From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The recent allegation that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has planned to attack Lagos State has drawn the ire of First Republic Aviation Minister and frontline pre-independence nationalist Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, who described the claim as a cheap and blantant falsehood.
Chief Amaechi explained that the amity and understanding between the Yorubas and the Igbo is deep, fundamental and sacrosanct that they were sealed with the blood of two great heroes.
He recalled that when northern soldiers went to arrest and kill Gen Aguiyi Ironsi at Ibadan in 1966, the then military Governor of Western Region, Col Fajuyi Adekunle, told them that Ironsi was his guest, that they could not arrest or kill him at his lodge or in the Western Region. He said that the two eventually died together at the hands of non-commissioned officers.
‘Again, when the Federal Government of Tafawa Belewa tried Chief Obafemi Awolowo, leader of the Yorubas and Premier emeritus of the Western Region, and found him guilty of some offences, they sent him to prison and to serve his sentence at Calabar prison. The then Premier of the Eastern Region, Dr Michael Okpara, quickly arranged and an Igbo man who had a building near the prison was asked to vacate his building and Chief Awolowo moved in with his catering and all domestic staff provided by the Eastern Government.
‘His wife was placed on ministerial salary and requisites paid from Enugu. She was issued an official car with a driver paid from Enugu. If anybody thinks that he can drive a wage between the Igbo and Yorubas or kill the solidarity of the South to liberate themselves from the programmed enslavement by any external force that person is dreaming,’ the elder statesman said.
He said he was told that the Senate President had admonished the southern governors to go and solve the crises in their states, asking whether there were more crises in the South than in the North ‘where whole villages are wiped and buildings burnt, where hundreds of young men and women are kidnapped and killed, where Boko Haram has expanded as far down as Niger, Katsina and Zamfara states.’
He insisted security crises in southern Nigeria are caused by Fulani adventurers from the North. He said that the southern governors are resolved to contain them, adding that the people of southern Nigeria ‘and indeed Benue State must rise and save and defend their part of Nigeria from the fantasy and wild day dream of colonisation, Islamisation and Fulanization.’
He congratulated the governors of southern Nigeria for their successful maiden meeting in Asaba. He said that their ten-point resolutions were key to the solution of the problems of Nigeria. Chief Amechi said that anybody who opposed them was the real enemy of a united Nigeria.