A former Minister of Aviation Mbazulike Amaechi has attributed an ego clash between Emeka Ojukwu and a former Head of State Yakubu Gowon as one of the causes of the Biafra-Nigeria civil war, Concise News reports.
Reflecting on the Nigeria-Biafra war, Amaechi who was a first republic minister told the Sun that” there was [a] crisis within the military itself.
“Emeka Ojukwu was appointed the military governor of old eastern region, David Ejoor military governor of Midwest as it was known then, Adekunle Fajuyi in the west, and Usman Kastina for the north.
“Kastina was the only major; others were Lt. Colonels because there was no Lt. Colonel from the north. When they killed Aguiyi Ironsi in the reprisal coup of July 1966, the headship of the federal government became void; Yakubu Gowon was promoted to headship, Ojukwu said Gowon cannot command him, Gowon said if you’re senior to me come and occupy this seat.
“So, it was ego and pride that led to the civil war; personality clash between Ojukwu and Gowon. I describe that war as avoidable civil war because it could have been negotiated out; there was a mistake on our own part.
“So, the military incursion in politics as a result of ego and personality clash between Gowon and Ojukwu, the whole situation was mishandled into a civil war in which lives were lost on both sides; in which lives were lost on the Nigerian side, small number of people but on the Biafran side, millions but that’s not the painful thing.”