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Asaba Massacre: Monument As Balm For War Trauma

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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

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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