Social and political commentator, Alexander Thandi Ubani writes about remembering Biafrans who died over 50 years ago.
Locals in south east Nigeria in 1968 during the peak of the Biafra war.
It is with a broken heart that I write this article as a mist of disappoint trickles down my face to my neck. I wonder when Ndigbo will ever get it right.
It is over 50 years since our loved ones were massacred before and during the war by marauding Nigerian forces because they asked for independence, yet not even one Igbo leader has the courage to stand up for the millions of dead Biafran souls by calling for a day to be set aside for their remembrance.
Shame on all of us, especially our senseless leaders who have misplaced the priorities for which Chineke brought them to life. Shame on all our governors, members of the senate and house of representatives, including other top government officials in the federal and state level, who have failed to stand up for the souls of their loved ones who died during the Biafran war.
What will it cost to officially set aside a day for all of us to honour the dead, remember our loved ones and extol the qualities for which we are known? Our loved ones who died in the war continue to turn in their graves due to this injustice.
Even if the federal government fails to remember, must we also dance the dance of stupidity with them. I see states in the southeast set aside a day or two for inconsequential celebrations/events, yet fail to remember their loved ones killed during the Biafran war. No wonder we have made no progress in Nigeria.
Governors have come and gone, yet none have been able to muster the courage to liaise with other governors to officially set aside a day across all the southeast states for a befitting commemoration in honour of all those who died during the Biafran war. I ask again: what will it cost if all southern states set aside a memorial day for such worthy cause? What will it cost, my people? What!!
How can we live as a people not knowing our past. A people without a sense of history leaves behind a generation without an identity. We beg to be allowed to remember our dead loved ones with security operatives threatening to kill us for making such pronouncements. Such threats from security operatives is indeed an insult to the memory of our loved who died during the war. What effrontery on the part of the same state that perpetuated this evil deed against our people.
For more than 2 years, our loved ones fought tooth and nail for what they believed in. 2 million Innocent Biafrans died as a result of blockade by Nigerian forces, yet some do not care to remember. It is the plan of the government for our people not to remember. But they have failed. We will never forget.
The propaganda machines of the government went to market on 30th of May, 2019 with reports telling us that the sit-at-home order by the indigenous people of Biafra failed. Even the government is desperate to make us forget our history.
I shiver to believe that we have become this divided as a people. Everyone from the south was affected by the mass murder of our loved ones. It was a marathon bloodletting whether you are: Ijaw, itsekiri, Urhobo, Ibibio, Igbo etc, they just didn’t care. All of us were affected. Yet, some people from the south-south on social media will pretend like they do not care about what happened. If they choose to forget, we will always remember.
While our elite speak ‘big grammar’, ride in luxury cars, loot our money and spend years representing their pockets in Abuja, we the people must never forget. A day shall come when our leaders shall look for their houses and will not see it any more and we shall ask back all what they have denied and stolen from us, including our history.
As a matter of urgency, all governors of the south must rise from their slumber and come together to officially set aside a day for the remembrance of our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers and children massacred during the war.
We must rise against the government agents trying to ridicule our conscience, history and life. The sacrifice and the suffering our people passed through, fighting for their lives and future of their children must never be forgotten.
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