Biafra Heroes Day, Down The Memory Lane

  May 30 2022 | The Biafra Restoration Voice It all started after the coup that was led by almost all the tribes in Nigeria. BBC through BBC...


May 30 2022 | The Biafra Restoration Voice

It all started after the coup that was led by almost all the tribes in Nigeria. BBC through BBC Hausa Service have changed the narrative. Igbo coup they called it. Within a short time, the North dropped what they already adjudged a Nigerian Revolution against corruption to tag it Igbo coup. Tension started rising, as Hausa Fulani leaders like Mohammed Buhari, Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Mohamad, Theophilus Danjuma and a host of others have already started planning for a counter coup, or so people thought. It wasn't actually a counter coup. It will turn out to become a massacre of the Easterners living in Northern Nigeria.

Aguiyi Ironsi have refused to accept that anything was happening. When one of the Northern Fulani from one of the royal family who have lived much of his years doing business in the East called Alex Maduebo and informed him of an impending doom. Maduebo headed to Lagos to inform Aguiyi Ironsi. Aguiyi who have surrounded himself with Northern Soldiers could not believe it. He has appeased the North by giving them enough position in his government or so he thought. He called Yakubu Gowon and asked Maduebo to repeat what he just told him. Reluctantly he did and Yakubu Gowon artfully denied it all. And Ironsi warned Alex Maduebo to stop peddling rumours. Rumours he called it. A rumour that later became a reality that saw him killed like a chicken. 

Gowon was a good friend of Maduebo. He has tried pushing him out of the country for studies, probably he never wanted him to be a victim of what was to come. But exposing them came with a consequence. He was posted to Kaduna. A place he stayed and nearly died during the pogrom. Some have maintained that Gowon knew nothing about the counter coup and the massacre that followed, but it is all a lie. Gowon was actually among the conspirators. 

The day of the coup seemed to have been fast forwarded and on 9th July 1966 a group of Northern Soldiers led by T.Y Danjuma, a Christian Middle Belt Northerner traced the then head of state, General Aguiyi Ironsi, an Igbo to Oyo and had him tortured and executed, together with his host Col. Adekunle Fajuyi.

After the death of the head of state, the Northern Nigeria soldiers moved to different Barracks killing Soldiers from Eastern region. More than 300 officers were said to have been killed. These officers were mostly Igbo people. Road blocks were set up to mop up fleeing Igbo and other Eastern officers who were recognizable because of their facial outlook and the marks given to them by their boots and helmet. Make no mistake about it, the killer Northerners did not differentiate between Ijaw, Ogoni, Efik from Igbo. They killed them all. 

When there are no more Igbo soldiers to kill, the blood thirsty Northerners turned to civilians from Eastern Region living in the North. Businesses destroyed, houses burnt, school children cut down, parents killed, pregnant women had their stomachs cut open by these barbarians and the baby inside cut into pieces. More than 700 thousand Easterners were said to have been killed, but we know it did be more than that. Killed by people that claimed they are One Nigeria.

The mass exodus of Easterners from the North started. Again, lots of people were killed and raped along the way back to the East. And much more people were thrown into the Benue River by the locals. It should be made clear here that when I say North, I mean both Fulani, Hausa and the host of Christian Middle Belt. All of them joined hands in killing Easterners. In fact, Yakubu Gowon and T.Y Danjuma were part of the leaders then.

Yakubu Gowon have assured Odumegwu Ojukwu that his people will be protected and won't be killed again. Ojukwu believed and encouraged Easterners to return to their base in the North. Almost all the people that returned were radically massacred. Some survivors came back without legs, arms and vital parts of their bodies. So many families had to come back with the heads and fingers of their loved ones for burial.

Bodies of Easterners were all littered everywhere in the streets of the North.

There were anger in the East. They couldn't believe it that those they called fellow countrymen can do such to them. Tension was up and many were calling for secession. The tension became so high that the then President of Ghana called for a meeting that came to be known as Aburi accord. In that meeting, Gowon and Ojukwu agreed to a kind of confederation as to solve the problem in the new country called Nigeria. Yakubu Gowon came back to Lagos and reneged on the agreement. That was after BBC Service through BBC Hausa Service again made a publication that Gowon has bowed down to Ojukwu. They called the agreement a bow to Ojukwu. Something the North saw as Nigeria bowing to Biafra.

Biafrans couldn't take this betrayal from Yakubu Gowon. The cry to declare a Republic of Biafra kept rising. The division of the country yet again into 12 states by the Yakubu Gowon government angered the East the more. The division was made to break the backbone of the East. Instil disunity in them and stop them from moving as one united body. The Eastern consultative forum gathered, and resolved that the East should be declared a Republic.

On 30th May 1967, Ojukwu declared independence of the Republic of Biafra. It was with a funfair. The people were happy once again. And it was celebrated by men who have lost family members in the hands of the Northerners. A celebration that was short-lived. Funny enough, the same Hausa Fulani that led the massacre of the Biafrans in the North called for war on the same people they killed and sacked from Northern Nigeria. This is exactly what this writer can't understand till this very day. That a people that killed 700 thousand of your own living in their territory, will turnaround to wage a war to bring the same people back to their country.

The war started. That was a war that came to be known as Biafra Civil war or Nigeria Biafra Civil war. Britain, Egypt and almost the entire world sided with Nigeria and through the lies of BBC World Service they termed Biafrans Rebels. The victim became the villains, and the villains’ victim. Warriors fought like Biafrans. Without clothes, boots and limited guns our fathers stood strong against the invaders. They fought courageously and died defending us. There were millions of volunteers who never had military experience but joined the war. Women formed girls brigade in defense of their mother land Biafra. Children were conscripted into the war.

When Nigeria couldn't win the war due to the gallantry of the Biafra soldiers, they through Awolowo introduced what I called Atomic Hunger bomb. According to this Yoruba leader who joined the North to levy war against his fellow southerners, you can't feed your enemies fat at the time of war. As a result of this, with the help of Britain Biafra was blockaded both land and air. Hunger was used as a weapon of war and more than 2 million Biafra kids perished. Today, the record says that at least 3.5 million Biafrans died in that war.

Till today, Biafrans are still killed and marginalized in Nigeria. A day like today, 30th May 2022 Biafrans remember all that paid and still paying the ultimate price for Biafra. 

We have never forgotten the Asaba massacre. We have not forgotten the IPOB members killed in Onitsha, Nkpor, Umuahia, Emene, Igweocha, and Aba just for peacefully protesting. We can't forget the more than 100 bodies of MASOB members killed by politicians and dumped in Ezu River in Anambra. We can't forget Ikonso who was killed by Nigeria military for standing up to defend his people against the rampaging Fulani herdsmen terrorists.

Today, I say may they all not rest until they force our enemies to let Biafra they died for to materialize. Today, we all remember your sacrifices and we are ever grateful. Therefore, we solemnly swear that as far as men live and walk the sands of Biafra, you all will be forever remembered.

Referendum is our right.
Safe determination is a human right.

Elochukwu Ohagi, Philosopher, Teacher and Activist, 2022.

Written by: 
Elochukwu Ohagi 

Published by:
Chibuike Nebeokike
For: The Biafra Restoration Voice ~ TBRV

TBRV | Biafra



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ARODailyNews: Biafra Heroes Day, Down The Memory Lane
Biafra Heroes Day, Down The Memory Lane
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