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Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? - Politics - Nairaland

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Please Leave My Name Out Of Your Biafra- Ibori Official Release / #move Your Biafra Agitation Out Of Nairaland / Your Biafra Agenda Will Fail Again – Arewa Warns Ndigbo (2) (3) (4)

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Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by odumchi: 5:37am On Jul 31, 2012
The Biafran war was a war that dynamically affected all of the Eastern peoples of Nigeria. It not only affected us, but it involved us, consumed us, and threatened us, but it did not destroy us. The war forced us to adapt and find ways to survive when nearly impossible. We were challenged to think unconventionally in order keep body and soul together, and with the grace of God, we did so and survived.

Personally, I am interested in learning about what others faced in those three years. Whenever I come across an Easterner, I have this urge to ask them to tell me how their family's "Biafra story". However, this is easier said than done since the war has left many with sorrowful memories, broken hearts, and tense feelings.

I believe that if we each open up and share our families' experiences, we will not only learn more about each other, but we will be reminded of how similar we are. Thanks in advanced.
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by OneNaira6: 6:04am On Jul 31, 2012
odumchi: The Biafran war was a war that dynamically affected all of the Eastern peoples of Nigeria. It not only affected us, but it involved us, consumed us, and threatened us, but it did not destroy us. The war forced us to adapt and find ways to survive when nearly impossible. We were challenged to think unconventionally in order keep body and soul together, and with the grace of God, we did so and survived.

Personally, I am interested in learning about what others faced in those three years. Whenever I come across an Easterner, I have this urge to ask them to tell me how their family's "Biafra story". However, this is easier said than done since the war has left many with sorrowful memories, broken hearts, and tense feelings.

I believe that if we each open up and share our families' experiences, we will not only learn more about each other, but we will be reminded of how similar we are. Thanks in advanced.

You are asking for others story but you neglected to tell us your own story.

1 Like

Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by odumchi: 6:16am On Jul 31, 2012
Dont worry, I'll write it.

Could you drop us with your own story also? It would be interesting to know what a Deltan Igbo family experienced.
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by OneNaira6: 7:25am On Jul 31, 2012
odumchi: Dont worry, I'll write it.

Could you drop us with your own story also? It would be interesting to know what a Deltan Igbo family experienced.


Not much to tell.

My grandfather and his family used to live in Lagos; they ran back to Asaba before the onset of the war. Left everything they owned in Lagos and sort refugee back home. When the war kicked off, because of rumors and fear of attack from the Nigerian government and very little Biafra soldiers roaming Asaba, my grandmother sort refugee with her sister and her husband in Onitsha. My grandfather stayed behind and that cost him his life. During the massacre, he was among the ones killed. Sadly, the news of his death did not reach the FAM until 5 months after his death; his death motivated my uncle to join Biafra soldiers. My grandmother survived with her children by pretty much staying as close as she can to Biafra movement. If they moved, she followed them move. According to her, life was not that bad during the war. She pretty much kept a low profile. Apart from the constant shooting and kwashiorkor, everything else was okay. After the war, they lost everything. She even tried to get some of her properties back, even pleaded for it but it was not given to her (I hope whoever has it, chokes on it). Similar to my father, my granddad was just a businessman, most of his business was trade so life was relevantly easy for them. After the war, finding no way to get their properties back, they had to start all over again. That ordeal is my father's biggest motivation in building nothing outside of Igbo land. To quote my father, after the war life was hard. He grew up in a rich/moderate lifestyle, only to be dropped in an extreme poverty lifestyle after the war. He and his siblings had to sell banana and groundnuts in the street just to survive while my grandma sold soap. That is the whole story on my dad side. My mother side family on the other hand was able to escape the country in the middle of the war. My mother told me they survived by actually living in an already destroyed village. In my opinion, it was a smart move: they thought no one would look for any Igbo people in an already claimed territory. They stayed hidden in the day and moved at night until they reached Cameroon and was able to seek refugee there.

