NIGERIAN SPOKESMAN, 1966 January to June
Jan. 3: Asaba may boycott opening of Niger bridge, says the Asaba Youths Assn, which accused the Asaba Urban County Council of suppressing its protest against the tolls on Niger bridge.
Minister of State for Commonwealth Affairs, Senator Dan Ibekwe, replied to critics and said his statement ‑‑ that “the power to declare a state of emergency in any Region in the country was vested in Parliament (requiring 2/3 majority of votes)” ‑‑ having drawn abuse from certain quarters, is simply an honest statement of the political wisdom, limiting one person from having too great powers. I was not toying with the destiny of the people of Western Nigeria; on the contrary, I was merely pointing out that the PM cannot do what can only be done by Parliament.
I feel deeply what is happening in the West ‑‑ remember that the killing of an AG supporter is as bad and painful as that of an NNDP supporter ‑‑ both are Nigerians. Everyone who knows me knows that violence of any kind is repugnant to my nature.
Remember that the state of emergency declared in the West in 1962 was done by the then Parliament, in which the NCNC and the NPC worked in coalition to achieve the needed 2/3 majority. Members in Parliament vote in accordance with the directive from their political party.
In my view, only the leaders of the UPGA and NNA can end the present strife in the West; unfortunately, both the leaders and followers of these have already taken sides, and can no longer keep an open mind. Only our religioujs leaders can help.
Edit: Onitsha Inland Town is about to explode in trouble. Recent statement by I. Ekwerekwu, concerning allegation that “Sardauna Brigade” is about to be formed in IT, issued stern warning against “mortgaging Onitsha to the NPC”. Onitsha INland is the NCNC stronghold ‑‑ should not be portrayed in a bad light before NCNC Govt of the East.
Minister of Local Govt Chief JU Nwodo orders that all local Govt staff recently booked for transfer should proceed without further delay.
Spitfire: OMATA and AYA should think twice about boycotting Niger bridge; some toll should be paid.
“Niger toll bridge will be opened from the middle.” Protests had come from both sides against the bridge being opened either from Onitsha end or Asaba. Govts of each side had threatened to boycott if opened from other side.
OMATA thanks Udenze and OUCC for dropping increase of stallage fees, and for deciding to raffle unallocated stalls. Signed, JN Obionwu and CJ Igboanusi protem Ch. and sec.
Jan. 4: Prime Minister Balewa officiates at Toll Bridge opening; strong security by rifle carrying policeman. (Some bureaucrat had planned to make Onitsha invitees to park at Onitsha end and cross by boat; but they decided to let them cross by bridge ‑‑ toll gate is at Asaba end, so bridge opened there.)
Article: “Co‑education an experiment” ‑‑ I approve because girls become equal to men when competing with them; but girls are endowed with “seductive physique”, hence lure boys from their studies. So I disapprove of co‑education. So we have to use precautions.
Jan. 5: Federal Minister of Works Alhaji Shehu Shagari says the great rivers of our country unite it into a single and indivisible nation ‑‑ this is the most important aspect of the Niger Bridge. Then he handed the bridge over to the PM, who jokingly payed his toll.
ONyejekwe Festival days for 1966.
Jan 6: Edit: Why Onitsha community boycott? (Niger Bridge opening). Boycotts get us nothing: look at boycott of last Federal election; what about census? Let us desist from irrational actions ‑‑ they have played havoc on us. We may yet hear that the proposed Iron and Steel Industry will be sited at Asaba.
Ltr: O’Connor Ejoh, Onitsha: That Sardauna Youth Brigade: at a social‑party speech a prominent Onitsha citizen declared that some “intellectual bigots” which inhabit the Inland Town, in other words the home intellectuals of Onitsha indigene have plan to inqugurate this group. We have heard enough of false allegations being levied on ONitsha. Political “bigots” often try to discredit any opposing group so as to credit oneself as “Messiah.” Onitsha has been badly discredited in this false education. Elections are coming ‑‑ I condemnuse of foul means to achieve ambitions: especially discrediting one’s town. I challenge my friend to name the names of those planning to inaugurate this group.
Niger bridge: Spitfire complains that toll gate is in Asaba, MW, whereas workers were accommodated in Onitsha, etc. Why those who cry boycott thengo and participate at opening.
Jan 10: Leaders of Commonwealth are meeting: Summit in Lagos ‑‑ convened following Rhodesian rebellion; Harold Wilson British PM will preside.
Barrister NN Annah: I concur with Spitfire and NS editor in condemning our spineless politicians campaigning against paying toll on Niger bridge, threaten to boycott. I boycotted the opening ‑‑ and note that so did leader of my Party, regional ministers etc, but no official boycott. However, the sources imply that Fed Govet made Asaba the HQ because of the agitation. This decision was made earlier ‑‑ though of course it was designed so that money would not go into AFrican Continental Bank Ltd Onitsha. Fed govt wanted to divide the East and the Midwest in this. So let us should no praises on the Prime Minister. And in fact we did not lose by boycotting Fed election and census ‑‑ we stood up for democracy. Don’t condemn them now.
Jan. 8: West: Lawyer files motion calling on Fed Govt to declare state of emergency; Editorial: supports it, but notes Dan Ibekwe’s statement suggesting there is not hope of motion surviving; “And if this happens, the whole country may be set ablaze.”
Shehu Shagari speech is printed.
300 journalists to cover Lagos summit. FC Ogbalu condemns Lagos summit, saying Britain could crush Ian Smith revolt, but is behind it.
Jan. 11: Church Unity efforts: Archbishops Heerey and Patterson to conduct prayers Jan 25.
Niger Bridge: Premier Osadebay supports toll collection; Osadebay defends PM for not intervening in Western crisis, because he has no powers to do so under present constitution. Only possible solution to current problem in West is a coalition govt between UPGA and NNA.
Edit: “Anah gets us wrong”: NS responds to above article.
Jan. 13: Aftermath of Niger bridge: Asaba and ONitsha touts exchange hot blows: fight broke out in Otu Okwuodu: Asaba touts took their vehicles there to tout for passengers; 8 in hospital. Our correspondent heres theat since the opening of the Niger bridge the Asaba garage closes down ‑‑ touts over there don’t get passengers ‑‑ passengers going West to Benin, etc., now get therir transport here in Onitsha.
Rejoinder (to “Nigerian Outlook” pub of Nov 26): Mr. Akpati Ossai is public nuisance, but for interest of those outside Oguta town, he has been member of a gang called the Eastern People’s Congress, expelled from Oguta National Union. He is the one playing politics with Oguta Obiship.
Jan. 14: Church unity: Archbishop of Canterbury to visit Pope.
Chief SO Masi, Onitsha Provincial Commissioner, says the EN INformation Media is the best in the whole country. Daily sales of Nigeria Outlook in Onitsha is 4,500.
Edit: PM’s conference in Lagos over Rhodesia has ended; we think African leaders should wear their thinking caps, sotp letting Britain use them at will ‑‑ trick Africans, win their support.
Jan. 15: Minister of Aviation Dr. Jaja Wachukwu has resigned his ministerial appointment (due to pressure on PM by NCNC? ‑‑ hge became minister on its ticket, but expelled last year.
Lagos at Parliament: police used teargas to disperse demonstrators ‑‑ cause not known.
James East [a.k.a. Nee‑Ankrah]: Federal Constitution: what are PM’s powers: Western crisis worst in history of this country. If not carefully handled it may plunge the entire Federation into chaos. Sack Akintola; declare emergency in West; fresh regional election afterward; release Chief Awolowo.
Jan 17 (Monday): PM AND OKOTIE‑EBOH KIDNAPPED. Zik expresses surprise. Munity of dissident army; Major‑General Aguiyi Ironsi said vast majority of army are still loyal to the Federal Govt. “The ill‑advised mutiny… would be brought to an end.”
RB Akinola: “To hell with high bride price” ‑‑ article.
TOS Benson now Minister of State; Mr. MT Mbu now Minister of Aviation.
Jan 18: Ahmadu Bello is Dead. Confirmed in Kaduna by Major Chukwuemeka Nzegwu. ARMY TAKES OVER RULE: Military Governors appointed to regions. Major‑General Aguiyi‑Ironsi isSupreme Commander, Military Administrator.
Nzegwu takes charge of army in north: makes statement of intentions.
Edit: “Be Calm! certain provisions of Constitution have been suspended; cooperate with Military Govt.
Sympathy message to Editor‑in‑Chief Mr. JAC Onwuegbuna on recent death of his wife. [Note: for some time there have been write‑ups on this death, which I have not noted, the editor making his grief a big forum in the NS (no other person’s wife has been accorded such status!) ‑‑ but this is interesting: Umuezechima Committee led by Ogonabo Ejiamike consoled the Editor and gave him a purse saying this to acknowledge your useful services to Onitsha community.]
Akunne Iweanya dies Aged 82; born 1884, gives his biography (worked in Mid‑Western Judiciary, etc; survivors include Editor of WAP, lagos; etc etc.)
Jan 19: Federal military govt orders councils: lift newspapers ban (in certain parts of country): no censorship on the press.
Zik ‑‑ convalescing in London ‑‑ says, he is postponing his return to the country, but would return whenever the Military Government wants him.
Onitsha chambers congratulate Ironsi.
Onitsha Zikists hail military govt ‑‑ “rmove the cankerworms….”
Edit: Point to Note: Ironsi says: public corporations and other statutory bodies, incl local govts, will continue to function; all exist5ing laws etc remain in force. So this is a new Nigeria with a new regime.
“Rainbow Town!” ‑‑ new estate created by EN Housing Corp. Pt. Harcourt new layout.
Spitfire: “No condition is permanent” ‑‑ now I know what people mean. Henceforth letevery person of every tribe be judged on his merit. Ah, true independence is come. Hail the timely Military Government.
Jan 20: Sedition in West: Court finds Pilot editor guilty ‑‑ Mr. Stephen Iweanya ‑‑ L50 fine ‑‑ judge says situation in country made him lenient.
OMATA congratulates Ironsi and Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu the East Military Governor
UPGA Youths Vanguard pledges support.
Edit: “New Era!” new regime receives acclamation of populace ‑‑ all parties are showering praises.
Last respects to Iweanya, cont’d ‑‑ more info on survivors.
President general of EN Traders Assn thanks God for Armed Forces.
Jan 21: Former Acting President of the Federation, Dr. Nwafor Orizu, ‑‑ a wealthy Onitsha businessman from Nnewi ‑‑ arrested by 100 Nigerian Army for driving in an Army Jeep car. He explained he bought it from a public auction sale, but was driven away to detention. Onitsha UPGA Inland Town Brigade congratulates Ironsi (Mr. Isaac Ekwerekwu).
World current affairs by Gab Nwachuwku Enebeli: until the events of a few days ago, the common people of this great country did not know real independence. absolute disregard of fair‑play… faith placed in tribalism, corruption… abusive exercises, terrorism,… But now “the army have redeemed Nigeria from the oblivion she had been cast.”
Edit: Church unity: week long prayer in Onitsha ‑‑ much talk of “Christ”.
Jan 22: James East: “Federal Military Government: the dawn of a new era”. We were mistaken when, after we rightly condemned British colonialism, we thought we would build a new, free, egalitarian society, but Black Imperialism replaced it. Rudderless ship… Ill‑gotten wealth…. Squandermania; tribal sentiment; etc. Now, “the dawn of a new era ‑‑ an era of progress, proseperity, peace and unity of this country.” [wow!]
“The secret behind the success of Umuoji Town” (by Chairman of ULocal Council ‑‑ Okaa Mr. Oliver Ilozue. Article
Spitfire writes in pidgin (for almost first time): joke about army road blockand “one bigman in his long car with ministerial endowments”.
Jan 24: Alhaji Abubakar buried; Okotie‑Eboh is dead; Chief SL Akintola dead.
Dr. KO Mbadiwe greets Ironsi: in his country home residence, he says the former Council of Ministers transfered power voluntarily to the armed forces.
Obi Onyejekwe wires Ironsi (and also Ojukwu) pledging support and cooperation of Onitsha people
Tai Solarin: “An open letter to Ironsi:” all Nigerians are your soldiers: billet students in camps by mixed tribes to drill, lecture, shift camps, etc.
Edit: This is an era for hard work.
OUCC lifts newspaper ban, declares support for new Military govt.
Chike Okongwu poem for “heroes O’January revolution”.
Onitsha Anglicans pledge support, loyalty: Venerable Dr. BCE Nwosu, Archdeacon of Onitsha Archdeaconry.
Jan. 26: Eid‑el‑Fitri annual ceremony in Muslim community in Onitsha: “Muslims charged to be honest” (chief Imam of the thousands of members charged them to live in harmony with others, etc)
Madam Ogugua Arinze initiated into Otu Odu; she of OgboliEke by birth. Mbanefo Odu, etal present (names given).
Nzeribe Orunta: “First Socialist Revolution:” describes Soviet revolution ‑‑ strongly positive account: principles of scientific socialism transformed Soviet Union from an underdeveloped country, as Nigeria is now, to the world leader in many fields of scientific and industrial development.
Ltrs: “Our salvation is come”;
Jan. 29: Edit: Captain O. Iweanya, addressing chiefs and people of Oshun Division, advised them not to run to the bush at sight of army men. Anybody whose deeds are clear should be happy. Well said. We must cooperate.
Local leader of Zikist Movement Gregory Ejike says, probe properties of all Ministers and Members of Parliament; acquisition of land by them too; ban Tribal Unions.
Annual conference of Ogbe Olinri Youths Assn, a cultural organization in Niger Ward C Onitsha. names given.
Jan. 31: Ironsi: Fed Military Govt willpursue with vigor key projects like the Iron and Steel Complex ‑‑ ONitsha is one of 2 towns chosen by the old regime for siting this.
Edit: “Trouble is in the offing: A report published in one of the local dailies (not the Spokesman) about the intention of a section of the community to march on the Military Governor of eastern Provinces ‑‑ is premature. Would portray this community as trouble mongers.
