One of leaders of the Igbo nation, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has debunked the notion that Biafra was defeated in the Civil War that raged between 1967 and 1970.
The elder statesman and active participant in the war, made his views known at a function on the future of the Igbo in Nigeria. He noted that Biafra could not have lost the war, as it ended through negotiated arrangement by leaders on both sides with a declaration of “No victor, no vanquished.”
Iwuanyanwu, who was among those who invented Ogbunigwe, Biafra’s monstrous killer machine, reiterated that Biafra never surrendered in the war and insisted that all that Gen. Philip Effiong demanded for resolving the contentious issues were granted by, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, the then Head of State.
However, Iwuanyanwu, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to save Nigeria from an impending calamity by restructuring the country and approving the creation of state police, warning that any attempt to murder Igbo in any part of the country for whatever reason would spark war.
He warned that the Igbo should not be taken for cowardice because of their peaceful disposition: “We are telling Nigerians we are ready, we are ready if they don’t restructure this country; this country must be restructured. If they think anybody will come and slaughter our people, any day they try it, they will see war, more than the one that had been there before. Let them realise this; the truth is glaring for everyone to see, our people have a saying that you don’t touch the tail of a lion whether it’s alive or dead.
“If I am Mr. President, what I will do today to stem this trouble is to restructure; two, approve the State Police, let every state have its own police, IG is talking of vigilante, vigilante should be local government police, why will police in local government be taking orders from Abuja.
“It was Gen. Effiong who saved the situation; we said we are not surrendering because we didn’t want our forebears to hear that we lost a war. So, eventually, Effiong came and told us that we did not lose; it is settlement arranged by Zik, Gowon, Ojukwu and that there is no victor, no vanquished.
“And we said, if it is so, put it in dailies, foreign news and radio, they did, no victor, no vanquished.
“They didn’t defeat us, people who go about and say Biafra lost the war, Biafra didn’t lose the war. He told us that number two; the three Rs, Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation.
Then he said, this concerned the officers, that nobody, none of us will be tried even those of us who were involved in the creation of Ogbunigwe, like myself, that we are not going to be tried by anybody.
“He told us also that all those who fought the war will be absolved, all civil servants, everything he told us Gowon obeyed it. So, in effect, I want the younger ones to know that the war ended on settlement.”