Some Igbo leaders, yesterday, blasted former Chief of Army Staff, General
Theophilus Danjuma (retd) over his comments that if former Biafran Leader, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, had conceded defeat quickly during the 1967-1970 civil war like President Goodluck Jonathan did after the 2015 presidential polls, Nigeria would have been saved one year of bloodshed. Danjuma spoke on Wednesday shortly after a closed-door meeting with President Jonathan, who visited him at his Abuja residence. He said the President averted civil war in the country by timely conceding defeat and congratulating Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a move he said Ojukwu failed to make and thereby causing the country avoidable blood shed.
Coming at a time the Igbo are still seething over Oba of Lagos, HRM Rilwanu Akiolu’s threat that Igbo living in Lagos would drown within seven days in the Lagos Lagoon, if they did not vote his governorship candidate in tomorrow’s election, Danjuma’s comments elicited caustic criticisms.
Reacting to Danjuma’s comments yesterday, some Igbo leaders accused him of ridiculing the president, insulting Ojukwu and continuing the genocide against the Igbo by other means.
Among those who berated Danjuma are former Secretary-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo and officer in the Biafran Army, Col Joe Achuzia; Second Republic Politician, Chief Guy Ikokwu; botched Third Republic Governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife and former Deputy National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chief Abia Onyike.
He is no longer strong mentally –Ezeife
Piqued at the comments, Ezeife said: ‘’I know Danjuma is not very well. So I am not surprised.’’
Igbo will respond – Ikokwu
Alleging that Danjuma killed Nigeria’s first military Head of State, General Ajuiyi Ironsi (an Igbo), Ikokwu said General Danjuma will get a full response after the elections because by talking about Ojukwu, he is talking about the South-East and South-South geo-political zones, which constituted most of the former Eastern Region and later the defunct Biafra.
His words: ‘’I don’t think we should take issues with Danjuma until after the elections. Jonathan went to him and not him to Jonathan. We shall respond to him.’’
Danjuma’s comments confirm the genocide against Igbo – Achuzia
In his reaction, Col Joe Achuzia said: ‘’I am happy that my friend Danjuma owned up that there was bloodshed and pogrom against the people of Biafra. I don’t understand what he meant by Ojukwu conceding defeat. If the Federal Government had implemented the Aburi Accord, the bloodshed would have been avoided.
‘’Ojukwu believed in Aburi as the road map for peace at the time of the crisis but the Federal Government reneged on the agreement reached in Ghana. One does not concede defeat half way into a battle. Doing that would have amounted to cowardice. I don’t know where Danjuma got the idea of Ojukwu not accepting defeat from. He has little knowledge of the intricacies of the war. He didn’t even know the terrain of the Enugu that he talked about. If the necessities of capitulating were there, why did the war last for three years? I fought the war for three years and I know that the necessities were not there. Sometimes people talk for talking sake.
‘’The President’s visit to him was a private one and he should not have used that opportunity to insult all that Ojukwu stood for. To say publicly that the President was defeated was even a mockery of the President. It does not portray the President in good light. Of course what he said was an insult on Ojukwu. His reference to the fall of Enugu is laughable because the war was just starting then. Which military officer will surrender in that kind of situation even before firing a bullet? When some people make wrong comments on the civil war, I wonder what often inform their judgement. Ojukwu was a General and was right on all the decisions he took in the interest of the Igbo.’’
His comments ‘re diversionary – Onyike
In a chat with newsmen in Abakaliki, Onyike, one-time commissioner for Information and Orientation in Ebonyi State, said it was most unpatriotic of Danjuma to make such comments at this point in the country’s political history.
He alleged that Nigeria’s problem now is not from the Ndigbo but from Danjuma’s North-Eastern zone occasioned by the Boko Haram and Hausa/Fulani herdsmen insurgency, insisting that the General’s comments were mere diversionary tactics deployed to denigrate the integrity of Ojukwu.
Onyike said: “In the first place, it was Danjuma that backed the spilling of the blood of the Igbo, with the killing of Aguiyi Ironsi in Ibadan in 1967 and we want to say that Danjuma belongs to the group of Army Officers who led the gruesome genocide and massacre of over three million Igbo during the Nigerian civil war.
“We want to say that the problem with General T. Y. Danjuma is mainly psychological because at a time when some of them felt that they had become great statesmen and patriots for presiding over the attempted extermination of the Igbo, unfortunately for them, the Igbo people survived and have come to assert themselves and their identity in the Nigerian federation.
“Secondly, a twist emerged in the Nigerian scene where people like Danjuma and the minority group where he comes from in the Northern have been subjected to the same gruesome murders by militant elements of the same northern oligarchy which they serve, and to that extent Danjuma cannot go to his village.
“So, let him go and resolve that problem first because when Ojukwu was making them understand the nature of the Nigerian federation and the dangers inherent in the politics that was emerging, Danjuma preferred to be a surrogate. So let him stop using the Igbo to hide his inadequacies.”
Some Igbo leaders, yesterday, blasted former Chief of Army Staff, General Theophilus Danjuma (retd) over his comments that if former Biafran Leader, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, had conceded defeat quickly during the 1967-1970 civil war like President Goodluck Jonathan did after the 2015 presidential polls, Nigeria would have been saved one year of bloodshed. - See more at: