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COVID-19: Biafra war a lesson to entire world – Centre for Memories



The Centre for Memories, CFM, has asked the entire continents of the world to emulate the unity and doggedness of Ndigbo during the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, as they battle to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

It said this in a statement announcing the activities lined up for the 53rd anniversary of the Nigeria-Biafra war.

Mr. Uchenna Achunine, the Centre Director, said the war against COVID-19 could be won by leveraging on the Biafra experiences.

He said “the one-day online event themed: ”Onye Aghana Nwanne Ya: Winning the Pandemic War by Leveraging Biafra Experiences”, will hold on Saturday, May 30, 2020, from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm on social media platforms.

According to Achunine, “The Nigeria-Biafra War is a significant memory in Nigeria. In recognition of this fact, CFM commemorates the start of the war on May 30 every year. The purpose of the anniversary celebrations is to honour the memory of the many men and women who played various roles before, during and after the war. Ndigbo will not forget your sacrifices.

“This year’s celebration comes at a time when the world is in a different kind of war against the COVID-19 pandemic. Are there lessons the world can learn from how Biafrans were able to mobilise and defy all odds for 30 months? The conversations at this year’s event will explore the Igbo philosophy of “Onye Aghana Nwanne Ya”, which drives the Igbo spirit of community, collaboration, unity, and resilience.”

He further outlined the six activities for this year’s event to include poetry performances, unveiling of the Biafra Memories Project, a Biafra war photo exhibition, gratitude video that recognises and thanks, on behalf of Ndigbo, all the people and organisations that provided non-military direct and indirect aid to support the people of Biafra, as well as compressed version of the CFM documentary: “JANUARY 15, 1970: UNTOLD MEMORIES OF THE NIGERIA-BIAFRA WAR”.

Speakers at the event will include Prof Chidi Odinkalu, Head, Africa Programme, Open Society Foundations; Rev. Fr. Prof. Nicholas Omenka, Visiting Professor of History, Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu; Dr Ifeoma Ezedinachi, Lecturer, Department of History and International Studies, Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Nana Nwachukwu, Knowledge Management Advisor, DFID will moderate the session.

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