30/05 /1967 WAS THE DAY EASTERN NIGERIA , MOST ESPECIALLY NDI IGBO WAS RELEGATED TO BACK SEAT

30/05/1967  Eastern Nigeria was crippled because of  power tussle,youthful exuberant,inability to negotiate, and oil well

By Mbanugo Onyeka Nelson

I blame  it all to Biafra  Government lead by Late Gen Emeka Ojukwu because he humiliated and lead our elders down , such  Late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, I have  read several  books concerning  Biafra and Nigeria civil  war and I found  out that Late Gen Emeka  Ojukwu failed to implement Late Dr Nnamdi Aniekwe advice.

Later Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was  interviewed  some years back concerning his role I  Biafra for  the unity of the country. Am I quote

“Yes. I played a prominent role in Biafra for the unity of the country in order to restore peace and bring about unity of the country. That’s the role I played. I advised Ojukwu. I said well look, you have declared secession. What we should do is to get the elder statesmen and women of the nation to reconcile you and Gowon. I said by declaring secession, you get so many people who do not believe you to remain there. You see all of us were interned. As we were interned then, we couldn’t express our own views as we see it because, he made Decree Number 5 which vested absolute powers in himself and if you were against his views, it then constituted an act of subversion and the penalty was death by shooting. Well, it was a war-time measure and that is understandable. So, I advised him. I said go to the conference table and iron out your differences. Allow elder statesmen and elder stateswomen to bring the two of you to the conference table and settle this matter so that there will no more be civil war and the country may be united. He agreed. But Gowon was advised by the Ministry of External Affairs to insist on pre-conditions. That is that before he could negotiate with the secessionists, that they must accept certain terms; accept the 12-state structure and all. So, it was quite obvious that the Federal Government wanted Biafra to come to the conference table with their hands tied and their feet tied. But they won’t be free agents. That was the diplomatic mistake on the part of the Federal Government. So, when they did that, then Lt- Col. Ojukwu told me, “How can I go to the conference table based on these ultimatums?”
Still I advised Ojukwu to go to the OAU and ask them to use their good offices to settle the dispute and that we should avoid loss of lives. He accepted my advice in good faith. Then he said, ‘Now, you have some heads of state in Africa who are your friends, would you mind going to appeal to them to use their good offices so that the Nigerian civil war could be an item on the agenda for OAU summit in Kinshasa?’ I said I would gladly go. So he sent me to Monrovia as a peace envoy. I went there and met my friend, President Tubman. Tubman expressed his willingness to use his good offices. He told me he would see another mutual friend, the late Haile Sellassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, and both of them would see that the civil war was placed as first item on the agenda of the OAU Summit in Kinshasa.
I returned and broke the news to Ojukwu. He was very pleased. Then, when the OAU summit opened, Chief Awolowo, as Vice-Chairman of the Federal Executive Council and Commissioner for Finance, led a strong Nigerian delegation to Kinshasa and raised a very strong objective on the Nigerian civil war being placed as an item on the agenda on the grounds that according to the OAU Charter, this was a domestic affairs and member states were precluded from interfering in the domestic affairs of each other, which was really sound according to international law. But we wanted to solve it in the African way, to use mediation and conciliation to bring two warring brothers together.
The OAU accepted the submission of Chief Awolowo and so it was not put into the agenda. Well, history will show now between Chief Awolowo and myself, who actually accentuated the war. I was trying to get the OAU to settle the dispute so they could go to the conference table and he was thinking of legalism, that it would amount to interference in the domestic affairs of a member-state. But meanwhile here you have two brothers killing each other.
Well, Ojukwu told me, I have done my best. You see, Nigeria was relying on law and we are relying on humanity. What’s next? I said why not try other heads of states and see what could be done to bring about peace? He then said he left the initiative with me. I suggested going to some heads of state and see what can be done. But his advisers led by Dr. Nwakama Okoro suggested recognition. That if we can get other states to recognize Biafra, maybe the hands of Nigeria may be forced to go to the conference table.
