Other matters like the holding of an ad hoc constitutional conference, fate of soldiers involved in the January 15, 1966 coup, rehabilitation of displaced persons, etc, were also amicably resolved, and the conferees returned happily to Nigeria. Only for the Federal side to deliver a blow to the solar plexus: the Aburi Accord, Gowon said, was unworkable, and he reneged on all the agreements.
Using the Eastern Nigerian Broadcasting Service, Ojukwu played the tape recording of the proceedings at Aburi repeatedly, to educate the populace on who was playing Judas. Later, he made a broadcast in which he said: “we in the East are anxious to see that our differences are resolved by peaceful means and that Nigeria is preserved as a unit, but it is doubtful, and the world must judge whether Lt. Col Gowon’s attitudes and other exhibitions of his insincerity are something which can lead to a return of normalcy and confidence in the country.
“I must warn all Easterners once again to remain vigilant. The East will never be intimidated, nor will she acquiesce to any form of dictation. It is not our intention to play the aggressor. Nonetheless, it is not our intention to be slaughtered in our beds. We are ready to defend our homeland.”
In a piece I did last December, shortly after Ojukwu passed away, I said he was virtually pushed into war by the infidelity of the Federal side to the Aburi Accord. I still stand by that position. Ojukwu was called ‘warlord’ for many decades, but he was by no means a warmonger. He only did what he needed to do for his people–and for the country.
As his earthly remains are interred today, it is tragic that Nigeria is still submerged in the morass that Ojukwu already identified about 45 years ago. Today, bombs go off like firecrackers in the country. There is agitation for the review of the revenue allocation formula.
There are strident calls for the convocation of a sovereign national conference. Even some component parts are threatening to pull out of the federation if anything happened to their ‘son’ who is now in power. Didn’t Ojukwu warn of these landmines ahead? Were all these issues not already settled at Aburi?
Foremost journalist and media administrator, Akogun Tola Adeniyi, in a recent media interview, explained the Aburi Accord this way: “Let every region be semi-autonomous and develop at its own level.” Yes, that was the spirit and letter of Aburi, but which sadly became a road not taken.
And is that not why we are still suffering today, living in a rickety and decrepit country that can burst at the seams any moment? I tell you, Ojukwu was a prophet, and like most prophets, he had no honour in his own country. Pity. But whether we like it or not, there’s no way we won’t return to Aburi. Willy-nilly. I only hope it will be sooner than later, before Nigeria goes to grief. On Aburi I stand.
Federal Government was perfidious and duplicitous on Aburi. It is still the same way today. That is why as Nigerians, we are most times disillusioned, dismayed, dispirited, dejected and depressed. When will change come to this land? Our hearts are getting weary.
Last December, I wrote that Ojukwu should be buried like a hero. I’m glad at the rites of passage so far, culminating in the interment today. Yes, bury him like a true hero. An icon, an avatar, deserves no less. This generation will surely not see another like Ojukwu. He fought not only for his own people, but for a true federation founded on justice, fair play, equity and rectitude. Unfortunately, he did not see the Nigeria of his dreams. Will we? Adieu the Ikemba, the Eze Igbo Gburugburu. May your soul rest in peace. Ka nkpur’obi gi zue ike n’adukwa.
By Femi Adesina
Friday March 02, 2012
“THE QUESTION IS, CAN HE ( FEMI) STILL BOLDLY WRITE THE SAME ARTICLE NOW OR ADVICE HIS PRINCIPAL ON WHAT HE WROTE?
You see, most of these people know what the truth is but will rather look the other way when they start eating.
In the end, it will remain a merry go round of follow my words and not my foot steps.
We are just postponing dooms day. If we do not do the needful, doomsday will remain inevitable.