Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

 

Republic of Oduduwa?

Nnamdi Ebo 2 241x300 On Aburi We Stand: Requiem for Aburi AccordBOOKS . There was a Time | By Nnamdi Ebo.

At this time, the Calabar prison had a VIP guest in one of its cells. This prisoner became a pawn in a chess game playing out. Gowon wanted him on his side and Ojukwu wanted him for other reasons. 

Photo left: Eastern Nigeria’s Military Governor, Lt. Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu (left) & Nigeria’s Military Head of State, Lt Col. Yakubu Gowon (right) | 1967.

Gowon ordered his release from prison on a purported state pardon. There was a snag there. The VIP prisoner was incarcerated within Ojukwu’s sphere of influence and jurisdiction – the Eastern region where he was the military governor. As far as Ojukwu was concerned, Gowon was only ranting. Ojukwu ordered his own release based on other reasons I cannot now remember. It couldn’t have been on state pardon because the Eastern region was not a state at that time; well, not yet.

awo

On release from Calabar prison nonetheless, Chief Obafemi Awolowo was driven to Enugu where he had an audience with Ojukwu. The regional government made a show of this august visit to Enugu and the eastern press acquiesced accordingly. Awo was overwhelmed with gratitude for his release from prison without serving out his term or so it seemed to his host and the easterners. Many pundits said it was in a press conference arranged by his host in Enugu that Chief Obafemi Awolowo declared inter alia:

“…if by acts of omission or commission the East is allowed to secede, the West will follow suit…”

Others said it was when he got back to the west that he declared the above statement, threatning that the west may declare independence (which was alluded to as Republic of Oduduwa) if the east is allowed to leave Nigeria. Many people believed that Awo’s statement persuaded the northerners to disregard the Aburi Accord (if my recollection is correct). It is pertinent to note that Awo’s much vaunted ‘Republic of Oduduwa’ never materialized! As soon as he got back to his western region, he started singing another sing song.

Enugu coal city | A capital city

Before the 1966 pogrom, many Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Lagos veterans of eastern extraction had relocated to Enugu after Eastern Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (ENBC) was launched by then Premier of the Eastern region Dr. Michael Okpara. These veterans included Boniface Ofokaja, Obi Ebo etc. These men formed the bulwark of broadcasting. Reminisces include the Eastern Nigerian Television (ENTV) evening news introductory signature tune, with photomontage as backdrop, and Obi Ebo uttering his famous lines: “Here is the news read by Obi Ebo.” My uncle and I travelled to Enugu to see his junior brother uncle Obi. Uncle Obi was then a broadcaster and one of those pioneers of Television in the NBC that came back to the east; to the ENTV.  

Previously, I lived with uncle Obi and his family on Accra Street in Enugu, a hilly and sloppy street, and his yellow duplex mansion house was by the end of the street’s slope. That was before uncle Goddy came back from America with his family. However by the time we came visiting, he had moved into the Real Estate quarters (a brand new modern estate built by Dr. Michael Okpara, Premier of Eastern region) with his family. “Goddy nno; Nnamdi kedu?” “Odi mma” I said. After the short pleasantries uncle Goddy lighted his pipe and started puffing away. “Activities eri ka si na Enugu” he said in between sucking and puffing. He was referring to the heightened tension in the land especially in Enugu the capital, “odi kwa egwu” uncle Obi replied alluding to Awo’s statement on the west going if the east is allowed to go.

Gowon & Ojukwu 2

Uncle Obi’s wife aunty Baby came in “Kedu ife unu ga ala? Unu eme eli nni?” offering us drinks and food to which I requested for mirinda my soft drink of choice. Uncle Goddy settled for a bottle of oyo oyo mmi a slogan for Golden Guinea beer brewed in those days in Umuahia. Aunty Baby got into her car and drove off to go and pick her children from a friend’s place. As we ate hot garri and ofe onugbu, “is that Yoruba man serious?” Uncle Goddy asked “I doubt it” uncle Obi answered without hesitation “why do you say so?”

Photo: Yakubu Gowon (up) & Odumegwu Ojukwu (down) | 1967.

“Have you forgotten what he did to Zik in Ibadan?” “You mean the carpet crossing in the western house?” “Yea…he’s an old fox, that man is a sage…I dont…” uncle Goddy cut him short “No! I believe him and…” his junior brother cut him short as well “you people in that university don’t know what is going on here”. Apparently, other than what Awo said in Enugu, the west appeared lukewarm to the east’s predicament. There was no condemnation from the west over the pogrom carried out by the north against the east in the north; except one lonely voice in the western wilderness – Wole Soyinka. Soyinka was later arrested and imprisoned in solitary confinement for the duration of the war for opposing the Nigerian federal government.

To be continued 

_________________________________________________________________________________________

There Was A Time . Book Cover 01. 202x300 On Aburi We Stand: Requiem for Aburi AccordCulled from: THERE WAS A TIME | Author: Nnamdi Ebo  |  Published by africagenda Publications  
ISBN: 978-978-50804-3-8  | 1st Edition 2013
Buy the book, THERE WAS A TIME |  Click  Bookshop
Nnamdi Ebo | [email protected]  
© 2015 Nnamdi Ebo . All Rights Reserved

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