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Sunday, 22 January 2017

FAMILY WRITERS' FACT FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS

FAMILY WRITERS' FACT FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS


I welcome you all our readers to this very first edition of Family Writers Fact Findings and Analysis coming to you from Ekwenye Samuel Chukwunweike and Sunday Okafor for Family writers.

Today we shall be analysing two major events that happened during the week.

FIRST ON THE LIST IS THE BOMBING OF THE IDP's CAMP IN RANN (A TOWN LOCATED IN THE NORTHERN NIGERIA).

On Tuesday 17th of January, a Nigerian military jet bombed a camp for internally displaced people (IDP), most of these people are displaced as a result of the activities of the terrorist groups likes Boko Haram or the Fulani herdsmen. Many of them have lost their wives, husbands, children, homes, livelihood etc. They depend on the little which some government agencies and the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) are providing to them. The airstrike to their camp according to a staff of the NGO called Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) –ironically which was founded in Biafra land during the Nigeria-Biafra war in the late 60’s by a couple of disgruntled Red Cross staff- stated that “least 200 wounded and 50 dead”.

TAKING A VERY CLOSE OBSERVATION ON HOW AND WHY THE NIGERIA AIR FORCE BOMBED THESE POOR PEOPLE.

1. The Nigerian economy is in recession, meaning less attention is given to these internally displaced persons since there are no more funds to provide the basic amenities needed to run these camps. As a result of the recession also the value of the Nigerian currency has plummeted against the US dollars, causing a sharp rise in all goods and services in the country.

As a result, the government finds it very difficult to purchase or produce what will be enough to feed these people in their thousands daily.  The inability of the government to produce and satisfy the needs of these IDPs must have led them to bombing their camp.

Remember that the proximity from the scene of the blast to the Sambisa forest where the Nigerian military jet was supposedly heading to bomb is more than 25kms away. Then how did this so-called “mistake” occur?  The question remains unanswered till we received a feedback.

THE WAY OUT: The only way out of this quagmire is simple, a complete dismantling of the institutions holding us and Nigerians together; each and every nation allowed to explore their fundamental right of self-determination. We as Biafran will be able to figure out what suits us better and the Oduduwa or Arewa peoples can as well define their own destiny.

NEXT ON THE LIST IS THE BLOODBATH WHICH WAS CREATED BY THE NIGERIAN SECURITY FORCES WHILE UNARMED AND PEACEFUL BIAFRANS WERE CONDUCTING A RALLY IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

First of all, Donald Trump is now the 45th president of the United States of America. Biafrans were seen rallying in their numbers in the streets of Igweocha (now known as Porthacourt). The events was all peaceful and orderly, until a detachment of Nigeria security forces from the police, army, DSS began shooting unarmed civilians which included youths, market women and old men; resulting in the death of over 20 people and many others that were injured. The whereabouts of over 200 are still yet to be ascertained.

ANALYSING ON WHY MANY BIAFRANS ALWAYS ARE SHOT AND KILLED AT ANYTIME THEY ARE RALLYING.

1. Buhari vowed to either die rather than to live and see the Republic of Biafra restored as a country. Do you think that Buhari is ready to die now on his wish?  It’s automatically no. And that's why he is doing all his possible best to intimidate, maim and silence Biafrans and their motives of restoring the Republic of Biafra as a country.

2.  The only motivation behind the mindset of ‘ONE NIGERIA’ is the oil wells located in Biafra land which has been the main source of the Nigeria economy. Because they would not like to lose these oil wells, the Fulani oligarchy in concert with the masters in Britain are ready to keep killing Biafrans (or whoever is a threat to their oil interests) to mute them and their struggle.
With this we end the week's edition of FWFFA. Remain blessed till the next edition, goodbye.

22ND JANUARY 2017 : FAMILY WRITERS' SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

FAMILY WRITERS' SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

By Maxwell Chuks and Elemeghideonye Nnamdi Stephen
For Family Writers

Welcome to another edition of Family Writers Spotlight of the week. In this edition, we'll briefly present to you trending updates which occurred during the busy and unforgettable week.

* First on Spotlight of the week;
Spotlight zoomed its presence to Katsina state of Nigeria were cattle rustlers was offered amnesty. This was done on regards to the killings the Islamic terrorist group in disguise of cattle rustlers have been carrying out in different parts of the country and according to the Governor of Katsina state, he said granting them amnesty will make them stop violence and killing in Nigeria.
And we are asking- Do you think granting amnesty to those blood thirsty terrorists will reduce or make them stop attacks and killings?

* 'BBOG' group.
You remember who they are?
Exactly... 'Bring Back Our Girls' group led by Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili are on it again.
This time, they said they joined the Nigeria military to sambisa forest to search for the missing Chibok girls.
According to them, "We took military jet, fly and fly round sambisa forest but we couldn't find the girls. In fact, sambisa forest is bigger than Lagos state".
And we said- "Ma, welcome from the tour" but the masses on the media were just like- "Madam, we're getting sick and tired of these super story".

