Unburdening the Past & Facing the Challenges of Today and Tomorrow with Determination and Confidence
Address by Prof Uzodinma Nwala, ADF President.
At The Public Presentation of the Book
The Nigerian January 15, 1966 Coup and Biafra: Myths and Realities.
& Consultative Forum.
Held at Bon Sunshine Hotel, Enugu.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Members of the Press.
I hereby solemnly and respectfully welcome you all on behalf of the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) and all the Pan-Igbo organizations that daily dedicate themselves to the cause of the progress, development and survival of Alaigbo and her people.
The Agenda of today’s event comprise three issues, namely.
- Book Presentation,
- Reaffirmation of Igbo Position as initiated by Ohanaeze Ndigbo at the
Ekwueme Square in Awka on May 21, 2018.
- Consultative Forum on The Challenges of Homeland Security
The book captioned THE NIGERIAN JANUARY 1966 COUP; MYTHS AND REALITIES is a product of almost two years of research. The purpose of the book is to help dissolve the myths and lies spun out of the January 1966 Coup, describing that Coup as ‘Igbo Coup’. Thus, even in a recent obituary prepared by the Nigerian military in memory of the late General John Shagaya, the Nigerian Army went further to describe the January 15, 1966 Coup as “Ironsi Coup”. What a great disservice by an Army to their former Commander-in-Chief who, the world knows, risked his life to abort that January 15, 1966 Coup, which was staged by junior army officers and who subsequently lost his life as a result of that Coup.
Before ADF commissioned the research in and through which this book was produced, a letter was first written to General Yakubu Gowon. the Nigerian war-time leader, to tell the world the truth of those events – the January 1966 Coup and the subsequent incursion of Biafra troops into the Midwest.
We urged him to speak out as the man who was General Aguiyi Ironsi’s Second-in-Command as well as the man who took over from him after his assassination and who was privy to the Reports produced by various investigation panels set up by the Military Regime under his watch.
When General Gowon failed to respond, ADF considered it a great historical responsibility to carry out a dispassionate study, uncovering the facts, laying blame where blame lies and making sure the memory of the innocent are preserved.
In addition, by dissolving the fallacy of ‘Igbo Coup’ or ‘Ironsi Coup’ as applied to the January 15, 1966 Coup in Nigeria, we believe Ndigbo can continue to face the future with greater self-determination and confidence. In addition, it will help to free Ndigbo and their neighbors from a past founded on lies and hatred. We owe it to future generation an account of those dark days that can help all of us to understand the true background of those events as well as the errors committed, and thereby protect the memory of those who have been falsely maligned through dubious accounts of that period, This includes thousands of innocent Igbo Officers and their civilian relations and their colleagues from other regions, as well as General Ironsi, who not only aborted the coup, but was assassinated because of his grim but sincere desire to “preserve one Nigeria”.
Igbo Consultative Forum on
The Future of Alaigbo in the Nigerian Federation.
The second part shall be facilitated by the Memorandum from the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF).which has been synthesized into a concise text – Towards Igbo Position on the Future of Alaigbo and the Future of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
In his presentation of the Ohanaeze Document on the Igbo Position at Ekwueme Square on May 21, 2018, Professor Chukwuma Soludo referred to the document which he presented on behalf of Ohanaeze as ‘work in progress’. Consequently, the document being presented today – the 28th of July, 2018 should be seen first and foremost as an attempt to and advance that document into what can be presented to the world as Igbo Position declared in a free and solemn environment.
What is more. several geo-political zones and nationalities have, in recent times presented to the world, in one form of declaration or the other, their position on the continued existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
To these declarations, some of which just called for restructuring of the Federation, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Mohammadu Buhari has responded, describing such demands as PERSONAL AGENDA and insisted that the present Nigerian Constitution cannot accommodate such demands. Thus, for him the1999 Constitution is sacrosanct.
Given this development, we have either of two choices, namely, to shut up and run into our unprotected shells or to stand up as a man and as a people to REAFFIRM OUR STAND.
Given this development the Alaigbo Development Foundation and several other pan-Igbo platforms call on our people, Ndigbo, to come out with a stronger national Affirmation of their position- on the future of Alaigbo in or outside Nigeria.
