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Friday, 27 May 2016

HEROES DAY: FAMILY WRITERS VISIT TO THE SCENE WHERE 'THE 1929 BIAFRAN WOMEN WAR TOOK PLACE

HEROES DAY: FAMILY WRITERS VISIT TO THE SCENE WHERE 'THE 1929 BIAFRAN WOMEN WAR TOOK PLACE:

By Ibeh Gift Amarachi
For Family Writers




While Biafrans observe the Heroes day, it is indeed worthy to remember and pay tribute to the unarmed Biafra Heroines who were killed by armed British Soldiers and Nigeria Colonial masters on the 16th of December 1929 at IKOT-ABASI AKWA-IBOM STATE, but fearlessly fought without arms despite the fact it was an unprepared war.

Reporting by IBEH GIFT AMARACHI OF FAMILY WRITERS from the scene of the tragic event;

As May 30th the Biafran Heroes remembrance day is fast approaching thought it wise to as well bring to the memory of not just Biafrans but the World at large, about the Biafran unarmed women who went into a battle with heavily armed British soldiers in 1929. What really motivated us to visit the place, is to let the World know that, the clampdown of unarmed Biafrans by Britain and their creation Nigeria have for long been practiced with impunity.  I decided to also, use this opportunity to clarify the air, as regards to the mix up between the Aba Women Riot and Ikot-Abasi Women War, although the war occurred simultaneously in same year (1929). Been a FAMILY WRITERS journalist, I carried out investigations on the true facts of the whole story.  After beating the traffic jam along Ikot-Abasi road and calming myself down from the intensified anger burning in me, over getting to know that, unarmed helpless women were assaulted and sporadically shot at by same British soldiers who forced Biafrans into their artificial creation called Nigeria, I headed to the scene were the 1929 Women War took place. First, I sighted the grave of one of the killed women and then I had to move to the scene where a building called Women War Memorial has been erupted for business. When I moved into the building, I sighted status of bare chest Brave women disarming the well armed British Soldiers and others carrying sticks to defend themselves.

The Biafra Women war which occurred on the 16th of December 1929 was indeed a terrible tragic story. The British colonial Government imposed high poll tax on Men and Women, on every region in Biafraland. Before the Women war in Ikot-Abasi which at that time was called Opobo division and it extended to cover Ibibioland,Opobo Town,Obolo or Andoni and Ogoni areas,Aba Women riot was already carried out and Mr John Jackson was the Senior Divisional Officer(SDO) of Aba Division of Owerri Province when it occurred. The Aba Women riot which occurred before the Ikot-Abasi Women War,led to Aba women locking up European Shops and the riot was channelled against British Maladministration and imposement of tax on the Aba women in 1929.

 On November 1929,a message was sent to Madam Adiaha Edem Udoma the Ikot-Abasi Women leader by Mr A.R. WHITMAN Senior Divisional Officer(SDO) of Opobo Division now Ikot-Abasi,as regards to the rumour about the Taxation of Women in that region in Biafraland,which was scheduled to hold on 16th of December 1929. Before the Women could get to the meeting venue, British Heavily Armed Soldiers who arrived from Enugu and Calabar,were already awaiting the presence of the unarmed women in front of the Divisional office under the command of Lieutenant J.N. Hill. As the unarmed Women assembled in front of the Old Divisional Office in Ikot-Abasi,for clarification over the Women tax payment from the British SDO,Six of the leading women under the leadership of Late Madam Adiaha Edem Udoma advanced forward to meet the SDO for a detailed discussion. And they were told VERBALLY that they won't be paying same way the Biafran men have been forced to pay to the British Colonial Government of Nigeria. And then, the women calmly requested that his assurance should be put into Writing and as well Signed for the distribution among the groups of women, not knowing their request got the British SDO upset. The SDO who was very upset over the women's request, gave a signal to the Soldiers who were standing by and at the order of Lieutenant Hill, they opened fire on the innocent unarmed Women. The Six Women leaders were gunned down first and then the extension of the attack got to the other women.

There was stampede and some women who were trying to escape, fell into and got drowned in the Ikot-Abasi River. Some of the Women took it upon themselves and engaged into a war with the heavily armed British Soldiers, by beating them up and disarming them. They fought very hard and the war ended with 26 Women shot dead at the spot, 31 Women severely injured and 3 died on admission in the Hospital. And upon till today, not the British Government nor that of Nigeria, have deemed it fit to pay tribute or apologize to families of this Brave and Intelligent Women whose lives were forcefully taken by British government from their Land.

