In a press release by CPC, as published by Pundit, the party’s spokesman, Mr Rotomi Fashakan was furious in his response to Prof. Chinua Achebe’s ”war time memoir”. According to Rotomi Fashakan, the memoir was unnecessary and anti peace time and ill conceived. He maintained that Nigeria has gone pass the war that ended 40 years ago.
He said, ”“What you now see is that there is basically exiguous information in the memoir that obviates the need to ‘sheathe sword’ in stirring up a needless controversy in a state with fragile nationhood. From all intents and purposes, Prof Chinua Achebe projected a very parochial opinion about the war. I do not expect ancients like him to bring up memories that will further exacerbate the inflamed passions on the war. It is even very unfair to the memory of Chief Obafemi Awolowo because, at that time, he felt the policy of withholding feeding- which he had said was mainly directed at the Biafran fighting force- was meant to bring the war to a quick end.”
It baffles me that a man of great learning like Rotomi would speak in such a manner that would display such excessive lack of remorse and total lack of value for the millions of lives destroyed by Awolowo’s policies. He was out to canonize Awolowo but thinks the death of more than 3 million people starved to death by Awolowo should belong to the forgotten past. I consider his remarks on Achebe’s memoir an insult to Ndi Igbo, an open support for the actions of Awolowo and by extension all the Yorubas who actively participated in the murder of Igbos.
Awolowo was in prison during the conflict, it was the Biafran government that released him. Instead of being grateful he turned around to massacre those who showed him kindness. If the policy of starvation was war time exigency, how about the policy of giving every Igbo 20 Nigerian pounds in exchange for whatever amount you deposited in the bank?
How about the privatization policy that put Ndi Igbo out of cooperate ownership in Nigerian economy? It is important for truth to be told. Awolowo and Benjamin Adekunle were the most two of the Yorubas that hated Igbos with passion. Any justification of Awolowo’s murderous policies against Ndi Igbo is nothing but intellectual dishonest and criminal logic.
It has become common belief among many Nigerians that the civil war has ended long time and therefore should belong to the past of our history. This view circulated by many elite Nigerians as despicable as it is; shows the soullessness of Nigeria. It speaks volumes of how perverse the consciences of Nigerians consciences. It is a hard reality that the war will never end in principle. No wonder war criminals still parade themselves as leaders of this nation. The Nigeria’s genocide against Ndi Igbo is our holocaust and we will be damned if we forget or give up till justice is served.
It is imperative to ask here if the war has indeed ended. Do Igbos have past in Nigeria? Has the ”operation Araba” proclaimed on May 30, 1966, that led to the massacre of 500,000 Igbos ended? This massacre has continued till date in the North. The Igbo sons and daughters are still being butchered in the streets of North even without provocation. Ndi Igbo are still being seen and called ”dogs, baboons and monkeys” in Nigeria and are killed as such. Is it not a continuation of the war Rotomi wants us to believe has ended? Nigeria’s soulless government has kept dumb and numb to the issue of abandoned property in Nigeria. The draconian policies formulated immediately after the war, and by successive military governments are still being implemented at the federal level to keep marginalizing Ndi Igbo. Is it not a continuation of the war said to have ended? It is funny that no one has been charged, tried and convicted for spilling Igbo blood in the North. No family of the victims ever received any form of compensation from the government, and till date there has been no record of the government visiting victims families in solidarity with their pain. Does this indifference not prove that the government rejoices in the face of near extinction of the Igbos?
Yeah you are right, ”the war has ended”. The war is still on, the only difference is one side is not armed and no one is defending. We are always going through our holocaust with the humility and courage of the innocent sheep.
I want to say to you Rotomi Fashola, that your type represents the hypocrisy of Nigeria. You have never been read condemning the war crimes against Ndi Igbo. Your name is not on record among those who have criticized the federal policies that hold Ndi Igbo in bondage in their own country, and here you are speaking with despicable impunity against a man of courage, a man of principle because he dared to tell the children the truth.
The civil war will not end until Muritala Muhamed is posthumously tried for his war crimes against Ndi Igbo. The war will not end till Gowon is tried for crimes against humanity. Till Benjamin Adekunle, Omar Fanda Ike Nwachukwu, David Mark and a host of others are brought to face war crime charges the war would not be over. In Nigeria, Ndi Igbo have no past. Our past is in today and becomes our tomorrow. It is wicked to refer to the memoir recounts as past experience.