"The world should know that we don't just love our country (Biafra), but we are fanatical about it." ...Nnamdi Kanu, 2015.
The struggle for the restoration of the Sovereign State of Biafra is best described as Jesus did in the Gospel of John Chapter 3, verse 8 ‘’The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth.’’
Ever since the year 1967 Biafrans decided to take their stand for freedom, the wind of agitation has been blowing; sometimes too hot that it tends to burn off our joy, sometimes too cold that one might question if the risk is worth the essence. Nigeria has heard the wind severally, in what looks like an attempt to catch a wind, they have tried to halt it but they neither know where this wind is coming from nor where it is going to.
Just like the Jews in Europe, inconceivable atrocities was unleashed on Biafrans 1967-1970. According to THE SPECTATOR ARCHIVE, 26 December 1968, a journalist gave the world a glimpse of this horror as he lamented , ‘’ When I visited Biafra in July, I was told by Red Cross officials, by Dr Herman Middle- koop of the World Council of Churches, by the Catholic missionaries there and by secular relief workers that the most accurate estimate of current mortality would be 3,000 a day. Needless to say, I was not able to see anything like that number.
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"When I visited Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Umuahia, I saw about a hundred children who were beyond recovery, according to Dr Shepherd, the medical officer in charge. He said that if I had come on an out-patients day I would have seen nearer a thousand. That is the only contribution I can personally make to the evaluation of statistics, since everything else was hearsay—a missionary who said that he had buried ten children that day; Mr M. N. Nwaubani, in charge of the Orei Amaenyi refugee camp of 550 inmates, who said that twenty-eight of his charges had died, a fact of which he was not at all proud. It was only one of forty-two camps around Aba, and one shudders to think what has happened to them now.
"After I left Biafra, the figure, according to the re- sponsible relief organisations, quickly rose to 5,000 a day until it has now reached the appalling level of 10,000 deaths a day inside un- occupied Biafra and 4,000 a day in the so-called 'liberated' territory. …even then, if we divide the figures by ten, we are still left with the most hideous crime against humanity in which England has ever been involved.
If the original purpose of the siege was to make Biafra surrender, then August's 'final push' was an admission that this strategy had failed.
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"The notion of a 'quick kill'—so enthusiastically endorsed by Mr Nigel Fisher and others—ended in bloody and atrocious failure, as anybody who had ever spoken to a Biafran —even a Biafran nurse in an English hospital —could have told him it would. At no stage of the last twelve months in the present war have the Nigerians enjoyed an arms superiority of less than ten to one, and when I was there the ratio was probably much nearer a hundred to one.’’
The war later ended on paper in 1970, but in reality, the killings, incarceration and torture by the Nigerian forces has not ceased. We are killed for whom we are, arrested for saying the truth and tortured for exacting our rights; but what is ironical in this situation is this endless call for the restoration of Biafra. Biafrans have decided to either restore Biafra or die trying –evident in their valiant and unflinching approach to this process.
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As obsequious as Igbo Roman Catholics are to their authorities, Rev Fr Mbaka with all the reputation he surmounts, could not convince Biafrans otherwise. Ohaneze and other distracting bodies, piloted by the federal government to frustrate the struggle are yet to convince a road hawker at Onitsha otherwise. The rapacious and usurious politicians like Joe Igbojuru, Chris Ngiga, Rochas Agbogho-Ocha, are deeply frustrated with the very organized and brave IPOB strategy to restore Biafra.
The fierce wind of Islamization that swept across West Africa could not stain Biafra, in Emeka Ojukwu’s words, ‘’ Our Biafran ancestors remained immune from the Islamic contagion. From the middle years of the last century Christianity was established in our land. In this way we came to be a predominantly Christian people. We came to stand out as a non-Muslim island in a raging Islamic sea. Throughout the period of the ill-fated Nigerian experiment, the Muslims hoped to infiltrate Biafra by peaceful means and quiet propaganda, but failed.
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Then the late Ahmadu Bello, the Sarduana of Sokoto tried, by political and economic blackmail and terrorism, to convert Biafrans settled in Northern Nigeria to Islam. His hope was that these Biafrans on dispersion would then carry Islam to Biafra, and by so doing give the religion political control of the area. The crises which agitated the so-called independent Nigeria from 1962 gave these aggressive proselytisers the chance to try converting us by force.
It is now evident why the fanatic Arab-Muslim states like Algeria, Egypt and the Sudan have come out openly and massively to support and aid Nigeria in her present war of genocide against us. These states see militant Arabism as a powerful instrument for attaining power in the world.
Biafra is one of the few African states untainted by Islam. Therefore, to militant Arabism, Biafra is a stumbling block to their plan for controlling the whole continent. This control is fast becoming manifest in the Organisation of African Unity. On the question of the Middle East, the Sudanese crisis, in the war between Nigeria and Biafra, militant Arabism has succeeded in imposing its point of view through blackmail and bluster.
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It has threatened African leaders and governments with inciting their Muslim minorities to rebellion if the governments adopted an independent line on these questions. In this way an O.A.U that has not felt itself able to discuss the genocide in the Sudan and Biafra, an O.A.U. that has again and again advertised its ineptitude as a peace-maker, has rushed into open condemnation of Israel over the Middle East dispute. Indeed in recent times, by its performance, the O.A.U. might well be an Organisation of Arab Unity.’’
Ojukwu’s death, which many saw as the end of Biafra has turned to be the birth of a new agitation; Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest which is supposed to be an epilogue of the new agitation has garnered more agitators; Aba massacre that was supposed to serve as a deterrent to further Pro Biafra gatherings brought more people to the struggle. The more people Nigeria kills and arrest, the more Biafrans are convinced that the agitation is just. Millions of Nnamdi Kanus and Onwudiwes have emerged, more determined to do the little they can towards the restoration of Biafra.
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Oh British Nigeria, do you not know? Have you not heard? Biafrans are the ‘’Never Been Ruled’’. If Biafrans were not subjects to their kings thousands of years ago, how do you expect them to subject themselves to the puppet Nigeria’s slavery? It is inherent in us to yearn for freedom. Nothing can stop this agitation for the restoration of Biafra – not Killings, not incarceration, nor torture!
‘’If there is a single lesson to be learned from the decade and a half since Korea, it is surely that arms superiority is no effective guarantee against a determined enough, intelligent enough or desperate enough enemy.’’ … THE SPECTATOR ARCHIVE, 26 December 1968.
Written By Chinedu Ewulu
Published By Nwosu C.S
For Biafra Writers.