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Tony Okoroji; The Man Who Lived In Biafra Lectures Agitators - Politics - Nairaland

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Tony Okoroji; The Man Who Lived In Biafra Lectures Agitators by Biodun556(m): 1:33am On May 18
"Boy ! I have seen Biafra and it’s not funny.

By Tony Okoroji.
May 08 2021.

No one can be more Biafran than this Writer.

I have seen Biafra. I have lived Biafra and been bathed in Biafra.

Let me tell you something: It is not funny.

I was about nine years old in May 1967 when Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu pronounced what is today known as the South East together with a good chunk of the present South-South of Nigeria as an Independent Republic of Biafra.

Those were heady days.

While Nigerians considered Ojukwu just a Lieutenant Colonel in the Nigerian Army, to us, he was the General of the People’s Army, a Deity of some sort who did no wrong.

Ojukwu was all knowing. After all, he had been to Oxford, one of the best Universities in the World.

His Father was the great Louis Phillip Odumegwu Ojukwu, the richest Igbo Man in the World with massive Property across Nigeria.

Added to that, he was one of the most senior Igbo Military Officer. Who argues with a Man with such education, money and military might ?

Despite all the Grammar spoken in different Cities across Africa to stop a dangerously fast-moving Train ?

Less than two months later, the civil war began and the big Guns began to boom everywhere and the Riffles began to rattle.

I was struggling with Primary School then but it all ended very fast. There was no longer any school to go to.

Indeed, the Primary School in Ogada Atta, my Village was converted to the Headquarters of RAP (Research & Production) which manufactured the locally made Bombs known as Ogbunigwe (Killer of multitudes) and the Biafran ‘Sure Battery’.

My Brothers and Sisters in Nollywood have shot some movies trying to recreate the dire situation in Biafra.

I can tell you that none of them has in any way truly captured the incredible suffering, deprivation and anguish that I witnessed under the relentless bombardment, air raid and economic blockade.

Please try eating without any Salt for one month and tell me what it tastes like.

In Biafra, there was no Salt, no Sugar, no Bread, no soft Drink, no Beer, no Drugs and no Foods for much of the thirty months that the war lasted.

The only thing that looked like Foods to more than eighty percent of the Population was the three spoons of Cornmeal that looked like ‘poo-poo’ put in your plastic Plate twice a week at a ‘Feeding Center’ after you had stayed on the line in the sun for hours.

Of course, some People collapsed and died on the line while waiting for the ‘Foods’ that no sane Person will recommend for his Dog.

The dead were simply taken off the line and buried in shallow and unmarked Graves and the struggle with death continued.

If death did not come by way of starvation or disease, it came through the Bullets of a Russian made Mig fighter-Jet endlessly flying above and terrorizing innocent People who had no hand in any coup or insurrection.

If you fell ill in Biafra, you died, pure and simple. There were no Drugs to deal with anything.

Unfortunately, there were many reasons to fall sick.

As the war went on and Biafra lost a lot of Territory, many People fled their Residence and were found in strange Places with strange People living under very unsanitary conditions with no Foods and no Drugs and no work.

Strange Leaves were attacked for Food. Rats, Rabbits, Lizards and Snakes were chased after with frenzy in search of badly needed protein.

The Picture of the average Biafran Child was that of a big Head, big Tommy, tiny Neck, very tiny Limbs, sunken Eyes and pale colour, the Picture of Kwashiorkor.

In the midst of that, there were Biafrans who made a ‘killing’ hijacking and selling Relief Materials sent by Charity Organizations like Red Cross and Caritas to soften the blow.

Of course, the must-have companion in Biafra was a short-wave Radio to listen to Radio Biafra and BBC.

There was no Electricity and no new Batteries. All kinds of imaginative ways had to be developed to make Batteries last forever in Biafra.

Radio Biafra (the original one, not the IPOB one) must have been the first real ‘mobile’ in history.

It kept telling you that it was broadcasting from Enugu despite the fact that everyone knew that the Station was constantly on the move since Enugu had long been lost to the Nigerians.

The propaganda was infectious and there was no one better at it than the great Okoko Ndem.

On Radio Biafra, everything Biafra was good and everything Nigeria was evil and the ‘gallant’ Biafran Soldiers with their bare hands were slaughtering the ‘Vandals’ despite the sophisticated Equipment supplied to the ‘Vandals’ by the ‘neo Colonialist’ Britain.

At ten years old, I had memorized and imbibed the Biafran National Anthem, “Land of the rising Sun, we love and cherish; Beloved home, Land of our brave Heroes; We must defend our Lives or we shall perish; We shall protect our Hearts from all our foes; But if the price is death for all we hold dear, Then let us die without a shred of fear”.

There was no doubt in my mind that our cause was right and our method unquestionable. I did not see how we could lose the war.

I sought to join the Biafran Boys Company, the Youth Arm of the Military that undertook surveillance work behind Enemy lines. I was devastated when I was rejected. I was told I was too young.

And then came January of 1970 and my Village was overrun and one week later, the war was over.

The General of the Peoples’ Army had flown out ‘in search of peace’.

Incredibly, we lost. It did not make sense to me.

When the Ikemba returned to Nigeria under the NPN inspired amnesty, ran for a Senatorial election in Anambra and lost, things became a little clearer to me.

Eventually, I met my Hero, the General of the Peoples’ Army in his Queens Drive Home in Lagos and we established a relationship that I treasured.

He was my Guest at a number of events.

