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Biafra War Experience: by omoalaro: 8:38am On May 31
BOB COLE - Late 1969,
Nkwerre, Orlu, Biafra:

I was 12 years old, accompanying my uncle Bob to buy the makeshift cigarette called Director, which was made from dried plantain and other leaves that were within reach.
By this time, the Republic of Biafra had shrunken to the size of a child's fist. All those excitable young men, who I had watched in 1967 goose stepping with gusto to the DMGS field to enlist as soldiers to 'fight Gowon and the Hausas', (the enemy then was not Fulani!) had long since died and turned to dust.

The Biafran Army was now conscripting boys to fight the war, a war which was already hopelessly lost except in the minds of the most delusional psychos. Teenagers now spent their days in hiding, scared to death of being conscripted and devising ingenious ways of eluding the soldiers that were hunting them like deer.

My uncle Bob was one of such teenagers. He must have been about 18 years, I think. Before the war, he was the goalkeeper for the Eastern Region schools football team. He was a celebrity.

He was nick named 'Bob Cole'. His real name was Bosah Nwokedi. I loved and admired him because my pet dream before the war was to go and join the Chelsea football academy in London, England.
As Bob and I walked home along the dirt road after purchasing the crude cigarettes, we were completely taken by surprise when a Biafran Army patrol Jeep pulled up alongside us.

Before he could flee, four soldiers jumped on him and shortly he was being bundled into the rickety, smoking vehicle. He screamed and kicked but he was totally subdued. A new soldier had been enlisted in the Biafran Army! I was fortunately overlooked because I was just a little bit too puny.

As the army vehicle spluttered away, Bob yelled for me to inform my dad what happened.

He shouted for me to plead with my dad to make haste to Bishop Shanahan High School, Orlu, which was the makeshift Biafran Military Training Academy. In Biafra, everything was makeshift.
My dad, of course, was unable to help. He knew it was fruitless and even too risky.

His close friend and fellow High Court judge, Justice Araka had been in detention virtually from the first day of the war. My dad always knew the war effort was doomed from the start. In fact, two years earlier, he had predicted through the use of his common sense, exactly how the Biafran misadventure would end. Everything he foretold was unfolding uncannily before our eyes.

He was no prophet. The only inspiration he had was, like I said, his common sense.

At the Military Training Centre, boys, who had never seen a gun in their lives, were taught how to load and shoot it under one hour. There was no time for drills and parades. In an hour or two, they would be hurled into waiting lorries and transported to blazing war fronts to confront well-fed, well-trained, armed-to-the-teeth, Nigerian soldiers.

The clothes they wore at the point of conscription would be their army uniform. Those crude slippers made of discarded car tyres would be their jack boots.

They would be issued with rusted, often malfunctioning old repeater rifles as their fire arms.

They would most likely be given a dozen or so bullets as ammunition, which they had to expend stingily.

They would almost certainly not have eaten since being conscripted and would go into battle on empty stomachs.

Three days after Bob's conscription, two of my older cousins, who were in the army, arrived at our house, petrified, disoriented and starving.

They had escaped and deserted from the Uzuakoli battle front, where the Nigerian military machine was bombarding the hapless Biafrans with unrelenting heavy artillery and aerial assault.

With tears running down their faces, the two run-away sodiers told my parents how they had caught sight of Bob alighting from the lorry that conveyed them to the Uzuakoli front.

And just as they were hitting the ground, the arriving makeshift platoon suffered a direct mortar hit.

Bob and his mates were caught in the explosion and were never seen alive again. They had not even fired a single shot from their useless rifles. That was the gruesome end of my football idol Bosah Nwokedi alias Bob Cole.

Therefore, being a living witness, I can assure you that I have so much to remember about that unfortunate war and that nobody is more grieved about it than me. So, when I see pretensious, bombastic, posturing young men born in the '70s, '80s and '90s, instructing me how to cry about the carnage that I saw with my own eyes, I feel like crying for a different reason altogether.

