Showing posts from 2021

BOOK SHELF: Ojukwu Wept Under My Shoulder For Forgiveness Over Role In War ― Amb Ukume

BY JOSEPH ERUNKE ( VANGUARD ) -- Explains how he convinced Shehu Shagari to grant Ojukwu pardon Nigerian Ambassador to Cote D’Ivoire during late President Shehu Shagari’s administration, Denis Ukume, has disclosed that late Biafra warlord, Odumegwu Ojukwu, wept under his shoulder for forgiveness over role in war. The 83-year-old claimed Ojukwu agreed to Shagari’s condition to be referred to simply as “Mr” without any military insignia if he (Ojukwu) would be granted pardon for his role in the Nigerian Civil War. But he said Ojukwu almost marred his chances of being accorded the amnesty when he flouted the condition a few hours after by referring to himself as “General Odumegwu Ojukwu”, in an appreciation letter he wrote to him following his role in the amnesty deal. Ukume’s claims were contained in his book, titled: “I believe”, which he published among three others, launched in Abuja. His three other books also launched alongside, were titled, “My Challenges”, Osofinco and Mamma Mia”,

Being Black In P.E.I.: What Elizabeth Iwunwa Wants Canadians To Understand About The Nigerian Civil War

  BY ELIZABETH IWUNWA CBC Canada Elizabeth Iwunwa says that growing up, she didn't know what it meant to be Nigerian. She identifies more strongly with being Igbo.  Image: Elizabeth Iwunwa via CBC Canada 'Let us remember to find peace within ourselves and extend it to all whom we call neighbour' ----------------Elizabeth Iwunwa The victims of war are not only the soldiers who lose life and limb, but also the people who suffer pain, the destruction of their life's work and the realization of what fellow human beings are capable of. My father is one of such. My mother too, but mostly my father, for he was a child conscious of his surroundings when the Nigerian civil war began. He was only five years old. This war, often called the Biafran war, was the most fatal perpetration of Black-on-Black killing in Africa before the Rwandan genocide. It began in July 1967, ended in January 1970 and tainted Nigeria's newborn independence of seven years.   One nation in word only

NIGERIA: The Case Of Biafra

BY CHINYERE OBASI HARVARD POLITICAL REVIEW A baby dies of malnutrition in the arms of a British nurse at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Umuahia just one of the estimated one to two million victims of the Biafran War, on June 11,1968. Image: Ron Burton/Mirrorpix On Tuesday, June 29, 2021, Nnamdi Kanu, an Igbo Nigerian with British citizenship who can perhaps best be described as an “agitator,” was arrested . No one can agree on where it happened since reports range from Kenya to Ethiopia to the Netherlands . The people who do know are keeping quiet. No one knows precisely who arrested Kanu either; Kenya is denying involvement and the United Kingdom is still requesting further information. The best information so far suggests a collaboration between Nigerian security forces and Interpol. The setup and circumstances to the arrest of Kanu in June resemble a well-thought-out whodunit, with twists and turns and a slightly sinister edge. Why was Kanu arrested? That depends on who you ask. Acc

Harry Gillan Obituary: Dundonian Who Saved Lives Of 2,000 Biafran Children

BY CHRIS FERGUSON THE COURIER   Harry Gillan known as Brother Raphael with pupils in then Eastern Nigeria. Image via The Courier/Evening Telegraph Harry Gillan, who helped to save an estimated two thousand children from starvation during the Biafra war, before serving as depute rector of St John’s High School, Dundee, has died aged 93. In the 1960s, as a Marist Brother committed to educating needy children, Harry, known then as Brother Raphael, was headteacher of a boys’ secondary school in south-east Nigeria. He, his fellow brothers, pupils and local residents were trapped in their region when it declared itself independent Biafra. The Nigerian national army admitted using starvation as a weapon of war. By the end of the war an estimated 3.5 million people, most of them children, had died of hunger. Brother Raphael showed exceptional bravery, facing down gunmen and driving vehicles into conflict zones to try to find food and medicine for children. Starvation was eventually eased when

