Analysis | Unintelligent revisionism: A new low in the many Nigerian-made narratives on the Biafra debacle

In what seems a calculated attempt to provoke a People, Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s President, (a retired Major-General, and a direct participant as a Lieutenant in both the Igbo Pogroms of 1966 and the War of Genocide 1967-1970 levied against Biafra), mounted the rostrum in broad daylight June 4, 2018, and facing several Satellite Television Cameras, barefacedly declared that the Nigerian Military was soft with the Biafran People in that War, because the then Nigerian Head of State and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon had instructed them to realize that the War was one between brothers and not enemies!

00100096Supporters of Biafra protest against the British Government supplying arms to Nigeria during the Civil War, London, 1968 – Romano Cagnoni – 1968-08-07 – RARC6839.jpg

He was certainly flying a kite to test whether the effect of the History that he and his uniformed comrades-in-crime removed from School Curriculum decades ago has sufficiently wiped out the truth of what happened between 1966 and 1970 from amongst the People targeted by the Pogroms and Genocide he gleefully participated in.

It is obvious that, just like many previous examples of being totally disconnected with reality, Buhari probably does not know that the in 21st Century World, both the Audiovisual and Written Records of what actually transpired in that dark period, are now fully digitized as archived and are massively being disseminated across the Globe, first by the remnants of the Group Targeted in 1966 Pogroms and the Genocide that followed 1967-1970.

As to be expected, angry reactions poured out from everywhere but surprisingly, a few One-Nigeria diehards from Eastern Nigeria, joined in the miserable attempt by Buhari to reconstruct Historty, and even went as far as openly questioning whether Genocide was a part of what happened in that “brotherly War”.

I had responded to one of such comments, as follows:

“When we have the privilege of public space comment such as this and even the wider public podium, we must take some care to research what we put out. There is no obligation to comment on every issue especially if they have to do with massively Documented facts we are not familiar with, as is the case with the Biafra Genocide neither are there medals for first rushing to town with conjectures and academic postulations before we find and examine the documented facts, especially on a subject that carry explosive emotions such as the Biafra episode and the Question of Genocide.

images (62)View of a group of starving and emaciated children from the Biafra region standing together at a mission hospital during the Nigerian – Biafran civil war in Nigeria in August 1968. Members of the Igbo tribe rebelled in 1967 to demand a separate Republic of Biafra. The war and famine lasted until 1970, when the Biafran Republic forces surrendered to the nationalist government.

Even without traveling far in search of evidence of Genocide, a perusal of the widely available 800-Page Diary-Book below, titled “THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE NIGERIA-BIAFRA WAR” which contains unedited accounts of Foreign Eye witnesses including Foreign Correspondents, Caritas, Red Cross, WCC, Diplomats, Mediators and several other real-time actors at the various ground zeros across the globe, whether inside Biafra, the rest of Nigeria or the emergency Logistical Bases in Garbon, Fenanda Po, etc; the places of Decision Making at the UN in New York, Brussels, Addis Ababa, and across Global Capitals; the Muster Points for Volunteer Pilots, Massive Food/Medicine/Clothing Aid Efforts in the US and Europe etc, weighty Letters and Official Communications between various actors or things that transpired in closed door meetings in all these locations mentioned, as reported or documented by eyewitnesses and actual actors during the actual happenings.

There would be little left to find out afresh and the research could well narrow down to verifying the authenticity of reported events by just cross-checking in the appropriate places.

Let those who do not know, find out the circumstances under which the
19-year old American boy, Bruce Mayrock set himself ablaze within the premises of the UN HQ in NY, May 29th 1969, and more importantly, what the action triggered amongst the Diplomats who were horrified by the sight of the running burning Bruce from their Coffee Break at the North Lounge overlooking the Garden where that watershed self-immolation drama took place.