Well, I thought that was a sound idea and I placed my services at their disposal so as to meet my friends. We had in mind President Senghor of Senegal, President Houphouet Boigny of Ivory Coast, President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, President Milton Obote of Uganda, President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and of course Francois Bongo, he is now Omar. He now has become a Muslim. He was then a Christian. The long and short of it all was that I and these great African statesmen agreed that if Gowon persisted with pre-conditions, then they would accord recognition to force the hands of Gowon to go to the conference table and bring about peace. That was one.
Two, Gowon had already predicted that the war would end on March 31 and as far as these African statesmen were concerned, these killings and atrocities did not do any credit to the image of Africa and as such what should be done was to stop it as soon as possible. Therefore if the war didn’t end by March 31, then the propaganda of ‘Biafra’ that it was an act of genocide would be justified. And they didn’t want to accept that.
I went on this mission and succeeded in persuading these heads of state to agree to give recognition just to force the hands of Nigeria, diplomatically speaking, to the conference table.
President Senghor said he couldn’t because the majority of his supporters were Muslims and rightly or wrongly they felt it was a religious war. And he said well, if he granted recognition, then his government would fall. But he supported the idea of forcing the hands of Nigeria to the conference table. Houphouet Boigny was prepared, provided his people backed him. Ditto for the others except Milton Obote who told us that Prince Mutesa and the Bagandans wanted to secede and he couldn’t support secession when his own state was confronted with similar problems. It left four of them. That is, President Nyerere, Houphouet Boigny, Kaunda and Bongo. They agreed on the understanding that the war did not end by March 31, 1968 and pre-conditions would be removed to make it easy for both Ojukwu and Gowon to go to conference table.
So they granted recognition and it worked like magic because immediately after this, Dr. Okoi Arikpo, who must be presumed to be responsible for this diplomatic blunder  (he was the Commissioner for External Affairs]—a good man no doubt, but he is a very poor diplomat in my own humble opinion – announced to the outside world that Nigeria would no longer insist on pre-conditions and that he was prepared for conference table but the war did not end on March 31 and so, they left the impression, you see, that Nigeria wanted to annihilate the Ibos.  You noticed the Soviets gave Nigeria more arms and Nigeria used those arms to destroy the secessionists. Here, I came in again and I advised Ojukwu. I said look since Gowon has withdrawn the pre-conditions, go to the conference table and argue the points so as to pave way for a peace conference. It was agreed that they should meet in Niamey. I advised Ojukwu to go. Again Gowon was ill-advised so he couldn’t come.
At Niamey here was Ojukwu. I was on his side. Gowon wasn’t there but Haile Sellassie, Hamani Diori, Tubman and General Akran were there representing OAU. So, I told Ojukwu, I said now you have an upper hand. These respected leaders of the OAU were there. I had briefed Ojukwu. I said ‘look your line of approach is to express appreciation for what the OAU was doing in order to maintain peace in Africa but you were prepared to co-operate and you are leaving the whole matter in the hands of the OAU to see what could be done to bring an earlier cessation of hostilities. I said just say that and thank them and sit down.
Now Gowon didn’t attend. He sent a junior man, I think Alhaji Femi Okunnu or so, to represent him. And they didn’t even attend this conference at which the four heads of state presided. It was only the Biafran side. So Ojukwu won a diplomatic victory and you know Ojukwu is a very good speaker if you give him all the facts.  He was a good public relations expert and he won. He said, ‘well if Gowon was sincere why did he spite such great men and didn’t attend?’ That worked.
They agreed that Nigeria could be contacted so that we have a peace conference in Addis Ababa. It was a diplomatic victory for Biafra and so we returned to Biafra highly elated. And Ojukwu insisted that I should accompany him to Addis Ababa. Then something happened. Some of his advisers felt that I was becoming a victim of compromise and that I was a bad influence. That all I was trying to do was to make Biafra impotent. They told Ojukwu that Biafra was holding its own militarily. And why should we want a peace conference? That he should be very, very careful with me, especially as an Onitsha man because they thought that I was using him as a means to give publicity for myself internationally and that time will come when people will look more to me than to himself.
