The Biafra War

Biafra War

Nigeria Civil War

Biafra War Began

Circumstances of Nigeria Biafra war

Background to the Nigeria civil war, the war which is today known as "Biafra War" and or furthermore, the war is also known as Nigeria Biafra War. The Nigeria Biafra War which was fought from 1967 to 1970 that started over corruption, misrule, abuses of power, etc. Abuses of power were so rampant and corruptions were so endemic in Nigeria back then, encouraged by misguided political leaders.

Nigerians got their independence in 1960 from the British and it was not on the happy note or it was not a happy ending one for the British. The British hated the people from the south for seeking for independence. And loved the people in the north for not seeking for independence. Rather the people in the north wished that British to rule forever. And the British loved them for that. The hatred of the south and their punishment became number one priority of the British in Nigeria. Soon British hatred of the south transcended from the British to the north hatred of the south.

Northern Nigeria hated the south so much that even one of their leaders, Sardauna of Sokoto said that they are willing to give job vacancies in their region to the British and others, but they can only give southerners jobs in their region only by contract.

Above all, the British hated Igbo people more. Igbo people were hated the most by the British because they consider them far more intelligent perhaps their smartness similar to them or even surpass them.  Moreover Igbos prevented the British taking over part of the north as their own colony.

In addition, another reason Igbos or easterners were hated the most would be that they went to the north in their drove to assist northerners prepare themselves for independent so far that north considered themselves as not yet ready for independent. The hatred is that the British did not want Igbo interference in the north, more or less coaching the north, that’s not what Britain had wanted. Britain wanted north to be backwards forever so that they can be controlled easily.

However, finally Britain had an idea, to ensure that Britain is still controlling things in Nigeria even after independence, they devised it in a way of ensuring that people from the north rule Nigeria continually, and in this way, they (British) are still in charged in Nigeria because they will tell north what to do and north will obey and carry it out.

Even with the fact that the British told us recently that they rigged the first Nigeria election in favour of the north winning. Mind you, not the British government had told us but those British people that they had used to carry out the rigging of Nigeria’s first election told us that their conscience had been bothering them and they needed to clear their conscience. According to them, British government had used census to manipulate the population figures. During the census, the British had counted 20 million people extra in favour of the north. This means if the population of north is 50 million, then plus 20 million making a total of 70 million. As a result, at the election, the fake 20 million had already voted for the north before even the election began. In this way, meaning that, with 20 million votes at hand, plus votes coming from northern people, they cannot be beaten by the south.

The British revealed this to us recently what they have done in Nigeria back then but it is obvious that they have told northern leaders back then what they have done and in addition showed them how to play the game to stay ahead.

Knowing all this back then, the northern leaders were totally engaged in corruption, misrule, election rigging, coup plotting, etc.

As mentioned above that the Nigeria Biafra War which was fought from 1967 to 1970 that started over corruption, misrule, abuses of power, etc. Misrule, abuses of power were so rampant and corruptions were so endemic in Nigeria back then, encouraged by misguided political leaders.

Prime Minister, Sir Tafawa Balewa  Sardauna of Sokoto

Back then, northern leaders extend their powers beyond their boundaries. The prime minister, Sir Tafawa Balewa and Sardauna of Sokoto in 1964 used their powers to carry out the first Nigerian coup; civilian to civilian coup in western region. The civilian to civilian coup was such an abuse of power which Nigerians observed and that was beyond their comprehension, how strenuous assault on a self-governing, whereby an elected government was ousted by misguided political leaders by utilising fierce means and unfair ends to interface on lawfully instituted government. Immortalised in 1964 when back then the Premier of the Western Region, Sir Ladoke Akintola and his multitude of supporters in collusion with the Sardauna of Sokoto and back then the Prime Minister Sir Tafawa Balewa, when they seized powers belonging to the Western Region to impose Akintola upon the people of the Region. Paradoxically at the same time the likes of Chief Awolowo and his supporters were detained and tried on exceeded charges of coup plotting for which they received burdensome sentences.

Nigerians watched in dismay of maladministration; the abuses of power during the premature periods of independence when corruption and misrule were starting and about to consume the country.

Back then, at that time, people were so touchy of abuses of power including coup plotting and corruptions by perverted leaders. And on the 15th of January 1966 the army then had tolerated enough of corrupt leaders, determined to stage a widely anticipated coup. The coup was welcomed by everybody, vast majority of Nigerians throughout regional, religious and ethnic divides.

The coup which was the second coup but the first national coup of its kind in Nigeria by the army, and the coup was meant to rid corrupt leaders in the country. Some of the country’s corrupt leaders were killed as a result including the prime minister, Sir Tafawa Balewa and Sardauna of Sokoto. And along the line, the army had thought that this will facilitate the eradication of corruption, misrule, abuse of power, etc., in Nigeria. However, in so doing, by carrying out the coup, this had resulted to a countercoup and ultimately a civil war because one region (north) believed that more of their leaders were killed over corruption and misrule coup.

Subsequently of carrying out the coup; the coup plotters who decided to called themselves “Revolution of the Nigerian Armed Forces.” The Revolution of the Nigerian Armed Forces after that coup devised a council called “Revolutionary Council.” The Council affirmed that the aim of the Revolutionary Council is to establish a strong united and prosperous nation, free from corruption and internal strife. Our method of achieving this is strictly military but we have no doubt that every Nigerian will give us maximum cooperation by assisting the regime and not disturbing the peace during the slight changes that are taking place.

According to the Revolutionary Council’s communiqué at the time to Nigerians stated: My dear countrymen, no citizen should have anything to fear, so long as that citizen is law abiding and if that citizen has religiously obeyed the native laws of the country and those set down in every heart and conscience since 1st October, 1960. Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 per cent; those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIPs at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds. Like good soldiers we are not promising anything miraculous or spectacular. But what we do promise every law abiding citizen is freedom from fear and all forms of oppression, freedom from general inefficiency and freedom to live and strive in every field of human endeavour, both nationally and internationally. We promise that you will no more be ashamed to say that you are a Nigerian.

Being that the Revolutionary Council had decided to choose the most senior army personnel as the head of state instead of installing Chief Obafemi Awolowo that some of the coup plotters had in mind of releasing him from Calabar prison and installing him in as the new head of state.

However, for the reason that the person that the Revolutionary Council had decided to elect as the most senior army personnel is an Igbo man called “General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi” who became the head of state, the narrative changed.