I know for sure that most of them don't really give a rat's fart about Bob and his likes. The important thing obviously is the opportunity afforded for anarchy and fascism to fester; for authoritarianism, ultranationalism and dictatorial power to be practised; for the pursuit and practice of the forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of a funny society.

The End... https:///QliJFey6Zf

Original story by
- Odi Ikpeazu.
Re: Biafra War Experience: by Mixedfruit: 8:53am On May 31
The Origin Of the Name “BIAFRA” and why South-South and South-East Must
Unite.
"Written By Russell Bluejack"
I write as an Ijaw son from Bonny and Nkoro in Rivers State. Ijaw is my tribe,
but
Biafra remains my national consciousness. I have noticed an inexplicable and
unnecessary division in the South-East and South-South in analogy to the
reinvigorated quest to restore the Sovereign States of Biafra.
I think our people in these sister regions should reflect on these political and
divisive ascriptions and rediscover themselves.
We are neither South-South nor South-East. We are the people of the
Eastern
Region, a people politically and economically impugned by our enemy in their
bid
to break our solid SOLIDARITY. We were too formidable for our enemies.
Some of our people think Biafra is an Igbo thing because they are ignorant of
the
origin of the name. Let me do justice to the origin of Biafra.
THE ORIGIN OF BIAFRA
Biafra is not aboriginal to Biafrans, since it was birthed out of the need to
work
together and escape the pogromists, rapists, land invaders, and religious
fundamentalists called Fulani.
The leader of the Eastern Region, Dim Ojukwu, an educated military officer,
assembled stakeholders from Ijaw, Obibio, Efik, and other tribes that
constituted
the region in his bid to come up with a name that would reflect the
heterogeneous ambience of the region.
Chief Frank Opigo, an Ijaw traditional ruler that hails from today’s Bayelsa,
suggested BIAFRA, and this went down well with everyone in attendance, for
it
referred to the water body that covers the entire region. What Ojukwu sought
after was a name that would not be exclusionary to any of the tribes (Ijaw,
Ibibio,
Itsekiri, Urhobo, Annioma etc) in the region. Biafra became the baby of that
quest.
Biafra, having come from a non-Igbo stakeholder, became the national
consciousness of both the Igbo and non-Igbo constituents of the Eastern
Region.
Thenceforth, the need to actualise the nation of their dreams, the Land of
the
Rising Sun, became the aspiration of every easterner.
The failure of Nigeria to heed the Aburi Accord reached in Ghana for
restructuring
stoked the fire of the agitation for freedom. The Sovereign States of Biafra
was
declared, but it was short-lived because of avoidable internal wranglings that
spiralled into the loss of the Civil War.
The incongruity in the Eastern Region was the result of the feud between
Ojukwu
and Dr. Kenule Benson Saro-Wiwa, an illustrious Ogoni son and Ojukwu’s
military
mentality and disposition.
WHY THE STRUGGLE FAILED IN THE 60s.
Popular perception has it that the struggle for emancipation from perceived
and
obvious oppression by Nigeria was scuttled by the Civil War. That is part of
the
truth, not the whole. Biafra was rocked by internal wranglings.
Two prominent figures in the region, Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa, became
estranged
friends over an issue that should have remained personal. In one of our
serious
meetings, I was made to understand this side of the story. Legborsi,
Emmanuel, a
very prominent Ogoni son who doubles as a formidable member of my team,
THE SOUTH-EAST/SOUTH-SOUTH COALITION FOR BIAFRA,
opened up the Pandora Box concerning the real cause of their feud.
Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa were caught in a love triangle, with Princess Amina,
the
daughter of the then Sultan as the magnetic force. As scions (sons of very
wealthy parents), they had the needed charisma to steer the imagination of
the
Sultan. Gowon, a senior military officer, joined the fray, but found himself as
an
underdog, financially and academically, for the duo of Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa
were of both fabulous financial and transformative academic standing.
Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa, once friends, now rivals, had to slug it out. The laurel
at
stake was Amina’s affection. Saro-Wiwa, dishonestly struck a cord in Amina’s
emotion and carried the day.
The Sultan, according to the veracious story, could not find his daughter and
had
the innocent Gowon, the suitor he abhorred, to blame for it. A triangle of hate
became the result of this misdeed by Saro-Wiwa: Gowon hated both Ojukwu
and
Saro-Wiwa; Ojukwu hated Saro-Wiwa for edging him out in the most
dishonest
manner; and Saro-Wiwa burned in annoyance over the contest.
An Ikwerre elder, nonagenarian, corroborated this story when I met him. He
told
me that the struggle hit the rock then because of two reasons:
(1) the feud between Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa
(2) the militarised mentality of Ojukwu’s.
The elder thinks that if Ojukwu, though well educated and exposed, were a
civilian, he would have appreciated the need to dialogue with other
stakeholders
before going to war.
If the stakeholders had been told what each constituent would benefit from
the
emerging nation, the leaders would have had what to say to their people to
excite
them to take the struggle seriously. Ojukwu, on the other hand, wanted these
stakeholders to convince their people to fight first and discuss later.
This did not go down well with them. Some, however, saw the need to fight.
The
festering relationship between Ojukwu and Saro-Wiwa led to a huge sabotage.
