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Monday, November 2, 2015

Biafra: Blood in their eyes


49 years of struggle and deaths

The smouldering agitation for self determination by some groups and individuals in the South-east geo-political zone of Nigeria as expressed in the rebirth of Biafra has of recent assumed varying definitions and stakes. From a shrill level of stillness after a rejuvenated crescendo some 16 odd years ago, the recent arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, an arrowhead in the struggle and director of the pirate Radio Biafra on October 19, 2015, has given more impetus to the struggle.

The upsurge in the restiveness since May 29 this year when the new regime of President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in was ignited by perceived lopsidedness in the initial key appointments he made, and declarations he made in far away United States of America that those who did not vote for him in the elections should not expect to profit where they did not sow. The statement took the heartlands of the South-east by storm and was interpreted as a veiled reference to them who through their votes thumbed a resounding no to his presidential quest over the years. In the new offensive, about 71 deaths have been recorded and scores detained by agents of the government.

Indeed, the National Director of Information of The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Mr. Uchenna Madu recently alleged extra judicial killings of some of their detained members in Ebonyi state. The high casualty figures of the agitators who adopted passive resistance over the years have implanted a consciousness of recklessness and deeper significance of their struggle and its meaning to them. They are telling the rest of the world in parables and acts that their lives are less important than the meaning of their lives. They are so seized with this symbolic fervor, and intoxicated with their xenophobic dream that they are willing to view themselves as a sacrifice to history. 

Canadian writer Betty Nickerson, in her work "Letters from Biafra aptly captures this propelling force this way: "Biafra is more than a government, or place; it is an idea about freedom. To fight for it, perhaps to live for it, if one is lucky, is our consuming passion".
For 49 years, blood has been spilled over this. An estimated three million people perished in the fratricidal, civil war that lasted 30 months between May 30, 1967 and January 12, 1970. Since then, more than 2,338 people have lost their lives in various Biafran related uprisings.

 In 2014, in what clearly looked like a suicide mission, some activists of the Biafran Zionist Movement, BZM attempted to seize a government owned radio station in Enugu and the Government House Enugu, killing a policeman in the process. They were rounded up and put in detention since then. As the orgy of bloodletting and clampdown continues, there is nothing yet to suggest a cessation of hostilities. The frontiers of protest are expanding, the fault lines are deepening. From a campaign spearheaded mainly by semi-literate youths with mob hysteria often described as "misguided", it is spreading like wild fire embracing the intelligentsia, the new rich, and de crème de la crème of the Igbo society. 

The political class, who in deference to their political interests within the Nigerian context has always donned indifference and kept the struggle and their moving spirits at arm's length, is gradually beginning to capitulate. With blood in their eyes, and as the agents of government bay for their blood, the power of their resolve and clarity of intent resonate and rankle in their souls. Fresh campaign thrusts are unfolding by the day, while more groups are sprouting. From just MASSOB in 1999, it has expanded to include Indigenous People of Biafra led by Nnamdi Kanu, Biafran Actualization Forum, BAF, Biafran Zionist Movement, BZM, Biafra National Congress, BNC, and a splinter faction of MASSOB.

Interestingly, the Igbos in the Diaspora have shown more than a passing interest in the struggle. Sunday Sun learnt that they form the nucleus of the struggle, providing a huge chunk of the funds and other logistics. They are also actively involved in external propaganda and diplomatic engagements. The sophistication has also twined to other areas. On July 17, Kanu lauched another radio station in London, promising to bring on 50 others in two phases in the next 18 months. According to Sunday Sun checks, another station called 'Biafra 24 radio' has hit the air waves pushing the same message of 'Freedom of Biafraland'. Plans are also afoot to float a satellite television station abroad. The location could not be ascertained as at press time.

On July 14 this year, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Information, Dr Sade Yemi- Esan declared that Radio Biafra had been successfully jammed and the technical masterminds arrested. The station, however, is still broadcasting on the World Wide Web making it impossible to block its broadcasts. The arrest of Kanu on October 19, 2015 has accentuated the frenzy and acidity of the broadcasts. 
They have also stepped up diplomatic offensives on all fronts which have led to some western governments issuing statements to demand his release. An Embassy of Biafra has been opened in Victoria, Spain. "It is another milestone in our drive towards Biafra's restoration" said a radio broadcast from London monitored in Lagos by Sunday Sun. The Embassy set up by IPOB was opened on Saturday, February 28. In a prayer at the event, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu said: "We, your children are gathered here in Victoria Basque country O Lord of Hosts, to do that which you have divinely mandated us to do. 

