R.I.P Professor Chinua Achebe

I have just heard about Professor Achebes passing and my prayers are with his loved ones at this time.

It all makes sense now, It is very clear !….In Chinua Achebes book ‘There was a country’ Achebe, lamented on the fact that his publishing company the Citadel Press had not published the manuscript given to him by Major Ifeajuna, on his account of the January 66 military coup. Achebe felt the account was highly exaggerated, but no doubt he regretted not publishing it- for one reason, by the end of the Nigerian Civil war the main plotters had been killed…and dead men can’t talk.

The 82 year old knew his time was coming to an end and as an ultimate griot who new his duty to his people he knew he had to pass on his version of events.

Knowing what researchers of history face in our nations national archives he put into words what only he could, HIS OWN ACCOUNT of what he experienced – For posterity’s sake !

National archives are meant to give us a glimpse of history and depending on the author of the document or the angle the photographer took, it will always be a VERSION that could be seen in so many different ways.

For all those who believed Professor Chinua Achebe’s book ‘There was a country’ was personal (tribal) attack. It wasn’t – it was his contribution to our deficient archival system.
He gave us his version of events and that’s all he could have done FOR POSTERITY’S SAKE.

“Things fall apart” , “No Longer At Ease” “Arrow Of God” “Man Of The People” “Anthills Of The Savannah” books that take pride of place on my book shelf and has taught me so much about my heritage.

Thank you Sir. You have left a beautiful legacy.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Still on the controversy of Chinua Achebes memoirs……..

From a past post 
I encourage more memoirs to be written as long as the writer writes it from truth, personal experiences and observations. Irrespective of the outcome.
Today the politician Alex Ekweme turns 80, now, I would love to read his memoirs!. Someone like MT Mbu, who had a lot to say about the way history has presented itself eg his surprise declaration that Tafawa Balewa died of an asthma attack not a gun shot wound never wrote his memoirs.

Its true when they say ‘Each time an old man dies a library is burnt.’

The Jan 1966 coup was the excuse given for the genocide that proceeded in Nigeria that ultimately led to the civil war.

People will like you to believe the first military coup was an Igbo affair. But how could it have been, when the objective was to free Awolowo and install him as leader? But no doubt that coup became the reason for a chain of events that would change the political culture of our Nation.

I still feel the truth has not fully been told. Maybe its just my suspicious mind and the conspiracy theorist within, but I think that the plotters (and some of the victims) were specifically chosen as part of an elaborate grand plan.

Maybe a memoir would have explained the bewilderment of someone like Nzeogwu, an outstandingly meticulous, young Major, clearly in possession of his senses. But uttered these words when he gave himself up:

“We have pledged allegiance to
General Ironsi on behalf of all men who were for some unknown reasons,
referred to as ‘rebels’. We feel that it is absurd that men who risked their
lives to establish the new regime should be held prisoners. We wanted to
change the government for the benefit of everybody else…” ….This reeked of betrayal.

How else do you explain their treatment?
The assassins of our founding leaders apparently going scott free?. Crazy! Nzeogwu and his colleagues were never court -martialed. Instead, they remained on government payroll and were set free after some time in protective custody. They were allowed to communicate with their families and friends.
Even when Nzeogwu was killed in the East his body was taken to Kaduna and given the honour of a military burial.

I have come to realize these young men, must have done something grossly
appreciating for the successive Juntas and governments!

Its my personal opinion that Nzeogwu was a tool in the hands of superior officers, including those who emerged as major beneficiaries of his action and they used the July counter coup of ridding those that would stand in their way.