Chinua Achebe, Africa and the Peril of Monologue (Part 2) By Tunji Ariyomo

Tunji Ariyomo
Tunji Ariyomo

In the first part of this essay, I examined how what I called monologue has become a powerful weapon and instrument for conveniently disguising or altering historical narratives and how it has been extensively used in Africa especially by despots and their lieutenants as well as hundreds of African tribes and ethnic nationalities with the goal of altering historical perspective. I also indicated that one of African’s iconic writers, Prof. Chinua Achebe, generously employed this in his retelling of the Biafran account in his memoir “There was a country”.

On Page 51 of the 333-page book, Achebe wrote that “The original ideal of one Nigeria was pressed by the leaders and intellectuals from the Eastern Region. With all their shortcomings, they had this idea to build the country as one. The first to object were the Northerners led by the Sardauna, who were followed closely by the Awolowo clique that had created the Action Group. The Northern Peoples Congress of the Sardaunians was supposed to be a national party, yet it refused to change its name from Northern to Nigerian Peoples Congress, even for the sake of appearances. It refused right up to the end of the civilian regime.”

What Achebe penned partly violently disagrees with what actually happened thus reinforcing the assertion that he was merely deploying the power of monologue as part of a convenient history retell in loyal service to his tribe. Herbert Samuel Macaulay from Isale Eko (part of Western Region of Nigeria) and the grandson of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther (originally from Osogun in present Oyo State), it was who crystallized events in his days that fermented into concepts and ideals that later energized other future nationalists that an independent and united Nigerian state was feasible. He actually led the first pan-Nigerian struggles favouring Nigerians being in charge of governance, which later culminated into the struggle for the independence of a united Nigeria. Twice the British jailed him as a direct result of his activities, which placed him in confrontation with the colonial power at that time. Before Macaulay, Nigerians’ aspirations were mostly along ethnic and tribal lines. Macaulay took his initiative beyond mere ideals by forming the first political party in Nigeria in 1923, the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP), which was recognized by the Clifford Constitution of 1922. By the time Azikiwe was born in Zungeru in 1904, Herbert Macaulay was already 40 years and 2 days old while his legendary exploits against the British was already well established. It can be comfortably said that Macaulay inspired the likes of Nnamdi Azikiwe (who would later play very critical role) and other nationalists at that time. This is what agrees with history.

James S. Coleman, in his scholarly work published in 1958 titled “Nigeria: Background to Nationalism” acknowledged the pioneer role of Macaulay and that he was the dominant personality and the bane of the British indirect rule. According to Coleman, Nigerians regarded Macaulay as a great nationalist crusader and the father of Nigerian nationalism at that time. Some of those interviewed by Coleman for his work were Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello. If Azikiwe did not dispute the superior and preeminence of this Yoruba man in the nationalistic struggles for Nigeria in his days, how would Achebe’s 2012 A.D narrative, which presented the contrary pass credibility test? Achebe was not born until 7 years after Macaulay had formed the first national political party that laid the foundation for future self-rule. So effective was Macaulay that he was the bête noire of the British’s indirect rule. They disliked him so much for his role that they happened upon him jail convictions to arrest his strides.

By his statement, Achebe overlooked the roles of nationalists like Dr. J. C Vaughan (Yoruba), Ayo Williams (Yoruba) and Ernest Ikoli (Ijaw) who inaugurated the Union of Young Nigerians with the goal of galvanizing the interest of Nigerian youths in national affairs in 1923 and later sought to take the quest beyond Macaulay and Dr. John Ran Randle or the role of people like Dr. C. C. Adeniyi-Jones or that of Ladipo Solanke from Abeokuta who founded what would later be known as the West African Students’ Union (WASU) in 1924 which until 1945 remained the principal social and political centre for galvanizing Nigerian students in the United Kingdom (all identified in Coleman’s work) towards national awakening and a possible Nigerian nationhood.

Having extensively addressed the role of chronology and pre-eminence that showed that other Nigerian regions were involved and could even be said to be ahead in championing the ideals for an independent Nigeria, the role of Nnamdi Azikiwe was equally central, critical and it is not the intention of this writer to play down his significance. Azikiwe was to later join and serve under the aging Macaulay when they formed the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons (NCNC) in 1944. The explanation provided inter alia was meant to present the facts of history in their undiluted form in order for Nigerians to be able to situate them in context and side by side with the Achebe 2012 narratives.

Other facts of history that will pass credibility test and which would directly dispute Achebe’s claims are the roles of other nationalists like the late Anthony Enahoro (from the then Western region) who successfully moved the historic first motion for the independence of one united Nigeria as part of the Action Group (AG) agenda in parliament in February 1953. The AG leader was another personality from the Western Region named Obafemi Awolowo. After Enahoro succeeded in moving the motion and it was tabled for debate in parliament, Northern delegates in the Federal House of Representatives rejected the 1956 date and moved an amendment that would lead to independence for Nigeria when applicable (i.e., without a date). Thus AG’s motion was defeated by majority vote of northern members (Whiteman, 2011) under the leadership of Ahmadu Bello because they were opposed to self-rule at the time. This bold historic action by a party led by Western Region rising stars was not in vain as it cemented their place in history as frontline leaders of the quest for independence and succeeded, as noted by Whiteman (2011), in pressurizing “the British into political advance, and shook the north into accepting a faster pace towards independence”. It must be quickly added that the NCNC founded by Macaulay which was then under the leadership of Azikiwe, following the former’s death, was wholly involved and actively supported the effort of the Western Region-led quest for independence and joined the Action Group in staging a walk-out in protest of the action of northern delegates. These are facts of history relating to the roles of leaders of the various regions and not a tale.

Another part of Achebe’s memoir where he employed what I have described as monologue is his account of the role of Obafemi Awolowo in the prosecution of the civil war. This is contained on Page 233 of the Achebe’s memoir. Using a combination of carefully constructed suggestio falsi with embellished hearsays, Achebe challenged history and attempted to substitute his opinion as a fact. This is the portion that panders most to ethnic solidarity and that has now cemented Achebe’s place as a champion of the Igbo cause since it resonates with millions of young Igbos. Dwight Eisenhower said that “the search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions” ― just hang unto it the entire fault! Of course “excuses changes nothing, it would only but make everyone feel better” – Mason Cooley.

It must be stated that within the context of that time and now, the idea that Awolowo would seek to exterminate the Igbos as a way to secure political advancement is most incongruous. The Northern part of Nigeria had a majority advantage politically. This was still a relevant fact in 1967 and it is still a relevant political fact in 2012. Exterminating the Igbos would only turn the South West into a minority region as the North would then be an absolute majority.