Any time that I had the opportunity, we discussed this and that. While we agreed on a lot, we also disagreed on a lot.

It became clear to me that as incredibly charismatic as Eze Ndigbo, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was, he was not divinity but a Man subject to the emotions and mistakes of a Man.

I have asked myself since then whether the Biafran adventure could have been undertaken in a different way.

As I see the anger and frustration of the moment and listen to the arguments back and forth, I ask myself whether we are prepared to make the same huge mistake twice in a Generation.

Just look at Al Qaeda, Al Shabab, ISIS, Boko Haram and all the movements that the World is battling with and you see how easy it is these days to start an unquenchable fire with a ‘Radio Biafra’ or “WhatsApp” Platform with thousands of unemployed, hungry and desperate young People with little hope. This is the real challenge of our times.

Please, if I am not seen carrying a placard and flexing my muscles everywhere for a Sovereign State of Biafra, I beg that you understand me.

I am not a coward. I remain a very proud Igbo Man committed to a great future for the Igbos of the World but I have already seen Biafra, lived Biafra and been bathed in Biafra and it is not funny."
Obi

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Re: Tony Okoroji; The Man Who Lived In Biafra Lectures Agitators by budaatum: 2:05am On May 18
Interesting. I heard some people were eating lizards and cockroaches!

Re: Tony Okoroji; The Man Who Lived In Biafra Lectures Agitators by makemoneywbsite: 3:33am On May 18
The choices are clear, bondage or freedom. Being lower than cattle or living with head high. Natives must make that choice really fast.

1 Like

Re: Tony Okoroji; The Man Who Lived In Biafra Lectures Agitators by jerseyboy: 3:40am On May 18
STFU Expired failure. Unity beggar. 2021 is not 1967

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Re: Tony Okoroji; The Man Who Lived In Biafra Lectures Agitators by kettykin: 4:26am On May 18
Any nation, people or groups that starved women and children to their untimely death and are running away from real insurgents will never know peace but war all through its existence

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Re: Tony Okoroji; The Man Who Lived In Biafra Lectures Agitators by Hillard: 4:28am On May 18
Another Efuluefu on the loose...
Re: Tony Okoroji; The Man Who Lived In Biafra Lectures Agitators by Conrod: 8:33am On May 18
Germany started ww2 in less than 20years after ww1 despite their huge loss because of the injusticies of the victorious allied forces,and they are now pacifists because of the forsight exibited in creating "the marsall plan" after the ww2. no tribe in nigeria love peacefull co exitence more than the igbo.
Re: Tony Okoroji; The Man Who Lived In Biafra Lectures Agitators by Skillsnigeria: 8:58am On May 18
We are now in 21st century,not 1967. No sensible human being will fight on the NIGERIA side,only zombie will. Everybody don see NIGERIA finished. Nigeria is only meant for the politicians and the foolani benefiting from this Visionless country
Re: Tony Okoroji; The Man Who Lived In Biafra Lectures Agitators by Fejoku: 9:21am On May 18
The current reality facing every southerner and middlebelt is accept slavery in your ancestral lands or fight a war for freedom. There are no two ways about it. The funny thing is that the fulanis can't even stand any united army of the South and MB but because these regions are divided they make the fulanis think they're any way going to succeed in their madness.
If only southerners can see that they're the ones empowering the sahelian terrorists through their division and indecision. The greed of southern elder statesmen are unquantifiable. Any southern politician who still believes in Nigeria and yet don't have the capacity to cut the wings of northern Islamist is wasting his time. The British themselves couldn't cure the region of that cancer who then are you to do it? OBJ the only southern military man with the connection and capacity of doing it couldn't stop the forceful implementationof Sharia in the core north, who then are you as an ordinary politician to do it? If you support the continuation of this Nigeria, it means you're opening up your ancestral land for Islamists to overrun in the future because they will never back down. They are like cancer that's insatiable. The division of Nigeria is for the good of the tribes and lands that love development and sanity to thrive in their society. It should be supported by everyone not given to personal greed.
Re: Tony Okoroji; The Man Who Lived In Biafra Lectures Agitators by Nwaide01: 10:38am On May 18
It is childish and senseless to think that any war fight now or in future will be the same as the one fought in 1967. In 1967 the eastern region fought the war with almost bare hand and at that, fought gallantly until the food blockade. Again Igbos were naive in 1967 but that war opened their eyes,lastly there is no way all components of Nigeria will fight the Igbos the way they did in 1967.there is already a crack in the wall,this what all those threatening the biafra with war fail to understand.
Re: Tony Okoroji; The Man Who Lived In Biafra Lectures Agitators by budaatum: 10:48am On May 18
Conrod:
Germany started ww2 in less than 20years after ww1 despite their huge loss because of the injusticies of the victorious allied forces,and they are now pacifists because of the forsight exibited in creating "the marsall plan" after the ww2. no tribe in nigeria love peacefull co exitence more than the igbo.

And Germany is today the most industrious nation in Europe just as Made in Aba could have been the seat of Nigerias equivalent of Tesla, Audi, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba etc.

How I wish the so called Biafra land will fight a development battle like China is fighting with America, and make their region the most prosperous and developed and advanced region and the envy of the rest of the entire Nigeria, but instead many divert their resource and energy in destroying Nigeria without realising they destroy themselves in the process.

There is time though so there is hope.

P.s. Admit you do not understand what I wrote above. That's why you've.........
You know yourself.

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