Was the Biafran war inevitable?

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A lot has been written in books and newspapers about the Biafran war (1967-70). Despite this huge volume of literature, no one has been able to satisfactorily answer the question: was the Biafran war inevitable? The war ended half a century ago and that question still hangs menacingly in the air particularly because the echo of Biafra is still heard today by a new breed of secessionists.

Was the Biafran war in evitable?

Some analysts believe that the war happened because the patchwork of compromises reached by the three regions, North, West, East on their way to independence did not cohere and that their claim to having independence on a platter of gold was not sustainable. To this group, the war of independence had to come and it came in July 1967. To this group everything else-the pogrom in the north, the Aburi accord, the creation of 12 states,-were destined to lead inevitably to the outbreak of hostilities between General Yakubu Gowon’s federal troops and Lt. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s rag-tag army hastily put together to offer resistance to the overwhelming firepower of the Federal Forces.

Why didn’t the peace pilgrimage to Aburi, Ghana save the day? Some analyst proclaims that Gowon was hoodwinked into agreeing to a confederation, pulling apart as Ojukwu called it, which one close examination seemed like a brutal bifurcation of Nigeria. Others think Ojukwu had got Gowon where he wanted and was not ready to retreat or to give an inch. That was why the buzzwords at the time were “on Aburi we stand.” Ojukwu, according to those who know him, was a congenital rebel.

Was the Biafran war in evitable?

At the age of 10, he had slapped an arrogant British teacher at King’s College, Mr Slee, during a students’ protest. The matter had to be taken to court and he was freed by the court. He had also shown a rebellious streak by defying his father who wanted him to study law. Instead, he went for Modern History. On graduation his billionaire father wanted him to join his company.

He rejected the offer. Instead, he went into the colonial civil service as a District Officer. When he found the job boring and limiting he resigned. He then went into the Army as a recruit with his master’s degree. These stories seem to emphasize that Ojukwu was an independent-minded person with a streak of rebellion in him. But he also seemed to be someone who cared fervently for his people, the people of the Eastern Region when he was the Military Governor.

Chukwuma Amaechihttp://evergreennewsonline.com
A Certified Senior Editor/Creative Writer @Evergreennewsonline Media, Graphic Designer, Chemical Engineer, & a Radical Entrepreneur

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