On the direct allegation of starvation, the fact of history shows that as federal commissioner of finance, following the lingering war and the state of finances of the nation, Awolowo visited the warfront only to discover that the food meant for the war-ravaged Eastern region never got to the Igbo people. He saw many starving children and women while it was discovered that Biafran soldiers seized the food meant for the people. As Awolowo re-stated in 1983 in Abeokuta, this led to the decision of the federal government to prevent airlifting of food to Biafran soldiers – opting instead for supplies through land in manners that would enable the Red Cross coordinate delivery of food to civilians while enabling the federal government to be sure that what would be delivered were indeed food and medicine and not arms. Up till that time, Biafran forces, for which Achebe then served as a roving ambassador, orchestrated the most infernal and villainous wartime crime that saw the soldiers diverting aid food supplied by the International Red Cross from the target civilian population to rebel fighters thereby starving to death the civilian population.

This is the account corroborated by active participants on the Biafran side such as Ambassador Ralph Uwechue who facilitated French support for Biafra and Robert S. Goldstein, who served as Public Relations Representative of Biafra in the United States. The discovery of this crime in fact was chiefly responsible for Goldstein’s angry resignation. Earlier, Goldstein was principally responsible for petitioning the US State Department, which resulted in more food, medicine and milk being sent to the “only available ports open for immediate shipment to ‘Biafra’ via land routes through Federal and Biafra territory, under the auspices of world organizations such as the International Red Cross among others”. His annoyance resulted from Ojukwu’s rejection of these food items and his insistence that food could only be “acceptable until there was a complete ceasefire, and that an airlift was the only solution to feed the starving”. Tagging it an inconceivable act, Goldstein further stated that “It is inconceivable to me that you (Ojukwu) would stop the feeding of thousands of your countrymen (under auspices of world organizations such as the International Red Cross, World Council of Churches and many more) via a land corridor which is the only practical way to bring in food to help at this time. It is inconceivable to me that men of good faith would try to twist world opinion in such a manner as to deceive people into believing that the starvation and hunger that is consuming ‘Biafra’ is a plot of Britain, Nigeria and others to commit genocide.)” – From Goldstein’s letter of resignation, published in the Morning Post, Lagos, August 17, 1968.

It must be noted that as history clearly recorded the facts of those horrific years, before the invented Awolowo’s anti-Igbo policy as expressed by Achebe in his memoir, Biafran children and women were already starving to death. A non-monologue narrative would acknowledge who was responsible for that. This is the clear difference between the position of Ambassador Ralph Uwechue and Prof. Chinua Achebe. Such questions as raised by Achebe in his memoir which he claimed would be debated for generations on the security reasons behind Ojukwu’s rejection of Nigeria’s federal government’s proposal for a road corridor had been eternally settled by Goldstein. The federal government would not be responsible for the handling of food meant for the Biafran territory. The International Red Cross and the World Council of Churches already took up that responsibility! This erased the possibility of food being poisoned by the federal government. Hence, the real motive for the rejection of the road corridor proposal was because Ojukwu needed the starving children as primary driver of world sympathy as documented by Goldstein in his resignation letter.

On the allegation that Awolowo deliberately devised a diabolical plan to reduce the numbers of his enemies, Achebe was only hammering home a conclusion based upon the shuffled premises he has established.

To further examine the issues in the context of that time, it is good to briefly touch the rivalries that culminated in possible enmity. In terms of political power, the Northern Region under Ahmadu Bello and ably supported by Azikiwe was the dominant obstacle to Awolowo’s legitimate quest for the leadership of Nigeria. Awolowo had brought to the scene a vivacious political energy and unprecedented organizational capacity that was premised upon a philosophy that made proper education of each member of the voting public a prerequisite to nation building and the abiding need for would be leaders to convince the voting masses rather than defaulting to feudalistic hegemony that commanded followership as a matter of hereditary right or social status. Because of his belief in a united Nigeria, he actively made forays into several other regions in search of potential believers in his political ideology. Awolowo even made frantic overtures to Azikiwe so that both could form the first government in 1960. Azikiwe rejected the opportunity and that marked the descent of the new nation into an abyss it has found difficult to recover from. Granted that the NCNC led by Azikiwe at the time ultimately colluded with the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) to sponsor division in the Western Region, it was first and foremost a schism orchestrated by the NPC. Facts of Nigerian history confirmed that Azikiwe-led NCNC teamed up with the NPC under Ahmadu Bello to undermine Awolowo’s leadership in the Western Region and eventually had Awolowo jailed. That was the first blood.

Interestingly, as Achebe launched his anti-Awolowo attacks, he was full of praise for his kinsman, Nigeria’s first ceremonial President, Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe, who he described as the father of African independence. “The father of African independence was Nnamdi Azikiwe” (page 41) “There is no question at all about that. Azikiwe, fondly referred to by his admirers as “Zik,” was the preeminent political figure of my youth and a man who was endowed with the political pan-Africanist vision”. This effusive praise was showered by Achebe upon Azikiwe despite the latter being on record as having been part and parcel of the federal government’s apparatus that worked to undermine Achebe’s Biafran dream at the time.

Achebe’s thought on Chief Obafemi Awolowo evident concealed hatred and envy. He was willing to deploy his powerful prose in sidestepping historical facts if only to posthumously indict Awolowo and rubbish his reputation hence his readiness to cast him out of context. Get it right. Achebe is an iconic writer. He like all others who witnessed the horror of the war has the right to express their opinion on the civil war. As an elder statesman however, who has had the opportunity of years behind him to reflect on facts of that era and the various revelations by the dramatis personae as well as the mighty significance of stories to the emergence and progression of human dynamics, neighborliness and unity, his expression of his opinion would be expected to be guided by the facts of that history in order not to lend his powerful voice to the propagation of untruths that could further stoke enmity and prepare ground for future pogroms.

Despite the recast of Awolowo as desiring to cause his Yoruba people to dominate the Igbos, as attempted by Achebe, after the war, Awolowo’s Yoruba people ensured that the properties of the Igbos in the South West region never remained abandoned properties. The policies they put in place in Lagos ensured that even if the government were to seize such properties as a punitive measure against leading members of the rebellion, government would fail. Ojukwu himself later exploited this in claiming his father’s estate in Lagos when the successor government tried to take those properties. Other states like Rivers frustrated the Igbos. Today, the Yoruba Region of Nigeria remains one of the safest places for the Igbos, rivaled only perhaps by the South East Region while it does appear that the Igbos and the Yorubas intermarry more than they do with their brothers and sisters from the Northern part of the country.

It is logical to look back and imagine what the fatality of that war could have been had Awolowo not intervene by ensuring that enemy soldiers were not being fed at the expense of the starving folks of the Eastern Region. It is also important to note that Ojukwu, the supreme figure of the Biafran resistance gave Awolowo that unique epithet after the latter’s death ‘The greatest President Nigeria never had” as well as acknowledging him as “one of the most principled leaders he had ever met”. I postulated as a teenager that the reason Ojukwu did that was his guilt from missing a unique opportunity to partner with a forthright and honest Nigerian – a foe without malice – who if he told you it was one o clock, you would never need to check your watch.

The iconic poet, Odia Ofeimun, in a television interview confirmed one thing my father told me, whenever a man takes Awolowo on, if you conduct an independent research, you are most likely to discover that Awolowo was right and that man in the wrong. If our icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe had put Awolowo’s contribution into context and his memoir devoid of envy and tribal solidarity – the part that deals with the person of Awolowo and the Yoruba people would have read differently. Storytelling or tale bearing is easy because the writer is only limited by the extent of his own imagination. Writing histories is however difficult because of the need to keep within the facts of time.

