Thursday, June 8, 2017

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

Afflicted with blind Biafra fanaticism, Obi Nwakanma resorted to baby-babble of defining the word 'warlords' as if that is the main issue in our quest to establish if Biafra was defeated and their troops surrendered to the Nigerian forces in 1970 or not. 


The war in Nigeria, 6 July 1967 to 15 January 1970 , was a civil war and not an international war. Eastern Region was one of the ten fingers of Nigeria which Ojukwu wanted to sever but Gowon insisted that the ten fingers should be retained. At first, it was a police action to arrest Ojukwu and his gang but the Federal government was forced to declare full-scale war after rebel's invasion of the then Midwest State. If Biafra were to be an Independent country with which Nigeria went to war and was defeated the terms of surrender would have been international and not national. The defeated Germany after World War II remained a divided nation until 1989 and up till today thousands of US soldiers are stationed in Germany to guarantee that Germany will never rise up militarily to threaten the security of her European neighbours. The Nigerian war was an internal one in which the enemy was not the entire Igbo people but rebels that happened to consist mainly Igbo. We should not forget that there were Igbo on the federal side that opposed secession, such as Ukpabi Asika - the Administrator of the then East Central State, Samuel Gomsu Ikoku, Dr. Chike Obi, who was detained in prison by Ojukwu for opposing secession and was only released by Obasanjo when Biafra collapsed and many others. Therefore, the war, as declared and waged by the Nigerian government, was not against the Igbo as a people but against Biafra secessionists. The question Obi Nwakanma and his ilk should answer is : Was Biafra secession quelled by the Federal Government of Nigeria or not?


In order to answer the question above, one should bear in mind that it was the then Lieutenant Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and Military Governor of Eastern Region that proclaimed the Region a Sovereign Republic State of Biafra on May 30, 1967. Earlier, on May 27, 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Yakubu Gowon, the Nigerian Military Head of State had carved the country into twelve States of which the Eastern Region had become East Central, Rivers and South-Eastern States. Then, after 30 months of war Ojukwu in a broadcast, 10 January 1970, announced that he was leaving Biafra to find a negotiated peace abroad. According to his Chief Secretary, N.U. Akpan, Ojukwu had intended to leave without informing the people in his enclave of Biafra but it was Sir Louis Mbanefo who prevailed on him to say something to the people in term of going abroad in search of peace. It was in Ojukwu's broadcast that he announced, "In my short absence I have arranged for the Chief of General Staff, Major General Philip Effiong, to administer the government with the rest of the Cabinet, to run the affairs of the Republic while I go on this mission, accompanied by my Political Adviser and Chief Secretary." So, whatever Obi Nwakanma and his hero, Mr. Joe Achuzia, may wish, Philip Effiong was a legitimate Biafra Rebel leader after Ojukwu deserted his soldiers and escaped into safety abroad. As the military situation inherited from the fleeing Ojukwu worsened, Philip Effiong announced in a Radio Biafra broadcast, of 12 January 1970, a unilateral cessation of fighting. He stated specifically, "I have, therefore, instructed an orderly disengagement of troops. I am dispatching emissaries to make contacts with Nigeria's field commanders in places like Onitsha, Owerri, Awka, Enugu and Calabar with a view to arranging armistice." Noteworthy here is that it was Philip Effiong who dispatched emissaries to the Nigerian field commanders and Joe Achuzia was not among them as he  indirectly implied on page 296 of his book that Joe Achuzia was caught in the ambush laid by the Nigerian Army and cunningly transformed himself into Effiong's emissary. Was there an armistice as proposed by Effiong in his broadcast?


There was no armistice and when Obasanjo met Effiong on 13 January 1970, this is what happened. 'Now,' I said to Philip Effiong, 'your broadcast did not go far enough. To talk of negotiated settlement and peace talk in accordance with OAU resolutions at this stage is not only unrealistic but ridiculous to the extreme. We have no time for that.' At that point Effiong suggested that we should talk privately together. We then went into a small room, obviously a bedroom, he with his staff officer, Capt. Ben Gbulie and I with Lt.-Colonel Akinrinade who had been in Ben Gbulie's intake at Sandhurst. The discussion in that small room turned out to be the final 'peace talk' on the Nigerian civil war (p. 125 -126, My Command by Olusegun Obasanjo). Here again Joe Achuzia was not recognised as a facilitator in the meeting between Obasanjo, Akinrinade and Effiong.


On 14 January 1970, Olusegun Obasanjo escorted Philip Effiong, Patrick Amadi, David Ogunewe, Patrick Anwunah, Patrick Okeke, Sir Louis Mbanefo, M. Mbu and Professor Eni Njoku to Lagos. What happened in Lagos, Obasanjo narrated, "Before the formal meeting and surrender at Dodan Barracks, I went for a briefing and consultation to the Commander-in-Chief (Gowon). ... He inquired what form the peace talks would take. I replied that all peace talks had been completed and concluded in the field and the 'Biafran' leadership was brought in only for formal renunciation of secession and formal surrender to him as Head of State (p.133, My Command)." On page 134, Obasanjo wrote, "Philip Effiong and his team remained in the small reception room. I stayed with them to prepare a surrender document. To me two issues were important for inclusion in that document - renunciation of secession and acceptance of the twelve-state structure within the context of one united country." Professor Eni Njoku and Sir Louis Mbanefo, in particular, did not accept the inclusion of 12-states structure in the document and on that Obasanjo wrote, "At that point I came out to inform the Commander-in-Chief that as things were going we might have to return to the field to continue the war if the deadlock continued with regard to the surrender document. The Commander-in-Chief advised caution and gentle treatment of my guests. I went back to the team in the reception room and announced that if we could not settle on the appropriate wording of the document, we should all return to the field to start again where we had stopped. They all, civilians and soldiers alike, were stunned. They put their heads together, discussed for a while and then called Dr. Elias in. Efter a brief meeting between Dr Elias and Sir Louis, the third and final draft of the document emerged in this form : I, Major-General Philip Effiong, Officer administering the Government of the Republic of 'Biafra' now wish to make the following declaration: (a) that the Republic of 'Biafra' hereby renounces secession and ceases to exist and (b) etc.


On page 135 Obasanjo recorded, "Philip, ......, marched forward and stood in front of the Head of State. He read out in a clear voice, under the strong light of cameras and cine-cameras, the text of the document of surrender and submission." That Effiong stood to read the surrender document was corroborated by Effiong himself on page 306 of his book, Nigeria and Biafra: My Story thus, "I then shook hands with members of the Supreme Military Council and was shown by an official usher to where I stood and read my formal Surrender Instrument." Philip Effiong knew what he did at Dodan Barracks and has written on why and how he did it. It is very amusing when 'Baby Historians' now rely on Nollywood acted Youtube video to tell us that Philip Effiong, the Officer Administering the Government of Biafra did not surrender and that he sat to read a 'negotiated settlement' at Dodan Barracks, despite the fact that he admitted in his book that he stood to read his Surrender Instrument and signed it.


Shortly after the Surrender ceremony at Dodan Barracks on 15 January 1970, Gowon addressed the nation in a broadcast thus, "Citizens of Nigeria, It is with a heart full of gratitude to God that I announce to you that today marks the formal end of the civil war. This afternoon at Dodan Barracks, Lt. Col. Philip Effiong, Lt. Col. David Ogunewe, Lt. Col. Patrick Anwunah, Lt. Col. Patrick Amadi and Comissiner of Police, Chief Patrick Okeke formally proclaimed the end of the attempt at secession and accepted the authority of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria. They also formally accepted the present political and administrative structure of the country." It is remarkable that Effiong and others were recognised with their military ranks before the war and not with their ranks in the Biafran Army by Gowon. And when Ojukwu was pardoned and granted amnesty, he applied and received pension as a Lieutenant Colonel and not as a General he claimed to be in Biafra. However, in twenty years time, 'Baby Historians' will post Youtube video of triumphant entry of Ojukwu in Lagos after defeating Gowon!

