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Biafra: Anambra elders lambast Achebe’s critics, insist that his claims (including that Gowon and Awo plotted genocide against Igbos) are true

By News Express on 07/01/2013

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The controversy stirred up by famous writer Prof. Chinua Achebe’s latest book appears destined to linger this new year.

An indication to this effect came via a communiqué in which elders of his home state took sides with the celebrated author, lambasting critics of There Was A Country, the civil war memoir which dominated discourse in the country in the last quarter of last year.

The Anambra State Elders Council (ASEC) had discussed the issue during its last bi-monthly meeting on December 14 but the communiqué was not released until last week. To underscore the seriousness it attaches to the issue, ASEC even bought newspaper space on January 3 to publish the communiqué entitled “Re: Prof. Chinua Achebe’s There Was A Country.”

The communiqué signed by ASEC Chairman, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, and Secretary, Prof. Ben Obumselu, reads thus: “We have observed with dismay the continuous negative and hostile verbal attacks on Professor Chinua Achebe for publishing his PERSONAL account of his participation, experiences, observations and comments on the civil war (Nigeria Biafra War) 1967-1970 in the book: There Was A Country.

“We know as eye witnesses that what Chinua Achebe wrote in the book is the truth and nothing but the truth. Attempts to deny it or turn it round are sheer hypocrisy and unfortunate. It is amusing that some who say they have not even read the book also make negative comments on the book.

“Let all with sincerity resolve to work to Nigeria a better, safe, stronger and internally friendly country.”

News Express reports that Achebe’s allegation in There Was A Country that war-time Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, and his finance minister, the late Obafemi Awolowo, perpetrated genocide against Ndigbo and the eastern minorities that constituted the defunct Biafra Republic has been heavily criticised, especially by Gown and Awo’s Yoruba kinsmen.

In an essay entitled “The genocidal Biafran war still haunts Nigeria,” Achebe came down heavily on Awolowo for inventing a policy of mass starvation of Biafrans during the civil war and dismissed Gowon’s post-war policy of reconstruction, rehabilitation, and reconciliation as a charade.

Source News Express

Posted 07/01/2013 12:11:20 PM


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