ABUJA – A one time Minister of Health, Prof. Alphonsius Nwosu has said that he will not go out on 30th May, a day set aside by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to honour Ndigbo that were murdered during the Nigeria/Biafran civil war.
But Prof. Nwosu explained that staying at home on that date was not because of the directives from the IPOB but because he has established it as a tradition even when he was a serving minister during the former President Olusegun Obasanjo government not to go out from 26th May to 1st June but to use the dates to commit the souls of hundreds of South Easterners that were killed during the war.
He also said that the style and ideology of the Biafran Republic declared by late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was different from the Nnamdi Kanu-led IPOB, adding that the later had made the struggle which was about liberation, equity and fairness to look like Igbo agitation.
On the sit-at-home-order, Prof. ABC Nwosu who spoke exclusively to Vanguard said, “Nnamdi Kanu is entitled as a Nigerian citizen, as an Igbo person to call for whatever he desires and those who want to obey him will obey him.
“The difference was that in 1966 Ojukwu was appointed and given authority as the military governor of East and he had that authority and he even subjected himself to our deciding on that authority. So, I look at it from that angle.
“For me, it is not 30th May that is my problem, 29th May even when I was in government at the federal level, I always observed with a lot of prayer to my God. I never went out, it was a day of meditation because 29th May 1966 was a terrible year for Ndigbo.
“That was the day that pogrom began. Before July 29, there was May 29 and those who don’t know what happened on May 29 are excused from whatever they do but I carry the burden of that history that I knew that that was the day people started killing Igbos and the Igbos started running and realised that they were no longer safe.
“So for me that day even if my personal self feels like going out for a drink, I stay inside home holding my rosary and praying to God to cleanse our national soul from that evil that happened that 29th May.
“So you can see that I have a totally different attitude that has nothing to do with Nnamdi Kanu because I don’t even know when he was born. He wouldn’t even know what I am talking about.
“He probably lost no one he can remember being brought home that day. It is like remembering the anniversary of your father who died in an unfortunate circumstances, it is different from what he is doing. So that is how I look at it.”
On whether he would encourage members of his household to obey the stay at home order, Nwosu who was a commissioned officer in the Biafran army said, “I am one person created by God. I have told you what I will do.
“I will stay at home May 26, May 27, May 28, May 29, May 30 and up to June 1st, why? Because it was from May 26 and 27 that the meetings were held, the mobilisation done on the 27th, the people burst to the centres where the killings will take place were done and 29th the actual killings took place and were not stopped until about June 1st when the leaders went to the governor of Northern Region then and sued for peace.
“I was in my final year at the university when this was happening and I pray there is no matter of non forgiveness, forgiveness is not the thing, it is cleansing, blood is not water.
“So for me as a human being seeking to carry back my soul to the creator, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 1st for me means a period of purification, a period of cleansing.”
Source – Vanguard