Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Who Starved Biafra? A Call For Justice! Revisiting Letter by Robert S. Goldstein to Odumegwu Ojukwu


Robert S. Goldstein
Public Relations Representative of Biafra in the United States
(Published in the Morning Post, Lagos, August 17, 1968) 

As your Public Relation's Representative in the United States, it is my distasteful duty to tender my resignation based on the following points: 

POINT 1 - In November of 1967 when we met in Umuahia, you and your Cabinet were very impressive. You told me of the woes of your little Republic, that thousands of people had died, were dying and more were prepared to die for freedom's sake.

You and your Cabinet told me you believed world opinion would help your cause if you could get your story across.

You expressed the opinion that very few if any people in the United States knew of the plight of the Biafrans.

You asked me to tell the world that Britain had teamed up with Russia in a conspiracy with the Federal Government of Nigeria to murder every Ibo in Biafra. You suggested I use my talents to induce the Press to write about the Biafran side of the war, as at that time all news came out of Lagos.

You will recall I did not take the asssignment that day but stayed on several days before deciding to take that job.

To help win the peace At that time I stated to you and your cabinet that I was taking the assignment making it crystal clear I would try my best to help win the peace not the war.

POINT TWO - I immediately arranged the first world Press conference in Biafra inviting the US Press as well as journalists and television people from England, France, Switzerland, Africa and other parts of the Globe. This was the first news break through. I arranged regular trips into Biafra for the world Press, helped set up stringers, etc., so that your statements and the statements of your Cabinet would be heard.

At that time, I was absolutely positive you were right and your cause was a just one in the best interests of the free world and your countrymen.

POINT THREE - Finally the Republic of Biafra was recognized first by Tanzania, then quickly followed by Gabon, the Ivory Coast and Zambia. Our public relations work was paying off, world opnion was starting to side with us.

Peace talks were arranged at Kampala. I thought that if anyone walked away from the table it would be the Federal Government. But to my dismay it was Biafra that left the Conference. After all the fighting and killing, I knew that peace would not come easy but I could not understand leaving the Peace Conference until the last point was negotiated and the avenue explored.

POINT FOUR - Then urgent telex messages were received from 'Biafra' telling of tens of thousands of people starving in the refugee camps, the villages, the bush country - stating if something werent done in the next few months over a million women, children and aged would be starved to death. 

I immediately contacted the Press, urgently petitioned the State Department for action on their part. Food, medicine and milk were sent to the only available ports open for immediate shipment to 'Biafra' via land routes through Federal and Biafra territory, under the auspices of world organizations such as the International Red Cross among others.

Then came the incredible answer from 'Biafra' that land corridors could not be acceptable until there was a complete ceasefire, and that an airlift was the only solution to feed the starving.
You then appeared before the various Heads of State and representatives of the OAU at Niamey in Niger. I fully expected you to at least accept the world help that was offered your starving throngs. However, you delayed, hoping to use these unfortunates with world sympathy on their side as a tool to further your ambition to achieve war concessions at the upcoming peace talks in Addis Ababa. Thus innocent victims continue to perish needlessly of starvation, the most agonising death that can befall any living creature.

POINT FIVE - This was incredible to me. I am now convinced that I have been used by you and your cabinet to help in military adventures of your origin....using your starving hordes as hostages to negotiate a victory.

If at some later date, following the issuance of this letter, you do concede to allow a mercy land corridor...would you expect me to agree to espouse before the world Press the incredible delay of your decision. What explanation could I honestly give for the needless prolongation of this horror.

Inconceivable acts

I pray this communication may in some small way influence you to move affirmatively, allowing the mercy land corridor to be born.

It is inconceivable to me that you would stop the feeding of thousands of your countrymen (under auspicies of world organizations such as the International Red Cross, World Council of Churches and many more) via a land corridor which is the only practical way to bring in food to help at this time. It is inconceivable to me that men of good faith would try to twist world opinion in such a manner as to deceive people into believing that the starvation and hunger that is consuming 'Biafra' is a plot of Britain, Nigeria and others to commit genocide.

POINT SIX - I cannot in all conscience serve you any longer. Nor can I be a party to suppressing the fact that your starving thousands have the food, medicine and milk available to them.....it can and is ready to be delivered through international organizations to you. Only your constant refusal has stopped its delivery.

I am this date, tendering my resignation and am returning to Mr. Collins Obih of the African Continental Bank all the fees you have given me (Letter of Credit No. 354 $400,000 US.)
I have sent your representative in New York a Bond in the amount of 800.000 pounds that I was holding in your behalf. I have also this date, sent the Bond of 200,000 pounds issues by the Central Bank of Nigeria back to them for disposal.

POINT SEVEN - I am now convinced that one Nigeria is the only solution to peace. I also call upon you Mr. Ojukwu to allow your starving people to be fed. Their well-being is of deep concern to me as well as other right thinking people of the world. Your acting in the utmost haste in this matter is in my opinion the first step toward any lasting peace in your country."