JO Alutu [note: author of Nnewi book?] “Abolish Rag celebration in Nigerian Universities: this a Europe‑oriented students’ carnival; began under other names in 1627; evolved (historical description detailed ‑‑ student is supposed to appear in dirty rags; rascality, kidnampping of people etc.
Simon Odikpo: “Has Christ returned to Nigeria?”
Strange poem entitled “Balewa and Okotie‑Eboh” ‑‑ very mocking.
Feb. 1: Dr MI Okpara orders annual convention of NCNC scheduled to open at Enugu Feb. 9 indefinitely postponed; this a practical demonstration of cooperating with the military.
“Rationalist Group of Nigeria, Onitsha Branch, asks for military probe in the way “our politicians accumulated wealth”, and an immediate transfer of superflouous and ungodly wealth to the state.
Edit: “Quick, cut down prices”: in the country’s march to a new and happier life, the inevitable revolutionary change, the people need to cooperate unretarded by sefish decisions. We need reductions in prices of consumer goods ‑‑ military regime will hopefully negotiate price reductions from the top.
Onitsha textile factory: photos taken. Employs about 250 workers at present. Hope it will expand.
EN Traders Assn, LN Nsoedo: likens Federal Military Government to “Moses out to redeem the Israelites from the wicked hands of Pharaoh.”
[photo of Lt. Colonel Ojukwu, Military gov. EN]
Feb. 2: Military Gov for Western Provinces (Lt. Col Fajuyi) dissolves all Statutory Corporations. All salaries and allowances suspended immediately.
Chike Obi: Welcomes advent of Military Govt; points out that Dynamic Party, like a lone voice in the wilderness, has beenadvocating a governmental system identical for all practical purpose as the best suited for a technologically backward country like Nigeria for first 15‑20 years of Independence. Thus Dynamic Party has delegated all its powers to Chike Obi, its Secty‑Genl. [His party having been allied with NPC‑led NNA alliance. Rumours circulated in Onitsha that soldiers drafted to the town for undisclosed purposes; but these just a batch of the “Mobile Police Unit” on way to Enugu.
Mid‑week chat with Orlando Iguh: “like a bolt from the blue, the divine judgment struck!” I had predicted revolution.
Edit: Impersonators, “evil men” trying to exploit the military regime (impersonating its officers, inflating prices on food stuffs) ‑‑ warning to them.
OMATA chair Obionwu calls for raffling of stalls and market expansion.
Okaa Society party in Oraukwu, presided over by NN Anah welcomes back lawyer from UK.
Feb. 3: CKC Vice‑Principal Robert Okagbue loses wife (her biog given ‑‑ educ., work, affiliations)
Edit: “Saboteurs”: Internal revenue warns tax defaulters to pay up tax before Mar. 31; those who fail to pay their tax are saboteurs, and deserve immediate punishment.
Art.: “Chauvinism and racism are weapons of imperialism”: Lagos writer states colonialism is to blame for chauvinism and racism, using it to weaken national unity of countries like Nigeria ‑‑ panic nicknames given to tribal groups (e.g. “Kobo‑kobo” to easterners).
James Chude, Onitsha Youths Assn, expresses loyalty and suggests to Military Govt that present local Govt Council be abolished, followed by inquiry into the “atrocities of such councils” ‑‑ OUCC squandermania, briber, corruption, profiteering. Legislate that all those who soiled their hands in the last Govt should be excluded from future Govt, either voting or being voted for.
Supreme Council of Federal Military Government sits in Lagos, Ironsi presiding (names of 4 Military Governors given).
Death of Ojinnaka Ogbuli of Ogboli Eke at age 86 ‑‑ a pioneer administrator in Northern Nigeria, planned Makurdi township and was councillor and court member there for many years, retired 1947.
Feb 4: Friday Catechism on World affairs: New regime has warned dealers of foodstuffs against any arbitrary increase. Education must get shake‑up (too much class distinction); teachers forgotten; etc.
Edit: “These Local Govt Councils in EN are still dwelling in their old cob‑webs creating troubles ‑‑ this is a new Nigeria, and the new regime has come to stay and is bound to succeed inwiping out corruption, bribery, graft and laziness. The councils should clean up or go.
Ikem Ikobi, U. of Lagos: “Let’s march on with the Army”: special medals should be made to commemorate Jan. 15, to symbolize the day Nigeria was rescued from gangster politicians. Let’s replace the old flag (green/white) with a new one: yellow and red: yellow signifies national wealth, respect for human dignity; red stands for order and tougher‑brighter days ahead. Place a hammer design at extreme ends ‑‑ stands for power. National anthem should be done by indigenous poets and mucisians.
New Constitution: can’t leave “conventions” unwritten ‑‑ British failed by assuming we are “gentlemen”, decent, respect ‑‑ but Nigerian elections are blatantly rigged. Why was the British High Commissioner’s House in Lagos so strategically situated between the State House and the ex‑PM’s house? Get expatriate officers out of the process. Drop the old british parliamentary system, get a Presidential system of Govt like U.S. ‑‑ with its checks and balances. No leader in power more than 8 years. New states needed ‑‑ compares US model ‑‑ not “regions” but “provinces”, directly under central govt.
Uba Plank and Joist Association Ltd ‑‑ influential trade union in Osha ‑‑ says “Common man sees new regime as Messiah” ‑‑ “Glory to the common man.”
Feb 5: Chief Silas Ezenwa, Igwe of Awka‑Etiti, calls on Military Govt to “investigate activities of industrialists ‑‑ naked exploitation, greed.
Edit: Some aliens living in this country ‑‑ negrophobists ‑‑ are saying unthinkable things about our new government, even as tribalism, corruption and bribery are becoming things of the past. They indict the Armed forces. So Military Govt should probe all the functions of these expatriates, who peddle false news.
Major‑Azike: “As a well‑known Onitsha politician…” I am advocating far‑reaching changes in new constitution to be drawn by Military Govt. Eject all expatriate objectionable elements within the Administration in some parts of Northern Nigeria whose advice are inimical to Nigerian progress and unity: get TO Elias out of drafting ‑‑ he was late Abubakar’s right‑hand man. New regime will purge our country. Suggestions: centralize govt to eliminate tribalism; eliminate provincial assemblies and House of Chiefs; make 45 states; each get 14 reps regardless of size/ population (eliminate census cheating). Give max salaries; no expensive cars; Military school for school leavers 1 1/2 yrs minimum. Army should get good pensions, especially current leaders.
Ikem‑Ikobi, cont’d: “class rule” led to feeding public gossip; feed them with facts. Emphasize order: close down any newspaper that indulges in reckless tribal loyalties. Only a few weeks ago, Western Nigeria was like jungle of beasts: “Human beings were wetted with petrol and burnt alive on the street.” Now offenders are publicly shot. Let us march with the army. Look back at 3‑week‑old regime: market prices have fallen drastically; etc.
Another customary Court Judge dies: JO Offiah, 78; “one of the early court clerks, retired 1931” ‑‑ gives survivors and professions.
Feb 7: Western Military Governer detains 11 top politicians including Chief Fani Kayode; suspected of “certain criminal offenses”.
Nigerian Teachers Congress (Youth wing of NUT) asks military govt to abolish religious politics; various reforms suggested.
Edit: Head of MMilitary Govt has addressed all worker’s unions, saying they must now work as a team. Too many wasteful rivalries in past. (article previous paper, and another here.) Open letter to some politician now hailing new regime but had formerly defended the old one.
Christ Chosen Disciples of Nigeria in Onitsha will fast and pray for Military Govt to rebuild the country.
Spitfire attacks Major‑Azike article above: “shut up! Nigeria is not proud of her old politicians ‑‑ see how he parades his political degrees. Remember the Ibo proverb: “The fly that has no adviser enters the grave with the corpse. The Military govt wants no advice from the “dead‑regime politicians”.
Feb. 8: Lt. Col Hassan Katsina in Kaduna says he will issue decrees providing severe penalties for corrupt practices including smoking of wee‑wee (Indian Hemp) by school children; also anyone attributing false statements to him “would be shot”.
Edit: NS supports Katsina on Hemp by school boys.
PC Agbu glad to hear two eminent Christian leaders (Heerey, Patterson) prayed together ‑‑ now contradicting older dogma that “no salvation outside Catholic faith”, etc.
Article: Nigerians jubilate not over deaths of particular persons, but over death of tyranny.
Newspapers ‑‑ non profit making (by DC Ude): Ojukwu urged journalist to “project the image” of the Military Govt. Describes newspapers which became defunct over time ‑‑ “The People”, the “Observer”, “New Africa”, “Voice”. NS still going well.
Poem by an Obianwu on “our finest hour”
Feb 9: OUCC Councillors quizzed by Onitsha Police over fraud allegation.
“Fake army men strike” at river Niger: rob traders at gun‑point (“in a very fast boat”).
edit: “We are grateful!” (to ministry of Health, enugu)
Another article on new constitution
Bigger picture of Ojukwu
article on “love” ‑‑ in general; in Nigeria.
Spitfire on Onitsha building fires ‑‑ suggests some may be set; two cases given.
Feb 10: “Fake army captain held at Onitsha
“Nne Nwadigwu” Enwezor died at her home, No. 2 Akpom lane; age 93. Staunch Christian, member of some groups ‑‑ wealthy trader in elephant tusks, beeds (“Aka”), tobacco. To be buried at Christ CLhurch. Survivors mentioned.
“Falling in Love”, cont’d
Edit: new regime must sweep old house thoroughly clean: but forces of “old wine” going into new cask are dangerous.
Feb 11: Ex‑minister of Health Chief B. Okwu, challenges MCK ‑‑ Ajuluchukwu ‑‑‑ Catechist in ‘Nigerian OUtlook’ (Enugu govt newspaper) to have his character investigated, after he claimed that at least 1% of members of old regime were free of blame. What happened to the 3 previous enquiries into the ENIS? he asked ‑‑ what of dishonest/corrupt practices of some highly placed people there?
Provincial Secy takes over OUCC administration: dissolution of OUCC ‑‑ calls for attention to the “matter of drug addiction… fast taken a hold in our society”. Govt will “wipe out indiscipline”.
p. 2: “New set‑up in East” ‑‑ full text of statement by Ojukwu: OUCC, 7 other councils dissolved; corporations re‑organized; Ministries reduced from 15 to 12; discipline stressed; corruption to be eradicated, etc. New Officials named.
Edit: OUCC sacked ‑‑ congratulations, Ojukwu. Some members were “men of unsullied integrity”, but a good number were “ragamuffins”, destitute of all sense of duty/responsibility ‑‑ converted council into a boxing arena. No remarkable improviement in town after roughly 5 years in office.
Feb 12: Newly apptd OUCC Administrator Frank Ogwuazor (also Onitsha Provincial Secty) warns he has taken up matter of construction of private stalls by certain individuals in open spaces in the main market ‑‑ I will try to find out who did this.
Edit: Judicial inquiry now! Into corporations and boards which became waste pipes for funds.
Secy of Onitsha Community League, M. Odinamba, says dissolution of OUCC makes Onitsha community happy ‑‑ OCL has worked for this all along.
Odu of Onitsha: 10th anniversary for Odu, MBE. Sermon by CJ Patterson in Emmanuel Ch.
Feb. 21: Ex‑OUCC councillors being quizzed by CID from Enugu
Anglican Youth Fellowship Onitsha pledge willingness to build new city of Onitsha.
Obiekwe Aniweta (Ife University): recaps “rash, savage leadership + reckless journalism (West), “vacillating, weak” leadership (East), “tribal oligarchy” (North) all contributed to failure. Corruption outlined. Traces tribalism to imperialist Regionalist emphasis of 1947. Chasm haves/have‑nots. But masses could not be controlled; breakdown of law and order in West ‑‑ which became “Nigeria’s laboratory for political experimentation”. Attempts to carry tribal vendetta into our national institutions: army, police; Nigerian Railway Corp. the first victim, then Univ. of Lagos: Path to a chair there was by way of tribe. University of Ibadan, University of Ife endangered. All these factors dealt fatal blow.
Obi Onyejekwe et al attend reception for Bishop Arinze. (His biog given
Edit: pay taxes!
Feb 23: Armed Robbers Again? Traders waylaid coming from North; some injured. (one, Mohamadu Mabadi)
30‑yr old Onitsha trader Ibrahim Dabarama knocked down by car along Zik Avenue Fegge, killed.
Edit: One Nigeria: referendum for new Constitution coming. “Regionalism was the bane”, said Ironsi.
Article on the “crumbling of reaction in Czechoslovakia” in social change against “reactionary” forces.
[Photo: “Nigerian Soldiers in Enugu” ‑‑ it is identical to one much earlier labeled “in the Congo”, before the coup]
Feb 24: Edit: Student strike actions! What cause? It can neer be a good weapon. Govt should make decree.
Spitfire: I have not heard much about x being initiated into this or that society ‑‑ can it be these societies are dying along with politics; detract5ors have always seen them as politically inspired. Spitfire enjoyed their free drinks, cordial atmosphere ‑‑ Onitsha traders learned to enjoy this. But did politicians finance these societies, and for political reasons? Otherwise, where have they gone?
Feb. 25: Council of University of Nigeria Nsukka dissolved; Sir Francis Ibiam chairs new one.
Ghanaian military coup: Nkrumah sacked, leaders of CPP arrested. Nkrumah in Peking.
Editorial: This country needs selfless service. Anglican Youth Fellowship has offered to clean up Onitsha. Congrats.
“Press failed in Old Regime” ‑‑ only a few raised voice against callousness of foremer regime. Govt‑sponsored newspapers lacked courage, were mere echoes of master’s voice. New Nigeria must have absolutely free press.
Feb. 26: “Market stalls sell like hot cake ‑‑ stall sells at L1,500” OUCC official warns reselling of stalls.
