Elder statesman and philanthropist Chief Engr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu said he personally urged General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, the then military President of Nigeria to respect the wish of Nigerians by not annulling the June 12 Presidential elections widely believed to have been won by late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, but his sincere advice fell on deaf ears.
Iwuanyanwu popularly known as Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo, who disclosed this in a stakeholders meeting organized by Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma as part of the activities marking the Democracy Day celebration Friday, said in his efforts to mediate between Abiola and Babangida, he lent his private jet to Abiola to see the then president in Abuja in one of the crucial meetings called to resolve the political impasse, saying he knew a lot about June 12.
“Late Chief M. K.O Abiola is a good friend of mine. When the problem of June 12 struggle started, I visited him in his Ikeja residential home.
“On that day he has an urgent need to see President Babangida in Aso Villa and rush back for another crucial meeting. I borrowed him my private jet to tell you how close we were.
“I know a lot about June 12. I personally talked to Babangida to respect the people’s wish. At the appropriate time, I will reveal more of the intrigues associated to June 12.
“For now, June 12 is history but the struggle revealed a lot of things among which is that Igbo men hate themselves. Certainly, if it is an Igbo man that his Presidential mandate was unjustly truncated, nobody will fight for him,” Iwuanyanwu lamented.
Regretting the lack of unity and onesness among the Igbos, the industrial guru pointed out that the Yoruba people fought and stood for June 12, saying that is why they have benefitted immensely in the national polity.
He said, “Through the struggle, the yorubas ensured that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was made President for 8 years. Through the struggle, the Yorubas have ensured that Chief M.O.K Abiola’s name is immortalized. Through the struggle, the Yoruba nation has attracted a lot of Federal Government projects and institutions but if it is igbo man, nobody will be ready to sacrifice for him. Igbos will even be in the forefront of attacking the person to abandon the struggle.
“Igbos will abandon him. Igbos don’t celebrate their heroes rather they will be busy attacking him just to pull him down”, Iwuanyanwu lamented
Describing the essence of democracy as fundamental guarantee that all men are created equal no matter the tribe or religion, and that democracy can never thrive where one tribe or religion sees itself as being superior to the other, the former presidential candidate dwelt on the need for Igbos to be their brothers keeper like other ethnic groups, saying this is a fundamental lesson an Igbo man should learn from the June 12 struggle.
Debunking the insinuation that Igbos pose a danger to the unity of Nigeria, Iwuanyanwu, however pointed out that the greatest threat to the nation’s unity are the Fulani Herdsmen and the Boko Haram fundamentalists.
“The greatest danger to the unity of Nigeria as a country is not the Igbos, is not IPOB ( Indigenous People of Biafra), is not MASSOB ( Movement for the Activatio of the Sovereign State of Biafra), is not BIM (Biafra Independence Movement), is not Biafra, its the hardsmen carrying Ak 47 and the Boko Haram these two endangered speciis are thethings that are threatening the unity and stability of the Country.
“Boko Haram has been there for nearly ten (10) years. The first world war didn’t last up to 5 years second world war didn’t last up to 6 years.
This is one of the longest wars in history, it’s a war, everyday they are telling us we have done this we have done that, the war is being fought round and round.
In military tactics, the easiest way to defend is to be on attacking offensive, by now, security intelligence ought to have found out who are these Boko Haram?
Where are they? If they are being sponsored from abroad, the federal Government have the military and financial muscles to organize and liaise with Western powers so as to destabilize them.
“They are spreading fast, let us not make mistake about it, the group has ambition.
“Recently the leader of the Hausa Fulani herdsmen said in the media that the entire Eastern region is their land and territory, we Igbos are ready for them, let them try anything funny in any part of Igbo land, as Chairman of Ohanaeze Elders Forum, I have to tell you that we Igbos are not folding our hands, you dare not touch the Tiger by the tail whether living or dead”, he warned