Awolowo/Achebe controversy: Ndigbo sues for peace

ABIC Books published Chinua Achebe's "The University and the Leadership Factor in Nigerian Politics", an interesting 26-page monograph published in 2006

The group calls for unity instead of criticisms

The ongoing heated reactions to renowned writer, Chinua Achebe’s new book, ‘There Was A Country,’ are “unnecessary,” according to an Igbo group, Ndigbo Lagos.

In the book, Achebe had chronicled his personal experience during the 1967 – 70 Nigeria civil war, in which an estimated three million people, mostly of his Igbo extraction, lost their lives.

The renowned professor had blamed the late Yoruba leader, Obafemi Awolowo, as the unseen hand behind those deaths, sparking an outrage as well as a backlash from the people of the South West.

“The issue of what roles all actors on both side played during the events leading to the unfortunate civil war and the prosecution of the war itself have for a long time been in the public space,” the statement, signed by Chuma Igwe, the group’s Publicity Secretary, noted

Mr. Igwe stated that the late sage’s response in 1983 to a similar issue, which was published in one of the national dailies, last week, should end the matter.

“At this point in time the Southeast, South-south and Southwest are in consultations working together for a better Nigeria to ensure that such a situation does not arise again,” he said.

“Ndigbo Lagos believes that the commendable quality of interpersonal relationship between Ndigbo and the Yoruba Nation should be sustained and translated into mutually beneficial political, social and cultural relationship for the progress of our country,” he added.

The statement also noted such areas as the ongoing agitation for an additional one state by the South East; the “serious” infrastructure deficit in the region; as well as the clamour for an Igbo president needs an “unequivocal support” from the South West.

“We should focus on how the two nations and indeed the entire South can cooperate to enthrone fairness, equity and justice in the Nigerian polity,” Mr. Igwe added. “That is the legacy we should aim at, moving forward.”

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