Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, a First Republic Minister of Aviation and elderstatesman has said that Chief Obafemi Awolowo tricked the Igbos into fighting the Civil war.
Speaking in a recent interview, Chief Amaechi called for the restructuring of Nigeria, claiming that it was the only way forward for Nigeria.
He said: “It was a betrayal because in his (Awo’s) private discussions with (Chukwuemeka Odumegwu) Ojukwu, he encouraged Ojukwu to secede and made it public that immediately Biafra seceded, Yoruba land would follow.
“Well, I wouldn’t know what he reported to (Yakubu) Gowon who sent him to meet Ojukwu at Onitsha, but it would appear that what he reported to Gowon was that ‘if Biafra was allowed to secede, then Yoruba would also secede’; which means that everything must be done to stop Biafra seceding. It is quite a different thing from saying immediately you go, we will follow.
“That was a double talk and a betrayal. Be that as it may, in Nigerian politics, the Igbos and the North had on major democratic dispensations worked together. In the First Republic, the NCNC of Dr. (Nnamdi) Azikiwe worked in a coalition government with the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) of Sardauna of Sokoto.
“This working together was peaceful until 1964 when a faction of the Action Group lead by Akintola opted to go and work with the Sardauna of Sokoto in displacement of the NCNC.
“And it appeared that Sardauna welcomed the idea, the crisis that followed Awolowo’s imprisonment and the crisis in the Western House of Assembly and ‘Operation Wetie’ incident in the West led to a major split and crisis. Eventually, the military took over the government of the country.”