SV: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: THE HISTORY OF THE NIERIAN CIVIL WAR SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN OUR SCHOOLS

Dear Okechukwu Ukaga,


The subject under discussion is not whether General Yakubu Gowon declared no victor, no vanquished after the end of the civil war or not, but if the declaration had had desired effect or results. Kayode J. Fakinlede in his post of 3rd March 2017 had titled his topic : The History Of The Nigerian Civil War Should Be Taught In Our Schools. He motivated his request thus : No Victor, No Vanquished. This pronouncement, to me, is the greatest blunder of our civil war. I can almost say that it is at the bottom of the continued aspiration by a segment of our society for secession. Of course, one could not have blamed the government of young General Gowon. It was reasoned then that in declaring that neither side won or lost the war, everyone would have learned his lesson and our nation would be at peace forever more.

What we see now is a blatant misplacement of historical facts and grotesque caricatures being made of those whose intentions were noble. But more importantly, we are seeing agitations where none should have arisen and from the side that was vanquished in the war. The factual victors, having remained silent for so long are now being painted as carnivores and murderers etc.

On reading the above, Mr. Obi Nwakanma flared up in his response and claimed that the declaration of no victor, no vanquished by the Federal government was not an act of charity but as a result of behind the scene diplomatic negotiations at which the federal government was exposed to a gigantic and informed-able guerrilla army of Biafra. The fear of Biafra's guerrilla fighters of Mao Tse-Sung calibre forced the Federal government to enter no victor, no vanquished with Biafra that never surrendered to the federal army. He proceeded further to claim that after the Biafrans had accepted the negotiated settlement and disbanded their guerrilla fighters, the federal side reneged on the agreement and has since the end of the war marginalized the Igbo, mark you not Biafrans, and treated them as second class citizens of Nigeria. It is for this reason that younger generations of Igbo, not Biafrans, now want to return to the trenches to liberate them from the clutches of their Nigerian oppressors.


Kayode J. Fakinlede actually gave voice to what many of us from Western Nigeria think about the blame game that some of our brothers from South Eastern Nigeria have been peddling against the Yoruba ethnic group despite the fact that many of them risked their lives in defending and protecting their Igbo brothers and sisters during the terrible days of July 29 and August 1966. Although, there were some high ranking Yoruba officers in the army at the time of the second coup, the number of Yoruba infantry men were negligible. The gun carriers were mainly from the Middle Belt and mostly from TIV land. The scenes of military operations on July 29, 1966, were Lagos, Abeokuta and Ibadan.


Beginning at Ibadan, Middle-belters constituted 95% of the 4th Battalion infantry situated there. Their Commander, Lt. Colonel Arbogo Largema, was killed in the January 15, 1966 coup. After the coup, Ironsi appointed Major Macaulay Nzefilli  to take the Command of the 4th Battalion, but the infantry men refused to take order from him. They asked him about the where-about of Largema and why he, Nzefili an Igbo, was there to take over. The military officers that were killed in the first coup were never made public by Ironsi. In order to calm the nerves of the aggrieved soldiers in Ibadan, Ironsi posted a Middle-belter, Major Joe Akahan to take over the command of the 4th Battalion from Nzefili. It was from the 4th Battalion, Ibadan that the then Captain Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma recruited sub-Lieutenant Jeremiah Useni and others to arrest Ironsi and Adekunle Fajuyi at the government state house, Ibadan, on July 29, 1966.  While the government lodge at Ibadan was surrounded, Ironsi sent Lieutenant Colonel Hillary Njoku, who accompanied him to Ibadan, to return to Ikeja 2nd Infantry Battalion and resume control of the Command. On his way out, Njoku was shot but he escaped wounded. Yoruba people of Ibadan took care of him until he was well enough for them to smuggle him out of Ibadan and guide him safely to the East. The 4th Battalion did not limit their actions to the Barracks, they went on rampage in the city of Ibadan hunting for persons of Igbo ethnic group to be killed. With bare hands, Ibadan people rose to defend and protect their Igbo brethren against marauding Middle-belt soldiers. Amadu Kurfi, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence at that time, confirmed in a book written by him that the then Military Governor of Western State, Francis Adekunle Fajuyi, had insisted that if they took his guest and GOC, they should take him too. Thus, Fajuyi voluntarily followed his General Officer Commanding the Nigerian Armed Forces, Johnson Thompson Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi, to death. Some Igbo revisionist has belittled Fajuyi's heroic stand which they termed suicide wish. At Abeokuta Garrison all available Igbo soldiers, especially officers, were killed and as usual the overzealous Middle-belt soldiers invaded civil communities to hunt down the Igbo but the Egba people heroically defended and protected their Igbo brethren bare-handed. 


