Abubakar Tsav, former Lagos State Police Commissioner is just disappointing in his responses in an interview in The Sun of Tuesday, June 27. It was quite interesting reading the tirade and cacophony of the old man.
Tsav’s espousal was like the way not to be an elder. It was seething with hatred and skewed facts which I guess he deliberately spewed to vent bottled up hatred. He in that interview proved his joy in forever holding grudges against the Igbo.
The interest I found in the interview was a glimpse of the mindset of many of the elders and elite of the country that refuse to forgive a race for an error committed by some of their members. Tsav’s comments seethe with smouldering anger and awful feelings for the Igbo. It’s so deep seated that he had to go out of his way to falsify facts of history to justify the slant of his mind.
Even those of us that didn’t witness the war have read so much literature from all sides and even foreign observers that we have better grasp of the details to see through the fabrications of Tsav in that interview. If we hadn’t known the truths of it, Tsav would have sold that misrepresentation as fact of history and that would have been awful for the healing of the nation which should start with first admitting the facts the way they are and seeking a middle point.
All the issues he discussed had pure negative slant against the truth, facts of history and the Igbo. Even President Olusegun Obasanjo had written that the 1966 Coup was not Igbo agenda. I read that Majors Ademulegun and Ademoyega were among the five leaders. In fact, Ademoyega wrote a book: Why We Struck and himself debunked the allegation of Igbo coup. Tsav still holds dear to that fallacy to find reason to sustain his anger against the race. And it is so surprising that Tsa, a Tiv still exudes more anger about that coup than a full blooded Fulani man, Emir Sanusi, the former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) whose article in a speech sometime in 1999 argued that Igbo has been over punished and over chastised over the years for the sins of few of her sons so many years ago.
Meanwhile, what Tsav and others have dubbed the Igbo coup has got more benefits for Tsav and the north because all the undue benefits of producing 10 of 14 central governments in the history of Nigeria, the benefits of usurping the oil from south east and South South to take care of more states and LGAs in the monthly allocation and other benefits in civil service and other quota systems of the unitary system would not have been if that coup didn’t happen. People were killed during the two coups of 1966 and that was not acceptable. After Danjuma and Gowon had led the ethnic cleansing against Igbo in the military in retaliation in the July 1966, they felt they had not exerted enough retribution on Igbo and Gowon mobilized and watched hundreds of thousands of Igbo and other easterners killed in the pogrom and to Tsav these were all just.
As if that is not enough, I can say Tsav has never known or been to Igbo land, the wreck of Nigeria, that remains a war-torn land 50 years after with no federal benefits. If Tsav ever did, I wonder if he would have the conscience to state that Igbo was forgiven and benefitted from Nigeria after the war. Such comments bring it clearer why Nigeria should be restructured now because Tsav, a Tiv man whose race had been constant victims of herdsmen massacre talking this way, doesn’t give hope to allow Nigeria exist as it is. And like someone asked, if Igbo massacre is justifiable because of the Igbo coup to the extent that the policy of annihilation continues to be visited on Igbo that had not been born 50 years after, why were Dimka and Gomwalk coup and that of Gideon Orka not visited on their races with same massacre and genocide? Orka was Tiv man, so what does Tsav say about his coup and the Tiv race? Do they deserve genocide like the Igbo deserved over the Igbo Coup led by Nzeogwu? They don’t because it’s improper to kill someone for the offence his brother committed. Tsav, I am younger than you and I proudly tell you that I reason better than your biases justifying Igbo massacre over Nzeogwu coup. Live with your tainted reasoning and I can’t be part of it. But I must let you know that it’s nuseating for an elder to reason this way.
He said the call for Igbo to leave the north was started by Ojukwu during the build up to the war, and I ask him – the call by Igbo to leave the north in 1967 and the genocide and pogrom on the South Easterners in the north from the middle of 1966, which came first? Should the South East have asked their people to remain in the north when they were killed and Gowon did nothing to stop it? You said you were a young police inspector then and after the Igbo had heeded the call, you were transferred to the north to fill the gaps left. That means you Tsav benefitted from the call because if the Igbo had remained in the north, you may not have benefitted from the promotion and prime positions that later came your way. So having benefited, why should you be the one to complain and retain the anger?
Nigeria has existed in deceit, the reason it doesn’t make progress. In the beginning, the same Nigeria managers, in order to whittle down Igbo majority status and influence put demarcations around the Igbo world, carved away the Igbo of present Rivers and Delta states.
Since some parts of Nigeria still hate Igbo that would be born in future for the coup led by Nzeogwu when their parents had not been born, the solution is to tweak the arrangement and look for alternative ways. And because people like you resist that alternative and believe in suppressing the yet unborn Igbo to get a pound of flesh from them over Nzeogwu’s coup, that is why they agitate for Biafra because it doesn’t make sense to them that people like you still hold them down and responsible and guilty for the Nzeogwu coup that happened before they were born. The anger has been held for too long that it has caused the hating hands that hold Igbo down to wither and get deformed. That’s the reason Nigeria retards in atrophy.
Again Tsav said Igbo has benefitted from Nigeria even though they levied war on the nation. Can Tsav give more insight to how Igbo benefitted from Nigeria and Nigeria didn’t benefit from Igbo? People like him argue that Igbo is accommodated all over Nigeria. Does Igbo chase away other Nigerians from their enclave? How many other Nigerians have the open mind to live in Igbo land and contribute to their development like the Igbo do in other parts? For your information sir, Igbo have an adage that any land that rejects strangers makes no progress, so we don’t reject strangers. You have resources, kindly bring them to Igbo land and invest and we will welcome you.
Yes, the Igbo don’t deny being accommodated by Nigerians, but that is not free. When the Igbo rent shops in other places in Nigeria, they pay. When they rent residences or buy lands outside Igbo land, are those given to them free. Is it possible that the buyer and seller relationship benefits only one of the parties?
Tsav doesn’t seem to know what goes on in Nigeria reason he argues that Igbo agitates for Biafra with eye on the oil of the minority. That argument proves the reason he is against Igbo liberation is because of the oil in the Niger Delta.