A retired Major-General of the Nigerian Army, Edet Akpan says lack of trust was the reason behind the disunity between Igbos and other minorities during the civil war.
Akpan, a former director general of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), made this known in an interview with Premium Times in Uyo, capital of Akwa-Ibom.
He said, “Lack of trust has always been on between the Igbo and the minorities.”
Akpan, an indigene of Akwa-Ibom, said the state and other south-south states would prefer to stay with Nigeria than to join Biafra.
“It (Nigeria) is much better than a region that you don’t feel (that you) belong. If you are suppressed as a minority (in Biafra) where do you cry to?” he said.
Speaking on why Biafra lost the war, he said other minorities were not certain of their place in an Igbo-controlled nation.
“I remember one Igbo leader who said, ‘Don’t worry the quarrel between the Igbo and the minorities is that between a husband and wife’. Oh, this place almost went into flame. Then it was asked, ‘Who is the husband and who is the wife?’ You see, the lack of trust is still there.”
According to Akpan what the Igbos really want is not Biafra, but not to feel ostracised within the Nigerian state.
“They want to feel that an Igbo man can one day become the president of Nigeria.
“They (Igbos) should seek whatever they want within the framework of the Nigerian state,” he said.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.