S. Kadiri


 




Från: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> för Ibukunolu A Babajide <ibk2005@gmail.com>
Skickat: den 8 juni 2017 10:07
Till: USAAfricaDialogue
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Surrender message of Biafra warlords
 
Obi,

This Achuzia that you gushingly eulogise was a psychopathic soldier who killed so many fellow Biafran soldiers on the mere pretext that they were cowards or saboteurs.  He blew the Niger bridge and killed so many and was also lucky with the Abagana fuel tanker explosion when he sabotaged the supply lines of federal troops.

The fact that he was not tried and sentenced to summary execution after the war speaks to the magnanimity and open mindedness of Gowon and many gallant federal soldiers.  With your revisionism, you are justifying the position of those who predicted that in future these kind of lies will return.  Those who resisted the final solution and ensured that the Igbo are not annihilated are now the fools because ignorant or bloody minded revisionists like you are changing the truth and spewing lies.  This is the reason the Nnamdi Kanu's of the world are emboldened.

That is why the Arewa youths want to send all Igbo away from the North.  That is why the peace built for over 50 years is being torn apart because of the Hitleric revisionism and Goerring-type crass propaganda.

Keep at it but remember that he who sows the wind, reaps the whirlwind.

Cheers.

IBK



_________________________
Ibukunolu Alao Babajide (IBK)
(+2348061276622)
ibk2005@gmail.com

On 8 June 2017 at 04:15, Rex Marinus <rexmarinus@hotmail.com> wrote:

Achuzia is not a "self-acclaimed Biafra War-lord." He was indeed a "War-lord" in Biafra. The word, "Di-Ogu" (War Lord) suits him perfectly, and he earned it, not by self-acclaim, but by field experience. You think the term "war-lord" is a pejorative? It is not. Every General is a war-lord. And yes, two interviews by a direct participant in an event, published in a credible, publicly circulated newspaper, in academic circles is accepted as a credible source of research. I guess you do not know that. Achuzia as the primary source of that story did challenge the mythologists of the war, but has not been challenged or contradicted. That's a great empirical source. I guess you do not know that. So, what else have you got?

Obi Nwakanma





From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Salimonu Kadiri <ogunlakaiye@hotmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 7, 2017 11:12 PM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: SV: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Surrender message of Biafra warlords
 

Obi Nwakanma may be an expert of acrobatic Antilogwu dance but he should not dance acrobatically with  the history of the Nigerian civil war. Self-esteem ought to have  restrained Obi Nwakanma from referring his readers to newspaper's interviews conducted with a self-acclaimed Biafra war-lord, Colonel Joe Achuzia, who claimed to have ended the Nigerian civil war single-handed. This is more so, since he has accused me falsely of reproducing newspapers' reports as history. The best evidence Obi Nwakanma could produce to substantiate his myth that Biafra was neither defeated nor surrendered in 1970 were two newspapers' interviews with Biafra's Joe Achuzia as contained in THE SUN of May 12, 2016, and The NIGERIAN COMPASS of 7 March 2010. Achuzia mentioned names in his interviews and Obi Nwakanma assumed that those whose names were mentioned ought to have read the interviews and lack of any response from them meant Achuzia was telling the truth. THE SUN and the Nigerian Compass are provincial newspapers in Nigeria and, even if by accident, the people mentioned by Achuzia in the interviews read the interviews, there is nothing compelling them to dance to the drum of a lunatic. A dog claiming to have thumbed the nose of a lion must be deceiving self. Are you saying that Biafra was not defeated by Nigeria? Achuzia replied, Yes. What explanation do you offer for this? Achuzia came with a long incoherent and contradictory reply that he who is not a Doctor of history would have dismissed him as a 419 bluffer. He said among other things, "Those civilians were the ones who, when Odumegwu-Ojukwu left to attend the crucial meeting in Liberia, came to me and requested that I should stop the war." He said further that Justice P.K. Nwokedi and Justice Mbanefo approached him to stop the war. He objected to their request initially, but when he was reminded that it was not his personal war, as a soldier, he had to obey the orders and demands of the Biafran Executive Council to stop the war. Ojukwu did not and never left for any crucial meeting in Liberia as his aircraft landed in Abidjan on Sunday, 11 January 1970, where he got asylum. Achuzia must have smoked a lot of opium of wishful thinking.


Obi Nwakanma portrayed his hero, Joe Achuzia thus, "It was he who brought Akinrinade to Effiong. It was he who stepped down the phase of the war, the guerilla phase...." How Akinrinade and Obasanjo met Effiong have been narrated by Obasanjo in his Book, My Command, published in 1980, and by Effiong in Nigeria & Biafra : My Story published in 2007. About Biafra that was not defeated in War, Ojukwu stated in a broadcast on French Radio, 14 January 1970, "..... By the end of November (1969), the Biafran armed forces were no longer able to feed themselves; our civil populace were neither able to feed themselves nor the army. Yet for over 30 grim days our gallant and heroic forces maintained their positions in the sheer hope of a miraculous respite.

In the first week of January, the Nigerian forces, by a fast military move, took control of the last areas from where we had any possibility of obtaining food. In quick succession demoralization set in, threatening national disintegration and bringing in its wake confusion and mass exodus.

I gathered together at Owerri during the night of January 8, 1970, those members of my cabinet who could be contacted to review the situation. At that meeting, I presented in firm and clear terms the grim hopelessness of continued formal military resistance." Achuzia did not stop any war and Ojukwu was honest to admit defeat because a starving soldier cannot carry gun much less shooting. Ojukwu's friend wrote about the end of the war thus, "Then in the second week of January 1970, Biafra collapsed. It came quite suddenly. A unit on the southern front, exhausted beyond caring and out of ammunition, quietly stripped off its uniforms and faded into the bush. ..... Units on either side of the missing men took fright and followed suit. Soon a gaping hole ran along the entire defence line from Aba city to Okpula Bridge. A Nigerian armoured-car patrol, probing north, met no opposition and rolled forward. Within a day the front was breached. The remainder of the Twelfth Division ran off into the bush. Between Okpulala Bridge and the River Niger to the West the Fourteenth Division was outflanked. Here too, exhausted troops faded into the bush. Colonel Obasanjo's Third Nigerian Division rolled forward into the heart of the Biafran enclave, heading for the airstrip of Uli. There was no opposition; men who had not eaten for weeks had no strength left to go on fighting (p. 286-287,The Biafra Story By Frederick Forsyth)."


Those denying that Biafra was not defeated and did not surrender are doing the same thing Adolf Hitler did with the First World War which result, he set out to revise by initiating the Second World War. The rest is history. Those that will not learn from the past will allow the past to cripple them.

S. Kadiri  
 




Från: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> för Rex Marinus <rexmarinus@hotmail.com>
Skickat: den 6 juni 2017 23:59
Till: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Surrender message of Biafra warlords
 


Again, I bring a different interview, earlier in March 2010, which reiterates Joe Achuzia's position. Neither Obasanjo, nor Akirinnade, nor the honorable P.K. Nwokedi, former Judge of the Supreme Court has publicly contradicted Achuzia. He names names, gives details, and asserts the verities of his direct involvement and role, as mandated by the Biafran Executive Council. It was he who brought Akirinnade to Effiong. It was he who stepped down the second phase of the war, the guerrilla phase, as mandated by the Biafra exco, after their contacts with Zik through Mbanefo and the Quakers. The fact, still unaccounted yet by history is that Nnamdi Azikiwe put into complete motion the process that resulted in that compromise that ended the war from his activities beginning in August 1968 to late in 1969, when he got his men in Biafra to activate the implementations of his own agreements, the results of those diplomatic outreaches made from London and Paris. That's a different story. But so, as far as historical accounts go, Achuzia as a participant is a far more credible subject than John de St. Jorre. Achuzia's background as ex-Kings College, Engineer, and soldier, and of course those who were in Biafra and knew exactly his role in Biafra's war strategy, would agree that nothing Achuzia says about Biafra and its conclusions can be dismissed or taken as cavalierly as Salimonu Kadiri and his cohort of denialists would take it. He names the place, names the occasion, names the people, and names the conditions. As he completes his memoir, other facts will come to fore, and they most certainly would be superior to any account given by Mr. St. Jorre, or in Salimonu Kadiri's selective cut-and-paste. That is the litmus for historical verity, because Achuzia would be writing from the force of both introspection, clarity, and direct, first-hand experience. Meanwhile, Salimonu Kadiri's "rank-conscious" claims that Achuzia was a Colonel in the Biafra Army is quite true, and it was deliberate. It was a policy in Biafra that ranks were not what counted. Ojukwu for a long period insisted on remaining "Colonel Ojukwu" until he was pressured by his War Council to adorn the rank of General. But I refer to Achhuzia as a General in the typical way the Igbo recognize his title as "Ochiagha" - meaning General. And Achuzia is "Ochiagha" - those who want to choke on that can go ahead. Meanwhile, a one-year old Biafran child, who felt the pangs of hunger and instability, is by all indices more experienced in war than a senile, file-pushing  draft-dodger, just saying. Children too remember.

