Former Chief of Army Staff, General Theophilus Danjuma (retd), was Yesterday, lambasted by some igbo leaders 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. Vanguard report.
If we recall, Gen. 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 bloodshed.
This was coming at a time the Igbo are still furious 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.
In reaction 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.
Those who took a swipe at 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.
Irked at the comments, Ezeife said: ‘’I know Danjuma is not very well. So I am not surprised.’’
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.’’
Speaking with pressmen 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.”