Well, as a young man, human, he fell for such flattery. I don’t want to mention all the names, but particularly influential in swinging his opinion at that material time was Mr. C. C. Mojekwu, who was based in Lisbon. Then Mr. Matthew Mbu was our Commissioner for External Affairs and he himself did as much as possible, but then he realized that he was having someone who has power of life and death over everybody. So, we went to Addis Ababa and on the night before the conference, Matthew came to my bedroom at about 10 in the night. He said, “Do you know that all we have done, this man is going to undo them tomorrow?’ I said ‘No’. Then he brought out a printed version of a long speech. The world press said it lasted for 90 minutes.
He [Ojukwu] went back on everything we discussed. He attacked the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union – all the nations of the world and the OAU, and said that they were misleading us and that the sovereignty of ‘Biafra’ was not negotiable. We went to the conference. I sat next to him. I thought that he was going to speak in accordance with the spirit of Niamey. But he spoke for 90 minutes and he just got the whole place upside down.
Naturally Tony Enahoro – he led the Nigerian delegation – replied in kind and so we were back to square one. So, when we returned, I advised him. I told him that I was surprised at what he did but it was not late. He said, ‘The sovereignty of Biafra is not negotiable and if anybody should try to compromise that sovereignty, then it will be an act of subversion.’ Well, that was quite clear to me so I said, ‘Your Excellency, you still have Port Harcourt and you can still bargain from position of strength – after all, the main issue in the civil war is oil and they say that in international politics, oil is combustible and as you have a combustible situation you can begin from the position of strength’. He said, ‘No, Port Harcourt is impregnable.’ ‘Very well, Your Excellency,’ I said.  I went back to Nekede where I had been in protective custody since February, 1968. Two weeks later, Port Harcourt fell.
He sent for me. I said, ‘Well, Your Excellency, I did warn you. You cannot now negotiate from a position of strength but having received recognition from four states, we can still use them to see what we can do to appeal to the outside world.’ He said, ‘Very well, I think you should go to the United Nations to seek for recognition.’ I said, ‘Your Excellency, let us wait until after OAU summit in Algiers and find out what Africa thinks.’ In the meantime, I went to Tunisia to see my friend Habeeb Bourguiba of Tunisia. He wasn’t quite well, so we moved from Carthage to Hermit where he stayed. Ojukwu had always said the civil war would be won on the battlefield and not on the conference table, and Bourguiba didn’t take kindly to that. He said don’t you people advise this young man? I explained to him that I have done everything I could to advise him, but he insists on going to the battle field.
So we crossed our fingers awaiting the verdict of Algiers. You know it was decided by 33 to 4 in favour of Nigeria. I advised Ojukwu that to go to the United Nations to seek recognition would be unrealistic since Africa had decided by 33 to 4 in favour of Nigeria. I said Nigerian envoys, the Nigerian delegations, would just percolate the membership of the United Nations and they would frown at the whole thing. He insisted. I was then in Paris. I wrote him a letter. I said, ‘Since you refuse to go to the conference table to negotiate for peace, since you prefer that the civil war should end on the battle field and not on the conference table; since you said that the sovereignty of Biafra is not negotiable, I am afraid I cannot continue as a peace envoy because you have destroyed all the vestiges of any optimism for peace. Therefore I am relieving myself of my services as a peace envoy. I cannot continue as a peace envoy. I cannot continue as a peace envoy because you have let me down. You left me under the impression that if I succeeded in getting recognition you will go to the conference table. You got four recognitions; you did not go to the conference table. I am therefore going to London on exile.’
I went to London in voluntary exile and the British government granted me asylum. I do not see how anybody could say that I ran away from my country. I crossed the Atlantic 46 times, trying to negotiate with various heads of state so that they could grant recognition or make OAU to settle the dispute. How could the head of state turn round now and accuse all those who were politicians in pre-1966 and post-1966 as being responsible for the downfall of the republic? I did my best to preserve the unity of Nigeria and also to preserve the lives of old men, able-bodied men and women and children but I failed. What could I do? I went on free exile and they keep saying that I was among those responsible for the downfall of the republic. I plead not guilty”

