Search this Site and the Web

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The rivers of blood in Asaba by Femi Fani-Kayode

Written by Femi Fani-Kayode.

Femi Fani-Kayode
This essay is about one of the most horrific events that has ever taken place in our history and one of the most graphic examples of ethnic cleansing that took place during our civil war. It is an event which mortified the civilized world and which brought our nation and Armed Forces opprobrium, disdain, contempt and shame. It is an event that turned the earth red with blood and the sky black with death on the accursed day that it took place. 

It is also an event which successive governments have attempted to brush under the carpet, forgetting that we owe it to God and to the killed innocents to establish the facts, set the record straight and let the truth prevail. Whether anyone likes it or not what happened in Asaba on October 7th 1967 will constantly be revisited and one day, when history is taught in our schools, it will be a reference point for all that is sordid, unclean and reprehensible about our turbulent and ugly past.

One day it will remind us of the depth of the brutality and sheer callousness that often prevailed in the old Nigeria and hopefully we shall garnish that reality with the firm resolve that such a thing will NEVER happen again. The facts are as follows. The Commanding Officer of the Second Division of the Nigerian Army that retook Asaba from Biafra was Lt. Colonel Murtala Mohammed. He was to become Major-General Murtala Mohammed and our nation's Head of State within the next eight years. One of his key officer's and the man that actually led the soldiers into Asaba on that day was Lt. Colonel Ibrahim Haruna (better known as Lt. Col. IBM Haruna). 

He was the commanding officer whilst one Major Ibrahim Taiwo, who actually gave the orders for the massacre to commence, was his second in command. According to Wikipedia, "the Federal troops entered Asaba around October 5 1967 and began ransacking houses and killing civilians claiming they were Biafran sympathisers. Leaders summoned the townspeople to assemble on the morning of October 7, hoping to end the violence through a show of support for "One Nigeria." Hundreds of men, women, and children, many wearing the ceremonial akwa ocha (white) attire paraded along the main street, singing, dancing, and chanting "One Nigeria." At a junction, men and teenage boys were separated from women and young children, and gathered in an open square at Ogbe-Osawa village. Federal troops revealed machine guns, and orders were given, reportedly by Major Ibrahim Taiwo, to open fire. It is estimated that more than 700 men and boys were killed, some as young as 12 years old, in addition to many more killed in the preceding days. The bodies of some victims were retrieved by family members and buried at home. But most were buried in many mass graves without appropriate ceremony. 

Many extended families lost dozens of men and boys. Federal troops occupied Asaba for many months, during which time most of the town was destroyed, many women and girls were abused or forcibly "married," and large numbers of citizens fled, many not returning until the war ended in 1970". Permit me to give a more vivid account. When the Federal troops "liberated" the town of Asaba from the Biafran Army, they invited all the young boys and old men into the town- centre for a briefing. READ ALSO: Breaking: Jubilation as tribunal upholds Edo state governor's election (photos) Most of the men that were of fighting age had fled the town and retreated into the east with the Biafran army. The people left behind were mostly women, children and the elderly. 

At Ogbe Asawa the old men and young boys were asked to come out and report in the town square. Consequently no less than 1000 boys, some of whom were as young as 10 years old and elderly men, some of whom were as old as 80, left their homes and proceeded to the town centre for what they believed would be a pep talk and a happy reunion with Nigerian soldiers.
They neither carried nor possessed any weapons and they offered no protest or resistance. As a matter of fact history records that many of them went to the town centre with great hopes of reconciliation and big smiles on their faces believing that they would find favour with their Nigerian "liberators". 

When they got there they were lined up in neat rows and, within the space of one hour, every single one of them was dead. Those that were not shot to death were hacked to pieces and bludgeoned to death with knives, cutlasses, cudgels, axes and bayonets. Some their heads were cut off whilst others had their organs and private parts cut off and were badly mutilated. Worse still many had their eyes removed. Rivers of blood flowed through the town square as swarms of flies and hordes of vultures nested and feasted on the bloated corpses of the killed innocents. The stench of death and rotting flesh was compelling and overpowering whilst the entire community was stunned with horror, frozen with fear and gripped with terror. Each and every one of them lost someone on that day and, as the bodies of both the young and old were thrown into mass graves, the entire town was thrown into weeks and months of weeping, wailing, mourning and gnashing of teeth. 

