read from it
    what you wanted as opposed to want was clearly meant. For the records, the killing
    of Igbo peoples in the North pre-dates the any coup and the civil war.

    The first such documented mass killing was that of 1945,
    when the Northerners set upon the Biafrans in Jos.100s were massacred and their
    properties worth millions were looted, but the British Authorities did not bat
    an eyelash. The next pogrom took place in Kano in 1953. This was marked by an
    even grater intensity of violence. By some account 100s may have been killed.
    This time the British Authorities investigated. Their report “produced
    incontestable evidence of intention, deliberation and organisation on the part
    of the Northern Nigerian authorities.”

    For the May, July and September 1966 massacres, an
    international commission of jurists found a prema facie evidence of genocide – The
    worst pogrom in all of Africa up to that time!

    Please do not pretend as if we are singing from the same hymn
    book. It insults my intelligence and the memory of the dead.

    • Mohammed

      eddy,
      so what follow all these logically including your recent post? The civil war was preceded by a series of killings-of Nigerians of DIFFERENT NATIONAL GROUPS even when Igbo historiography( a -la- eddy and Chief Biafra propagandist Chinua Achebe) will select the ones that suit their unfortunate, mischievous and immoral propaganda (and therefore questionable on the point of truth and accuracy) goals. That is what the posts before us allow us to deduce. eddy WHAT IS NOT GOOD IS NOT GOOD. THE DAY IGBO HISTORIOGRAPHY BEGINS TO FACTOR THE TOTALITY OF THINGS AND RESPECT FOR OTHER NATIONAL GROUPS INTO THEIR HISTORIOGRAPHY THAT IS THE DAY ALL THESE WILL END. That is what other National Groups do in their civic relationships to others. They may not be perfect about it, but they still struggle, they do not make any suggestion at an supremacist idea, hence they are more successful in relating to other groups. I know it is difficult. But try to be civil, respectful and truthful to ALL lives. But mark you DO NOT get me wrong , you have a right to be EXCLUSIVE and defend ONLY IGBO lives. At a private level, there may not be anything wrong with that even when it has serious ethical problem about FACTS and HISTORY. So you and Achebe the chief Igbo creative tribalist writer have that right. But know that this is a MODERN market square of ideas, A CITY of ideas (not a clan square where things can be hidden, and said only in the bedrooms of clan members) where EVERYTHING IS IN THE OPEN. At least that is what the social media you and I are using now have shown. We cannot hide ANYTHING for it is NOT a CLAN MEDIA. So? what follows this? You and Achebe, and other Igbos can “creatively” TALK ONLY about Igbo lives,(you have the right to do that) BUT EACH TIME YOU DO THAT WE NIGERIANS IN THE MODERN MARKET OF IDEAS, THE CITY OF IDEAS WILL ASK ABOUT OTHER LIVES JUST SO THAT THE TRUTH AND FACTS OF HISTORY WILL BE COMPLETE. No one life is qualitatively different than the other. And you CANNOT put more value on one life over the other in a modern society. This is what chief tribalist and chief Biafra propagandist Chinua Achebe has done. This is what you are doing. It is an immoral take on history. You insult Nigerians when you do that. Stop it eddy. That is my advice to you. You are free to reject it, but STOP it. It does NOT smell good.

      • Eddy

        You accuse me of being disrespectful, jet you took my
        original post and put a totally invalid spin on it. Please tell me, what is the
        cause of this angst against the Ndigbo that you so clearly represent? My
        sources are United Nations documents, accounts of survivors and impartial bye standers.
        Indeed, the British in their report on the massacre on Ndigbo in 1953 suggested
        that there was something driving this antiparty against us which needed
        exploring. Instead of extreme vituperation and incendiary innuendos, what in my
        reply was wrong? I would never aim to misrepresent anyone, but at the same
        time, I find it frustrating to be at the receiving end.

        • Mohammed

          Ndigbo eddy, what is being said is simple. when people do their creative writing-Chinua Achebe’s memoir-they should not “creatively” destroy by being selective. It is called selective amnesia. It is NOT GOOD. They may choose to, but such act of “creative” destruction which Achebe has done by manipulating facts as a propagandist does has put to question basic academic and scholarly tradition. And I am telling you that this continues because of a sense of self delusion of some of us where others do NOT matter except self. Let me give you a few examples:
          a. Those who are inclusive and let others live in their environment, that exudes a w a civic life that welcomes all, that are respectful of other cultures, and peoples hence “others” thrive in their environment are called DOCILE.
          b. Those who allow others do their business in their environment are called DULL, DIRTY, STUPID FOOLISH, IDIOTS, NOT SMART people with arid desert land, with unproductive land, mere desert. Yet we all go there to thrive and make money. And they do not talk. They only say make your living while you respect us.
          Now a and b above build bridges, they are not supremacist in their views, they do NOT look down on others. But just because of all these they are DOCILE, DULL, STUPID, NOT SMART. See what I mean eddy. Look no one in his right mind will celebrate what WE ALL WERE CULPABLE of -i.e the Nigerian Civil war. But how dare you and someone like Chinua Achebe suddenly develop an amnesia and become selective in picking the FACTS and interpreting them. ? How dare you? What kind of audacity is that? Because people keep quiet or what? You DO NOT want to accept that Ojukwu and Achebe and others in the inner Biafra circle are equally guilty of the deaths in the Civil war when they refused the suggestion to send in food by road? How DARE you close your eyes and minds to that and you expect that Nigerians will not raise it? This is the point eddy. It is that failure to be respectful of others that is the foundation of the false and questionable audacity that makes you fail to even introspect and accept basic facts. Thank God Chinua Achebe himself pointed that out as “Igbo hubris”-i.e Igbo character. Please introspect and let us all solve this challenge on truthful footing rather than waste peoples time by failing to introspect and accept the contributions of your leaders to the deaths. That is the elementary point Mr eddy.