Today here in Northern Spain we open yet another chapter in this relentless effort to restore your kingdom upon the face of this earth. For the journey mercies you have granted us from all over the world here gathered, we remain eternally grateful. From all over the world we have come to establish a firm base in this land from where your will must be done. This year belongs to us Biafrans because in the end, all glory and honour will be yours and yours alone. Iseee!" An elated Kanu also expressed gratitude to God for the success of the event on his Facebook page:"To the most gracious almighty Chukwu Abhiama do we owe all that we are for this journey mercy granted to all hard core Biafrans that attended IPOB mission opening ceremony in Victoria Basque Country in Spain.
Magnificent and merciful creator of the universe, even if we worship you from now till eternity, we still will not be able to repay you for the grace you have shown us, Indigenous People of Biafra for guiding us back to our respective destinations. For those we left behind, please guide them to their families in safety that in the end as always, all honour and glory will be yours and yours alone, because only you is worthy of praise. Your children have asked me to come to Amsterdam Netherlands from where your redeeming gospel of restoration will be preached tonight to the hearing of humanity. Abide with us Heavenly Father as you have always done for we are nothing without you. This family here shall find peace as they all desire that indeed your kingdom, Biafra may come on this earth as it is in heaven.....Iseee!"

What is Biafra?
There are several postulations as to the origins of the word 'bight' as in bight of Biafra. One account describes it as a cartographic indication for the word "exit". It explains that it is a body of water that serves as a particular exit from the international shipping lanes to a brighter station - a long curve in a coastline. A bay is formed by this curve. Passenger voyages were the only means of international travel for most of human history, and they were done through one of these bights to international trans - Atlantic water lanes. Another meaning of Biafra relates to "Bia", the Igbo word for "Come". The word, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica likely derives from Biafar or Biafada of the Tenda ethnic group who reside mainly in Guinea Bissau. Manuel Alvares (1526- 1583) a Portuguese Jesuit educator in his work " Ethiopia minor and a geographical account of the province of Sierra Leone", writes about the " Biafar Heathen" in chapter 13 of the same book. 

The word Biafar, an adaptation of Biafra appears to be a commonly used word in the Portuguese language in the 16th century. Early modern maps of Africa from the 15th to the 19th century drawn by European cartographers from accounts written by explorers and travelers also reveal this information. The original word used then was Biafara , and not Biafra. According to the maps, the European travelers used the word, "Biafara" to describe the entire region east of River Niger going down to the mount Camerouns. The word Biafara also appears on maps from the 18th century in the area around Gambia. On a closer linguistic level, Biafra is from the Igbo words "Bia", meaning come and "Fara" meaning join.

The agenda
Former president of the pan - Igbo socio cultural organization, Ohanaeze, late Chief Ralph Uwaechue in a very testy mood in 2009 raised the alarm that " Igbo marginalization can break up Nigeria". He was speaking against the backdrop of the demand for redress in the imbalance in the federal setup which he said was skewed heavily against the Igbos. Successive governments since the end of the civil war have merely paid lip service to the slogan of " Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation" enunciated by the then military government, according to him. 
He viewed the development as a time bomb, and cautioned political leaders to tread with caution in their utterances. Before then, the late Senator Francis Ellah had observed that the oft-repeated "Nigerian question" is merely the inability of the Nigerian nation to accommodate the Igbo unconditionally. The late novelist , Chinua Achebe highlighted the brewing cauldron in his " The trouble with Nigeria." He postulated that so long as injustice continues to be the guiding principles in the co-existence of the different ethnic groups within the national framework, so long will there be unease in the land. Apart from the clamour for full and unfettered accommodation, there is also the sinew of mistrust. 

Igbo elders who are opposed to secession have unsuccessfully been working quietly behind the lines to forge a mutually beneficial structure by pushing forward forcefully the Igbo agenda each time there was a National Conference. The agenda had on three different occasions been diffused and subtly rejected. Faced with frustration and weighed down by the defeat in the civil war, the casual protest lane has been adopted with unprecedented bloodletting. The Reparation Committee of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in a 28-page document entitled: "Atrocities and Injustices against Ndigbo," set out a list of demands and submitted them to President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.

It reads in part: "The Federal Government should pay 400 billion naira each to the five states of the South East as compensation to those who lost loved ones, lost properties, and those still suffering dislocation today in Nigeria.
Compensation would be made to those Igbos who escaped during the pogroms and war and returned to find their jobs taken, their properties and houses occupied and their Biafran money worthless.
The group also asked the Federal Government to invest in a massive re-planning of Igbo cities with proper structures such as provision of urban water works, a sort of Marshall Plan often devised for war-ravaged area. The demand , just as many others before it never saw the light of the day. In the grip of the grim situation, the cry for Biafra has become the calming balm, which like in the scriptures is the promised land for them.

No comments:


I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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