Obi Nwakanma



____________________

Many people have blamed Odumegwu-Ojukwu for the way Biafra was defeated. Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ralph Uweche, recently said that Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s way of leadership was responsible for the collapse of Biafra. Do you agree with this?


Biafra was never defeated nor collapsed. It is not true that Biafra was defeated. That is what many do not know.


Are you saying that Biafra was not defeated by Nigeria?
Yes.

What explanation do you offer for this?
Yes, I will do. Let me tell you the truth. You journalists must always do your research properly to educate the public. You should also look into the choice of words. You see, I repeat it again: Biafra was not defeated. It was not the Biafran Army that was responsible for the war efforts during the conflict. The efforts were handled by civilian populace. The soldiers were recruited to defend the civilians. The arms were provided by the civilians. In the executive council of Biafra, there were only two military personnel: Odumegwu-Ojukwu as the Head of State and Effiong as the Officer-in-Charge of Defence. The rest were all civilians. Those civilians were the ones who, when Odumegwu-Ojukwu left to attend the crucial meeting in Liberia, came to me and requested that I should stop the war. Today, there are living witnesses to what I am telling you. These include former Enugu State Chief Judge, Justice P.K. Nwokedi. He was one of those who came with Sir Louis Mbanefo and others to request that I take steps to stop the fighting. Initially, I was against it. But then I was reminded and made to understand that it is not my personal war. So, as a soldier, I have to obey the orders and demands of the Biafran Executive Council to stop the war. Another living witness is Obasanjo. He is still alive. When I sent for him from Owerri, it was to my house he arrived. General Alani Akinrinade was the one I signalled to tell Obasanjo to come to Uga in Orlu Division. He and then Lt. Col. Sam Tumoye were at our headquarters when we discussed how to bring the war to an end. It was from my house that I took Obasanjo to meet Effiong at Igboukwu, which used to be the headquarters of the Biafran Directorate of Military intelligence. General Akinrinade is still alive and can testify to what I am saying. Nobody defeated Biafra. Commonsense will have tell you the truth. If they defeated Biafra, the federal side would have demanded our weapons. In my own case, I asked all my soldiers to go home with their weapons. Those that don’t want it should dump them by the roadside. Some handed them over to us. The truth is this. For a long time because of the laws in the archives of the military, what I am telling you today was kept under cover and secret. The essence is to give Nigeria a chance to formulate a new society where all can live in peace. But unfortunately, what I see now is that the issues that led to that armed struggle is yet to be addressed. And instead of addressing this issue so that Nigeria can have a good future, our leaders are still pursuing selfish interest. It is such that even in their presence, the Niger Delta struggle is rising every day.

- General Joe Achuzia, Biafra War Commander, interview in the Nigerian Compass, March 7, 2010. Full interview below.

_________________________________




From: usaafricadialo
Danjuma instigated the killing of Ironsi, Fajuyi –Joe Achuzia
Sunday, 07 March 2010 00:00 Nigerian Compass
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Beyond being one of the major actors in the Nigerian Civil War, Colonel Joe Achuzia (rtd.) is a very popular figure. In this revealing interview with EMMANUEL AGOZINO, Achuzia, popularly known as the Biafran Hannibal, talks about some of the other actors in the Civil War, including Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu; former President Nnamdi Azikiwe; former military Head of State, General Aguiyi Ironsi; and former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma. Excerpts:
____________________
You were said to be a man that fought the civil war without rules. While some see that as barbaric others take to you be a hero. Who is Colonel Joe Achuzia?
Well, I don’t know about being great. All I know is that in history, every society passes through one phase or the other. It is only those phases that leave indelible marks on society that make for remembrance. And within the issues of remembrance, people now realise the activities that led to it. As part of these activities, certain persons are usually identified with that cause. It is in the process of this identification that certain names takes prominence, not because they are the best, but because within their activities, they left mark as a signpost for the remembrance of the activities that took place at that time. Fortunately, I seem to be identified in one of these activities. Anybody familiar with Nigeria’s history from independence will easily identify the landmarks, the memorable incidents that stand out in the history of this country. One of those is the three and half years civil war out of which at the end of it, names were bandied about and mine is one of those names. But luckily, I am still alive not only to help correct all the misinterpretation that some people assigned to me, but also let today’s generation know the roles that I played and also refute any false information. For me, these were the things that singled me out. But otherwise, there is nothing that I did. Regarding the allegations that I fought the civil war without rules, others have done even worse.

What will you say about the recent statement credited to General T.Y. Danjuma that late General Aguiyi Ironsi, who was killed as a military Head of State, was a useless man. What is your reaction?
You see, when I read Danjuma’s statement, I felt very sad about it. First, go and do your research and you will realise that what I am going to tell you is the truth. In the 2 Division, [b]it was this Danjuma, then a Captain in the then Nigeria Army, who was responsible for organising the security of General Ironsi. It was his job. So, if Danjuma turns today and tells the world  that he did not know about how Ironsi and Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi were killed in Ibadan, it will be a very big lie. If you want me to put it straight, it was because of the opposition of the unitary system declared by Ironsi that Danjuma organised his elimination along with Colonel Fajuyi in Ibadan. So, Danjuma cannot in all honesty deny that he was not the chief instigator of the killing. [/b]We were all living witness. I was in Lagos when the incident happened. So, I am not telling you a myth or what I did not know. It is this same group who killed Ironsi and Fajuyi in Ibadan that up till today are benefiting from the unitary system that Ironsi set up. Can you imagine. It is out of this same cabal too that the so-called Kaduna Mafia sprang up. I am not saying that it is all Northerners that wanted the total elimination of the Igbo during civil war period. But when we talk in terms of what Danjuma did, I know what I am saying. That is his character. It was just the way he killed Ironsi and Fajuyi that he betrayed the late General I.D. Bisala. He denied Bisala when Bisala needed him the most during the coup that killed  Genral Murtala Mohammed. If he is a soldier, he should have stood his ground as the GOC of the 3 Division. But instead, he did not. Let me say that when we talk in terms of military courage and bravery, rank does not bestow courage on people. I  like Danjuma. But he cannot deny the fact that he was the chief instigator of the murder of Ironsi and Fajuyi. History will continue to hold him responsible for that. When the war ended, he was the go between me and Bisala, especially in Enugu, when I was handing over Biafra to the federal side.

Are you saying you were the one that handed over Biafra to the federal side?