7 Likes

Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by greedie1(f): 8:03am On Jul 31, 2012
My grandfather in anticipation of d war, stocked his house wit important food items.just b4 d war started, he relocated his family back to d villa, but stayed back to continue his biz until d nigerian army invaded onitsha and he was forced to run 4 his dear life, trekin all d way to my villa. As d war progressed and d biafran army thined down, he was forced to hide his grown sons inside a dried up well. One day, he was late 4 a meeting nd dey nominated his son, my father, to represent our community.a sad day it was. My dad fought actively in d war. He boasts of being among d ple who made explosives out of leaves nd grasses. They were so hungry dey had to feed on raw lizards, rats etc. He was l8r made a spy nd got hit on d neck by a stray bullet, thereafter he was sent home to recuperate. Accordin to my grand mum, she nd some women made nd sold dry packs to d soldiers. Everytin was scarce even match stick! At a point my family had to move to a village in ebonyi wit little or on human activity nd der dey stayed til d war came to an end. Thankfully,we lost nobody to d war
Unfortunately, dey lost some of their property. My grand mum's greatest anguish was dat all their biafran money was exchanged 4 a paltry sum. They had to relocate to enugu nd start from scratch.

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Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Yeske2(m): 8:51am On Jul 31, 2012
My dad joined the Biafran army immediately war was declared and fought till the end, his family( his mum and siblings) left for Abagana from Awka but weren't fast enough as the federal forces caught up with them and they became refugees in some camp till the end. My mum and her family moved from Awka, first to Awgbu then moved on till they got to Orlu all on foot. They farmed and never lacked throughout the duration of the war, grandma still has her Biafran pound note than fascinated me when i was younger. After the war both families came back to Nibo to start all over and luckily their houses were still intact and no life was lost. Dad was still at the Owerri front when the war ended and they had to hide their uniforms because the federal federal forces could kill anyone with it, he found his way back to reconcile with his family. Though late now,still proud of him and other courageous men and women of his time.

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Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by odumchi: 3:04pm On Jul 31, 2012
This is my own story...

Before the war, my maternal grandfather and his family lived happily in Calabar. They were teachers and they lived in one of the many of the autonomous communities founded by Igbo settlers. At the out break of war, he was forced to relocate his family all the way from Calabar to their hometown, Arochukwu, via bicycle because some of the Efik were using it as an opportunity to drive out the Igbo (who lived in their land in large numbers). By this time, people had formed a small refugee camp on the east bank of the Cross River and were waiting anxiously for river boats to shuttle them across. They waited there for a few days and some of the desperate ones attempted to swim across the river.

Then after a few days, a lone canoe made its way across the river and informed everyone that there was a man who was insisiting that anyone who wanted to cross should pay. After he told us this, my grandfather and a few other men decided to go along with him so as to "pay" the man (they weren't really going to pay). When they crossed the river, instead of going to th eman as usual, they went to another generous man who owned many canoes. The man granted them the permission to use the canoes to shuttle accross their families. By this time, my grandmother (on the other bank of the river) was growing worried because she feared that her husband might not be alive. All this while, she, her two babies, and her elderly mother had been surviving on plantain skins which she made sure to keep out of the eyes of the other people so as to avoid being robbed.

Some time later, my grandfather and many other men (along with their improvised canoe fleet) made their way back across the river and transported their families across. When his family had crossed, he decided to go back and help others cross while they would go to Arochukwu. By this time, Arochukwu had bloated in population since all of the Aro, who could find their way back, had returned to their ancestral home. My grandmother, her mother, and their relatives were soon joined by my grandfather and all of them lived in Arochukwu for some time. When the war intensified, and Nigerian troops came close to Arochukwu, they fled to another town called Ihechiowa and lived there for the duration of the war.

Luckily, no one was lost to the war.

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Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by odumchi: 3:19pm On Jul 31, 2012
My paternal side...

Prior to 1967, my paternal grandparents were also living in Calabar. At the outbreak of war, they too fled back home to Arochukwu where they lived for some time. It was there that one of my uncles (even though a youth) volunteered for service in the Biafran army. Some time after he was sent into battle, we recieved word that he had been killed while fighting.

