Sunday, October 14, 2012


On Page 51 of the 333 page book 'There Was A Country: A Personal History Biafra by Chinua Achebe, you will find the origin of the nationwide crisis. The so called debate about Achebe vs Awolowo.
 page 51 origin of the controversy between Achebe and Obafemi Awolowo

On that page, Achebe wrote:
The original ideal of one Nigeria was pressed by the leaders and intellectuals from the Eastern Region. With all their shortcomings, they had this idea to build the country as one."
“The first to object were the Northerners led by the Sardauna, who were followed closely by the Awolowo clique that had created the Action Group."

Achebe's "There Was A Country" is among TIME magazine’s 12 most highly anticipated books of the fall.

In the new book, Achebe continued: “The Igbo culture, being receptive to change, individualistic, and highly competitive, gave the Igbo man an unquestioned advantage over his compatriots in securing credentials for advancement in Nigerian colonial society. Unlike the Hausa/Fulani he was unhindered by a wary religion and unlike the Yoruba he was unhampered by traditional hierarchies”(p.74).

Let me start out by saying a book as such should be well received for historical and critical purpose for this and the generation before.  I will also hasten to add that I had no problems with the personal history of Achebe as he relates in the book, especially his upbringing, education and how he became a successful writer despite all odds stacked against him. I found that part of the book, which is restricted to the first few chapters of the book very informative, instructive and enlightening. In addition, I think it is high time Nigerians  accept the flaws in  Cheif Obafemi Awolowo's role in the civil war particularly as it relates to the starvation policy. 


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