* Gboozaaaaa again..
This one happened in the University of Maiduguri were Boko Haram suicide bombers left a professor and 3 others killed while 15 others sustained injury in the twin blast.

* Down to the University of Nsukka where our spotlight jet dropped us; we saw students of the University decrying over the exorbitant price of kerosene which is sold #400 per liter in the filling station.
The most amazing part of it is that they weren't the only ones crying, shouting and complaining.
In fact, the general public were also crying seriously over same issue.


While others were crying over the high cost, others didn't even see kerosene to buy.
Oh Nigeria, the G-iant of Africa.

* "I have never seen this type of suffering since I joined politics" -Saraki.
The Senate president of Nigeria Bukola Saraki have openly confessed that he has never seen the type of suffering the masses are going through now in Nigeria since he joined politics. He complained bitterly on how the masses can't even afford 2 square meal a day since Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the president of Nigeria.
Ohuooo, they are beginning to talk and complain too.

* During the week; there were tears in Mbaitolu of Imo state where the Nigeria state murdered a Biafran-United States of America Navy veteran whom they thought he came to support the Biafra struggle
Chuks Okebata was assassinated in his hometown by suspected men of the Nigeria.

* Spotlight of the week focused on the occasion where Traditional rulers in Delta staged a walk out of the Peace talks with Osibanjo the Nigeria vice president.
This happened after they disagreed on the issues, points and speech released by the vice president of Nigeria Yemi Osibanjo who visited the area for peace talks to stop pipeline bombing but woefully, the vice president was disappointed and put to shame just as the traditional rulers walked out.

* The Boko Haram hunters (Nigeria military) hunted again.

This time, they hunted the IDP Camp in Borno state.
They Nigeria army during the week; bombed the IDP Camp, more than 100 people was confirmed dead and152 injured.. Among victims are staff of ICRI, Medicine sans frontiers who were in the camp during the airstrike bombardment.
In fact the victims who sustained injuries said the military hit the camp with airstrike two times.
But the military said- "It was a mistake, we thought they were Boko Haram members and Sambisa forest".
After the incident and speech from the military, there were serious reactions and questions from people.
While others were asking-" What kind of mistake was that?", others were asking- "Are you sure you are not the Boko Haram?".

* Straight; we moved on to Gambia where the 8years old son of the president elect Barrow, was bitten by a dog.
Reports have it that he died when he was rushed to the hospital.
What a painful incident....
Rest in Peace son..

* Still in Gambia; President Yahya Jammeh has pleaded with Sirlent and ECOWAS to let court determine his fate whether to remain as president or handover to the president elect.
This plea came after receiving much pressure from ECOWAS and others to hand over the presidential seat to Barrow (the president elect of Gambia).
The political war in Gambia didn't just end after Jammeh pleaded to ECOWAS to let court determine his fate..
24hours to the end of his tenure, Jammeh declared 90days state of Emergency in Gambia.
Huh! We are smelling trouble in Gambia if time is not taken. Though information reaching us says that Jammeh has agreed to step down and go on exile.

* Back to Biafra Land, our spotlight ship took us home where we heard-
"We stand and support IPOB, release Nnamdi Kanu and free Biafra".
Who said it?
Ohaneze Ndi Igbo Anambra Chapter.

* Less than 24hours after Osibanjo's visit; militants bombed the NDPC oil pipeline in Delta state to prove to the whole world that the visit was useless.
Hmm. Mission impossible for Nigeria.

* With tears on our eyes; we (the spotlight crew) maintained focus on the incident that occurred on 20th January 2017 in Igweocha(Port Harcourt) during the peaceful TRUMP SOLIDARITY RALLY organized by the Indigenous People Of Biafra.
The event which we were present turned bloody when the Nigeria military arrived in the scene with armed vans and trucks loaded with soldiers, sophisticated weapons and started shooting sporadically at Biafrans, killed not less than 20 persons, injured many while more than 200 Biafrans who participated in the peaceful rally are still missing.
We the spotlight crew and other journalists were also attacked and shot at by the Nigeria military men who also tore into pieces the Biafra, US and Israeli flags and drove away with many victims injured by bullet wounds.

