Prof. Chinua Achebe
Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu
Prof. Chinua Achebe
Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu
About Obi Nwakanma
educated at the
What do you think about
the current crisis in
The current crisis in Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu
Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu
I believe that through its agents, the Government, in its usual manner, had very seriously infiltrated the MASSOB in order to defeat its policy and agenda. It also used its political agents in manipulating the NARTO and other such organizations to foment disturbances and violence during MASSOB’s activities. Nonetheless, I feel that MASSOB was not vigilant enough to cry out about “the presence of wolves among them” before it was too late.
Do you think the crisis
was properly handled by the
I think that the first thing in a situation of violence is to stop any on-going violence. And this is done by separating the violent parties, keeping them apart. On that score, I think it was a very good move to disband the warring organizations, that is, in effect, to separate them and render their members disconnected and incommunicado with each other, thereby, non-functional, for a period of time.
It was totally wrong for the demonstrators or protesters to release prisoners from the Prisons, as a way to spite the Government. This is in actual fact, cutting one’s nose to spite one’s face. The prisoners were put there after a due process of Law, and found to be dangerous to the society, and therefore, deserved different grades of punishment, ranging from short to long-term incarceration. Releasing them without due process of law is taking the law into their own hands; and taking the prisoners and the society back to square one and beyond, to the disadvantage of the society. How does the Government go about returning the prisoners to confinement? That some of the prisoners returned to the Prisons on their own was a great mark of either, their ethical standards, or their uncertainty as to whom and where to run to and what the next action should be.
I condemned, in no uncertain terms, the posting of soldiers to patrol
and maintain peace and security in
From your experience in government, how would the Okpara Government have handled a similar scenario or conflict?
In my opinion, I think that Dr. Okpara’s Government would have done the first things,
Dr. Okpara’s Government would not have called in soldiers to parade the place under false pretences of helping
to keep peace and security, which function is the opposite of what they are trained to do. The Government of Premier
Okpara would not have accepted
the order that the citizens of the state should vacate their
The Government of Dr. Okpara would not have, by any stretch of the imagination, acquiesced to the order to shoot anybody on sight. That is a declaration of War on the people, under false pretences, with the soldiers who have already been positioned there. The order to shoot at sight is an approval of mass murder, perpetration of genocide and totally lacking in any element of protection for the people’s lives and human rights.
It is Shame on President Obasanjo, Governor Peter Obi, Chris Uba and their collaborators for this declaration of War on Ndi Igbo and the Igbo Youth! OBJ is a soldier, and a soldier to the core, who cannot see any other way of handling the problems of the country he was mandated to govern, other than by sheer brute force. And the South-Eastern Nigeria is his permanent battle-ground! There is no doubt that OBJ is handling Ndi Igbo and the South-South with an iron hand; that he wants to see whether he could complete his job of complete destruction and annihilation of these peoples, before he vacates office in May, 2007. These activities of his are all the reasons why his going would, of course, be good riddance!
Right now, President Obasanjo is on the rampage throughout
For Governor Peter Obi, this is his first activity and engagement with
the people after taking over the administration of
As for Chris Uba and his cohorts, who have no compunction in standing with OBJ in his bid for total destruction and annihilation of Ndi Igbo, their lives, property and geographical space, I can only call their attention to a saying by Ndi Igbo, to the effect that: “Onye n’ako n’ubi Chukwu, Chukwu an’ako na ubi ya; mana onye n’alubi alubi n’ubi Chukwu, Chukwu an’alubi na ubi ya”, which means: “If somebody is doing good cultivation in God’s farm, God will also be doing good cultivation in the person’s farm; but if the person is doing destructive cultivation in God’s farm, certainly, God will be doing destructive work in the person’s farm”.