Zik returns to Nigeria (gone for health since last yr.)
GCM Onyiuke gets appointment as Attorney‑General of Federation; he the Chairman of Onitsha Bar Assn.
Article on Zimbabwe’s settler dictatorship.
Edit: New ERa in Ghana!
Spitfire: article on Nigerian press: writer assumes press was free at that time.
Feb. 28: Onyiuke leaves for lagos: coctail party included Obi Onyejekwe I, Onowu, Mbanefo, Orefo Owelle.
Edit: Recent wave of of Stall racketerring in the market: roge stall holders selling their stalls.
Ojiako Okiah: I have heard and read much about Military Rule. Now its impact on people seems to me to be that money no longer flows. Is this rule a blessing or curse? I am a trader, and Traders can no longer sell ‑‑ loose money is gone. Politicians were financing local industries ‑‑ these are drying up. We have to wait for crumbs from the master’s table.
Spitfire: Are robbers seizing power in Nigeria? Or in Yenogoa division, EN?
Mar. 1: Nkrumah left China in a Russian aircraft, telling Newsmen he will put down the revolt; leader of Provisional Liberation Council Lt. Ankrah said Nkrumah would be put on trial.
Yenogoa disturbances ‑‑ insurrection there: gangsters reportedly have modern instruments; leader of insurrection is former undergraduate at U Nigeria Nsukka.
Association of EN Building and CivilEngineering Contractors to make representation to Ojukwu, asking for “equitable distribution of Govt contracts”.
Ojaa Etudo of Etudo printing Press Ltd Onitsha laid to rest in his home town of Nnobi: died of car crash. He was 35, grad Ibadan U. Biog given (Tutor at Metropolitan till death).
Touts stab each other at Ochanja.
Edit: “Idlers & Lunatics”: Onitsha it appears is now rendezvous of beggars, idlers, lepers and lunatics. Sole Administrator of OUCC must think how to deal with them.
Mar. 2: Ogbe Hausa quarters: hundreds of angry traders armed with clubs and stones mobbed three well dressed men ‑‑ suspected of being thieves who stole from a store in Bright Street. Lawrence Okeke the murdered man.
(3rd part of series on the “dilemma of African politics, by Professor Arthur Lewis)
Edit: on Yenogoa disturbances: we have hoped that Military Govt takeover would usher in a more peaceful era, but alas we have recent “reactionarist disorder” at Yenogoa ‑‑ and also “immeasurable havocs done in the social and economic barometer of this country by the incessant riots in some parts of the country…” We are happy both Nigeria Army and Police have stepped in at Yenogoa.
Orlando Iguh: “Is Nkrumaism dead?” His doctrine of socialism and social revolution cannot be killed so easily. He took steps like Hitler’s Nazi party, “but that was what suited the African”.
OMATA warns Mr. SO Odife that he was voted out of office (with his former Pres) on April 23, 1964; stop using the name of your association.
Spitfire: Obi Onyejekwe hats off: performs opening of fabulous new BP Petrol Filling Station.
Mar. 4: 93 arrested in Yenogoa trouble ‑‑ large quantities of arms, ammunition, Indian hemp. But leader at large.
Ex‑Minister of Town Planning of Eastern Provinces: charge fraudulently obtaining sum.
Ojukwu flew to Lagos, met with Ironsi.
Mar. 5: Onitsha Youth League, Lagos appeals to Ojukwu to inquire into activities of former councillors from 1957 to 1965. In Inland Town, roads being constructed by council before 1957 were abandoned. Street lights never granted; OUCC, dominated by stranger elements, destroyed all the important shrines of Onitsha people in order to prove they were in power. Federation of Onitsha Youth League called on former Eastern Premier Okpara to interven, but he had personal interests on party grounds.
Obi Onyejekwe speaks at opening of J Ojukwu BP Petrol station ‑‑ accompaned by Chief Bosah Ike and Akunne Onuisi Obi.
[Mar. 6 ‑ 13 missing]
Mar. 14: OUCC Works Inspector charged with stealing L900;
Article: “Our salvation lies in unitary form of government”;
Edit: unlawful killing of people suspected to be thieves ‑‑ is a threat to law and order.
More men in Onitsha initiated into Odenigbo United Industrial and Development Association of Nigeria: large no. of people [This is the first such substantial article for a long time].
Mar. 15: OUCC muddles: Lagos police invite Udenze by CID detectives from Lagos.
Palm Produce Mfgrs Union petitions Ojukwu: set aside decision of former EN Govt restricting movement of its produce.
Edit: OUCC Law Enforcement Officers: brain child of dissolved OUDC ‑‑ activities were successful in some ways, though some overstepped their bounds. Some were good, might re‑apply.
“Onitsha Obiligbo Nsukka Dancing Group (IT?)
Madam Nwadiugwu Enwezor remebered (memorial service).
Mar. 16: Enugu police in OUCC files.
Barrister Ebo buried; other Ebo of Obikporo professions given.
Edit: Postal service rates increase; Mails are slow: Enugu to Onitsha take a week or more.
Rivers State Movement writes Ironsi, asking for consideration of new state plan.
Mar. 19: Article on lat Barrister Sylvester Givson Onuora Ebo by Bar asssociation Aba: fairly long biography; lived just over 50 yrs.
Mar. 21: OMATA petitions gov for probe of “overnight erection of market stalls by certain individuals in collusion with dissolved OUCC. (Petitioners: JEE Okonkwo Chairman, SE Odife Secty.
PO Balonwu: “A Nigerian Constitution”: highly technical discussion, including major allowances of ministers in addition to their official salaries ‑‑ incredible allowances.
Edit: Embarrasing tea party given by Onitsha Council of Social Services, a council for motherless babies Home. Unfortunately invitations to 100 mentioned “donation” ‑‑ and only 2 people appeared.
Mar. 22: Nigerian constitution, by PO Balonwu cont’d
Chike Akosa: You & Savings and Loan: opened today March 22, 1966; long article discusses details of it. (Govt guaranteed financial institution.)
New Prov. Secty and sole Administrator OUCC, Mr. Anthony Saville.
Mar. 23: Commissioner of Police, Western Provinces, & 3 others arrested: charging bribe extorted from leaders of NNDP not to prosecute them for activities in abortive Western Nigeria election.
PO Balonwu on Constitution, cont’d
Aka‑Agba Iyase‑Achusim [Mr JAC Onwuegbuna, NS Editor‑in‑Chief, not identified here] article: “Where’s Onitsha in the new scheme?” A town where the old Federal Constitution made no provision for a municipality but, in the full glory of top political actors, “people made themselves ‘Mayors’ and all ‘Nonsenses'”; where traders and genuine businessmen toil daily to make a living, but where “politicians … acquire people’s lands without agreement and build mansions overnight.” Strange stories float.
It is to the credit of the military authority that the misdeeds are being uncovered and repairs begin made. For example, in West, old Govt closed water supply to some towns out of party politics ‑‑ now reopened. Onitsha people now pray military auythority to come and see the town for themselves ‑‑ no good road, adequate street lights, death‑traps and squalor. OUCC deserves “close military size‑up.”
Establish fair distribution of amenities without regard to “what has now become the stigma of being an Onitsha native or a native of its contiguous towns” ‑‑ rebuild Onitsha roads and drains.
Mar. 24: Major‑Azike and two ex‑councillors arrested ‑‑ alleged bribe
Obi Onyejekwe I and several red‑cap chiefs attend formal opening of Savings and Loan in Onitsha.
Mar. 25: Edit: Mystery stalls constructed inside Main Market, in violation of regtulations against fire; thrown open for tenancy.
Electricity Corporation in Nigeria attacked as failure by Orlando Iguh.
LNE Nsoedo EN Trading Assn, calls for demolishing these overnight stalls.
[no papers from Mar. 26 through April 12 ‑‑ Apr. 14 issue apologises: machine breakdown]
Apr. 13: Nigeria to gain US aid L30 million to Nigeria
Hausaman alleged stabbed in girl’s house.
Orlando Iguh: “Let’s go socialist”, by Orlando Iguh.
Edit: Customary Courts: review is going to occur; appoint literate, intelligent, good character. Land allocations: “The recent withdrawal of lands in Onitsha, Port Harcourt, and Enugu will be cheered, esp. in Onitsha. the suspended govt let out this land without knowledge of original owner, rather than building govt office buildings.
Apr. 14: “East Provinces Edict 13 of 1966 & Hostels: Dr. Azikiwe speaks: Supports new regime and advocates discipline” [note incongruence of this headline with what follows] (in Nsukka:) very long (almost 3 full pages) statement defending Nnamdi Azikiwe Foundation Hostels in relation to Military Govt Edict. Accusation is that he built hostels at university, with govt money.
Zik: return from prolongued treatment abroad for a lung ailment. 10 hostels under auspices of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Foundation.
First Allegation: in addition to my personal emolument of L7,150/yr as President of the First Federal Republic, I also earned L5,000 as Chancellor of UN and another L5,000/yr as Chairman of the Council + another perk (total of L11,500 from the University). Completely false: since April 1960 to the date when I read in the EN Gazette that I have no more connection with that University, I have drawn no salary or allowance.
Second: money voted by Govt (Fed or Regional) for building residence or halls at UN was diverted by me into other services, to enable me, selfishly to populate hostels in which I have vested interest, with university students. This is wickedly false: since 1964 (?) no Govt has ‑‑ to my knowledge ‑‑ given UN any money specifically earmarked for building residence halls. We had no money, which is why no new halls of residence have been built either at Nsukka or Enugu campus for the past 2 years. Note that the Fed Govt subvented UN with only 30% of their current budget, while U Ibadan and Lagos got 100%, Ahmadu Bello 50%.
Third: that rent of L25 went to NA foundation for my pocket. UN asked me to see that Foundation made hostels avaialbe to students; suggested that U would retain L15, pay Foundation L10 to go to African Continental Bank to amortise the overdraft of L140,000 incurred by me to construct this low income houseing scheme.
“I played the role of a good Samaritan only to be unjustly described as a Midas…”
[Aside: Zik says he was so “disillusioned at the way the Federal Government was operated that he wanted to resign by 12 Sept 1964, but was dissuaded by the PM and former Governor of ENL, ex‑Premier of EN, and “other well‑meaning Nigerian leaders”. But by then he had removed personal effects from State House, Lagos, to Nsukka.]
“Like a good Samaritan, I foolishly cooperated [with the UN which was in trouble and appealed to me for help], only to become the victim of calculated insults (if not libels) over the EN Television Service..” etc.
University however paid nothing to the Foundation, though it collected L25/student ‑‑ something like L10,500 [so: 420 students living thus?] ‑‑ without producing an itemised account. Bursar of University has behaved strangely ‑‑ and university has since failed to meet subsequent agreements on another Centre I had built. [He blames Dr. Glen Taggart, new Vice‑Chancellor of the Univ. for not dealing squarely with him. Students’ Union attacked me on TV without ever consulting me. [I, who introduced TV into Nigeria in 1956, etc.]
Most of us who suffered for the cause of Nigerian freedom welcomed the military regime, because we expected it both to instill discipline and to be just and fair in its dealings. Failure of the old regime was because it “lacked the spirit of fairplay” and “just dealings”.
However, Eastern Provinces Edict No. 13 of 1966 suggested the Govt labored under a misapprehension about which I was never consulted. (Details of edict given. )
“Yes, I pleade innocence, but I consider it more honourable to suffer with the guilty ones. That appears to be my fate in the struggle of Nigeria for a place in the sun.” (Mar. 31, 1966)
Apr. 14: L215,000 budgeted for OUCC for 166/67 fiscal yr. Articles & Edit. on Fraud in West African Certificate Examinations (2nd time since Cambridge University ceased to control examinations)
OMATA calls on its members to comport themselves peacefuly when Military Governor Ojukwu visits Onitsha.
Apr. 16: Boy 19 jailed 10 years for possessing one parcel of Indian hemp seeds. Magistrate: court cannot help: Military Govt has issued a decree on Indian Hemp. [Apr. 18: Judge “never made such a statement” ‑‑ NS retracts]
Edit: “Stop the road repair in Onitsha: the East Military Governor is coming to Onitsha ‑‑ no false pretenses should be shown.
Ofo Asika: “The soldiers are coming”, but not to meet the “Very Important Personalities” but the “ordinary people. Instead of VIP routes throught town, they should drive the Inland Town roads, to see how we live. There is malpractice by the OUCC: market structures; drainage survey being repeated; Law Enforcement Officers untrained; garbage everywhere, esp. Old Cemetery.
Ltr Atuanya, Lagos: for 4 years now Onitsha Town has been plagued by unecessary dispute; outstanding traditions formerly bestowing pride and glory are now held in “utter mockery and ignominy.” Even market‑places have been factionalized ‑‑ women ostracise eachother.
Marriage between Christian couple ‑‑ nurse and Manager of the “Golden Guinea” Onitsha. Right Rev. Dr. FA Arinze officiated.
Apr. 18: Military Gov. arrives today. (Schedule given for 4‑day tour)
Edit: complains of banditry in Onitsha.
Igbo‑Ukwu ‑‑ townsperson complains of lack of water in this town in the dry season ‑‑ 7 miles to the nearest spring; all efforts to solve the water problem have failed; deposed EN Govt dug for water at huge expense but failed. Thick population of this town ‑‑ they need water, it impedes modernization.
European “tourist” arrested for photographic 2 19‑yr old girls near Yenogoa; case transfered to Pt. Harcourt.
Apr. 19: * Welcome address by Aka‑Agba Iyase Achusim (Note: this is Mr JAC Onwuegbuna, NS Editor‑in‑Chief himself; apparently written for newspaper): “blizzards of past corrupt political practices… The sacred land of Onitsha has been desecrated…. Rulers sought personal gains, while “inarticulate majority” included the indigenous people ‑‑ divide and rule policy followed ‑‑ that’s why traders ‑‑ OMATA ‑‑ fight among themselves. Rulers also included people who “hated the name Onitsha and its people and were determined to interrupt their progress if possible”. Onitsha people resent this ‑‑ “device to deny them their merited share….” The people hope that “the military government lowers its hammer heavily on untruth in Onitsha by smashing the forces that perpetrate disunity among the people.”
