” I’m heading to Uzoakoli to do battle.
I’m heading to Uzoakoli, but My lover cries out, may the bullet not hit your head.
My lover begs me to flee!
But who will defend the land When I flee?
My sweet heart begs me to Flee,
But who will do battle when the Hausas come?”
With the above song Biafran men marched into battle to defend their fatherland as Northern troops led by British tanks and Russian planes invaded their land to continue the Genocide that they started in the North in 1966.
Every Month of May, we remember over 45, 000 innocent people, men, women, children of old Eastern Nigeria , butchered in 1966 all over Northern Nigeria, just in 3 months in the first govt supported genocide in Africa.
Many were laid on rail tracks and crushed by train. Men buried alive, pregnant women had their bellies ripped open, children clubbed to death, Innocent souls whose only crime was belonging to a different ethnic group and faith.
To the over 45,000 Innocent souls whose blood was used to irrigate the deserts of Northern Nigeria, although the conspiracy of silence continues by most Nigerians, even your so called christian brethrens, although no monuments are erected for you, although no atonement has been made for that unprecedented horror, their blood continue to cry out against this nation, a nation that pretends it never happened – but we, your kins, forced to bury empty coffins, we your brothers –
The Thousands and thousands unaccounted for- in unmarked graves, from Kano to Maiduguri, to Jos to Makurdi, to Zaria, to Kafanchan, to Ilorin.
Although Nigeria sits on these graves and pretends it didn’t happen but we in whose home steads you left empty spaces –
To the he brave hearts who stood up to the British armoured cars with matchetes. Two Boys who shared a riffle so when one fell the other will pick up his gun to defend his freedom.
To the men who went into battle with five rounds each and must only shoot when he was sure to kill. The men who laid down their lives so I may live –
My three kinsmen who volunteered in Oguta and Ontisha sectors,brave men Who never returned-still on patrol –
YOUR FAMILIES REMEMBER
To Bruce Mayrock, an American student who set himself on fire, laid down his life to protest against the Genocide by Nigeria against its own people –
Artur Alves Pereira and Count Von Rosen of the Biafran air force who came to Biafra in protest against the state sponsored pogrom –
To Wole Soyinka, who stood alone and insisted” the man died” who kept silent in the face of such a pogrom –
Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Zambia and Haiti, nations that hoisted our flags against the silence of the world –
All members of the Research And Production unit (RAP), with no outside help YOU demonstrated that the black man can do wonders if only he looks inwards; Home made armoured cars, rockets, beer from cassava, engine oil from coconut, the Biafran Red Devil (Armoured vehicle), the Shore Batteries, the Ogbunigwes. Your ingenuity, your bravely, today –
To our brave mothers , who cooked and sent to their sons in the trenches, knowing it could be their last meal-
The little boys who went “combing” many returned, many did not –
The World Council of Churches, The Caritas, The Red Cross who saved millions of children with food aid, despite the blockade –
Millions of our Children who had no milk and died before their time –
Ah! Corporal Nwafor, you took in the hail of bullets from the vandals yet continued your final run towards their armoured car with a grenade in your hand, until you successfully threw the grenade into the troublesome vehicle and disabled it before you let your bullet riddled body fall to the ground and your comrades captured the precious armoured car and renamed it “Copral Nwafor”
Col Patrick Achuzie-, General Alexander Madiebo, Gen. Philip Effiong, Col. Onwuatuegwu, Nkonko Ndem and all brave men who stood in the gap –
Odumegwu Ojukwu switched from Ball rooms to Bunkers, leaving behind a tremendous wealth to give shelter to a people faced with death, you turned artisans into fighters and scientists, your mission, to build the first black nation with an indigenous technology.
Under the pressure of mortar shells and in less than three years, you demonstrated that the black man can hold his own, but the whites didn’t seem to be comfortable with an indigenous African technology, so UK and USSR suspended their enmity and empowered their Northern stooge to distract you. The Arab League threw its weight behind the North and the rest is history.
General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu,Eze Igbo gburugburu, oguejiofo –
May justice prevail, may peace reign, may we NEVER find a need to shed blood, May God open the eyes of this Nation to see that like the blood of Abel, the blood of the innocent Easterners shed needlessly in 1966 calls for atonement and until the Nation collectively owns up to it, it can never be free from this vicious circle.
Finally and most importantly, we remember 3.5 million Biafrans killed in defence of their freedom from oppression and injustice.
Writer: Kelechi Onuoha
Remember, we at We Are Igbos, we will sit at home.
Categories: Igbo news