Therefore, a document for this Affirmative Declaration, produced by over 27 eminent Igbo men and women, most of whom are statesmen by international standards is being presented to you today, Many pan-Igbo organizations have endorsed the text,
An SOS to Igbo Leaders on
The State of Emergency in the Federal Republic of Nigeria –
On December 21, 2017, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) released a Memorandum on the Future of Alaigbo and the Future of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (otherwise called the GREEN BOOK)
On page 47 of the Memo. ADF alerted Ndigbo that an ominous sign was in the social and political environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This was stated in the section of the Memo with the prophetic Biblical number ‘666’ i.e., The Great Revelation!!!. It read as follows:-
The monstrous forces of Hegemony is on rampage.
- The chickens have come home to roost!
- Things Fall Apart and the Artificial Center can no longer hold!
- Utam Abala Ohia
- The Monster is on rampage!
The forces of Ethnic and Religious cleansing have been let loose!
- All the Victims of this hegemony are now astir!
- Songs of freedom are now raging all over the Federation!
This was released before General T. Y. Danjuma exploded on the 24th of March 2018, telling all the people in the Federal Republic of Nigeria –
“Defend Yourselves from the Attack of the Herdsmen or You will all die! You must rise to protect yourselves from these people; if you depend on the armed forces to protect you; you will all die!”
General Danjuma followed this up with leading a delegation, along with the Governor of Taraba State, Daruis Ishaku, to the United States of America to alert the world about the ethnic and religious cleansing taking place in Nigeria.
We are compelled to ask our people –
NDIGBO WITHER ART THOU?!
Recently, a former Governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, posted the following posers on the pages of one of the internet Whatsapp For a. His is one among similar posers coming from Umuigbo in different parts of the world.
He..wrote, – –
“God forbid!. But if what is happening in the Middle belt happens in Igbo land, what will we do? How should we respond? Who will lead the response? With what do we respond? To whom do we run for help. Is there a leadership in place? My brothers, these are not questions to stare at. We must put our minds to work immediately. Echi eteka!!!”
It will be recalled that after the attack of the Fulani herdsmen on innocent Igbo citizens Nimbo and other areas in Enugu and other states in Alaigbo, ADF alerted the world by issuing a DISTRESS CALL TO THE WORLD. When the Arewa Youths issued their Quit Notice to Ndigbo living in the North, ADF wrote a petition to the United Nations and the American Congress which a delegation of her leadership delivered in New York and Washington
ADF equally reacted against the invasion of Alaigbo by the Nigerian Army under the guise of a so-called Python Dance, which led to the mass murder and torture of many of her youths, as well as defiling of her women. A Suit was filed at the Federal High court to challenge that military invasion of Alaigbo.
We can longer guarantee the safety of our people in the face of the physical occupation of Alaigbo by the Fulani herdsmen and the Boko Haram, and given the complicity of the Military and Security forces in the Federation,
In the light of the foregoing, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) is urging Igbo leaders who are by an earlier SOS being invited to the July 28 2018 event in Enugu to take special note on the current tragic situation engulfing the entire territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as they affect the Igbo nation, with particular attention to the posers as framed by Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife and several alerts coming from ADF and Umuigbo in different parts of the world.
In short, where do Ndigbo go from here?
ADF hereby presents the following proposals on the way forward. These include : –
- That all the states in Alaigbo should urgently ensure the passage of the Anti-Open Grazing Law for which ADF has submitted the relevant Bill to the Houses of Assembly of the seven states. The Anti-Open Grazing Law is to provide the measures for its implementation. We note with a good measure of satisfaction the action of the Abia House of Assembly in passing the Anti-Open Grazing Bill and urge the Abia Governor to sign the bill into law.
It is envisaged that such measures shall involve the people in the enforcement of the Law.
ADF calls on Ndigbo to express their approval of the joint- action of most of our governors who have taken positive positions against Fulani occupation of our land and the seizure of our land by the Federal Government of Nigeria,
They should follow this up by ensuring the passage of the Anti-Open Grazing Bill by the States House of Assembly and work with the people for its implementation.
- The present State Police Law being proposed by the National Assembly should be supported as an interim measure, ADF is of the view that what is ultimately required in Alaigbo is a Regional Police in keeping with the call for Autonomous Regions of Alaigbo.
- An Emergency Summit should be summoned, This requires the collaboration of the State Governments, Ohanaeze, ADF other pan-Igbo organizations.
- Ndigbo should demand an urgent National Conference to resolve the question of the future of the Nigerian Federation before the forthcoming 2018 General elections.
May our God and our Ancestors protect us.
Above all, we should always bear in mind that Heaven helps those who help themselves!
Ta bu Gboo!
PROF UZODINMA NWALA