EXTRACT-
Read also in www.biafraherald.co

* RAPHAEL UWAZULIKE IS A FIDDLE -Prophet Nwoko blast sacked MASSOB leader
* GAMBIA PARLIAMENT EXTEND YAHYA'S TENURE TO 90 DAYS
* PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, BOKO HARAM  AND THE SILENCE OVER THE ATTACKS AND KILLINGS BY FULANI HERDSMEN
* HISTORIC INAUGURATION, HISTORIC SOLIDARITY AND HISTORIC MASSACRE
* BUHARI RUNS TO LONDON AS TRUMP INVITES IPOB LEADERSHIP FOR INAUGURATION CEREMONY
* Ipob: THE ABDUCTION OF FAMILY WRITERS JOURNALIST, MOSES AGBO WON'T BE TAKEN LIKELY
* RADIO BIAFRA IS LEGAL AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT BREACH HATE-SPEECH LAWS -British officials
* NNAMDI KANU SHOULD BE RELEASED UNCONDITIONALLY -Ipob Ndoki Zone

We march the break here for this week.
STAY TUNED FOR NEXT WEEK EDITION OF FAMILY WRITERS SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK.




EXPLOSIVE REPORT: WITNESS REPORT ON IPOB-TRUMP 21 MILLION SOLIDARITY RALLY IN IGWEOCHA (PORT HARCOURT) ON 20TH JANUARY 2017

EXPLOSIVE REPORT:   WITNESS REPORT ON IPOB-TRUMP 21MILLION SOLIDARITY RALLY IN IGWEOCHA (PORT HARCOURT) ON 20TH JANUARY 2017

(Detailed report)


By Maxwell Chuks and Elemeghideonye Nnamdi Stephen
Family Writers reporters who were at the scene of the event

 The Donald Trump Solidarity rally which was organized by the Indigenous People Of Biafra IPOB to show support to Donald J. Trump, the new president of America who was sworn into office on the 20th of January 2017 attracted many people all over the world mostly Biafrans who wholeheartedly determined to show support to the president elect through a solidarity rally.

     In the early hours of Friday, 20th January 2017, which was the day set out for the swearing in of president Donald Trump and which was also the day for the solidarity rally by Biafrans in support of president Donald J Trump;  Biafrans all over the world both far and near traveled down to Igweocha(Port Harcourt) in Biafra land where the rally was to kick off.

    At exactly 9am; many Biafrans were seen heading down to Rumuola Junction which was the kick off point  of the rally but on getting there, there was heavy presence of the Nigerian military men with more than 10 armed military vehicles, hillux vans and sophisticated weapons. So Biafrans decided to move down to GRA where the peaceful rally started immediately to avoid confrontations by the military.

During the peaceful rally; some DSS and SAARS operatives which we saw between Rumuola and GRA axis, drove down to the scene of the rally and started making phone calls. 28 minutes later; not less than 10 military trucks loaded with military men fully armed with sophisticated weapons of mass destruction arrived at the scene of the rally but Biafrans who didn't anticipate that such evil unleashed on them will occur, marched forward fearlessly and peacefully but the Nigerian military men who came with the strict instruction to 'SHOOT AT SIGHT' started throwing teargas, beating and flogging old women and men and molested other Biafrans who were at the event.

    On the process to know the reasons why the Nigerian military took such actions, a Biafran raised his two hands up and headed towards the military but lo and behold, they shot him dead at that spot.
Few minutes later they started shooting at us and other journalists and camera men who were present but we managed to escape but they approached us and other Biafrans who were scattered all over the city and started shooting sporadically and indiscriminately  at everyone they saw while others who sustained injuries were arrested and thrown into their van.
Right there; an officer of the Nigerian military with the highest rank took the America, Israeli and Biafra flag used in the rally and tore them into pieces. This action of his', made other Nigerian military men to join him in tearing into pieces the America, Biafran and Israeli flag they saw alongside with pictures of President Donald J. Trump.  Due to the huge turnout of Biafrans on the event, many of the participants in the solidarity rally moved out of the scene but the military men still went after them and shot directly at them thereby leaving scores dead.

After some hours; we (the Family Writers reporters) came out from hiding to continue with our duty which is to cover the event, to get live reports and conduct interviews but when we got to the GRA express road and environs; live bullets was littered everywhere, the road and environments was painted with blood, there were dead bodies while many were seen with serious injuries.

So far; 17 Biafrans were confirmed dead, others who were taken to the hospital died on the way while scores sustained several degrees of injury.
As we are reporting to you right now, we don’t know the fate of some of the injured persons who are under-going serious treatments while the whereabouts of the missing ones are yet to be known despite unrelentless search to know their whereabouts.  Investigations are still on-going to ascertain the whereabouts of those who were abducted during and after the rally.

Edited by Ebere Okolie
For Family Writers

Saturday, 21 January 2017

TRUMP SOLIDARITY RALLY : MANY BIAFRANS WERE ONCE MORE MASSACRED IN IGWEOCHA BIAFRA LAND ON THE 20TH OF JANUARY 2017

TRUMP SOLIDARITY RALLY : MANY BIAFRANS WERE ONCE MORE MASSACRED IN IGWEOCHA BIAFRA LAND ON THE 20TH OF JANUARY 2017

BY OGOCHUKWU NNANNA
FOR FAMILY WRITERS

In solidarity with the inauguration ceremony of the Donald Trump on the 20th of January, thousands of Biafrans answered the call from leaders of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to attend a peaceful solidarity rally in Igweocha in Biafra land. The events were planned to be peaceful -which has been the norm of all IPOB rallies and protests- but once more the murderous Nigerian military under the command of Muhammad Buhari targeted and shot many of these peaceful and unarmed Biafrans; resulting in the death of many unarmed Biafrans, many suffered injuries from gunshots and the disappearance of 200 hundred persons.