The bottom line of the accounts of Legborsi and the elder is that our people
were
not united. Our disunity caused by personal grouse and lack of tact cost us
that
war. It is incontrovertible that we would have won the war had our house not
been in disarray.
THE URGENT NEED FOR OUR UNITY NOW
Several years have gone by, yet the socio-economic and political
inconcinnities
that gave rise to the agitation then still stare us in the face. As a matter of
fact,
there is no gainsaying that if our fathers had reasons to fight then, there are
more
reasons to fight now.
The situation today is worse than it was then. Oppression, socio-economic
exclusion, and glaring prejudice meted out to the South-South and South-
East, the
real economic mainstay of this contraption called Nigeria, have reached
unbelievable and unimaginable proportions.
Even Ojukwu could not have conceived the precarious level of hate shown to
us
by the sons and daughters of Uthman Dan Fodio. The unfair treatment we
are
shown should make our unity imperative. Our personality issues and lack of
tact
gave them the happenstance to divide us and make us conquerable. We, the
South-East and South-South people, are the victims of their jihadist rituals.
Our
women get raped, our lands invaded, our crops killed, and our men
butchered.
The Igbo, Ijaw, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Annioma, Ibibio, Efik etc have always lived
together in love and conviviality. A critical observation of our values and
culture
reveals our common ancestry. We dress alike, eat alike, behave alike, and
worship
alike. How different are we, brothers and sisters? Let us come together and
fight
this monster.
They have sent their soldiers to occupy our two regions out of fear of our
imminent reunion. Exasperated by their inability to stop us from uniting, they
have
taken to poisoning our children under the pretense of immunization devoid of
the
viva of the health departments. In their bid to hold on to power at all cost,
they
flouted the constitutional proviso concerning absence of the President.
Their hatred for us led to the embargo placed on our Igbo brothers and
sisters,
which makes it difficult for any of them to become President of Nigeria. We
and
our Igbo brothers and sisters are the real victims here. We have to come
together, sit together, discuss together, reach documented agreement, and
escape
together.
Our unity is the only leeway out of this fortress called Nigeria. Is it not
shameful
that whereas we have all the resources the Gambari are the ones exercising
power over them all? Our Igbo brothers and sisters own both oil and the
business
environment that sustain this oppressive dungeon called Nigeria, but travel to
the
East and you will weep. They killed the Bill seeking the relocation of
company
headquarters to regions where the raw material is fetched. They killed the
Bill
seeking compensation to develop the Eastern Region. Whatever comes from
the
South-East and South-South dies on arrival.
If bills that seek better welfare packages for our regions always die, who is
that
mad person that is telling you that we can restructure this dangerous citadel
that
they claim belongs to them? Was it not the failure of Nigeria to heed
restructuring
agreement that sparked off the Civil War? The only way out of this quagmire
is
the unity of South-East and South-South. Let us unite and live in peace and
harmony. Our sister regions need respite from rape, massacre, genocide,
pogrom,
alienation, discrimination, and prejudice.
Let us keep our unreal differences aside and face the enemy together. They
will
continue to defeat us as long as we remain divided. Our division is their
strength,
but our unity is their weakness. Jasper Adaka Boro, Dr. Ken Saro-Wiwa, and
Sen.
(Dr.) Obi Wali are some of the great men this fake nation has killed
gruesomely.
We have not found Mazi Nnamdi Kanu even as I write. Do you see how they
hate
us? The python that danced in the East has become a crocodile smiling in
the
South-South.
Brothers and sisters, Saro-Wiwa was guillotined by Nigeria after a kangaroo
judgment. Boro was used and shot. Obi Wali was butchered like a condemned
chicken. Our beloved leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is nowhere to be
found
because of his liberating activities. Nigeria is a place where it is a heinous
crime
to speak up against oppression and neo-slavery.
Nigeria has become too dangerous for Christians. Nigeria has become too
stuffy
for anything that breathes. We have to go, brothers and sisters. We have
overstayed in this prison.
We do not even know who signed the 1914 amalgamation, since all our
nationalists were either adolescents, toddlers, or unborn at the time. Nigeria
is the
property of Britain’s under the management of the Fulani. Let the South-
South
and South-East come together and rebirth Biafra. They hate us and we hate
ourselves.
Let love and understanding lead the way this time. Let us dialogue and end
our
differences once and for all. The enemy has become vicious. We should
become
more tactical now. May God bless us all as we heed this clarion call. May
God
bless the entire constituents of the Old Eastern Region.
"Russell Idatoru Bluejack is a thinker, revolutionary writer, university tutor,
and
socio-economic and political analyst that writes from the creeks in the
coastal
part of Biafra".
copied
Re: Biafra War Experience: by kazyhm(m): 8:55am On May 31
O
Re: Biafra War Experience: by omoalaro: 2:13pm On May 31
All the SE elite, musicians, comedians, actors and fencists have houses in Lagos and Abuja... All the governors have houses in Abuja and London...
Guess who will be stuck in Abia and Anambra and Imo when the fire erupts..

