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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

ASABA MASSACRE 1967: MY EXPERIENCE---REV. PATRICK EMORDI

ASABA MASSACRE 1967:  MY EXPERIENCE---REV. PATRICK EMORDI

I am from Ugbumata Quaters of Asaba, Delta State. There is no family in Asaba that was not affected by the massacre. The Asaba Massacre happened when the federal vandals of Nigeria were penetrating into Biafraland. I remembered that my father went to the village meeting and told them to advice everyone to run into the bush to hide. He told them not to wait to receive the federal troops because the war is still ongoing and their coming does not require a ceremony. The village elders ignored my father’s advice even though he was an ex-soldier that fought the Bama war. Instead they chose to receive the federal troops, the plan was for the townspeople to wear white clothings and dance the traditional dance to welcome the soldiers and to keep chanting “One Nigeria”.

Family Writers with  Reverend Patrick Emordi
My father came back home and told us to leave immediately for safety, we packed our belongings and went to the upper side of Asaba towards head bridge Onitsha. I left my family and joined other boys of my age escaping for their lives because the federal troops were advancing. When we got to Onitsha, we were sent to King’s College, Awka. The next day, we decided to go back to Onitsha in order to cross over to Asaba thinking the federal troops must have retreated. We got to Odutola Tyres which was by the River Niger,then heavy shellings by the federal vandals began and the shellings was very heavy that it affected the Onitsha Main Market and made us to run back because the shelling and bombardment in Asaba was massive. That same day, we left from Onitsha and trekked throughout the night and it was raining heavily. We got to Abatete at about 1am midnight and spent the night in a teacher’s house. The next day, we trekked from Abatete to Awka and we were sent to St. Paul’s Teachers’ College and we were lodged there as refugees. We were moved to Obube Grammar School and I left the camp and joined the Biafra Rangers.

I cannot give a personal account of what transpired when the federal vandals invaded Asaba but when we came back we were given detailed accounts of what happened. When the federal troops came into Asaba, the townspeople came out to receive the soldiers thinking the war was over. They wore their white clothings and were dancing and chanting “One Nigeria” but the federal vandals did not accept their reception. The federal troops surrendered and gathered the townspeople, separated the men from the women and took the men to Asaba Urban District Council (AUDC), the present location of Grand Hotel,Asaba. They were marched from there to Nika along Nnebisi Road and the soldiers opened fire on them. The men and boys were specifically selected to be massacred. Nika used to be a very large recreational field, so an excavator was brought to dig a mass grave where those massacred were buried. Some people survived and escaped in the night before the mass burial and are still living till date to tell the story. I heard that Shuwa, Babangida, Abacha, were part of the federal vandals that perpetrated the massacre.

Story by Reverend Patrick Emordi, a veteran of the Biafra war. Compiled by Chima Onyekachi, Ifeanyi Chijioke and Okonkwo Somtochukwu of Family Writers/Journalists.

2 comments

  1. Now let the Niger Deltans know their real enemy which is Nigeria, not the IGBOS their own blood brothers. #Biafra we stand

    ReplyDelete
  2. I suggest this very burial site excavated to let the world know this atrocity.

    ReplyDelete

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