Dr. Felix N. C Oragwu

Dr. Felix N. C Oragwu, one of the Biafran scientists, who fabricated weapons, built airports and refineries for the new republic [Biafra]. A 1960 graduate of Physics from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, he was a key figure in the Research and Production section of Biafra.

Dr. Oragwu, a native of Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, was recently interviewed by The Sun newspaper and he spoke on the renewed Biafra agitation, what the South East and South South should be agitating apart from Biafra.

According to him; The agitation by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) came out of Biafra. We wanted to secede because the Federal Government failed to implement Aburi Accord but because they had superior power, they said we could not secede.

They took us back to Nigeria after fighting for 30 months, just like they took Niger Delta people back to Nigeria.

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To understand my thinking about all these, if we don’t restructure Nigeria into a true federation, just like I told you about the United Kingdom, Nigeria will never have peace and there will never be progress because when the federating units compete among themselves, as obtained in the First Republic, they make progress. In our time, there was nothing like federal character; there was nothing like marginalisation; nobody was fighting.

Now, you have a situation where different nationalities were brought together without their consent on how to be together. Unfortunately, it has been done and a constitution has been set up, but we have not operated that constitution. So, my view is that you can only leave Nigeria through the constitution or a referendum. If you do it by force, it may not work; it has not worked anywhere.

For example, Niger Delta people wanted to secede from the Eastern Nigeria, they were brought back. The Igbo tried to secede from Nigeria, they were brought back. So, the Igbo cannot leave Nigeria by force or rather by secession. They can only leave Nigeria by mutual agreement of all the constituent units that make up Nigeria. If we don’t do that, we will be killing ourselves for nothing.

In the long term interest of Igbo, what they should be fighting for is a true federation that gives them autonomy to manage themselves; that is what they need. If they don’t do that, they won’t get anything.

A new leadership is urgently needed in Igbo land. I can’t see leaders like Azikiwe, Okpara, Akanu Ibiam, Aniago and so on. Nobody took over from them. All the people we have now have been making arrangement with those cheating us.

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Meanwhile, Dr. Oragwu, who was one of the Biafran scientists, who fabricated weapons during the war revealed one of his moment he has a close shave with Death.

He saidI should have been dead on December 23, 1967. As the head of research and the coordinator, my signature must be on any technology that came out, otherwise nobody would touch it. So, when we produced two launchers of 90mm, we had to test them. We had to do it to show that it could work.

So, I went to Madiebo, who was the chief of army staff and requested for an artillery man. We went to Oji River to launch them. When we got there, my people said we couldn’t take chances but I told them that if you produced something without launching it, nobody would touch it. 

Initially, the launcher went out very nice, but suddenly it veered off and the momentum went through the building and destroyed it. It affected me on the head and I collapsed. I was rushed to the Red Cross at Oji where I was revived and treated.

It went nine inches into my head but doctor said it didn’t touch my skull. There were other instances, but that was the closest shave I had with death.

Source: The Sun

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