I know their dear mother fairly well. In fact, we were friends; lived
in the same neighbourhood on
I know that it may not mean anything to you, Chris Uba, what Ndi Igbo might feel and think about you, but it must be very disturbing to your dear mother. I want
you to give her my regards and this message: “That she should do all that is in her power as a good mother to call
her sons, especially you, Chris, to order, because Ndi Igbo, especially
How do you react to the
in Nigerian politics - particularly given the experience of Anambra and
The phenomenon of God-fatherism or King-maker in politics and societal life, is one that operates all over the world, but which
has, like other practices in Nigeria, gotten out of-hand and thoroughly abused. This practice is among the ugly
ones that have given
The person who entered into such a contract in order to win an election has, in effect, mortgaged his soul and those of the people he sought to be elected into in order to serve to his mentor; but has trifled away the life and destiny of the people of the State in exchange for his personal aggrandizement to be in that office. And in an effort to collect the dues from a commitment the client/public officer has decided not to honour, such public officer is hounded, dragged about; disgraced, impeached and very nearly killed, all for the sake of the “god-father,” for whom the exercise was merely a business venture and investment, to exact his “pound of flesh.”
the case of
Dr. Chris Ngige entered into
Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu
Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu
To what extent did the two “Chrises” not go to contain each other? They went from the above to swearing by the Holy Bible to patronizing
the Okija Shrines, and culminating in the destruction of
It is obvious that Chris Uba was not doing all this just for the money he would have collected from Dr. Chris Ngige. I believe that he was executing a well-calculated plan of the destruction of the new Anambra to keep it from existence at all! What did the President say or do in all this? “Something”- eminently something - to write home about; and that was his most outstanding statement of his whole administration: “That if Dr. Ngige was in agreement with Chris Uba, he should go and settle him! That sort of statement, in the face of all that threat and destruction, left no doubt in people’s minds that Obasanjo was behind it all. That undoubtedly confirmed the old adage of Ndi Igbo that: “Onye nna ya zili ori n’eji okpa agbawa mgbo”, that is: “The person who was sent to steal by his father breaks the door with a loud, thunderous bang”. That was it!
the case of
As we all recall, Chief Akinjide’s “fuzzy” Arithmetic meant that two-thirds of 19 States, as they were at that time, was thirteen and two two-thirds of a State or a person, which the NEC accepted as tenable and practicable. Therefore, the runoff election, which would have taken place between Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s ticket and a candidate of the Progressive Parties Alliance (PPA comprising the NPP, UPN, GNPP, NEPU) was called off, and victory was again granted to the Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Dr.Alex Ekwueme ticket. It was this second-term administration that the military intervention of Alhaji Buhari and Tunde Idiagbon overthrew in August 1984.
But in the case of Chief Adedibu, he achieved the two thirds majority in the Oyo twenty-five member Assembly, sitting and voting, by sending nine of them on vacation, and convening the House with the remaining members. Having gotten his two-thirds of a fixed number sitting, he sacked the Governor, and installed his deputy. When Gov. Ladoja ran back to the President to give him an up-date, the President told him that he was coming to Oyo. Evidently, it was in the effort of the President to bend backwards to help Governor Ladoja, that at the public meeting arranged by Governor Ladoja with Chief Adedibu, that President Obasanjo presented the very worst of his public image of his administration: He prostrated to Chief Adedibu, belly flat on the ground, and begged him to let go of Governor Ladoja. Probably, being a citizen of an ethnic culture where prostrating is an accepted form of greeting and submitting to an elder, the President did not realize that he had dragged the whole of Nigeria in prostrating to Chief Adedibu. Worst of all is that he still did not get Chief Adedibu to forgive Gov. Ladoja and to go easy on his demands from him. What a thoroughly, crying out shame!
What in your view led to this peculiar type of shadow authority?
This type of shadow authority is a demonstration of the lack of any kind
of respect, even for the high office that persons in public office, even if sponsored, occupy. It is downright
uncivilized; greedy; avaricious; corrupt; limitless; and a complete disregard of public opinion. “Godfathers” make
nonsense of the electoral process, by which they want to be not only the “king-maker,” but the “king” through the
back-door. These individuals only see things from the point of view of the money they spent on a “business venture
and investment,” and which returns they must collect. Otherwise the whole thing becomes a bad investment and a
failure. This shadow authority inflicts a slap-in-the-face on office holders and
Godfatherism and election-rigging are OBJ’s stock-in-trade. Right from the 1979 Presidential Elections when he first informed Chief Awolowo of his intentions, and then proceeded
to rig him out his victory in the Elections, to prevent him from probing the Military. He has also institutionalized
What has changed in the time you became active in the NCWS and the place of Nigerian women today.
