*TRUTH BE TOLD*
The attack on Lagos was unnecessary.
Ojukwu knew for certain that the Yorùbá’s had no stomach then for war and also was not going to allow any assault on the East from the West. The key Yoruba Generals, after trying their best to mediate on both sides, and after Yaradua shot Adekunle without any consequences, told Gowon to fight his own war.
The Igbos were winning at the initial stages of the East-North war. The East had taken all what the Federal Government had and destroyed them. They had defeated all the Generals from the North completely,and all Ojukwu needed to do was shift from defensive mode to attack against the North, they would have gained ground, shifted the battle ground to the North proper and put the civilians under pressure, forcing Gowon to negotiate Eastern exit.
But that was not what he did. He instead saw it as an opportunity for the Igbos to conquer the whole south and rule the Yorùbá’s. Even though we nurtured him as we nurtured Zik, Achebe and most of the Igbo leadership, he repaid us with Contempt.
He knew the Yorùbá’s had no weapon base, no thanks to the British who deliberately and strategically diverted all the Military arsenal to Kaduna in the North and left the West completely unprotected from attacks by the other tribes because the British feared the Yorùbá’s more. Ojukwu knew this, Awolowo told him so at their last meeting in Onitsha, a conversation that was secretly recorded and the tape transcribed. So why was it the Yorùbá’s that the Igbo leadership chose to attack instead of pursuing the Fulanis that attacked them. The answer can be deduced in Ojukwu’ s letter to Banjo, promising to make him the governor of SW, answerable to him !
Ojukwu was foolish, his contempt for the Yorùbá’s made him forget our tenacity when threatened.
Adekunle rose up and formed a new Fighting Battalion made up of Yoruba people called 3rd Marine Commando with the approval of Gowon and the North. Gowon was powerless, already facing certain defeat. Yorùbá’s taxed themselves and bought new weapons for the new Battalions and the weapons were not purchased from the British. Adekunle’ s wife and children were caught by the battle line by the the sudden attack by Biafra. Adekunle was the one who rescued most of the experienced Igbo fighting men from the North, yet Ojukwu went after Adekunle’s family in Warri.
Yorùbá’s had more historical relationships with the Calabars then than the Igbos, there was a Yoruba town in Calabar then, so Adekunle sneaked to Calabar and formed the second front made of South South fighters who were already been rubbished by the Igbos when they thought they would win the war. It was those East-West assaults on Biafra that led to Biafra’s demise. Adekunle sunk Ojukwu and Biafra. He attacked their Western moving front with speed boats, which he recruited the Ijaw boys for, deterring the movements at Ore, forced them back to Benin and crushed them. Then moved them to Asaba and back across River Niger. OJUKWU set up defenses across river Niger expecting Adekunle to follow, but Adekunle didn’t, he went after Biafra Navy instead making sure that the Igbos will never threaten the Yorùbá’s again from the sea.
Gowon was furious that Adekunle would not pursue Biafra so he brought Murtala to Benin to do the Job. Apart from Murtala sacking the Central Bank and stealing all the money, he was a completely useless human being. He was defeated over and over, destroying the lives of many soldiers. Yoruba soldiers refused to fight with him totally.
Adekunle captured Bonny, sacked PH and then went after Biafra stronghold in Owerri. He attacked Owerri both from PH and Calabar, a completely inch by inch war. The Igbos best fighting men and women and their officers were in Owerri and that battle was the bloodiest.
When Adekunle conquered Owerri everyone knew that the war was over, it was only a matter of time.
The story of the war was documented by foreign press, expecially Military Press, who came to witness the incredible fighting skills and strategies been displayed in PH and Owerri. Adekunle had already made International news and reputation as one of the best Warrior-Generals of modern warfare, and the best to emerge from Africa. Every news outlets wanted to interview and document his exploits. He had the best officers Nigeria ever produced, trained by him. They led their forces from the front and created magic that brought the whole world press to Nigerian battle field.
Gowon did not defeat Biafra, the Fulanis did not defeat Biafra, it was the Biafra Leadership’s disrespect and contempt for the Yoruba people that defeated Biafra. Yoruba whipped the Igbos ass.
Yes, towards the end of the war, it was also the Yoruba people who came up with the reconciliation plan, no winner, no vanquished. The Yorùbá people of Lagos who paid for and developed Surulere were made to give up their ownership of those buildings up to Lawanson to resettle the Igbos. Schools in Lagos, primary and secondary were expanded to accommodate the resettled Igbos. Spaces were created for the Igbos in secondary schools depriving the Yorùbá’s in the process. Yorubas were not initially happy, but Yoruba leadership went around to create the awareness that the Igbos were our cousins and that the war was a family feud and it was over, we needed heal the wounds of our cousins.
Yet, now, look at the version of history that the Igbos fed their own children. Still filled with contempt against the Yorùbá’s and lies, purposeful calculated lies just like before the war. Now Igbos claim to own Lagos and Ibadan, that they built everything in Yoruba land, that the Yorùbás were just savages. That is what they teach their children, contrary to the facts.
Yet, can you blame them? What are the stories Yorùbá’s are telling their Children? Do your children know the truth about events in your lives when you were young? If you are over 58, I shouldn’t be telling you the stories I just did, you lived through it.
What did you tell your children? Do they know these truths?
THE TRUTH MUST BE TOLD!!