Guess.
Re: Biafra War Experience: by omoalaro: 2:16pm On May 31
The deadly self styled "Liberation group" who continues to receive public praise by locals known and also known as "Unknown Gunmen" have assassinated Ahmed Gulak in Owerri Imo State South East Nigeria. -Kayode Ogundamisi.
https:///1rBYBBnFNL
Re: Biafra War Experience: by leofab(f): 2:40pm On May 31
Hmmmm
Re: Biafra War Experience: by omoalaro: 2:57pm On May 31
Everything that happened in the North East is gradually happening in the South East.The tragic experiences of the people of Borno,Yobe & Adamawa should be a lesson to learn from.Terrorists like unknown Gunmen can only destabilize the region of their operations.This must stop. - Senator Shehu Sani
Re: Biafra War Experience: by omoalaro: 2:17pm On Jun 03
Are Igbos really marginalised in Nigeria?

By Temitope Ajayi

Two days ago, a very good egbon wrote here in a Facebook post that the Igbos have been mindlessly marginalised in Nigeria. After reading the post, I asked him to explain how the Igbos are marginalised. I am well aware we have many who binge on elite conspiracies which are just mere grand design to pollute the waters for personal advantage. With an open mind, I asked my good egbon to educate me on how the Igbos have been marginalised because I really want to know. Let me say I am still waiting to be well schooled on how badly Nigeria has treated Igbos.

For decades, many people, including the media have perpetuated wrong narratives in this country because of the way falsehoods have been mainstreamed. There is no part of Nigerian history from 1958 when we had the first all Nigerian cabinet headed by a Nigerian elected Prime Minister, preparatory to independence in 1960, that supports the false narrative of marginalisation of Igbos.

