Biafra: Archbishop Madu declares that the Ndigbo are ‘ungrateful’ to God for saving them from Annihilation

Archbishop Amos Amankechinelo Madu, the pioneer archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province of the Anglican Communion and former Bishop of Oji River Anglican Diocese, claimed over the weekend that Ndigbo had been ungrateful to God fifty-four years after the end of the Biafran War from 1967 to 1970.

Speaking on the topic, ‘End of Nigerian Civil War and Unfulfilled Gratitude to God by Ndigbo, the Way Forward’, during Enugu-based Solid 100.9fm’s ‘Freedom Square’, Arch Madu said the self-imposed slavery the Igbo nation presently found themselves shows that ‘God is still in charge of the world, especially Nigeria despite the apparent triumph of evil’.

According to him, “There is time for everything. This is the time to explore what is happening to the Igbo nation. How, when and why did we get here is the question on the lips of many. We must probe beyond the surface to find satisfying answers to some of these questions.”

Recalling that the Nigerian Civil War was ignited by some soldiers, and it was ‘eventually narrowed to an Igbo coup’, and how the Igbo ‘were attacked in the North and other places, ran home, and eventually the war began’, the clergyman said the time has come for moments of introspection’since we don’t read history in schools again’.

In his words, “There was a war that battered Ndigbo, and they cried out to God and the war ended. It ended because of the finger of God. Since the end of the war, Ndigbo have been in the spiritual wilderness, looking for identities in Nigeria. It has become the Igbo dilemma. Over the years, our spirits and conscience have been troubled over the situation of the Igbo race and Nigeria particularly.

“The Igbo, which few decades ago, epitomised worthy enterprises and shining light of the Nigerian nation, have now become noise-makers in our country. The previously enterprising Igbos have today virtually lost everything for which they were known, including shares in Nigerian resources, access to power, freedom of doing genuine business, capacity to participate in governance, right to build and live where they choose, right to cultivate and harvest in their farmlands as well as capacity to govern themselves, and most agonisingly the freedom to worship their God as they please.”

He said the need to find the solution made some men of God come up with the need for an Igbo thanksgiving. According to him, “We found the solution from God alone. Ndigbo are expected to do their own version of the Passover. We want to follow the example of Noah. God remembered him and caused the waters to recede and dry up. He came out and offered sacrifices to God, and God blessed him and his nation. God stopped Biafran War due to the cries of Ndigbo, not because Ndigbo did Ogbunigwe, after all the leaders of the war left the country when the situation became so hot. When the war stopped, no one could believe that it stopped, including Nigerian soldiers and the political leaders.”

Archbishop Madu, likening the act of not thanking God to ‘ingratitude’, added, “The Igbo people survived the war, started to progress, but they failed to thank God. That is what is missing. That is why many things remain unattainable. Christian all over the world celebrate thanksgiving every Christmas for the gift of Christ. The Jews celebrate their Passover. End of slave trade is still being celebrated.

“Pagans do thanksgiving before sowing their seeds. Wine tappers do the same in front of their divinity. Pagans also do thanksgiving in the church when I was young. Everyone can do the thanksgiving in their own ways. Christians can do theirs in their different denominations. The bottom line is turning to God to say ‘we are sorry, having forgotten you for fifty-four years’. We then ask God to accept our thanks, and then we turn from ourselves to God. He knows the best for us.”

Archbishop Madu stated that individuals pushing for the Sovereign State of Biafra have valid arguments, but he did not know where the problem originated. In his words, “They don’t even know what they’re doing. Some claim to want Biafra, while others swear that they would stay at home. Do we comprehend the language? Parents understand that when a child cries, he or she is communicating, not disturbing. Young men and women demonstrating are not acting abnormally. But do religious people listen to them? Have the elders called them? I’m not talking about politicians. The young people are saying “sit at home” against themselves.

It is against Ndigbo, not the federal government. If we understood, we could have gathered them, shown them the journey along the bush trail, and told them what happened during the battle.

“Anybody who knows what happened during the Biafran War will never think about another war. When we give thanks to God, we tell Him ‘just as you said there will be no more flood in destroying the world, no more war in Igbo land, and Nigeria’. That will be the outcome of the thanksgiving. During the thanksgiving, those who fought and survived the war should be invited to tell people what really happened.

“Ndigbo cannot do without Nigeria and Nigeria cannot do without the Igbo race. Ndigbo are like the salt of the nation. We are part and parcel of Nigeria: football, business, singing, education, and even politics. If Nnamdi Azikiwe was not there, Nigeria wouldn’t have been what it was in those days. Nobody wants to break away.

“When the Igbo nation turn to God in repentance, and show our gratitude, there will be no more war, disunity, and infighting. We shall then return to where God wants us to be. People will then integrate the Igbo man. There will be a Ministry of Reconciliation. Igbos will feel they are part of Nigeria again. Young people won’t protest anymore, but they presently have reasons to protest. Until Ndigbo listen, the wandering in the wilderness will not stop. This is the time for people to know why we are where we are, and the way forward. God is holy.”

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