Major General Johnso Aguiyi Ironsi

At that moment of selecting General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi as the new head of state, the whole narrative of the coup changed to the coup becoming an Igbo coup. Straight away, for the reason that Igbo man was selected the new head of state and one of the leading coup plotters was Igbo, they straight away branded the coup “Igbo Coup.”

Now, let us see the list of those soldiers that carried out the coup:

1. Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu (Midwest Region Igbo)

2. Major Adewale Ademoyega (Western Region – Yoruba), author of “Why we struck”

3. Capt. G. Adeleke (Western Region – Yoruba).

4. Maj. Ifeajuna (Midwestern Region – Igbo).

5. Lt. Fola Oyewole (Western Region – Yoruba), author of “The reluctant rebel”.

6. Lt. Robert (Bob) Egbiko* (Midwestern Region – Ishan).

7. Lt. Tijani Katsina (Northern Region – Hausa/Fulani).

8. Lt. O. Olafemiyan (Western Region – Yoruba).

9. Capt. Gibson Jalo (Northern Region – Bachama).

10. Capt. Swanton (Northern Region – Middle Belt).

11. Lt. Hope Harris Eghagha (Midwest – Urhobo).

12. Lt. Dag Warribor (Midwest – Ijaw)

13. 2nd Lt. Saleh Dambo (Northern Nigeria -Hausa)

14. 2nd Lt. John Atom Kpera (Northern Nigeria-Tiv).

Without hesitation, looking at the above list of soldiers that carried out the coup, how many Igbo soldiers are on the list among them? Yet they branded it Igbo coup. At this point, for the reason that they had characterised it “Igbo Coup” Igbo people were hated everywhere in the north of the country because they believed that Igbo people killed their leaders.

From then on, north started looking for a way to countercoup the first national coup. And their opportunity came six months after the first coup. The second coup was shadily planned and executed, all to get at Igbo people. From the widely accepted first national coup to widely unaccepted second national coup. The second coup was believed to be the plan of disgruntled Hausa-Fulani oligarchy, where north used their majority in the army to carry out the second coup; by means of exploiting gullible armies like Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Muhammed, Theophilus Danjuma and many others like them were implemented for the accomplishment of the second coup.

Gowon 2

On the 29th of July 1966, the north staged a countercoup, supervising by General Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Muhammed, Theophilus Danjuma and many other northern soldiers to overthrow then the head of state, General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi. As well as overthrowing General Aguiyi-Ironsi, they did not even spear his life but killing him instantly. Theophilus Danjuma was the one who claimed to have shot then the head of state, General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi. General Yakubu Gowon immediately took over as the new head of state.
 
As well as the northern soldiers killing the head of state who is Igbo, they commenced on killing Igbo soldiers. Not satisfied with killing Igbo head of state and Igbo soldiers, the northern soldiers began killing Igbo civilians and embarked on looking for Igbo civilians to kill; Igbo civilians that the northern soldiers caught were killed instantaneously by them. Igbo civilians everywhere in the north of the country went into hiding for their own safety; thousands upon thousands of Igbo civilians were caught in hiding, subsequently they were killed. And thanks for the goodness of God, thousands of Igbo civilians managed to escape to eastern part of the country. Soon everything intensified, the killing of Igbos escalated to other parts of the country. The killing of Igbos everywhere in Nigeria continued. During this period, Igbo people living in other parts of Nigeria had no option but to evacuate to eastern part of the country to be free.
 
The killing of Igbo people went on for several days; even though that General Yakubu Gowon took over as the new head of state and as the new head of state, he could have stop the killings but he didn’t. Rather General Yakubu Gowon as the new head of state did nothing but to encourage the killing of Igbos. Thousands of Igbo people were besieged and killed in predominantly Igbo business areas especially in the north. Most of the Igbo people killed were hacked to death with machetes, dagger, and other weaponry instruments. Igbo people’s homes were looted including their businesses. Igbo businesses were looted and burned down. Thousands of Igbos escaped in horror to their tribal fatherland in the eastern region of the country.

Ojukwu10

The whole exterminations of Igbos in the north, viewed as an indication showing that north is ready for their own independence. Also a sign showing that Igbo people were not wanted in the north or anywhere in Nigeria, so they can equally go for their own independence too. Mass slaughtering of Igbos for no cause, Lieutenant Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, then the Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria advised all Igbos to come to the eastern part of the country where Igbos would be safe, saying that so far “it looked as Igbos are not wanted anywhere in other parts of Nigeria.” Verbalising that if things continue uninterrupted, not sorted out, we may break away to form our own government in the east.

Upon hearing the rumour that Eastern Region would break away to form their own government, the north was quick to react, refusing by asking Igbos to return back to the north. This was for the reason when all Igbos left the north because of the killings, north was at a standstill, nothing was moving because Igbos used to do a lot of things for them. Having no Igbos mean that nothing was moving in the north and calling Igbos back to the north is only for the north’s advantage.

Igbos on the other hand needed consensus or unity agreements for staying on in Nigeria to prevent them from being killed in numbers again. Igbos then concluded that unless there is harmony in the country otherwise they will break away to establish their own country.

According to Igbos, the harmony should be drawn up and signed at a neutral ground. Ensuing that the request of unity agreement to be on a neutral ground in order to be more conducive. Ghanaian leader then came to an agreement to host the meeting which was prearranged to be held in a town in Ghana, at a place called “Aburi.”

The harmony or unity agreement which was now known as Aburi accord was named after the town in Ghana for the negotiation if Eastern Region is going to be part of Nigeria again or not. Ghanaian President, Lieutenant-Colonel Joe Ankrah successfully hosted the meeting.

Aburi Talks1

The Aburi Talks to Avert Nigeria Biafra Civil War
Aburi Accord which was held in January 1967, the meeting was well attended by both representatives from the Federal Government of Nigeria and Eastern Regional delegates. Discussions lasted for two days, from the 5th to 7th of January 1967 where both parties agreed on the harmony.

Aburi Talks to Avert Nigeria Biafra War

As well as agreeing to maintain the peace, delegates from the federal government side and those from the eastern region side efficaciously signed the Aburi Accord.

Gowon and Ojukwu

Though in response to the accord, the federal government promulgated Decree No. 8, this was for the most part an embodiment of the accord.
It was also agreed that General Yakubu Gowon is the one to make a speech on the decision reached when they get back to Nigeria. However, getting back to Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon refused to make the speech.

