Last week’s column on the subject above predictably provoked angry responses. As usual some were reasonable, some, the vast majority, were downright abusive. I Thought I should share some of the more reasonable ones with the public because, in spite of the strong language of some of these more reasonable ones, they contain some food for thought for us all, whatever we think of the late ex rebel leader.
Your article on “Ojukwu: The man died but his spirit lives on,” is nothing but the ranting of a selfish man attempting to whittle down the influence of an ‘enigma’ of Igbo extraction that cannot be equated with any Northern leader dead or alive. Try as you did, Ojukwu remains the greatest African leader ever.
Why, Mohammed Haruna (and Northern Nigeria), are you always on the edge about Nigeria breaking up; always palpitating about losing your life support and withering off? Why must your existence depend on another, either by his choice or by force? Why carry with you the unfortunate fate of your existence being based on falsehood, and therefore always afraid of the truth being told? I think it is a cursed existence! Such a life is not meant to be, since it is dependent on a condition that will not always be.
Like cowards, imbeciles and loafers that you are, you keep dying several times over before your actual death. I bet that even if the oil is to be transferred to the North, or Igbos are to be transferred to the North and Northerners to Igboland, you will still start begging for Nigeria because of the development you will see Igbos put on Northern soil. If not for your worthlessness and wretched life, it should be Igbos who should be begging for Nigeria.
You are not ashamed that with a vast, arable landmass the size of several countries put together, which, apart from multiple other mineral deposits and economic potentials should be enough to feed entire Africa, you are still struggling for oil whose lifespan cannot exceed the next 35 years. I wish indeed that Nigeria does not break up so that Igbos in particular and the South as a whole do not lose a claim to that wealth so limitless but which your stunted mind is incapable of actualizing.
You are not ashamed that at a time when the South West has been forced by your reluctance to accept a SNC to establish a plan for regional integration and do away with oil, you are on the pages of newspapers fretting and crying over unity in order to be guaranteed oil.
Igbos have been infested and cursed with the mediocrity of the North because of Lugard, but it is a curse that will not always last!
Get away, you coward!
Thank you very much for penning for us such a wonderful article. I had a good read. Since the time Ojukwu died, I hadn’t read any article on him, not because I didn’t come across any but because I know almost all the articles will depict him as a saint when he was the brain behind the only civil war Nigeria had. Even our own people are talking about him as if he was one of the best Nigeria ever had. May Allah give you the ability to respond to the bigots that are going to comment on this because there sure are going to be a lot of them.
I am quite amazed that 42 years after the war ended you are still stoking this blame game against Ojukwu as the cause of the civil war. I believe that the civil war is a tragic event that we must be dispassionate about. There was nobody in Ojukwu’s position who could have acted otherwise given the genocide against the Igbo. There is no way you can tell me that political leaders/military leaders in the north risked their lives to stop the killings.
The political/military leaders in Rwanda who looked the other way when Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred are now cooling their feet in the coldest section of jails. It is not sufficient to stop killings but genociders must be brought to justice and how many of them were brought to justice to convince Ojukwu that there was no need to opt out of the Nigerian arrangement?
Again, Ojukwu exhausted all avenues to settle the matter but the Federal Government reneged on the Aburi accord that could have prevented the war.
We must strive to build a modern country. Nobody should see a part of a country as a vassal of the other. Citizens must have rights and be protected wherever they are and you will agree with me that there is no community in this country that you will not find an Igbo. So, the Nigerianness of the Igbo surpasses that of any Nigerian.
I am an Igbo and a proud Nigerian at that. But if am not protected outside the predominantly Igbo speaking area, I have every tendency to go home and support anybody who will protect me. It is natural and the first law of survival.
The problem we have in Nigeria is that the elites must strive to give justice to all citizens so that everybody will have a stake in this wonderful project called Nigeria. This will elicit support from every citizen and nobody will be craving for a utopia due to frustration.
You must be aware that there have been two referenda in Canada requesting residents of the province of Quebec “whether they prefer to separate from Canada?” But on every occasion the majority was always an emphatic NO. They always say that they are better being Canadians but they would need more autonomy due to their uniqueness.
So, Ojukwu sought for autonomy not separation as some people actually believe.
Finally, this blame game should be over by now and we should find ways to resolve the injustice that precipitated the civil that is still with us today and given birth to Odua Peoples Congress, MEND, MASSOB and the Boko Haram.
Major James Eze
I can best describe your article with the above title an attempt to distort facts to suit your propaganda agenda.
In your recount of the event leading to the civil war as told you by one Malam Magaji(His-story) I searched hard to see or read(even in between lines) in your account what happened to the soldiers when they finally laid down their arms.
So many versions of events leading to the civil war has been told by the victims, the oppressors and the ‘bystanders’ and in all this recounts a fact that hasn’t been distorted or changed is the reason for the war in the first place. I can’t begrudge your personal opinions of the Ikemba, because in your analysis you just came short of calling him a man that hungered for power.
I am sure you realise that if the situations ever presented themselves again and roles reversed (as in the North being the victims this time) nobody will blame it for wanting to secede. Boko Haram took a whole new dimension for a lesser reason than massacre of an entire race. The war was fought and lost and we have healed from the scars of that sad period in our country’s history but trying to resurrect any document to push blames 45yrs later is not learning from the past to guide against the future.
Babangida Aliyu isn’t telling us anything new, even though I suspect his statements are political investment against 2015.
As an individual with a famous weekly column in two newspapers what have you done on a personal capacity to improve the decadence, corruption and illiteracy level in the North other than blaming Jonathan for all your woes?
Ikemba has played his part, and I am sure posterity will be fair to him in judging him. What have you done Haruna? How will you be remembered? As a man who blamed the south for underdeveloping the North? Time is ticking, brother.
Arc Charlie Amankwe
Please I wish to know is Ojukwu’s state burial is as result of his being an ex-warlord or as a former senior army officer?
umaridris [email protected]
First, Ojukwu’s burial was not a state burial as the rare 21 gun salute would suggest. The central element of a state burial, I am told, is the national flag flying at half mast, an element which was missing during his burial. Instead he was buried as an officer of the Nigerian army whose commission had been restored long ago.
However, contrary to the claims by several newspapers and by even many otherwise well informed writers, he was buried not as a general but as a Lieutenant Colonel, the last rank he wore before he declared his rebellion and the rank he was paid his pension as. His pall bearers were Colonels, all right, but the discerning observer of his burial ceremony would have noticed that the ceremonial cap on his casket was that of a Lieutenant Colonel.
Ojukwu’s rebellion ended forty two years ago not the twenty two years you inadvertently stated in your last paragraph.
Muhammad Tukur Jibril
It was indeed inadvertent and I stand corrected.