My paternal grandparents had a difficult time during the war. In the daytime, they had to flee into the bushes so as to avoid being spotted by the Nigerian bombers. At night, they would come back into their home and cook (making sure to conceal the fire and the smoke) and do whatever else they needed to do. When the fighting came near Arochukwu, they fled from Arochukwu and lived in their family-owned plantation in Ibibioland (somewhere near Ikot Ekpene). They were assisted by friendly neighbors who pitied them.

When the Nigerian soldiers came into their area, they disguised themselves as an Ibibio family: making sure to speak Igbo only to themsleves and to speal Ibibio to others. They remained in Ibibioland for the remainder of the war, constantly moving whenever Nigerian troops came into their area. When the war ended, they went back to Arochukwu and started from scratch.

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Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by odumchi: 3:28pm On Jul 31, 2012
One_Naira, Gree-die, and Yeske!,

I must thank you all sincerely for having the courage to share your families' stories here. You have all helped me in my quest to further understand how wer were all affected similarly within the war. In the end, it's the little decisions we made (along with God's grace) that saved us.

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Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Nobody: 3:29pm On Jul 31, 2012
ME,ME,ME,ME,ME,ME,ME grin this is my story, my grand father,my uncle and my nephew cheesy found themselves in the thick of the war around agbor in present day delta wink they were stranded with no where to go when a bunch of half fed s.ex starved biafrans stormed their location sad they were scared to death embarassed but suddenly my grandpa and little nephew pulled out a pump action and aboki knife wink. they were stacked against the odds (a whole battallion of biafrans against three) shocked then my grandpa did the unbelievable, he grabbed the aboki knife and used it to suya the biafrans while my nephew used the pump action to level the "okoros" like ewedu soup grin.
the whole battallion was levelled within 5minutes by my good ol grand pa and little nephew cool. unfortunately,the authorities awarded my uncle with a medal ignoring my grandpa and nephew who did all the fighting! can you imagine that? angry
we've been fighting for the medal for my brave grandpa and nephew for years now undecided

what a war story of injustice(to my grandpa & nephew)!

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Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Yeske2(m): 3:35pm On Jul 31, 2012
^^
IGNORE, a troll on the loose.

1 Like

Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Nobody: 3:38pm On Jul 31, 2012
Yeske!:
^^
what an intelligent tale,the federal government should honour your uncle and nephew by naming a university after them. we need heroes like them.

thank you,thank you, you are far too kind smiley
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Eziachi: 5:12pm On Jul 31, 2012
Although many of you knew mine but again I will tell those that doesn't that I was a student of Bishop Shanahan College Orlu when the war broke out. I was only 17 years old and I was the youngest of four other brothers but 3 sibling sisters. Our father was a member of the Eastern house of parliament. My father and my senior brother joined the army first and soon two of my other brothers joined. My big brother was among those that fought in Oguta side by side with Ojukwu.
On february 7th 1968 after a raid by the Nigerian airforce, on a heaving Eke market day, I lost 13 members of my immediate family including my grandparent whom happens to be in the packed market. Our community lost not less than 600 people on that particular air raid. No one attends your funeral because they are busy burying their own dead.
It became so desperate after that raid that I decided to enlist along with my remaining brother still at home. Our mother cried for days because, not just our father but five of his boys will be going into the theatre of a brutal war. But I had made up my mind, that I don't want to die at home with women and children as the bombs rain down morning and night without let up on markets, churches, schools, hospitals, nothing is spared. The planes bomb anywhere they see corrugated roof shines forth.
To prevent this many people used palm front to cover the roof of their houses with palm fronts and little lighting in the night is a no-no, because it attracts the planes.

I was drafted to fight in Obudu and Ogoja after just two weeks of intensive training at Isiekenesi in Ideato. I was in Obudu when the war ended. I made many friends among my Biafra soldiers, may of them from Efik, Annang, Ibibio. My commanding officer Mr Ephraim Henshaw is from a town called James town in the present Akwa Ibom state. We kept in touch until his death in 1989. A wonderful man, he took care of me during this period like a son and I was the youngest in our battalion. Food was nothing but terrible.
It was at times difficult to make friend because before you get to know someone, he is blown into pieces in front of you and you start again.