According to him (Gowon), he was not well so he couldn’t make the speech but many people argued that he has a deputy to deputise for him if he is not well. Moreover, General Gowon could have somehow informed Lt. Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu instead of leaving him and everybody in the country on abeyance.

Many believed that General Yakubu Gowon and those representatives from the Federal Government of Nigeria’s side were not those in charge. Those in charge were a group of British and Hausa-Fulani oligarchy astonishingly in charge and these people don’t believe in negotiation, they believe in corruption, misrule and war.

However, according to General Yakubu Gowon who quoted as saying that Lt. Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu had confused him with grammar, that he had no idea what confederation meant. When I got back, I contacted my advisers, the British exposed Ojukwu by letting me know that what confederation really meant and they told me that it would undermine the federal government, and at the same time instructed to refuse.

Correspondingly to some articles from the newspapers had General Yakubu Gowon saying: “Remembering that I attended the Aburi conference feeling very sick, General Gowon said, “Unfortunately for me at that time I was having a very serious attack of malaria fever.  But I went through the meeting all the same.  The decision we took was that when we come back, I am going to make a statement to the nation before any of the governors make any statement concerning Aburi.  But still, the fever was there and I was down.  As such, I was unable to make any statement on that day or the following day. Whereas Ojukwu when he came back, he went straight to the radio station to say that he got everything and we even agreed to separate.

So I was woken up in the early hours of the morning by the governor of the Midwest who asked: “Have you heard the news or the comments by Ojukwu over the air concerning Aburi?”

“No,” I replied.  “What did he say?”

And then I was told what he had said.  So I asked the Midwest governor: “Was that what we agreed upon?”

“No, that was not,” he replied.  “But Ojukwu has gone ahead to announce a different thing to his people and to the whole world.” That was General Yakubu Gowon complaining.

Now, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to evaluate what General Gowon said. According to him, he hadn’t announced the outcome of Aburi accord after two days because he said: “As such, I was unable to make any statement on that day or the following day.”
 
This is something of national importance that everyone in the country is waiting for, to know what was agreed on Aburi meeting. And yet, the head of state is refusing to comment or say any word about it. Now you can understand the predicament of the Nigeria military and civilians who said that the only way for them to know the truth and what’s happening in the country during the war was really by listening to “Radio Biafra.”

Again Gowon contradicted himself by saying: “So I was woken up in the early hours of the morning by the governor of the Midwest who asked: “Have you heard the news or the comments by Ojukwu over the air concerning Aburi?”

So being woken up early morning meant that the same morning is when the news was being aired. As a consequence that morning was after the two days of waiting of non-announcement of Aburi decision which Odumegwu Ojukwu waited for Gowon to make the speech but to no avail; Odumegwu Ojukwu then decided to make his own statement on Aburi meeting decision. So the assertion by General Gowon that Odumegwu Ojukwu made the Aburi meeting decision speech immediately after getting back was untrue.

As narrated above that Lt. Colonel Odumegwu-Ojukwu waited for General Yakubu Gowon to make the speech of aburi accord decision to no avail. Ojukwu had no option but to make the speech of the decision reached at Aburi. At this stage, General Yakubu Gowon was irritated for Lt. Colonel Ojukwu making the speech of Aburi decision saying that Odumegwu Ojukwu should have waited for him and cancelled making any speech on the decision reached at Aburi.

Ojukwu's January 1967 Press Conference on Aburi Meeting

Ojukwu Addressing

The following was Lieutenant-Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, then the Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria, his Press Conference on Aburi Meeting.

You are already aware that we have just ended the meeting of the Supreme Military Council in Ghana. It has come to my notice that the public is anxious to have more details of decisions taken.

The meeting opened with a joint declaration by all of us, the military leaders, renouncing the use of force as a means of settling the present crisis in Nigeria and holding ourselves in honour bound by that declaration. That declaration also reaffirmed our faith in discussions and negotiations as the peaceful means of resolving the Nigerian crisis. Having regard to the great fear and suspicion on all parts about the use of force, we thought that this declaration should precede any other business; and I am sure that all Nigerians will welcome it as a source of great relief.

The next important matter discussed, and upon which a lot of other things hinged, was the organization of the Nigerian army. Let me say here that our discussions right through went on in a calm atmosphere, understanding, and realism. We in the East have always felt that realism and understanding were lacking in the past in the approach to our problems, and it was very encouraging that our meetings on the two days showed the sincere determination by all to find realistic solutions to our problems.

It was agreed that the army will be henceforth be governed by the Supreme Military Council, the chairman of which will be known as Commander-in-Chief and Head of the Federal Military Government. There is to be a military headquarters on which the regions will be equally represented and which will be headed by a Chief of Staff. There shall be an area command in each region under the charge of an area command in each region under the charge of an area commander -- the regions corresponding to the existing ones. There will be a Lagos garrison, which will include Ikeja. For the duration of the military government, military governors will have control over their area commands in matters of internal security. All matters of policy shall be dealt with by the Supreme Military Council. Any decision affecting the whole country must be determined by the Supreme Military Council, and when a meeting is not possible, such a matter must be referred to the military governors for comments and concurrence.

Subject to the above arrangements, we felt that the existing governmental institutions, namely, the Supreme Military Council and the Federal Executive Council, as well as regional executive councils, are workable and should be retained.

It was agreed that the Supreme Military Council must collectively approve appointments to the following offices: a) diplomatic consular posts; b) senior posts in the armed forces and the police; c) superscale federal corporation posts.

This particular decision was made as a means of removing friction, it being our unfortunate experience that friction and misunderstanding had in the past bedevilled these appointments. What it means is that no one person will have the right and power to make these appointments alone in the future.

Politically, it was unanimously agreed that it was in the interest of the safety of this nation that the regions should move slightly further apart than before. As a prelude to this, it was decided that all decrees and parts of decrees promulgated since the military regime, and which detracted from the previous powers of the regional governments, should be repealed by the twenty-first of this month. Once this is done and the agreements are implemented, the aim of allowing the regions to operate more independently and of ensuring fairness to all will be achieved.

The question of displaced persons was exhaustively discussed. As regards civil servants and employees of government corporations who had to flee their places of work as a result of the current situation, it was decided that such people will be paid their full salaries up to the end of March this year, unless they have found alternative employment.