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Not Once Did We Smile! *for the young Nigerian IDP’s – Kayode Ogundamisi

Not Once Did We Smile! *for the young Nigerian IDP’s – Kayode Ogundamisi

Maiduguri on 27th October 2015

Bang! Bang! Bang!
It is a bomb!
It is a gun!
Boom! Boom! Boom! 
It is a gun!
It is a bomb!
Feet as hasty as a Jet!
Leaving footpaths for devils trail!
Chibok! Biu! Gwoza!

Now they gather for us!
They whom we trust and hope!
Vultures waiting to devour!
For they laugh smile and lie!
Clapping! Cladded in their best robes!
The Sahara sunshine penetrates jealously!
As we wonder if it is all about us!

We are dressed in borrowed robes!
Leaving behind a river of sorrow!
Not once did we smile!
As we Wonder Waiver and Shudder!
Not once did we smile!
As they Laugh Smile and Lie!
For they know not Chibok Biu and Gwoza.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Is Nigeria Television Authority DG Sola Omole A Thief ? New OB VAN Other Equipments Go Missing.

DG Sola Omole accused of Diverting new NTA equipments including two new Outside Broadcast (OB) Vans to start his own private TV.
Sources within Nigerian Television Authority are accusing Director General Sola Omole of removing new equipments including two new OB Vans. The OB Vans and other broadcasting equipments including digital cameras, new multiple

Teradek Bolt Pro 600 Wireless HD-SDI/HDMI Wireless Dual format Transmitters & Receiver Sets and filming drones can no longer be found.
The equipments were purchased at the request of the DG and delivered to NTA in the period leading up to 2015 Election. Mr. Sola Omole, the Director General of NTA is said to be planning to launch his own new Private Television Station when he leaves NTA following in the footstep of a former NTA DG Ben Bruce.
Sola Omole and others were hurriedly granted radio and TV licence by President Goodluck Jonathan The missing equipments are said to be part of Omole's new private venture.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Oga @MBuhari Nigerians Need IGBO to make We Head Correct Gan ni so we no go dey scream mogbe! mogbe! !

Oga @MBuhari Nigerians Need IGBO to make We Head Correct Gan ni so we no go dey scream mogbe! mogbe! !

Make i first thank you Buhari, since you waka come goat don dey run from yam, since you waka come Nigeria don dey get small small respect for International community, since you waka come e be like say light sef don take style improve, since you waka come thieiving don become corruption, since you waka come civil servants don dey check themselves, even soja boyz sef don take style serious, but he get wan small matter wey I wan put my mouth.

So na season 3 of my Ogbonge oga Buhari appointment, for season 1 oga appoint Garba and Femi, me I vex I talk say why oga need 2 town criers, country people say make I take ‘EYES WATER’ kulu my temper down, okay I come kulu down, then Season 2 oga Buhari come appoint some people again, I come say why many Ahmodu, Mohhamed come full inside, but people say I too dey quick misyarn, dem say make I kuku, okay I come kulu, then yesterday Season 3 oga Buhari come make im 3rd set of appointments, na so so people wey dey the other side of River Niger full am, ahh! Ahh! Ahh! Mogbe! Mogbe! Mogbe! Na so I come scream say wetin dey happen? I vex again, na so people say make I shut up.

Dem say even if Oga Buhari pack all im cow for im Daura farm so long dem be ogbonge competent people I no matter, I come ask say why e be say na for only other side of river Niger competent people dey? Dem say make I shut up again say na people we yoga Buhari trust e go walk with! Ah! Ah! Ah! Mo gbe! Mo Gbe! Mo daran! So all those people wey bin dey follow oga Buhari from Imo from Ondo from Akwa Ibom since ANPP days oga no trust dem? Ah! Mogbe ! Mogbe! So if I enter Villa now na so so babanriga I go dey see, no be so dat Otoueke man pack people wey im ‘trust’ for villa? Ijaw people, but that time we shout, we scream, we say mogbe! Mogbe! mogbe! For Army Ihejirika sweep all our people from the other side of River Niger pack im Ndi Bayi brothers, Stella Oduah pack im igbo people for Aviation, we scream yepa! Mo Gbe Mo gbe but now dem say make we no scream!

I beg me I don write memo go give oga Buhari, no let oraisa people deceive you o! Federal Character mean say make you look for COMPETENT people from across the country, we no say you get good intention but Nigeria na wan kain country wey be say efery action wey u take, country people go look am with correct lence, people wey fit change Nigeria dey efery part of Nigeria, people wey you fit trust dey Uyo, dem dey Argungu, dem dey Otoueke, dem even dey France, dey New York make you open yah touché light look for people deep inside Nigeria, no let bad belle people come distract your good intentions with controversy wey u no need, for diz business of changing Nigeria we must make sure say we do am with equity. No let anybody deceive you say e no mata, e mata gan ni, if e no mata why Jamb dey say person we come for wan side need 180 to enter university and person for the other side need 250. If e no matter why e be say some state no dey contribute nada internaly but some state dey give Oyel, some dey give plenty VAT tax for cigger and ogogoro yet some sharia state wey no like ciger and ogogoro dey collect the VAT chop clean mouth. I beg e matter well well.