Other than the pre-meditated, cold-blooded and utterly callous "murder by starvation" policy of Gowon's Federal Military Government which led to the death of over one million Biafran children, this event, which came to be known as the "Asaba massacre", was undoubtedly the single most horrific and brutal act of genocide in the Nigerian civil war. Clearly those that were behind it forgot that the blood of the innocents and martyrs never goes to waste. They also forgot that the Lord of Hosts is a God of vengeance and the Ancient of Days always rewards and repays. 

Thirty-four years later, in 2001, during the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo and in front of the Justice Oputa-led Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Colonel IBM Haruna (who by that time had become a Major-General and was the Chairman and leader of the Arewa Consultative Forum), said the following words under cross examination in front of millions of Nigerians who watched the event on live television. He said, "as commanding officer and leader of the troops that massacred 500 men in Asaba, I have no apology for those massacred in Asaba, Owerri and Ameke-Item. I acted as a soldier maintaining the peace and unity of Nigeria". He went further by saying: "If General Yakubu Gowon apologized, he did it in his own capacity. As for me I have no apology". 

The fact that these were mostly defenceless little boys and elderly men who bore no arms, who carried no weapons, who offered no resistance and who were non-combatants during the war had no bearing or impact on the reasoning or thinking of this man. He expressed no remorse and no regrets for his reprehensible actions and he offered no compassion or sensitivity towards his harmless and trusting victims. 

And neither did he have any empathy with or sympathy for the families that they left behind. His mindset and attitude was sociopathic in nature. He refused to recognize or accept the fact that his actions were not only barbaric and utterly evil but also completely unnatural. This was a man who, under the administration of General Yakubu Gowon, was bestowed with the distinct honor and privilege of being appointed as Federal Commissioner of Information and Culture (the equivalent of Minister of Information and Culture) in our country, yet he openly expressed his pride and joy in slaughtering hundreds of innocent children, defenceless elderly men and helpless senior citizens in the name of "keeping the peace" and ensuring "Nigerian unity". Such impunity and callousness has rarely been seen in the annals of world history. 

Not even Hitler's team that gassed 6 million innocent Jews and Gypsies to death in concentration camps during the Second World War spoke with such pride and joy about their sheer barbarism and horrendous atrocities either at the Nuremberg Tribunals where they were put on trial or at any other time after the conclusion of the war. Worst still the open and public expression of this inhumane and utterly primitive attitude and sentiment by IBM Haruna proves more than any other that ever since the beginning and indeed right from the start southern Nigeria has been under the cruel yoke and bondage of the most inhuman form of subjugation, slavery and repression. 

We were (and still are) held together as a nation by nothing other than the fear of heartless and ruthless men like IBM Haruna and the force of arms. 

I sincerely hope that one day this wicked man who has no milk of human kindness flowing through his veins and who is incapable of harbouring any compassion faces justice for his heinous crimes. That is the least we could do to appease the souls of those that were so cruelly and brutally murdered in Asaba and give them the justice that they are screaming for from their graves. Interestingly, Major Ibrahim Taiwo, the officer who actually ordered the soldiers to shoot the civilians and who reported directly to Lt. Colonel IBM Haruna on that fateful day, was himself murdered nine years and five months later on February 13th 1976. 

He was killed alongside General Murtala Mohammed, the then Head of State and the civil war Commander of the Second Division to which they all belonged, during an attempted coup by Colonel Bukar Dimka. 
What an irony and strange twist of fate this was. Surely there is a lesson to be learnt there. 

May the souls of those that were massacred in Asaba on October 7th 1967 continue to rest in peace and may the Lord continue to strengthen and comfort their families and loved ones. 

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...”


Biafra Videos: Explosive secret about Biafra...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Featured Post


Topics: Mindset of the enemy. Yoruba were in world's best universities when Usman dan fodio was still learning to ride a horse Th...