On the question of other displaced persons, it was decided to set up a committee to look into the problems of rehabilitation and recovery of property. I took that opportunity to repeat my assurance that those non easterners who had to be ordered to leave the region in the interest of their own safety would be welcomed back as soon as conditions become more normal.

I have hurried to make this statement to you because of the misgivings which I understand are prevalent in the region as a result of this meeting. I recall that just before my departure, when the public did not even know that our meeting was so close, students and other groups of individuals issued resolutions advising me against attending any meeting with my counterparts. You will now be convinced that this meeting was more than necessary and worthwhile. Our duty is to reduce or remove tension, in order to leave ourselves free to tackle the most urgent and constructive tasks of economic and social development, which cannot be possible in a state of tension and fear. I have no doubt that all of us who participated in the last discussions are determined to implement the agreements reached. Once this is done, we shall have gone a long way to relieving tension and banishing fear among us. It is our plan to meet again soon, this time in Nigeria, to consider other matters arising from our last discussions and those which were not touched.

I want here to place on record my personal indebtedness to the government and people of Ghana for making a plane available to convey me to and from the meetings on the two days, and for making other arrangements to make this meeting possible. Provided our aims are achieved, we in this country will have cause to remain eternally grateful to Ghana for their constructive initiative.
For our part in this country, we must keep calm and avoid actions or words which might create difficulties for our progress in the solution of our problems.

God will certainly rescue this nation from collapse and perdition.

That was Lieutenant Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s January 1967 Press Conference on Aburi Meeting at Government House, Enugu, Eastern Region.
  
For General Yakubu Gowon refusing to announce the outcome of Aburi Accord decision, he knew very well that Lt. Odumegwu-Ojukwu would understand that there was no deal or there was no promise to honour the deal, even though the agreement was signed by all parties. Yakubu Gowon on the contrary anticipating Odumegwu Ojukwu may soon call for new Aburi talks.

Lt. Odumegwu Ojukwu noticing that General Yakubu Gowon, his northerners and British stirrers were refusing the Aburi accord decision, at the same time waiting for his next move.

Noticing or becoming aware that General Yakubu Gowon, his northerners and British instigators were refusing the signed Aburi accord decision, Odumegwu Ojukwu set to conclude his subsequent swipe. 

Determined not to be pushed aside, Lt. Odumegwu Ojukwu went to Calabar Prison which happened to be in the Eastern Region where Chief Obafemi Awolowo was held prisoner.

Getting to Calabar prison, Odumegwu Ojukwu saw Chief Obafemi Awolwo where he had a meeting with him. During the attendance, Odumegwu Ojukwu informed Chief Obafemi Awolowo what he intended to do after Aburi accord had failed to be honoured by Yakubu Gowon and his group.

Obafemi Awolowo

Odumegwu-Ojukwu told Chief Obafemi Awolowo what the Eastern Region wanted, the region wished to have their own country. Odumegwu Ojukwu told Chief Obafemi Awolowo that he planned to declare Republic of Biafra on the 30th of May 1967. Chief Obafemi Awolowo repeated what he said before to Odumegwu Ojukwu that “if you declare your people Biafra, I will declare my people Oduduwa.” Odumegwu Ojukwu released Chief Obafemi Awolowo from Calabar prison to go and in secret inform his people and get his people ready to declare them Oduduwa once Biafra Republic is declared.

Odumegwu Ojukwu had in mind that if Chief Obafemi Awolowo had declared his people Oduduwa, north had no option but to form their own northern government or own country in the north. Except, on the contrary they are still longing to fight Igbos, then Igbos would destroy the north – no problem there. On the other hand with Yoruba combining the north to fight Igbo, it might be a difficult task, Ojukwu reflected.

Once Chief Obafemi Awolowo was freed, instead of Chief Awolowo to go back to his people to secretly inform them what is about to happen and getting them ready for the declaration, he went to General Yakubu Gowon to inform him what Odumegwu Ojukwu planned to do on the 30th May 1967. General Yakubu Gowon with such information at hand, he was thankful to Chief Awolowo. To reward Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and to get Yoruba people on his side for not joining Ojukwu to declare, General Yakubu Gowon appointed Awolowo the Finance Minister while promising him to be the next head of state after him.

Gowon and Awolowo

Getting Odumegwu Ojukwu’s secret agenda from Chief Obafemi Awolowo, General Yakubu Gowon expediently formulated a plan to hold Odumegwu Ojukwu back from declaring Biafra Republic on the 30th of May 1967. As a result, Yakubu Gowon thought of the obvious. General Yakubu Gowon believed changing regional system to states system would discourage Lt. Odumegwu Ojukwu from declaring Biafra.

General Yakubu Gowon announced the changing of regional system to state system. On the 27th of May 1967, that is three days to go before Odumegwu Ojukwu declare for Biafra Republic, General Yakubu Gowon revealed the division of Eastern Region into 3 states. The creation of 3 states within the Eastern Region, as well as announcing the creation of other 9 states making a national total of 12 states for the country.

Principally, the idea behind the creation of 12 states would be to break Eastern Region down into three places namely; South Eastern State, Rivers State and East Central State. This way, it will be impossible for Odumegwu Ojukwu to declare Biafra. Or else Odumegwu Ojukwu may only have one state to declare, so Gowon had thought. Gowon thought using South Eastern State and Rivers State would isolate East Central State which is where Yakubu Gowon anticipated that Odumegwu Ojukwu would declare Biafra Republic. Three days after the creation of the new states, Odumegwu Ojukwu declared an independent sovereign state, Republic of Biafra.

On the 30th of May 1967, Lt. Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu declared Republic of Biafra, the area declared comprising the old Eastern Region by cancelling the new states created three days ago by General Yakubu Gowon.

Lieutenant Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, then the Military Governor of Eastern Region made a speech that declared the sovereign state of Biafra and in the speech which brought about or resulted in the establishment of Republic of Biafra. The following address was Ojukwu’s speech during the announcement of sovereign state of Biafra.

