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Cheta Nwanze: I was sent off air for discussing Asaba massacre

Cheta Nwanze: I was sent off air for discussing Asaba massacre
October 04
20:54 2017
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Cheta Nwanze, social commentator and researcher at SBM Intelligence, says he was sent off air on Thursday while having a live interview on Nigeria Info FM.

Nwanze, who was the former managing editor at YNaija, an internet newspaper for young Nigerians, told TheCable that the station manager claimed to have received a phone call from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) ordering him to stop the discussion.

“We were on air, I was talking, the station manager came in, spoke to Nelly (the host), and she stopped me and played an advert,” he told TheCable.

“Then she reached out to him and found out that the NBC had called him to stop the discussion.

“I was talking about the Asaba Massacre. It happened on October 7, 1967.”

The show, Midday Dialogue, was hosted by Nelly Kalu.

Efforts to reach the radio station and the show host to confirm the incident proved abortive as they did not respond to the messages sent via Twitter.

The Asaba massacre occurred during the Nigerian civil war. Troops had invaded the houses of civilians, who they claimed were Biafran sympathisers.

About 700 lives were reportedly lost in the incident.

The 50th anniversary of the event is expected to hold in Asaba, Delta state capital, with dignitaries like Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, Donald Duke; former governor of Cross River and Matthew Kukah, bishop of Sokoto diocese, in attendance.

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4 Comments

  1. Oduche Azih
    Oduche Azih October 06, 03:28

    THE “ASABA MASSACRE” KICKED OFF THE AIR :
    Our grandchildren will ask, “Did it really happen?”
    This is one of the many aspects of our Nigerian story that will not go away as the revisionists would wish.

    I think that it was a year ago that I had weighed in on “Asaba” following other commentary by the likes by Uche Ezechukwu, Benjamin Udodigbo and others. The Nigerian state has invested so much capital lionizing the late General Murtala Muhammed. I was old and enlightened enough to hold my ground and not to buy into the narrative that he was some sort of hero. His presence on the Murtala currency note does not change that. Sad as his death was in that February 13 coup, I understand that some people impacted by the ASABA MASSACRE actually celebrated his demise. Sad! That’s how united we are on this topic.

    Talk no ill of the dead? Really?
    How then do we write authentic history? It was almost fifty years after the event that I came across the archives of The University of South Florida. Here records, written, photographic, audio, video etc have been safely stored where those who argue, like Holocaust Deniers, that it NEVER happened, cannot destroy. Very reluctant contributors like Chief Phillip Asiodu, an arch-Unitarist had no choice but to let himself be interviewed.

    Years ago at Stanford University, I had a close friend Engr Peter Ojogwu, a native of Asaba a couple of years younger. He never spoke about “Asaba.” But for his interview with USF researchers decades later, I would never have known that he passed through that particular Golgotha. He was not up to fifteen and miraculously survived because other dead and injured piled over his young body. Does anyone want to relive his experience when the “gallant” Nigerian troops came closer to finish off those still twitching with point-blank shots? Anyone? Hero my foot!

    In an earlier outing, I had tried to debunk the widely held perception of Murtala Muhammed as a competent military strategist and commander. To me one illustration sufficed, the Abagana Ambush. I had opined that in a better organized military, Muhammed would have been court marshaled. Not in Gowon’s military of anything goes. I still wonder whether that debacle is being case-studied at Nigeria’s top military academies as I had proposed. Sad.

    From this The CableNg report about strong-arm censorship at Nigeria InfoFM Radio, we glean the following.

    “The Asaba massacre occurred during the Nigerian civil war. Troops had invaded the houses of civilians, who they claimed were Biafran sympathisers.

    About 700 lives were reportedly lost in the incident.

    The 50th anniversary of the event is expected to hold in Asaba, Delta state capital, with dignitaries like Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, Donald Duke; former governor of Cross River and Matthew Kukah, bishop of Sokoto diocese, in attendance.” Etc, etc.

    Will this event (still) hold? Will Gen Gowon attend? What of OBJ, IBB and Gen Godwin Alabi-Isama? Will the hateful advocates of “No-Hate-Speech” mantra not seek to thwart it? Time will tell. It is indeed bizarre to strive to undermine a story line over which a former Nigerian Military Head of State and “war hero” has offered a public apology. Granted that many of his compatriots from the “core north” distanced themselves from his stand, but General Gowon spoke for the record.

    https://www.thecable.ng/cheta-nwanze-i-was-sent-off-air-for-discussing-asaba-massacre

    Reply to this comment
  2. Bee
    Bee October 06, 11:38

    That was how the Autocrats and Upholders of the Status Quo, arrived at the Indivisible and non-negotiable One Nigeria Unity which they claimed to have fought for.

    BY COMMITING GENOCIDE!

    The biggest joke is always the attempt to hide the known. However,

    According to the New York Times, on 10th January, 1968, “Federal troops… killed, or stood by while mobs killed more than 5000 Ibos in Warri, Sapele, Agbor…”

    What is there to hide anymore if I may ask?

    I will always keep reminding them that Nations do not fight for their Unity, they work to harness that.

    Reply to this comment
    • Sikpa
      Sikpa October 07, 07:41

      Are you now by your comments working to harness Nigeria’s unity?

      Reply to this comment
      • Bee
        Bee October 07, 10:41

        Which Unity is then left to be harnessed when it has already been so perfectly forstered, through genocide and denial, that it merited an indivisible and non-negotiable status?

        Reply to this comment

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