Actually, I did not just become active in the NCWS; I was a founding and foundation
At the time, men were quite unwilling to let their wives attend meetings
of organizations that were not religious; in village associations and market unions men could know what was going
on. It was an uphill task to get women to break those bonds and attend the meetings of organizations that did not
quite fit the requirements of their husbands. But they started to come out gradually; to participate, and even
go on representations to conferences and seminars, even beyond
We organized Leadership Training Courses to acquaint women with voluntary and charitable work, and what officers of such organizations were expected to do. We also explored fundamental human rights, and how they applied to women as wives and mothers, and to their children.
More girls started to attend school; but the proportion of girls to boys in schools was still deplorable, until the Nigeria/Biafra War acted as a catalyst; an eye and mind-opener for Igbo men to appreciate that, even though their daughters might not carry their family names after marriage, many had survived the War due to the hard work, attention and care of wives and daughters.
Of major concern was for the girl-child to have equal opportunity as the boy-child for secondary and tertiary education. There was also the need for employment opportunities to open up for the girl-child as much as for the boy-child at each stage of their education. We also demanded better working conditions for women, especially to enjoy the same working conditions as men; and even extra maternity and sick leave.
We also demanded that women were not only employed, but promoted in due time, and to be appointed to policy and decision-making positions. Some action was seen in this direction, but improvement was more or less cosmetic or a window-dressing where you found one woman among twenty to fifty men or none at all; as in the “fifty wise men” who drafted the 1979 Nigerian Constitution.
Do you think Nigerian women have arrived at the dream your generation of women activists set out to accomplish?
Of course not! Far, far from it! Women have come a long way, though, and not by a sudden flight. Today we no longer have to pressurize women into attending meetings of cosmopolitan organizations; they are even organizing some themselves. Nigerian women, even Igbo women, have entered the field of partisan politics, and are pushing right into it, with or without Affirmative Action. It is no longer necessary for women to obtain the written consent of their husbands to even travel locally, or to obtain a passport; they are traveling all over the world for whatever purpose – education, business, conferences, politics, holidays, health purposes, visiting with children, family members and friends.
The outstanding recommendation of the International Women’s Year 1975 was that the Federal Government should set up a Commission on the Status of Women. The Commission was set up ten years later, in 1985. It took this long because the Military Boys did not want to know about it. However they set up the Better Life Program for Rural Women, which was replaced by the Family Support Program (FSP) in 1994. This Programme was upgraded to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in 1994, and is run by Ms. Rita Akpan as Minister. The Ministry is doing a very good job of studying, delving into, and executing solutions for women’s problems, as well as representing women at national and international forums such as the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; and the Beijing Conference. The establishment of the Center for the Advancement of Women is particularly effective.
Today, Nigerian women are in almost every profession, and are displacing men in quick succession. Women used to be confined to employment as teachers, nurses and even that, at the lowest echelons. But they have worked quietly; slowly but steadily, and have come up from the grassroots; not as mere sprinkling, frosting, or window-dressing any longer, but in strengths to take over in quite a few areas. Teaching and administration of primary and secondary education, and tertiary-institution professorships are a few of such disciplines. A few are also in administration. Women, of course, are in the nursing profession in all grades; they are in pharmacy, the medical field; architecture and engineering. They practice the law as attorneys; magistrates and judges, they are economists and finance experts, as well. They are in law enforcement as agents, in the armed forces; they function as law-makers; permanent secretaries, directors-general; chairpersons of boards of parastatals, and of corporations.