For those who may not know, the first indigenous Federal Permanent Secretary even before independence was an Igbo man, Mr. Francis Nwokedi. Mr. Nwokedi and Dr. S.O Wey, who later in 1961 became the first Secretary to the Government of the Federation, were the first two indigenous Federal Permanent Secretaries in the colonial government. The two men were the doyen of Nigerian civil service. Mr. Nwokedi was promoted as Permanent Secretary about two weeks ahead of Dr. Wey.

To make Aguiyi Ironsi the General Officer Commanding of Nigerian Army, Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa broke rank with his Northern People Congress colleagues and Sir Ahmadu Bello. NPC and Ahmadu Bello, Premier of Northern Region wanted a Northerner as the GOC. The last British General Officer Commanding of Nigerian Army, Major-General Christopher Welby-Everard in his recommendation to the Prime Minister raised a number of issues against the then Brigadier Aguiyi Ironsi who at the time was the most Senior Nigerian Army Officer and concluded Brigadier Ironsi was unfit to lead the Army of a brand new country. For fairness and to preserve the tradition of seniority in the Army, Balewa ignored General Welby-Everard’s recommendation. He appointed Ironsi as the first indigenous General Officer Commanding of Nigerian Army. A stubborn fact of history is that the Igbos dominated the top echelon of the Army and Federal Civil/Public Service for many years from 1958. Till date, Abia, Anambra and Imo State have largest number of indigenes in Federal Civil Service.

If we all agree our country has historical animus we must, therefore, be honest to acknowledge them and confront them. If it is about trading blame of who did or caused what in Nigeria, no tribe or group will smell like roses. In confronting our demons, we must also reject this persecution mentality many Igbos have carried for far too long. It is distorted version of history that is fueling anger in Igboland since the civil war broke. However we choose to dice it, Nigeria has been good to all tribes. Each tribe can only complain of not having enough but no one can honestly complain of having the short end of the stick. Like other countries, our union is not perfect. It remains a work in progress.

Let’s go back to our history and let history guide us. There is no strong argument to support the marginalisation of Igbos in Nigeria beyond what exists in the imagination of those who constantly mine the Biafra franchise to amass private wealth from brainwashed people and politicians who use same for political bargain. I can conveniently say that Igbos have had the best of Nigeria more than any other tribe. Blackmailing the country with victim mentality is not a strategy. Today, many Southern politicians and so-called activists built their public credentials on constant agitation for restructuring of Nigeria. If indeed there is anything wrong with the current political structure of the country, the blame should be more on Igbos. Who promulgated the Decree 34 that abolished 1963 Federal Constitution and unitarised the Federal structure? It was Major-General Aguiyi Ironsi as Military Head of State. With scant regard to other tribes, Igbos dominated the security agencies and the Federal civil service in the first Republic. Professor Ben Nwabueze who is now the chief priest of restructuring drafted the unification decree as Legal Counsel to General Ironsi. Igbos who literally ran the Federal Government then executed the unitary arrangement for domination and ethnic advantage. Who plotted first coup that decimated South West and Northern political establishment? The fallout of that misadventure led to the civil war in 1967. The mainly Igbo officers who masterminded the coup didn’t kill any political leader from their tribe. Some Igbo leaders talk about the Civil War as if Nigeria started the war against them. Colonel Emeka Ojukwu started the war not Major-General Yakubu Gowon. Gowon had a duty to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria.

Even with all the noise about all that is supposedly wrong with Nigeria, who are the biggest beneficiaries of Nigeria’s diversity today? It is still igbos. Every part of this country welcomes them. They prosper more across the country outside their ancestral homeland. Igbos are probably the biggest real estate owners among all Nigerian tribes. In fact records show they own more than 60% of houses, Plazas, hotels and housing estates in Abuja. They play big in Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, and Port Harcourt – every part of Nigeria. I need someone to tell me the number of Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Ijaw, Kanuri, Tiv man or woman etc that currently have lands, houses or any business that can employ 50 people in any part of South Eastern Nigeria the same way Igbos do in South West, South South and in the North. Do they sell land to non-Igbos in South East same way they freely buy land and own properties in other parts of Nigeria?

