“The enemy occupation of ONNE was at that time, the closest they had come to Port Harcourt their most successful encroachment into the Bonny River. This operation which was conducted before they could consolidate took them completely by surprise. Ground troops attacked ONNE overland from the rear just as Kanu faced them point-blank from ONNE Creek… commanding his CPC 101, Kanu steamed in and the enemy hailed 101 as their own as Kanu opened fire. There were literally no survivors.
It was a major blow to the 3MCDO in the Delta State Region.
The Biafran army claimed full responsibility for the success of the operation. In any other war, Godwin Kanu would have been recommended for the Navy Cross for his part in the ONNE operations.
-See P.J. Odu, the Future That Vanished 2009, Pg 154
By the 12th of January 1970, the war was over. General Philip Effiong at 1640 hours made the broadcast at Radio Biafra, Obodo Ukwu which brought the war to an end.” In that broadcast the General declared through history, injured people have had to resort to arms, in their self-defense where peaceful negotiations fail.
We are no exception. We took up arms because of the sense of insecurity generated in our people by the events of 1966. We have fought in defense of that cause. I use this opportunity to congratulate Officers airmen and our Armed forces for their gallantry and bravery. This has earned them the admiration of the whole world. I thank the civil population for their steadfastness and courage in the face of overwhelming odds and starvation.
I’m convinced now that a stop must be put to the bloodshed which is going on as a result of the war. (see Philip Efiong, Nigeria And Biafra, My Story, 2000, ps 264)
In his own recollections of Biafran’s Last Field Commander, Col. Lambert Ihenacho explained that when “ Owerri fell in the evening of the 8th January 1970, the Div. Commander Brig Ogbugo Kalu sent for me for an urgent briefing. We meet at Irete while he was preparing to relocate, troops were milling around everywhere in utter confusion and distress.
He informed me that the situation was really bad and that the Head of State, Gen. Ojukwu was on his way out of Biafran. He told me that I must ensure that the enemy was delayed with whatever was available until the broadcast was made.”
Col. Ihenacho could not rally the distressed, famished retreating Biafrans and the Orlu –Owesse road, the ragtag defense he managed to mobilize ended as suicide confrontations, with the Biafran Navy suffering grievous casualties. According to Rev. Akaegbu, we could not make it to Owesse as we found out that Federal Troops were everywhere. It took us two weeks as many of the dead had no idea the war had ended,”
Captain Ndubuisi Kanu the decorated hero of the Biafran Navy by this time was at Atani. Like every other war theatre, he had found himself since he flew in from abroad to join the Biafran Revolution, from Kidney Island to Port Harcourt
To Oguta and now Atani the red shot eyes sailing manoeuvering his gunboats and dangerously firing and taking fire and brimstone!
Captain Ndubuisi like so many shocked by the cessation of the hostilities didn’t hear the Efiong broadcast and therefore did not know the war had come to an end.
When the news eventually reached him his first animal battlefront instinct” was ravenous and the captain raced straight to Uli airport. The escaping Biafrans top leaders thanked their stars when Ndubuisi Kanu arrived Uli a few hours after their hurried departure! Like the Biafran 11th Army, Captain Ndubuisi Kanu wanted the war to continue and though the sudden end denied their impending victory at the flaming Onitsha sector.
He was a commercial Taxi Driver after the bloodbath.
From Enugu, he was reabsorbed into the navy and he petitioned his headquarters refusing to salute his erstwhile juniors, who was as a result of the war had been promoted ahead of him.
In 1975, he was elevated as the only Igbo in Muritala Mohammed’s Supreme Military Council. Unlike his other kith and kin who served and continued to serve in elevated offices, Admiral Kanu served without any guile whatsoever. He was Governor in his greater moment under the sun leading other Human rights activists, coming from the top in the face of the gun mounted against the people on the streets, by a kill and specialist goons. In the end, Admiral Ndubisi Kanu like Vanguard rigorously established, picked the Admiral because the paper’s 2019 lifetime Award met the philosopher’s recommendations of the human sublime. That man must have fathered a child. He must have planted a tree and before he died, he must have written a book!
Culled from Sun.