GOWON AND OBASANJO: VILLAINOUS ACTORS WHO PERMANENTLY WRECKED NIGERIA
Every sociopolitical system personifies itself in one or two lead-human characters such that one can point at that person or those persons and say, “Yes, these are exemplars of the system” and, do so with reasonable accuracy. For the dysfunctional anti-social, anti-people system called Nigeria, Jack Gowon and Olusegun Obasanjo fit the bill. One quietly and coyly runs around toting a Bible; the other also runs around but with all the noise of an empty barrel, often preaching from a Bible; yet, both are lacking in human conscience and reasoning, true hypocrites belonging with psychopaths. How well they represent Nigeria!
The reactions of these remorseless men on the occasion of Biafran Dim Ojukwu’s death, makes these points so vividly.
“Let us say that the civil was for the unity of the country. If there was no secession, there would not have been a civil war. Although all men of good will to Nigeria will admit that, yes, what happened to the Igbos in Nigeria at the time, it was really bad enough, but I do not think that it should get [to] the stage whereby any leader of a people would wish to take his people out of nation,” Gowon said, in VoA (Voice of America) News of November 26 2011 under the title, “Former Nigerian Leader Pays Tribute to Late Secessionist Ojukwu”
Questions for Gowon: You admit that what happened to the Igbo in Nigeria “was really bad enough”? And just for admitting that, you reward yourself by promoting yourself to the class of “all men of goodwill,” right? But didn’t you forget one thing—that you were also the person directly leading the charge and representing the Nigeria in causing that really bad thing which was happening to the Igbo? Is this not precisely the problem with psychopaths: no conscience, no sensitivity? You, Gowon, do not qualify as a man of goodwill. Psychopaths do not belong in the club of men of goodwill.
Does Gowon really have it in him to understand how bad he and his Nigeria treated the Igbo and other Biafrans, the reason for the secession of Biafra? Apparently, not. In 1966, Gowon and his people of Northern Nigeria engaged in ethnic cleansing of the Igbo then residing among them in an orgy of bloodshed that makes Rwanda look like a true dress-rehearsal. The brutal murders did not stop there: in July of 1966, Gowon and his fellow Northern Military Officer-brethren herded together Igbo officers in the Nigerian army in Lagos and then shot all of them to death in cold blood, save for a handful that was lucky to escape. To Gowon, none of these horrendous events perpetrated by his Nigerian gang and him should be reason enough to justify the secession of a people targeted and marked for annihilation by him and his Nigeria, a victimized nation systematically pushed out of Nigeria and then hotly pursued into their own ancestral enclave, the victims’ last refuge. No; according to Gowon, the Igbo cannot justify leaving Nigeria under these conditions!
Was it not Gowon who reneged on the Aburi agreement, a plan that might have saved Nigeria if implemented as agreed upon? History and facts recall that it was Ojukwu, representing the Igbo and other Biafrans, who proposed a cooling off period for chaotic Nigeria, a confidence re-building period during which each people would be in charge of their own space and security under a region-based confederation arrangement. It was an arrangement that would have permitted time and space for healing of deep wounds and ugly scars. That was the crux of what then Nigerian leaders, including Gowon as their headman, agreed to and signed off on in the Aburi Accord. But then, Gowon broke the agreement. Yet it is the same Gowon who claims that he “didn’t think that it should get [to] the stage whereby any leader of a people would wish to take his people out of nation.” For certain, Gowon “did not think.” Gowon does not think, period. It would be too much to expect different of him.
Gowon’s assertions make him a cretin and or an outright liar, in addition to being a psychopath—an insensitive, conscience-less coldblooded murderer. What do you call a person who breaks his own word? What do you call him when after breaking his word, he deigns to condemn the reaction of the other party—the cheated and victimized party? That’s the kind of dishonorable monster Gowon is.
For his own part, Obasanjo’s reaction to Ojukwu’s death is predictable. Here is a hate-filled crusty, corrupt hypocrite and megalomaniac, a pathologically anti-Igbo anti-Biafran whose only regret in life is that he did not snuff out the entire Igbo race. He is here to tell us that he was trying to extract an expression of remorse from Ojukwu regarding the secession of Biafra.
“In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) from London, Obasanjo recalled particularly that at several times, he discussed the possibility of an expression of remorse from Ojukwu "on the Nigerian civil war which in itself was a culmination of actions and reactions". (“Obasanjo—I Talked With Ojukwu On His Possibly Expressing Remorse On Biafra”-- Nov 30, 2011 This Day/Ail Africa Global Media via COMTEX)
Can anyone with a brain, a heart, and feelings understand Obasanjo’s response here? Who should be feeling remorseful about Biafra and what she and her people suffered at the hands of Nigeria: Obasanjo who represented Nigeria’s genocidal agenda to annihilate the Igbo; or Ojukwu who stood with his Biafran people looking for security and survival, while being relentlessly chased by a determined and rabid Nigeria?
In a just world, both Obasanjo and Gowon, therefore, Nigeria should be on trial for Genocide against Biafra. They are the ones who made it really so bad for the Igbo, to use Gowon’s own disconnected and insensitive characterization of the victims’ plight. It was a plight so horrendous that the picture of suffering Biafran children on the cover of Life Magazine in July of 1968 would make the late contemporary genius, Steve Jobs of Apple, question and literally fall out with God. These two psychopaths, Obasanjo and Gowon, may yet be hauled to court for crimes against humanity; it is not over yet; it is not too late.
