Former Lagos State Police Commissioner, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, has recalled how Odumegwu Ojukwu, leader of the breakaway Republic of Biafra from 1967 to 1970, warned people of the South-East against further acts that may lead to war. He observed that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, seemed to be rooting for a violent struggle and warned him to stop extreme utterances.
Tsav also said that the eviction notice issued to Igbos by youth groups in the North should be taken seriously as no nation goes into civil war twice and survives. “Every person who was born before 1960 knows exactly what has happened in this country. We had this problem when there was military coup and only a section of this country was targeted.
Their leaders and senior military officers were killed by a section of the society and these people happened to be the Igbo”, he told Sun. “Aguyi Ironsi was made the President. He came and unified the whole country without consultation with anybody. Then there was this counter coup and that was when the problem started and the Arewa people started agitating that ‘Araba’ ‘Araba’. That was the genesis of the problem.
“As regards asking people to go back to their place of origin, it is not the Arewa people that started it. It was the Igbo that started it. It was the Igbo who invited every Igbo man living in other places to go back to the east. And that was the beginning of the war.
“And that was when I was a young police inspector. That was why we were transferred from Lagos to Kaduna to replace those Igbo that answered to that call. So, the call by the Arewa Youths is reminding us of the sad old days and it is not good. “They must have done it out of anger and frustration because upon all that these Igbo have gained in this country, everyday they keep insulting and abusing us; calling us all manner of names and we have distinguished Nigerians among the Igbo who ordinarily should call these people to order but they are not calling them to order.
“I remember I saw a video where Ojukwu said he did not regret fighting for Biafra but he also advised the Igbo that nobody should try to do that again because with the number of people who died and the number of those who lost their properties, it was not worth it.
“He said in that video that he was proud to lead the Biafran war but that he wouldn’t advise anybody to go that way again. But when Kanu started, nobody among the prominent Igbo said anything to condemn it. They were allowing Kanu to say whatever he wants.
“I want to appeal to all the leaders in this country, be it Igbo leaders, Arewa leaders, Yoruba leaders and others to try and douse this tension. If the Arewa youths should insist that Igbo should go back to their area, we are creating another avenue for civil war. And no country fights two civil wars and survives it”, he stated.-dailypost