Beyond the main roads, fixed for public view, people have been carried away by floods in the streets; we want good drainage; IT has no street lights despite burglary and violent crimes; the council would not even cooperate in the matter of electric poles. Sanitation is atrocious ‑‑ transit points for conservancy disposers line up giant buckets of feces at Tasia and Awka Roads! Infectious Disease Hospital a major slum [This has been a much repeated theme in NS the past yr].
Onitsha’s Textile Factory, the ENDC Pepsi‑Cola, and ‑‑ wait until it is established ‑‑ the proposed Iron and Steel: where is Onitsha there? Onitsha is being ousted entirely from the scheme of things.
Onitsha Customary Court has exemplary record ‑‑ so “Why the present compounding of those who know and those who know not the custom of the land.”
See the Onitsha General Hospital too: its buildings are archaic, it has not modern laundry machines, the kitchen is disgraceful.*
“Chief GE Onyeka ‑‑ a popular Onitsha lesee and builder ‑‑ installed the “Igwe Udoakpuenyi” of the Okaa society ‑ in Nnobi. Names given.
* Obiekwe Aniweta (University of Ife): “an Open letter to the Military Gov EP’s: “The Onitsha Question”: Your visit can dethrone anarchy enthroned in Onitsha Inland Town by the old and rotten regime: peace has long eluded this town, “the land flowing with milk and honey, the birthplace of civilization in Eastern Provinces..”, Obiship question: the struggle is still on, even after Your Excellency said Govt will not tolerate indiscipline, so we want your categorical statement. We are tired of persuading the recalcitrant groups to be law‑abiding.
Gives history of Harding Inquiry; “It was evident that Mr Harding’s Recommendation was not palatible to the then Government of Eastern Nigeria which for reasons best known to them.” But there was nothing they could do, for “Onyejekwe has always been the choice of the people to be ruled.” (It was even rumoured that Govt was bent upon planting an Obi upon the people of Onitsha. but this collapsed; Govt accorded recognition. However, Govt then “closed its eyes to the violence being done to the chieftaincy law of the EPs” ‑‑ for example, the law states that once a person has been recognized as Obi, any other person who parades himself as an obi, etc, is guilty of an offence punishable by law. But Govt “connived”. Decision of Governor‑in‑Council is not subject to any judicial review.*
Edit: call attention to alarming foodprices in ONitsha; people now are hungry.
Spitfire welcomes Gov; again asks “Where is Onitsha?”
Apr. 20: Ojukwu criticises Onitsha General Hospital nurses.
*Obiekwe Aniweta ltr, contd: “some professional confusionists in Onitsha” continue to play upon the intelligence of those who will never learn a lesson. Onyejekwe ‑‑ a victim of oppression and discrimination by the old regime ‑‑ wants peace and cooperation from the new one. Give him his due. *
Edit: Iron and steel industry: Overseas experts have recommended it should be sited at Onitsha; but federal politicians animated by tribalism factionalised.
UNUO Congress of Nigeria (Umuoji, Nkpor, Uke, Ojoto) writes Gov rescue these towns from destruction engendered bgy the former Govt because of voting for Independent candidate at election to EHA. Road leading to the town not tarred.
Taxi Union pleads with gov for reducing vehicle licenses etc.
Apr. 21: Lagos City council dissolved by Ironsi ‑‑ this the last Local Govt council to be disbanded in the Southern Provinces.
Mid‑West: Former Minister of Local Govt and 3 other former ministers imprisoned in connection with the Oegbe cult (being used to terrorize political opponents.
Ojukwu wildly cheered by traders as he went around Osha Main Market. Also visited site of proposed Iron and Steel Industry.
Chief Ibeziko asked Ojukwu at Coctail party whether he had seen deplorable condition of Onitsha roads. Obi Onyejekwe, Onowu, Odu, Onya, Ogene, Owelle, Okunwa Akpom and Akunnia Victor Modebe present. (et al)
Edit: Onitsha Market stalls: Gov. will examine this issue in detail.
Military Gov. of Western Provs has divided west into 8 provs instead of present 6 ‑‑ this absolutely necessary, in East also.
Onitsha Chamber of Commerce asks Ojukwu to reduce tolls on Niger Bridge.
Apr. 22: Ojukwu: declares Onitsha a planning area;
(long speech) (very general comments responding to ltrs ‑‑ not much content.
Edit: “Onitsha may turn into Nigeria’s Paris.”
Obiship: Ojukwu says he has heard of the protracted dispute, but says “should it rear itself, I will act”.
April 25: Article and edit. on subject of food prices.
Ltr: OMATA factions ‑‑ alludes to rift of 1964, withdrawal of many from the faction; “New OMATA” faction designed by leading OUCC councillors, trying to weaken strength of OMATA against them. It is the height of impudence for officers of “New OMATA” to call for erection of more stalls. [see May 28]
AE Metuh: “Christianity has not failed Nigeria”, as Mr. Obi Wali, Nsukka, has claimed ‑‑ gives material.
Apr. 26: Edit: “Wave of lawlessness in recent times in some parts of the Eastern Provinces” is very disturbing. Robbery with violence every other day, particularly in Onitsha Division.
Article: letter replies to PC Agbu ltr about West African School Certificate (above)
Apr. 29: Military Govt announces new policy for awarding post‑primary school scholarships: “purely on merit” (only those eligible who passed last East Elementary Six Exam with distinction.)
Edit: “Towards Unity”: no celebrations of Ibo national day or Ibibio national day this year ‑‑ aim at national unity. Celebrations by these tribal organizations have been root cause of “the decline of Nigerian Unity”. “It is to be hoped that this measure does not mean a total ban on these unions.” “Friday Catechism”: highway robbers: “exterminate them”.
Article by Fide Bosah complains about “rich brother” who wil not help “poor brother” during hard times.
Two women of Ogbo family ‑‑ sister of Nzekwu Omodi and of Lawyer CE Agbu ‑‑ initiated as Nnemmanwu.
Ltrs: GBO Ibekwe: “proscribe unpathetic Associations”: excesses of local dealers in foodstuffs: Garri‑Sellers Assn, Rice‑, Beans‑, Yam‑, Meat, Fowl, etc. ‑‑ too many, they must be checked or disbanded forthwith ‑‑ they raise prices.
Apr. 30: Zik’s 3 pp latter about Hostels at U of N., repeated.
May 2: Zik speaks in response to “New Nigerian” on country’s problems: ‘State functionaries should declare assets’; ‘officers in old regime should not be re‑appointed'”.
1. Was I recalled officially (to Nigeria)? “I decided to return since my health has improved”; I am too proud a patriot to leave the impression that I was seeking political asylum in a foreign country. Or have gone into voluntary exile.
2. Am I willing to serve in any capacity? Yes.
3. Did I anticipate the revolution of Jan 15? Not on that particular day, but see my broadcast of 1 October 1964, or message on 1 Oct ’65.
4. Any comments on current situation? (quotes from his letter, above, on welcoming new regime.
5. Are you willing to have inquiry into your Nsukka estate? This disgusts me: how about the politicians and senior civil servants who actually held some power during the Republic? I would invite impartial inquiry.
6. Left to myself, I would have insisted (see above Headline). In addition: all state functionaries (excluding the “brass hats” for obvious reasons) to declare their assets and liabilities.
May 5: “New Onitsha in sight: survey team arrives” ‑‑ drainage experts
OMATA executive replies to Nsoedo article of April 21: talks about “OMATA I and OMATA II” ‑‑ attacks him. NS ed says no more articles on this subject.
Edit: “Sack the chiefs”: most chiefs of East were created by political leaders, which has rotted the whole insitution.
Western Provinces Mil Gov is going to examine chieftaincy institutions in West: only those that are traditional will be recognized.
May 6: Scheme for more Water for Onitsha: result of population explosion in the township: Ministry of Works to construct 3 more bore‑holes.
EN Traders assn: pray to OJugwu for loans.
May 7: Edit: “Death of Tribe”: Ojukwu passes edict to expunge all references to tribe from official records of EP’s: A step towards unity; but it remains to be seen how practicable it will be when civil servants are to apply it.
Orlando Iguh: probe Electricity Corp: power cuts too many.
May 9: “Police recover dynamite explosives at Onitsha”: wealthy Ijaw businessman: 12 cartons of dynamite, bargaining to convey them ‑‑ where?
4 Months after Niger Bridge: Inland Waterways Dept, Onitsha folds up: daily turnover drops from L900 to 2/6.
Edit: “Uniform decrees”: when military govt talks of national unity, What one Governmor decrees should also be introduced by the others. Now there is no subh unity.
Article complaining about “human butterflies”, millions of girls roaming townships.
WC Eze: social services in ONitsha: article (2 days).
May 10: Ukwa family of Umuasele warns of Akprikpu land dealings with Obosi man.
May 12: Gov revokes appoints of all District Court judges.
(More land disputes being aired in paper; Abagana vs Ukpo town near‑riot over land (Awka Division))
Onitsha urges Gov to raffle the stalls “built overnight” in main market raffled off if found to be legal.
May 13: Military regime leaders meet in Lagos [note: first photo of Ironsi for a long time].
Edit: What East Gov has done to customary courts should be done with Councils too.
Concern with night plunderers along Onitsha‑Owerri roads.
May 14: Edit: when will town road repaire begin? Rains are coming.
Ifediche Youths, Onitsha stage grand Aboh native dance ‑‑ lots of Aboh names listed.
May 18: Conference of Secondary Grfammar School Principles of EP’s make address of welcome to Gov; they ask him to condemn strikes by school boys, raise lpay for teachers.
Edmund Ezenwas attacks Zik’s statue: he using heavy slege hammer and sword ‑‑ mental observation dictated.
Spitfire on High Bride Price.
Big load of Indian Hemp displayed by police in photo.
May 19: [articles on grammar school conference, adult education. Not much news in paper these days.]
May 20: “African Proprietors of Secondary Schools” say these may have to close down because of food crisis ‑‑ L10 boarding fees paid by each student are not enough.
Article by Nsoedo: EN Traders’ Assn annual conference speech.
May 21: EN Traders, cont’d
Edit: “Remove ‘distinction’ requirement in new scholarship policy. Article: base scholarship on needs.
May 23: “No celebration of national day Oct 1, says Ironsi. “Onitsha to get Television Branch”, says the organizer of Ukonu’s Fan Club in EP’s ‑‑ Ukonu on tour.
Members of the Play Club Onitsha honour Chief Magistrate, Mr Edmund Ekwulugo, on his transfer to Aba. “Socially, you belong to the cream of society”, but many people of your social status deem it infra dig to associate with us. This was formal opening of the club’s new tennis lawn. Some “Okaa” men present.
Eleven join Odee or Odenigbo Association ‑‑ listed names.
May 24: Boy’s throat slashed for sacrifice ‑‑ man threatened to appease some gods with his blood.
30 Peace Corps Volunteers assigned to Teacher Training Colleges in EPs, helping in the teaching of English as a second language, and preparing teachers for teaching science at primary school level.
Itsekiris call for plebiscite to determine which of the two Olus of Warri is the popular choice.
May 26: Ironsi banns 81 political and 26 cultural organizations in the Republic of Nigeria. Town Development Unions, the decree said, would be encouraged.
* Obi Chieftaincy dispute between Onowu et al and Obi ONyejekwe and EN Govt begin legal fire works: Justice HU Kaine sits. Onowu: want injunction restraining Obi from further apptnng any Ndichie except according to ONLC; and restraining other defts from parading as “Ndichie”. An Ndichie must have his traditional shares whether he pays homage or no homage. FO Anyaegbunam x‑exam: Onowu: Onyej is Obi apptd by Govt; FO: is it correct to say Enwezor is not the Obi? Onowu: That, I don’t know. (Laughter) *
Nigerian station gets US weather photographs taken by the newest and biggest American weather satellite.
May 28: “Entire Nigerian Civil service unified”
* Govt,Obi/Ndichie case: testimony of Onowu and Odu ‑‑ Judge Kaine hearing case clearly doesn’t know much about it.
Edit: Military Govt has banned political parties, tribal and cultural associations, aiming to ensure unity and peaceful coexistence. Well, ban also the OMATA. It is a political org.
Rejoinder to OMATA faction by Nsoedo: see above.
May 30: Govt, Obi/Ndichie case:
“Ojukwu resigns! (as chair, African Continental Bank, EN Marketing Board) (advised by his doctor)
Edit: above is “magnanimous gesture” ‑‑ puts an end to “speculations and undertone public comments”.
“Onitsha businessman raps RCM & CMS: ENCC & CPC are political tools” ‑‑ prays govt to ban them. HO Okafor, an Onitsha businessman, said as an old member of the CPC he knew the motives of these bodies ‑‑ “political stooges”.
May 31: “After 106 days of military rule ‑‑ Northern Provinces in chaos over civil service unification decree: spontaneous demonstrations against National Military Govt. broke out in various parts of the Northern Provinces, have degenerated into large scale disturbances, engineered by “certain disgruntled elements in collusion with a particular foreign power”; Ironsi warns against disorder.
Mbanefo Odu testimony, cont’d.
Edit: “The March on military Govt:” a section of the country has denounced new regime for unifying civil service: violence against public offices and private individuals and property. This must be condemned by all of us who want Nigeria reborn by the military govt…..
Onitsha businessman warns Sole Administrator Mr. Saville that trouble between market stallholders and their tenants involves hidden information, never disclosed to him.
[Cartoon ridicules sexy dress by young people]
Jun. 2: Edit: tribalism is getting new birth in the north ‑‑ people are being pumped up.