Prior to these, IPOB, without mincing words, made it known to the international community, NGO’s etc. that the Nigerian government and their murderous military are out to clamp down on everyone that oppose them including us, they have no recourse to anything other than to kill and destroy. It is only in Nigeria that killing someone is not a crime as long as the killing was done by either the Nigerian Military (currently dominated by the Muslims from the Northern parts) or by the Islamic Fulani herdsmen, this is the sort of thing you expect when the president of a country is the sponsor of a terrorist group.

Yesterday was really difficult and disheartening, the Nigerian Police, DSS, SAARS, Army went into frenzy, shooting teargas and live ammunitions on unarmed people doing a rally in solidarity with President Donald Trump. Honestly, these men were ordered to shoot and kill, even though the rallies were peaceful- they kept shooting directly at our people. Many people were either killed or wounded and others were kidnapped to unknown destinations. About 15 Hillux trucks filled with military men, a large number of police and SAARS people were in operation, creating a scenario as if it was a war environment. People who witnessed these were bitterly angered as they watched the security men shoot and kill our people like how animals are killed.

Apart from shooting our people who were unarmed civilians, the Nigerian military men also tore American, Israeli and Biafran flag used during the rally. The scenario was like the scenes from the Rwandan genocide with many torn American flags covered with human blood everywhere. The Nigerian authorities have a big question to answer, Is it a crime to embark on a peaceful rally? Is this a demonstration of their anger against the successful election of President Donald Trump? Would this had been the case if Hillary Clinton won and some youths from the Northern parts of Nigeria embarked on a solidarity rally?

Even after the end of the peaceful rally which became a bloodbath, the security men still kept on arresting people at beer bars and joints in Igweocha to unknown destinations. The reports reaching us is very bad, over 200 Biafrans are missing and their whereabouts are unknown.
This cannot be anything else but a direct order from the terrorist president of the lawless country Nigeria in the person of Muhammad Buhari. He gave the order and sneaked out of the country in order to exonerate himself. Thank God the whole world understands what we have been talking about, that Nigeria is a murderous and lawless country. Hopefully, President Donald Trump will understand better what is going on in Nigeria, regarding the terrorism and crimes against unarmed Biafrans. These sorts of bloodbaths have been ongoing –even after the reports from Amnesty International indicting the Nigeria authorities of killing unarmed civilians in Biafra land- that of yesterday has broken the camel’s back.

It is very sad to us that unarmed Biafrans were killed yesterday by the Nigerian military, police and other security outfits simply because they went for a rally in solidarity with President Donald Trump.  And when we call Nigeria a zoo country, some persons don't exactly know what we really meant. We are calling on the UN, members of the  international community (most especially the attention of the incoming US ambassador to Nigeria), Human Right Organizations to investigate into the atrocities being committed by the Nigerian authorities, to free our director Nnamdi Kalu and allow the restoration of the Republic of Biafra.

Edited by Olariche Anozie
For Family Writers

REPORT: HOW FAMILY WRITERS JOURNALISTS ESCAPED DEATH, AS BEN BRUCE CONDEMNS THE KILLING OF IPOB ACTIVISTS BY THE NIGERIAN ARMY ON TRUMP’S SOLIDARITY RALLY IN PORTHARCOURT

REPORT: HOW FAMILY WRITERS JOURNALISTS ESCAPED DEATH, AS BEN BRUCE CONDEMNS THE KILLING OF IPOB ACTIVISTS BY THE NIGERIAN ARMY ON TRUMP’S SOLIDARITY RALLY IN PORTHARCOURT

BY COMRADE CHUKWU OGBU
FOR FAMILY WRITERS


     Yesterday's Trump solidarity rally which was staged by the indigenous people of Biafra to show support to the leadership of President Donald J Trump was occasioned by mass killing of IPOB activists by the Nigerian military forces.
 
     Over 11 people were killed when the Nigeria Army under the command of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo invaded the place where the rally took place.

   Family Writers journalist who was on ground to cover the event said that the Nigerian Army first started by arresting IPOB activist and anybody waving American and Biafran flag at Rumola area, Port Harcourt. It was accounted that no fewer than 100 persons were arrested and taken to an undisclosed location possibly for summary execution while over 11 others were killed at the spot of the rally.