When the war ended, we were asked to go home just like that. Many took their weapons home with them (tHE FOUNDATION OF ARMED ROBBERY). I buried mine there.
There were no transport home. I walked from Obudu to the present day Imo state for two weeks, mainly because of the dangers on the road faced by the returning Biafra soldiers in the hand of Nigerian soldiers. So we treck at night and hide in the thick bushes in the day without any food.
Sometimes you met your luck with village people who will give you some food and water. I will always be grateful to Efik and Ibibio people.

When I got home after two weeks, I met my father and my big brother but unfortunately my three other brothers did not make it and we never saw their corpses too bury, my mothers world was gone and my father only brother too did not made it back.
Their was funeral rites for all of them three years after war when it dawn on us that they are not coming home again and my mother died three years later after losing three sons, brother in-law, father/mother law and his immediate younger brother murdered in front of her own parent by Nigerian soldier on returning from the front.
There is more, but I am busy now.

10 Likes

Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Nobody: 5:17pm On Jul 31, 2012
oya read below
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Afam4eva(m): 5:21pm On Jul 31, 2012
@Eziachi
Biko, how old are you??
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by dayokanu(m): 5:31pm On Jul 31, 2012
afam4eva: @Eziachi
Biko, how old are you??

Do the Maths. 17 in 1967 Should be what now? Or do you need a calculator?

1 Like

Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Nobody: 5:35pm On Jul 31, 2012
Eziachi: Although many of you knewknow mine but againthen again I will tell those that doesn'tdon't that I was a student of Bishop Shanahan College Orlu when the war broke out. I was only 17 years old and I was the youngest of four other brothers but and3 sibling sisters. Our father was a member of the Eastern house of parliament. My father and my senior brothers joined the army first and soon two of my other brothers joined. My big brother was among those that fought inat Oguta side by side with Ojukwu.
On february 7th 1968 after a raid by the Nigerian airforce, on a heaving Eke market day, I lost 13 members of my immediate family including my grandparents whom happened to be in the packed market. Our community lost not less than 600 people on that particular air raid. No one attends your funeral because they are busy burying their own dead.
It became so desperate after that raid that I decided to enlist along with my remainingother brother still at home. Our mother cried for days because, not just our father but five of his boys will be going into the theatre of a brutaltalk of friendly war war. But I had made up my mind, that I don't want to die at home with women and children as the bombs rained down morning and night without let up on markets, churches, schools, hospitals, nothing is spared. The planes bomb anywhere they see corrugated roof shines forth.
To prevent this many people used palm front to cover the roof of their houses with palm fronts and little lighting in the night is a no-no, because it attracted the planes.

I was drafted to fight in Obudu and Ogoja after just two weeks of intensive training at Isiekenesi in Ideato. I was inat Obudu when the war ended. I made many friends among my fellowBiafran soldiers, many of them from Efik, Annang, Ibibio. My commanding officer Mr Ephraim Henshaw is from a town called James town in the present day Akwa Ibom state. We kept in touch until his death in 1989. A wonderful man, he took care of me during this period like a son and I was the youngest in our battalion. Food was nothing but terrible.
It was at times difficult to make friend because before you get to know someone, he is blown into pieces in front of you and you start again.

When the war ended, we were asked to go home just like that. Many took their weapons home with them (tHE FOUNDATION OF ARMED ROBBERY)agreed. I buried mine there.
There werewas no transport home. I walked from Obudu to the present day Imo state for two weeks, mainly because of the dangers on the road faced by the returning Biafra soldiers in the hands of Nigerian soldiers. So we trecktrekked at night and hide in the thick bushes in the day without any food.
Sometimes you met your luck with village people who will give you some food and water. I will always be grateful to Efik and Ibibio peoplenegotiating for oil.