Tunji Ariyomo

E-mail: oariyomo@nd-i.org; Phone: +447532127503

  • iretiidajo

    Tunji, may the Almighty God who we all believe is infinite in his mercies bless you abundantly and eternally. Why? The reason is simple: You did not write this. You may think you did, but you did not. I say this because you were inspired and guided by truth and facts. When we are insired by God and truth, we surrender, we are no longer who we are, we become vessels in the hand of the SOURCE OR TRUTH, and that is God. Unknown to you, and in spite of you, independent of you, you were a mere vessel who God has used to literally “vomit” Facts and Truth on this matter. I am old and aging, but my grand children call me back each time to read these things. They do this to me all the time since Mr. Achebe published his book because after they read it, they found something out of sync with reason and fact, and they started calling me and looking for answers. They do this because I trained their parents to read, read and read and read, and they have passed this tradition on to my grandchildren. So they will call since this thing Achebe wrote came out. I remember what Awolowo said when he was alive for he was a mystic. When he was alive he talked about forgiveness. Like all mystics, he was systematic in his talk. I am going to paraphrase him Tunji for I am getting old. Nigerians who have the exact words and who can help should please supply Awo’s exact words. He, Awolowo said … There are two or three reasons we should forgive. First as a christian, second as humans, third for reasons of health. The mixture of the mystical, human nature and science(health) is the foundation of Awolowo’s notion of forgiveness. Based on this premise, Awolowo concludes that we as humans as humans have the moral duty to forgive. Based on the logic of his moral narrative on forgiveness, Awolowo believes that, that moral duty is inherent in us as humans. Based on his own secular views on forgiveness, and based on the fact that I know that Awolowo is a consistent mystic, I am persuaded that Awolowo from heaven will forgive Achebe on earth. He will. Awolowo will.
    I also recall what Awolowo said in the same context. I will paraphrase. … it is often said that I am too frank… but that is the nature of truth and absolute devotion to duty and humanity, for when others are busy at dead of the deep mid night chasing bodies of easier virtues, I Awolowo , I am at my duty post, worshipping at the door of truth and reason, busy and trying to solve the problems of Nigeria….after this night study and when I am out, I am shovel ready to solve human problems…I call on others to do same…”(not his exact words) Is it by accident that a British Prime Minister said if there is any Afircan that can govern Britain or any western country successfully, that person in Awolowo? Given that governance in the western world is driven consistently by RATIONALITY and NOT ethnicity or tribalism, is the claim of the British Prime Minister not a testimony to Awolowo’s worship at the doorstep of reason and rationality, and that Awolowo’s theory and practice of governance in Nigerian and Africa at large is driven by rational arguments just the way you find them in western societies? Is this British Prime Minister Yoruba? Tunji, again may you be eternally blessed by your act of “surrender” to God in his CALL to make you the vessel for the telling of these truths. FACTS AND TRUTH ARE SACRED AND DIVINE BUT OPINIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS ARE FREE. Awolowo, the moral avatar WILL FORGIVE.

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      senility at work. Wilson an ally of the federal side praised his ally, awolowo and you are showing that as a testimonial. Where is your brain?

      • NAGODI

        THE ONLY FACTS YOU BRING TO THE ARGUMENT IS “SENILITY” AND “BRAINLESS” WONT DO MUCH TO CONVINCE OTHERS THAT YOU HAVE A POINT.

  • iretiidajo

    Tunji,
    May the Almighty God who we all believe is infinite in his mercies
    bless you abundantly and eternally. Why? The reason is simple: You did
    not write this. You may think you did, but you did not. I say this
    because you were inspired and guided by truth and facts. When we are
    inspired by God and truth, we surrender, we are no longer who we are, we
    become vessels in the hand of the SOURCE OF TRUTH, and that is God.
    Unknown to you, and in spite of you, and independent of you, you were a
    mere vessel who God has used to literally “vomit” Facts and Truth on
    this matter to the world. I am old and aging, but my grand children call me back each
    time to read these things. They do this to me all the time since Mr.
    Achebe published his book because after they read it, they found
    something out of sync with reason and fact, and they started calling me
    and looking for answers. They do this because I trained their parents
    to read, read and read and read, and they have passed this tradition on
    to my grandchildren. So they will call since this thing Achebe wrote
    came out. I remember what Awolowo said when he was alive for he was a
    mystic. When he was alive he talked about forgiveness. Like all
    mystics, he was systematic in his talk. I am going to paraphrase him
    Tunji for I am getting old. Nigerians who have the exact words and who
    can help should please supply Awo’s exact words. He, Awolowo said …
    There are two or three reasons we should forgive. First as a christian,
    second as humans, third for reasons of health. The mixture of the
    mystical, human nature and science(health) is the foundation of
    Awolowo’s notion of forgiveness. Based on this premise, Awolowo
    concludes that we as humans as humans have the moral duty to forgive.
    Based on the logic of his moral narrative on forgiveness, Awolowo
    believes that, that moral duty is inherent in us as humans. Based on his
    own secular views on forgiveness, and based on the fact that I know
    that Awolowo is a consistent mystic, I am persuaded that Awolowo from
    heaven will forgive Achebe on earth. He will. Awolowo will.
    I also recall what Awolowo said in the same context. I will paraphrase. … it
    is often said that I am too frank… but that is the nature of truth
    and absolute devotion to duty and humanity, for when others are busy at
    dead of the deep mid night chasing bodies of easier virtues, I Awolowo ,
    I am at my duty post, worshiping at the door of truth and reason,
    busy and trying to solve the problems of Nigeria….after this night
    study and when I am out in the morning, I am shovel ready to solve human problems…I
    call on others to do same…”(not his exact words) Is it by accident
    that a British Prime Minister said if there is any Afircan that can
    govern Britain or any western country successfully, that person in
    Awolowo? Given that governance in the western world is driven
    consistently by RATIONALITY and NOT ethnicity or tribalism, is the claim
    of the British Prime Minister not a testimony to Awolowo’s worship at
    the doorstep of reason and rationality, and that Awolowo’s theory and
    practice of governance in Nigerian and Africa at large is driven by
    rational arguments just the way you find them in western societies? Is
    this British Prime Minister Yoruba? Tunji, again may you be eternally
    blessed by your act of “surrender” to God in his CALL to make you the
    vessel for the telling of these truths. FACTS AND TRUTH ARE SACRED AND
    DIVINE BUT OPINIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS ARE FREE. Awolowo, the moral
    avatar WILL FORGIVE.

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      all this rant to show wilson said something nice about Awolowo. You are ignorant that Britain supported the Federal side? Dont you think he has a reason to salute his ally? Some of you here are brainless.

