Sunday, June 4, 2017

Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Surrender message of Biafra warlords


For the umpteenth time: Biafrans did not "surrender." The Biafran leadership opened the corridor from Port-Harcourt, through Owerri to Amichi for Obasanjo for two nights of negotiation from Jan. 10 to January 12. The Biafran delegation went to Lagos on Jan. 14, and met Gowon and his cabinet at Dodan Barracks on Jan. 15. Part of the language of the agreement was that there would be "no victor, no vanquished." It was a policy crafted by Zik and relayed by Ukpabi Asika as the grounds of the compact for the end of secession. Every careful move was made to obliterate the word "surrender" from any statement made by the parties. Neither Gowon, nor Obasannjo, nor Effiong in his final statement ending the war used the word surrender, and it was deliberate. As one who interviewed Effiong at least twice in Ikot-Ekpene on this question, I have to say that the misuse of the word, "surrender" at various quarters has given left-handed credence to a lot of spurious assertions about the end of that war and the mechanisms that ended it. There was no signed instrument with the word "surrender" and none exists anywhere in Nigeria's official war archives. There is no document of cession, there was no inquisition; there was an agreement to end the conflict, and to reassert the unity of the federation, on one crucial condition: that after Gowon's transitional government everybody, including the former Biafrans would all be part in creating a new constitution and a new civil order for the federation. It was a statement clearly made in Effiong's speech.  Biafra existed until that very moment when Effiong, who by the way addressed himself in his full ranks as Major-General said it had ceased to exist.  It was as part of this compact that Gowon announced his transitional program which was to end in 1974, but which he reneged upon wit a new 1976 date, which also was uncertain. It was reneging that followed a pattern, because it was not long after de-escalation and the demobilization of Biafra's S Brigade, that the Federal government began to dismantle various parts of that agreement. Those who talk about surrender are full of shaving cream. They clearly have been unable to read the minutes of our last meetings.
Obi Nwakanma



From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Segun Ogungbemi <seguno2013@gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, June 4, 2017 6:36 PM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Surrender message of Biafra warlords
 


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