Eke Saturday 19 June 2021:
NO. I just told you that I do not think that having a country just for the Igbos (and dragging the Niger Delta people along probably as our own slaves) will be in the interest of the Igbos. I don’t believe in that. So, why ask me to fight for what I don’t believe in? What I believe in is a restructured Nigeria.
Before Independence, Nnamdi Azikiwe had the opportunity to keep the Igbos out of Nigeria. He could have given them their Igbo Country in the middle of nowhere. But in his calculations, he felt the Igbos are better off in being part of Nigeria. Indeed, both Ahmadu Bello and Awolowo wanted to have the option of seceding from Nigeria. It was the brilliant and wise Zik that advised them against that.
It happens that I believe Zik was right. I still see what he saw in 1940s and 1950s. Despite the problems we have had in Nigeria, Zik was right. I agree with him. The Igbos need Nigeria.
The 1967 civil war was avoidable. Ojukwu’s personal ambitions helped push us into that war. If you want to know more about this, read the books of Nnandi Azikiwe. Even Ojukwu admitted it – if someone else other than Gowon had taken over after Ironsi, he would not have tried to secede. So, it was mostly his rejection of Gowon that led to war. It was personal conflict and as ambitions that caused Ojukwu to tell us the Igbos had no other option than secession and the war that resulted from it.
And when he tried to secede, he took nonIgbos along, including the Niger Delta people who had tried to secede only a few months earlier if not that Ojukwu used military force to stop them.
When Adaka Boro declared the Republic of Niger Delta in 1966 and tried to pull the people of Niger Delta out of Nigeria, Ironsi and Ojukwu used military force to stop him. They killed many of his fighters and arrested him and sentenced him to death or life imprisonment. Now, ask yourself: was it not the same law that Ojukwu used to stop Adaka Boro and secession of Niger Delta Republic in 1966 that Gowon used to stop Ojukwu the Republic of Biafra in 1967? The problem is that most of you don’t know history.
Listen, I know you people have been insulting me. But those insulting me are insult their fathers. I am with Nnandi Azikiwe and not with Ojukwu as he was in 1967.
The same Ojukwu came back and contested in Nigerian elections first as a Senator, and later as presidential candidate wanting to be the President of Nigeria (the same Nigeria he wanted to secede from that led to the death of 3 million people). And he (Ojukwu) said that though he once went to war to break Nigeria up, he would now go to war to keep Nigeria one. That meant that Ojukwu finally came back to Zik’s position (which is my position).
I’m with Zik. I don’t believe in Biafra. Don’t ask me to work for what I don’t believe in. I will work for restructured Nigeria with equal justice for all its citizens.
Let me make it clear, Nnamdi Kanu is not with Zik. He is not with Ojukwu because Ojukwu returned to Zik’s position before Ojukwu died. Nnamdi is not with any Igbo person of substance. You will not see real serious Igbo people with Nbznsi Kanu. He is just with a gullible confused mass.
I hope my position is clear now. And you can see, I’m not afraid to say what I believe in. I have gotten to a point in life where 100 million misguided people cannot intimidate me.
By Emeka Ugwuonye, Esquire
President, Eculaw Group
Founder and CEO, DPA