“For more than forty years, Chinua Achebe has maintained a considered silence on the events of the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering account of one of modern Africa’s most disastrous events, from a writer whose words and courage have left an enduring stamp on world literature. A marriage of history and memoir, vivid firsthand observation and decades of research and reflection, There Was a Country is a work whose wisdom and compassion remind us of Chinua Achebe’s place as one of the great literary and moral voices of our age.” – Amazon
When this book was published in 2012, many Nigerians reacted to it and each with their unique perspectives. Here is one of the numerous discussions that took place on social media, in this case Facebook.
Post originated by Ukaegbu E. Ukaegbu:
“There Was a Country” by the Legendary Chinua Achebe.
Sandra Ekpenyong: I need to place my order… did you get if from Amazon?
Ukaegbu E. Ukaegbu: Yes, I did.
Prince Izu Egege: Waiting for mine, coming with The African Trilogy: Things fall apart, The Arrow of God and No Longer At Ease for my kids.
Sandra Ekpenyong: I need to get everything then
Ukaegbu E. Ukaegbu: @Prince Izu Egege: Good job. The books are worth preserving for generations after.
Ukaegbu E. Ukaegbu: @Sandra: You would receive some discount if you order a suite of books at the same time. Great idea.
Sandra Ekpenyong: Sounds like a winner
Prince Izu Egege: @UK, My dad bought for me almost all the series on Biafra, Ben Gbulie, Fredrick Forsyth, I treasure them.
Ukaegbu E. Ukaegbu: @Prince Izu Egege: Yes “The Biafra Story: The Making of an African Legend” by Forsyth was great. I didn’t get to read the one by Ben Gbulie.
Ike Onwukanjo: Will order mine to night
Prince Izu Egege: Also try the one by General Maduebo.
Okechukwu Mercy: I equally need those books, how can I get it?
Ukaegbu E. Ukaegbu: @Ike Onwukanjo: Please do. There’s a lot of discussion to be held based on the exact content.
Ukaegbu E. Ukaegbu: @Okechukwu Mercy: There are two options: (1). Order from international outlets or wait for it to be sold in local stores and/or library.
Ike Onwukanjo: Folks another important book on the war was written by John de st Jorre. Titled Nigerian Civil war.
Olua Eme Chikezie: Another food for thought, landing like the unexpected shelling along Benin-Ore highway. Achebe is bomb!
Pius Chuktz: Please forward a soft copy to me if you have it.
Iyke Nwannunu: Sure Ukaegbu, can I get at least a soft copy?
Ukaegbu E. Ukaegbu: @Iyke Nwannunu: Check your inbox for a message.
Ojeks Ekpen: Isn’t this strange that at a time when it seems the Ibo’s should be positioning themselves for a shot at the Presidency, they are kind of alienating themselves? What purpose will this controversy achieve for the Ibos? Why now? Please without prejudice, someone should kindly enlighten me!
Ukaegbu E. Ukaegbu: @Ekpen Festus: Nigeria is not about presidency. Note that there was Igbo before Nigeria and the so called presidency. How is the presidency working out for those that had it?
Ojeks Ekpen: Quite true my friend Ukaegbu. Still I ask, what will this controversy benefit the Igbos?
Ukaegbu E. Ukaegbu: This book contains a part of Nigeria’s and Igbos history which everybody must know about.
Ojeks Ekpen: Knowing Nigerian’s and their penchant for managing information poorly, and as the discussion is trending, isn’t it clear that the book may end up as counter-productive?
Ukaegbu E. Ukaegbu: The book has come to stay. Should anyone want to make it counter productive it would be for that person.
Prince Jubilee Ibekah: By and large there is still a country called Nigeria. 2015 is Igbo Presidency, Achebe is our man 24/7.
Prince M’nyk Ukaegbu: @Ekpen, no beef bro. Comments are not for everybody. Do not join the crowd that wants to be heard. Issues here do not concern dog eaters ok. It’s typically hustler’s case, ‘NDIGBO’ and not house boys and Chef. Little I read of those books mentioned and written by international authors, I got to know that an Igbo man received £20 despite all the monies he had in the bank but today, we have several of all the strong currencies in world. I cannot forget the abandon properties in the then Calabar and rivers but today Igbo man own houses everywhere in the world, why are they afraid of letting BIAFRA be? Because tomorrow we will take over Africa with or without the oil but the ‘BRAIN’, then you will buy visa to make an hour trip. Am IGBO, am proud, who are you?
Olua Eme Chikezie: Those who put knowledge at the disposal of others are legends. Achebe has told a real life story not a fiction this time around; to those of us who were not born then. @Ekpen Festus, if the whole world is told how some 40 million people were annihilated or how billions of Pounds then a par with Britain Pounds were exchanged for just 20 Pounds, will it stop Ndigbo from pursuing the Presidency? When Achebe did not write, were we given the Presidency? Relax man, this Achebe piece will sell and Ndigbo will produce a President, a competent one as a matter of fact. The truth must always be told!
Ojeks Ekpen: Talk is cheap @M’nyk Ukaegbu, especially gutter bred thrash!
Michael Gozie Ukonu: But @Ekpen you ask for it now. I wonder what Igbo presidency got to do with Achebe book.