According  to some  written  document    Biafrans lost the war as a result of occidental conspiracy and hunger, because  the Federal government of Nigeria blocks  everywhere that Biafra would received aid from international community.

If he(Ojukwu)listened to  Late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Biafra would had seceded peaceful and  without casualties.

PROGRESS IS POSSIBLE :EDUCATION, YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND FUTURE OF NIGERIA

PROGRESS IS POSSIBLE: Education, Youth Empowerment And The Future Of Nigeria                                                         FB_IMG_1527546144001By Ike Klinsmann Ohamadike

A nation that fails to invest in education and youth development is a nation without a future. We fail as leaders when our society is restive. We fail in our responsibilities as leaders each day we fail to take actions for the common good

We all need to stand to be counted. We must take responsibilities and must make the right calls to enable our young men and women make the right choices that can move our nation forward

We can achieve this through a horizontal and quality education that includes a review of our moribund curriculum. A horizontal education will destroy the quota system syndrome that has eaten deep into the fabrics of this nation like a cancer. With the right education, more doors of opportunities will open, better and challenging skills will be acquired especially by our young people. To achieve this, a responsive government must:

1. Promote collaborations between government, communities and stakeholders to accelerate the development and support of early childhood education
2. Work together with parents, teachers, students and relevant stakeholders to encourage quality learning and teaching
3. Free education below tertiary level
4. Effective funding for primary, technical and vocational education
5. Increase in teacher’s salary
6. Support and continued education for teachers
7. Scholarship for indigent students
8. Provision of internet and Wi-Fi hotspots in our schools for students access
9. Equipment of our libraries with current books

We have made significant progress as a nation but we must agree that we are now at a crossroad, the economy is not at its best. Inflation is putting most basic goods out of the reach of the ordinary people. Families are suffering in silence. A good government is one that is responsive to the needs and concerns of the people it serves. To reduce unemployment, eradicate poverty and keep our youths off the street, a responsive government must:

1. Create a viable youth employment agency under the ministry of labour and replicate same in all the 36 states and the FCT to abolish long-term unemployment across the county
2. Work with traditional and community leaders to ensure that communal lands are accessible for job creation
3. Provide incentives for medium-sized businesses
4. Develop platforms on which government can access feedback on job creation and employment
5. Increase bonus for civil servants
6. Provide agricultural loans for young people to go into small-scale agricultural businesses to be self-reliant
7. Creation of equal opportunities for all and abolish all quota system recruitments
8. Ensuring that all recovered loots from previous administrations are channeled to the provision of grants and loans to young entrepreneurs to excel in their businesses and then employ more youths than wasting it on state governments that have not accounted for the ones given to them from previous recovered loots
9. Provision of internship grants for high school students and fresh graduates by every governor in the 36 states and the FCT from excess security allowances of Governors which run into hundreds of millions of naira, recovered loots from corrupt politicians and from the NNPC
10.Working with the private sector to create TAX HOLIDAYS for companies that employ graduates who have graduated since the last five years without finding a job. This will reduce long-term unemployment after graduation

As a leader once said ”Encouraging responsibility is not a search for scapegoats, it is a call to conscience….Sometimes in life we are called to do great things. But as a saint of our times has said, every day we are called to do small things with great love ”

When we make our priorities right and when we decide to make the right calls, we can create that nation our children can be proud to call their own. Progress is still possible only if we can decide to make that choice today

Pharm Ike klinsmann Ohamadike

House of Reps Aspirant (PDP)

Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency

Anambra State

REV SISTER MARIA AMADEUS EGBUONU SECRETLY BURIED HIS FATHER (CHIEF DAVID EGBUONU) IN A SHALLOW GRAVE IN URUAGU VILLAGE, UMUDIOKA, DUNUKOFIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ANAMBRA STATE.

THE genesis of the problem in Chief David Anumba Egbuonu’s family, Uruagu Village Umudioka.

Chief David Anumba Egbuonu was born in the year 1912, to family of Mr Egbuonu of Umuobii Kindred,Uruagu village of Adagbe quarters in Umudioka acient kingdom of Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State. Chief Anumba Egbuonu was a business man to the core and industrialist, with his insight into business, it made him to travel to different African countries for business investments and towards his retirement age, he settled down at the great commercial city of Onitsha, in Anambra State.

Chief David Anumba Egbuonu was a Christian and because of his love for tradition, he bagged a prestigious Ozo title in Umudioka cum Dunukofia, with a title name, EZEUGO NA UMUDIOKA.

Chief David Egbuonu married five (5) wives. He was blessed with five (5) sons , whom are, Chief David N Egbuonu(Jnr), Mr osita Egbuonu (late), Rev. Canon Iyke Egbuonu, Mr ugochukwu Egbuonu, Mr Moses Egbuonu and twelve (12) daughters, which includes Rev. Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu. He died at August, 2017.

From our findings and interviews from family members, Kindred members and villagers, we deduced that, the second wife and the mother to Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu and also being the mother of the fourth son (Mr Ugochukwu Egbuonu) of the family are laying claims on the properties of Chief David Egbuonu as the only legal family, he has. From our interviews and investigation, it was gathered, that the family of the second wife forged a Will, which allocated all the properties of Chief David Egbuonu to them, which are located both in Umudioka, Onitsha and Chad, even the second surviving wife, Mrs Joy Egbuonu was not mentioned in the will.

We also learnt that the Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu, her brother Ugochukwu and two of her sisters Felicia and Catherine Egbuonu (from the second wife) got a share from the ancestral land of Chief David Egbuonu, without any of their siblings from other wives gotten any share. From our investigation, it shows that Mr Ugochukwu Egbuonu(the fourth son,from the second wife) is laying claim on the OBI of Chief David Egbuonu . We interviewed an elder from Uruagu village, to know whom the OBI belongs to, he said, that traditionally and ethically, the OBI belongs to the first son of Chief David Egbonu not the fourth son, no matter any circumstances.

