Fifty-three years after the Nigerian civil war was fought from July, 1967 to January 1970, young Nigerians want to know what happened to enable the country to make progress.
As members of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, somberly commemorated the event which led to the most remarkable humanitarian crisis in Nigeria since it came into existence over a century ago, those born, mostly after the war, accuse the older generation of suppressing history.
The war, which resulted in the death of more than two million citizens, mostly of the Igbo race of Southeast Nigeria, is not treated in any history book as it is not part of the school curriculum.
However, IPOB, a political movement, led by Kanu, a post-war child, wants the actualization of the dream of the forefathers because of the alleged marginalization of the Igbo race in Nigeria’s political development.
The group believes a sovereign state of Biafra would enable members of the race to develop their entrepreneurial potentialities to become a global force to be reckoned with.
Unlike in previous years when the group’s celebration witnessed clashes between IPOB members and the security agencies, this year’s event took a solemn note as the organization which usually called for a sit-at-home by people “Biafra” citizens changed the approach.
In a statement by its Spokesperson, Emma Powerful, the group announced a three-day programme, staring from Wednesday, May 27, to Saturday, May 30, and called for prayers for heroes of the war.”
After much consideration and deliberations IPOB high command decided to urge Biafrans both home and in the diaspora, to observe this year’s remembrance and celebration of our brothers and sisters who were killed and starved to death during the genocidal war on the peaceful land of Biafra by Nigeria government and her foreign allies, including Britain, Egypt, USSR and Czechs Republic between 1967 and 1970, through fasting and prayers,” it said.
The group said it decided against a sit-at-home order because the citizens had suffered under lockdowns over the COVID-19 pandemic and so would not compound their pains any further.
In tweets to commemorate the war, many young Nigerians accused older generations of living in denial by not sharing the experience of the war in history books.
The following are some of the tweets:
Victims of the bloody killing in Nkpor, Anambra state, in which over 60 pro-Biafra protesters were killed and at least 100 were injured by Nigerian security forces on 30 May 2016 are still awaiting justice four years on.
— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) May 30, 2020
I was 5 when the war ended.
And for one year afterwards at lunch break, they marched us to a local dispensary. You extended two cupped palms and received some protein powder.
Living at the edge of Igboland we escaped Kwashiorkor.
— Dr Aloy Chife (@ChifeDr) May 30, 2020
We are about to go into the fourth segment of our event today. This segment is particularly important because it deals with a very important aspect of the general Igbo ideology.
Biafra received a lot of support from several groups during the war and since then, we have not… pic.twitter.com/djhqYyUkxA
— Centre for Memories (@cfmemories) May 30, 2020
Happy Biafra Rememberance Day
Nigeria needs to come to terms with its sordid history. The events that led to the #civilwar are still with us today. Indeed they are as deep.
— (@tundeokeagi) May 30, 2020
“At the end of the thirty-month war #Biafra was a vast smoldering rubble. The head count at the end of the war was perhaps three million dead, which was approximately 20 percent of the entire population.” Chinua Achebe, There Was a Country#Echezona#Echefula#Ozoemena
— Chioma Agwuegbo (@ChiomaChuka) May 30, 2020
In my view due to the Biafran war… our relationship with each other will always be chained to the reality of unresolved pain. We will always walk in the dark and destructive shadow of bitterness. Like slaves, we are shackled to the sins of our fathershttps://t.co/bH8PlwFR2s
— Udo Ilo (@udoilo) May 30, 2020
— Chinedu Asadu (@chinedu_asadu) May 30, 2020
Avoiding the conversation of Biafra shackles us to the sins and pains of our fathers https://t.co/OXyCba2ruZ
— Udo Ilo (@udoilo) May 30, 2020
Today, we remember all those that died in the Biafran War and say #ozoemena.
— Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) May 30, 2020
— NewsDay POST NGR (@NewsDayPost) May 30, 2020