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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  • Enn

    Forget any support from the Southwest in your quest for your so-called Igbo presidency. You will not get it as your are ultra-tribalistic. Go to war again for your “Biafra”, but make sure you move to your sophisticated and very developed Southeast. Don’t ever shout Biafra in Lagos again, you cowards!

    • Jide

      An average Igbo man do not need Nigeria Presidency. Try to sample the opinion of Nigerians and ask them which tribe started tribal politics and are tribally blinded. They will tell you it is the Yoruba. Try and read the book first and then you can shout if you like instead of shouting like a motor-park tout.

  • Lanre

    Mr. Igwe you have spoken well. In this day and age of integration, multiculturalism, globalization and the internet it is so unbelievable the level a supposedly knowledgeable person would go to push an agenda. Education is supposed to enlighten. I guess for some they think literacy and education are the same. Obviously, Chinua Achebe and his intellectual supporters have just told us it is not.

    • Jide

      Mr. Lanre, so, it is wrong to say and write the truth? Just because Awolowo is involved? Try to read the book first and after then, I am sure you will apologize to Prof. Achebe

  • Anne Ijeoma Evans

    How many Nigerians commenting on this book have actually read it?

    • Nasir

      Anne Ijeoma Evans, Can you let us know the methodology you want to use to know this? That way we will help you with your question.
      Thank you

      • jide

        Mr Nasir, what is the methodology of reading a book? Or what do you understand in reading a book? You lazy fools that shout without even coming near a book you intend to criticize. That is why the country is in shambles. “I hear” intellectuals!