In Lagos, the 2nd Infantry Battalion contained over 90% Middle-belter. After Ironsi had been adopted in Ibadan, the next high ranking officer in the Army hierarchy was Brigadier Babafemi Ogundipe and when he tried to take control over the Army in Lagos, a Middle Belt Sergeant told him that he would only take instruction from his Captain. Brigadier Ogundipe was shoved aside and so was Colonel Adeyinka Adebayo, which paved the way for Yakubu Gowon, a Middle-belter, to take over the reign of office as GOC of the Nigerian Army and Head of State. In Lagos and its suburbs, the Middle-belt soldiers rampaged outside the Barracks as they hunted for Igbo to kill. Many Yoruba lost their lives while protecting and defending their Igbo brethren's rights to life. Those of us who resisted gun-touting Middle-belt soldiers who invaded our homes in Lagos in search of Igbo to kill knew what pain we went through. At Enugu, Lieutenant Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, ran away to hide at the Police headquarters in Onitsha. The respected Lieutenant Colonel David Ogunewe, the Commander of the 1st Battalion, prostrated before his Northern dominated Battalion and begged them not to fight. And when it was finally agreed that soldiers should be repatriated to their region of origin, the Northern soldiers in the Enugu 1st Battalion insisted on leaving with their arms and weapons. Ojukwu did not return to Enugu until the middle of August 1966 after the Northern soldiers had left. The pogrom in the Northern Region against the Igbo in what the Northerners called revenge for the Northerners killed in the first coup began in May 1966, after Ironsi had promulgated Decree No. 34 which abolished federal system and replaced it with unitary government. Although, Yakubu Gowon took over in Lagos, he had no control over the troops in the North. At the same time, Ojukwu undermined Gowon's position by not accepting his leadership of the Army because as he put it, he was not the most senior officer after Ironsi. Regrettably, Igbo were massacred in thousands in the North between May 28, 1966 and 1st October 1966.


In the West and Lagos everything possible was done by the Yoruba to defend and protect their igbo brethren, especially civilian Igbo in their midst. Sadly, after the war, some Igbo began to churn out false stories about how Yoruba killed Igbo in their midst as from July 29, 1966. In spite of the fact that Chinua Achebe was helped by the Yoruba to escape arrest by the coup makers of 29 July 1966, he manufactured an anti Yoruba faction of his escape from Lagos.


A week before January 15, 1966 coup, Chinua Achebe had published a small book titled, A Man of the People. It was a fictional book on a hypothetical African country that was rottenly corrupt to the extent that, as Achebe concluded in the book, our young army officers overthrew the government. It was on account of this book and its conclusion, which coincided with the 15 January 1966 coup, that made the coup makers of 29 July 1966 to suspect that Achebe had foreknowledge of the January coup and as such they wanted to arrest him for questioning. Had Achebe fallen into the hands of the soldiers at that time, it would have meant only one thing, death. The Yoruba in Lagos protected Achebe and his family. His wife and children were smuggled out of Lagos by boat while he was being shifted from one place of abode to the other around Lagos, with the hope that tension in the country would subside and normal life would emerge. When it was clear that the crisis was not going to end soon, Chinua Achebe decided to return to the East and the Yoruba drove him in a zigzag route, from Lagos to avoid detection by his military traducers, to Benin. But in his book, There Was A Country, Achebe painted a very different picture of how he left Lagos. Hear him, "As many of us packed our belongings to return to the east some of the people we had lived with for years, some for decades jeered and said,'Let them (Igbo) go; food will be cheaper in Lagos.' ...//... There were more and more reports of massacres, and not only in the North, but also in the West and Lagos. People were hounded out of their homes, as we were in Lagos, and returned to the East (p.68)" He continued,"In any case, I set out on my own, wondering what would come up at any point. The highway was full of police roadblocks along the way. I was stopped once or twice and had to show my papers - what Nigerians call my 'particulars.' I was one of the last to flee Lagos. ...//... When I finally got to Benin City, which is located roughly halfway from Lagos to Igbo land in the Mid-West Region there was distinct atmospheric change. ...//... Crowds of policemen recognized me when I got to Benin City and cheered, saying, 'Oga, thank you,' and let me through to continue my journey without incident to Onitsha Bridge, and over the Niger River to the East (p. 70-71)." Achebe who was being searched for by the Army and the security police claimed that he was at a motor pack in Lagos to witness how people jeered at fleeing Igbo without being arrested. Thereafter, he decided to flee Lagos by sitting in his personal car, to drive from Lagos en-route East. On his way, he was stopped once or twice to show his driving license, vehicle ownership and road worthiness documents to non-Igbo policemen at the roadblocks. He, a wanted Igbo man was not arrested, harmed or killed in  a Yoruba territory where he claimed Igbo were being massacred by the Yoruba. At Benin City, the Policemen cheered him and said, "Oga thank you" and let him through to continue his journey to the East. It was plain that the Benin police did not direct their Oga thank you to Chinua Achebe, but to the Yoruba personality that escorted him to Benin after the Yoruba man had transmitted some pounds through a hand shake with bribe to them. A Nigerian policeman don't usually say Oga, thank you, if you don't give them something. Chinua Achebe took glory and honour out of the Yoruba who, out of being humane, took risk to whisk him and his family into safety during the terrible events that led to the Nigerian civil war. 


