Tales From Biafra
I was not born during the Nigerian Biafrian war. My mum was a little girl when the war broke out. She hates to relieve the memories of war but a few times she talked about the war she tells tales of hardship, hunger, fear, bunkers, air raids and the smell of death
One account that rings true is the tale of kwashiorkor suffered by the Biafrian children. She tells of an evening she returned from gathering leaves from the bush to prepare soup for dinner with her grandmother. They get home only to discover that her younger brother, my uncle who was suffering from kwashiorkor was missing. Inquiry from neighbours hinted that he may have been taken to the truck going to Gabon which was filled with Biafrian children suffering from kwashiorkor
They were going to Gabon to get relief
Her grandmother ran as fast as her legs could carry her towards the direction of the truck. It was already making its way out of their hometown. She kept screaming and running towards the truck in hot pursuit. Her hysteria made the truck driver pay her attention and finally stopped. She took my uncle from the midst of a lot of whimpering, frightened, hungry, potbellied, Biafrian children.
Imagine the number of our brothers and sisters who were forced to flee from their motherland as a result of war
Did they ever return? Your guess is as good as mine.
The war was bad. No one wishes war upon themselves or a nation. Why is it that some Igbos cannot forget and forgive what their ancestors do not wish to happen again? I spoke to a man who fought in the civil war, he told me he wishes the war had never happened. In his words, “it was senseless”.
Nigeria’s problem is corruption, lack of leadership, application of law and good governance. not segregation. If Igbos get their wish and are given their own republic, they will afce the same problems. I wish though, that the Biafrian agitators know that their leaders just want to amass wealth and power. Now that the noise is getting louder, their thirst for power becomes more potent…and deadly