Hunt, Mathews, Romanev and Biafra, By Ejike Anyaduba

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For two years, he held office as British High Commissioner in Nigeria (1967-69), having served earlier in Cyprus. Sir David Hunt was not a friend of the Biafran people. Fredrick Forsyth described him as a snob and a racist whose blithering incompetence gave impetus to the tragedy that was the Biafran war.

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But Hunt was not alone in the conspiracy that blighted the survival effort of the Biafrans. He found a worthy collaborator in Elbert Mathews, the American Ambassador in Nigeria at the time. Mathews served in that capacity between 1964-69. The role of these two men was almost what made the Biafran war last longer than it ordinarily should. There was also the wily Russian, Ambassador Alexander Romanev. He was no less thoughtless of the plight of the Biafrans, especially after Moscow and Lagos pretended to sign a cultural agreement with Anthony Enahoro as the anchor for Lagos. Following from there, not less than 15 Russian MiGs arrived in sections at Kano and Ikeja airports. This gave Nigeria air superiority over Biafra.

Hunt and Matthews would discourage Gown from sudden flight when he woke up to the presence of Biafrans in Ore after their motorised invasion of Benin.
But for that singular intervention the course of the war would have changed. And not long after their intervention according to Fredrick Forsyth, BrItish support (by way of arms and ammo) started coming hard and fast to Nigeria.

It is fairly odd to accept that an entente hitherto unimaginable was achieved between, especially Britain and Russia for the purpose of putting out a promising Republic. It is not likely that anything has changed since.

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