By the way Nigeria no be Igbo Yoruba and Hausa Nigeria get minority people wey plenty, wey good, we no corrupt and wey fit do the work of change. Me I don talk my own o. I still remain Buharist and I still believe say na God keep you make you take change Nigeria, change we institutions, save us from plenty Mogbe ! Mogbe! Situations. God go bless you oga Buhari! I beg no forget the promise wey you make say you go make me Chief Warder of all Nigerian prisons, na me go dey give corrupt people koboko inside jail. I remain loyal sah, make I go draw wan correct Igbo – Mazi Kayode Ogundamisi

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Joseph and Rabi - The Two Icons Who Built My Character - Kayode Ogundamisi

Dear Friends and Compatriots,

I would like to thank you all for your birthday wishes, I am forever grateful to each and every one of you. I took my time to read each message and read every message; my 46th birthday went like every other birthday, a normal day no fanfare, few phone calls and a prayer or two from my two darling sisters.

Since I am not one for birthday parties and celebrations, its been my tradition in recent years to write one or two personal stories on my birthday, it was extremely pleasing that I was able to spend the day in my city of birth Lagos and please find below the words that came to my mind, forgive me if you find the personal story boring and apolitical but I am hoping the story will strike one or two friends. Thank you again and may the good Lord bless each and every one of you, may God forgive us our sins and give our leaders and followers alike the wisdom to turn liberate Nigeria from Nigerians.

Yours truly,

Kayode Ogundamisi

Joseph and Rabi - The Two Icons Who Built My Character  - Kayode Ogundamisi

I was born on the 12th of August 1968 in Mushin, Lagos Nigeria. My mother told me I was delivered by an ‘elewe omo’ (traditional midwifes who use local herbs in the practice of medicine).

My arrival into Nigeria was as a result of the union between a liberal Christian father whose main hobby was telling stories of heroic and not so heroic tales of his experience as a young man who served in Nigeria’s military.

Joseph My father migrated from Ikare Akoko and marries his fellow Akoko ‘girlfriend’ in Lagos. My Fathers greatest gift to me was his unrelenting repetition of the phrase “Kayode I will tell you over and over again, contentment is the key to peace of mind”.

My mother was the opposite, a strong Muslim, extremely ambitious, courageous and sometimes carefree to the point that we felt she didn’t care about her children.

My mum would say “go and wander in the forest, go and survive, that is the reality of life”. She is the mother who would be told her son had gotten into a fight and would simply shrug her shoulders replying, “that is what a man should do to survive”. Till date I am still trying to understand my mother.

Here is one woman who in one day found Lagos too ‘fake and unwelcoming’ and simply gathered her belongings, left Lagos to settle not in the urban town of Ikare but the deep farmlands in the village, farming, trading, engaging in local politics and also rebellious in every way. Her first love was the Akoko land, the cocoa farm, I still cant understand her love for farming, she speaks to the land, her spiritual attachment 
to planting and harvesting is still a mystery.

When I listen to my father discuss his role during the Nigerian civil war and how I was born as he was away fighting to keep Nigeria one. All I saw was the picture of my mother in the trenches; my father never cut the picture of someone who could hurt a fly, he was principled but reserved, stubborn with a difference, several time i have witnessed him conceding every inch of any argument to my mother.

It was my father who taught me how to cook, how to wash dishes after every meal, how not to go to bed without having your bath, how to respect others without losing your own dignity, how to stay away from an argument if it will lead to violence. He was the soldier with the touch of a woman and you know, women are perceived to be weak but in reality strong in every sense of the word.

It was Joseph Ogundamisi who showered me with the love of MOTHER & FATHER but it was my strong mother who conferred courage on me. It was she who set me free at an early stage in life, and to her I owe a lot when it comes to my spirit of resilience but to both of them I owe ALL and it is to the glory of God, the love of Late Joseph Ogundamisi and the indomitable spirit of my mother that today August 12 2014, precisely 46 years after she gave birth to me that what they bestowed on me is the resolute belief that nothing is more satisfying than a duty to humanity, a duty to serve those whose voices may be trampled on.

It is to them that I owe my appreciation of the fact that serving your community and being involved in activities to make your country better is not a gift to your people but a privilege.

My country and my community do not owe me a thank you for thinking about the downtrodden, I owe God a lot for giving me the privilege to appreciate that walking away into your own comfort zone when others are suffering is the greatest disservice to humanity. 

And when people wonder why I don’t get shaken by attempts to arm-twist me, or force me into a path I am not convince is right, they fail to see that I am a product of 2 great icons and today, I say thank you to a father who left the world in hurry and a big loving thank you to a mother we breathed courage into my lungs.

Kayode Ogundamisi


12th August 12, 2014