We tried to find out, why the Rev Sister Maria Egbuonu and her immediate family were lying claims on the said properties, we found out that immediately after the death of the first wife, who happens to be the mother of the the eldest son in the family, Chief David N Egbuonu Jnr, the Rev Sister Maria Egbuonu and her mother took over the feeding of their aged father, and with the opportunity, all the manipulations started and Rev Sister Maria Egbuonu blocked other children of Chief David Egbuonu access to their father, when he was under her care.

The family members of Chief David Egbonu, said that, they were informed of their father’s death around November 2017 while their father died in August that year. When they looked into the discrepancy in the time of informing them of their father’s death, they found out that, it was done intentionally, so that it will give Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu, time to sell most of their father’s properties and allocate Chief Egbuonu ancestral lands to her sisters and brother.

It was gathered that, Rev Fr Oguejiofor being the peace loving priest, called a general meeting of all Chief David Egbuonu family and diverged into case, to settle the family crisis, but Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu rejected all the peace accord by Rev Fr Oguejiofor. Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu was of the view, that her immediate family is only legal family of Chief David Egbuonu.

Then Umuobi kindred of Uruagu village tried to sue for peace, by condeming the claims being done by Mr Ugochukwu Egbuonu (fourth son) as the legal owner of OBI, and the Kindred mandated Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu to surrender all the properties of Chief David Egbuonu to the family members for proper and equal share, but the kindred peace accord fell on the deaf ear side of Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu.

After all the peace accord meetings, that failed, the other four wives children decided to seek a redress from the court of law. They sued Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu and brother to the court and got an injunction that no one should enter or trespass on any of the Chief David Egbonu’s properties or even bury him, pending the final judgment.
It was also gathered that Chief David Egbuonu Jnr, the first and eldest son has been threatened many times, through calls and text messages, regarding his stand that peace must reign before the burial of their father.

The family got a wind of information that, Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu and her brother and sisters are planning to bring back the corpse of their father home for burial on 8th May, 2018, the family paid for announcement that, on the evening of 7th May, 2018 , that they are not yet settled their matter in the law court, that after the settlement, they will announce to the town the actual date for the burial.

To the family’s utmost suprise, Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu, Felicia and Catherine Egbuonu in the company of two other Rev sisters from Immaculate Heart of Mary, Awo Omamma, Owerri Archdioceses, with fully armed MASSOB thugs, drove in on 8th of May, 2018 by 3am and buried Chief David Egbuonu in a shallow grave inside a room.

The villagers were watching the abominable act, but they couldn’t stop them because of fear of being attacked by the armed MASSOB thugs, that came with Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu. But Immediately they left ,after buring the corpse in the shallow grave, the villagers and some people around, started shouting and the angry youths dug out the casket before the arrival of the Chief David N. Egbuonu Jnr, who happens to be the first and the eldest son and Rev Canon Iyke Egbuonu. After calming the angry youths, they returned the corpse, back to the mortuary.

An interview was conducted with a chieftain in the community, to ascertain whether the action of the Rev Sister Maria Amadeus Egbuonu was good, the Chief decried her act and labelled it as abomination and sacrilegious and demanded for immediate cleansing (Ikpo Alu) . Another person, was interviewed, he suggested that he was of the opinion that the Catholic Church should strip Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu of her sisterhood, because her actions was against the custom of the land and an insult to the Catholic Church in general. A group of youths were interview also, they demanded the immediate banning of Rev Sister Maria Egbuonu and her siblings from the community and demanded the immediate cleansing of their land to avoid any calamity befalling their land. From further enquiries it was gathered that, the Archbishop of Onitsha Archdioceses, Archbishop Valerian Okeke condemned the the method, the Reverend Sister, handled the matter.

It was gathered that Uruagu Village has mandated the family to perform immediate cleansing, that the action of Rev Sister Maria Amadeus Egbuonu was sacrilegious and abominable and are still on deliberation on the sanctions that will be impose on the said Reverend Sister and her immediate family for their actions.

In Umudioka custom and tradition, it is a taboo for a woman to buried a dead man, without the concept of the dead man’s family.

Umudioka community are calling the authorities of Catholic Church such as,the Mother General of Immaculate Heart Congregation Awo Omamma Owerri Archdioceses, the Mother Union of Catholic churches, Catholic Priests Association from Umudioka, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese to issue a serious sanctions on Rev Sis Maria Amadeus Egbuonu, till she settles with her family members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Culled from Interviews and Investigations http://www.morningstarnaija.com reporters