January 2020: “No Victor And No Vanquished” - Fifty Years After The Biafran War

ORIGINS    A baby dies of malnutrition in the arms of a British nurse at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Umuahia just one of the estimated one to two million victims of the Biafran War, on June 11,1968. Image: Ron Burton/Mirrorpix Barely three years after independence from British colonial rule, Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, collapsed into a civil war. The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, became one of the most divisive wars in the history of post-independence Africa. Its traumatic effects, evident in persistent ethnic animosities and distrust , continues to shape the narrative of Nigerian identity and the nation’s future. Equally important, the historical origin and the painful experiences of that three-year war (from July 1967 to January 15, 1970) validates the assumption that multiethnic nationhood, which African nationalists constructed from the inherited colonial boundaries, was fragile, even untenable. Indeed, most historians would agree that the Nigeri

BIAFRAN WAR: General Ojukwu Speaks To The Council Of Elders

  Footage via Getty Images

'I looked for death but I couldn't find it,' a Nigerian town relives the brutal civil war, 50 years after it ended

BY SHAYERA DARK Evelyn Okororie was a trader in Port Harcourt, southeast Nigeria before the civil war broke out. She lost three children in the war. Evelyn Okororie had just returned home from the market in Nigeria's Midwest region, when neighbors informed her that an airstrike had killed her mother, her niece and three of her children. The year was 1969, and it was two months before the end of the brutal two-year Nigeria-Biafra war, which killed an estimated one to three million people , mostly from the Igbo tribe in the eastern part of the country. It was said to be the world's first televised war and the haunting images of starving children caught in a civil war shocked the world. Protests were held around the world and Bruce Mayrock, a student at Columbia University, set himself on fire at the United Nations headquarters in New York to protest the war in Biafra. Beatles singer John Lennon returned his MBE in a protest over Britain's foreign policy, which included Bia

BIAFRA: The Pogrom And Economic Blockade

  A baby dies of malnutrition in the arms of a British nurse at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Umuahia just one of the estimated one to two million victims of the Biafran War, on June 11,1968. Image: Ron Burton/Mirrorpix

INTERVIEW: How I Ran Central Bank Of Biafra – Sylvester Ugoh

With participation in the Second Republic, General Ibrahim Babangida’s transition and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he discusses the politics of Nigeria with relative ease. With the same candour, he talks on the Central Bank of Biafra, where he was the governor, explaining how he ran the two-man director institution for the 30 months the civil war lasted. Ugoh also dissects other issues in the land, identifying where the drift in the current democratic experiment commenced, as well as way out of the crisis. The last time many Nigerians heard about you was during the PDP Convention of 1999. Since then, you have literally been off the scene. Why? My wife was ill in the United States of America (U.S.), and my children, who were there, felt that I should come and stay with her because, usually, in the morning when they would have gone to work, she would be alone. It was not an easy decision for me to make. But considering her situation and how highly we regarded her, I decided to aba

Asaba Massacre: Monument As Balm For War Trauma

BY PIUS MORDI By all accounts, it was not a case of unfortunate collateral damage of war nor was the killing fields anywhere near the theatre of war. It was a premeditated and carefully planned murder. For the people of Asaba, October 7, 1967 is a day that lives in infamy. It was the day federal troops gruesomely slaughtered hundreds of their men and young men in one of the saddest chapters of Nigeria’s history and the first time mass killings of peaceful civilians were carried out in post-independence Africa. What came to be known universally as the Asaba massacre actually began a few days earlier on October 5, 1967 after Biafran forces were beaten back from their failed venture to capture Lagos at the onset of the civil war. Having been stopped on their tracks at Ore and a fast retreat ensued, federal forces entered Asaba on October 5 and launched series of deadly raids on homes to fish out and summarily execute any adult male they felt collaborated with the Biafran forces who had ea

A Deleted Tweet, A Twitter Ban And Biafran Wounds That Have Never Healed

BY BENJAMIN MAIANGWA AND OLUCHI CLORIA OGBU THE CONVERSATION The feeling of desertion by Nigeria’s federal government has not left the region that was defined as Biafra during the country’s civil war. Stefano Montesi - Corbis/Getty Images The Nigerian state is intricately laced with violent threads , woven into it by its colonial, military and ethnic setup. The Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967 to 1970 was both an outcome and a symptom of this configuration. This violent setup of the state is partly why the Biafran question remains an open sore . It has engendered heated activism in the country by groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra whose activism has often collided with the firepower of the state. The Igbos are one of three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria, situated in the southeast. Feelings of collective trauma and a lack of justice after the war have deepened their grievances and reinforced agitations for Biafra, which is both a contested geographic home for the Igbos and an ide