      • james

        Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa, and you are so angry, you cannot dispute the facts, such that the only thing you can say is to use the word ‘brainless” on your fellow human beings and fellow Nigerians? Nna, dis your behavior don tire me.I think what will help this matter is that we should appeal to FACTS. I am not sure that calling your fellow humans “brainless” is helpful and productive. It seems that you are so annoyed that Achebe’s book cannot stand the test of historical credibility and scrutiny IN THE FACE OF FACTS, and you are so dazed by the FACTS, the only thing you can do is abuse. You see nobody is saying that Achebe does not translate Igbo well and excellently into English in his stories, but such act of story writing and tale telling is NOT HISTORY which requires more rigor, more research, more discipline, and more depth. History writing and story telling are two different disciplines. Even when it is not scholarly the right thing to do, while a story teller like Chinua Achebe can take liberty with FACTS, a HISTORIAN DARES NOT DO THAT. If a historian does that he has undermined the very basis of scholarship and his profession. This is the reason serious scholars are genuinely intellectually alarmed at the liberty Chinua Achebe took with facts. And people are intellectually alarmed because they genuinely felt that Achebe would be more faithful to FACTS. But taking liberty with FACTS has called that to question. And as Achebe was one of the secret chief Biafra propagandists abroad where he still lives, people now know why Achebe did what he did. This is the only way people can resolve the seeming contradiction between the previous status people gave Achebe and his new low he allows his tribalism to sink him into. And this contradiction is being resolved everyday by just presenting the FACTS. And the ONLY thing you Mpitikwelu_na_UGwu_Awusa alias KenMani can do is to use the word brainless on your fellow humans. Na wa o KenMani! Dis ting tire man.

        • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

          Tunji invited excoriation by accusing Achebe of inventing Awolowo’s anti-Igbo policy when the facts actually is to the contrary. Awolowo, himself never pretended about his role in the genocidal starvation policy through out the war. He repeatedly argued that starvation is a legitimate weapon of war.It took Awolowo, another 13 years after the civil war to downplay his role by claiming it was actually Ojukwu’s fault. Do you know why? Because he was seeking Igbo votes. Do you actually believe a politician canvassing for votes? Achebe merely restated what Awolowo was boasting to the world media through out the war.

          • james

            Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa,

            For you to use the word “brainless” in a conversation is not ‘excoriation” , it shows your own understanding of civility and culture, and perhaps language, and that is understandable for there is a history of you that all we all know.

          • NAGODI

            BIAFRA HAS BORDERS WITH CAMEROUNS, WHY ARE THE IBOS NOT ACCUSING CAMEROUN OF STARVATION? ALL THIS SMACKS OF A BLAME GAME. THE GERMANS LOST THE WAR AND SHUT UP BUT THE IBOS ARE BLAMING EVERYBODY ELSE BUT THEIR CHIEF PLANNER. WHAT DO WE CALL OJUKWU IF HIS WAR PLAN DEPENDS SOLELY ON YORUBAS SECEEDING? OR THAT HIS FOOD POLICY IS SOLELY RELIANT ON FOOD FROM HIS ENEMY IN THE NIGERIAN SIDE? NO OTHER NAME BUT A MAN WITH NO PLANS OR ANY KNOWLEDGE OF MILITARY STRATEGY.

  • http://www.facebook.com/agbeloba.bolarinwa Agbeloba Bolarinwa

    Simply educative & well researched. Kudos bros.

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      U have been miseducated son.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/WNX4DYLS2IUYYDUEGYWTDE76WM ogbonna

      nice to hear allthses chaps

      • Mohammed

        as they help us show the FALSEHOOD in “Professor” Achebe’s book!!!

  • Yemi

    Thank you so much. The truth is easy to SEE! Where in Nigeria are Igbos most at home? Are Yorubas as much at home in the South East as igbos are in the South West? Where are they most accomodated and loved in Nigeria in spite of their shortcomings? It’s sad when respectable aged men promote division while the youth are struggling to build bridges of love and mutual understanding across culture.

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      You are ignorantly peddling the notion that Awolowo represents every yoruba man. Do we say that every Benin man is a robber because Lawrence Anini was one. Please learn to distinguish issue. Awolowo was a bad man but that doesnt mean all yorubas are like him.

      • segun

        Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa, I think you missed Yemi’s implied point. The implied point in Yemi’s post is that Chinua Achebe said in print that Awolowo (i) saw the Igbos as obstacles , (ii) because of this he Awolowo organized the killings of Igbo in the interest of Yorubas so that his (Awolowo’s) Yoruba people could take the “place’ of those (Igbos) who he Awolowo saw as obstacles. That is the point Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa. So Yemi is implying that if Yorubaland welcomes the Igbos(who Achebe’s historiography has constructed as “obstacles” (these are Achebe’s unfortunate words) in Awolowo’s hands), how can Awolowo and the same Yoruba people welcome their “obstacles”? We are being very civil here, so we will take it very politely and gently with our language. This is why people are saying that something simply does not work here in Achebe’s unfortunate historiography, a variant which someone (it is shocking hearing that she allowed herself to write without premising her writing on FACTS as they are.) like Dr. Iweala, the minister for finance has bought into. So? Achebe’s historiography, and the way some have hurriedly embraced it has made a lot of people to be more introspective about peoples and events, and what people say. For me the question I will ask anyone on any issue no matter how “high” she or he may be presumably placed is: why should I believe you after all these? It is called introspection.
        Thank you.

        • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

          Again, Achebe was questioning Awolowo’s role in the civil war and NOT YORUBA role. Can we really say that all Germans are guilty of Hitler’s crimes against humanity?

          • segun

            In academic and scholarly circles ALL sources become reference points in a conversation on a theme. Dr. Iweala and Tijan M. Sallah published a book titled “Achebe : Teacher of Light” in 2003. The book made questionable allegation about Awolowo’s role in the war. The premise of the allegation was a spin. Okay? Dr. Iweala has a Phd. So she knows that when an issue arises ALL sources become legitimate reference point and that interpretation of an event MUST be based in FACT. Your job is to go and read the book if you have not read if you want to be part of an intelligible conversation. It is not my job to help you. You are free to read any meaning to my reference. But the point? When Iweala’s reference to and claim about Awolowo’s role in the civil war is not premised on FACT, or is based on a spin or an abbreviation of the event scholarly criterion demands that such claim must be questioned. It is more so in a situation where we all went out to campaign public opinion in her favor in her World Bank quest. When we did that we did not have ANY deep seated feeling against anyone. Since it seems you have challenges understanding what what people write, let me break it down for you in ELEMENTARY TERMS. During our campaigns for her then we saw a Nigerian, we did NOT see an Igbo. Given her foray to history and what she wrote in her book on an issue she needs to support with FACT, I am no longer sure how she sees herself. But on our part, we supported her genuinely and innocently NOT knowing that some people have deep seated feelings against other Nigerians which they hold privately and which burst. Achebe just betrayed his. Iweala did the same in her book with Tijan M. Sallah. You need to read before you talk Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa. Important issues are being revealed about ALL of us, and about ALL events.

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            Only in Nigeria is it hate to say a criminal is a criminal. Tijan M. sallah is also Igbo. You need to be rescued from yourself.