Governor Ojukwu warns rumour‑mongers: Disturbances in the North “are being caused by a few misguided Nigerians in collusion with foreign nationals”… Military govt is taking all necessary steps…. No cause for panic or alarm.
NEI Ohiaeri: “Religion in a changing republican society”
Ugborumili land: 5,000 people homeless ‑‑ ejected from Govt acquired land (739 acres) by team of 25 armed police.
June 3: “Last disturbances in North ‑‑ 92 persons killed; 500 in hospitals, 300 arrested.” Lt. Col. Hassan Katsina states “peace restored in all the disturbed areas.”
Edit: “Stop press!” Ironsi issued another stern warning against any provoking sections of country into disturbances.
Orlando Iguh: “That sabotage in the North”. REvolt occurred just a few days after visit of a leading British diplomat to the area.
National Military Govt issues decree against the display or publication of a picture or cartoon that tends to provoke any section of the community.
Edit: “Ojukwu and Onitsha”: don’t forget plight of Onitsha during incidents in the north.
Jun 6: Catholic order welcomed (article)
Jun 8: “North disturbances: Ojukwu speaks ‑‑ ‘It’s sacriligeous to lay hands on strangers'”:
“Recent disturbances ‑‑ Ojukwu appeals to relations of victims to be calm”: don’t do anything that would impair effectiveness of supreme council discussions.
Diocesan synod speech by Patterson.
Jun 9: Archbishop Patterson, contd;
NEI Ohiaeri: Religion in a changing republican society
Jun 10: “North disturbances: special commission to be set: No more fooling about”:
Ojukwu address to Anglican synod: about protecting strangers.
Jun 11: Ossomari: housewife alleged killed mate; he had she said bewitched her.
Jun 13: Photo: June 6, Chuba Ikpeazu inspected Nigeria Police honor guard in front of Supreme Court Lagos.
Sole Commissioner of Onitsha Anthony Saville leaves to head Tribunal of INquiry into Lagos City Council.
North disturbances: East chiefs ask people to be calm;
Edit: “Mocking the Dead”: vague statement about those who abuse and ridicule people lying dead ‑‑ “a frustrated devil incarnate!”
Military Govt Secy addresses opening of a Workshop for the Blind at Nnewi: “we are our brother’s keeper”.
Jun 16: Public Order no. 33: Chief Superintendent of Police in Onitsha, Mr. Elliot Henry, sternly warned leaders/ members of Omeokachie, Ichie, Okwesili etc to desist from holding meetings if they do not want full weight of the law.
Address by Ojukwu to annual dinner of Enugu Chamber of Commerce: why govt divests itself of shares in private companies.
Public notice: Isiokwe land: all tenants and debtors of Isiokwe family should pay into ACB Onitsha family account. (SI Bosah, LO Uwechia.)
Jun 17: East Govt on Indian Hemp: closure of any 2ndary school if any student of it found smoking this.
Edit: In a native town where land ownership is a sole means of existence, state controll of lands is oppressive. We believe in expansion, but lands should be obtained thru persuasion.
Another article praising USSR technology: “New highways…” (photo, very modernistic scene)
June 18: Editorial (FP): “Return to North”: East Governor “does not support the mass exodus of people from the North following the recent trouble there”. Emphasis is NATIONAL UNITY. This will not be found in mass exodus…. “Unity cannot come from disunity”. “…it is necessary for the whole people to regard themselves as interdependent….” And it will “defeat the purpose of enquiry into the causes of the disturbances in the North.”
Jun 20: “Dorathy” ‑‑ “She is sometimes man and at other times woman” (FPH) ‑‑ has both male and female organs. She charged with stealing from an Onitsha trader under pretense of “love deal”.
Jun. 21: “North situation ‑‑ East Chiefs to meet Ojukwu”: the condition of some southerners who fled the North need to be pitied, says Obi of Awka‑Etiti.
[various articles about Governor’s opinion, visit here and there]
Jun. 22: Treason trial judgment: Isaac Adaka Boro, former Ug of UN Nsukka, sentenced to death for treason ‑‑ levying war to intimidate Military govt in Niger Delta area (Feb 23‑ Mar 7).
Supreme Military Council: meeting Jun 7‑8 concerning North disturbances. Decree about unification was motivated by desire to suit a Military Government ‑‑ only temporary. (Says FA Fajuyi in broadcast to people of the Western Group of Provinces).
Editorial: Market Stalls and “absentee‑stallholders” (concerning conflict between traders and stallholders): Onitsha markets like other markets in native towns, were established and maintained by natives of the town for trade. Stalls were inherited by children. It’s true that majority of surplus stalls raffled were won by non‑traders, but it’s unfair to condemn them.
[Aboh woman joins Otu Odu of Aboh.]
Jun. 23: “New Decree proclaimed: Governors get powers to impose curfew in their areas”; also decree against defamatory publ’s.
* Isiokwe Family land: Federal Supreme court dismisses with 75 Guineas the appeal lodged by Messrs. RA Erokwu, CC Mojekwu, and Madam Ann Ojiako, against respondents SI Bosah, LO Uwechia, SN Okocha, AO Erokwu, N Uwechia, and L Melifonwu concerening Awada land. Justice CD ONyama order the canellation of two leases on the said land by Messrs. RE Melifonwu the family head and RA Erokwu family member, to CC Mojekwu and TOC Ojiako (deceased) for 99 yrs. The respondents (then plaintiffs) had in action instituted ealier in Onitsha High Court said these leases were contrary to native law and custom, having been granted without their consent. Case of the “appellants” (then defendents) was that the respondents (pltfs) “are not important members of the family”, and that the land dealings were conducted through a “land committee”; all the consent necessary was that of “sub‑heads” of the family. Judge: Pltfs proved they “are important members of the Isiokwe family”, and that they had not consented to those leases.*
Mr. N. Ade Martins: Ambassador to Washington DC: Enugu address to Permanent Secty Ministry of Information: Nigeria needs citizens having “a new aggressiveness and initiative showing the outside world that it is a stable country suitable for foreign investment.”
Edit: Chiefs of Eastern Group of Provinces show responsibility as “fathers of the people” ‑‑ concern about disturbances. We are now set to working together as one Nigeria.
Edit complains about “God’s mission team” coming out to rouse people at dawn with shrill noise parading the doom that awaits the “wicked”.
Ltr from Lagos, Atuanya Odiamma: about “lingering dispute” at home in Onitsha, staining the image and reputation of our beloved town ‑‑ ostracism of Onitsha brother against brother. Let us rebuild Onitsha “as children of one stalk”.
Jun. 24: Ironsi calls on Nigerians to make the achievement of national unity a reality. (Addressing officers of the Navy.)
Jun. 25: “Security of State Decree: nine persons detained: Northern Ministers among” ‑‑ Military govt order.
Military Govt will soon establish Military Courts in all Provincial capitals to deal with case of corruption in our public life.
Pa Eneli laid to rest in his home town at Obosi. High Court Judges MO Ajegbo et al pay last respect. [This one interesting because names of attendees show Onitsha and Obosi men joining mourning ‑‑ the old man apparently important as focus of friendship between Obosi leaders JE Iweka, and Emma Araka, Sam Ifeka, Chuba Ikpeazu, et al.]
Edit: “One Nigeria”: Onitsha is one of the Very Important Places which is exact copy of military govt’s “spirit of One Nigeria”: its cosmpolitan frame keeps the door of co‑existence and common purpose open (liberty). So Onitsha people should not molest anaybody, whether “akama” or “akara” seller.
Jun. 29: “Masked men invade petrol station for New‑York style hold‑up.”
Dr. Chike Obi, leader of dissolved Dynamic Party, ordered to pay L3 to Mr Charles Ezenwa
Edit: Why official silence still concerning internal dispute in Onitsha?
Ojukwu favors one central Police Force in Nigeria; responsible only to the Supreme Military Council. [big photo]
Alfred Mbanefo joins Ozo: “thousands of distinguished personalities attended installation ‑‑ named (he retired sr. UAC official); Chiefs include the usual faction.
NIGERIAN SPOKESMAN, JULY thru DECEMBER 1966
July 1: Ironsi appeals to the people of this country, “moslems and non‑moslems alike ‑‑ on the occasion of the ?D EL MALUD festival ‑‑ to rededicate themselves to the service of Nigeria.
Edit: Activities of brigands in Eastern Group of Provinces are causing great anxieties: “night marauders”. Police are alert but are they accepting the challenge?
Photo: Justice Adefarasin, Chairman of the Nigerian Railway Tribunal.
July 2: Major James, new Provincial Secty & Sole Administrator OUCC, says while new to the job he is probing the market palava and concerned with Market Stalls problem.
Edit: “Chieftaincy Today” ‑‑ recognized by Military Govt; Onitsha has fine Chieftaincy tradition and despite the recent “fantasies that frivolled the people’s time and energy”, its traditional rule has waited for the Military govt to intervene. Ofala is coming, Governor. Govt has always contributed expenses.
Nigerian women in UNICEF conference.
Veritas: “Home: the first school.
July 5: Obi chieftaincy case resumes today; HU Kaine on the seat.
Head of Anglican Church, Province of West Africa, CJ Pattersons, expresses sympathy to all who suffered during recent hardships in North.
July 6: Broad day‑light highway robbery of Nigerian Tobacco Co Ltd ‑‑ L5,000 gone, Peugot Station Wagon stolen. Driver got gun shot injuries.
Obi chieftaincy: Case adjourned; Anyaegbunam and Araka re in Lagos; 10 guineas costs to Onyej.
Orlando Iguh: sex laxity endemic in all sections of Nigerian community ‑‑ ban social event called Miss Nigeria. Hearing adjourned to Sept 2 and 3.
July 9: National Military Govt announcement: will institute a high‑powered probe of Republic individuals corruptly acquiring wealth.
GP Okoli on market stalls: open letter to OUCC administrator: OMATA complaints not serious.
Osita dinma Age Grade of Obosi Inland Town: participants described (with some occupations) ‑‑ Dr. JE Iweka, Central Township Hospital Onitsha, et al.
Spitfire: Ulaga juju: this one of our cherished traditions ‑‑ on special occasions, it “goes to town” ‑‑ long whips, women/girls should run away. But certain individuals won’t budge; all those residing in my domain, natives or not, should try to respect our traditions. Ulaga players, you should also exercise discretion in use of whips.
July 11: Secy of Onitsha Community League M. Odinamba says: probe OMATA activities
Address by Ojukwu at state banquet, for Alhaji Beyero, Emir of Kano and Chancellor, UN Nsukka: His Highness and I met some 5 yrs ago: he Chief of Kano Native Admin. Police, I a young Major in Brigade HQ Kaduna; we old, firm friends. I was in command at Kano during the crisis of Jan 15, and helped keep Kano insulated from the turmoil. Congrats on your Appt as Chancellor of UN, at age 35. Now potentate of Kano. (gives history, including Emir’s father). Now I extend sympathy of the people of this Group of Provinces for the sad and tragic events of recent weeks which erupted in parts of the Northern group including your area of authority. “We must thank Providence that the situation has been brought under control”, and take the events as challenge to us who are dedicated to bring unity. “It must… be our prayer that the innocent blood thus shed be accepted as the supreme purchase price for the solid and ever‑lasting unity of this country…”
“Onitsha sex for sale” article, cont’d: women are weak natured people, he says.
July 12: FP Edit: Paramount and warrant chiefs: Politics has prostituted chieftaincy insitution in Nigeria. So today “there are locusts of chiefs”. Let the military govt sort out the paramount chiefs from the warrant chiefs (ordinary men authorized by instrument).
Ojukwu speech, contd: we need surgical operation ‑‑ these are painful, but if successful…. etc.
Spitfire: Ulaga masquerade, cont’d: these players are hooligans and bandits, “teddy boys”.
[some papers very empty of content]
July 14: Emir of Kano’s reply speech to Ojukwu: when visiting your brother’s house, you normally say (in Arabic), “may Allah strengthen the ties of our brotherhood.”
July 15: Aguiyi‑Ironsi says (in Abeokuta) “there is no place to peddle tribalism in the new Nigeria”.
July 16: “Man‑Woman Dorathy in court: “Dorathy has two organs” (charged with stealing 10/ from an Onitsha trader for purported love deal.) ‑‑ but psychiatric doctor charged with examining her in custody apparently not present. “She” is guarded from mobbs converged upon the court.
Ekwerekwu family has conflict over who is the lawyer for the Okposieke family, Ogboli‑eke quarters.
Orlando Iguh: sees retributive justice for all those who in the past ten years had thrived in “chop‑chop” transactions: “I can see the avenging sword of Tyrone Power dangling mercilessly…”
July 18: Edit: (in response to “Outlook” publication): we are not aware that the military govt plans to make stalls the property of the traders, not for renting. Editor says when stalls become the property of the traders, then the govt will face traders trading on their stalls, holding off on rent paid to govt, etc.
Address by Ojukwu to “Top Management Advisory Council” inaugural meeting: govt plans to support organizations like yours which are pioneers in industry and management.
Onitsha Town Planning official says “unnecessary traditionalism coupled with lack of foresight on the part of Onitsha landowners is retarding progress. People object to a project saying “this area is m y juju shrine”; also there is no fund for replanning the town: compensation to landlords costs money.
July 20: Big clean up campaign: 49 Town Unions to clean Onitsha ‑‑ these listed.
Ironsi rx big welcome in Ibadan.
“The bane of the old regime” by G Nd. Esimai: “lack of proportional representation”. The army should be congratulated for its restraint and tact during recent disturbances.
July 21: A man who posed as a refugee from the Northern Group of Provinces was arrested by police as he submitted claim for L223 to higher executive officer Mr. E Nzekwu, under the pretext his property was looted during the disturbances. But he had never lived in the north, and the name the claimant posed was found to be one who had died during the uprising.
Ironsi in Kano for 2‑day tour.