Ojukwu’s speech on sovereign state of Biafra
Ikemba Ojukwu 4

Fellow countrymen and women, you, the people of Eastern Nigeria: Conscious of the supreme authority of Almighty God over all mankind, of your duty to yourselves and prosperity;

Aware that you can no longer be protected in your lives and in your property by any Government based outside eastern Nigeria;

Believing that you are born free and have certain inalienable rights which can best be preserved by yourselves;
Unwilling to be unfree partners in any association of a political or economic nature; Rejecting the authority of any person or persons other than the Military Government of eastern Nigeria to make any imposition of whatever kind or nature upon you;

Determined to dissolve all political and other ties between you and the former Federal Republic of Nigeria;

Prepared to enter into such association, treaty or alliance with any sovereign state within the former Federal Republic of Nigeria and elsewhere on such terms and conditions as best to subserve your common good;

Affirming your trust and confidence in me;

Having mandated me to proclaim on your behalf and in your name the Eastern Nigeria be a sovereign independent Republic.

Now Therefore I, Lieutenant Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria, by virtue of the authority, and pursuant to the principles recited above, do hereby solemnly proclaim that the territory and region known as and called Eastern Nigeria together with her continental shelf and territorial waters shall henceforth be an independent sovereign state of the name and title of The Republic of Biafra. And I Do Declare That:

  • All political ties between us and the Federal Republic of Nigeria are hereby totally dissolved.
     
  • All subsisting contractual obligations entered into by the Government of the federal republic of Nigeria or by any person, authority, organization or government acting on its behalf, with any person, authority or organization operating, or relating to any matter or thing, within the Republic of Biafra, shall henceforth be deemed to be entered into with the Military Governor of the Republic of Biafra for and on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Biafra, and the covenants thereof shall, subject to this Declaration, be performed by the parties according to their tenor;
     
  • All subsisting international treaties and obligations made on behalf of Eastern Nigeria by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be honoured and respected;
     
  • Eastern Nigeria’s due share of all subsisting international debts and obligations entered into by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be honoured and respected;
     
  • Steps will be taken to open discussions on the question of Eastern Nigeria’s due share of the assets of the Federation of Nigeria and personal properties of the citizens of Biafra throughout the Federation of Nigeria.
     
  • The rights, privileges, pensions, etc., of all personnel of the Public Services, the Armed Forces and the Police now serving in any capacity within the Republic of Biafra are hereby guaranteed;
     
  • We shall keep the door open for association with, and would welcome, any sovereign unit or units in the former Federation of Nigeria or any other parts of Africa desirous of association with us for the purposes of running a common services organization and for the establishment of economic ties;
     
  • We shall protect the lives and property of all foreigners residing in Biafra, we shall extend the hand of friendship to those nations who respect our sovereignty, and shall repel any interference in our internal affairs;
     
  • We shall faithfully adhere to the charter of the Organization of African Unity and of the United Nations Organization;
     
  • It is our intention to remain a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations in our right as a sovereign, independent nation.

Long live the Republic of Biafra!
 
And may God protect all those who live in her.

That was the Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria, Lieutenant-Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s speech declaring the sovereign state of Biafra.

Following the announcement of Republic of Biafra, the Nigeria Federal military almost immediately began attacking Biafra. Despite the fact of being attacked by Nigeria soldiers, Biafra kept on protecting themselves.

Most of the initial attacks were through bombing, using federal military jets to attack Biafra.

At this stage Biafra engineers decide to do something about the jet bombers. Engineers in Biafra land then determined to build a toy plane although they call it “drone” now, but the toy plane had bombs attached to it which they controlled remotely that went and destroyed the federal fighter jets.

Before long a full-blown civil war ensued. As from July 1967, a Full-scale civil war broke out.  

Biafra Journey
During the war, people became refuges, start to wander about, relocating from one place to another

Biafra War Breakout

Biafra war2

Biafra war6

 

Biafra New Recruit

At the beginning of the war, Biafran soldiers didn’t have any weapons to fight the war with, all they had were locally made guns that can only fire one or two bullet at a time. What Biafra soldiers decided to do were to ambush Nigeria soldiers, kill them and collect their firearms and other military hardware from them. Soon Biafra soldiers had enough ammunition to prosecute the war.

Biafra Soldier at the war front

General Ojukwu and Biafra Army
Lt.-Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu organising Biafra Army

After many ambushes of Nigeria soldiers, Biafra soldiers had enough or many aminations to linger the war. Whilst as matter of urgency Biafra engineers were busy building new weapons.

TO BE CONTINUED

 

Biafra Nigeria Civil War - Convoy Destroyed

 

Biafra war photo

Lt.-Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu

 

 

Gowon with War Chart

 

Biafran Army
Some foreigners who visited Biafran soldiers

 


Biafra New Recruit

 

Biafran Women Soldiers
Biafra women soldiers

 

The Biafra 10

 

Biafra Bomb Victims (Ukpaka Reports)
Nigeria army jet bombed Biafra civilians with chemical bombs

 

The Biafra 13

 

The Biafra 14

 

Biafran Soldier

 

Biafran Children 4

 

The Biafra 16

 

The Biafra 17

 

 

 

Biafran Soldiers 1

 

The Biafra 18

 

 

 

The Biafra 19

 

The Biafra 20

 

The Biafra 21

 

The Biafra 22

 

The Biafra 23

 

The Biafra 24

 

The Biafra 26

 

The Biafra 36

 

The Biafra 28

 

The Biafra 27

 

The Biafra 38

 

The Biafra 37

 

The Biafra 29

 

The Biafra 30

 

Biafran Children 2

 

Hungry Biafra Children

 

Biafran Children 18

 

Biafran Children 10

 

Biafran Children 7

 

Biafran Children

 

Biafra Feeding Centre
Biafra Feeding Centre

 

Biafran Children 3
Biafra Children being fed

 

Biafra - Husband and Children Killed

 

The Biafra 32

 

The Biafra 33

 

The Biafra 31

 

The Biafra 34

 

The Biafra 35

 

Victims of Nigerian Pogroms 1966 Tell Their Own Story

Lt. Col. C. Odumegwu Ojukwu
Lt. Col. C. Odumegwu Ojukwu - The Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria

FOREWORD

The full story of the organised and brutal massacre – Pogrom – of Eastern Nigerians in Northern Nigeria and elsewhere will never be told in our life time. It is an impossible task to recapture in print or even in pictures the cruel fate and agencies of more than 7,000 ordinary men, women and children of Eastern Nigeria origin who were murdered in cold blood by Northern hordes in army uniform.

These gruesome murders and other acts of barbarism – the wanton destruction of lives and property – read like a story from the Dark Ages. But they have happened in this our twentieth century.

