Nigeria: When your enemy is your Hero (2)


Part one of this article created the platform to look at the problems of the nation immediately after independence and politics of Mid-West creation, which was to weaken the Western Region from the political table,this follow up just like the first is written for academic purposes.

Furthermore, chapter one looked at the formation of UPGA, the destruction of Action Group, the backbitting and entrenchment of distrust in the body politics and how the political air was polluted before it was poisoned.

This writer used the word poisoned because Awolowo was not only in jail, his people in the Western Region  were left helpless in the hands of his adversaries, like a football team without a striker, or midfielder mastro, the West became the battlegrounds for the soul of Nigeria between the East and the North both fought like hyenas knowing who ever could get the Western Region would be the replacement for the British as the new colonial masters.

This chapter is not to entertain readers far from it, it will be the hard truth, hate it or like it, the Oracle will always be what he is, a writer with a conscience for the truth, just like part one requested, take a seat, and digest this follow up, it will make you think deeply.

The founding fathers of Nigeria Awolowo, Azikiwe and Ahmadu Bello were political enemies, none of them loved Nigeria more than their regions, forget whatever they said in the public to entertain the innocent and porous citizens, all the three wanted expansions of their empires, based on religion, tribe and socio/cultural values, there was nothing nationalistic about them, the result is the Nigeria of today, we are the products of their feelings for themselves.

This Oracle says DNA is like the air, you can’t run away from , the plan for the North to control Nigeria did not start few years to the independence, far from it, from the day Herbert Macaulay was poisoned in Kano only to die in 1946

That was the year, Herbert Macaulay expressed the future of Nigeria to the unsuspected North and what would be in there for them, they probably did not trust the Lagos man, the grandson of Samuel Ajai Crowder.

Herbert Macaulay did not get the support he thought he would get from the North the promotion of his one big nation idea, his visit however, created groups that would in future challenge the system in the North.

Let us not go too much into the past, as far back as 1959, Dr Azikiwe, a disciple of Herbert Macaulay, like a true and careless Christian he was, had told Sadauna of Sokoto and Premier of the Northern Region Ahmadu Bello, to let them forget their differences, and you wondered what were the differences Azikiwe had in mind that he wanted swept under the carpet?

The differences were there then, even as at today, Saudana wanted a Nigeria the North will be the boss, not based on equality or equity, a nation which her religion will not be affected by the so-called western civilization, and like he said where the dream of his grandfather Othman Dan Fidio will be fulfilled to dip the Quran into the Ocean.


In most of photographs which  involved the three of them, ( Chief  Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe,) he made sure he positioned himself in a vantage position, he was in charge of the situation, a man both Awolowo and Azikiwe wanted his attention, and he was able to fan their hatred for one another, the more they got closer to him, the more Awolowo and Azikiwe undermined themselves. He was the master of the game of politics of his time.


If Azikiwe wanted Ahmadu Bello to forget their differences, it was the reverse in his relationship with Awolowo who blocked him an Igbo man, from being the first Premier over the Yoruba at Ibadan, even though he won the seat to be a member of the Western House, if elected  Premier on the floor of the House   his office would have been at Agodi Secretariat Ibadan, he was never elected on the floor of the House as required by the law , despite everything was almost good for him.


As careless as the Western Region  was at the time Azikiwe won in that part of Lagos that was under Western Region it was a mistake to have allowed a non native to have contested as it was not the same situation in the Eastern Region those who contested on the platform of AG were denied and it was where tribalism became the yardstick between the Igbo and Yoruba, inability to get the AG a seat in the East united the Yoruba in the West to support Awolowo against Azikiwe because it was never a plain or level ground politics, what the Igbo wanted in the West, they were not ready to give it at home in the East otherwise Azikiwe would have been the first Premier over the Yoruba because of Lagos was too porous for local politics.

Furthermore, It was ugly, Ahmadu Bello was indeed the best of the three, he was very manipulative and he had everything to his advantage, only the 1966 coup could have removed Nigeria from his grip, what he made the administration of Prime Minister Balewa to do with Awolowo who ended up in jail could have been the same fate of Azikiwe himself since S L Akintola was already in his pocket.

In one of the recorded videos on YouTube Ahmadu Bello called igbo nothing, but a greedy tribe, that filled up the civil services positions more than any tribe in Nigeria, he went further to express his disgust with a scenario of how Igbo would behave even in jail, he said a jailed Igbo would still try to be the boss of his fellow inmates.

A week after the above statement,  Akintola repeated the same line against the Igbo, both shared the same thinking, and what their future would be, a relationship that would place the West under the North since Akintola had already accepted Bello’s leadership.

So in 1959, Ahmadu Bello before he sent Tafawa Balewa to Lagos as Prime Minister  told Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, “we can not forget our differences, infact we have to acknowledge them before we can move on”, Saudauna’s statement was similar to a Yoruba adage, Mo Iwa fo niwa lo ni ore” meaning, what sustains friendship is understanding meaning you should know what to do even in relationship, jokes etc, despite all the reservations of the founding fathers on Nigeria, they still went ahead to form a nation in which all their reservations were not fully addressed.

In one of my previous posts, I argued, the founding fathers of Nigeria were either blackmailed by the British or they made some concessions that were not properly documented, whatever it was, exploded in their face after the 1960 independence in which they went for the soul of the nation.

Contributors and earlier writers classified Nzeogwu’s coup as Igbo coup, however, one of the three Majors was indeed a Yoruba from Remo in Ogun State, it was never intended to be if Major Ifejuna had been faithful to the objective of the plotters.

The 1966 coup to the mind of this Oracle actually stopped the bleeding and killings in the Western Region. It destroyed those behind the problems in the Western Region, unfortunately, Ifejuna failure on his activities on the coup was misunderstood, not by a relieved West, it was by the enemies of Yoruba or that of Awolowo at that time, they went back to regroup for the 1967 Coup.

The question to ask would be if Azikiwe, who was on vacation in the West Indies at time of the first coup if he knew or he was given a hint by Ifejuna on the coup or his out of the country was just a coincidence?

What would a successful Nzeogwu coup would have offerred Azikiwe or Igbo better than a confused leadership of General Aguiyi Ironsi?

If Brigadier Mamalari was killed, why did Nzeogwu group spare all the Igbo Generals or those above the rank of Brigadier?

Why did  the coup plotters pick on Brigadier Mamalari? Was he too closed to Prime Minister Balewa and Saudana to be left alone?

Why did the three Majors’ overzealous coup plotters badly executed the 1966 coup?

It was unfortunate Nzeogwu did not rule as the Head of State, his failure to assume the Head State himself  could be seen from the way he submitted to the authority of Major General Aguyi Ironsi who was not classified or revealed as the brain behind coup.

To be continued


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