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Showing posts from October, 2009

Revisiting The Asaba Massacres

By Obi Nwakanma, Vanguard

My attempt this week is to bring some attention to the subject of the Asaba massacres, one of the haunting ghosts of Nigeria’s last civil war. I pay particular tribute to Emma Okocha – Onye Amuma Cable – author of Blood on the Niger, the chilling account of the Asaba massacres of October 7, 1967.


More than any other individual, Okocha has pursued the Asaba story with the temerity of a survivor, and the hardnosed instincts of a well-trained journalist. He has brought attention to the great evil that Nigerians love to forget: the attempt at selective annihilation of a people through acts of terrible war crimes.

Asaba has become Okocha’s life work; an obsession. He says it is to bring closure, and give final rest to those who perished that day in Asaba. But I suspect something much deeper and personal. Of course it is up close and personal for Emma Okocha. He is from Asaba; he survived the massacres; but his entire family perished.

The Igbo name their children, “Ech…

Death of a Missionary Priest, Father Aengus Finucane

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Written by John O'Shaughnessy, Limerick Post

FATHER Aengus Finucane, the former Chief Executive of the Third World charity Concern, and a native of Limerick, where he was made a Freeman of the City, has died, aged 77. He died in the Spiritan Fathers’ nursing home in Kimmage after a short illness. The late Fr Finucane is survived by two sisters and three brothers.

He was a product of Limerick CBS and later studied Philosophy, and was ordained a Holy Ghost priest in 1958.

The Nigerian civil war four decades ago catapulted him into emergency aid.

As a Spiritan missionary in Biafra, a region that was trying to breakaway from Nigeria, he was confronted with famine.

He joined parishioners in braving bombing raids to unload relief cargoes at a local airstrip.

Supporters of Fr Finucane and his fellow missionaries raised almost €4m and sent four shiploads of humanitarian aid. They founded Africa Concern.

Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power, expressed deep regret at the death o…