This booklet is merely designed to provide general information on the Pogrom. We are not asking for pity or sympathy. Indeed, we are braced to face and conquer the challenge of the future. We believe that the tomorrow we face or the battle for survival will not be won by bullets or by savagery but by brain power, modern skills and the determination to live and succeed. We also believe that out of the carnage and wrecks of the past will emerge a new breed of men and women; resolute, powerful and prosperous.

1966 Igbo Massacre

The following are reports by a few of the victims of the September/October 1966 pogroms perpetrated by Northern Nigerians against Easterners. 30,000 people were killed during these pogroms, thousand badly mutilated, and 2 million fled back to the Eastern Region of Nigeria.

MR. J. P. ONANI, a native of Obubra, who had worked in Kano as a clerk for three and half years, says:

“On the 1st of October, at about 6.30 p.m., I was in my house, I heard shooting and so many people shouting in some parts of the streets. As I came out I learnt from a friend that the Nigerian Army and Police were shooting to frighten the Northern civilians but soon after the shooting spread all over the town. I took my family and we ran from our house into a gutter. As we were in the gutter they broke into the house and looted all my belongings. We managed to escape again from the gutter into the bush where we slept for three days because they now entered the gutter and started killing those who escaped from their houses. We saw so many dead bodies lying in the streets as we were running. At the Railway station over 200 people who ran from the town to hide and wait for the Eastern train were killed including Railway workers of Eastern origin.

“After three days when shooting was stopped I took my family along and begged the Manager of the Bank who employed me to allow me to stay with him for one day. He allowed me into his boys’ quarters. I then had information about the Red Cross Society and rushed to their office. We were conveyed in a Police van to the airport where we were flown from Kano to Ikeja in Lagos on Friday 7th October, and two days later we were flown to Enugu.”

MRS. CHARITY NWOSU, of Ibeku, Bende Division, wife of a trader at Jos, narrates:

“About 1 a.m. on Wednesday, 28th September, 1966, I was awakened by a violent stampede and shrill cries that rent the night. On an impulse I opened a window that over-looks my husband’s store. Just across the street I saw a lorry and a crowd of people in front of the store. I knew that all was not well and my mind went immediately to my husband who was sleeping in the store as usual for security reasons. Within seconds the store was forced open and looted and Victor (her husband) was hacked to death. What immediately followed I cannot tell because my mind went blank. That the gang did not descend on me and my children immediately was perhaps an act of God’s grace but I do remember when I regained my senses  that I and my children were hiding under a bed in the room of one of the inmates of the house who was a native of the town. In the morning the rioters came back in search of us and when they did not find us in our room they looted our household property, destroying everything. We remained hidden under the bed for two days. On Friday, 30th September, our host lodged a report with the Nigerian Police who later came and conveyed us to the Jos Police Station.”

Injured People During the 1966 Pogroms

MR. U. U. UKUT of Ikot Ekpene, says:

“I first went up North to Kaduna in 1957 and got the Posts and Telegraphs job this year. On 29th September, at about 3 p.m., I was returning from work when I beheld the horrible sight of a man drenched with petrol and burnt alive at the Ahmadu Bello Way. As I turned into Yoruba Road I saw an Easterner abandon his Honda motor cycle while he was hotly pursued by the mob. As the man was about to run into a Police Station I saw the policeman push him out. He was killed by the pursuing mob right in front of the Police Station. I ran towards my house but when I found it surrounded by the mob I took shelter in the house of a Yoruba neighbour.

“I hid there till the following morning when I managed to reach the Posts and Telegraphs office. I sheltered in the office for about four days and then the Posts and Telegraphs succeeded in getting us into a train bound for Enugu on 5th October. At Makurdi we were held up in the middle of Makurdi Bridge by armed soldiers. I did not come out and so did not know what transpired there.

“At Makurdi South we collected about £28 for the Yoruba engine driver because he had refused to drive us any further. At Oturkpo station (Northern Nigeria) some armed soldiers again stopped us and called out a band of Tiv people. These Tivs started to loot the wagons and damaged what they could not take away including two cars. The armed soldiers finally proceeded to attack passengers. They killed three girls from Kano who stepped out of the train, wounded several passengers and also killed one man, cutting away his head and dumping his headless body into the train.”

MR. PHILIP AJAYI, who hails from Ikot Ekpene and was a clerk at the Nigeria Airways, Kano, tells the following story:

“On 1st October, at about 6.30 p.m. I went to take something from my office at the Airport because I was not to be on duty till 10 p.m. that night. I returned to my house at about 6.50 p.m. I was in the house when a Northerner, a colleague of my wife at the U.T.C. Stores, called and informed us that there was some shooting at the Airport. My wife telephoned from a nearby lawyer’s house and obtained information that the Airport was littered with dead bodies.

“Since the 29th July Army mutiny, a unit of about ten soldiers has always been stationed at the Airport everyday but when I went there on 1st October, I noticed that there was a large number of soldiers instead of the usual ten men. When my wife got the news of the shootings at the Airport I decided not to go to work that night. After some time very many armed soldiers invaded the Sabon Gari. They went from house to house and shot everybody they saw.

“My wife is great with child, as you see, and as I could not leave her and she could not move about freely we knelt down and prayed and then waited for death. But miraculously the soldiers passed without entering our house. After the soldiers had finished the killing, armed bands of civilians moved in. They went from house to house taking away anything they liked but in addition to looting people’s property, the armed mob also killed off anybody who escaped the slaughter of the soldiers. This time my wife and I took shelter with some Yoruba neighbours. The Yoruba neighbours dressed my wife and me in Yoruba dresses and when the mob came they took us all as Yorubas.

“The Nigerian Airways provided a plane on Friday, 7th October and flew its staff to Lagos from where those of us from the East were flown to Enugu on the 8th.”

MR. PHILIP AJAYI, who hails from Ikot Ekpene and was a clerk at the Nigeria Airways, Kano, tells the following story:

“On 1st October, at about 6.30 p.m. I went to take something from my office at the Airport because I was not to be on duty till 10 p.m. that night. I returned to my house at about 6.50 p.m. I was in the house when a Northerner, a colleague of my wife at the U.T.C. Stores, called and informed us that there was some shooting at the Airport. My wife telephoned from a nearby lawyer’s house and obtained information that the Airport was littered with dead bodies.