The traditional belief in Nigeria is that any official or public servant, whether elected, selected, appointed or employed is deemed to be representing and acting on behalf of his ethnic group. Although Awolowo was a Yoruba by tribe, his political, social and economic ideology was national. That was why he refused to serve in a national government led by a feudalist after December 1959 Federal elections. He was not only leader of the opposition in the Federal Parliament but his party, the Action Group produced the opposition party in the Northern and Eastern Regions' House of Assembly. By 1962, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa's led Federal Coalition government, overthrew the Action Group Government of Western Region and jailed Awolowo. After the coup of July 29, 1966, General Gowon pardoned and released Awolowo from prison through Government Notice No. 1507/1966. Awolowo came out of  prison to meet a destroyed people  and a chaotic Nigeria on the cliff to precipice. In his speech to the Western Leaders of Thought at Ibadan, 1st May 1967, Awlowo said among other things, "The Eastern Region must be encouraged to remain part of the Federation. If the Eastern Region is allowed by acts of omission or commission to secede from or opt out of Nigeria, then the Western Region and Lagos must also stay out of the Federation. ...//... We have neither military might nor the overwhelming advantage of numbers here in Western Nigeria and Lagos," he admitted. Awolowo's statement was obviously directed to the Federal Military Government led by Yakubu Gowon but some mischief makers among our Igbo brethren had touted Awolowo's speech as an agreement with Ojukwu that both East and West were to secede simultaneously, on which Awolowo later reneged. Since Awolowo is Yoruba, some Igbo historian blamed all the Yoruba for betrayal of what they thought Awolowo agreed with them to secede on behalf of the Yoruba people but did not fulfil. In fact, on 3rd May 1967, the Military Governor of Western Region, Colonel Adeyinka Adebayo, in a broadcast to the people said that his Western Region was not in collusion with the East to secede.


On May 5, 1967, Obafemi Awolowo led a delegation of what was called National Reconciliation and Peace Commission to Enugu to convince Ojukwu to give peace a chance. Ojukwu was said to have told Awolowo that their mission was a still-born. Achebe put it succinctly in his book, There Was a Country, thus, "many Igbo leaders referred to the visit disdainfully as the 'chop, chop, talk, talk commission (p. 88)." If there was an agreement between Awolowo and Ojukwu for a simultaneous secession of the West and East  at that meeting Ojukwu would have released it before his death. And how could Awolowo have entered such agreement when he was not the Military Governor of Western Region and he possessed no army of his own?