Except in the Roman Catholic Church, and in the
There are no female governors, yet; but there has been a woman deputy-governor. The exclusion of women is due primarily to the chauvinistic stances of men in political parties, who view a position opened to women as one lost to men. My humble self is a typical example of that act of discrimination and exclusion by male members of my political party, at the State level. Most of Nigerian men still think and believe that the place of the woman is in the house and kitchen. The good news is that some other men are very much emancipated and forward-looking about the advancement of women. Now that Liberia has put Nigeria to shame by electing the first African woman President, may be Nigerian political parties will wake up to the possibility and realities of nominating and electing a woman governor “with immediate alacrity,” as Zebrudaya would say. Perhaps, a female President will follow in the very near future. I pray God to spare my life to see these developments, because it is said that: Onye diruka, o’vuruka. “The longer one lives, the more s/he witnesses.”
When people talk about the greatness of
at least fifty-percent of
ii. the generality of women and the girl-child, in all ethnic nationalities, are so downtrodden by oppressive cultural practices, to the approval of their men-folk;
iii. women have to fight tooth and nail for any advancement, any ground gained in education, employment, freedom to travel, political participation, etc;
iv. men still do not see anything wrong with girl-childhood marriage, in
v. which biologically undeveloped and immature girls are put in the family-way; mostly by men old enough to be their fathers and grand-fathers;
vi. young girls either dying or ruined for life by obstetric fistula, which is the
vii. tearing of the female reproductive system at the time of delivering babies, unaided medically;
vi. high maternal and infant mortality at birth, as well as the toll of malaria,
diarrhea and malnutrition;
vii. polygamy and female genital circumcision reigning
viii. the Criminal Code – un-amended since its inception from colonial days – is
still applicable in the South; and the Penal Code applied in the North;
ix. ten-year old “married” girls regarded as adults and treated as such;
x. the political constituency of a married woman is not yet correctly and
xi. a native Nigerian woman’s citizenship cannot confer citizenship on her foreign husband; while a man may earn citizenship for his foreign wife;
xii. Nigerian women of all ethnic nationalities still live under the scepter of
Native Laws and Customs and Sharia Family Laws that clash with
the Statutory Laws. Etc, Etc.
Should women have any special, gender-defined role?
Nigerian women have every role to play in the economy of nation-building, by way of their education, training, vocations, professions, as well as in their superior sense of discipline, patriotism, moral and ethical strength of character, and so on. Affirmative Action would be an advantage in helping to balance the lopsided acceptance of women as equal participants and competitors in all areas of the economy.
Nigerian women do not need any special gender-defined roles, as it has been well- established that what a Nigerian man can do, a Nigerian woman can do it, and even better, as Governor Bolaji Tinubu of Lagos State and President Obasanjo have testified. However, adequate allowance must be made for women of child-bearing age, in the provision of generous maternity leave, benefits and sick leave, to enable them to raise children and families for the nation, as well. A way should be found for women to benefit from welfare and tax relief for their children. Sharing the allowances in half with their husbands is not a bad idea, either.
In the aftermath of the "Constitutional Amendment vote," what's your view about Obasanjo's attempt to force a constitutional amendment that would have elongated his tenure?
I have always believed it ill-advised
Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu
Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu
Besides, he just took
OBJ had turned into a monster for power and a robot without human feelings for the people he was given the mandate to govern, which job he actually held, most of the time, while globe-trotting. It would also appear that OBJ has so many skeletons in the cupboard that he would have liked to stay longer in office to protect them. In other words, he has not groomed anybody that he can trust to take over from him; to guard his skeletons and build upon his legacies where he left off. What does that say? It was very interesting to read of a press report where he was asked what he considered his most cherished legacy when he has left office, and his reply was that he was not thinking about any legacies. Perhaps, that was humility and modesty, talking.
What is your reaction to the defeat of that move?
