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Sunday 4 December 2022

The Memories Of Biafra Cannot Be Erased By The Intentional Removal Of History From School Curriculum - Wole Soyinka

 The Memories Of Biafra Cannot Be Erased By The Intentional Removal Of History From School Curriculum - Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka

The Prominent Yoruba born laureate made this statement on 20th November, 2022 during a speech at the 24th annual Lagos Book and Arts Festival, which was organized by "Book Kraft" .

Recall that, from the academics' year 2009–2010, the federal government of Nigeria, out of their selfish intentions, withdrew history from the country's schools' Curriculum. And, one major problem that came with this singular action, is the case of Identity Crisis present in several parts of Nigeria currently, especially among the people of the country's South South Region, where the youths and children have all forgotten who they are and what Ethnic group they belong to. 

Most Igbo people in the Anioma part of Delta State, today identifies as “Niger Deltans” – Words they do not even know its meaning. 

The lack of History among most youths today has led them into believing Late Gen. Chukwuemeka Odumegu Ojukwu started a war in 1967 against Nigeria, when, in fact, Ojukwu was only doing what was mandated for the safety of his people and generations to come. 

The Biafra Genocide, mostly disguised and called the Nigeria-Biafra War, is a major reason for the removal of History in Nigerian schools. It was an intentional move by the Nigeria Government and their Masters, the Britain Government. The target is to keep the present and future generations of Biafrans in ignorance as a way to cover up their deeds against the older generations of Biafrans. 

But it is very evident that even with the removal of History from Schools, Biafrans cannot be fooled, and the spirit and history of Biafra can never be eradicated. 

The Nobel Prize Winner, Wole Soyinka, has reinstated this fact in the recently concluded "Lagos Book and Arts Festival". Sighting that the removal of history from the Nigerian school's curriculum by the government is a criminal and intentional act. 


In Soyinka's own very words, He said; “Collective memory is the key, because it is that memory which is related to the mechanisms of relating reality to whatever narrative is given to us. It is far more important, and it is more dangerous because you can get trapped in it because it is collected as a community activity and some of that, I think, it's happening to us here in Nigeria".

“I’m referring of course to Biafra", he specifically noted! 

“The collective memory there is strong, even before the war, I warned that this collective memory might remain to plague efforts at nation building, and that therefore, everything should be done to avoid that war". “When I use the expressions like, "Biafra can never be defeated and can never be wiped away, people thought I was talking about just the battlefield. I was talking about, a notion, a passion which enters collective memories in active life, not just as a past narrative. This is what I was warning against. And we’re seeing it today", Soyinka said. 

“Government somehow undertook the criminal act of removing history from schools, something I never believed could ever happen to us. The government actually stopped teaching of history in schools. So naive, so stupid as not to recognize that there is something called memory, collective memories, active memory in the present."

“If the purpose was to obliterate the war or memories of the war, what about events that led up to the war? What about the position, the narrative of existence in relation to the outer world? How do you obliterate those, for heaven’s sake? Yet, people sat down and went about their business when they removed history from the curriculum. That’s what I mean by saying that we must always adjudicate the present by history, by the collective memory."

“At the same time, however, we must take care not to become prisoners of that collective memory. That member must be able to use our collective memories in a progressive, productive, creative, and advanced way".

These words the Professor should be a caution to the Nigeria Government; they should stop fighting a war they cannot win, even in a million years.

The Biafra Spirit lives on. And the earlier the government of Nigeria accepts this, the better it is for them.

Nigerian Government should release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in line with the pronouncements of the court, and also release all other Biafrans that have been illegally abducted and detained by Nigerian security agents. Because, come what may, the Restoration Of The Sovereign State Of Biafra Cannot be Stopped. 

Written by Chidiebere Obulose

Edited by Chizobam E. Olise

For Family Writers Press International

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