Edit: a “meet‑the‑people tour of the Republic” has been undertaken by the Head of the Military Govt; we hope he will come to the major towns of the East.
Jerry Orakwue returns from tour to Kalabari province on customs and traditions research
July 23: 14 “prominent businessmen from various parts of the Eastern Group of Provinces” face investigation into armed robber charges in Abakaliki (photo of ten of them, stripped to waist shorts)
“man‑woman Dorothy Chukwu discharged” ‑‑ police complainant could not be found.
“Traditionalism and development”, by (Onwuegbuna): british parliament, Christianity both have traditions; Nigerian shrines are more like bible history than “paganism”. There is not reason why shrines need hamper development. The primitive layout of Onitsha is a problem to replan because it will involve the homes of many people whom the authorities cannot rehabilitate for reasons of funds. UAC, John Holt, CMS, RNC were given areas to settle and develop. If authorities are genuinely determined to develop Onitsha, they have no barrier. What they need are funds and tact.
Edit: we trust Military Govt’s promise to replan and drain Onitsha. What appears to be holding back the work is a problem of time ‑‑ urgent state matters.
“Fire prophet”, spiritual head of Uwa‑oma Church Ogbunike and 8 followers appeared on charge of assault, stealing at Ogbunike.
[no papers July 24 through Aug. 7 ‑‑ this is the time of the counter‑coup, which occurred July 29.]
[Note: I found one newspaper in this pile, dated Aug.4, which seemed surprisingly interesting after the long run of very flat, entirely uncritical papers which have emerged since the military government. It had critique of the OUCC, and dealings with the issue of the Niger Ibo State, and read with a different tone than what I had been reading. I realized something was wrong ‑‑ it was 1965!]
Aug. 8: Archbishop Dr. Charles Heerey and Archbishop Dr CJ Patterson call for “prayer and fasting in the country’s grave crisis”.
Iweka road: taxi cab held up at gun point, robbed of car.
Edit: “Love begets unity”: Nigeria is at the cross‑roads following the recent and past gruesome incidents in the country. We hope they will be transient.
James Kerri, Dept of Poli Sci in Haili Sellassi Univ. Addis Ababa: Problem of nation building in Africa: tribalism is a drawback, brings about divisions; we need national symbols, but heroes cannot last. Neocolonialism. etc.
Funeral of Ogene Emodi of Aboh (biography given.
Spitfire: “Let us cooperate”. A new military government is born. Headed by a youthful soldier, 31 yr old Yakubu Gowon. Let us cooperate, for time and tide will sort things out. Dr. Michael Okpara, and Dr. KO Mbadiwe, is out of detention. “Who says the came wouldn’t be interesting and lively again?”
Note: a new feature begins here: “Today Picture”: a photo of a British official. This is a cryptic message of some sort ‑‑ haven’t seen it before: “return to the colonial era?”
Aug. 9: “Situation in Katsina”: a group of Southern Nigerian food stuff traders alleged their articles of trade were being seized by the Native Authority Police; wired Gowon; copy to Ojukwu.
Emejulu/Ajasa Street: 25‑yr‑old, “smartly dressed man” was stoned to death by an irate mob which had pursued him with shouts of “holam”, “holam”.
Edit: Nigeria must work to return to normalcy, to regain confidence of foreign investors. That is why the NS fully supports the ne w Head, Gowon, in his appeal for calm. But he should also ensure security for mutual co‑existence in any part of the Republic ‑‑ check the growing exodus of people.
Aug. 10: Zik refutes ‘New Nigerian’ Report: sent telegram to NS from his “Onuiyi Haven”, Nsukka: report by this Kaduna newspaper that he has left the country is utterly false.
Gowon: country will return to federal system soon.
Onwuegbunam (Aka‑Agba Iyase Achusim): Chief Awolowo, just released from prison, has set forth principles for drawing up constitution: long discussion but I don’t get the point.
Edit: “Leave Zik alone”: He is now a private man, and his moves have never been secret. Govt should take corrective action against such rumour mongering (against which the Military govt has warned).
“Today Pictures” (2 more obscure British Officials)
Aug 11: FP Edit: Editor complains of excessive telegrams congratulating or vowing loyatly to Military Govs; no need for such demonstrations of loyalty now, “Obis”, “Igwes”, “Chiefs”, etc.
[Pools forcasts take up half a page ‑‑ these have been substantial throughout the previous year or so.]
“First Productivity week in Nigeria beginning Aug. 22”: this launched in Eastern Group of Provinces, designed to accelerate efficiency. Develop administrative and managerial manpower. Etc.
“Today Pictures”: another obscure British official.
Aug. 12: Lt. Col Gowon alleges there is a plan by certain organisations to launch a mass attack of retaliation on the inhabitants of a section of the country ‑‑ certain wealthy individuals collecting money for mounting a retaliation on the events of July 29 ‑‑ these events were only an Army affair; why should civilians involve themselves in it.
Divine order of Cherubim and Seraphim will continue its routine prayer and fasting, started early last year after receiving a Divine message about looting and rioting in Nigeria.
“Lightning Visits Kano” ‑‑ 4 boys stuck dead.
Today Picture (but not labelled such): another British Official.
Edit: elaborates on “tactless loyalty” affirmations by delegates to Lagos conference as reported by newsmen ‑‑ then discusses new govt’s appeal to people to remain where they are: “everyone is safe, irrespective of the ugly incidents of July 29.” People are desperately anxious, seek security jof life, empoloyment…. New Govt would make people feel more secure if those responsible for the bloody incident of July 29 are tried at once by a military court and punished.
[several articles trumpeting the results of the “Clean‑up Campaign of Onitsha”, including P. Uduaroh Okeke, Chairman Youth Committee]
Another photo of a British member of parliament, without comment.
Aug. 13: “Mass return of workers continues ‑‑ they seek employment in the East” (employed in the Northern group: six employees of Electricity Corporation of Nigeria showed up at ECN office Onitsha, whose local boss said they should take up the matter of their absorption with the General Manager in Lagos; but one of them said they had been warned to return to their offices in the North or face dismissal; “we are prepared to face dismissal and go back to farm in our various towns.”
Edit: Gowon on “the plot”: we join h im in telling all to shelve plotting.
Aka‑Agbe Iyase Achusim: “Unity is a must” [note misleading head] Giant building of Nigeria built by British administrators is tottering, but the British architects have left ‑‑ they knew the hour. Villagers resisting British in old times did not know that other villagers were doing the same. What can we derive from the massacre? Unity starts at the village level. No one ethnic group can rule the other. If they can’t live together under one roof, let them in peace decide what to do.
Aug. 15: All military officers of Eastern origin who have fled their posts have been asked to report at the Social Welfare Division, Enugu.
Angry mob stone man dead in Onitsha on suspicion of shop‑breaking along Otu Okwodu. Second in one week!
Edit: “No cause for anxiety”: Gowon said this about troop movments in the Republic: movement of certain army officers to different regions; scores of army officers left lEnugu by train for their places of origin. Those being moved out are soldiers from the same area of origin.
Major James addresses Councils of Social Services concerning increased awareness fo social welfare needs. [Note: there have been numerous articles about this organization, headed by Dr. Walter Eze ‑‑ “Motherless Babies’ Committee” is one; “Old Peoples'” etc.]
“Today’s picture” (another British Parliamentarian)
Aug. 16: “Hunter kills monkey: other monkies kill hunter” (Owerri ‑‑ reported incident: he strangled; his gun and hunting kit found hanging from top of tree, his body removed to an unknown place)
Edit: “No Vengeance”: give our military rulers the full cooperation they need. Forgive and forget.
“Today’s picture” (etc)
Aug. 17: The newly formed Onitsha Tenants Association announced it will drag landlords to court over their refusal to reduce rents 2/ as contained in the Rent Control Decree; Association plans to stage a giant protest march to the Provincial Secty Major James.
Edit: Our editorial “tactless loyalty” requires reading between the lines: a good boxer does not need to hint to his opponent his next move. Boisterous acclamations don’t help when Rome is burning.
“Today’s pictures” [2 British MP’s]
*Jerry Orakwue: “Christianizing ‘Ozo’ title”: refers to Aug. 2 NS article [missing from my collection] reporting that Bishop Dr. Francis Arinze told people of Anam his church would christianize their “Oba” title on certain conditions to be discussed later. This aroused concern among Christians, many wanting to take this title since “in Onitsha a non‑titled person is generally considered to be of little or no importance” and would hardly be allowed to speak in any public gathering unless he gains permission of titled persons present.
Points: Ozo is a “holy order”; and a “thrift society” or “Insurance policy”, with economic significance. But the second is less important than the first. [Describes essential objects ‑‑ difference between ringed and unringed ossissi; meaning of okpulukpu and okwa chi. (wood used for each described) ‑‑ Objects are “consecrated” by Okpala; candidate “anointed” with white chalk from Nze shrine, “purity”; finally, candidate “ordained” by administering oath; etc.
Now: what does Church suggest? [quotes from EO ltr Jun 6, 1961 ‑‑ quotes Heerey in full detail.*
Aug. 18: Edit: Alleged arrest, detention, and seizure of goods some Eastern Nigerian traders bringing from the North; why are traders arrested this way when they try to carry out products of the area, but not when they come into the area with Eastern goods ‑‑ when Gowon claims these are just “highway robberies”?
Brutal murders by “soldiers” in Lagos territory: Gowon calls them “impersonators”.
[“Today’s picture” ‑‑‑ another British MP]
*Jerry Orakwue on Ozo, cont’d: So: is it not heresy if Church blesses any ritual paraphernalia they think a native title is “christianized”. Why should not Christians also hold ikenga? Just as the Church “canonise” its faithful members as saints, so Ossissi becomes symbol of remembrance for Ozo holder. I watched two chiefs from neighboring towns in Onitsha Division being installed; most surprising was how they worshipped in the church with all their paraphernalia and received a Bishop’s blessing as if it were part of their installation ceremonies; this is indeed a serious act of abomination ‑‑ just like a Catholic after ordination going to offer sacrifice to family shrines.
The should stop interfering with native titles ‑‑ what they do is cause some great confusion to the institution. Some people take “quack chieftaincy titles” or ordinary title names without really performing any traditional ceremonies….
[Jerry blames “various religions of the world” for “conflicting theories and doctrines” that have led the world to the present “communal strife”. He claims religion is the same all over the world except for its forms: some sing/dance, others merely pray and close their eyes. The problem is the “idea that one religion is better than another.” He concludes appealing to Catholic Church (both Heerey and “His Lordship Bishop Arinze”) to stop further negotiations over this matter” and leave Ozo alone. He reminds the church of the Pope’s message of 1952 to the Catholics of India: “the Catholic Church demands of no one to give up one’s native ways and customs…. The Church belongs to the East as well as the West. She is tied to no particular culture….”*
Aug. 19: Large scale rioting reported at Ijebu Remo in West.
*Aka‑Agba Iyase Achusim: “Is Chieftaincy Law dead or alive”? East Law is not made for fun. Here in Onitsha there is some concern that the laws can be flouted by anybody and get away with it. It has not been checked now that army is in control, suggesting that “some people in the offices” realized the laws they had made were “against their political advantage”.
The law says without mincing words, that no person who is not a Chief or an Obi or natural ruler recognised by the government should parade himself as such… (etc). Since both the suspended political govt and the military govt have both recognized Joseph Onyejekwe I as Obi, should not all the prerogative rights due the Obi go to him and nobody else? Only he can announce certain traditional feasts; only he can use “Ufie” drum; and only he and the Sr. Chiefs have “Egwu‑ota” drum; but during the Umato feast, “somebody who is neither the Obi of Onitsha nor a … Redcap Chief was alleged to have beaten the Royal Ufie Drum and the Egwu Ota Drum. It was learned from dependable sources that govt authorities warned against violating this law, but now if it has been violated, what is govt going to do about it? Not even Eze Idi can beat these drums. Nor should he invite the Red Cap Chiefs for purpose of salutations and dancing, nor do them himself.*
Aug. 20: “Fire prophet and his men to serve 11 yrs: ‘Nwajuani a trickish fellow’ ‑‑ Magistrate” ‑‑ head of Uwaoma Church found guilty of assault etc of man at Ifite‑Ogbunike ‑‑ this man thinks he can breach law of the state with impunity. Wonders if this is a “cult” rather than a “church”.
Edit: “Gowon and his men”: Since the July 29 incident, some of the military rulers do not appear to know much about movement of army: Military Gov for M‑W, Lt. Col David Ejoor complained to Supreme Commander that soldiers swooped into Benin prison and took away some soldiers in protective custody there since july 29. What next could the soldiers do if they are unamenable to superior control? Are lieutanants in Provinces being made mere figure heads?
Ltr: *”That Umato Abomination” Umunna Chima says no matter whether a person contested Onitsha stool and failed, he will not do these things. Every Onitsha man may celebrate his own Umato feast, but not in the manner of the Obi of Onitsha.*
Aug. 22: Archbishop Patterson says: Church won’t support government by murder” ‑‑ ie, govt should seek out and punish those who do it.
*Public Notice: the entire parcels of land predominantly occupied by Hausa and Yoruba elements and commonly known as “Ogbe Awusa” (Hausa Quarters) are properties of Mgbeleke family; leased to them; any transfer must be by their consent. The “Hausa elements” in particular are said to be negotiating secret transfer of the said parcels. No such transfer without our written consent.*
Edit: Treatment meted out to people of Eastern origin by Northern elements are not conducive to goal of peace and unity. Restricting movement of people: 200 easterners in a convoy of more than 18 lorries returning from the North held up at Oturkpo, and others elsewhere ‑‑ ordered to leave behind all items of food they might be carrying; some ordered to pay tax; others’ goods seized. Why should those who have decided to quit the north be treated like animals?
MA Egwuatu: “Let’s ask for Zik’s help”.