Yes.
But many believe that General Philip Effiong handed over Biafra to General Olusegun Obasanjo. Is that not correct?
No, it is a mistake that many people are not aware of up till today. I was the one who handed over Biafra to Obasanjo and Bisala. Effiong’s  role was going to Lagos to meet General Yakubu Gowon with some of our Biafran officers. And also reading the script which I prepared. I planned it that they should start from 9a.m. announcing that we had sent emissaries to the war fronts to meet Nigerian commanders so that everybody should lay down their weapons. That speech that we prepared was given to Effiong to read because if I should do that, the Nigerian side  will misinterpret it that possibly there was a coup in Biafra. So, to avoid that misinterpretation, we had to ask Effiong to read it. Because when Odumegwu-Ojukwu was leaving, he specifically told Effiong to represent him, while my job was to take care of the Army. I was the person in charge of the Biafran Armed Forces. So, I was  the one that actually handed over Biafra and not Effiong. Again, when the war ended, I was very visible. For instance, all the documents that Danjuma said that Gowon requested that I should sign, I signed them all. These included when Danjuma said that Gown asked that I should prepare a document of what I would like to do.[/b] I did all that and part of that document was what later led to the establishment of PRODA in Enugu. I also reported at the Board of Inquiry headed by the then General Adeyinka Adebayo. There I was told that one of the reasons why I was being detained was for the  protection of my life. But I asked them, ‘Protection against who?’ Well, they said that so many people were against me, especially the way I ended the war. So, for tempers to cool, according to them, I was kept in detention for seven years. But for me, I have always said that I don’t have any regrets over the war. Beside, I owe it as a moral duty to those whom I led through the war, especially with their situation today. They have not been compensated.

That is why we have today the Civil War Veteran, East West Command Association. The purpose is to look after the welfare of those comrades who survived the civil war. But as I am talking to you, up till today, none of them is less than 56 years and nothing has been done to help them. We are taking steps to bring their problem to the attention of the present government. I have written to President Umaru Yar’Adua. I have also written to the Ministry of Defence and to the President of the Senate, David Mark, that on the basis of “no winner no vanquished,” Nigeria owes it a duty to rehabilitate those veterans across the country as done in other parts of the world. The situation can be dangerous in the future if the government continues to exhibit lack of concern. Many people today may not know that those militants in the Niger Delta are all children of the war veterans. The members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) are children of the veterans. We don’t want a divided Nigeria again. We as veterans of the war gave a lot for the Nigeria  we have today. All we are asking is that the government should look into the welfare of these veterans. If you look at the present military command in the country, none of them saw the civil war. War is not good. And that is why we have been calling on the government to also take a census of the war veterans on both sides of the war and create a programme in the interest of reconciliation as the Army that fought the war is the Nigerian Army divided against itself based on the side one was standing at the time of the political logjam.

Now, 43 years after, do you think that the issues that caused that war have been resolved?

You see, it sounds naive when one talks about solving the issues that led to that war. There were multitudes of problems and issues that led to the civil war. While some are of the view that the January 1966 coup, led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna and the others, were the issues that led to the war. others tell you that the way Ironsi handled the issue of the coup by declaring a unitary system as opposed to the federating system in existence then led to the war. There are others who hold that it is the unbridled and the so-called ambition of appointing military administrators to take the place of political leaders. Also, there are those who say that the mismanagement by Gowon after the second coup, which brought Gowon into power  and led to the balkanization of Nigeria from the regional arrangement into states, caused the war. But whatever the cause, the war has been fought. To me, the greatest problem was the balkanization of Nigeria by Gowon without thinking of the future consequences. He did that to weaken the Igbo. But it turned out to be the root of whatever crisis that Nigeria is facing till today. By trying to take the so-called minorities away from the Igbo, when they  claimed that the Igbo were dominating, he  eventually opened their eyes like Oliver Twist. Whoever gave Gowon that advice gave him a wrong one because from then on the spiral effect brought Nigeria to the 36 states which we now have. The cumulation of all these, I will say, are parts and parcel of what in retrospect led to the  civil war. If Gowon did not create the 12 states, I do not think that the Eastern Region would have declared secession because there is nothing like dialogue. And that was exactly what happened. Gowon should have continuously kept seeking for dailogue.

But instead, he was advised to settle the situation the way he did by balkanizing the country. And once you do that, the people’s temper will rise. So, today, Nigeria cannot be at peace because the issues that led to the civil war have not been addressed. What do we have? We say we are practicing democracy, but here in Nigeria today what we have is a democracy of the cabals. It is these few cabals that are ruling the country. They have been doing so since the end of the war. And until the country wakes up to say enough is enough, the situation will continue. Hence, corruption will abound. It is only under the system of cabal leadership that certain people are favoured. And these few who are favoured will continue supporting the existence of the cabal government at the expense of the majority. If you look very well, you will see that many people do not understand what Wole Soyinka is trying to do. Knowing the deception that we call Nigerian democracy today, Soyinka has been doing his best trying to tell Nigerians that they should not allow themselves to be cowed into slavery. Because he is not a back seat General. That is why he comes to the front to tell Nigerians to say no to bad leadership that is going on in this country since after independence. For about two months now, all of us are seeing that what is happening with the leadership of this country.

There has been this controversy over the role Nzeogwu played during the first coup. While Odumegwu-Ojukwu keeps saying that it was Ifeajuna that was the leader of the coup, others say it was Nzeogwu. As one who saw it all, who actually was the leader of that coup?

You see, Nigerians have a way of mismanaging information. One person alone does not carry out a coup in the Army. A coup is a concerted arrangement by a few persons of like minds and ready to participate in overthrowing a system. So, the coup of January 1966 was carried out by a group of Army Majors. You cannot put it on one person. Otherwise, you are simply giving a dog a bad name to hang it. To say Nzeogwu, it means Nzeogwu and his group. Ifeajuna and his group. To be honest to your question, Ifeajuna and Nzeogwu were actually together in the plan and execution of the coup. Consequently, if the coup had succeeded, Nzeogwu or Ifeajuna could not have led the country or even [b]Victor Banjo who was a part of that group. [/b]So, all that is important is that the coup took place and that these names were the leaders of the coup.  Any other person from the side that didn’t  participate at that crucial time is not a part of the coup. Any other information is an after thought. Unfortunately, those that led the 1966 coup and participated, you only have the junior ones left. They were not the primary leaders. As a result, I would advice that the January event should be consigned to its proper place and perspective, that this an aberration that took place at a point in time in Nigerian history. It is not a situation to continue apportioning blames or encomium.

What do you mean by consigning it to its proper place?


I say this because as long as we continue to apportion blame or look at it as an Igbo coup, we will not come out of the morass of the problem posed by the coup. You know that after the coup, it had a wide ripple effect. Because the North felt that it was an Igbo affair and consequently in their usual characteristics way, they descended on the Igbo without first trying to find out exactly what happened. They reacted as a mob without thinking. That mob action  has since then placed Nigeria in jeopardy. The result was finally a coup in which Danjuma and Gowon emerged. Gowon then became the Head of State. But the funny thing about it was that they did not carry out the coup for enhancing the interest of Nigeria. They did it on the basis that they wanted to secede from Nigeria. Hence the word Araba (Let’s divide). It was very clear that even Gowon in his first speech he delivered made it clear that there was no basis for unity. But unfortunately, he took the advice of the  civil service dominated then by the Southerners to advice him that it is not in the interest of the North to pull out of the federation. It was this same people that advised Gowon that the best way to bring the Eastern Region to its knee was to balkanise it. But before he did that, information was also leaking to the Eastern Region Government. And the reaction of the East was no, we are one. If you say you do not want us, we will go on our own by any name. If you look at the situation critically, you will see that the Eastern Region was pushed out. They were being pushed out for purposes of total elimination. That was the beginning of the genocide. Otherwise, there wouldn’t have been the need to cut them off from the sea, air and land or get them landlocked. It was for this purpose that Bakasi was given out to Cameroun so that they will not give space for Biafra to retreat into Cameroun.

You mentioned Banjo. Where do you stand on the trial and execution of Banjo and his group during the war?

Banjo and his group  were tried under military procedure in line with the Biafran laws. I don’t think that it should be a thing for apportioning blames to anybody. They violated the war rules and laws at that time. And they were tried accordingly. Anybody could have fallen into that line. So, it was the laws at that time. And it was approved based on the orders of a military tribunal. So it is not a thing to blame anybody. 

Many people have blamed Odumegwu-Ojukwu for the way Biafra was defeated. Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ralph Uweche, recently said that Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s way of leadership was responsible for the collapse of Biafra. Do you agree with this?

Biafra was never defeated nor collapsed. It is not true that Biafra was defeated. That is what many do not know.

Are you saying that Biafra was not defeated by Nigeria?
Yes.