When I got home after two weeks, I met my father and my big brother but unfortunately my three other brothers did not make it and we never saw their corpseseyaa sorry too bury, my mothers world was gone and my father's only brother too did not made it back.
Theirthere was funeral rites for all of them three years after the war when it dawned on us that they are not coming home again and my mother died three years later after losing [s]three sons, brother in-law, father/mother law and his immediate younger brother murdered in front of her own parent by Nigerian soldier on returning from the front.
[/s]you would have written that in igboThere is more, but I am busy now.

grin grin
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by tpia5: 5:39pm On Jul 31, 2012
eziachi should be in his sixties if he was 17 in 1967.

i think he said he left for scotland after the war and got married there.
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by tpia5: 5:41pm On Jul 31, 2012
@ topic

shouldnt threads like these be on ?

just asking because you will get different kinds of responses here and not only the types you'd like.
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by saintneo(m): 6:13pm On Jul 31, 2012
@torkaka, may I suggest that you take a job as an error-indicator with the Queen Elizabeth II. It will really do you a lot of good, because you will have to deal with lots spelling and grammatical errors by the entire English nation. mtcheww! angry In addition, it will keep you occupied so as to avoid nairaland.com
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Nobody: 6:15pm On Jul 31, 2012
saintneo: @torkaka, may I suggest that you take a job as an error-indicator with the Queen Elizabeth II. It will really do you a lot of good, because you will have to deal with lots spelling and grammatical errors by the entire English nation. mtcheww! angry In addition, it will keep you occupied so as to avoid nairaland.com

my friend don't you have any biafra war stories to tell? grin grin
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Eziachi: 6:40pm On Jul 31, 2012
afam4eva: @Eziachi
Biko, how old are you??
As old as I could feel each day grin grin grin
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Eziachi: 6:42pm On Jul 31, 2012
saintneo: @torkaka, may I suggest that you take a job as an error-indicator with the Queen Elizabeth II. It will really do you a lot of good, because you will have to deal with lots spelling and grammatical errors by the entire English nation. mtcheww! angry In addition, it will keep you occupied so as to avoid nairaland.com
That is torkaka's own war story and you or me don't have to like it.
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Eziachi: 6:46pm On Jul 31, 2012
tpia@:
@ topic

shouldnt threads like these be on ?

just asking because you will get different kinds of responses here and not only the types you'd like.
I thought the thread begins with reference to Easterners. So if you are an Easterner its either you have a story or you don't. If you are not an Easterner, you don't have to read the thread or you can read, enjoy or disgust with their story, you can also say something out of line with the thread. Its a free world of internet. The owners of Nairaland are not allergic to Biafra stories,

1 Like

Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Nobody: 6:51pm On Jul 31, 2012
Eziachi:
That is torkaka's own war story and you or me don't have to like it.
don't mind the useless okoro, he is not aware my grandpa is a biafran war hero!
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by tpia5: 6:59pm On Jul 31, 2012
Eziachi:
I thought the thread begins with reference to Easterners. So if you are an Easterner its either you have a story or you don't. If you are not an Easterner, you don't have to read the thread or you can read, enjoy or disgust with their story, you can also say something out of line with the thread. Its a free world of internet. The owners of Nairaland are not allergic to Biafra stories,

theory: thread is for easterners.

fact: this is a public forum so anybody will post.


interpret those two sentences.
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by abouzaid: 7:05pm On Jul 31, 2012
My dad does not like narrating his war time stories but from what i overheard him discussing with other adults, i guess it was a very ugly experience 4 him. He was an apprentice mechanic when onitsha was attacked and he trekked all d way 2 his maternal parents home at ideani. Angered by d needless burning of d main market, he volunteered for d army but was rejected due 2 being underaged, he got a free ride 2 a far recruitment point but was rejected again on d same reason, how ever he was able to convince them to include him in the army scout as a spy. He eventually joined d regular army near d end of the war and suffered an artillery shock commonly known as shelling shock in biafra. That got him out of active service but he was unable to go home. When d war ended he was coming back from morning mass that morning and discovered that d biafran army have surrendered, discarded their uniforms and gone home, but he only have his uniform 4 clothes so he solicited for a change of clothes ppl aroue and took up employment as a labourer locally. I wont narrate some of the things he saw during d war but i can't understand why d christian middle belt would fight their own own brothers who have co-existed with with them peacefully for centuries. As for my mother they have to abandon their car in the middle of the road when onitsha was attacked and trekked all the way to their village as children. Their father have d forsight of bringing lots of drugs from his store when d war entered onitsha. He hid through out d war, his wife indulged in d attack trade, but when rumour spread that d hausas have entered awka and the trade route closed. The family wept 4 days thinking she was among d traders killed. She resurfaced after a few days to their great joy and that ended her attack trade. They spent d rest of d war feeding on rats,lizards, cassava leaves, caritas rations of salt and salty fish etc. They lost no body to the war. All of them eventually established successfull businesses after d war at onitsha and recouped all they lost.