Obafemi Awolowo has been accused, by some Igbo falsifier of history, of advocating and employing starvation  as a weapon of war against (Biafra) the Igbo. A version of that accusation was presented by Achebe thus, "A statement credited to Chief Obafemi 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 (p. 233)." This statement was culled from Awolowo's interview in the Financial Times of 26 June 1969. It was not a policy statement but his reaction to the information that Biafran soldiers were hijacking food supplies sent to civilians in Biafra. Even if he were to say so, in which war has it ever happened that a beleaguered troop has been supplied food by the beleaguer-ant. Obviously, Awolowo was not saying civilians should be starved but soldiers. A year before that statement, Achebe recorded on page 211 of There Was a Country thus, "The diplomatic battles had reached a fever pitch by the middle of 1968. Gowon, under immense international pressure .... decided to open up land routes for a 'supervised transport' of relief. To the consternation of Gowon, Ojukwu opted out of land routes in favour of increased airlifts of food from São Tomé by international relief agencies." Geneva convention permits relief supplies to civilians in a war affected areas but signatories to Geneva Conventions are allowed to supervise the transport of such relief assistance to its destination. Nigeria was a signatory to the Geneva Conventions but Biafra was not. Thus, any airlift of relief supply by international agencies to Biafra must first land in Nigeria for inspection before flying further to Biafra. So, it was not Awolowo's statement in June 1969 that starved millions of Biafrans to death, but Ojukwu's rejection of food supply by land routes in June 1968 as testified to by Chinua Achebe. Had there not been no victor, no vanquish declaration after the war, Ojukwu would have been tried for war crimes. Amusingly, Obi Nwakanma's beloved authority on Nigerian forces inability to hold captured towns in Biafra, Colonel Robert Scott, wrote in the London Sunday Telegraph of 11 January 1970 thus, "It is perhaps ironic that this is the first time in the history of warfare that one beleaguer-ant has permitted outside agencies to succour its opponent." Biafrans in 1968 were effectively and actually beleaguered by the Nigerian Army.


Despite Ojukwu's rejection of offer of  foods to civilians in Biafra enclave by land routes, Gowon turned blind eyes to the illegal night flights into the Biafran enclave. At the same time the ground forces of, the 2nd infantry division led by Col. Murtala Mohammed and the 3rd Marine Commando led by Col. Benjamin Adekunle were prevented from marching into the Biafran enclave as strict orders were issued to them not to shoot at illegal planes flying into Biafra. But towards the end of May 1969, Von Rosen bombed Port Harcourt, Benin, Enugu and Ughelli Electric power station in Nigeria, with his MINICOIN planes. Von Rosen's bombing of Nigeria's positions woke Lagos up to action. By the 5th of June 1969,  a DC-7 plane marked Swedish Red Cross was heading towards Uli-Ihiala air strip in Biafra before the midnight. Captain Gbadamosi King of the Nigerian Air Force piloting his MIG 17 ordered the DC-7 plane, marked Swedish Red Cross to land either in Port Harcourt or Calabar for inspection but the Red Cross marked plane ignored Captain King's order. Captain King repeated his order several times but the Red Cross marked plane flew unperturbed. Thus, Captain Gbadamosi King fired at the Red Cross plane and brought it down near Eket. The  plane exploded and the wreckage was spread over a large area. The plane was exposed for not ferrying relief supplies but weapons. Consequently, on 14 June 1969, the Director of International Committee of Red Cross in Lagos, Dr. August Lindt, was declared persona non grata by the Federal Government, after admitting that the shot down plane carrying weapons belonged to the ICRC.


Telling a lie with cosmetic beauty, Obi Nwakanma said that the renewed demand by some Igbo youths is as a result of marginalization of the Igbo in the governing of Nigeria. In the first civilian regime after the military coup of 1966, Alex Ekwueme, an Igbo, became the Vice President in the NPN controlled Federal government. At the same time, Edwin Ume-Ezeoke was speaker of the House of Reps. When the military government of General Babangida surfaced in 1985, most of his civilian administrators and supporters were Igbo. His commissioner of Finance was Dr. Idika Kalu Idika. When Babangida scuttled the Presidential Election of June 1993, his backbone was Arthur Eze who obtained mid-night court injunctions against the election performed by the then Federal Electoral Commission headed by an Igbo, Professor Humphrey Nwosu. General Babangida was married to an Igbo woman, born Mary Ndidi Okogwu, who adopted the Muslim name Maryam after marriage with Babangida. The Ohanaeze Ndigbo honoured Babangida with the traditional title, Ogugua Ndigbo, in appreciation of what Babangida's regime did for the Igbo. In the sixteen years of PDP government (29 May 1999 to 29 May 2015) the only position an Igbo ethnic person never held is the Presidency. The Igbo has had five Senate Presidents, Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker, Minister of Defence, Chief of Army Staff, Director General of Immigration, Director General of Prison, Director General of Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, Central Bank Governor and Deputy Governor, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Ministers in key Ministries such as Power, Education, Petroleum, Health, Labour and Productivity, Aviation and Finance.  Up to May 29, 2015, the Minister of Finance was Igbo and all other Agencies related to the Ministry of Finance such as Director General- Budget Office, DG of PENCOM, DG of RFMAC, DG of SEC, CEO of NSE, DG of AMCON, Chairman of Sovereign Wealth Fund and Governor of Central Bank were headed by Igbo. In spite of the afore-listed key positions that were held, and in some cases are still being held, by persons of ethnic Igbo in Nigeria, perverted ethnic mandarins are still claiming that  Igbo people are marginalized in Nigeria. It is very sad to observe that Obi Nwakanma has chosen to have no respect and value for history simply because the facts of history are opposed to his wishes. He has been engaged in the destruction evidential facts of history by twisting facts and propounding unfounded lies and fallacies about the Nigerian civil war. Victims of past tragedies should be less gung-ho about future ones. The Biafran Major-General, Philip Effiong, who signed the surrender document that ended the civil war remarked thus, "Until the end of the war on 12 January 1970, the Biafran soldier fought an impossible war under conditions that were totally inhuman and uncalled for. It was the result of one man turning what was the people's will to fight a war of survival into a desperate and reckless attempt to achieve a personal ambition - even if it meant destroying the very people he purportedly was fighting to preserve (p. 237, Nigeria & Biafra: My Story by Philip Effiong)." At this stage of our development, I don't think the ethnic origin of any Nigerian office holder should be of concern to any normal and intelligent person but the capability of the official to produce what the office is designed for. I stand to be corrected by you if I am wrong.

