Geopolitical Wisdom for Serious Reflection… ‘O ji Ọfọ g’ala, ma ya mara Ụzọ!’ By Prof. Chidi Osuagwu


Geopolitical Wisdom for Serious Reflection… ‘O ji Ọfọ g’ala, ma ya mara Ụzọ!’…Osuagw


“One thing that came out of the war was my own worry after we lost. I kept asking myself, why did we lose the war? I kept contemplating on this because we all were great Christians then and we believed that we were fighting a just cause. We believed that we were being maltreated, by Nigeria and the World and that the God of the just was with us. And the question kept coming, why did we lose the war? That answer came to me when I left for Michigan for my Ph.D.

So, what was the answer you got about why Biafra lost the war?

When I got to New York, I can’t explain how things happened in my life, I found accommodation in International House in New York. There, I came in contact with so many internationalists. Before you know it, I became an active member of the International Students Movement to the United Nations (ISMUN) and I was later made the Chief Representative of ISMUN. Our office was at 345 UN Plaza. It didn’t take time I was elected Chairman of the United Nations Youth Caucus. Before you knew it, I had taken part in the First International Women’s Year Conference in Mexico in 1975. Then, I became close to Ambassador Salim Ahmed Salim, the Tanzanian Representative to the UN. I was equally close then to Ambassador Ouattara, AU representative and I also got involved in the South African Movement. In all these experiences, the assignment I gave myself was to find out why Biafra failed.

My observation at the end was that Biafra failed, because Ojukwu didn’t understand the dynamics of the world’s struggle. Generally, our people didn’t understand it. Biafra failed for the same reason Kwameh Nkrumah failed. It was for the same reason that Muammar Gaddafi failed and it was for the same reason that Saddam Hussein equally failed. It was for the same reason a good number of them failed and are still failing. But who and who understood it and succeeded? Of course, Nelson Mandela did understand it and succeeded. Fidel Castro succeeded as well. Mandela for instance, understood the dynamics of the world. He knew that the World was divided into two; the East and the West. You either belong here or there. If your enemies belong to one Bloc, you move to the other. However, if the two of you belong to one Bloc, the forces that control the Bloc, will try to reconcile the both of you and if they can’t, they’ll choose the one that’s more important to them and bring you in to suppress you. By then, the top communists around then were Igbos and when the Soviet Union indicated interest in supporting Biafra, Ojukwu said no, that he was not a communist.

He’s a democrat, who believes in the free world. To avoid leaving anybody in doubt, have you taken a good look at Biafra’s slogan then, it was “To Save Biafra for the Free World is a Task that Must be Done.” The message was to tell America, Britain and France that we’re part of you and we’re not part of these Communists.

Gowon and co equally adopted theirs as “To Save Nigeria for the Free World.” Now, which one is more important to the West considering their experiences with us and our people? They know us well. They know we are not the kind of people that will fit well into their Neocolonialism plans. That was how Biafra failed.

For Mandela, he realised the system. He went to China and went to Russia. What’s the basis of the friendship between Vladimir Putin and South Africa today? It started in that era of their history. It is hard to talk about South Africa’s struggle against apartheid without mentioning the role of the Soviet Union. Remember that Putin was the foreign intelligence officer of the Committee for State Security (CSS) known as Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB). He was among those, who had the opportunity to help train the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the paramilitary wing of the African National Congress (ANC) of Mandela. That’s why you see South Africa is a member of the new group with the following countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). Out of the two Blocs, Mandela knew who was his friend and friend of his people.

In Cuba, Fidel Castro was not a Communist when he overthrew Fulgencio Batista. When America tried to swallow him up, he had to run to the USSR, where Nikita Khrushchev was the leader and the rest is history. It’s politics. All those who refused to have permanent friends either with the West or the East always end up badly when they run into trouble. All those who didn’t make a choice end up bad. Even today, anybody from this part, who depends on the West for his survival is making a mistake, because they know us better. Don’t forget that the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby was a financial executive in the petroleum industry for the French corporation, Elf Aquitaine, which is now Total. With such a background and the role he played in the oil industry in Nigeria and Africa, is it not wiser that one is supposed to know better who should be his friends and choose wisely? There’s no need for anybody to even think of antagonising the West, but we should choose our friends wisely.”


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