The Protest Note to the UN in the folded cardboard left by Bruce at the base of a Russian Statue in the middle of the Lawn of Unite Nation where he had collapsed from his burns, read:
“You must stop Genocide. Please save 9 Million Biafrans”.

Paradoxically, at the base of the said Russian Statue was an inscription: “Let us beat swords into plowshares”

Shortly after the incident, the UN Secretary-General, U.Thant, issued a Statement that he considers every human life sacred and is deeply distressed at this tragic news.

This incident forced the beginning of the decisive Diplomatic push that brought the Genocide (call it War if you like) to an end, less than 8 months after, precisely January 15, 1970.

I need not go into what some of us who went in search of what really transpired found out from the actual doers of what was done. I spent more time in private with Anthony Enahoro in the last 7 years of his life than any of other political associates. Enahoro was Awolowo’s front leg in the whole sordid episode called Biafra. In the global Media Circuit during that War, Enahoro was also at the face of Nigeria’s hardline disposition towards Biafra.

From my incisive discussions with him on the subject under review, Soyinka, holds Enahoro, more than anyone else, responsible for his 20-Month Incarceration during the Biafra fiasco.

Soyinka is another long-time collaborator of mine on various interventions in the Nigeria’s political space and elsewhere and had been a close associate and acquaintance of some of the key backroom actors in the January 1966 melee.

Ojukwu was on the Planning desk of what we now have as LNC and its MNN Alliance. Onoh was there. Achuzia was there. Achebe was there, invited by Chinweizu who was and is still there.

On the other Nigerian side in the aforementioned Planning Table, apart from Enahoro, the late Oba Erediuwa of Benin who as Prince Akenzua, was the Permanent Secretary in Gowon’s Cabinet Office and who took the minutes of the Aburi Meetings on the side of the so-called Federal Government. Oba Erediuwa was at the earliest part of the said Planning, invited by his Edo Counteyman, Political Actor and a Prince from another section, Enahoro.

There on the Planning Table, was Gen Akinrinade who was the field-hand behind the nefarious exploits infamous Benjamin Adekunle in the killing fields called Biafra. Akinrinade is one of the 9 Conveners of the MNN.

There on the Planning Table was Prince Tanimoshe Bankole-Oki (SAN) who as Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Defence, carved out the Nigerian Air Force from the Nigerian Army in the days preceding the combat stage of the War.

Having sat down at length with these recent ancestors of Nigeria, especially in the period that enacted Biafra, questioning them, eyeball to eyeball on some of the gory things thrown up by a Global research concerning that period, I can tell us with a measure of confidence that we know exactly what happened, (and most of them are well documented) no matter what harebrained attempts may be made to upturn the facts and reconfigure the truth.

Now, who will blame Buhari’s imbecilic revisionism in coming out to declare that every care was taken by the Nigerian side, to fight the War with Biafra as one with brothers, if Igbo Intellectual cheerleaders are here arguing whether there was Genocide or not, against Eastern Nigeria?

At times I get ashamed of what we have become, as a People”.

Mr Buhari may in absolute obduracy, have unwittingly kicked open a pandora that could very easily snowball into into a Global inquisition into the Pogroms and Genocide Committed between 1966 and 1970 against the Peoples of Eastern Nigeria, made worse by the ongoing Ethnic Cleansing Campaign by heavily armed Fulani Militiamen masquerading as “Herdsmen” at a time Buhari as President and Commander-In-Chief in Nigeria, is being persuaded by concerned People in Washington DC, to demonstrate publicly that he is not on the side of his belligerent Fulani kinsmen in their bloody rampage as being alleged, even to the extent of collusion by the Military and Police over which Buhari Presides, as alleged by General Theophilus Danjuma, himself a prime witness to the events of 1966-1970.

Nigeria is now a thoroughly disputed Project and personal responsibility must attach to heinous crimes committed in the name of the defunct Federation of Nigeria which collapsed since 1966.

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Tony Nnadi
June 5, 2018.

Categories: Opinion

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