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Wednesday, 16 March 2016



By Okonkwo Isaac Somto
For Family Writers

The United Nations main documents say: “All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

I keep telling myself to calm down, to take less of an interest in things and not to get so excited, but I still care a lot about liberty, freedom of speech and expression, and fairness to all. The silence of the United Nations on Biafra will not come as a surprise to Biafrans and also those observing the happenings in Nigeria on the Biafra case. The Nigeria government keep carrying out the killing and torturing of innocent Biafrans, while nothing is been done to stop it. This is not the first time the United Nations have stayed silent and folded their arms, while observing from afar the demolition of innocent Biafran lives and properties.

During the 1967 Nigeria-Biafra civil war, the then Nigeria leader Gowon, did the unthinkable by constantly going against human rights by bombing hospitals, market places and also enforcing a blockade to prevent food, medicine, aids and humanitarian supplies from getting to the suffering women and children, that devilish action by Gowon led to the death of over 3.5million women and children.

But as the humanitarian catastrophe worsened, leading ultimately to the starvation and death of millions, even the most committed anarchist would have expected greater United Nations involvement but that did not happen, several others during the war believed that had the United Nations been more involved.
There would not have been as many atrocities, as much starvation, as much death. In October 1969, when Ojukwu reached out desperately to the United Nations to "mediate a cease-fire as a prelude to peace negotiations," his plea were met with a deafening silence. Gowon observing how the UN refused to come to the rescue of the Biafrans, used that as an opportunity to invoke a calculated strategy to commit a series of human rights violations.

The vacuum in moral and humanitarian leadership from the United Nations meant that the Nigeria federal government could operate with reckless abandon, without appropriate monitoring from international agencies. There would have been no prove at all of the wartime atrocities had it not been for private non-governmental agencies and individuals, who took it upon themselves to cover the civil war.

In February 1969 alone nearly eight hundred civilians were massacred by targeted Nigerian air force strike on open markets near Owerri-Umuohiagu and Ozu-abam. The Nigeria air force pilots were particularly and intentionally targeting civilian safe havens, such as hospitals, refugee and food distribution camps, and centers of religious worship. Even Ojukwu lamented and also warned the government of Harold Wilson of Britain that the British will "forfeit all holdings in Eastern Nigeria" if it continued to provide military and logistical aid to the Nigerians. Am merely stating these events that occur during the civil war to remind those of us that has forgotten how the Biafrans were abandoned and left to fend for themselves.

Personally I thought the United Nations would have learnt from their mistakes, I solemnly thought that by now the UN would have recalled their consciousness towards the consequence of their silent during the Nigeria-Biafran civil war but no they haven't, in fact it’s now obvious that the UN intentionally turned deaf ears when Ojukwu reached out desperately for help, UN never intended to help Biafrans during the civil war and they are also doing the same thing again.

After the civil war countless Biafrans are still been murdered on a daily basis in Nigeria, and now the situation seems to be getting out of hand. Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the indigenous people of Biafra was illegally arrested on the 18 of October by the Nigeria DSS on orders from president Buhari, and over 3000 Biafran protesters have been killed by the Nigeria armed forces. Ogoni land is under siege as Aba is also under siege, Anambra was under siege before now as Biafrans are murdered every day. On the 9th of February 2016, the Nigeria armed forces stormed the premises of the National High school in Aba and open fire at the indigenous people of Biafra, who gathered in their hundreds for the purpose of holding prayer/meeting. Over 50 member was shot dead and over 35 injured, and this is not the first time such barbaric demonstrations is been portrayed and perpetrated by the Nigeria Armed forces. Over 3000 IPOB have lost their lives since Mohammadu Buhari came into office as a democratic leader in less than a year.

Many continue to wonder, why the United Nations are keeping silent, they are fully aware of the events going on in Nigeria and yet they choose to look the order way. Many continue to wonder what's behind such dubious acts by the UN, some say the UN is just a puppet of the British government been that Britain is a leading power in the UN organization and also the colonial master of Nigeria. While others says UN is just a political organisations set up to help foreigners (white folks) escape conflict whenever they are trapped between a conflict in Africa and the world at large.

Even Ojukwu lamented during the war, when the Biafra army captured 18 foreign oilmen who was leaking information to the Nigeria government, particularly staffs from the Italian government the whole world started to get involved. Many foreign leaders, even the then pope had to write to Ojukwu to release the foreigners, the event vexed Ojukwu that he exclaimed "For 18 white men, Europe is aroused. What have they said about our millions? Eighteen white men assisting in the crime of genocide. What do they say about our murdered innocents? How many black dead make one missing white? Mathematicians, please answer me. Is it infinity?". I personally, am asking the United Nations, When will they speak against the atrocities of the Nigeria government against the Biafran people? Is it until Biafrans are exterminated? Are Biafran lives less relevant?

I ask the United Nations to be fair on Biafra because Fairness is what justice really is. Our sense of fairness tells us that people should pay for the wrong they do. President Buhari needs to answers for his atrocities against the Biafran people.  I am a person who is unhappy with things as they stand. We cannot accept the injustice done to the Biafran people. Each day we should wake up foaming at the mouth because of the injustice of things that was (and still) directed to Biafrans.

Sooner or later in life, we will all take our own turn being in the position we once had someone else in.


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