The defeat of President Obasanjo’s third term bid is, in
fact, a master-stroke! That day,
The day the forthcoming Presidential Election of 2007 is conducted, and
a true representation of the people’s verdict returned, without the participation and interference of the Military
and Retired Military Boys,
Not only has OBJ followed the footsteps of his predecessors-in-office in instituting
i. he has declared unwarranted wars on certain ethnic nationalities individuals, especially Ndi Igbo;
ii. He has hated Ndi Igbo with
a passion; and has continued his War of Genocide on them, unabated, even after the War that
iii. He has constituted himself a cog in the wheel of the progress of Nigeria, by blocking the Sovereign National Conference, through which all ethnic nationalities would have met, to study in-depth, the manner in which the British Colonial Administration assembled the geographical and administrative area it named Nigeria, and decided on how to make viable adjustments.
iv. The petroleum wealth of
v. OBJ has also continued to use the SSS and Personal Security Guard, created and used by IBB, as well as his other predecessors in-office; Abacha and Abdulsalami Abubarkar; for acts of repression, denial of human rights, illegal detention and torture, abuse of power, extra judicial killings, and the like.
Do you think citizens have adequately defended their civic duty to participate and protect the democratic process?
Nigerian citizens have reacted to the abuse of their civic rights to participate in the electoral process through the mass and print media; but it has not been enough. Besides, their reactions and protests can never be enough or too much! Is it not said that: Aku agwuro, na nti anezuro ike?: “If what is being chewed is not finished, the jaw does not rest”!
I think that the fear of repressive consequences that follow dissention and disagreement with the powers-that-be, has forced the people to appear docile and recoil from greater outbursts of protests and public showing and disapproval of what happened in the 2003 Presidential Elections, and what is very likely to happen in 2007, though through non-violent activities, like:
a. Protest-Marching to the President at Aso Rock;
b. Picketing the President and the Executive Council at Aso Rock;
c. Picketing the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) -- which is not independent, at all, by any stretch of the imagination -- for its use of High-tech Computers to rig the Presidential Election of 2003, and denying everybody else access to their computations; and
d. Protesting INEC’s plan to introduce even more state-of-the-art Digital Computers for the 2007 Elections, in favour of their designated candidate;
e. Simply asking the question boldly: Are you leaving Nigerians any chance for their real mandate to be represented in 2007?
f. Protest-Marching to the Senate Building; the Federal and State Assembly Houses; the Local Government Headquarters; the Court Houses; the Stadia, Sports and Football Fields, to march, chant, speak and deposit their written protests and wishes with the highest authority there, for onward transmission to President Obasanjo.
Ndi Igbo also
Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu
Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu
Can you give a historical
Nigerians before 2007 would appear to be a used, tired and exhausted people, but by no means a down and out, spent force. Pre-2007 would appear to be the period when Nigerians “stood and stared” at Obasanjo and his Military predecessors in-office rampaging the whole processes and resources of territory, because no one should be fooled: This period will go down in history as a period when bribery and corruption, especially in high places, ruined the country in all facets of its life – socially, educationally, economically, politically, spiritually, morally, ethically, name it. And all culprits will be duly noted, even if they succeed in escaping physical punishment in this life.
The period before 2007 will go down as when incompetence, due to the enthronement of mediocrity in the governance of Nigeria, put people in authority who did not have the vaguest clue about governance and, therefore, no program or plans with which to lead the country for development and progress. The country just drifted, because the Governments did not know how to go about their job.
It was a tragic time for Nigerian youths forced out of schools, because they could not find gainful employment, and were led to degenerate and criminal practices and vices.
It was the period when the Structural Adjustment of the economic infrastructure,
introduced by the promoters of one-world economy, sapped
It was a time for the rich to become even richer, and the poor to become
poorer, because against experienced advice, the Nigerian Government borrowed from the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund, and accepted their packaged economic deals, which landed
It was a period when the economy of the country sank to its lowest; and Nigerian currency was worthless, and not recognizable on the world-market. It was a time of election rigging by paying out big money to supporters from Government coffers. Those who were elected in offices to serve the people kept the monetary allocations for their States for themselves so that they could rig elections and continue in the offices, in which they were incompetent.
It was the period when the abuses of human rights, trafficking of children - boys and girls - at home and abroad was rampant, while successive Governments looked the other way, giving the impression of powerlessness in dealing with the situation.
It was a period when, due to the very poor economy, adults with families
left home, to trek across the
It was a period when terror
Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu
Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu
It was a time that
It was a period of Petroleum Oil theft otherwise called Oil Bunkering; and the bursting of petroleum finished product pipelines, which the local people go to harvest and become consumed in their hundreds by infernos, time and time again. Was any compensations ever paid to the victims and their survivors? Tell that to the Marines!