   However, Nigerian Army opened fire on the defenseless and unarmed IPOB members at Garrison, Portharcourt and unleashed massacre on them without provocation.  About 20 persons sustained gunshot injury while two persons where confirmed dead at a spot.

      The Nigerian Army who were on a mission to kill Trump supporters started chasing IPOB members with over 7 hilux vans from Eleme junction heading to Artillery, Portharcourt but couldn’t penetrate the mammoth crowd despite firing poisonous teargas canisters at the IPOB members who were resolute as they continued marching relentlessly while singing “TRUMP FOR BIAFRA” TRUMP SAVE BIAFRA” NIGERIA HAS EXPIRED.”

   According to a snappy interview conducted by Family Writers journalist, a woman simply Identified as Mrs. Ifenyinwa Chukwu when asked about her reactions on the massacre, said that "Buhari is not happy that Donald Trump supports the right of indigenous people to attain freedom of which IPOB is presently championing under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu ,  hence sent his Fulani Jihadist soldiers to kill and arrest IPOB/TRUMP supporters".

   " I knew it was going to be like this because Nigeria is an anarchy state where there is no law and rule of engagement guiding the armed forces. It wasn't surprising to me. I just got angry over our boys that lost their dear life during the rally and I thank God for my Life" She continued.
  Words cannot explain, how grateful I am to God for saving my life today says a Family Writers Journalist Ibe Gift Amarachi who was also on ground to cover the event.

      Another  Family Writers  journalist  Ogochukwu  Nnanna who escaped death, when narrating  her own ordeal said : “the Nigerian Army were chasing us like common criminals and  we ran to an extent that we entered into a rotten toilet ; we were more than 100 in that small toilet and it was as if we were in the prison room.

 Another Family Writers journalist Egwatu Chuks said "I was nearly hitten by a flying Bullet, and thank God for saving my life".
Reacting over the killings, and Gestapo style of operation of NIGERIA ARMY UNDER THE COMMAND OF BUHARI, the Chairman of the Silver Bird Group took to his Facebook page He said;
“I strongly condemn the killing of unarmed IPOB members rallying for Donald J. Trump earlier today. I believe in one Nigeria. I also believe in human life. But even more importantly, I believe in the Nigerian Constitution that gives every Nigerian citizen a guaranteed right of assembly. This loss of lives should not be allowed to happen without the due process of the law kicking in. It must be investigated and the culprits brought to book. Human life in Nigeria must have value if Nigeria is ever to be valued as a great nation by her citizens”.

    We in family writers under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu wish to reiterate that Biafra is unstoppable and must come under the watchful eyes of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and we owe nobody apology.

Edited by Ebere Okolie
For Family Writers

BIAFRA : HISTORICAL INAUGURATION,HISTORICAL SOLIDARITY AND HISTORICAL MASSACRE

HISTORICAL INAUGURATION HISTORICAL SOLIDARITY HISTORICAL MASSACRE

By Paul Emerenini
For Family Writers

What a day!
In that hour!
Of that moment.

What a broad day massacres
What a broad day sorrow
What a broad day mourning

Men and women full of life
Able and formidable
Healthier amidst of scarcity
Without skin pain and sickness

Father and husband of someone
Mother and wife to someone
A child of somebody
The only child of the family

What an hour of horror
Sudden change of joy into sorrow
Sudden disappearance of happiness
Moment of antagonizing steps

Solidarity songs turned to weeping
Crying everywhere
I saw the blood watering the ground
The blood of Trump's supporters
Innocent blood of Biafrans.

The bullets still raining
Shooting at close range
Amidst 2million supporters
Armless and peaceful souls.

Upon the massacre
reality of what has happened
Are twisted by the Nigerian news agencies.
Concocting of lies emerged

Quickly foreign media news agencies began to carry it.
Without due investigation
Fabricated lies levied against IPOB

What a shame!
Lying against the living gets equal proportion from opponent
Lying against the dead makes the dead unhappy.

Yet the living remained resolute
Continued to match
In solidarity with Trump
Fearless and courageously

Oh!
My mother land
Why hardens to our prayers?
When will you stop drinking the blood of your inhabitants?

Oh!
My mother land
You have swallowed many
Those who ought to be alive
Those who have mission to accomplish
Those who cherished you.

Oh!
My mother land
Why harboring your enemies
Why allowing invaders in
Why are you besieged?
Why the desecration.

Oh!
My mother land
Shall your children abandon you for the infidels?
Uncircumcised
Uncultured?

Oh!
My mother land
Where shall we go from here?
Whose nation shall we cherish as we cherished you?
Whose nation has the symbol of the rising sun in it?
Whose nation shall we be proud to posses?

Oh!
My mother land
We are doomed if we abandon you
We are perished if we denial you
We are forgotten if we fail to proclaim you.