“Since the 29th July Army mutiny, a unit of about ten soldiers has always been stationed at the Airport everyday but when I went there on 1st October, I noticed that there was a large number of soldiers instead of the usual ten men. When my wife got the news of the shootings at the Airport I decided not to go to work that night. After some time very many armed soldiers invaded the Sabon Gari. They went from house to house and shot everybody they saw.

“My wife is great with child, as you see, and as I could not leave her and she could not move about freely we knelt down and prayed and then waited for death. But miraculously the soldiers passed without entering our house. After the soldiers had finished the killing, armed bands of civilians moved in. They went from house to house taking away anything they liked but in addition to looting people’s property, the armed mob also killed off anybody who escaped the slaughter of the soldiers. This time my wife and I took shelter with some Yoruba neighbours. The Yoruba neighbours dressed my wife and me in Yoruba dresses and when the mob came they took us all as Yorubas.

“The Nigerian Airways provided a plane on Friday, 7th October and flew its staff to Lagos from where those of us from the East were flown to Enugu on the 8th.”

MR. ISAAC A OGBONNAYA of Arochukwu was catering clerk at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria: he narrates:

“On 8th September, Mr. I. E. Ubani, an Umuahia man, and clerk in the Ministry of Agriculture informed me and one Yoruba man that “operation No. 3 to finish the Easterners” would be carried out on 28th September. On 25th September one policeman at Nigeria Police post, Samaru, Zaria, also told me that it was premature for us to cry for the Easterners killed at Kaduna. He said this was because of the killings would be extended to Zaria before the end of the month. I did not attach much importance to these two warnings because of the repeated assurances given by Lt. Col. Gowon following the July incident that our lives and property were now safe. However, some of us workers took some of our property to the railway station to be carried to Enugu just in case. At mid-night of 28th September I heard a big and continuous noise at the Agriculture quarters about one-quarter of a mile away. I then woke up my inmates Mr. Asuquo Ogwa, Mr. Okon Edem Udo and Mr. Udo Okon.

“Observing that our lives were in danger we escaped into the nearby bush. Under cover of the bush we could see a mob break open the house of Mr. Ezima and his brother both of whom came from Umuahia (Eastern Nigeria) and drag their bodies out after killing them. Then at about 2 a.m. one of the roving mobs spotted us and gave chase. We all ran down to the river valley nearby where the grass was so thick that we escaped our chasers. There we parted and I hid myself inside a culvert.

“At 7 a.m. the following day, Thursday, I came out when I saw some policemen passing. I decided to go back to my house to see if I could get any of my things. On my way to my house one fellow worker, Mr. Stephen Onuoha, a native of Okigwi (Eastern Nigeria) saw me and started to hail at me. His calls attracted the attention of a group of Northerners working at a building site. They chased and caught him and beat him to death with hammers and sticks. When they killed him they carried away his portmanteau. Then they turned and chased me but being already far from them I was able to out-run them.

“As I ran towards the senior service quarters in the campus I met Mr. J. O. Arukwe of Arochukwu (Eastern Nigeria) and Mr. Philips of Asaba (Mid-Western Nigeria Ibo), both of them Executive Officers in the University. Both were driving in their cars to work. I stopped them and warned them that there were violent disturbances in the campus. They reversed their cars and drove back to their quarters. I ran up the house of a Yoruba lecturer and took shelter.

“As the lecturer lives near Mr. Arukwe and Mr. Philips I was able to see Mr. Arukwe join Mr. Philips in the latter’s house. I also later witnessed an attack on Mr. Philips’ house and I saw Mr. Arukwe dragged out dead from the house. Later I was informed by Professor Darling that Mr. Philips too was killed in the house.

“While I was in the Yoruba lecturer’s house, his wife telephoned the Assistant Registrar, Mr. Reedy, to come and take me to safety because my presence there was dangerous to both myself and their family. As I entered the car of Mr. Reedy the mob saw me and attacked the car with a hail of stones. The Assistant Registrar, however, managed to take me to the general office which served as a depot for escaped Easterners in the University. There I learnt from one Ibibio man that several Easterners were burnt to death when the mob set fire to the house where they were hiding in the ceiling.

“At about 2 p.m. that Thursday the Eastern Nigerians comprising under-graduates at the University, students of the Federal School of Aviation, Zaria, and workers were all conveyed in University buses to the prisons where we stayed till Friday; then we were conveyed in convoys to the railway station. There we discovered that the loads that we had considered railed to Enugu about a week earlier had all been stolen. We also saw many dead bodies being removed from the railway station.

“We left Zaria at 5 p.m. that Friday. We were help up at the middle of Makurdi bridge for about four hours by armed soldiers and we were allowed to go on only after paying a ransom of £120 in cash in addition to giving out all the property demanded by the soldiers. Again at Oturkpo we were held up for about three hours by armed soldiers and we paid £82 in cash in addition to their plundering such of our belongings as we left. The soldiers at Oturkpo were so happy that they fired some salvos in salute to us as our train moved away. During the rest of the journey to Enugu we were showered with missiles of stones as we passed some minor stations.”

Degema General Hospital

MR. NGERIBIA lies at the Degema General Hospital with a fractured leg and stab wounds all over his body. His story is as follows:

“The frequent molestation of Easterners in different parts of the North gave cause for alarm in Bukuru. Many Easterners decided to quit and move bag and baggage to the Bukuru Railway Station on 16th September. There were no trains and the people reluctant to return to the town decided to sit it out at the Station. Very early in the morning on Friday 30th September we were attacked by armed soldiers and civilians. There was confusion all over the place and by day-break more than fifty people lay dead. In the morning, Native Authority lorries tried to evacuate all of us but the attackers stormed in again and the heavily packed lorries were riddled with bullets.

“Several men, women and children fell dead. I was not quite lucky this time. My right leg was fractured and I had stab wounds on my forehead and body; as I tried to crawl a heavy blow fell on my back (I did not know what it was) and I lay unconscious. When I recovered consciousness, I found myself in a pool of blood and naked. I was later conveyed to the General Hospital, Jos for emergency treatment. I think it was the Red Cross which provided us with clothing. We were taken to the Jos Airport where we boarded a chartered plane that brought us to Port Harcourt from where I was transferred to this Hospital.”