6 Likes

Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by FACE(m): 10:21pm On Jul 31, 2012
My parents lived in Enugu at the outbreak of the war. The war started a few months after my dad returned from Germany at the end of his studies. He worked for the government throughout the war as their department rendered essential service to the Biafran government, which meant that he was always on the move.

The move from Enugu:

They were at home one day when my Uncle De Smart, who was a major in the Biafran army went to their house and advised them to leave as Enugu was about to fall. He told them that there was fierce fighting at Emene and it might spread to Enugu. Ehamufu, Opi and Nssuka had fallen to Nigeria at the time. De Smart who stood at more than 6ft 6 went back to the battle front after his pass and he fell in battle at Emen; according to relatives who were in the same sector as he was.

Following De Smart’s visit, my mum nagged my dad to take them to Umuahia but he refused to believe that Enugu would fall. Then a few days later, he went to work and that was when the first MIGs first appeared in the Sky and caused endless havoc and destruction of life. My dad then relocated his family to Umuahia and went back to Enugu. He drove a Cortina in those days.

Enugu fell a few days later and my dad was posted to Aba.My father was on admission at the Aba general hospital when it was bombed by Nigeria; Souls perished in that bombardment.Nigeria war strategy was to bombard anywhere that had signs of life and all zinc roofs had to be covered with palm fronds.

Umuahia:

Umuahia was a major trading centre before the war. Umuahia was the oil palm capital of the east and by default the oil palm capitalof the world. Companies UAC, John Holt, PZ were some of the traders in Umuahia-Ibeku.
Umuahia was a major war zone and aerial bombardment was like no mans business .No where was spared including churches, markets, hospitals and villages.

Many people from my kindred went to battle and many did not come back. The national war museum and Ojukwu’s bunker tell some of our stories.

Everybody in Umuahia had learnt how to dodge a MIG on a strafing mission. According to my mom, when the plane tilted to the left, they ran to the right and into the dense forest and they would keep their eyes on the plane in order to select an escape route when it came for another strafing run. This led to a high case of poor vision from looking skywards all the time.

Anyway, she had gone to the market one day when strafing and aerial bombardment started and she escaped the strafing only to be pinned down by artillery bombardment. Artillery shells were exploding all around her and she was flat beside an oji (iroko) tree. The bombardment lasted for a long time and by the time it ended, news had gone back home that she was killed, but God kept her.

Another near death experience was when a bomb was dropped in our compound but it failed to detonate and the Biafran bomb experts were called to remove the bomb.

After a very hard an intense fighting, Umuahia fell and my parents went to Orlu and then to Mbaise as the war was ending and back to Enugu at the end of the war . It did not matter how much you had in the bank before the war, you got no more than £20 after the war.

My Uncle De Martin (Lt). Rest his soul:

He saw war and war saw him. Trying to get him to tell me some war stories was like trying to get blood from stone. He would say to me “hapu ife-o, ife anyi furu na agha”, but each time he opened his mouth to trade war stories, I lived and breathed Biafra; proud of our fallen heros.

