Tuesday, 11 January 2011

News Report: Chief Obafemi Awolowo Was Ungrateful To Igbos, Says Nigerian First Republic Minister

Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi(On Microphone)
A member of Nigeria's first republic Federal cabinet, Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi have accused the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo of ingratitude to the Igbos immediately after the Nigerian civil war.

In an interview granted to a Nigerian national weekly, "The Nation On Sunday" and monitored by chidi opara reports, Chief Amaechi recounted how Igbo leaders immediately after the civil war sent a delegation to Chief Awolowo, who was the Minister of Finance and Vice-chairman of the Federal Executive Council, to help the Igbos recover their landed properties seized by the Federal government in Port Harcourt and other major townships.

The reason for sending the delegation, according to the 81-year-old first republic Minister of Aviation was that when Chief Awolowo was sent to prison in Calabar, which was part of Eastern Nigeria by the Federal administration of Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in 1962, the Eastern Nigerian government led by Dr. M.I Okpara, an Igbo, in collaboration with other Igbo leaders persuaded an Igbo landed property owner to vacate his property near the Calabar prisons for the imprisoned politician. Chief Awolowo, according to Chief Amaechi stayed in the prison in daytime and in the property at night.. The ex-zikist also revealed that the Eastern Nigerian government placed Chief Awolowo's wife on a Minister's salary, allowances and other benefits.

"So we thought he would remember these things, a delegation was sent to him because he was in charge of Finance and Vice-chairman of the Federal Executive Council", Chief Amaechi told the weekly. The former anti-colonial activist continued, "he said, you know I am a lawyer. I have a chamber at Apapa. If you want me to help you in the matter, go and pay a sum of two million pounds into my chamber at Apapa and bring the receipt to me". "And the Igbos who were given only twenty pounds, where would they collect and assemble two million pounds at that time in 1970?", the elder statesman queried.

Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi revealed further that in frustration, the delegation left. He described Chief Obafemi Awolowo's action as "the height of ingratitude to a people who gave him succour at his crisis period."

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