          • segun

            Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa,

            Can yu see your logic? Because a non-Igbo LIED against Awolowo, therefore it is right? So your reason is (i) a Non-Igbo said so. (ii) Conclusion it must be true!!! hmmm Na wa o. Second “logic” So when in nIgeria , Nigerians said that Achebe and Iweala LIED , it must be that Nigerians “hate” Igbo!!! Nna I am only calling your attention to your own “logic”. Can yu see that? let us baby.

          • NAGODI

            WELL SEGUN Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa, IS A CLASSIC CASE OF A THOUGHT STOPPER. HE MAKES WITTY NON-LOGICAL STATEMENTS THAT SERVE AS A THROW-BACK ON PEOPLE PRESENTING FACTS AND FIGURES. BUT HE DOES NOT EVEN PRETEND TO DO ANY RESEARCH OR BACK UP HIS COMMENTS WITH ANY FACT. HE HAS NO FACTS NO KNOWLEDGE NO SENSE, LITTLE WONDER HE SEES EVERYBODY AS BRAINLESS.

          • Eric

            And just what are you in this disputation? Background noise?

          • segun

            Nna mpitikwelu_na_Awusa,
            It is possible you did not “see” the letter of Mr. Goldstein one of the former foreign Chief Biafra propagandists who resigned from a $400,000(then in 1967) job becaise of the murderous, cannibalistic, criminal, masochistic, sadistic and suicidal acts of Ojukwu and Chinua Achebe as members of the Biafra inner governing structure. Please READ.
            “It is inconceivable to me that you (Ojukwu) would stop the feeding of
            thousands of your countrymen (under auspices of world organizations such
            as the International Red Cross, World Council of Churches and many
            more) via a land corridor which is the only practical way to bring in
            food to help at this time. It is inconceivable to me that men of good
            faith would try to twist world opinion in such a manner as to deceive
            people into believing that the starvation and hunger that is consuming
            ‘Biafra’ is a plot of Britain, Nigeria and others to commit genocide.)” –
            From Goldstein’s letter of resignation, published in the Morning Post,
            Lagos, August 17, 1968.
            Now with this letter what do you think of Chinua Achebe who must be known to Mr. Goldstein, and who must also know Mr. Goldstein for the two among others were supposed to coordinate the Biafra LIES(propaganda) in the western world including America. Can you see why we cannot believe “Professor” Chinua Achebe? But that is not the issue. The issue is given this letter, it means like Sadam Hussein used HIS OWN people(women and children) as human shields by throwing them in the arms way during the Iraq war, Ojukwu and Achebe DID EXACTLY the same. So what should we call Ojukwu and Chinua Achebe? Gentlemen? No my broda, GIVEN WHAT MR. GOLDSTEIN HAS WRITTEN IN THIS LETTER AND BEFORE OUR VERY EYES OJUKWU AND CHINUA ACHEBE are :
            1. Criminals.
            2. Guilty of ethnic suicide for putting THEIR OWN PEOPLE in the arms way.
            3. Masochistic-they love inflicting pain on their own Igbo people.
            4. Sadistic-they saw that their own people were dying, they could prevent, they did not -rather Chinua Achebe continued to carry on with Biafra propaganda abroad using the deaths he and Ojukwu caused as instruments of propaganda.
            5. Murderous-the committed mass murder.
            Now let me tell you. General Gowon has said he is ready for any investigation and public trial. In view of Mr. Goldstein’s letter let Chinua Achebe come out and tell us he is ready for trial too. That Letter CONDEMNS FOREVER CHINUA ACHEBE as a CRIMINAL who deliberately mass murdered HIS OWN PEOPLE for petty gains. In view of Mr. Goldstein letter, no wonder Achebe quickly wrote a stupid book in order to cover his track. Achebe and Ojukwu are criminals of the worst masochistic order-WHY? EVIDENCE? Mr. Goldstein’s letter-FULL STOP!

  • Mike-Ebojielu

    mr tunji ariyomo let me join sane fellas in thanking u for laying this prof. achebe’s accusation to rest with factual information. i just read d part 1. In d name of Jesus Christ, I beg u to get get this published in book format. not for today but for future prosperity. it is compusory that future generations to be educated. I’m from old Bendel part of origianal midwestern region and western region. we know d truth. our people suffered during biafra war becos we were d first ojukwu attcked. nobody remembers to give account of the thousands of our people that was killed by igbo soldiers.

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      Please which part of Bendel state did Ojukwu attack? Please educate us. since you mentioned Jesus. I beg you on christian honour, mention the town(s)

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      “In some areas outside the East… Ibos were
      killed by local people with at least the acquiescence of the federal
      forces… 1000 Ibo civilians perished in Benin in this way” (New York
      Review, 21 December 1967)

      “Federal troops… killed, or stood by while
      mobs killed, more than 5000 Ibos in Wari, Sapele, Agbor…” (New York
      Times, 10th January, 1968)

      • NAGODI

        ITS CALLED WAR.AND WHOEVER FIRED THE FIRST SHOT DESERVES WHAT COMES TO HIM.

        • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

          Well spoken like a true Fulani. Anyone still wonders why the bombing of churches will not stop? SADISM IS A FULBE IDEOLOGY.

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    This hair cut dodger can not resist show casing his tribalist credentials. Just a few replies.
    1. Anthony Enahoro was a Benin Chief and not a yoruba man as you deliberately sought to deceive your readers that he was.

    2. You claimed the starvation policy was caused by soldiers diverting food meant for civilians. How many tonnes of food could soldiers possibly finish given the tonnes of food that rotted in Sao Tome and Principes because of Awolowo’s cruelty?

    3. You claimed that road was the only guarantee that food will not be diverted by Biafran soldiers. How credible does that sounds to you? Who will monitor the food distribution inside Biafra? Is it not same Biafran troops that will secure Red cross and Church officials? How could an educated man like you believe a politician canvassing for Igbo voter in 1983? Do you not think he has an interest to invest lies to deceive some voters? Of course tribal emotions have overcome your intellect.

    4. Are you really serious when you counted Ajayi Crowther as part of Independence movement? May be we should also mention Jaja of Opobo. You are impossible.

    5. Is it not a fact of history that Awolowo initially opposed a united Nigeria in 1953 until he was threatened by colonial authorities. Zik on the other hand lived and breathed one Nigeria even when Ahmadu Bello was scared of a union with educationally advanced South. Why are you jealous of Zik, the only independence leader in Africa who never wielded executive power after independence? That alone made him a hero.

    6. Achebe has no reason to envy Awolowo. we do not envy wicked people. I have not yet seen a street named after Awolowo in the east unlike Balewa,Macaulay, Ahmadu bello etc

  • Dare Adewole

    Mr Tunji, this one will annoy conc igbos o! this is what u call polite disgreeent. why it will be painful is d attention 2 dates here. great contribution my man. very great.

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      The only painful thing about dates here is that he chose the dates that helps his tribal narrative. Tunji deliberately avoided the confessions of Awolowo, that the starvation was a deliberate policy. Tunji knows the date Awolowo made those confession but he chose to ignore it.There is nothing great about tribal slant.

