Coming barely seven years after Nigeria’s independence, the civil war is, perhaps, the most critical watershed in the country’s annals. Heaps of books have written on that seemingly spontaneous event, but 41 years after the bombs stopped landing and rifles stopped crackling, the last of the war of survival has not been heard.
It has become the proverbial elephant whose different body parts were felt by seven blind men and each had a different story to tell. The latest of the wartime stories comes from a high-profile participant. Chief Achike Udenwa two-term governor of Imo State and former Minister of Commerce has also thrown his hat in the ring in the matter of reliving his own side of war time tales.
If, indeed, there had been any doubts about Chief Udenwa’s claims to being a central participant in the 30-month conflict then his new book captioned Nigerian/Biafran Civil War:My Experince has cleared such doubts permanently.
The 258-page book, structured in seven chapters, excluding preliminaries, strikes at the heart of an event which significance continues to reverberate in the face of current political developments.
In reality, it cannot be said with exactitude that Nigeria has finally overcome threats to its unity; a threat amplified by current security situations such as gave birth, though in varied circumstance, to the war which Udenwa partook in as a very young man.
In the first 76 pages the author took a historical perspective of Nigeria’s political evolution, making copious references to immediate events that eventually culminated in the civil war.