Just a snippet here; he was in the force that got to Ore. He said that they got to Ore and were there for two days without advancing or retreating even though there was no resistance. Soldiers were uneasy and did not understand why Banjo halted the advance and he kept saying that he was waiting for orders. When the counter attack started, Biafran troops did not retreat as a unit or a fighting force. It was everyman for himself. He walked back some of the way and was posted to the Calabar sector when he returned to Biafra.

De Martin and his section covered the Biafran retreat from Calabar. He always referred to his gun as his LMG-3. He was holed up in SPC Calabar for three days with his men; returning fire for fire and giving more than they received. He said that it was a miracle that they got out of the encounter alive and finding themselves many miles behind enemy lines,they had to fight their way through. “ife anyi furu na SPC Calabar, anyi mere awusa ife n-di egwu”. De Martin was a proper combat soldier.

5 Likes

Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by odumchi: 5:59am On Aug 01, 2012
tpia@:


theory: thread is for easterners.

fact: this is a public forum so anybody will post.


interpret those two sentences.


Threads such as these do not require your presence. If you don't like what you see, simply click back and move on.
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by odumchi: 6:01am On Aug 01, 2012
FACE, Abouzaid, and Eziachi thank you all very much for your contributions.

Our joy is that we have come back stronger than we were before and, off course, we are all alive.

Mazi Eziachi, I must salute you for your service. Thank you.
Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by Onlytruth(m): 6:50am On Aug 01, 2012
My family almost never made it out of Kano in 1966 if not for my fathers small arms cache of double barrel guns. Nuff said about that! cool

My family moved from Kano in 1966 down to Port Harcourt and stayed there till the actual war broke out. My father was among the voluteers who went to conduct "combing" (put out the fires at the Port Harcourt refinery among other duties) when the Nigerian Navy was shelling PH from the coast. He sustained slight burns to his upper right arm and chest, and carried the scars to the war proper.

He joined the Biafran army when my family returned to Nnewi in late 1967, got few weeks of training, and was moved to the fronts at Nkpor.
Before the war, my father was in the leadership of Ndigbo in Kano alongside "Okonkwo Kano" ( great man!). He was shot in the left hip (from the back) by a Nigerian army snipper near umudioka and was mistaken for dead but was later found and rescued by his colleagues, then moved to the Biafran camp at Nwafor Orizu secondary school in Nnewi, from where he was then sent home.
In my father's absence, my mother had to get involved in "afia attack" and walked from Nnewi (Anambra state) all the way to Umuahia (Abia state!) where she bought salt. She then carried the salt (on her head) all the way to Nnewi to sell. That afia attack kept kwashiokor away from my family thoughout the worst period of the war.

During one of her trips, she was basically rescued (together with other women traders) from a rain of mortar shells from the Nigerian army by some Biafran soldiers; one of them was a family friend who knew her back in Kano. She recalled that the soldiers loaded them to the back of a "tipper" truck which ferried wounded and dead Biafran soldiers back to towns behind the lines. One wounded soldier was desperate for water and she wanted to offer him water, but she was scolded by other Biafran soldiers who told her that if the soldier drank water he would certainly die. She had to cover her ears against all the mortar "whistles" (as she called them) and the painful moans of wounded soldiers.

She recalls that when she was walking back with the salt on her head, they would encounter many dead and wounded people along the road. On a certain trip, other women in their trip party were basically dumping their salt merchandize into the bushes and walking home with nothing. "Ndu ka aku" was the logic, but the problem was that you are dead without the salt which would be sold and the money used to buy food. You are certainly dead without the salt (thought my mother, and she was right!). She held onto her salt and walked home! My mum, the quintessential Igbo woman! Tough as a nail!

Well, I guess you all know now where I got my toughness. cool

My father recovered most of his properties in Kano though he had to sell some at give away prices. He later recovered one of his hotels in Port Harcourt.
He never really recovered from the war. sad

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Re: Easterners, What Are Your "Biafra Stories"? by kettykin: 10:20am On Aug 01, 2012
I sincerely hope the objective of this thread is not to wither down the Fighting spirit of some tribes men seeing how the Country is spiralling out of conrol and 2 of the war time soldiers (soldiers of fortune) coming out on a news conference to warn agains the break up of the country.

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