What explanation do you offer for this?
Yes, I will do. Let me tell you the truth. You journalists must always do your research properly to educate the public. You should also look into the choice of words. You see, I repeat it again: Biafra was not defeated. It was not the Biafran Army that was responsible for the war efforts during the conflict. The efforts were handled by civilian populace. The soldiers were recruited to defend the civilians. The arms were provided by the civilians. In the executive council of Biafra, there were only two military personnel: Odumegwu-Ojukwu as the Head of State and Effiong as the Officer-in-Charge of Defence. The rest were all civilians. Those civilians were the ones who, when Odumegwu-Ojukwu left to attend the crucial meeting in Liberia, came to me and requested that I should stop the war. Today, there are living witnesses to what I am telling you. These include former Enugu State Chief Judge, Justice P.K. Nwokedi. He was one of those who came with Sir Louis Mbanefo and others to request that I take steps to stop the fighting. Initially, I was against it. But then I was reminded and made to understand that it is not my personal war. So, as a soldier, I have to obey the orders and demands of the Biafran Executive Council to stop the war. Another living witness is Obasanjo.

He is still alive. When I sent for him from Owerri, it was to my house he arrived. General Alani Akinrinade was the one I signalled to tell Obasanjo to come to Uga in Orlu Division. He and then Lt. Col. Sam Tumoye were at our headquarters when we discussed how to bring the war to an end. It was from my house that I took Obasanjo to meet Effiong at Igboukwu, which used to be the headquarters of the Biafran Directorate of Military intelligence. General Akinrinade is still alive and can testify to what I am saying. Nobody defeated Biafra. Commonsense will have tell you the truth. If they defeated Biafra, the federal side would have demanded our weapons. In my own case, I asked all my soldiers to go home with their weapons. Those that don’t want it should dump them by the roadside. Some handed them over to us. The truth is this. For a long time because of the laws in the archives of the military, what I am telling you today was kept under cover and secret. The essence is to give Nigeria a chance to formulate a new society where all can live in peace. But unfortunately, what I see now is that the issues that led to that armed struggle is yet to be addressed. And instead of addressing this issue so that Nigeria can have a good future, our leaders are still pursuing selfish interest. It is such that even in their presence, the Niger Delta struggle is rising every day.


How true is it that when people say that former President Nnamdi Azikiwe was against Biafra?

Going down memory lane, Zik was never a tribal person. He is not an Igbo leader. He only looked at the country from a global point of view. That was why he stepped aside for Dr. Michael Okpara. His presence in Biafra was more accidental than of necessity. We knew what we did and to what length we bent backward for him to stay in Biafra. The only opportunity we allowed him to step out of  Biafra merely brought Biafra into a civil war within itself. This, we had to quickly, on Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s advice, militarily run around with the various administrators of the various local governments to avoid a war between the Zikist and the non-Zikist.

gue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Salimonu Kadiri <ogunlakaiye@hotmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 7:35 PM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: SV: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Surrender message of Biafra warlords
 

Tacitly referring to me, Obi Nwakanma wrote, "... you sit only from the distance pontificating on history you read only in the newspapers, and stories you heard second hand..."


To begin with, none of my references to the defeat and surrender of Biafra was picked from the newspapers but from books written by the actors in the surrender ceremony. The Nigerian civil war was not a fictitious story  as some Professors of lies and dishonest fabrications would want it to be, but real history. Having wrongly accused me of pontificating on history that I have only read in the Newspapers, one would have expected Obi Nwakanma to counter me with real history of how Biafra was not defeated in war and did not surrender. Instead, Obi Nwakanma referred me to an interview in the Sun Newspaper conducted with a Biafra War Commander, Joe Achuzia, who had unilaterally been promoted to a General by Obi Nwakanma. Here, Obi violated the first law of holes that states, if you are in a hole, stop digging or else, the deeper you dig, the deeper you sink. I will come to Obi's General Joe Achuzia later.


Obi Nwakanma would like to read and twist history as he wished it to be and not as it happened. To him, Biafra was not defeated and Biafra never surrendered. Since he is an ethnic Igbo sheriff, he has no regard for whatever Effiong and Akpan had done on behalf of Biafra because they were Ibibio. Obi in his previous submission on this issue, March 6, 2017, did not accept that Effiong led the process of surrender in the war as he wrongly asserted that the Biafran delegation to Lagos was led by Louis Mbanefo.


Was Biafra defeated and did Biafra surrender to the Federal troops? Let us find answers to the two questions in one in what a genuine Igbo involved in the war wrote. "In Ojukwu's absence, Sir Louis Mbanefo, the Chief Justice, and General Philip Effiong, THE DEFEATED REPUBLIC'S LEADING MILITARY OFFICER, met with a small group of Biafran government officials AND MADE THE FATEFUL DECISION TO SURRENDER TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA. EFFIONG WENT ON BIAFRAN RADIO TO ANNOUNCE THE CAPITULATION, .... This drew a very clear line between what was going on in the country and what was about to happen - WHICH WAS THE FALL OF BIAFRA. BEFORE THAT, THE DEFEAT WAS ALREADY QUITE APPARENT. ..//.. GENERAL GOWON MADE A NATIONAL BROADCAST ON THE EVE OF THE OFFICIAL SURRENDER TO ANNOUNCE THE END OF THE THIRTY-MONTH WAR... A DAY LATER, ON JANUARY 15, 1970, THE BIAFRAN DELEGATION, WHICH WAS LED BY MAJOR-GENERAL PHILIP EFFIONG AND INCLUDED SIR LOIS MBANEFO, M.T. MBU, COLONEL DAVID OGUNEWE, AND OTHER BIAFRAN MILITARY OFFICERS, FORMALLY SURRENDERED AT DODAN BARRACKS TO THE TROOPS OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA (P. 225 - 227, THERE WAS A COUNTRY BY CHINUA ACHEBE)." No self respecting intellectual, and a historian for that matter, will fail to grasp the fact that Biafrans were defeated in the war and that they capitulated and surrendered to the Federal government.


Those who accompanied Philip Effiong to Lagos to sign the surrender instrument were Colonel David Ogunewe (Military Adviser to General Ojukwu), Brigadier Patrick Amadi (Commander, Biafran Army), Colonel Patrick Anwunah (Staff Officer, Biafran Army), Patrick Okeke (Inspector-General of Police, Biafra), Sir Louis Mbanefo (Chief Justice of Biafra) and Mathew T. Mbu (Foreign Affairs Commissioner of Biafra, see p.301, Nigeria and Biafra: My Story by Philip Effiong). Obviously, Obi's self-promoted General Achuzia was not among the delegates, even though he had wanted to, that surrendered in Lagos and he had no influence whatsoever on the conclusion of the war since he was removed as a war front Commander by Ojukwu long before the war ended and assigned with the duty of petrol rationing in Biafra. His portrait was given by John de St Jorre thus, "Colonel Joe 'Hannibal' Achuzia is a more mysterious figure since he has never served in the Nigerian Army (may I add before the war). He claimed that he had fought in the British Army in Korea and Suez but this has never been confirmed. Before the war he ran an electrical business in Port Harcourt and before that he had lived in Britain where he married his English wife, Ethel (p.277, The Nigerian Civil War)." On page 284 of his book, Philip Effiong noted that on Thursday, 1 January 1970, that he received a letter of complaints from the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Biafran Army, Major-General Alexander Madiebo, against Colonel Achuzia for plotting against former officers of the Nigerian Army (now of Biafran Army). When confronted Colonel Achuzia denied plotting against anybody. On Friday, 2 January 1970, Effiong received another complaints from the GOC as well as from Brigadier Anthony Eze against Achuzia which were eventually resolved. On 13 January 1970, Effiong recorded on page 296 of his book thus, "Colonel Joe Achuzia called with Bernard Odogwu of the former Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) and told me the story of how he, on his initiative, had made contacts with the federal troops at Orlu following my broadcast. In view of the importance attached to rank by the Nigerians, he wanted me to allow him put on a Brigadier's rank so as to command more respect and be more effective in his talks with field commanders he was meeting. It was pure blackmail, but I agreed. ...//... On Achuzia's contact story I was later given the correct version of what transpired by Dr. Ifegwu Eke, former Information Commissioner for Biafra. Achuzia, apparently, had run into an ambush laid by the Nigerian troops and was caught by them and by a flash of quick thinking he told them who he was and that I had sent him to establish contact with them. He was then happily received and taken to their commander. It was at this stage that Achuzia appeared and Ifegwu Eke identified him as one of his emissaries." That was how Joe Achuzia came to meet Lieutenant Colonel Akinrinade of the 3rd Marine Commando illegitimately.


