GLOBAL BETRAYAL OF NDIGBO: WE CAN FORGIVE, BUT NOT FORGET.
By Cornelius Onyeulo
Also, any person wishing Ndigbo not to talk about these events that really shaped their present position in the scheme of things in Nigeria, how Ndigbo are perceived and what the future holds for their unborn generations is an enemy to Ndigbo. How can we forget?
The guilt of cynical betrayal by world powers, especially Britain, to a just cause of a people seeking to assert themselves and fight for self-determination, fight against injustice and extermination will continue to haunt the world we live in.
Just a minute: Britain on September 18 2014 allowed Scotland to decide through referendum whether to remain part of England or be independent. Are our colonial masters now wiser? Can such freedom be granted Biafra? I am ust thinking. Scots may have rejected independence, after with a resounding 55%of voters optedout of breaking the 307-year old union with England, but it is clear that the storm hasn’t subsided.
We are conversant with the extermination of six million Jews in a gas chamber and the world remained aloof. To this great disservice to humanity, St (Pope) John Paul 11 asked for forgiveness. We are conversant with the extermination of the Armenians by the Turks. We are conversant with the extermination of the Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda. President Bill Clinton said in his book-My Life, that the greatest regrets of his presidency were his failure to stop the Rwanda’s tragedies. Read page 593 of that book.
When would the world powers learn from history and become true humanists? The current situation round the world now is scary looking at insurgency and terrorism, ethnic strife and most importantly the looming World War 111 if the world would not stand together and stop Russia. The fact is that the world’s business of trade, commerce, economy, wealth, technology and capitalism have blinded man and shut his conscience to humanism but there is the free volition of the intrinsic to rescue humanity.
The Igbos suffered a war of attrition in which the powers that be did not see any reason for Ndigbo not to die in their millions through economic blocked, air bombardment by Egyptianpilots on bloody civilians against the Geneva Convention of which Nigeria was a signatory. The supply of arms by Britain to Nigeria and latter the USSR supply of MiG fighter jets and technical assistance to Nigeria were borne out of economic gains to the detriment of human existence.
The natural law of retributive justice must surely wait patiently at the sentinel posts of all perpetrators of man inhumanity to man. Ndigbo are a prayerful people and God at his appropriate time will answer their prayers. Veteran actor Pete Edochie said, “But you see in spite of all the faults that the Igbo man has you can never diminish his love for God. Whether you think he’s conscious, he’s objective, he’s hypocritical, he’s ostentatious and still he invests in the worship of Almighty God and God himself appreciates it. No matter how much we are immolated on whatever grounds, God will always appreciate the fact that deep down we love him and we sacrifice for him”.
The blood of Ndigbo wickedly littered around Nigeria is seeking appeasement. And until Nigeria seeks for pardon from God, she will find no peace. In Genesis 4: 9-10, “Yahweh asked Cain, where is your brother Abel? I do not know, he replied. I am my brother’s guardian? What have done? Yahweh asked. Listen! Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground.
People want to legitimize the killing of bloody Igbo civilians for the irascible behaviour of a group of soldiers who were class mates and shared perhaps similar revolutionary ideologies even when they were not known in their various communities and the world says it is right. Is it right for Ndigbo to lose their properties and finances because they fought a war of survival and it is the internal affairs of Nigeria, and the United Nation looks the other way?
How can we forget? In his book, ‘THERE WAS A COUNTRY’, Chinua Achebe wrote, “The moment has come for Nigerians and the world to ask the proper questions and draw the right inferences about what happened in those terrible years” ( See page 207).
Our children will ask us questions about Biafra and the war and we will tell them. We owe our children a duty to document the events of those terrible years that have come to shape our future in the Nigerian project. Ndigbo have done enough to disabuse the notion that we are not true nationalists. Our investments across Nigeria over the years speak eloquently of our innate commitment to the unity of this country and we have never been appreciated.We must assert our existence and stand tall to defend our rights because it was not a mistake by God to place us in this geographical space. We will and must forgive those who hate us but we will not forget our history.