S. Kadiri       

      


   




 




Från: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> för Okechukwu Ukaga <ukaga001@umn.edu>
Skickat: den 9 mars 2017 21:14
Till: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: THE HISTORY OF THE NIERIAN CIVIL WAR SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN OUR SCHOOLS
 
The most important fact is that the best authority on this matter, General Gowon himself concluded and declared that there is no victor and no vanquished. I don't see that any of the contributors to thread or others they are referencing are in a better position (than Gowon) to accurately assess and describe what happened. So enough of the spinning and gymnastics! 
OU 



On Mar 9, 2017 6:20 AM, "Rex Marinus" <rexmarinus@hotmail.com> wrote:


I post here a recording of Philip Effiong's statement in Dodan barracks, circa 1970. Pay particular attention that even both Col. Obasanjo and General Gowon bit their tongues - paused - to avoid the use of the word "surrender." It was "acceptance" and it was official. Philip Effiong himself fully reported as a General, and the Officer administering, "the government of the republic of Biafra."  And just out of curiosity, would somebody point out the difference? I do not know that there is any significant semantic or material difference  between " after removing the factors that has made reconciliation impossible" - my paraphrase of Philip Effiong's statement, and Salimonu Kadiri's full quote of Effiong's  "I am also convinced that the people are now disillusioned and those elements of the old government regime who have made negotiations and reconciliation impossible have voluntarily removed themselves from our midst ." It is typical of Kadiri to sweat small and irrelevant stuff, just simply to maintain a hard-headed recrudescence that offers nary a fresh insight.

Obi Nwakanma


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGSRa6KE_rg
This is the official surrender ceremony that ended the Nigeria-Biafra civil war. At Dodan Barracks the Nigerian head of State Major-General Yakubu Gowon shoo...




From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Salimonu Kadiri <ogunlakaiye@hotmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 10:29 PM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: SV: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: THE HISTORY OF THE NIERIAN CIVIL WAR SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN OUR SCHOOLS
 

Doctor Obi Nwakanma has doctored the history of the Nigerian civil war and has injected it with 419 virus with which he hopes to infect unsuspecting and gullible Nigerians. I identify his 419 history virus of the Nigerian civil war from his post below as follows : If you listen, for instance, to Philip Effiong's statement at Dodan barracks in 1970, there was not a single use of the word "surrender" in his speech. He said, "we are returning to Nigeria, after removing the factors that has made reconciliation impossible. We accept the current authority and structure of the federal government, and on the promise that we shall all be part of the move towards the transition to constitutional rule and a new constitution." Not a single word about surrender. Words to that effect. And he addressed himself in his full rank as Major-General - so was it asserted in writing by Dr. Obi Nwakanma.

Obi Nwakanma wrote as if to say he was present at Dodan barrack, on the 15th of January 1970, when Philip Effiong made the statement he, Obi, is attributing to him. Obi Nwakanma's pretence to being an eye witness at Dodan barracks when Philip Effiong declared (which Obi called a statement) the death of Biafra, is a 419 ploy aimed at gaining plausibility for his fraudulent history.