          • Eddy

            I wish I could find some common ground with you, but you
            have conspired to make it quite difficult. Achebe is a scholar of the best
            order. Along with Soyinka, he has established the now respected Nigerian
            literary tradition. As a young scholar in Europe, discussing their literary
            exploits gave me much pride, enjoyment and hope for the future. I am completely
            sure that Achebe does not need me to defend him. Indeed is in a way asking
            Nigerians to find a way forward that does not involve clandestine killing of
            the innocents even as they worship and praise he living God.

            If you accept the fact that Nigeria is a country, and it is,
            you cannot then go on to prescribe where people should live and where they do
            their business, as it is legitimate. Indeed, it is understood in all civilized
            countries that citizens are allowed to lead their lives without harassment.
            This is why there are national and local laws to govern the relationship
            between people. Any one found to have
            broken the rules should be taken to court and sanctioned accordingly.

            After many massacres in the North, the logical conclusion
            was that other constituent parts of the union did not want Ndigbo to belong any
            more. For this reason, Ojukwu was right to try and protect his people and go it
            alone.

            The fact the others took an exception to this means that the
            civil war was fought, and we back in this uneasy marriage with all the old prejudices
            lurking just under the surface.

            Today, the old methods are still being employed against the
            Ibos as ordinary shopkeepers are hunted down and murdered with alarming frequency.
            This is now being done by the clandestine army of the Northern elite – Boko Haram.
            Tell me what has really changed.

  • AtomLike

    The cable was not the original. We want the copy of Original. Not rewritten computer copy. We know the Character of a Typwiter and that of modern Computer character.

  • Alligator

    Hell there Mr. Moderator, it will be nice if your writers, or your editors proof read all your articles before posting them. Most of them are difficult to read because of the inconsistencies in the grammar. This usually kill a good story. Do not get defensive, just FIX the problem. Thank you.

  • Bobby

    I think that people misunderstand the point of Achebe’s book. These are his memoirs and the story is told true his eyes. The intention I believe is to remind Nigerians of why we went to war, the atrocities of war and hopefully we all learned lessons from it. Unfortunately, the idiots that make up Nigerian politics have taken this and ran… Somehow trying to suggest that Achebe is a war monger meanwhile we have senators in the Nigerian Upper House habouring suspected terrorists and yet they are still walking scott free. The hand writing is on the wall. The morons in power seek to ignore it or are blinded by the false sense of security that their stolen wealth buys them.
    The situation in Nigeria is dire, porvety is rife, intolerance (tribal and religious) is on the rise. The same issues that existed in the early sixties that led to the war exists today. Nigerians are unemployed in their millions, many young able bodied men have been forced to scrounge to make a living while the government of the day squanders the wealth of the nation. Sooner or later or later something would give. Lets hope it doesn’t give into another full scale war. To be fore warned is to be forearmed.

  • Ezeike

    Poisoned food is not charity to a starving war victim, Ojukwu did the right thing by rejecting poison food by Awolowo and Fg they planned to introduce from Lagos via Federal Government corridor, also use it as invasion plan against Biafrans. If Federal Government love the biafran people so much why bomb uli air strip that was a part way for relief material from outside world?, why target relief flights that brought in food and medicine and bomb them?
    Why use 20 pounds policy after the war against the Igbos?
    Why declare abandon property against the Igbos?
    Why retrench Biafran army officers after the war?
    Are all these the handy work of Ojukwu?

  • kc

    Same sentiments that caused the war. I strongly urge u to renege from such inflammatory comments. I read through the facts & figures you presented. There was also the strong arguement which by the way I agree with, that certain actions of the Biafran leadership helped fuel genocide. However ur conclusions were appalling. I’ve gone thru Achebe’s book. No doubt he was an active participant in the Biafran government. Those were ‘his’ war memoires. He spoke of his people. He also admitted Ojukwu made mistakes. He also attributed some to personal rivalry between Ojukwu & Gowon. His work indicted Awo. We know that. It should open up intellectual public debate on reasonable ways to avert & or prosecute wars. The role of UN & OAU as unbiassed umpires & value for life. This talk of ‘useless’ Ibos or Yorubas or Hausas make us miss the point. I believe history must be re-visited & lessons learnt. I also believe that lessons learnt can be applied in other situations but tribal sentiments do not allow us to learn lessons.