By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The widow of Nigeria’s first indigenous President, Prof. Uche Azikiwe has called on the federal government to complete the resting place of her husband as the place has been overtaken by weed.
She made the call at the 75th Birthday anniversary of Emmanuel Chukwuemeka Iwuanyanwu when she delivered a speech on behalf of the association of Wives of Former Presidents of Nigeria.
Prof. Uche said “Please finish the resting place of my husband so that he can rest in peace”.
She added that Wives of Former Presidents should also be treated with some level of respect as they too are human beings considering the way and manner they have been relegated soon after they are out of the stage.
Speaking earlier at the event, the celebrant took time to clarify issues that have been in the front burner in the political space as regards the popular views that that the Igbo’s masterminded the 1966 coup.
Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu who stated that the coup was never an Igbo coup, but stated that it was rather foiled by an Igbo man, adding that although an Igboman led the coup, other tribes like the Yoruba, Igala, Hausa and even the South South actively participated in the coup.
He said that without the intervention of the late General Aguiyi Ironsi, the coup could have succeeded and Nigeria may not have remained the same, as it is today.
“There is a belief in many places that the coup of 1966 was inspired or instigated by Igbo leaders. It is not true.
“Yes the person who led it was an Igbo man from Delta State but he had with him people from other tribes, from Yoruba, from Niger Delta, from other places. It was purely a military coup.
“It has nothing to do with the Igbo. There was no time Igbo leaders told the military to carry out a coup.
“If for anything, our great leader, Nnamdi Azikiwe was sad at the death of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and the death of the Sardauna of Sokoto and many other leaders.
“I want Nigerians to also know that that coup failed because an Igbo man took up arms, arrested them, that is the coup plotters, and put them in prison.
“That Igbo man was General Aguiyi Ironsi. It is important to know that it was an Igbo man who made that coup to fail. Ironsi was then commanding the army. If he had supported them, the coup may not have failed and may be the story of Nigeria may not be as it is today. So Igbo’s made that coup possible to be stopped”.
On the circumstances leading to the death of Ironsi, Iwuanyanwu continued, “When Ironsi became the Head of State, he was killed because he was talking about unitary government. That is exactly what is happening today, but you know, all of us say that we don’t want unitary government.
He emphasised that the Igbo’s are fully committed to the unity of the country, manifested in the verifiable fact that the Igbo’s have great investment in various parts of the country due to their firm belief in the unity of the country.
Iwuanyanwu stressed that it was very important for him to correct the impression now that he has become a rallying point politically, adding that he was a witness to the coup and was not speculating or talking out of some text book information.