How Ojukwu’s ‘Lies’ Caused Civil War – Yakubu Gowon | Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper

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Former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) has disclosed how lies by late warlord, Odumegu Ojukwu after the Aburi accord led to Biafra civil war, between 1967 and 1970.

Gowon made the claim while giving insight into what happened at the Aburi Conference, in Ghana, convened to resolve Nigeria’s political logjam.

He said the Federal Government went to Aburi unprepared, following a disagreement which broke out between the Supreme Military Council (SMC) and the Eastern region, led by Ojukwu.
Speaking on AIT’s programme “People, Politics and Power,” on Tuesday, Gowon said the decision to go to Aburi was borne out of the desire to win back the trust and confidence of Nigerians.

He maintained that secession was never part of the resolutions they agreed on.

Gowon said, “We agreed to put our heads together, to regain the trust and confidence of Nigerians. We went to Aburi, to agree to deal with the situation of our country, by ourselves.

“We did not go with any prepared position on the federal side, but, Ojukwu came with a paper he prepared. His prepared position was on a pink paper. Usually, pink paper at the Staff College is directing staff solution to the problem.”

Gowon said most of the positions presented by Ojukwu at the conference were accepted and upon their return to Nigeria, he was determined to keep the country united by assuaging the South East but Ojukwu felt otherwise.

He said Ojukwu’s refusal may have been as a result of killings of Igbos in the North, a situation that made him (Ojukwu) insist on Nigeria’s breakup.

Gowon disclosed that part of the agreement reached in Aburi was that upon return to Nigeria, he would be the first to make any statement concerning the resolutions before any governor makes any statement.

He said, “But, by the time I returned, I was ill; I had fever. I could not make any statement. But, Ojukwu went to the radio, to make a statement and said the things we never agreed on.

“David Ejoor was the one who called me one early morning to ask if I had heard what Ojukwu said, and I said no. He then reeled out all that Ojukwu had said and I asked David, in all honesty, if that was what we agreed. He said no.

“To keep the country together was not a task that I could do alone. I needed the cooperation and understanding of every Nigerian. And, in order to ensure we kept the country together, I reckoned that we needed to have discussions among ourselves. We had a civil servant who was exceptionally experienced and good.


“We went there (Aburi) to restore the trust of our country. If we were working together, anyone with conscience will assuage the feelings (of the South-easterners). But, Ojukwu thought otherwise. He had in mind all along, based on what happened to his people in the North, that secession was the only way out. But, we were thinking of the whole country, because all parts of the country were involved. The military was not involved in the killings of South-easterners in the North.”

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  1. Nonsense story, medicine after dead! stop proviking Igbos this old man, you old politicans in this country are the ones that are destroying us, keep your story to yourself. Idiot

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  3. Yakubu Gowon, if you the head of state went to Aburi without a prepared position to discuss you were to blame; it means that you went there to listen to Ojukwu. Your story just confirmed what we already knew - that you did not understand what you accented to, that you still didn't understand the content of the Aburi agreement until Obafemi Awolowo explained it to you. On your return you took ill, did you let Ojukwu know that you were ill and that slowed you down on your announcement? Ojukwu, like anybody else, would simply believe that your silence meant that you were backing down on the agreement. I hate to say that you are the liar, not Ojukwu.

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  4. I was born in the post-war era. I have heard and read stories about the war. I have tried not to take sides about it. I'm from Kogi, North central,Nigeria. My family would not have supported Biafra. No doubt that. They probably would have celebrated the victory by the Nigerian army under Gen Gowon. But, seriously and truthfully having read this recent statement by Gen Gowon, I can conclude that his "mistakes or inefficiencies" in handling the issues was what lead to the war. He should be held responsible for it! He could have handled the situations differently and the war could not have taken place. How can he lead the government to a meeting without a paper work whereas Ojukwu went with one? They decided that he should first give a speech when they return to Nigeria but he failed. Negligence of duty! Sickness is an excuse. That is what employees that fail in discharging their official duties easily come up with in addition to stories like their grand parents died. How true was it? Was he really sick? Did he and his government really take actions to win the confidence of every body including Ojukwu and his easterners by issuing a public statement that the head of state will not address the nation at the time being anticipated due to unforeseen circumstances regarding his health and that he would do that as soon as he was fit. At that time that the unity of the country was under threat General Gowon and his government should have worked round the clock to do the needful in winning the confidence of the entire Nigerians. That gap was enough for the damage to be done. The person that is already feeling hurt (Ojukwu and his people) would not accept the gap or failure by the head of state to address the nation. Any body will see it as a deliberate attempt to undermine them. Further more what did government do when easterners were killed in the north? I think seriously, that Ojukwu took advantage of government inactions. At the end there was war. Likewise government inactions allowed bokoharam to gain ground. Also government inactions will lead Nigeria to another war in few years to come: it will be a war between about 50 million unemployed graduates and the few rich politicians. David

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  5. Can you live the dead alone this old man....can you now tell the truth the lie.

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  6. Mr genocide. At your death the millions you killed are going to deal with you

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  7. SHAME ON MR GENOCIDE. GOWON LITERALLY MEANS "God's Old Woes/Wounds On Nigeria. YOUY DEATH AND BURIAL WILL BE IN DASHES. OJUKWU RECEIVED NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL BURIAL YOU WILL DIE LIKE A COCKROACH.

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