It was the period when barrack-wars broke out between the members of the Nigerian Police Force and the members of the Nigerian Army, over the collection of illegal tolls, even from soldiers, by the members of the Police, at check-points mounted by them.
It was the period that ammunitions, carelessly stored at the Ikeja Cantonment, detonated and caused untold destruction of lives and property. Whether an enquiry into the incident was ever conducted by the Federal Government, the procedure, result, recommendations and actions taken, is yet to be released.
It was a period of strikes by public servants – clerks, doctors, nurses, teachers, labour unions – for better conditions of service; and at which times they have been handled, not compassionately, but high-handedly and severely.
It was the period when Nigerian health-care delivery degenerated to the lowest ebb, because the governments has never been concerned and does not care about the wellbeing and welfare of the people. Therefore, most hospitals are dysfunctional. Nigerians are increasingly traveling overseas for treatments that can easily be taken care of at home. And many Nigerians have died overseas, with expenses not only for medical care, but for carrying bodies home.
It was the period of the greatest brain-drain from the country. There is so much more…
At this rate, I think that
It would be great if we were headed for a place where greed and avarice could be put under control and we can amicably share the resources – human, economic and material – that we have, in peace and understanding, accommodating each other. There is another saying that: “Eweli nwayo n’esute ove, ove lolu alo ezue nli”, that is that: “If one takes time in eating thichened soup, a small quantity of the thickened soup will be enough for his/her foo-foo”. In other words, if Nigerians would take time to appreciate the resources they have, and to share them amicably, with understanding, they would have enough and to spare!
I wish that God, in His Infinite Mercies, will grant the leaders of each ethnic nationality of Nigeria – big and small – the wisdom to know that it is time to change their minds about their prejudices in the way we have been seeing and treating others and have been pursuing personal stakes in Nigeria; grabbing the economic resources to the fair consideration for the others, into the bargain. Have Nigerians not tried the route of suspicions, hatred, war, genocide, greed, avarice, snatching what we want from the hands of the person to whom God has given it, instead of saying, please share with me? Have they not also yap-yapped, engaged in unholy diplomacy and intrigues? Have they not seen that these have not worked out well?
This time around, should we not try some peaceful approaches? Have mistakes not been made, and Nigerians, especially Ndi Igbo, suffered tremendously by them? Is it not yet time to “Let bye-gones be bye-gones”, in actual fact, word and deed? The leaders of Nigeria, beginning with General Gowon at the Peace Conference at the end of the Nigeria versus Biafra War 1967-71, pronounced the verdict of “No Victors; No Vanquished;” but Ndi Igbo have known that there are “the Victors” and “the Vanquished” and who they are. General Gowon also agreed to the 3Rs of: Rehabilitation; Reconstruction; and Reconciliation, which never saw the light of day. They proved to be just fancy-writing on paper; never meant to be executed, but put up as a smoke-screen and curtains to shield their real intentions; not really worth even the paper they were written on. These were in addition to his, so-called, apologies of 1994, which also turned out to be empty. These pronouncements were turned upside down, murdered and trampled into the mud; yet, General Gowon had the courage to try to communicate, at an interview he granted to Pini Jason, that he had done much to help Ndi Igbo.
Next was President Ibrahim Gbadamosi Babangida who had said in his National Day
It was General Babangida who also said at one time, to: “Give Peace a Chance!” This also turned out to be another empty
jargon of deception; of telling the people what he thinks they would want to hear. Otherwise, what chance did he give for peace to reign?
ever be given a chance in
Then President Olusegun Obasanjo said
it also; as late as the month of January, 2006, as reported by Ernest Amadi <email@example.com> who wrote: “Let's Bury Civil War Bitterness,” says Obasanjo. And from Gbenga Akinfenwa, in
“The event was the celebration of the 70th birthday of Chief Simon Okeke, chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC). The President, who was the central figure in the reconciliation mission at Amichi on
That was when he went to Amichi to set up his War Memorials and Monuments. Even then, nothing has changed in his attitude, repressive and oppressive actions against Ndi Igbo, which Ndi Igbo understand as pathological, dyed in the wool, infused in his blood-stream, hatred for them.