With inverted komas begin and closed, Obi Nwakanma gave false impression that he was quoting Philip Effiong verbatim. Thus, he credited Effiong with having said, "we are returning to Nigeria, after removing the factors that has made reconciliation impossible." Philip Effiong never made such a statement at Dodan barracks on the 15th of January 1970. Obi Nwakanma has doctored and distorted part of Philip Effiong's broadcast on Radio Biafra at 16:40:00 hours, on January 12, 1970, to the Biafrans. In paragraph 3 of the printed version of that broadcast, Effiong said, "I am also convinced that the people are now disillusioned and those elements of the old government regime who have made negotiations and reconciliation impossible have voluntarily removed themselves from our midst (p. 294-295, Nigeria & Biafra: My Story, by Philip Effiong). Philip Effiong has never at anytime between, January 11 and 15, 1970, said that 'we are returning to Nigeria after removing factors that has made reconciliation impossible' as asserted in writing by Dr. Obi Nwakanma. That, to me, is a historical fraud of the highest order.

Immediately after Philip Effiong's broadcast of 12 January 1970, Nigeria's Commander of the third marine division, Lt. Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo, issued operation order to all his Brigade Commanders thus, "Philip Effiong today issued what amounts to unconditional surrender. Tactical movement will continue until every inch of 'Biafra' is physically occupied and all rebel soldiers disarmed. Troops will not open fire unless they are fired at. No change from ops order on treatment of POW and refugees (p.123, My Command by Olusegun Obasanjo)."


Contrary to Dr. Obi Nwakanma's 419 history, the following was read and signed by Philip Effiong at Dodan barracks on 15 January 1970. I, Major General Philip Effiong, Officer Administering the Government of the Republic of Biafra, now wish to make the following declaration: (a) that we affirm we are loyal Nigerian citizens and accept the authority of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria. (b) that we accept the existing administrative and political structure of the Federation of Nigeria. (c) that any future constitutional arrangement will be worked out by representatives of the people of Nigeria. (d) that the Republic of Biafra hereby ceases to exist. I signed and dated the document "15th January 1970" Philip Effiong wrote on page 306 of his book, Nigeria and Biafra: My Story.

Dr. Obi Nwakanma is arguing that the word 'surrender' was not used by Philip Effiong in his declarations, which Obi called statement. However, Philip Effiong knew what he was at Dodan barracks to do. Thus, on page 303 of his book, Nigeria & Biafra: My Story, the sub-title therein is: SURRENDER INSTRUMENT. It was under that headline that he narrated what he signed at Dodan barracks. And if one may ask, what is the difference between SURRENDER AND THE REPUBLIC OF BIAFRA HEREBY CEASES TO EXIST? For a pettifoger and a 419 historian, half a dozen is not the same as six, and therefore that Biafra ceased to exist is not the same thing as Biafra surrendered.


Dr Obi Nwakanma referred to Banjo's treachery in the Midwest campaign but he failed to tell us what exactly constituted Banjo's treachery. After the invasion of the Midwest, two-pronged attack on Lagos was planned. Lt. Colonel Festus Akagha was to lead Biafra's second battalion through Benin, Ore, and  Ijebu-Ode to seize Lagos, while Biafra's third battalion led by Lt. Colonel Humphrey Iwuchukwu Chukwuka was to lead his troops through Sapele, Warri and advance along the coast to attack Lagos. Biafra's first battalion led by Lt. Colonel Mike Ivenso was to move through Owo, Akure and seize Ibadan. Beside those Battalion Commanders, Lt. Colonel Emmanuel Ifeajuna was together with Banjo in the Midwest. Symbolically, Banjo was the leader of Midwest invasion but the real commanders of the invading army were Biafrans (Igbo) and the fighting soldiers were all Igbo Biafrans. That Biafrans met their waterloo at Ore and other fronts in the West was not as a result of treachery by Banjo as being fraudulently touted by 419 historian.

