I will never Agitate for Biafra Again
The indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) have been agitating for freedom and independence from Nigeria. According to recent empirical research, this agitation has led many Biafrans to their untimely death, not only during the civil war, but in the contemporary time as the agitation continues to go on.
In some deeper rational and logical evaluations by Mr. Vasco Dagama, a London-based Nigerian, he lamented bitterly that he will never agitate for Biafra Freedom again. In a bid to justify his assertion, he allegedly narrated a true life story he got right from the primary source.
Agitation For BIAFRA? Never Again! ?? ?
Barely one month ago, after our super while having some family chit chat outside and she just clocked 88 years of age, I asked her, could you tell me a little bit about John? She sat up in her recliner, with enthusiasm and passion she narrated to me about John, her first born after getting married in 1949. John was an epitome of a first born son any woman would ever wanted.
Sometime in 1969, during the Biafra war, a kinsman has lost a daughter. No one wanted to attend the burial or even ready to help the family to bury their dead. All men in the neighbourhood over the age of 16 years have gone into hiding for fear of being caught and conscripted into the Biafra army.
But John wasn’t taking it anymore. He persuaded his dad to join him get over to their kinsman’s house and help him bury his daughter.
While they were digging the grave, the Biafran soldiers invaded the compound and caught them both, father and son, and took them away.
She yelled and cried out painfully. Her husband and son were forcefully taken away from her while trying to help a kinsman. She followed them all the way from Isiokpo in Ideato to Orlu, to Njaba and then to Umuaka on foot, crying and begging them to release at least one of them. But they refused.
This has gone on for days. she sat beside the adhoc camp at Umuaka, crying her eyes out pleadingly to no avail. She sat there watching while her husband and son’s hairs were scraped out with broken bottles in readiness for war front. Her heart ached with every scrap.
At last, while loaded into the truck for Umuahia, the commander, touched by her devotion and pain, brought out her husband and son before her and asked her to choose one. She couldn’t because she wanted both of them.
Then John spoke up
“Mama, Biafran war happened in our time. I’m 17 years and I’m an adult now. Let me join my fellows and fight this war. Take your husband home and take care of the rest of your children. I will fight this war and will be back “
With that, she went home with her husband.
In June 1970, at the announcement of the end of the war, the soldiers were returning to their families. She waited for John to come back but there was no John until today. That was how she lost John to Biafran war.
She cried for days and nights, even wandered through all the war fronts around Ozuakoli Umuahia to see if she could ever recover John’s corpse.
But all her efforts were futile. She didn’t get Biafra, she didn’t get John. Her precious son was gone forever without even a marked grave. She never survived this trauma. Up to date, she would yell out John’s name whenever in shock or anything happened to her by sudden. This woman here is my mother, the man was my dad and John was my brother I never had.
On the other hand, Ojukwu the instigator of the Biafran war, lived to his ripe age, enjoyed life of luxury and two successful marriages with children and grandchildren to show for his existence.
I didn’t even get to know my eldest brother, John. And you are asking me to come out and fight for Biafran cause again in my mother’s lifetime? You must be crazy. Never again, not even in my life time.
My family has had a fair share of Biafran pain. My family has paid it’s due. You can go out and fight for Biafran independence. Yes, go and pay your dues too.