The on-going thing now is the Crisis at
I should say that Ndi Igbo, who have not attacked anyone, but have been attacked in Northern Nigeria as well as in their own homes, now and again, have been ready to put the “emotions of the civil war behind them, and to look up to reclaiming their rightful position in the country.” But are the other Nigerians and their leaders ready to put their utterances and pronouncements into effect, viz: “No Victors; No Vanquished”; “the 3Rs of Rehabilitation, reconstruction, rehabilitation”; “To leave behind us the legacy of bitterness and the negation of our sense of justice”; as well as “To Bury Civil War Bitterness?”
In addition, was the latest from the Ikemba, General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu
himself, when he said, as reported by ugo nwoke firstname.lastname@example.org that:
Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, presidential candidate of All Progressive
Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 2003 general elections has called on Ndigbo to put the emotions of the civil war behind them,
and look up to reclaiming their rightful position in the country. Dim Ojukwu, while speaking at the Igbo Political
Summit organized by the Coalition of Igbo Organizations and the Youth Movement in Igboland and Beyond, said recently,
at Imo Concorde Hotel Owerri, that: Ndigbo was
not vanquished in the war, but were victorious
Nigerians have heard it all now from “the horses’ mouths.” What are they waiting for? How much longer would Nigerians continue to lead each other by the nose, and right around the corner? When will the people start telling each other the truth, which is so very important for Nation-building?
Are Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria so incompatible that they cannot
realize that since the fate of colonialism has pushed them together, they should, at this age of their association
together, sit down to sort out their differences amicably, either to co-exist together or call it quits? Since
the British colonialists did the amalgamation of the North and the South in 1914 for their own administrative convenience,
and since Nigerians have come to know this, as a fact, why should go anyone go on defending the phobia of the colonialists,
about the collapse of their house of cards called Nigeria? And if they must part company, why can they not be mature
and discerning enough to do so in peace and quiet as adults and to say: “Hail, good friend well-met! To Your Tents, Oh,
If anyone would stay away and appear unconcerned, it would just be like the case of the Upland Igbo (Agba-enu) running away when fighting broke out, usually at a Riverine Market-place, between the Riverine, Olu bi na mili, and the Upland Igbo people, saying that s/he is not concerned or involved. Then the question that stands out for such a cowardly person is: “On’agba-di ka olu gbue onye?” meaning to say: “Who is he/she running away and leaving behind for the Riverine people to kill”?
Therefore, it would be most advisable for Nigerians to pull energy and
resources together, close ranks, and stand tall against the common enemy of the people who are mis-governing
I believe that anything that Nigerians do not come together to decide
by the end of six months after the 2007 Presidential Elections, may not be decided that way, for a much longer
time to come. The decision is up to every individual – man, woman and youth - of
On Chief Awolowo
"Ndi Igbo love to heap all sorts of accusations and blames for their woes during and
BNW Advocates' Island
BNW Advocates' Island
Neither did anyone bother to find out whether or not it was General Gowon who made him resign for disagreeing with his policies. Or did Gowon accept his resignation, and then have him stay in his house, where he could go to
secretly consult with him, as an elder statesman, on such extensive and devastating influences on his policies,
not only in the prosecution of the War, but also on how to treat Biafrans after the War? Nor did Ndi Igbo bother to ascertain that Chief Awolowo resigned from the Government as a result of his disagreement with Gowon's policies on both the prosecution of the War and the treatment of Biafrans afterwards.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the interview are not necessarily those of the Chinua Achebe Foundation. The Chinua Achebe Foundation, an intellectual and cultural organization, believes in the right of every Nigerian to express their opinion.
Founder and Chairman, Board of Directors of the Chinua Achebe Foundation
Chinua Achebe Foundation Interview Series: Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu in Conversation with Obi Nwakanma 2