From the above facts, Joe Achuzia last rank in the Biafran Army was Colonel and not a General as being falsely touted by Obi Nwakanma. After the end of the war, the Nigerian government screened all the Biafran armed forces personnel who were in the Nigerian Armed Forces before the war. The screenings led to the dismissal of few while some were retired with benefits and others were re-absorbed into the forces on the rank they held before the war. Joe Achuzia's enlistment in the Biafran Army was not recognized by the Nigerian Government and since Biafra was defeated, his service in the Biafran Army was useless. Thus, he is legally not a retired Colonel, not to talk of a General, in today's Nigeria. After the screening in 1970, Joe Achuzia was detained for eight years for sadistic behaviour during the war and he was referred to as Mr. Joe Achuzia. If Achuzia's Biafra did not surrender, how was it possible to detain him for eight years by the Nigerian Government. If Biafra was not defeated, is there a Biafra nation paying his pension as a retired Colonel of Biafra? Who is paying for his pension as a retired Biafran Colonel? Obi Nwakanma is a Doctor of History but he should not exploit his position to fabricate sick history.
S. Kadiri


 




Från: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> för Rex Marinus <rexmarinus@hotmail.com>
Skickat: den 5 juni 2017 23:12
Till: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Surrender message of Biafra warlords
 


"I don't know what Obi Nwakanma stands to gain by twisting and denying facts of history."

S. Kadiri


The question would be which history? Whose history. And what facts? I do not share the same history with you. I lived in Biafra, you did not. I saw death and the impact of death on fighting men on a scale that you can only imagine. You have never felt the shattering power of artillery in your life, and you sit only from the distance pontificating on a history you read only in newspapers, and stories you heard second hand from men who saw battle, or even their children, who sometimes had to nurse them through their nightmares. You have quoted Effiong, but below is the other side to the story, and it is the voice of "Air Raid" Achuzia. We do not have the same history. And you cannot tell my own story. It'd be utterly presumptuous of you.

Obi Nwakanma



___________________________

"So was Biafra defeated?

Of course, not. Biafra was never de­feated. If anybody…

(Cuts in) But you surrendered.

We didn’t surrender. If there was a sur­render, there must be a surrender terms of agreement. There must be a paper to that effect. Let them publish the terms of surrender, so that the country will know. It has been so many years since the war ended. Any document that is being kept should now come out of the archives, so that we should be able to know exactly what took place.

Are you still bitter about how the war ended?

If I was bitter, I wouldn’t have taken the steps that I took that brought about the end of the war.

What were the steps?

The steps that I took were first being told by the members of our exco to bring the war to an end. I could have said no, that I will not, because to bring a war to an end requires certain amount of know­how and techniques. And if you don’t put it right, it will escalate the battle. But if you handle it properly the way we han­dled it, everything dies down. The federal troops picked up their guns, went back to their camps. Our troops picked up their weapons and went home.

That was why there was no exchange of prisoners of war, no exchange of weapons seized. Is that how a war of such magnitude should end? And some people are saying that they won? If they won, there would be prisoners of war."

-General Joe Achuzia, Biafra War Commander in the Sun Newspaper, May 12, 2016. Full interview below.

___________________________






HomeCoverBiafra: We didn’t surrender –Col Joe Achuzia (retd)

Biafra: We didn’t surrender –Col Joe Achuzia (retd)

— 22nd May 2016

 

…Show the world the surrender documents, Achuzia challenges FG, others

“ We didn’t surrender. If there was a surrender, there must be a surrender terms of agreement. There must be a paper to that effect. Let them publish the terms of surrender, so that the country will know.”

By Chidi Obineche

Former Biafra warlord, Col Joe Achuzia (Air raid) reminisces on the Nigeria–Biafra war, concluding that the short-lived Biafra republic was neither defeated, nor surrendered. The famous author of Requiem Biafra and General Secretary of IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) also speaks on the recent Enugu killings by Fulani herdsmen, declaring that nobody has the monopoly of aggression. He added that those who believe that Nigeria is indivisible are living in a fool’s paradise. Sunday Sun met him at his residence in Asaba.

Do you believe Nigeria has got it right, after 17 years of democracy?

My own opinion is that we have never got the situation right since after the first coup in 1966. Democracy means a political arrangement by the people, for the people. In other words there must be a concord or disagreement between the led and the leaders. In this instance, since the 1966 coup took place and the military came on board, the military introduced a system of government where aspects of development are arrested and the majority of those being led are at the bottom. Within that system, it is the person at the top that gives the order. What he wants, with his cronies around him is what takes place. But in a democracy, it is supposed to be the wishes of the people, and for democracy to work, the top hierarchy must be weak enough to derive its strength from the lower bottom, where the masses are. It is the wishes of the masses that make for democracy, not the autocracy of the person on top.

Do you attribute the prevailing ethno-religious tension and clashes as manifes­tations of the dictatorship you are talking about and where do you think it will lead to?

The ethnic clashes have always been about the pogrom. It was ethnic clashes that led us into a civil war, or what you can call a genocidal war. It was a one-sided genocidal war, that we on our side were able to defend ourselves. I will always say thanks to the Almighty who gave us the knowhow and the ingenuity to be able to ward off a war that would have decimated and wiped off the Igbo nation from the map of the world. That notwithstanding, ethnic clashes have two factors that one should look into.

First, nobody whose land or ethnic environment looks good and serves the people well, will dare to move out of their own surrounding and go to lay down their lives in another person’s territory in an attempt to possess that place. It is only when a group finds wherever they are unfavourable and uninhab­itable that the thought of venturing or adventuring into other people’s territory becomes the vogue. At the moment, ethnic clashes in Nigeria, have what we call environmental problem, which even the government hasn’t been able to look into. They continue thinking it is a political arrangement that can be solved politically. No. I don’t believe that.

The Fulani herdsmen/farmers clashes in the south, which I believe is what you are alluding to has consumed many lives. How do you think it can be resolved?

The issue of Fulani herdsmen could be solved, but not the way our present government is treating it. The way our present government is pursuing it, taking into consideration all the hate accusations and hate propaganda that took place during the last election, and within the last 12 years to be precise, is wrong. When Jonathan was in power; all that was coming out from the north was that we will make the government ungovernable; we will make the country ungovernable. Somehow, political pundits will say they were able to make the country ungov­ernable. Now the situation is that the same people who were saying that they will make the country ungovernable are now the people in government. Their coming into government was predicated on the adventures of Boko Haram, which, they said, they will put a stop to. Instead of Boko Haram, we are now hearing about the Fulani herdsmen.

These herdsmen are the same people who at­tacked people from the middle belt since the past seven years or more, and shifted them from the west bank of Benue state into the eastern part, and it has taken almost three years for the same people (Fulani herdsmen) to cross River Benue to the eastern side and killed these ethnic people that live there; and are now pursuing them into Plateau State. And while at Plateau State, they are now pursuing them as if the instructions given to them are pursue and occupy. You don’t burn houses and kill people so that cows can graze. We are shocked that the herdsmen that we used to know are involved in these kind of kill­ings. I ask myself, is it Boko Haram metamorphos­ing into a specie called herdsmen by virtue of the fact that they are all armed? For them to be armed, somebody must be arming them, and I don’t believe that any sensible Fulani person will go out of their way to arm the herdsmen who they expect will carry their herds down south­wards , so that they will make money out of it. By using sophisticated weapons and arms against the people who they expect to buy the cows, means that they are not really interested in taking their flock down south for economic purposes. It is an adven­ture into land occupation, and if it is that, what hap­pened recently in Enugu is a clear signal to us. It is a declaration of war, and we have taken note. We will not tolerate such a situation happening again. Any more move of such nature will meet with force. Our neighbours in the middle belt have been fight­ing them, and they have now gone beyond them to our doorsteps. As far as I am concerned, to be cau­tious doesn’t mean that you are afraid. Caution is a state of stop and think, and prepare so that you are not taken by surprise.

