The Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, has reacted to a claim by ex-military head of state, Yakubu Gowon, that late warlord, Odumegu Ojukwu caused the Biafra civil war.
IPOB asked Mr. Gowon to stop making “false” statements against the late warlord. The group accused Mr. Gowon of having the penchant of distorting history, especially as it concerned the civil war.
Mr. Gowon had recently in an interview with AIT Television said ”Ojukwu’s lies caused the civil war in the country between 1967 and 1970.”
He made the claim while giving insight into what happened at the Aburi Conference, in Ghana, convened to resolve the war.
He alleged that the civil war broke because Ojukwu went on television and gave his account of the Aburi Accord, which was at variance with what was agreed upon; thereby deceiving the people of Biafra to go to war against the Federal Government.
But IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Officer, Emma Powerful, described Mr. Gowon’s comment as “total falsehood from the mouth of a hater.”
“At the ripe old age of 83 and with the little window God has left open to him to repent and show remorse, Yakubu Gowon has chosen to continue to deceive himself with his bouquet of falsehood”, the statement partly read,
“It was the Labour Party government of Britain that cleverly convinced the Arewa North to put pressure on Gowon to feign illness, thereby making it difficult for him to tell the country what was agreed in Aburi because they were not comfortable with the agreement.
“Today, Gowon, whom we are led to believe is a prayerful Christian, has said he wasn’t able to speak when he returned from Aburi because he was ill. Question is: Was his information minister also ill? Were all government’s spokesmen in Lagos also down with illness at the same time that made it difficult for Lagos to make a pronouncement on Aburi Agreement several weeks after the meeting?”
The group said ”Mr. Gowon’s attempt to rewrite history would have worked had IPOB not been in existence.”
Also reacting to Gowon’s claims, a former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, maintained that late Ojukwu agreed to the terms reached at Aburi.
Describing Mr. Gowon’s remark as false, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain stressed that the former head of state reneged on the agreement upon his return to Nigeria from Ghana.
In a tweet on his Twitter handle, Mr. Fani-Kayode wrote: “Gen. Yakubu Gowon, an elder statesman said Ojukwu caused the civil war by lying about what transpired in Aburi. This is false. Ojukwu told no lie. Gowon agreed to all the terms in Aburi but when he got home, he reneged on the agreement. This is what led to the civil war.”
After over 50 years of the Nigerian Civil War, better known as the Biafra war, where thousands died, the Nnamdi Kanu – led IPOB is still asking for a Biafran state.