Oh!
My mother land
Vomit the spirit of those you have swallowed
Command them to avenge their dead
Turn violence unto them that killed you children.
Be rebellious to them that forced you to drink the blood of your children.

Oh!
My mother land
Grant the living fortitude
To bear the death of loved ones
Give the living strength of old
To challenge and conquer the jihadists.
Sharpen the edge of our sword
And provide us with Axes and swords to chase away the ungodly and unholy ones
from your sanctified land.

Give us victory and peace.
Iseee.
#FreeNnamdiKanu
#FreeMosesAgbo
#StopBiafraKillings.

RADIO BIAFRA IS LEGAL AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT BREACH HATE-SPEECH LAWS ---- BRITISH OFFICIALS

RADIO BIAFRA IS LEGAL AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT BREACH HATE-SPEECH LAWS ---- BRITISH OFFICIALS


It has been nearly 50 years since Biafra’s bitter independence struggle, the inspiration for  Frederick Forsyth’s bestselling The Dogs of War. Now a south London DJ  currently imprisoned in Nigeria has taken up the battle, and Biafrans are once again fighting  – and dying – for the dream of their own country

Tucked between the bus garage and the Christ Miracle Gospel Ministries church, Sandlings Close is one of the more non-descript parts of Peckham. There are no gritty high-rise flats, no bearded hipsters running pop-up restaurants. Instead, there are rows of modest, semi-detached council houses, most now privately owned.

It’s the sort of place that SE15’s best-known fictional resident, Derek Trotter, might have retired to had Trotters Independent Traders ever turned a profit. Behind the door of one of these homes,  however, lies an organisation that dreams far bigger than just New York, Paris and Peckham.

Welcome to the unlikely headquarters of Radio Biafra, broadcasting every night to an army of Nigerian listeners – not just in Little Lagos, as Peckham is sometimes dubbed, but in 100 countries around the world. It looks like a pirate-radio station, but its agenda goes far beyond music and chat. In the words of Nnamdi Kanu, its director and former DJ in chief, ‘We want a free and independent Biafra. Or death.’

A free and independent where? Mention Biafra today, and most Britons would probably struggle to find its place on a map, never mind its place in one of Britain’s bloodiest colonial epilogues.

In fact, finding Biafra on a map is impossible these days. It existed for just two and a half years, from 1967 to 1970, when, less than a decade after Nigeria gained independence from Britain, the mainly Christian Igbo people formed a breakaway state in the south-east.

Angered by the massacre of tens of thousands of Igbos in the Muslim-dominated north,  Biafra formed its own army, produced its own currency, and declared independence.  The Igbos, who often describe themselves as the ‘Jews of Africa’, wanted their own Israel. They got something closer to holocaust.

Britain, which had drawn Nigeria’s borders arbitrarily, had little patience with locals trying to reshape colonial frontiers. London backed Nigeria’s army in strangling Biafra at birth, supplying weapons and turning a blind eye to a military blockade that resulted in the starvation of about a million people.

Long before Live Aid, it brought the world images of African famine, with emaciated children dying in front of the cameras. Mercenaries and weapons smugglers also ran amok, inspiring a young reporter on the ground called Frederick Forsyth to write his bestselling novel The Dogs of War. For the next few decades, the dream was  all but abandoned, with many Igbos leaving Nigeria altogether.

Igbo's around the world unite

Today, Igbo people live  everywhere from Canada and Dubai to  China. The original Radio Biafra, a true pirate outfit, which broadcast propaganda from  a jeep-mounted studio to avoid Nigerian warplanes, fell silent. But eight years ago Kanu restarted it from London, and as the 50th anniversary of the conflict looms, it is once more campaigning for secession. As Kanu once put  it, ‘No amount of intimidation, arrest, torture, deprivation will stop Biafra from coming.’

This time, the campaign is also enjoying its very own ‘Brexit boost’. For if Britain doesn’t want to be part of the European superstate, supporters ask, why should Igbos remain part of a disastrous behemoth like Nigeria, with its 250 different ethnicities, 500 tongues and  170 million people?

After all, five decades on from the war, the Nigerian state has become  a byword for inept, corrupt government, with the world’s 10th biggest oil reserves, yet 60 per cent of people living on less than $1 a day.

‘Brexit asked why Britain should remain in a system that does not fit it,’ says Emma Nmezu, a Radio Biafra DJ and supporter of Kanu’s movement Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). ‘Kanu says it is the same with us and Nigeria.’

Until recently, Kanu was politely ignored  by the outside world. To many Igbos, he was  at best an expat dreamer, at worst a rabble- rousing shock jock. Then, after years in which nobody took him seriously, the Nigerian  government did just that. During a visit to Nigeria 15 months ago, he was arrested by its feared Department of State Security at a hotel in Lagos.