      • NAGODI

        STARVATION IS A LEGITIMATE WEAPON OF WAR, NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AND THE GERMANS WERE STARVED IN THE ICY SLOPES OF RUSSIA BY THE RED ARMY. THE PURPOSE OF ALL MILITARY STRATEGY OF LOGISTIC PLANNING AND DISRUPTION IS TO ESTABLISH OR DISRUPT SUPPLY LINES. THE TWO ITEMS EVERY GENERAL WILL WANT TO SUPPLY HIS FORCES AND DENY HIS ENEMY IS FOOD AND WEAPONS IN THAT ORDER. NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN CONVICTED OF STARVATION OF CIVILIANS IN WAR FOR THE SIMPLE FACT THAT THERE IS NO WAY TO ESTABLISH THAT FOOD MENT FOR CIVILIANS WILL NOT BE USED TO FEED THE MILITARY. AT THE END OF IT ALL IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BIAFRAN GENERALS TO ESTABLISH AND PROTECT SUPPLY LINES, THEY WILL NOT GET THE COOPERATION OF THEIR ENEMIES ON THE NIGERIAN SIDE NEITHER SHOULD THEY COUNT ON IT.

        • Eddy

          I know that
          you are having fun seeing the Igbos and the Yorubas slug it out here. However,
          you could at least try to be logical and compare like with like. The Russian
          army did no starve any Germans civilians in the scenario you are referring to.
          These were German soldiers in Russia fighting an expansionist war. If there was
          any blockade, it was to stop them from being resupplied. Please don’t just
          write for the sake of it. Try and make a contribution.

        • FacingFacts

          NOW THAT YOU ARE DONE JUSTIFYING STARVATION CAN YOU MOVE UNTO JUSTIFYING THE ASABA MASSACRES AND OTHER RECORDS OF ETHNIC CLEANSING?

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    “… 650 refugee camps… contained about 700,000
    haggard bundles of human flotsam waiting hopelessly for a meal, outside
    the camps… was the reminder of an estimated four and a half to five
    million displaced persons… the Kwasiokor scourge… a million and half
    children… suffer(ed) from it during January; that put the forecast
    death toll at another 300,000 children… More than the pogroms of 1966,
    more than the war casualties, more than the terror bombings, it was the
    experience of watching helplessly their children waste away and die
    that gave birth to… a deep and unrelenting loathing… It is a feeling
    that will one day reap a bitter harvest unless… ” (Frederick Forsyth,
    Umuahia, Biafra January 1969)

    • Abiodun

      I am happy that KenMani/Afam/Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa , has/have shown who they are on this platform. That is fine. Is part of the contributions to democracy we are all struggling to build. Now Messers KenMani/Afam/Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa I have the following questions. Just answer them as best as you can.

      1. Do you know Mr. Ralph Uwechue? If yes, have you read his account of the civil war and deaths? If yes, what did he say about it. Mr. Tunji Ariyomo referred to Mr. Uwechue’s account. Mr. Odia Ofeimum have referred to it. So do you know him and his account? If yes, what do you think? Here, it is more about FACTS. This is why I am asking you.

      2. Do you know Mr. Goldstein? Mr. Tunji Ariyomo referred to him here. Mr. Odia Ofeimum als referred to him in his Guardian essay. Do you know Mr. Goldstein? Can you kindly (without abuse please) tell us why he resigned the job the Biafra inner governing structure gave him?

      Look, if you do not know or have answers to these questions, it is legitimate and valid to say “oh I do not know.” But do not abuse please, it is not good. But if you know, kindly tell us what you know (about Mr. Uwechue and his account and Mr. Goldstein and why he resigned from a a $400,000 job Biafra gave him) especially with regard to the issue of hunger and death during the war, and how these happened.

      3. The final question is (really I do not want to ask this but it is getting to a stage where questions no matter how painful have to be asked): Do you know Dr. Tony Nwaezeigwe? He has a contribution on this issue in the Nigerian Punch of October 12, 2012. Can you kindly read this and inform us what you think.

      Thank you so much KenMani/Afam/Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa. I expect to read from you on these questions.

      • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

        really, Mr Abiodun? Ok, let me descend to your level. Do you know Wole Soyinka and his account about the Genocidal Civil war? Do you know Frederick Forsyth, a foremost British author, and his account of the genocide?

        You really believe there are no Igbo man or Biafran who disgreed with Ojukwu’s conduct of the war?
        If you any fact to support the hair cut dodger please state so.

        • Abiodun

          Messers Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa/KenMani/Afam, I will answer your questions.
          1. Wole Soyinka, yes I know Wole Soyinka. Like Obafemi Awolowo did, Wole Soyinka met with Odumegwu Ojukwu to persuade him against the war and to seek a third way out. Wole Soyinka is also aware of the massive deaths and how Biafra murdered Col Victor Banjo and others who were part of Biafra at that time. Soyinka acknowledged the massive deaths like every sane person does. But the question always is the responsibility of Fed Govt and Biafra in this. That is the question Mr.
          2. Yes I know Frederick Forsyth. Beside the fact that I was close to the some pof the cities that bordered the war, I also read Forsyth books on the war. Incidentally, during the war and because it was war, a lot of propaganda went on upon which stories were based. You know that there is a difference between FACT and propaganda, and that in wars propaganda is always part of the weapon. Propaganda are spins. Biafra deployed it very well because the Biafra governing structure partly prepared for the war at that level of propaganda. And that propaganda worked so well. Let me give you one. A lot of stories have been written on what transpired at the meeting between Ojukwu and Awolowo on the eve of the war. After the meeting, Ojukwu’s Biafra radio spinned the meeting. Everybody believed the Biafra radio. You see this was an unfortunate war, and everyone party was running massive propaganda to capture minds. Now wait a minute, Biafra radio’s propaganda of what transpired between Ojukwu and Awolowo DID NOT RHYME WITH THE ACTUAL TRANSCRIPT OF THAT MEETING! THAT TRANSCRIPT EXIST. Mr. Odia Ofeimum pointed to this FACTUALLY. Even Dr. Iweala our coordinating Minister for economy recently based her joint account of what transpired on Biafra radio propaganda of the meeting. SHE NEVER REFER TO A FACTUAL TRANSCRIPT of the meeting. And here is someone we all respect and wished well for when she was campaigning for the world bank position. We did not know that people sit with a subconscious that is problematic. Anyway, So Mr. Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa/KenMani/Afam, I know Forsyth. I know his account. I am just wondering why Mr. Forsyth did not talk about Mr. Goldstein? We also have records of Mr. Forsyth’s job on behalf of Biafra then. It is on record, we will talk about all these in documented and factual fashion beyond this platform. So, will anyone deny there was massive deaths? No. No sane person has done that. But the question is: how did it happen? What was the PROCESS? What roles did parties(including Biafra-Achebe/Ojukwu and others) play and why? Given that Achebe was the chief propagandist of Biafra, do you think he will ever factually report Mr. Goldstein? This is because if Achebe factually reports Mr. Goldstein, Achebe will have to be tried not only for genocide but for ethnic suicide for Achebe is Igbo who deliberately contributed to the massive deaths of his own Igbo people. Unknown to you, this is the sub-conscious thing Achebe is running away from. But he cannot run for he ahs to explain Mr. Goldstein. And the simple question is: why did Achebe NOT report Mr. Goldstein. These are painful things and events.
          So Mr. Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa/KenMani/Afam, you do not need to answer my questions anymore. I am fine with your “answers”. You have answered them by dodging and failing to answer them.