How do you see what happened as a decla­ration of war?

If you listened to the statement of the governor of Enugu State, and that of the security officials, they had up to four, five days notice. How did that warning reach them? And what action did they take? The governor said he called a security meeting, which is the proper thing to do. But instead of action from the security officials, they were telling him to reach the president. But unfortunate­ly, the response that should have come from the president was not forthcoming, and as a result the officers refused to act claiming that they are federal officers. And so the threat took place as scheduled, and those that came from Nasarawa state were fully armed. Who are those that we know that are fully armed in Nigeria? They are Boko Ha­ram. In other words, are they trying to tell us that Boko Haram has headquarters in Nasarawa State. If that is so, Boko Haram is already at our doorsteps masquerading as Fulani herdsmen.

Now you have got the notice for declaration of war, what is to be done?

When you get a notice of declaration of war, you put the mechanism of diplomacy in place. That way, discus­sions on the ways and means of averting any clashes that will take human lives. But at the same time, you that got the warning will reply by telling the other side that you have received the notice, and that you are sending words back that any more move of this nature, you will not wait for interpretation. You will react automatically.

Have you put the mechanisms you just enu­merated in place?

Of course! Do you expect us to sit back and wait for other communities to be attacked? Of course not! I said earlier that caution is not fear. We were cautious by not reacting immediately, because if we do that things will go bad. The period or the need for diplomacy would have eluded us. The government will now listen to what we are saying, because the threats from these herdsmen have been with us for a long time. We have been tolerating it because we felt it is because of lack of education on how to handle animal husbandry. They are used to nomadic ways of life of moving from place to place, but what has happened in the last few years is not nomadic way of life. It seems to be a deliberate external action. The only way of getting weapons is through external sources. To say we don’t know where the weapons are coming from is a lie. Boko Haram doesn’t get their weapons from the ports in Port Harcourt or Lagos.

Is it just Boko Haram you are suspecting; or you feel there is state involvement?

Boko Haram has disrupted the structure in parts of the north by claiming that they are a religious organization on a jihad. It is for this reason that sometimes we tend to associate what Boko Haram is doing with islamization of the country. But most of our friends who are Muslims say Boko Haram are not Muslims. Boko Haram have declared that they are here to gain territories. They have had time to establish themselves in some states in the north. It is possible that they have changed their tactics by fusing with these Fulani herdsmen, find minor jobs, and interact with the local people while waiting for or­ders. That’s why I say that a message of war declaration has been sent to us and we have taken note. We will now start searching to make sure that any remaining camp of Fulanis within our territory does not contain arms dump, ammunition dump and terrorists.

Do you believe that the herdsmen attack has given fillip to the struggle for Biafra?

The struggle for Biafra has been going on since the day the war stopped. The Federal Government failed to do what the three “ R’s” suggested . We sent a lot of our children abroad during the war, for fear of extermination. These children went out wearing labels on their necks indicating their names and birthplaces and country; for example Okafor, native of Biafra. Not Nigeria. We pack­aged them to different countries. They are now adults. Coming home, they find that they need to be engaged with work or business. They are now asked to state their state of origin, local government, etc. If he says he was born in Ohafia, they tell him to go and get a letter signed by his traditional ruler, and local government chairman. If he fails they say where were you all these years? He becomes an alien in his own country. That’s why we the elders insist that we need interpretation of the law so that these children will be treated as Biafrans in Nigeria. To get it clear, we had to take the Federal Government to court.

What hope do you have that the court can help in this sensitive issue because there is no precedence?

Precedence are created by people. If we didn’t go to court and such a situation occurs again, the people that will seek interpretation will come across the same thing you are asking me that there is no precedence. If we lose, we will seek redress in a higher court.

In this quest for self determination, are you consulting other ethnic groups?

The former president set up a committee to look into ways and means of dousing this agitation for self determination across the country. Recommen­dations were made, but steps were not made to ac­tualize the decisions taken. Obasanjo also set up a similar committee, but they accused him of nurs­ing a third term agenda. Jonathan was accused of trying to go beyond two terms in office for setting up the committee and efforts were made to scuttle whatever was intended from that conference. The new government ought to take up the resolutions of that conference.

You were involved in the last struggle which was violent. If diplomacy fails, and you are asked to fight, will you fight?

( Laughs) It is not only one person that has the monopoly of aggression. If aggression is imposed on my people, of course, I will react accordingly.

Is Nigeria indivisible as some people are wont to say?

No country is indivisible. If a country like Brit­ain with four component parts –English, Welsh, Scottish and the Irish – can split after so many years, then that argument can’t stand. The Irish pulled away and fought for self determination for so many years. The Scottish have been using di­plomacy all along and we aware that a few years ago they were almost on the verge of going. The Welsh are just waiting to go, if Scotland goes, they will go.Who packaged Nigeria? Was it done by a Nigerian? This is a legacy of colonialism, and because of that it is a cloak that can be thrown off anytime. When Ghandi was fighting for the in­dependence of India, he chose passive resistance, like what we in IPOB have chosen. After inde­pendence India became divided. Pakistan went its own way. Bangladesh went its own way, and so on. That of Nigeria, it is only a fool- hardy per­son with a colonial mentality, and who wishes to replace the colonial master that will be working under the mantle of an indivisible Nigeria.

But northern elders recently urged the president to crush any resuscitation of Biafra like was done before. Do you have that defeatist psychology?

It is only a fool who did not understand the his­tory of the Nigeria- Biafra civil war, and how it ended that can say such a thing. The fellow you are talking about how old is he? What role did he play during the civil war? Those who partook in the civil war, none of them will go out of their way to use such a language. Even the younger officers like Babangida, and Buhari will not say, we won the war. Where was he at the time.?

So was Biafra defeated?

Of course, not. Biafra was never de­feated. If anybody…

(Cuts in) But you surrendered.

We didn’t surrender. If there was a sur­render, there must be a surrender terms of agreement. There must be a paper to that effect. Let them publish the terms of surrender, so that the country will know. It has been so many years since the war ended. Any document that is being kept should now come out of the archives, so that we should be able to know exactly what took place.

Are you still bitter about how the war ended?

If I was bitter, I wouldn’t have taken the steps that I took that brought about the end of the war.

What were the steps?

The steps that I took were first being told by the members of our exco to bring the war to an end. I could have said no, that I will not, because to bring a war to an end requires certain amount of know­how and techniques. And if you don’t put it right, it will escalate the battle. But if you handle it properly the way we han­dled it, everything dies down. The federal troops picked up their guns, went back to their camps. Our troops picked up their weapons and went home.

That was why there was no exchange of prisoners of war, no exchange of weapons seized. Is that how a war of such magnitude should end? And some people are saying that they won? If they won, there would be prisoners of war.

How optimistic are you that Bi­afra will be realized in your life­time?

No. I wasn’t looking for the realization of Biafra or no Biafra. My interest is that the present situation where the youths that were born in Biafra claiming their rights should be listened to and some­thing done to either accommodate them, or allow them to set up their own coun­try. Setting up their own country, to me shouldn’t be what they should be asking for at the moment. First, they should ask for the legitimization of their positions within the state called Nigeria, because we didn’t fight to get out of Nigeria as we cannot carry the soil away. What we fought for was that nobody crushed us and annihilate us so that there would be no Eastern region





From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Salimonu Kadiri <ogunlakaiye@hotmail.com>
Sent: Monday, June 5, 2017 7:44 PM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: SV: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Surrender message of Biafra warlords
 

Why should Obi Nwakanma invent a history of how the Nigerian civil war ended when Biafra's Major-General Philip Effiong and Chief Secretary to the Biafran Government and Ojukwu, Mr. N.U. Akpan have bequeathed Nigerians and the world with written accounts of the end of the war? The war ended long before Youtube became a fashion and written words of Akpan and Effiong should be rated higher than Nollywood inspired film posted on Youtube by wishful dreamers of history.


