Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Remembering 5 June 1969

There was hardly any day during the entire 44-month duration of the Igbo genocide that the Nigerian assault did not register some dreadful mark of infamy, such was the sheer savagery of this murder mission. 5 June 1969, exactly 44 years ago today, was not different. Genocidist commander Olusegun Obasanjo had, on this day, clearly, unambiguously, ordered his air force to shoot down an international Red Cross aircraft, carrying relief supplies to the encircled, blockaded and bombarded Igbo. 

Olusegun Obasanjo clearly, unambiguously, records this horrendous crime in his memoirs, appropriately entitled My Command, published in 1981 by the reputable Heinemann publishers. Obasanjo had “challenged”, to quote his words, Captain Gbadomosi King (genocidist air force pilot), who he had known since 1966, to “produce results” in stopping further international relief flight deliveries to the Igbo. Within a week of his infamous challenge, 5 June 1969, Olusegun Obasanjo recalls, most nostalgically, Gbadomosi King “redeemed his promise”. Gbadomosi King had shot down a clearly marked, in coming relief-bearing International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) DC-7 plane near Eket, south Biafra, with the loss of its 3-person crew. 

Olusegun Obasanjo’s perverse satisfaction over the aftermath of this horrendous crime is fiendish, chillingly revolting. He writes: “The effect of [this] singular achievement of the Air Force especially on 3 Marine Commando Division [the notorious unit Obasanjo, who later becomes Nigeria’s head of regime for 11 years, commanded] was profound. It raised morale of all service personnel, especially of the Air Force detachment concerned and the troops they supported in [my] 3 Marine Commando Division” (Obasanjo, My Command: 79). 

Yet despite the huffing and puffing, the raving commanding brute is essentially a coward who lacks the courage to face up to a world totally outraged by his gruesome crime. Instead, Obasanjo, the quintessential Caliban, cringes into a stupor and beacons to his Prospero, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson (as he, Obansanjo, indeed unashamedly acknowledges in his My Command) to “sort out” the raging international outcry generated by the destruction of the ICRC plane...

Olusegun Obasanjo must now make the most honourable move over this crime and surrender himself, voluntarily, with his memoirs, at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and explain to the world what happened over the skies of south Biafra on that Thursday 5 June 1969. Failing to do this, it is incumbent on the ICC to declare this man “wanted” – to urgently tell the world why he had ordered the destruction of the ICRC DC-7 aircraft with the death of its 3-person crew.

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

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