Sunday, October 14, 2012

Has there ever been Igbo coup?

(…  a lie told to blind generations)

January 15, 1966 is a day we can never forget. A coup motivated by nationalistic desire to free Nigeria from political wrangling was mischievously tagged “Igbo Coup”. The propagators of this deadly lie were spurred by ulterior motive. As dangerous as lies could be, it led to fratricidal war that claimed over 6 million lives from both sides and threatened extermination of Igbo nation through various war crimes.

Igbos developed so rapidly and made huge gains in the wake of Nigerian civilization. They were there at the top of education, commerce and industries. According to Chinua Achebe in his book, “The Trouble with Nigeria”, he says that Igbos have liberal thinking, uninhibited by imposition of monarchy and autocracy, ready-made to grab all the benefits of modern civilization … Much of the progress came from unhindered enterprising spirit propelled  by a social structure that handsomely rewards personal achievements.

The cost of this success was that it bred rambunctious life style that caused our neighbors much grieves.  They seethe with raging jealousy, wishing this breed of beings could be taken out of their sights. Igbos must pay for this.  January 15 coup provided the narrow opening that made them pay with pools of blood and attempted extermination.

The coup plotters

The contagious lie got everyone thinking that Igbo officers alone went on rampage to seize power and murder politicians from other ethnic groups. This sensational and sentimental propaganda sunk too deep into the hearts of our neighbors that they failed to notice the conspicuous presence of other ethnic groups, including Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba, Ijaw, Tiv et al among the officers who planned and executed the coup.

A glance at list of the coup plotters would tell any unbiased mind that the coup has balanced national representation. The major names in the list are  1. Maj. Adewale Ademoyega (Yoruba) author of "Why We Struck". 2. Capt. G. Adeleke (Yoruba). 3. Lt. Fola Oyewole (Yoruba) author of "The Reluctant Rebel". 4. Lt. R. Egbiko (Ishan). 5. Lt. Tijani Kastina (Hausa Fulani). 6. Lt O. Olafemiyan(Yoruba). 7. Capt Gibson Jalo (Bali). 8. Capt. J. Swanton (Middle Belt). 9. Lt. Hope Haris Eghagha (Urhobo). 10. Lt. Dag Warribor (Ijaw). 11. 2nd Lt. Saleh Dambo (Hausa). 12. 2nd Lt. John Atom Kpera (Tiv). 13. Maj. Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu (Delta Igbo). 14. Ifeajuna (Igbo). It is equally worthy to note that over 500 junior officers who executed the coup were from northern region.  

The coup intention

Maj. Adewale Ademoyega , a Yoruba, the author of "Why We Struck" wrote, ''when on January 15, our revolution was launched, it was welcomed because it came as a painless surgical operation designed to heal a sick Nigeria...''  Much later, Yakubu Gowon had to scream that the January 1966 coup was plotted in Ghana that played host to AG Chieftains (Yorubas ) in exile after the arrest of Chief Awolowo and treason charges concocted by northern NPC’s Federal Government to hound AG into submission.  Among their major intentions was to release Chief Awolowo from Calabar prison and fly him to Lagos to become Nigerian Prime Minister. Captain Nzegwu was assigned this role.
It is then worrisome why the blatant lies about the coup were so peddled, except for bottled up taste to punish the Igbos for annoying their neighbors with intimidating progress. This can be confirmed by several defunct and extant polices of successive post-war  Federal Governments directed at cutting down the progress of Ndigbo.  There was no and never was there any Igbo coup. Targeted killings of Igbos, as seen in various pogroms, were expressions of jealousy and deep rooted hatred. This has to be given a name. And Igbo coup was found convenient.



Saturday, October 13, 2012


(…. Nigerian masses culpable)
The problem of Nigeria is not the activities of corrupt politicians, but the accomplice of “innocent” masses. Much of the accomplice is accomplished through culpable silence. It is under our nose that the whole nation is decaying, yet we do nothing. We don’t even sincerely condemn the activities of those responsible. Some even go as far as justifying their criminality. You hear some clich├ęs like, “it is his time to chop”, meaning it is the opportunity of anyone in power to make money through embezzlement of public fund.

The most worrisome are the silent majority who believe they have no business with governance or how the nation is ran. These ones are only interested in personal achievements and care little about national or community development. Many of whom condemn politics as business of evil men, hence the common saying that politics is a dirty game. This is complete surrender of national, state and local leadership to the “evil men” whom the so-called “good men” still expect to construct roads, provide electricity, build hospitals, equip schools, develop agriculture, pay salaries, and alleviate poverty and so on.

The elite prefer talking about tribes, defending the indefensible for no logical reason barring protection of tribal interest. Instead of words matched by action, the elite dwell in criticism propelled by ethnic bigotry. If the learned  friends who have been expending great energy in criticism of Chinua Achebe’s memoir on Biafran war had channeled such resources to sincerely condemn the lootocracy  going on in Nigeria, we would have had another great cities like Lagos and Abuja. These are what we all loss daily through criticisms fueled by tribal protectionism instead of desire for nation building.

Today, the Arab nations are re-defining their future just like European and American nations did in the past. They are talking. They are saying something about their future. But disappointingly, we are still in tribal war within one nation. Can we shed this garment of tribalism and break the silence?


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hello Friends

Welcome to Eastern Free Thinkers.  We intend to provoke deep thinking into issues of national and international concerns. Everything is on the table – politics, economy, sports, culture and technology.

………thinking without borders.

See you in a jiffy!

Chukwuemekam E. Chukwuemeka
Enugu, Nigeria
+234 809 388 4953
+234 806 490 0406
+234 808 150 5706