Under President Jonathan, the government they seem to have invested heavy emotions more than Jonathan’s own Ijaw tribe, Igbos got key federal appointments through Senator Pius Anyim as Secretary to the Government of the Federation. Did other tribes bitterly complain the way Igbos now do over appointments? In any case, which statutory appointments have they been denied by current government despite rejecting President Muhammadu Buhari and his party in 4 elections? Let’s get real here. Igbos really want to get all top appointments in a government they rejected and have shown unimaginable hostility despite the government offering them the best deal in Nigeria in terms of real development no administration offered them since 1960. It is on record Buhari, in two presidential contests, made top Igbo politicians his running mate. Let’s face it. Which government in Nigeria has taken on the quantum of Federal government-funded infrastructural projects that are going on in the South East than this current FG since 1960? If we analyse the Federal Budget from 2016 when President Buhari presented his first budget, the current FG has possibly spent more money developing SE in 6 years than it has done in Buhari’s own North West if we consider FG’s spend on Infrastructure per region.


It will appear Igbo elites prefer appointments that only benefit individuals and their hangers-on more than real development that benefits majority of citizens of that region. They covet appointment of an Igbo person as Chief of Army Staff more than Second Niger Bridge, Enugu-Port Harcourt Express, Awka-Enugu Express, Owerri-Port Harcourt Express, Port Harcourt-Aba and other dead Federal highways that are being reconstructed across the region. For all the special intervention supports by Federal Government to all States of the Federation, I am not aware President Buhari denied South Eastern States what is due to them because Igbos didn’t vote for him. Question: how did all the appointments held by Igbos before the Buhari administration including Chief of Army Staff, Comptroller General of Immigration, Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Inspector General of Police, Minister of Aviation, Director-General of Pension Commission, Executive Chairman of National Electricity Regulatory Commission, Minister of Power etc improve the lives of Igbo people. Stella Oduah and Osita Chidoka as Ministers of Aviation couldn’t even fix Enugu Airport in 5 years or did Dr. Sam Amadi, Professor Bath Nnaji and Professor Chinedu Nebo who superintended over the power sector for 6 years supply more electricity to Onitsha, Aba and Nnewi? Having Igbo sons leading the power sector for 6years could not even resolve the legal logjam between Emeka Offor’s, Enugu Distribution Company and Geometric Power owned by another Igbo man to supply regular electricity to Aba. Whereas a Federal government being led by a man they rejected in every election since 2003 has done, in 6 years, what the Igbo adopted political party could not do for them in 16 years. It was Buhari that gave Ariaria Market, the biggest market in the region uninterrupted electricity supply.

The main point here is the fact that Igbos cannot continue to claim they are the only good people or tribe in Nigeria while others are the evil people holding them down. Certainly, hate and insulting other tribes can’t be a strategy for engagement in addressing any grievances if at all there are genuine ones. Even though the Nigerian constitution does not allow for referendum, let the Federal Government allow it to see if majority of Igbo people will vote to leave Nigeria. I am sure majority wants to remain citizens of Nigeria because they know Nigeria serves them better. If the Nigerian government won’t allow a referendum, can the South East governors agree and fund an informal referendum to even give us a scientific basis to know if the Igbos want to live as citizens of Biafra, after all, Lagos State, in 2003 or so, conducted its own census independent of the Federal Government.

The Igbo elites must summon courage to counter the IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu’s hate mongering. Igbo elites have tolerated Kanu too much without considering their own hard work, sweat and investments in Nigeria. Whatever our country is today is what we all made of it. If we now need to press the reset button it should be done in a manner we all can listen to ourselves. We must not yield the space to the mad man and his specialists in IPOB.

https://www.thenewsnigeria.com.ng/2021/06/02/are-igbos-really-marginalised-in-nigeria/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

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