"Ojukwu, The Coward..." A clarification
The author of the article published on Nov. 28, 2011, titled “Ojukwu, The Coward Secessionist-May He Rest!” is obviously an Ogoni man. But in the interest of readers who are not of Ogoni descent and may not fully understand the principles and operational models on which the Ogoni people and the MOSOP struggle stand; I am the immediately Secretary-General emeritus of Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, USA (MOSOP-USA), and want to make it clear that the opinions expressed in the article on Ojukwu by Mr. Ben Ikari is purely the opinion of the author and does not, in any shape or form, represent the opinion of the Ogoni people or the MOSOP struggle.
Ojukwu was a leader who in his own right, represented and fought for the interest of his people and the proposed Republic of Biafra. Ken-Saro Wiwa was another leader who had to fight to protect the interest of his Ogoni people.
For purposes of full disclosure, it has to be said that the interests of the two leaders, unfortunately, did not align because Saro Wiwa had his fears of the humiliation and enslavement of the Ogoni people in a 'Republic of Biafra' because of the then obvious domination and maltreatments of the Ogoni people by the Ibos, even in Bori, the traditional headquarters of Ogoniland. Both leaders, Ken and Ojukwu, ended-up on opposing sides of the Nigerian Civil War.
It has been about forty years ago since the war ended the way it did.
The Ogoni people bear no grudges against Ojukwu. We respect him for standing up for his people and the principles he believed in. The Ogoni people have not fared any better in the present Nigerian structure and have no reason or way of knowing that they would have fared any worse in a Republic of Biafra.
In a nutshell, it could be rightly posited that the problems Ojukwu saw with Nigeria are the same Problems Saro Wiwa identified. The difference between both leaders is simply the methods by which they made their demands and the type of outcomes they expected as the end result of their actions.
We therefore do not see Ojukwu as a villain and are not interested in the sort of posthumous image assassination being perpetrated by Mr. Ben Ikari in his publication.
Nigeria is in political and economic situations that do not bolt well for any ethnic unit, state or region of the country. This is not the time for ethnic rivalries and distrust in our country. And certainly not the time for lack of harmonization in the Niger Delta region where we need all the possible concerted efforts we can get to confront the paradox of poverty and misery in the midst abundant petroleum resources in the region.
We must have all hands on deck to build a better and greater Nigeria.
DumBari Tsaro Deezua.