In his book titled, The Struggle For Secession 1966 - 1970, Mr. N.U. Akpan conveyed the following military fate of Biafra on January 8, 1970, "The Governor (Ojukwu) had arrived at Owerri on the evening of Thursday, January 8, in a hurried flight from Madonna, forty miles away, his permanent residence since the fall of Umuahia. It had been a confused and panic-ridden day for everybody. The Federal troops had crossed the Imo River at more than two points. And Imo River had always been regarded as the most effective natural barrier against the enemy. Shells were falling in Madonna. Early in the morning of the said January 8, we had been told that the Federal troops were twenty-nine miles from Owerri along the Aba-Owerri road. By noon they were less than fifteen miles away. I phoned the Commanding Officer, Brigadier Kalu, who told me that the situation was now hopeless and advised that any contingency plans made should be put into immediate effect. Later that afternoon Major-General Philip Effiong (Chief of General Staff, Biafran Armed Forces) called to inform me that Major-General Madiebo, the GOC of the Biafran Army, had told him that the army could no longer hold. It being a 'purely military matter' I advised Effiong to go a tell the Governor. ... At Owerri I told him (the Governor) what I knew of the situation, particularly what Effiong and Kalu had told me. He told me to contact members of the Executive Council resident in Owerri to come for a meeting at midnight. ....//... The Governor opened (the meeting) by describing the military situation and then stressed the need for the 'leadership of Biafra' to leave for safety. Nobody had any objection to the Governor's leaving immediately. It was Sir Louis Mbanefo who suggested that it would be bad taste for the Governor to leave without giving some honourable reason to the people. He then suggested a broadcast saying that the Governor was going out in search of peace. ...//... Thus, when I was talking to the few colleagues and others in Nkwere whom I had managed to contact, none of us even suspected that the Federal troops were less than ten miles away from us, having overrun Owerri early the previous day, and were approaching Orlu from two directions. I came face to face with this reality when travelling with Dr. Pius Okigbo, Mathew Mbu and T.C.M. Eneli to see the Governor at Ogwa, and hand to him the draft broadcast he was to make that evening before leaving. We met, less than five miles from Nkwere, streams of panic-stricken Biafran troops both on foot and in vehicles fleeing in disorder in the opposite direction. Pulling into a side bush-path we managed to learn, after considerable difficulty, what had happened. It was with equal difficulty that we managed to turn about and negotiate our way, through the throngs of civilians and soldiers, back towards Nkwere. ....//.... The journey from Uli to Abidjan took five hours or so. We landed at a military airport at exactly six o'clock in the morning of Sunday, January 11, 1970. .... As soon as our plane touched down, Mr. Mojekwu turned to General Ojukwu and said with elation and a broad smile : We have made it (p.165-175)." Thus, with the above narration, Biafra was militarily defeated and its army was in disarray as at January 10, 1970 and its military officers only emerged from their hideouts to be accosted and transported to Lagos for formal surrender.


In his book, Nigeria and Biafra : My Story, Philip Effiong was introduced as A Brigade Commander in Nigeria before the war, as No. 2 in the Biafran Administration and as the person that led the team that surrendered to the Federal Government in 1970 (p. xvi). In his own personal introduction on page one, Philip Effiong wrote, "These coups also brought in their wake a 30-month fratricidal war with former Eastern Region of Nigeria as its main theatre. The War ended when I signed the Surrender Instrument in Lagos on 15 January 1970." Further on page 299, Effiong wrote, ".... it was at this Owerri meeting that Obasanjo asked if I would like to go to Lagos to finalise the surrender agreement and I said, without hesitation, that I would." Again on page 304 Effiong assured readers of what he was in Lagos to do thus, "At 9.00 am on 15 January 1970, being the 4th anniversary of the January 1966 coup, my entourage and I were taken from Ikoyi Hotel to Dodan Barracks for the signing of the final Surrender Instrument." What happened at Dodan Barracks was recorded by Philip Effiong on page 306 thus, "I then shook hands with members of the Supreme Military Council and was shown by an official usher to where I stood to read my formal Surrender Instrument, which is reproduced hereunder for reference and historic purpose." It is noteworthy that Effiong and his entourage stood up during the reading of the Surrender Instrument while Major-General Gowon and members of the Supreme Military Council sat. Finally under 'Chronology of Events', Philip Effiong noted thus, "15 January 1970 : FORMAL SURRENDER OF BIAFRA AND SIGNING OF THE SURRENDER INSTRUMENT. THE HEAD OF STATE, GENERAL YAKUBU GOWON, MADE A BROADCAST AFTER THE SURRENDER."


As for Obasanjo, he recorded the followings in Chapter XI of his 'MY COMMAND' under the title, SURRENDER, "... I formally reported the accomplishment of my mission to the Commander-in-Chief and I presented Philip Effiong, the officer administering the Government of Republic of Biafra and his colleagues to the Head of State.

Philip, who was wearing a brownish gabardine round-necked 'buba' with trousers, marched forward and stood in front of Head of State. He read out in a clear voice, under the strong light of cameras and cine-cameras, THE TEXT OF THE DOCUMENT OF SURENDER AND SUBMISSION. It was one of the finest moments of Nigerian history. The Head of State and Commander-in-Chief, General Yakubu Gowon, made a significant speech to accept formally THE SURRENDER AND DECLARE THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR (p.135)." In not less than six occasions, Philip Effiong stated categorically in his book, Nigeria and Biafra: My story, that he signed surrender instrument in Lagos on January 15, 1970. He has been corroborated by Obasanjo who actually bundled the rebel officers from Port Harcourt to Lagos. Mr. Akpan, the Chief Secretary to the Biafran Government gave very clear account of the defeat of the Biafran army that disbanded in disarray. I don't know what Obi Nwakanma stands to gain by twisting and denying facts of history.

S. Kadiri


 




Från: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> för Rex Marinus <rexmarinus@hotmail.com>
Skickat: den 5 juni 2017 09:43
Till: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Surrender message of Biafra warlords
 

Ibukunola Babajide, you may believe what you like about Biafra and surrender, it doesn't alter the facts that the Biafrans did not surrender, but agreed to a cessation of conflict. But if Biafra really surrendered go get the proof. Ferret out the document or treaty using the words "surrender." The only documents available are in the words Philip Effiong read, crafted and agreed upon by the Biafran leadership, and it is in the public domain. But for YouTube, the internet, and other new means of circulating once "secret" documents, photos, or films, you'd put words in Philip Effiong's mouth that he did not say. Listen again to the statement of the Biafrans, and listen again to the careful choice of the words of the parties - Gowon, Obasanjo, and Effiong himself - and you will, if you have the capability, discern the truth. But I do not think you want the truth. And so, I say again, it is your cup of tea to believe whatever makes you get up from bed in the morning about Biafra. And meanwhile, keep your wit around you, do not grow hoarse yet. You have all the time to talk Biafra and Biafra surrender all you want. It doesn't make a difference or alter the fact that those on the Biafran side of that conflict believe very firmly that the Federal side of that war has reneged on all the basis of the compact of  restoration that re-established the federation in 1970. What you personally believe is therefore immaterial to them.

Obi Nwakanma





From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Ibukunolu A Babajide <ibk2005@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, June 5, 2017 2:01 AM
To: USAAfricaDialogue
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Surrender message of Biafra warlords
 
Obi Nwakannma,

You think that if you repeat your lie many times, it will alter is as a lie?  Biafra surrendered, signed the instrument of surrender and Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu like the coward that he is, ran into exile!

Cheers.

IBK



_________________________
Ibukunolu Alao Babajide (IBK)

On 5 June 2017 at 01:45, Rex Marinus <rexmarinus@hotmail.com> wrote:


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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