[society wedding much described]
Spitfire: quotes statement by Ojukwu: East does not wish for secession; but our gestures have been spurned or disdained.
Aug. 23: “Aladura Prophet” mobbed ‑‑ caught stealing a bicycle; taken to police station.
Gang of burglars visit Onitsha Inland ‑‑ along Mba Road armed gunmen, shooting.
Middle‑aged Hausa man Alhaji Musa found dead at premises of Santa Maria primary school Onitsha.
Edit: “Where’s Nigeria?” If Lt. Col Gowon says there is no basis for a unitary govt, where are we?
Aug. 24: “All army officers and soldiers of EN origin who have arrived in the region… have been recalled by the Military authorities of the First Nigerian Battalion at Enugu.”
“Productivity Week” opens at Onitsha.
At Minna in North: 2 army officers of Eastern origin shot dead by their Northern Nigerian colleagues.
Aka‑Agba Iyase Achusim: I call on all Easterners to leave off petty quarrels, begin planning protection for the East. First: address the burglars of the east: think of what is being done to them by others. “..call on Lt. Col. Gowon to explain why there should be an endless slaughtering of people of one particular tribe? If it is true.” This is not time to rob Peter and pay Paul. Easterners should not divide themselves, fight or burgle themselves. The Yorubas have come together. The northerners are united. The Mid‑west too. Where is the East?
Spitfire on Gowon’s “talk about peace”. Asks what is being done in the North.
Aug. 26: At Katsina/Makurdi: Easterners waylaid and robbed L60,000; “Dane guns, bows & arrows used” says driver;
Edit: Shouldn’t military rulers meet now?
“Give them shelter!” very rapid rise in population of urban towns in the East ‑‑ Ojukwu is awake to the problem.
BCE Ijomah: “Secession is the answer”.
Spitfire: Military Gov of North says he has investigated the allegations of maltreatment against Easterners returning from the North, and found them to be false! So he is saying the Easterners are telling lies. He accuses the Eastern press of “distorting facts”. Northern press have been disseminating bare face lies and deliberate falsehood.
Aug. 27: “Big riot at Bauchi ‑‑ natives fight fulanis” ‑‑ villagers attack over installation of Fulani man as chief in area of indigenes. Police opened fire on rioters.
Makurdi/Oturkpo Road: lorry driver attacked by another gang of armed villagers (items lost 25 bicycles etc).
Edit: condemns educational system. “Time to honour our prophets”: points to American heroes; then Zik: we need fatherly advice, guidance.
Aka‑Agba Iyase Achusim: “Solution: Union of Southern Nigeria”: traces history, showing south ready but “North cannot catch up.” I think bloody July arose from proposal to Unify Govt. North is not ready.
*SO Ogbuli on “Chieftaincy Law”: it is not dead. But in view of the repeated flagrant abuse of it, which people sneer at, one would think there would be an effort to avoid the impression of “unfairness which could be as a result of secret coalescence of interest.
“When two are fighting and a third party holds on to one man thus subjecting him to the thrashing of the other…. peopl rightly call it in Igbo, ‘Igbo Ogu Awuwo’, meaning that the action of the third party is partial.” Excuse is made that the “sounding of Ufie” etc was “committed in a private premises” is very lame, since sound was public. Where is the law?
[Aug. 28‑31 missing]
Sep. 1, 1966: In Lagos: Report says ‑‑ Easterners attacked by soldiers of Northern origin”: troops from Ikeja Army Barracks swooped on Shomolu village ‑‑ 50 houses damaged, 30 Easterners in Hospital. Makurdi: more villagers robbing lorries and passengers.
Edit: Struggle for survival: Ojukwu says, “the battle has become one of survival for Eastern Nigeria.”
Nzeribe Orunta: continued: “It is unity or break up: gives brief but fairly considerable history. Britain is responsible.
[Photo: “One of rocket units of the DRV. The rocket is ready for start” ‑‑ there have been many brief articles about the US in Vietnam, all opposed to this war. ‑‑ depiction of this large rocket probably symbolic.]
[Second photo: “‘Portuguese’ Guinea” ‑‑ shows children; caption: “Lessons are being conducted at one of the primary schools on liberated territory. The fathers of these children are fighting for the future of their sons and daughters.” ‑‑ another “war of liberation” being alluded to here.]
Spitfire: “the new Fernando Po: Northern Nigeria”.
* “Obi/Ndichie Case Resumes today”*
Sep. 2: “At Kaduna: kidnapping goes on ‑‑ Where is Capt. Ugwuala?” Alleged kidnapped by Northern army officers from Hospital (where he had been since before the Jun 29 rebellion).
“Visioner sees condition for Nigerian Peace and Unity”, by Ojiako Okiah: Miss Peace Ike at her tender age of 23 the head of 300 strong Christ Healing Sabbath Church at No. 32A Awka Road Onitsha: I had vision that peace won’t come unless wrong is righted ‑‑ “The God‑anointed leader has been brushed aside and now it’s struggle between light and darkness with the latter outweighing the former”. Who is this leader? “Zik!” she replied. She also warned about bid to kidnap top Military officer.
“It is unity or break up”, concluded.
“East Govt advisors” listed.
Edit: “May God Save Us”: Gowon claims to promise to return to federalism ‑‑ but what does this mean?
* Obi and Ndichie case: Odu testifies: Justice HU Kaine: At one stage, when Fred Anyaegbunam wanted to tender the proceedings of a case involving Odita Ajie the Judge warned: don’t waste time of court, don’t go into irrelevant things. So Anyaegbunam tries to cross‑examine Odu, Odu doesn’t cooperate. Judge: “This is not a Commission of Inquiry.” *
Sep. 3: “At Ibadan ‑‑ Hausa students desert Versity for North.”
Aka‑Agba Iyase Achusim: “It’s time to seek Zik’s aid”: Zik is the one who, in confronting choice between his tribal region and nigerian unity, would unhesitatingly choose the latter.”‑‑ here he is quoting from “The Observer” of London, 1957. [note this would not read well for many at the moment.] Likens Zik to General de Gaulle.
*Obi/Ndichie case: Mbanefo Odu: “the Obi is equal in status with his Ndichie Ume”*
PUblic notice: concerns conflict for Family Lawyer among the Ekwerekwu family.
Sep. 5: “Northern Army reported raiding Ibadan: flee with L1,000.”
*Jeremiah Ikegbunam Orakwue told the court his book “was not an authority to be cited” (“the book is not accepted as a maximum authority”). The book was later tendered, after Fred Anyegbunam had withdrawn objections. [Note: this can be tendered, but not the court case previously presented?] Issue of relative powers of Obi and Ndichie: Orakwue: if ndichie is disloyal to Obi he forefeits his privileges. Onyeichi however continues to have shares of prospective candidate for Ozo.
Chief Okonji Akpe testifies: age 85: argues Onyeichie Ume must have own share whether on good terms with Obi or not.*
Sep. 6: * Obi/Ndichie case: Onwuta Osuma: “disloyal Ndichie should not receive share” ‑‑ some history of his title taking given; Chike Ofodile emphasizes that the Pltfs have never challenged the recognition of Obi Onyejekwe; their case is that the tradition has been flouted.
Osuma: I did not pay tributes to Onyej before, but now I and Eseagba have done so. If I had been loyal before, I would have gotten my customary fees, but I was not loyal then.
Judge: Has any of you taken the pain to collect what the Aboh customs are? Their system is akin to yours….”
Judge: What is Ulogo Eze? Onwuta: the Red Cap chiefs.
Judge: must Obi consult them in appointing red cap chiefs? Onwuta: not necessary.
Judge: can he appt an Ogtidi man chief? No.*
[note: Jerry Orakwue inserts correction ‑‑ award of ndichie title is the obi’s prerogative; gave examples of this.]
Sep 7: “Fire Prophet”, cont’d
“JM Nwosu, Pres of Motor Transport Union, OP: “recall Dr. Zik, Nwafor Orizu, and other patriots of the old guard” to save Nigeria. (see speech)
AC Nworah: “Secession is inevitable”.
*Obi/Ndichie case: Dfts amend their statement: submit a document from 1926: Judge awards 15 guines to pltfs. Eseagba testimony: (supports dfs’ case; Judge: Who are Ulogo Eze? “Somebody who stands before the king ‑‑ any chief.”
Sep 8: “Hausa night guards say ‑‑ no plan to burn Onitsha market” ‑‑ over 120 Hausas employed as night guards; spokesman says most have them have over 9 yrs service at the market.
* Obi/ndichie case: “Ulogo Eze are Obi’s personal advisors, says Odita: my father and his supporters fell out with the Obi, boycotted him; (history of Odita Ajie given ‑‑ source of his dispute with Obi over development issues, says O.) since he was boycotting, he did not get shares. (describes himself going to Ime‑Obi to ask for late father’s shares. X‑exam tries to embassars him for what Odita Ajie did trying to make a chief.
Judge again asks about “Ulogo Eze”: some may be ndichie says Odita, others may not. Obi inquires. [The judge seems to have the fixation that some group of councillors must be consulted ‑‑ presumably even if a sub‑set of them has refused to recognize the Obi. This is absurd.]*
Sep. 9: “At Onitsha Bridge Head ‑‑ Hausaman in army uniform”: arrested, charged with impersonating an army officer, sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
“A spy or what? Hausaman alleged copy down street names in Fegge”. An agent of an “enemy region”?
*Obi/Ndichie case: counsel to address tomorrow: Nwokedi Ogene testifies: gives history of his own ndichie title taking; Ndichie get shares but not if boycotting.
Sep 10: “Current report says ‑‑ Northern Army invade East: live stock & crops destroyed”. (Ogoja, Obudi Divisions, along NE border ‑‑ looted livestock then retreated.)
Hausa “spy” detained: going about Onitsha collecting names of streets and industries.
About 4,000 refugees from North have registered at the Onitsha Provincial office.
Aka‑Agba Iyase Achusim: Military gov selected respresentatives of the people to advise him, but he is not inviting them to kick about who will lead the East in a civilizan rule. I suggest an appeal to Zik to come forward. Not to lead ‑‑ Ojukwu does not need political campaign, but advisers to assist.
Sep. 12: North troops waylay convoy of lorries, confiscate property including 200 double barrel guns.
* Onowu vs. Obi: Araka: court has no jurisdiction in case: cites Constitution of EN which states “no chieftaincy matter shall be entertained by any court in the country” (see this ‑‑ seems pretty definitive.) Nigeria Local Govt Law identified these men as chiefs. Anyaegbunam gives very strong final argument.
Sep. 13: Big Lagos Conference: East sends delegates; Gowon signs safety paper to assure Lt. Col. Ojukwu:
Kaduna‑Lagos road: Army and police detain East traders: strip, rob, car ransacked.
Edit: “Pseudo‑army men”
PI Uzo: “Stall ‘war’ in Onitsha”: legitimate ownership must be respected.
Sep. 16: Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu to be buried today; father of Mil Gov. Died at Nkalagu at age 57. Various military figures send condolences; various articles give tribute (he was chair of Nigerian Cement Co. till death
Aka‑Agba Iyase Achusim article: constitution
Sep. 17: Zik & Okpara in procession for Sir Odumegwu’s burial ‑‑ 6‑mile motorcade lead body to Nnewi (Umudim). Bishop Anyogu and Arinze celebrated Requiem Mass at Catholic Church there.
Aka‑Agba Iyase Achusim: “Between ourselves in the East Why are we hated by others?” Jews also were persecuted. But why are we? “In the past, those who had body odour could not win the company of friends”, but “a research has now produced a remedy”.
I believe the people bear no natural taint; but “what distinguishes them from some others are their enterprise, pushfulness, industry and adaptability”. Such people should be desired. But why? Is it jealousy? Can’t be ‑‑ they should be happy to have such people.
Edit: “Resettling the refugees” ‑‑ suggestions made.
Cherubim and Seraphim: prayers and meditation ‑‑ describes origin of C&S ‑‑ founder Baba Moses Orimolade, Tunolase, who died in 1923 ‑‑ Aladura holders named. Other sects have formed out of original.
Sep 20: “Latest from the North: mass murder of Easterners” ‑‑ over 20 fleeing policemen from Kaduna abandoned their entire property in the north, said both soldiers and civilians go about killing Easterners.
Eternal order of Cherubim and Seraphim conference ends: the Baba Aladura (supreme spiritual father) says eventually his church will be the only accepted body of religion in Nigeria.
Service for late George Chukwu kadibia Romaine: born 1894 in Onitsha; gives biog, names of attendants.
Public warning: to people of Oze Town from Ogbendida pple of Onitsha concerning “omalima & onyilugulu” (alias Okpuno‑ogbolo) lands.
Sep. 22: “North troops strike on ‑‑ 12 hour train search for East travelers” at Makurdi bridge
[Lagos conference under way]
RU Nezman: “Nigeria for destruction?”
Sep. 23: Edit: discusses Northern Govt’s awarding scholarships to 460 students of Northern origin.
Chike Akosa: EN Housing Corp has launched great housing scheme; low income needs the aim. S & L pushed.
Advertisement: Voice of Freedom Christ Apostolic LChurch of Otolo Nnewi.
Sep. 24: Onitsha‑Ibadan‑Lagos Station wagon Taxi Owners Union Onitsha branch has mounted a search party concerning tremendous losses at Ibadan: car no. EO 9895 and the driver, 3 passengers reported missing.
Ojukwu tells Britain and America ‑‑ ‘We aren’t for secession but circumstances may force us out’ (2nd, 3rd page: his speech ‘We stand for one nigeria’)
Edit: “One Nigeria”
[no newspapers Sep 25 ‑ Oct 2]
Oct. 3: “Killing of Easterners continues in North ‑‑ over 100 shot dead” “Expectant mothers kidnapped” ‑‑ armed Hausa civilians in various towns ‑‑ spontaneous attack; BBC gives death toll of 150 at Burku?u Railway Station; same report: scores of bodies of murdered Southern Nigerians scattered all over. Etc.