And now, a word with the Igbo. Those of you who love Nigeria so or who cling tight to it place yourselves in the same camp as the Obasanjo’s and Gowon’s of Nigeria: make no mistake about this. Gowon has no shame talking about a “nation” and “unity,” as if Nigeria could ever be a nation; talk less of united, when the same Gowon and Obasanjo do everything to destroy it while targeting the Igbo for elimination. If you like Nigeria, then, you side with these psychopaths: they are unrepentant, same as their Nigeria. The reason why Biafra was declared was in response to the deliberate ethnic cleansing against the Igbo and other Biafrans in all parts of Nigeria, but especially in Gowon’s Northern Nigeria. After Biafrans limped back to their own ancestral lands, Nigeria under Gowon and Obasanjo still came after them. Why would any Igbo stay in such a “nation” or believe in its “unity”? Even at that point, the Igbo had lost hundreds of thousands of their people to senseless slaughter by Northern Nigerians. When Nigeria declared war against Biafra, the Igbo and other Biafrans fought back in self-defense; then Nigeria got help from her friends to mount a ferocious blockade against Biafra, a blockade which claimed the lives of millions of our people. Today, Obasanjo says that you should express your remorse to Nigeria—imagine that! Obasanjo says you should be thankful to him and Nigeria that you are still breathing! His fellow psychopath, Gowon, believes that nothing that you suffered, including being pushed out of Nigeria, could justify your leaving Nigeria to try to protect and defend yourself and your families. In other words, you should have stayed pushed out of Nigeria and in addition, offered your throats to Nigeria as lamb for slaughter by Nigeria. Why would any sensible Igbo or Biafran then want to belong in Nigeria or with Nigeria? Why does any Igbo want to agree with Gowon and Obasanjo and their Nigeria?
Following the war, and until today, the same conditions which led to the declaration of Biafra and to the war are still obvious—the same selective oppression, same targeted wanton murder and driving away of the Igbo from all over Nigeria, persists. Our homeland is under occupation by Nigeria’s Police and other armed forces of Nigeria. To Gowon and to Obasanjo, we must deserve targeted oppressive mistreatment, we must accept it, and we must be willing to take more of it—for eternity; and we have to apologize and show remorse when we protest against such. Is that what you really want? Is that what the Igbo really want? That’s what the Igbo get for, and get by, continuing to embrace Nigeria. That’s the only thing Nigeria holds for the Igbo and for other Biafrans.
The Igbo must wake up from the uncharacteristic foolishness resulting from their assumption and wishful thinking that they are part of Nigeria or that Nigeria is good for them or that Nigeria wishes them well. Gowon the pious-feigning double-dealer and Obasanjo the pompous hypocrite are telling you otherwise, as they actually speak for unrepentant Nigeria. How can one belong to a so-called nation which will not acknowledge the wrong it did to a targeted group to which that one belongs, let alone, make amends? Such a nation can never exist. That’s why Nigeria is finished. And, the victims will for all times be haunted by the spirits of those who were murdered by such a nation should the survivors embrace the evil nation by trying to bury their horrible experience. That’s why the Igbo are wandering in the desert now.
The Igbo must wake up from the fear that Nigeria will pounce on them once again should they exercise their Self Determination rights of political independence. It is this fear that Gowon and Obasanjo are banking on and playing on, but they and Nigeria merely bluff. Even Gowon himself is forced to admit, in the same piece quoted above,…”that, in the end, there was no clear victor…” Nigeria—Evil, will not overcome Biafra.
When it comes to our beloved Dim Ojukwu, the best monument he can have is not through the cacophony of the voices and frenzied activities of the proverbial “dead burying the dead.” Biafra is what Ojukwu is known by and will forever be known by. On the day when Gowon decreed that the Igbo and other Biafrans should not and would not defend themselves and could not act in the Igbo’s self-preservation interest, we had Ojukwu to lead us to prove Gowon wrong. Today, Gowon is saying the same thing: we have to prove him wrong once and for all. By actualizing Biafra, we build the only kind of memorial which befits Dim Ojukwu and all those killed by Gowon and Obasanjo and their Nigeria.
Some misguided Igbo in their own calculations think they see a power-vacuum created by the passing of Dim Ojukwu which they must exploit and finagle to fill. They merely hallucinate. The facts will remind us all that we Igbo all lived and always live our lives not ruled by some “Eze Gburu-Gburu” or “Eze Ndigbo”, nor swayed by the fortunes of such. Such titles are alien to us by nature. Rather, we live as each king in his or her own person and household, the very distinguishing characteristic and essence of Igbo-ness. When we understand this, we can see what Nigeria is robbing us of, what Ojukwu with us stood against in fighting Nigeria. We can then become of one mind once again and get Nigeria out of our collective lot, life and space.
Rather than pander to any illusory and self-serving power struggles and distractions, we need to become sober and gather for the renewed fight to fulfill our national destiny as Biafrans, to complete that which we honor Ojukwu for. Just as in 1966, when we make up our mind this time, a leader, not “Eze,” will appear to take us back to Biafra re-actualized.
Anything short is purely tragic wherein the haunting of the Igbo by dead Biafrans and mockery by Gowon and Obasanjo, continue. Our Destiny is different: it is not haunt and mockery; it is not Nigeria. It is Biafra, where we become fulfilled. Let’s get with it.
Written by Oguchi Nkwocha, MD.