Saturday, October 6, 2012
THERE WAS A COUNTRY, A GOOD READ..
Professor Wole Soyinka in his 1972 locus classicus, "The Man Died," wrote:- "The man dies in him who keeps silent in the face of tyranny." Professor Chinua Achebe decided that his manliness shall not die. He refused to keep silent or be quietened down. As a man whose manhood is still alive, Professor Chinua Achebe has spoken out against the injustice that was meted out to the people of Biafra by two known Nigerian tyrants, Obafemi Awolowo and Yakubu Gowon. Why some people are chewing him out for chronicling facts of consequence which took place not too long ago for their memories to have faded or become somewhat too hazy for its recollection is simply beyond Icheoku's comprehension; except that evil thrives when good men chose to do nothing. Now those evil people are in addition, mad as hell that someone is finally speaking up and speaking out about a sordid Nigeria past which still haunts her till today. Thankfully the same Wole Soyinka also once said that history are kept for a reason that its actors may not later dispute what was recorded?
Regrettably many of the apologists calling Professor Chinua Achebe out for his audacity in pointing an accusatory finger on the two devils - Awolowo and Gowon, in their sanctimonious adumbration, missed the salient point raised by Achebe in "There was a country", especially as it appertain to the two principal subjects being reproached. It was Awolowo and not the entire Yoruba race that was called out by Achebe in his Biafran war memoirs and so if there is any beef with anyone it is with Awolowo and not the entire Oduduwa clan. Awolowo was the sole perpetrator of the infra-dig which roils Achebe as well as millions of other Igbo people who were shafted during the Biafran war, as a result of crushing and inhumane policies put together and implemented to the letter by Obafemi Awolowo. Icheoku will not rehash all the cruelty dished out to the Igbo people by that human excrement, but suffice it that history books are brimming with them for those curious minded to feast on. What happened is not an ancient fiction but a very recent historical fact, al things considered since the Jewish people still talk about the holocaust and African Americans the slavery, so why not a mere forty plus year genocide of the Biafran people?
Anyway Icheoku commends Professor Chinua Achebe for his bravery and audacity in calling a spade a spade by holding Awolowo responsible and accountable for the hand he dealt the people of Biafra, Achebe did this, fully aware that many of those herd-mentality plagued humans of the Southwest would come out swinging and charging at him for daring to call their deity out on his intransigence. Men like Chinua Achebe are very hard to come by and his latest work highly commendable; a matter made more pertinent because of his very advanced age and the fact that our other hero Odumegwu Ojukwu went to his grave with his memoirs, which he promised Nigerians but never had time to bring it out before he passed on. Icheoku hopes other actors, men and women with actual and true knowledge about what happened to Igbo people during that war of survival, shall stand up following in Achebe's footprint, eyeball the devil and tell the world their stories. The world needs to know and Biafran future generation needs to know their struggle which ensured their continued existence in Nigeria today despite the shenanigans of genocidal machinations of two rather war criminals, Yakubu Gowon and Obafemi Awolowo who wished Biafra a total extinction. But at last, they were not God and their both families are still paying the price for what these two animals did to women and children of Biafra.
"There was a country" is a good historical account of the Biafran war and Icheoku strongly recommends it as a must read for all who want to understand the havoc wrecked on a people by two vicious, very mean and perverted fellows named Gowon and Awolowo. To their greatest chagrin, Biafran people survived their plots and are thriving well under the circumstance in a country which has stacked so much against them. Icheoku says who now laughs last - an Awolowo that none of his children is thriving in Yoruba Southwest political equation or a literally castrated Yakubu Gowon, who is now living on a semi self exile in London while his Berom people are being savagely murdered by the Hausa/Fulani herdsmen in Plateau state; while he stands aloof in hopeless bewilderment wondering what happened to his being part of Northern Nigeria? Gowon's people, the hunters of Biafrans are now themselves being brutally hunted by the Hausa/Fulani real owners of Northern Nigeria. That makes Yakubu Gowon and his people neither here nor there as they have strangely found out to their chagrin that they are not accepted Northern Nigeria bona fides as the real Northern Nigerians wants them wiped out and off their regional hemisphere?
Icheoku says accursed be all those people or persons whose wicked plans caused untold harm to a people who did nothing to provoke a war or their planned extermination from Nigeria. People whose only offense was trying to defend themselves from an already begun extermination agenda in the hands of Gowon's led Nigerian vindictive Nigeria's army. Icheoku says to hell with Awolowo and all those his apostles who are completely blinded by their deaf and dumb follower-ship of him not to see the gist of the angst expressed in Achebe's "There was a country." That it was not an indictment of the entire Yoruba people, many of whom fought with and for Biafra, but a targeted pointing out of Awolowo for what he did during Biafran war to a people who did not deserve his darts. Ditto Yakubu Gowon and some of his then Middle-belt people who laid in wait and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Igbo people as they made their way back to the East fleeing the world's worst known but rarely mentioned genocidal ethnic cleansing.