29 NOVEMBER 1968, Page 28

Sir: Your editorial of 15 November was quite right in

calling for a stop to Mr Wilson's stark hypocrisy in Africa and to the devious and dan gerous role of the so-called 'experts' in the Nigeria-Biafra conflict. Mr Wilson refused to use force in. Rhodesia because it would not solve any problems; but he promotes force as the solution in the Nigeria-Biafra conflict. He re- minded the Russians over Czechoslovakia that guns and tanks can deitruy but cannot rule or change the will of a determined people: yet he supports the 'quick kill' policy in Biafra ap- parently to minimise The sufferings of the Biafran children by killing off their parents!

Without blaming everything on them, it is worth stressing that the main contribution of the so-called 'experts' has been to thwart any genuine settlement of the Nigeria-Biafra dis- pute. When the Nigerians overthrew the corrupt and inept First Republic in the widely acclaimed national coup of January 1966, it was these 'experts' who first read tribalism into the act and thereby set the ball rolling for the doom of Nigeria. Fearing that their positions were threatened .by the Unitary Decree of May 1966, these experts, some of whom dominate the northern civil service and university posts. shouted the bogey of Ibo domination and in- cited the people to the May 1966 massacres which resulted in the death of more than 3,000 former eastern Nigerians. When the north rightly saw 'no basis for Nigerian unity' and executed the July 1966 coup to break up the country as the ideal solution, it was these ex- perts who prevented .the north from seceding: and it was they who successfully persuaded the Federal permanent secretaries that their posi- tions were threatened in the confederal agree- ments of the Aburi talks, and these in turn successfully advised against the full implemen- tation of these agreements.

These experts, distinguished in their abject ignorance of the basic issues at stake in the dispute, advised Nigeria to attempt the 'final solution' of the Ibo problem. Relying on their 'expert knowledge' that it would all be over in two weeks, the Wilson government initially pretended neutrality by refusing to supply the Nigerians with the ammunition to implement their assignment—thereby inviting in the Rus- sians—and thereafter entered into an arms race with them to implement their 'quick kill' in Biafra. Realising that the final solution will not be any solution after all, confederation is being canvassed now. But this was the obvious con- clusion of the 1966 constitutional conference which apparently triggered off the September/ October pogrom's resulting in the death of over 30,000 former eastern Nigerians; and of the Aburi Agreement, the failure to implement which led to the present debacle.

Given the above, your editorial could not have been more apposite: 'human rights mean nothing, it seems, when it comes to Biafra.. . let-us have no more hypocrisy from Mr Wilson about his devotion to human rights.'

Onyekaba Nwankwo

48 Fonthill Road, London N4