UZOKWE'S SEARCHLIGHT

Monday, May 31, 2021
obiuzokwe@comcast.net
Harrisburg, PA, USA
May 30 is here again - My Biafra Story Never Dies!-
I tell it at Johns Hopkins University

Link to the video:

https://youtu.be/pxmD055lKX4

his day, in 1967, Biafra became an independent nation. The Biafran enclave, which became defined by the independence, was an attempt to provide a place of refuge for easterners who had fled their homes from all parts of Nigeria. Different waves of pogroms, in northern Nigeria then, saw thousands of easterners being mowed down and exterminated senselessly.

I never tire in telling my Biafran story and will never until I take my last breath. Why? Because those who shun their history are bound to repeat its ugly parts again. And for me, the loss I, my family and many others incurred, in human toll and resources, will never leave my mind. So if my story helps in ensuring that what happened before never happens again, I would have done my part. But just for the avoidance of doubt, I do not apologize for telling this story over and over and over again.

One would think that Nigeria would have learned a lesson. One would think that all the things that led to the war would have been remediated and the nation co-exist in harmony. Sadly, the same events that led to that war are playing out again. The incursion of Fulani herdsmen into all parts of southern Nigeria, killing people, rendering farmlands desolate with their herds, have again started. They are reinjuring sore and frayed nerves and bringing back the acrimonious disposition that characterized the nation in 1966 and eventually led to the war.

The video attached has been seen by many. But many more should see it. It is just a nugget of the agony Biafran families went through as the Biafra war raged on. It is a video of me telling part of my story to some African students at the Johns Hopkins University Baltimore Maryland. I told the story from the perspective of a young Biafran lad. I was 7 years when the war started and turned 10 when the last shots were fired in January of 1970. Throughout the war, I was a child chorister and hence was always in the midst of older men and women choristers as we sang songs to lift the spirit of Biafra. We sometimes visited hospitals where brave Biafra soldiers were being treated to lift their spirits. Me and a handful of other young lads, even danced to a French song called L’amour just to entertain and lift the spirit Biafra and Biafran soldiers.

I did not fight but I played my own part. I learned a lot about the war, even at that age, because I was always in the company of older ones every time the choir gathered and talked about the events. I always listened attentively to the discussions about the war.

War is not good. No matter how noble, lives are painfully lost. But Nigeria seemingly treats with levity, this dangerous dance that Fulani herdsmen are triggering. The President seems indifferent but he has to realize that by inaction, he is allowing the conditions that led to the war in 1967 to start incubating. It is a dangerous dance towards anarchy capable of plunging the nation, once again, into a bitter history past.

Those who shun their history are bound to repeat its ugly parts.

Author of the books- 1. Nigeria: Contemporary Commentaries and Essays

2. Surviving in Biafra: The Story of the Nigerian Civil War

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