MATHIAS ANYAOGU narrates:

“I was a staff of the Fire Brigade attached to the Local Office in Kano. On the 1st day of October, the day the Anniversary of our Independence was celebrated, I was on afternoon duty. When I got to the office, we continued working till 8.30 p.m. We heard gun-shots at the Railway Station. When we asked for the cause of the gun-shots we were told by some Hausas that the soldiers were shooting because the long-expected Sound-bound train had arrived. Just then some eight armed soldiers came to our Office in Land Rover. One of them who was a sergeant ordered that all Easterners should raise up their hands. For fear none of us did. He continued asking that we raise up our hands. Since we had no other choice we reluctantly raised up our hands. There were about seven of us including an Ibo man who had run into our office for safety.

“The sergeant asked us whether we could remember what happened on the 15th of January when the Prime Minister and the Premier of the North lost their lives and the Ibos were all very happy. We said No, Sergeant. Paying no heed to that he asked us to give our names and addresses and send any messages we have for our people because we were going to die. John, a co-worker, took our names and addresses and we gave him the money we had intended sending home through those going by the South-bound train. We had this money with us because it was only the previous day that we received our monthly salary. Raymond Uwaezuoke gave £32, I gave £11 and many others gave theirs too. After collecting this money, they took us to their Land Rover and warned us that anyone who tried to jump out would be finished. They drove us five miles away to Katsina Road, brought us down and started shooting us. I felt my leg shattered and fell down.

“When they thought we were all dead they drove back to the town. After regaining consciousness, I looked around me and saw that all the people with me had died. I managed to crawl into the bush. I spent three days in the bush – Saturday, Sunday and Monday. When I crawled out to a road, I was lucky to see a car driven by a European which took me to City Hospital, Kano. I remained in that Hospital until the Red Cross made arrangements to take me to East by plane.”

NATHANIEL OKENWA was unconscious all the way from the North to the East. It was only recently that he could move his limbs and head. He was then able to give the following accounts:

“On the 29th September, I got ready to go to work but just as I was about to go out a friend came and asked me not to step out. When I asked him why he said that all the Ibos working in the main office had been killed. I therefore decided to seek a way of escape.

“I ran into the room of one Yoruba man and hid inside the ceiling of the building. I stayed there from 7 a.m. to about 7 p.m. They went into my room and looted all my belongings after which they came into the Yoruba man’s room and asked whether there was any Ibo man hiding there. They were told that no Ibo man was there. They left saying that they would come back again and that if they discovered that the Yorubas were hiding anybody they themselves would be in danger of losing their lives. They said they knew I had not gone to work and that I was hiding somewhere as they were sure I had not escaped. I heard all these things from my hiding-place in the ceiling.

“At about 7 p.m. I left the yard and sought a way out. I entered the bush and ran until I came out on tarred road. Just as I was looking to see if I could get a lorry to take me I saw some Hausas and they were the very people who were looking for me. I ran in the opposite direction but unfortunately I came upon a road block and many soldiers were there with their guns. The soldiers caught me and started beating me. Judging from the way they handled me I believed that I was a dead man. But they left me half dead. I called on them to come and take my life but they refused and said that they would leave me there to suffer and die in agony.

“I soon lost consciousness and did not know what happened afterwards. The next morning I called on them to come and kill me instead of leaving me in pain. They refused. I managed to push into the road and towards the path of an approaching lorry so that it would smash me. Little did I know that the lorry I had wanted to end my life under would be my saviour.

“This lorry had a European and a police constable in it. The policeman, a Northerner, was very annoyed. He turned around and asked the men round there: “Didn’t you kill this man?”. They said they had left me there to die. He asked them again why they did not kill me. The European requested that I should be saved. The police constable insisted that it was useless taking me to the hospital. However, with great reluctance he allowed the white man to carry me into the lorry.

“He asked whether I would like to be taken to Jos General Hospital. The white man said that if I was taken to Jos Hospital that would be my end. So I asked that I should be taken to the Christian Mission Hospital at Vom. This was on the 30th of September and I remained there until I was taken down to the East on the 4th of October.”

MR. GEORGEWILL I. DEDE of Okrika says:

“I have been in Kano since November 1954 as a Train Guard in the Nigerian Railway Corporation. Before the incident at Kano, we were promised by our officer (a Northerner called J. George) that we would be provided with wagons to carry our loads back to the East. We packed our goods to the station on Friday, 30th September. There were not only Railway workers but also other passengers who wanted to travel by rail because there was no other means of going to the East.

“Before our arrival many of them had spent about a week at the Railway Station waiting for the train. On Saturday, 1st October, the Hausa officer who had promised us wagons vanished. At about 7 p.m. armed Northern soldiers arrived at the Railway platform. They allowed their own Northern Railway workers to escape and then started shooting at the passengers. After killing the people at the station they entered the offices. I was in the Telegraph Office with many Easterners when they began to shoot at us. Their bullets could not penetrate where I was hiding flat on the ground and covered with bences and chairs. When they thought we were all dead they went out. Immediately I crawled into the Railway yard and lay flat covered with grasses. From there I could see soldiers packing the dead bodies into the Rest House at the station. I lay there till about 2 a.m. Then a heavy breeze came with rain and I had to leave the place. I trekked towards Mundudu Railway Station. On the way the Hausa natives of the area met me. They were carrying matchets, clubs and bows and arrows and they asked me to bring all the money I had in my pocket. I brought out £86 I had on me at that time.

“Then they first cut my left hand, almost severing it. Then cut my right shoulder. They began to inflict matchet wounds on me mercilessly, even cutting me on the nose. By now I was lying flat, bleeding helplessly. They then removed my wristwatch, shirts and singlet and the money in my back pocket which was £2.10.0. When they had left me, I managed to crawl into culvert nearby. I remained there from that time until the morning of Monday when I was able to crawl back towards Kano. I was picked up on the way by the Red Cross to the City Hospital, Kano, where I was treated for about a week. By that time the Red Cross had arranged the plane which took me and some of the wounded to Enugu.”

The above accounts were taken from THE BRITISH ARCHIVES OF FIRST HAND ACCOUNTS OF IGBO BIAFRANS WHO WERE TRAPPED IN NORTHERN NIGERIA DURING THE IGBO MASSACRES(1966-1970) BY THE HAUSA/FULANI!

"WE MUST KEEP ABREAST OF OUR PAST IN ORDER NOT TO LOOSE SIGHT OF OUR FUTURE, AND REPEAT ANY MISTAKES."

Source - from the booklet issued by Britain-Biafra Association in 1968.

* UKNC-O HISTORY LESSON

 

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