Ever since, he has languished behind the peeling walls of Kuje Prison, where he is now awaiting trial for ‘treasonable felony’, punishable with life imprisonment. One plank of the case against Kanu, 47, is  a recorded speech to the 2015 World Igbo Congress in Los Angeles, in which he effectively gave a call to arms.

‘We need guns and we need bullets,’ he declared. ‘We now know that the best way to defend yourself is to be armed, because [Islamist terror group] Boko Haram is everywhere.’ Kanu’s lawyers say that it was just overexcited rhetoric, and that no shiploads of weapons ever crossed the Atlantic. But justified or not, his arrest has turned him from a loudmouth expat into a political prisoner.

In his supporters’ eyes, he is now Peckham’s own Nelson Mandela.  Since his arrest, there have been pro-Biafran demonstrations in nearly every country with an Igbo presence, and bigger ones in the Igbo homelands of south-east Nigeria. In the city of Onitsha – the scene of heavy fighting during the war – crowds of 20,000 turned out, holding placards of the saviour from south London alongside the Biafran flag, a red, black and green tricolour emblazoned with a rising yellow sun.


And the blood has been flowing once again. Since the autumn of 2015, at least 150 Nigerians have died in clashes with security forces at  pro-Biafran rallies, according to a report in November by Amnesty International, which accused the government of heavy-handed  policing and ‘extrajudicial executions’. Hundreds more have been injured and arrested, and several police killed.

Further violence is a near-certainty if Kanu is convicted, a prospect security forces can ill afford while their hands are full with the fight against Boko Haram.  Yet the furore over Kanu’s arrest has gone all but unnoticed in Britain, where the 200,000-strong Nigerian community is generally much seen but little heard. In areas like Peckham, though, Nigerians now vie with hipsters for dominance.

Within the community, Igbos also stand out from Nigeria’s other two big ethnic groups, the Yoruba and the Muslim Hausa (the latter is largely absent from London). ‘Igbos are very entrepreneurial, and they also produce a lot of writers and British politicians,’ says Nels Abbey, a British-Nigerian businessman and former columnist on the black weekly newspaper The Voice.

Most British-Nigerian MPs are of Igbo descent, he points out, including Helen Grant, Britain’s first black female Tory MP, and Chuka Umunna, the former Labour shadow-cabinet minister occasionally tipped as a future PM. Other prominent figures include the rapper Tinie Tempah and the actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who starred in the film adaptation of Half of a Yellow Sun, novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s account of the Biafran war.

‘In Britain, these people are just seen as “black” MPs, writers, actors, sportspeople, etc, but they’re not,’ Abbey adds. ‘They’re not even just Nigerian – they’re Igbo. Igbos are also sometimes perceived as a bit snobbish, as if they think they’re capable of anything. But it isn’t snobbery if you can back it up. Nnamdi Kanu is a case in point – a guy living in a house in Peckham who thinks he can be a saviour to a nation. That beautiful audacity is typically Igbo.’

Boko Haram: 'Biafrans are still being killed'

Tune into Radio Biafra and that sense of otherness combines with a feeling of persecution. There are frequent references to Boko Haram’s campaigns of church-burnings across northern Nigeria, which have forced up to a million Christians to flee. While Boko Haram has  targeted Christians in general rather than Igbos in particular, it has revived memories of the pogroms of 50 years ago.

Radio Biafra DJs like Nmezu insist they are simply highlighting Islamist violence – something they say Britain now fights shy of doing. ‘It was the British who first brought Christianity to us in Biafra,’ said Nmezu, who moved to Britain in 1975.

‘But then they made us part of an Islamic country, where even now Biafrans are still being killed, and where our leader has been thrown in jail. Is Britain a country that still defends freedom of speech? We fear it’s moving away from the values of Christianity towards those of Islam.’

Part of the problem is that Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, is not only a Muslim northerner but an ex-general who fought the Biafrans during the war. He was also a military dictator in the 1980s, ordering soldiers to whip people who did not form orderly queues at bus stops. Much as he now styles himself as a democrat, with such a past, it has not been hard for Radio Biafra to portray him as the enemy.

Like the original station, the modern-day Radio Biafra is mobile, broadcasting sometimes from Peckham and sometimes from Croydon, also home to a big Nigerian community.

Radio Biafra and the dangers of broadcasting

Its DJs are security-conscious, which is perhaps understandable, given Buhari’s record for hunting down opponents abroad. In 1984, his government sent agents to London to kidnap Umaru Dikko, a former minister accused of embezzlement.

They were only thwarted when customs at Stansted opened a crate the Nigerian government claimed was ‘diplomatic baggage’ and found Dikko, drugged, inside. In protest, Britain broke off relations with Nigeria for two years. The Kanu affair has not had the same fallout, but has put the British Government in an awkward spot.

While Kanu’s supporters have lobbied Peckham’s MP, former acting Labour leader Harriet Harman, to press for his release, Buhari’s government is irked that Radio Biafra, banned in Nigeria, is allowed to broadcast from the UK.