FP Edit: postponed EN Consultative Assembly summoned by Ojukwu: praises him.
Bishop Arinze addresses Youths: “Youth is the time… one is expected to clench one’s teeth and act”
Onitsha Businessmen warn publishers of “Daily/Sunday Times” to desist from vilifying EN.
Rivers State protagonists warned: “…diseased will of protagonists”
Oct. 5: “New Towns to be created in East” for resettling refugees.
Ojukwu message on Oct 1 (Independence day): “We are calm in the face of extreme provocation”
*”On whose authority does Mr. Jerry Orakwue speak?” He is not speaking for Onitsha people. As far back as 1955 or 56, Dr. C. Heerey set up a commission to consider Ozo title taking ‑‑ late PH. Okolo and late JN Odogwu involved ‑‑ trying to find way to bring Ozo in line with Christian faith. This group consulted Onitsha ndichie and then met with about 29 Ozo men. So after the commission submitted its report, His Grace wrote the Obi, making certain suggestions, and the Obi referred the matter to the Agbalanze. Unfortunately, the Secretary wrote straight to His Grace in an uncomplementary way.
The article is full of contradictions and inconsistencies. Right now, a group of Ozo and ndichie and non‑titled men are examining this problem, looking for ways.
Obi ONyejekwe celebrates 4th Ofala festival: over 10,000 people. Dancing groups named, including some from Mid‑West, Ogidi, Ogbunike; representatives of Oba of Benin came. Obi’s annual message delivered through Kodit Onwuli: pray for gods guidance for the Military governors; Mbamali Ajie present; Ogene, his new chiefs; Ozo men; numerous others named.
Oct. 6: Managing Director of Ekene Dili Chukwu transport, Onitsha, and top members of the banned Okaa Society of Nigeria, Mr. AE Ilodibe has called on East Military Govt to lift the ban on all cultural and social organizations in the East.
Send second hand clothes to Rex Cinema for refugees.
Public notice: I am an Igbo man. “Musa” which people call me is just a nickname.
Public Notice: Mr Chukwuemeka Akaya (alias O.Y.) is not an Hausa man nor from Northern Ida, but his mother was from Mid‑West Ibos, the father Akaya was a native of Ogbendida in Onitsha. To take him as a Northerner is a gross mistake.
Chidobel Ofiajiaku: I must eat back my ideas presented in NS Sep 26: “STrong United Nigeria” ‑‑ but events of last few days show ultra‑tribalistic forces whose motto is “death to the people of certain areas”. Now I say, “Self Preservation First.”
Editorial: on waves of violence, Northern effort to recuit citizens of Chad residing in Maiduguri for guerrilla warfare. Obi Onyejekwe’s message given.
Oct. 7: Man copying names of streets remanded to medical observation (claims to be the Secretary‑General of the whole world).
Edit: Gov Ojukwu last monday announcement: all non‑Easterners residing in East should quit in their best interests ‑‑ go to respective regions. Makes sense to cool down rising temper of those Easterners who just returned to EN.
Nigerian Airway suspends air transport in Nigeria.
Public Notice: Family of late Mr. Thomas Iwenjora if from Ogbe‑Otu in Onitsha, not Hausas nor from Northern Ida. William Iwenjora’s mother is from Uguta, his wife from Oraifite; “to take them as Northerners is a gross mistake”.
Public notice: Mr. Joseph Koffi Bakger is not a Nigerian but a Ghanaian: mother from Abagana, Ghanaian father.
Public notice: I Mr. Gabriel Nwajiani a native of Asaba ‑‑ not Hausa or Igala.
“Self Preservation First” (contd)
Ofala festival: Age Grades & Aboh Youths do Azu Ofala.
Photo: Ojukwu flanked by Dr Okpara and Sir Louis Mbanefo emerge from consultative meeting which gave birth to enlarged Consultative Assembly now going on in Enugu.
Oct. 8: Joint Action Committee of NTradeUnions organizes support for steps taken by Military Govt: there is a plot aimed at isolating the entire EN. “planned genocide against Eastern Nigeria”
Public Notice about Hausa Quarters (see above) by Mgbelekeke: “Recently some of these lands have been abandoned by run‑away tenants” ‑‑ these now revert to Mgb.
Public Notice: Mr. Daniel Jatto alias “Man of War” is a native of Agenegbedi, Auchi Dist, Benin Province; has never been an Hausa man or a northerner: born at Onitsha and ever since in Onitsha.
Okoli Matehi: “Our fountain of social justice is poisoned.”
Edit: “Solidarity of ER now” Don’t think of Ibo, Efik, Ijaw, Ogoja; “maintain vigilance as one body”.
SA Odikpo: can war solve our problems? (Christian message.)
Oct. 10: “More attack on Easterners” in Lokoja; 3 vessels arrived at Onitsha with over 200 EN refugees, most stark naked. IWD vessels made available ‑‑ road block had been set to ensure their slaughter.
“Stranded Easterners [over 1000 tin miners, Jos] wire Ojukwu” to arrange their evacuation to EN. Stranded at Jos Railway for 7 days ‑‑ ignored by North and Fed govts.
Major James warns landlords: rent inflators face criminal proceedings. Don’t take advantage of refugees.
Edit: Fed Govt recruiting expatriates to replace EN workers killed or forced to leave north. Esp. communications.
ABN Obayi: “It’s arrant nonsense Mr. Eyo:” EO Eyo, Calabari ‑‑ alleged to reject acting as advisor to Ojukwu.
Public Notice: I, formerly addressed as Alhaji Musa Usman, wishes to be known as Mr. Moses Chukwura, of Ossomari.
Public notice: I Gabriel Onyebuchi Obah, am not an Igala man, my late father was of Umudei.
Nwachukwu (Ogboli Eke) joins Ozo society: photo of Mbamali Ajie; Ogene.
Oct. 11: Former Personnel Manager of Textile Printers of Nigeria LTD Osha, Emmanuel Mbanugo (previously an AO in Onitsha) sentenced to 12 months for accepting bribe for employing a man at the textile factory. [He an Obosi man?]
200 refugees from North (photo shows them): on boat ‑‑ John Holt expatriate manager helped them.
Public Notice: I, Michael Nwobi Amakaeze (alias Bro. Mike Musa), am native of Nnobi, and Sr. prophet of Holy Sabbath of Christ the King Mission, Inland Town. Musa is a mere nick name, same with members of the Mission, who always wear white gowns.
Edit: Ojukwu shouldn’t go to Lagos to meet with Gowon.
PA Eziolise: “Things have fallen apart”: history of nationalism given, emphasizing “Zik of Africa”.
Mrs. Caroline Echineze Ibeziako (nee Anazonwu) has graduated with 1st‑class honors in BA exam U College Dublin. Will go on for Doctorate in Educ. Her husband Dr. FN Ibeziako holds medical degree. [Photo of Onoli with crooked staff]
Oct 12: Obudu: Hausa thugs kidnap husband and wife:
[Another public notice ‑‑ Ogbe‑otu man]
Things have fallen apart (2)
Oct. 15: “At Onitsha Niger Bridge Head: arms & ammunition from north ‑‑ EUROPEAN ARRESTED” 60 rounds of .22 cartridges & two .22 rifle magazines. Denmark foreign national, residing at Kaduna.
Anakweze Anagor: Stop Blaming the Victims: (not much content but there it is.
Oct. 17: “Climax of bloody massacre ‑‑ L4m Ibadan Teaching Hospital may close down”: mass exodus of staff, student nurses, doctors and administrative personnel, over 90% of whom are of EN origin.
Onitsha collects L352 in one day for refugees: Zik 100 gns.
[another public notice ‑‑ I not a northerner]
Edit: refugees; food plan
“What is love? by christian.
Oct 18: “Famine hits Sokoto ‑‑ five die of hunger.” Observers believe this not unconnected with the mass exodus of Easterners who imported many foodstuffs. (Another “repercussion”)
North may be in darkness ‑‑ impending closure of ECN there.
Edit: “Devlish plan”
Oct. 19: “Gov Ojukwu tells foreign press: Yakubu Gowon not my superior in army” ‑‑ General Ironsi is the Supreme Commander ‑‑ I am told he is missing.
Mutiny at Kano army garrison? 30 Hausa soldiers for court martial. Those who took part in the Kano Air Port shooting incident where 200 Eastern Nigerians were slain.
35 killed by Cerebrospinal Meningitis (another “repercussion”)
EN Refugee Undergrads of Ibadan U: they are not prepared to go back.
EDit: UK students protest against the painful Nigeria history
Oct. 20: “Governor Ojukwu says ‑‑ ‘I’m prepared for any attack from outside'”: I have not been to the north but from police reports I know that the May riots claimed 3,000 lives; and on the first night alone in Zaria of this last riot, 670 people were killed.
Hausa Army at Oturkpo have arrested over 1,000 fleeing Nigerians in 18 Railway coaches: threaten to slaughter them unless 11 wagons of petrol sent to the North.
Edit: “Secession if need be”.
Ibadan U undergrads, 2.
Onitsha Ika Ibos call on Lt. Col. David Ejoor to give us rights of expression.
Oct. 21: Fresh riot in Bauchi NR between Fulani and indigenes whom Hausas derisively call “Arunas”.
Trouble in NA prisons spreading.
Tell them, Ojukwu
[Oct 22 to 30 missing]
Oct. 31: “Sir Ibiam declares ‑‑ ‘no faith’ with the rest of Nigeria: ‘Gowon, ‘times and ‘post are accountable”
“In whose capacity is the country Raped?”
Louis Chike Akosa: Floreat CKC Onitsha ‑‑ describes eminent Nigerians who are ex‑students of CKC.
Nov. 1: “Kano massacre echoes ‑‑ Mutiny in Kaduna Army: army rebels invade Kaduna prisons”: hoping to release some troops of the Kano army. But overpowered. These detained soldiers those who led Kano massacre ‑‑ 2,500 eastern Nigerians killed during the September massacre.
Lagos reports: More Hausa soldiers transported to Lagos.
In whose capacity is the country raped?
Land of Ukwa family of Umuase: published High Court case.
Nov. 2: “Easterners in mid‑West attacked: Ugheli town, trying to evict EN tenants.
“In Lagos ‑‑ Ibos and Yorubas attacked: Hausa Employees of Nigerian Railway Corp. demonstrated against ‘Ibo and Yoruba domination'” ‑‑ Ibo now replaced by Yoruba.
“Bid to wipe out Easterners in Lagos foiled by police.
Edit: “Morning Post” ‑‑ the gospel of Satan. Its master: Gowon.
Nov. 3: Northerners in East ‑‑ Fresh attack at Abakaliki: northerners, Igalla villagers who share common border launched attack on Ezza‑Agu villagers. East leading OIL producing area ‑‑ boom described.
Edit: “Who overrules Gowon. Nigeria Railway Corp has overruled his order that workers who fled North will lose their jobs.
Nov. 4: * Onowu vs. Obi of Onitsha: Judgment today: HU Kaine.
“Facts the world must know” (no. 2)
Edit: release EN soldiers still in Kaduna Army Barracks; Some easterners still sending food from East to North.
Nov. 5: TIV soldiers strike ‑‑ Fresh shooting in Lagos (vs Hausa)?
Edit: “Very distressing!” Attitudes of Governors of N, West and M‑W who know much of the situation are marching with the haters of the East.
Edit: “The West falls to the North” ‑‑ beware, M‑W!
* Onowu vs Obi: Kaine finds for Onowu: issues injunction restraining Obi from appointing person to title of Ndichie w/o consulting N‑U’s; also restrains chiefs from parading themselves as chiefs. 100 gns to pltfs. Justice first argued that ltr written by private secty of Okosi II to Mbanefo Odu 1 in 1944 spoke forconsulting NU before making apptment; he then delved into Jerry Orakwue’s “Ulogo‑Eze”, since these “N‑U” acc Orakwue, Obi must consult. Does disloyal N‑U forfeit rights? Odita ajie case: no. *
Nov. 7: 300 Hausa Soldiers in plain clothes arrived in Lagos yesterday.
Nov. 9: Hausas in Ibadan flee to North.
Edit: “Morning Post” tried to manipulate story of L8 million arms deal into Nigeria.
Mid‑West Ibos Assn: Like our Eastern brothers we are haunted and hated.
Nov. 10: “At Sapele ‑‑ Itsekiris attack 1,700 Easterners at plywood factory”: story: over 500 Binis, Urhobos, Itsekiris and Hausas living there foiled by anti‑riot police.
“Like our Eastern brothers”, contd
Edit: Ika Ibos have made a case.
Nov. 11: Explosion at Bornu: 3 houses, all belonging to Northerners destroyed by blast.
“Unburied corpses cause epidemic in the North”
Edit: visit to east by W. Obas is too late.
Nov. 12: Edit: “Rehabilitation progress”.
Nov. 14: Fire visits Kano ‑‑ Oil Mill destroyed; police in big puzzle”
Chief Obafemi Awolowo: “Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution”.
Nov. 15: “Returned non‑Easterners told to leave the town immediately”
Obi/Ndichie case goes to Supreme Court: 15 grounds of appeal filed. 15 grounds of appeal listed.
Nov. 16: Nigerian students in USA write Ojukwu.
Edit: Lead non‑Easterners safely back.
Nov. 17: Flash! Gowon’s Ad‑hoc committee flops: no EN participation.
Nov 18: “Hausa domination: Yorubas call for action against Hausas.
“Tension mounts in Lagos: Who rules Nigeria: Gowon or Mohammed?”
Nov. 19: Alleged coup in West:
[Western news predominates FP]
Ozobia the Oduah dies at 82. Survivors listed, some biography.
Okoli Mataehi: “No more with savage brutes”
Mbanugo acquitted and discharged.
[THE END OF NIGERIAN SPOKESMAN PAPERS TO RNH AT NEW HAVEN, CONN.]