Defunct Biafran Army Chief of StaffGeneral Alexander Madiebo has died
He died at the age of 90.
A terse statement released by his family expressed sadness over his loss.
It reads. “We are sad to announce the passing of General Alexander Madiebo, Chief of Staff of the Biafran Army and the last of the 3 titans. He was 90″.
Madiebo had in an interview with Daily Sun explained the rationale for the Biafran declaration.
According to him: “The context under which we fought for Biafra has changed and this is a fact that our people must know. It was not Ojukwu’s intention to secede from Nigeria, but it was the circumstances of the time. It was public knowledge. In fact, the entire world was aware of the pogrom against Ndigbo in the North. Our people were being killed, pregnant women, children etc, none was spared in the killing. All genuine diplomatic efforts made hit the wall. Hope you remember the Aburi Accord and when we came back it was not honoured by General Yakubu Gowon-led Federal Government.
“Since the Igbo were being killed and faced with genocide there was no other alternative, but to seek resistance through secession. This is because you cannot be part of the country, Nigeria, and be able to protect your people from the massive killings, you needed to have your own country to secede so as to be able to acquire, secure, have access or buy arms and ammunition from other countries which will help you to protect your people, your territory from extermination.
“There was no way you could be part of Nigeria and have contact with countries that will provide what you need to prosecute the war, the arms and ammunition, and other war essentials. It was the situation that warranted the bid for secession. But I think that what the Igbo needs now is not secession. They should join forces with other groups to push for a constitutional amendment that will bring about true restructuring. If there is equity, fairness, and justice, the Igbo will always fly high. What they (Igbo) need is fair play, a level playing ground simple and they will showcase the stuff they are made off of because they are hard-working, enterprising, and can dare.
The truth is that anywhere you go and there is no Igbo doing business just run away, but there is nowhere you won’t find them. They will come to your place and join to develop the place. In fact, even when you are lazy to develop your place they will not relent to do the development for you.
“That is who they are, a people, a great race with a great destiny, talent, and passion to love others. Look, Ojukwu on his own never contemplated seceding from Nigeria, but he had no choice with what was on the ground, it was even the people that beckoned on him, and urged him to take that giant step so as to save the East from the pogrom. You can say that what happened was a child of circumstance, a necessity, and the people keyed into the vision because the mandate was from them. Biafra was not the single vision of Ojukwu and nobody would have thought of Biafra if not for the mistreatment of Ndigbo, the massive killing of a people, and a pogrom, and that could have been avoided. We need to think more, plan better and talk less because battles are better fought and won through wisdom and strategy than through making inflammable pronouncements, which we do these days.
“Biafra was born out of an act of self-defence against possible extermination. The massive killings then saw the end of thousands of Igbo lives. Then Ojukwu (the military governor of the Eastern region) after a meeting of the Advisory Committee of Chiefs and Elders at Enugu in May 1967 was mandated to declare Eastern Nigeria, a free sovereign and independent state. Most people these days agitating or fighting for Biafra, do not really understand what they are fighting for. Biafra was formed to fight against the Igbo marginalisation that got to the stage that threatened their human existence. I have escaped death very narrowly more than 10 times or more. I have seen death inches away. It took me 18 days to travel from Kaduna to Enugu by foot, by train, so when I talk about what happened then that warranted Biafra, it was not child’s play.
“Biafra was total resistance against possible extinction of the Igbo and that was not a joke, it was survival. Because of the genocide, and pogrom against Ndigbo, all we needed was to form resistance and you can’t form resistance as part of Nigeria. The Biafran breeze is now dangerously turning into a major storm that may constitute an existential threat to Igbo. No war ever got won by emotions, preparation and strategy. We should not attract avoidable conflict to our region hoping that the international community will intervene.
“What we are suffering today is part of a British agenda as they did it so that the North will permanently be on the advantage as far as the leadership of Nigeria is concerned. The British skillfully did it in such a way that they see power with a birthright mentality. The problem is marginalisation and this should be addressed through the constitution, there is a need for a review for a constitution that will be put in place, acceptable to Nigerians, the people’s constitution. Of course, you cannot say that what we have today is the people’s constitution.
“There is this blame-ride everywhere so we must sit down to address issues squarely. Look if you are marginalized as it is today try and get or insist on your right back. War is not the answer as it is today. If you are going to fight for marginalisation you need the cooperation of other people/groups who are also complaining and fighting against it and that means, fighting against the present constitution.
“The West, South-south, Middle Belt etc, all are fighting against marginalisation everywhere at varying degrees, so all that is needed is to join forces together and press for the right things to be done. It may not come easy, but press on. Today’s Biafra I think is different from Ojukwu’s Biafra and my own Biafra”.