British officials say that, as it is internet-based, it needs no broadcasting licence, and is legal as long as it does not breach hate-speech laws.  Kanu’s home city is Umuahia, an urban sprawl of 400,000 that was a centre for the colonial administration. In his absence, the mouthpiece of the IPOB campaign is his brother Prince,

Like many better-off Nigerians, the brothers spent time as students in Britain, where Nnamdi settled and took British citizenship, dabbling in property by day and politics by night.  ‘My brother was singled out by God for this mission,’ Prince says. ‘Nigeria has been a pretty dire concept from the start – it’s like asking Brits to live together with Kosovans.’

Prince is vague on exactly why his brother was chosen, beyond saying that he had a ‘vision’ around 2006, which took place in Croydon,  of all places. But visiting the family home,  a compound where geckos prowl in the lush garden, it is clear that both boys were steeped in the Biafran cause from an early age.


Their father, His Royal Majesty Eze Israel Okwu Kanu, is a local chief who ran aid convoys during the war, and now hosts meetings for local war veterans. A minute’s walk down the road is the weed-covered underground bunker that was the Biafran forces’ HQ, from where the bulky old transmitters for Radio Biafra used to broadcast.

Prince takes me down its echoing corridors, showing me the modest private living quarters once occupied by the breakaway state’s leader, General Odumegwu Ojukwu. Ojukwu, an urbane Oxford graduate, is revered in Umuahia to this day.

Remembering the past

It was Western education, however, that set his people apart in the first place. While northerners shunned it as a challenge to Islam (a view echoed by Boko Haram), Igbos filled missionary classrooms and prospered, dominating clerical jobs in the civil service and also spreading their influence in the north. But power also bred resentment.

In 1966, following a short-lived military coup by mostly Igbo officers, 30,000 Igbos in the north were killed by machete-wielding gangs.

‘I was a trader in the north. Hausas burnt down my shed and forced us to flee, saying we were infidels,’ says Protos Emanaha, 72, a lieutenant colonel in the Biafran army. ‘I saw them butcher a pregnant woman, slashing her stomach open and taking her baby out to kill it.’

With a Sunday-best white suit hanging off his frail frame, Emanaha is sitting with a dozen other veterans in the Kanu-family parlour. They speak proudly of their David and Goliath war against the Nigerian army, using home-made landmines called ‘Ojukwu buckets’ and mounting ‘suicide squad’ raids in which tiny groups of soldiers would go into battle outnumbered. There is no pride in how things are now.

Despite a government pledge after the war that there would be ‘neither victor nor vanquished’, Biafrans claim they have been starved of state funds. The area claimed by Biafra includes the oil hub of Port Harcourt, yet most roads have potholes.

Even flying the Biafran flag is considered provocative by the police. And in the few cemeteries for the war dead, headstones have been swallowed by the bush. Living casualties of the war also say they  got no state help.

‘From 1970 until five years ago, I was begging for alms by the side of the road,’ says wheelchair-bound Major Chuku Usim, 75, who now lives in a home provided  by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, another pressure group.

‘Nigeria has done nothing for me – now all I am begging for is my freedom.’ Yet whether Nnamdi Kanu stays in jail or returns to Peckham, it remains to be seen how many Igbos really want Biafra back. Many accuse him of reopening ethnic wounds best forgotten, and few of his diaspora followers seem keen on direct action.

In the video from Los Angeles, many of the audience look aghast at his pleas to give up a comfortable life in the West and join an armed struggle. None the less, the dream of the nation that lived for just 30 months still has much romantic appeal. And be they in California or Croydon, many pro-Biafrans still often find themselves wondering how different west Africa might be today had Biafra survived.

Among them is Frederick Forsyth, who embraced the cause and was once made an  honorary chief by a Biafran group in south London. To this day he maintains that Britain badly let down the Igbos.

‘They are shrewd, hard-working business people who are dedicated to education and  self-improvement, and Britain couldn’t have run Nigeria as a colony without them,’ Forsyth says. ‘Biafra could have been the most successful state in Africa.’

‘Some of what Kanu says is racist nonsense, some of it is Braveheart-style patriot,’ adds  Nels Abbey. ‘But to the rural guy on the ground, hearing someone in London, who’s sophisticated enough to run a radio station, that ticks  a lot of boxes. The dream Kanu taps into has never quite gone away, and if there was a  peaceful referendum on independence, it would probably get carried.’

President Buhari ruled out such a referendum last year. Then again, as Britain itself now knows, referendum movements that once seemed marginal can quickly gather pace.  In the meantime, every evening around  7pm, Radio Biafra’s remaining DJs are on air, broadcasting messages in support of the Peckham prophet. In Sandlings Close at least, the half yellow sun will never set.

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