By Henry Chukwuemeka Onyema
There are times in the life of a people when the gloves come off and frank talk must take the space in national discourse. If my memory serves me well, it was the renowned Nigerian writer, Ben Okri, who declared that a people are diminished by their history which they fail to face. The pro-secession agitation spearheaded by pro-Biafran groups like the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the reactions by the pan-Northern umbrella group, Arewa Consultative Forum, offers the opportunity for all Nigerians who want Nigeria to go forward to talk frankly and face an ugly aspect of the country’s evolution.
First, no matter how much history has been debased in Nigeria and by Nigerians, certain things happened between 1966 and 1970. The people who constitute the South-Eastern and South-Southern components of Nigeria were at the receiving end of those events; namely, the July 1966 coup; the systematic massacres of May, July, and September/October 1966 and the civil war from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970. There are undoubtedly diverse interpretations of these events, especially the fact that these people formally sought an entity apart from Nigeria. I dare submit the following perspectives borne from my years of study and reflection about how the world stopped turning in Nigeria from 1966 to 1970 and the implications for the country today.
Quite a large number of post-civil war Nigerians from areas outside the former Biafra are ignorant of what happened within this period. They have an unsympathetic mindset towards the fears, pains and worries of their Eastern and South-Southern compatriots. Some even declare openly that they are crushed rebels. Since the war ended the history of its time is actively suppressed by powers-that-be in Nigeria. Attempts to …Read More
Source:: PM Newspaper