S.Kadiri 


 




Från: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> för Rex Marinus <rexmarinus@hotmail.com>
Skickat: den 7 mars 2017 13:30
Till: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: THE HISTORY OF THE NIERIAN CIVIL WAR SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN OUR SCHOOLS
 

Mr. Fakinlede, maybe at this point, I should remind you to call me by my proper name: I am not "Mr. Marinus" - and I am not "Mr. Nwakanma" since I'm not a surgeon. I am Dr. Nwakanma, and I earned my plaudits, not honoris causa. If you prefer, it is simply "Obi Nwakanma" - and that too would be my preference. And I should let you know that part of the test of competence in the use of any language by which knowledge is transmitted is the test of "comprehension." I see, very clearly that you do not comprehend the thrust of my response on this Biafran question. One, I did not infer, suggest, or say that the Biafrans were "tricked" into anything. I said that the Federal authority's decision on the "no victor, no vanquished" declaration was not simply an act of charity, it was a "pragmatic" policy based on the reality of the situation, and the negotiations that had gone on leading to the end of the conflict. Agreements were reached and reneged. If you listen for instance, to Philip Effiong's statement at Dodan barracks in 1970, there was not a single use of the word "surrender" in his speech. He said, "we are returning to Nigeria, after removing the factors that has made reconciliation impossible. We accept the current authority and structure of the federal government, and on the premise that we shall all be part of the move towards the transition to constitutional rule and a new constitution." Not a single word about surrender. Words to that affect. And he addressed himself in his full rank as Major-General.


All the references I made regarding the Biafran soldier, and the possibility of a guerrilla war were not mine, but from neutral sources, including on the spot British intelligence field assessment. I do not know who would have won the war had the Biafrans chosen that option of guerrilla war, but clearly, and I did say this, the option for formal, conventional warfare had become untenable with the Federal Military advantages. Once Biafra began to fight a defensive war after Banjo's treachery in the Midwest campaign, it was only a matter of time for Biafra to be overwhelmed in a formal war. But had they been compelled to launch the guerrilla phase of the war, which had all the infrastructure already designed for it, the civil war may have led to different outcomes: Biafran sovereignty at the most, or a long drawn war that would expand beyond the Eastern frontiers to a Southern Nigerian frontier at the least. Urban warfare is far more complicated. Besides, as the British report indicated, the Federal Army was in no position to hold and secure captured fronts for a long period given the topography and advantage that the Biafrans were in their natural homes, and had proved with arms, to capture and recapture areas often held by the Federal forces. This is simply elementary tactical logic.  Finally, I did not say that Biafrans released war prisoners mainly because they were kind - but from pragmatic considerations: they could not carter for war prisoners. By the way, I did not say it. It was from a source that I quoted. It is left or you to verify it.


I think you're far too invested in the idea of a "vanquished" Igbo. That seems to give you some erection. But where were you during the war when 15 year old boys from the East volunteered as soldiers to fight for their freedom? Did you see combat or are you one of those who "saw the war" from the sidelines, but who speak with such pontificatory eloquence and certainty about war and the "vanquished" that you read about in newspapers? Those who did not fight speak of war, and many of us who actually lived through it, either as war babies or child soldiers, or combatants talk with the kind of experience of that war that will not be available to you because you read about war in newspapers. The Igbo were not "vanquished" in war. I don't know if you actually know the exact meaning of that word you use with such gusto. But step back a bit from your sick triumphalism, and look, and listen to words other than that only inside your head, Mr. Fakinlede. As a matter of fact, an old friend and mentor mine just died: Ben Obumselu was Biafra's official war historian and recorder. I am not sure you met him, but it'd have been illuminating for you to have had the privilege of insight that should have given you a far more nuanced sense of the history of the civil war rather than your black-and-white narrative of the "vanquished" Biafrans which you like so much to believe just to stiffen your third leg.

Obi Nwakanma





From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Kayode J. Fakinlede <jfakinlede@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 4:39 AM
To: USA Africa Dialogue Series
Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: THE HISTORY OF THE NIERIAN CIVIL WAR SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN OUR SCHOOLS
 

From Mr. Marinus’write-ups, I have garnered the following:

1.      The decalration of ‘No victor, no vanquished’made by Gowon to end the Nigerian civil war was made to save the federal side from certain defeat.

2.      The Biafrans did not lose the war. They stopped fighting because they were tricked into stopping by certain negotiations to which they and Nigeria agreed, only later for Nigeria to renege upon it after the Biafran side already wrote a letter of surrender. Let us not forget that they were tricked into secession in the first place by ‘Ali Baba’Awolowo. It wasAwolowo who made the pronouncement that if the East were to seceed, the West would certainly follow.

3.      In the prosecution of the war, the Biafran soldiers clearly demonstrated more military dexterism than the Nigerian soldiers who were really no more than bumbling idiots and were getting snuffed out like Birthday candles.