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            Please try and be coherent and keep to facts in dispute.

            1. I am not Kenmani or Afam. Believe me If I am any of these I will be so happy to say so.

            2. The Enugu transcript refer to a pre war issue and is not part of the genocide argument raised by Tunji. In any case, I have no reason to believe an account by Awolowo’s personal secretary, Odia Ofeimun. Do you know why? A Personal secretary is someone who writes what his master instructed.

            3. If you actually read Amb Uwechue, a very brilliant diplomat, you will see that he did not spare Awolowo but at the same time, he was smart enough to realize that the war was proceeding into a mass suicide and was right to call on Ojukwu to end the war and bring the suffering to an end, given the conspiracy against the Igbos. Circa Goldstein. On hindsight both men were right, Igbos were heading to mass suicide, no thanks to Awolowo’s genocidal policy.

            4. If you want to talk about murder, we can also talk about Isaac Adaka Boro, who died mysteriously on Federal side.

            5. Back to actual issue in dispute. Awolowo through out the war was bragging about his ‘brilliant’ starvation policy. At no time during the war did he claim it was Biafrans’ fault. If he wanted to, he could have said so during the war. Do you know why? Because the starvation policy resonated so well among the jihad element in the north. His acolytes including Anthony Enahoro joined him:

            “…it (mass starvation) is a legitimate aspect of
            war…” Anthony Enahoro, Nigerian Commissioner for Information at a
            press conference in (New York, July 1968)

            Allison Ayida:
            “Starvation is a legitimate weapon of war, and
            we have every intention of using it against the rebels…” (Alison
            Ayida, Head of Nigerian Delegation, Niamey Peace Talks, Republic of
            Niger, July 1968)

            6. THESE WORDS INDICTS AWOLOWO FOREVER:
            “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.” Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Nigerian Minister of
            Finance)

            It conclusively proved Awolowo intended to and In fact did starve Biafra into surrender. So why is Achebe been accused of merely repeating what Awolowo was not ashamed to brag about?

            7. It took Awolowo another 13 years to downplay his role by claiming, ‘its all Ojukwu’s fault’. And i understand that because he needed Igbo votes , as he was running for Presidency in 1983,when he recanted from his previous vile views.
            Very soon IBB will blame Abiola for June 12 annulment.

          • Abiodun

            Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa/KenMani/Afam, I just dey laugh my own jeje!!! I see say you dey struggle!!! And I can see that in your struggle you just did not “see” Mr. Goldstein’s name !!! KenMani bobo!!! Mr. Goldstein was one of the underground Biafra publicists in the west who resigned a $400,000 job Biafra gave him on moral grounds. Our intense digging has revealed Forsyth’s role. But we keep that to our chest. It is one thing after the other. It is becoming interesting So bobo Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa/KenMani/Afam, you no see Glodstein for wetin I say make you respond to? Na wa o my bobo!!! Talk now. Talk Goldstein. Talk wetin e do!!!

          • EASY

            If Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa is struggling, then what chance do you stand on a good day? He has shown your argument to be shallow and tribalistic a they always are.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ayodele-Oso/1136301757 Ayodele Oso

            And while Bifrans were being starved to death the Igbo elites were doing exactly what? Achebe for one admitted in ‘There was a Country’ that his children and those of rich Biafrans attended school during the war! In PG 193 of the book,Achebe wrote as follows: “it was during our sojourn in Oguta that Christie started to keep the children of our hosts and the Achebe children engaged in their studies…Despite the chaos and madness all around,some privileged children ,at least still went to school”
            Could hungry children be studying during the war? The elite of Biafra, didn’t passed through what the average Biafran passed through, otherwise they wouldn’t have argued on what mode, food should get to Biafra! Politics was played with the lives of the poor Biafran children-and the same set of elites can’t look within their souls for penance ,they must blame others.

          • http://www.facebook.com/agbeloba.bolarinwa Agbeloba Bolarinwa

            @Abiodun, well spoken. The only place in Naija where the Igbos are comfortable is Yorubaland.

        • Oladeji Akindele

          @Mpitikwelu, this man u should learn how to pass across message without abusing people. The writer said he is not writing for Dr. Achebe. u need to first read before calling people names. he said “Principally because there is a need to place the monologue side by side with alternative narratives for prosperity.” Let’s contribute as intelligent people.

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            His alternative narrative was worse than Achebe’s monologue. How dare he omits the jailing of Osita Agwuna, Mokwugo Okoye and others in Zikist movement of the 1940s? these Igbo men went to jail because they were demanding for Nigerian Independence.

          • segun

            yes you are right. but does that stop you from seeing that Herbert Macauly a Yoruba man handed the touch of independence struggle to Zik an Igbo man? Does that stop you from seeing that if there is a historical precedent to Zik, Achebe has the academic and intellectual mandate to mention it? does it stop you from seeing that Achebe suddenly developed an amnesia when it came to the historical precedents and antecedents of Nigerian independence just because those came from Yoruba land? Given the Achebe amnesia and historical lacuna when it comes to who is the starter of Nigerian independence struggle, you see why i said from now on we become introspective? I think we are gradually getting there Mr. Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa.

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            Has any one ever contested that Herbert macaulay founded NCNC? But even you know that the old man couldn’t have founded the NCNC alone.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ayodele-Oso/1136301757 Ayodele Oso

            The relevant point to note is that,Achebe’s claim that Igbos alone fought for our independence has been corrected by Mr Abayomi.

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    “One word now describes the policy of the Nigerian
    military government towards secessionist Biafra: genocide. It is ugly
    and extreme but it is the only word which fits Nigeria’s decision to
    stop the International Committee of the red Cross, and other relief
    agencies, from flying food to Biafra …” Washington Post (editorial)
    July 2, 1969

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    PLEASE LEAVE ACHEBE ALONE. THE GENOCIDE HAPPENED. LISTEN TO FOREIGN VOICES NOT A POLITICIAN CANVASSING FOR VOTES IN 1983.

