THE MYSTERY OF MAN AND NATURE

By NBF News
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People advanced reasons why he was shying away from the popular demand - that he was mindful of his father's numerous landed property in the Northern and Western Nigeria.

But unlike Mr. Ezechukwu's imagined mob, it was the selfish and self-serving dismissal of the national Ad Hoc Committee by Yakubu Gowon on November 30, 1966, on the grounds that 'it could serve no further purpose'; the jettisoning of the Aburi agreement; the desires of the Easterners, spearheaded by the 335 members of the Eastern Nigeria Consultative Assembly, the Council of Chiefs and Elders; the totality of the returnee refugees and the millions of 'at home Easterners', that aggregated into a whirlwind, which drowned Ojukwu's voice, especially with the attitude of the Gowon administration and the wicked satisfaction the Northerners derived from the killings.

Besides, there was nothing like an apology from either Gowon or any of the other Governors from the West, Midwest or Northern Nigeria in respect of the killings of Easterners that took place in the entire Northern Nigeria and parts of Western Nigeria. If Mr. Uche Ezechukwu was the governor of Eastern Nigeria at that doom-laden period in the lives of Easterners, given the background of what happened to the military personnel of Eastern Nigeria origin and Easterners, who were slaughtered in churches, schools, markets, police stations, army barracks, in places outside Eastern Nigeria as if they had no home region, what would he have done?

Would he have glued himself to one Nigeria and watch the people over whom he is the governor, and possibly himself wiped out?

Mr. Ezechukwu should be informed that after the initial killings in May 1966, of Easterners in the North and the outcry from within and outside Nigeria, there were assurances and promises from Gowon, pledging that the killings would not continue if the fleeing Easterners returned to their places of abode in the North.

Based on those promises, Ojukwu asked returnee Easterners to go back to their stations in Nigeria from where they had fled, only for a more heinous pogrom to be visited upon them from thence onwards, through July, August, September and beyond.

When Gowon finally made a statement, appalled, he declared that 'the killings had reached a point of recklessness and irresponsibility.' Did the killers, now drunk with the blood of Easterners listen? Was Yakubu Gowon sincere, honest or even capable of stopping the holocaust?

Mr. Ezechukwu is not bound to take my advice but it is a mistake to try to re-write the history of Nigeria-Biafra episode by saying what he does not know. He should not exaggerate the negatives against Easterners nor try to ingratiate himself to the Nigerian side, for if he does, the rest of the world that know the truth, including Easterners and Nigerians, would loathe him.

The dramatis personae would take him as a jester or ask Yakubu Gowon why he apologised to the Igbos in Asaba in the presence of the Asagba of Asaba in 1997, and why people walked out on him at Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri, when he came for his 'Nigeria Prays' later the same year. Colonel Tanko Zubairu as Imo State Military Governor, could not stop the walk out. Peoples' anger was too evident and obvious.

It is not for nothing that Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu remains the most loved and revered Easterner today. Easterners appreciate what he did for them, for their sake, to save the lives of his people. If Mr. Ezechukwu was outside the country at that time, he should ask questions so that he does not get accused of falsifying history. 'We know these things because the things that happened, happened to us and we were there when they happened,' Ojukwu would say.

That part of our history has already been etched on our memories, to be passed on to our children, from generation to generation. I was there at that time.