4.      Benjamin Adekunle’s soldiers were a collection of touts, louts and never-do –wells; a highly indisciplined bunch who could not hold the candle up to Achuzia’s fighting  tornadoes.

5.      As a matter of fact, the Biafran soldiers were more humane than the federal soldiers. Having captured a copious number of the federal soldiers, the Biafran soldiers let them go becuase the Biafrans were filled with the  milk of human kindness.

6.      It would seem that it was the Nigerian soldiers who were really dying and not Biafran civilians since the Nigerian soldiers chose to stick to the highways where they were easily snuffed out.

7.      Ojukwu did not really flee the country. He was persuaded to leave, leaving Phillip Effiong in charge. Effiong, a non-Ibo simply disappeared, probably due to cowardise, only to reappear to sign the letter of surrender.  

8.      Zik, of course, did not abscond. He was only convinced that he was of no use to Biafra and decided to say away. Uwechue,  Achebe and some other prominent  Ibos probably had their own reasons – but not abscondence.

All in all, everyone, except the Ibos, had something unsavory to do with the Nigerian civil war, according to Mr. Marinus. The Ibos were wronged, and wronged and wronged again by all other Nigerians while they maintained their legendary equanimity until they were forced to respond or tricked into responding by others. The Biafrans, according to Mr. Marinus, with guerilla warfare would have overrun Nigeria had it not been that they were persuaded not to do so.

Let me say this, I have dealt with Ibo people from before the war till now. I have always found them to be gregarious,  highly intelligent and not given to gulibility. The claims made by Mr. Marinus is only undermining the ability of the Ibos of that period to make independent decisions  and the intelligence of present day Ibo’s to use their brains.

It is no wonder those Ibos who actually saw the war are clearly reticent when the drums of secesion and of war are being beat  by their youngsters. Certainly many of these have swallowed the hogwash being bandied by the modern day war mongers.

 The history of the Nigerian civil war must be taught to Nigerian children and really, we Nigerians, the Ibos in particular,  should make it a point to point it out to our young ones exactly what mistakes we made that led to that level of  carnage.
FAKINLEDE 


On Friday, March 3, 2017 at 12:23:42 PM UTC+1, Kayode J. Fakinlede wrote:

‘No victor, no vanquished.”

This pronuncement, to me, is the greatest blunder of our civil war. I can almost say that it is at the bottom of the continued aspiration by a segment of our society for secession.

Of course, one could not have blamed the government of young Ganeral Gowon. It was reasoned then that in declaring that neither side won or lost the war, everyone would have learned his lesson and our nation would be at peace forever more.

What we see now is a blantant misplacement of historical facts and grotesque caricatures being made of those whose intentions were noble. But more importantly, we are seeing agitations where none should have arisen and from the side that was vanqished in the war. The factual victors, having remained silent for so long, are now being painted as carnivores and murderers.  

Anyone who was an adult during the civil war will definitely not wish another one on Nigeria. Lessons have been learned and honestly, not too many of these people agitate for secession or any form of upheaval, regardless of his tribal origin. It is those who were yet unborn or too young to experience the realities of war that would think it is child’s play.

But the truth is that they do not know better. They receive information, not history, from their parents. In most instances, while the intenions of the older ones may not be for agitation, a vanquished people will always tell a story of their mistreatment and their heroism in the face of all odds.

A factual history of the civil war must be taught in all our schools to all our children. This is not to put any segment of our nation down. It is reasonable because this event marks the singular greatest period when, but for providence sake, Nigeria would have disintegrated. Moreover, people badly informed of the mistreatment of their forebears are bound to react negatively to their perceived malefactors.   

This subject needs not be given a name that would be derogatory to any side. It can just be called ‘The Nigerian Civil War’. Therein all our young ones will learn as a subject matter: the events that led to the war; attempts to resolve the issues so war could be averted; who were the initial aggressors; who took part militarily in the war; who were the heroes; the parts played by our own leaders either in preventing or agitating for war; the parts played by others in trying to prevent war; how the war was prosecuted; how the war was brought to an end; life after the war; attempts to rebuild; the lingering issues arising from the war; the effects of the war on our present political life; important dates in the process; etc.

There is so much to teach our children and they should be properly and factually taught. Some smart person once said that whoever forgets the past is bound to repeat it, or something of that nature.

I rest my case

Fakinlede K

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