    “The loss of life from starvation continues at
    more than 10,000 persons per day – over 1,000,000 lives in recent
    months. Without emergency measures now, the number will climb to 25,000
    per day within a month – and some 2,000,000 deaths by the end of the
    year. The new year will only bring greater disaster to a people caught
    in the passion of fratricidal war.” Senator Kennedy appeals to America’s
    Leaders for greater humanitarian aid to Nigeria – Biafra and efforts to
    end the civil war. Sunday, November 17, 1968

    “…it (mass
    starvation) is a legitimate aspect of war…” Anthony Enahoro, Nigerian
    Commissioner for Information at a press conference in (New York, July
    1968)

    “Starvation is a legitimate weapon of war, and we have
    every intention of using it against the rebels…” (Alison Ayida, Head
    of Nigerian Delegation, Niamey Peace Talks, Republic of Niger, July
    1968)

    “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.” Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Nigerian Minister of Finance)

    ” …the Ibos must be considerably reduced in number” (Lagos Policeman quoted in New York Review, 21 December, 1967)

    “I
    want to see no Red Cross, no Caritas, no World Council of Churches, no
    Pope, no missionary and no UN delegation. I want to prevent even one Ibo
    from having even one piece to eat before their capitulation. We shoot
    at everything that moves and when our troops march into the centre of
    Ibo territory, we shoot at everything even at things that do not move…
    ” ( Benjamin Adekunle. Commander, 3rd Marine Commando Division,
    Nigerian Army).

  • http://www.facebook.com/olayhinka Olatunde Olayinka

    @Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa •

    1. Let us say what happened 100 or 50 years ago is too long and we can forget and give diffrent account, but what of what is happening just now now? Mr Tunji Ariyomo’s well written piece never said Ajayi Crowther was anything other than the grandfather of herbert Maculay. Here you are twisting that now now.

    2. He never said you hate Awolowo, he suggested Achebe does.
    3. Leave achebe alone, he is not bothering Achebe, he said he is writing for posterity!
    Finally, why abuse people to make points? Can’t we be civil?

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      Achebe doesnt need to love awolowo. It should be a taboo to love that man. He is vile like Hitler. He confessed severally that ‘STARVATION IS A LEGITIMATE WEAPON OF WAR’. It took him a decade to climb down from such hate speech because he was running for president and needed Igbo votes. Did Tunji mention that in his ‘well written..’ tribal narrative? Tunji is feeding posterity with half truths, and I am been diplomatic.

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    “Until now efforts to relieve the Biafran people
    have been thwarted by the desire of the central government of Nigeria to
    pursue total and unconditional victory and by the fear of the Ibo
    people that surrender means wholesale atrocities and genocide. But
    genocide is what is taking place right now – and starvation is the grim
    reaper. This is not the time to stand on ceremony, or to go through
    channels or to observe the diplomatic niceties.. The destruction of an
    entire people is an immoral objective even in the most moral of wars. It
    can never be justified; it can never be condoned.” Mr. Richard Nixon,
    September 9, 1968 (During the Presidential Campaign).

    “The same UNICEF representative went on to
    convey something of what lay behind this intransigence: “Among the large
    majority hailing from that tribe (Yorubas) who are most vocal in
    inciting the complete extermination of the Ibos, I often heard remarks
    that all Nigeria’s ills will be cured once the Ibos have been removed
    …” Dr Conor Cruise O’Bien (21 December, 1967, New York Review).

    • NAGODI

      YEP! YOU SHOULD HAVE WON THE WAR AND YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN FREE TO COMMIT ATROCITIES OR HAVE MERCY AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION. ALWAYS REMEMBER THE NIGERIAN SIDE DID NOT START THE WAR. YOU STARTED IT AND WE ALL THOUGHT YOU WERE PREPARED FOR IT. WHEN WE CAME KNOCKING ON BIAFRA WE REALISED YOU DID NOT EVEN HAVE A FOOD PLAN! THIS WAS THE CAUSE OF THE STARVATION, THERE WAS NO FOOD IN BIAFRA. WE DID NOT BURN A SINGLE BARN OR DESTROY A SINGLE CROP, YOU JUST DONT HAVE THE FOOD ON THE GROUND.

      • FacingFacts

        READ THE HISTORY OF THE WAR TO KNOW WHO ACTUALLY STARTED IT. READ ABOUT NIGERIA’S PEACE AGREEMENT WITH THE EAST THAT WAS NOT RESPECTED. READ ABOUT NIGERIA’S PLAN TO DECLARE A STATE OF EMERGENCY IN THE EAST AND INVADE THE EAST ANYWAY.

        AND NIGERIA DID NOT ONLY KILL PEOPLE IN THE LANDS THEY CAPTURED. THEY KILLED CATTLE AND DESTROYED CROPS AS IMPLEMENTATION OF A SCORCHED-EARTH POLICY. GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT.

  • http://twitter.com/yomisteve Abayomi

    Eeyah,so the Igbos still want to leave Nigeria and form Biafra. I do not think we should restrain them from fulfilling the dreams of their forefathers.LET THE IGBOS FORM BIAFRA .The rest of the Country will decide what will become of it .I am sick of the Igbos ranting about this issue.

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      Nothing last forever. Apartheid eventually ended.

      • Eric

        Even his sickness will pass.

        • TellEm

          Yes, Nigeria will pass.

    • TellEm

      Err, wrong. The rest of the country cannot decide what would become of another sovereign state. But please do encourage your representative to support a referendum in the East so Biafra can secede. BIAFRAN WOULD LEAD AFRICA FORWARD.

  • http://www.facebook.com/agbeloba.bolarinwa Agbeloba Bolarinwa

    Who is this @Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa guy? You spoke trash man – trying 2 force ur incoherence view on other people. U even said Anthony Enahoro was not from d old Western Region! If ur boss Achebe can lie about history, y won’t u? Nonsense. Go & read proper history man.

  • limbo

    Well written! only that just as you single handedly accuse Achebe and all the African writers you call despots of employing the monologue tactics, you are guilty of the same! huh! this is definitely a monologue. Also full of envy, tribal and Awo solidarity. It is usually easier to remove the speck from other people’s eyes, the log in our own eyes is heavier.

    • Femi Adewunmi

      bcos many people don write no mean say u must 2 write ur own na! wetin d writer do y u dey accuse am? se Igbo peeps wan start another war ni?

  • igbiki

    This is monologue at its worst. Mr Tunji Ariyomo is wasting ink in his futlie attempt to turn history on its head.

    Mr Herbert Macauley being a yoruba, a nationalist and the father of modern Nigeria does not deduct from the fact that Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a narrow minded tribalist, who aided and abbeted war crimes..

    • Kehinde

      @Igbiki, u sabi lie bros. Oyah, clean your mouth. Achebe denied any tribe in involved in preeminence fight 4 independence. mr tunji exposed achebe as lying by mentioning d great Herbert Macauley the first man on Naija one naira note. abeg give the writer kudos 4 a job well done.

      • igbiki

        @Kehinde. Clean your ass and sit properly, you people should stop chasing the shadows and face the facts..

  • TellEm

    Another Yoruba-controlled Newspaper suffused with lies about the
    genocide and Awolowo’s part in it. No one ever admits to genocide except
    maybe they succeed and wipe out their enemies. According to

    Leonard Hall, of the Manchester Guardian:

    “It’s
    hard to prove genocide, if some Biafrans survive, then genocide hasn’t
    been committed. If no Biafrans survive, who will complain?”

  • Kehinde

    @Igbiki, u no sabi read english? d writer said Achebe used monologue and set out 2 correct so he had to reveal d truth with data. how do u call that monologue? u are igbo apologist.