 One will wonder what, the unarmed Biafran women did to Britain and how it became a crime to make a request? British government has always displayed passionate hatred for Biafrans from time immemorial. The fact is that they devised every possible evil means not just to colonise, but as well exterminate Biafrans with the natural resources always standing as their target. The intelligent request of putting up a written note, was what got the Senior Divisional Officer Mr A.R. Whitman intensely upset due to the evil ploy nursed in his heart and upon till today, Britain is engulfed with fear of the intelligence of Biafrans. That is why, they are so stuck to the Northern Protectorate politicians, who obviously don't believe in Education, hence can be puppeted to Britains amazement.  
 
  The Leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra Citizen Nnamdi Kanu before his illegal detention, during one of Radio Biafra Broadcast when he read a news headline which reads "BIAFRAN BOYS IN UNIZIK BUILT A CAR" he stated; " BRITAIN IS AFRAID OF THE TALENT OF BIAFRANS. THEY KNOW THAT, IF BIAFRA IS RESTORED SHE WILL BE ANOTHER JAPAN". Similarly, in an interview granted by Chief Mujahid Asari Dokubo to FAMILY WRITERS, he also stated that "BRITAIN IS AFRAID OF LETTING BIAFRA GO, BECAUSE BIAFRA RESTORATION WILL BE A WORLD FREEDOM". Following this Great speeches due to our investigative lifestyle had to carry out a research and traced similar speech to 1968,which was made by a British Man named ANDRE GROMTKO'S during the Nigeria-Biafra War. A Biafran by name MR PAUL NWOKEDI recounted the premise for which, Britain refused to support Biafra and as an envoy to General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to Moscow,he asked "WHY HAVE BRITAIN REFUSED TO SUPPORT BIAFRA"?  Mr ANDRE GROMTKO'S response was; "BRITAIN WILL NOT LET BIAFRA GO. YOU HAVE NOT FOUGHT THIS WAR FOR ONE YEAR AND YOU HAVE STARTED PRODUCING YOUR OWN WEAPONS".

  The welfare of Biafrans have never been a concern of British planners. The priority of Britain is maintaining the unity of Nigeria for geo-political interest and protecting British Crude oil interest. To prove this, a few days before the Nigeria-Biafra war,THE BRITISH OFFICER stated "OUR DIRECT INTEREST ARE TRADE AND INVESTMENTS,INCLUDING AN IMPORTANT STAKE BY SHELL/BRITISH PETRELEUM IN THE EASTERN REGION. THERE ARE NEARLY 20,000 BRITISH NATIONALS IN NIGERIA AND THAT IS OUR CONCERN".. Furthermore, COMMONWEALTH MINISTER GEORGE THOMAS wrote in August 1967; "THE SOLE IMMEDIATE BRITISH INTEREST IN NIGERIA, IS PARTICULARLY FOR WE TO REGAIN ACCESS TO IMPORTANT OIL INSTALLATIONS. WE ALSO WANT TO MAINTAIN NIGERIA UNITY, BECAUSE NIGERIA HAS BEEN DEVELOPED AS AN ECONOMIC UNIT AND ANY DISRUPTION OF THIS WOULD HAVE ADVERSE EFFECTS ON OUR TRADE".

 What is more annoying in this tragic event is that, both the Nigeria and British Government who have no respect for the lives of Biafrans,swept this atrocious act under the carpet.  It is laughable to state that all the Nigeria Government could do as compensation, is appointing the Grandson of the Women leader who was killed that same day, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma as the minister for Budget and Planning, whilst the Children of other women are still been subjugated and killed with impunity by the murderous establishment called Nigeria upon till today. Also, it is just in the year 2015,that Senator Helen Esuene who is a Biafran by birth, constructed the Women War Memorial Hall currently opened for business and according to my interview with some of the workers, no Northern Politician have deemed it fit to visit the scene or building. 

 The crime Britain committed against Biafrans,is totally unforgivable. Worst of all is that, Britain have not allowed Biafrans to go home and amend their broken faces, as they are still on the pathway of destruction. Upon till today they are still supplying warplanes and sophisticated weapons to the Nigeria Government, all channelled to the extermination of Biafrans and keeping their selfish interest intact. Posterity will definitely not forget, this unforgivable and atrocious evil act orchestrated by the British Government against Biafrans.


4 comments

  1. Sincerely tears run down my cheeks as I read this article on heoes day, the unholy humiliation our parents past through the one Nnamdi Kanu is passing through in this wicked country called Nigeria. let us continue in gud race and fight that our past hereos went as we wait for CHUKWU ABIAMA TO Crown BIAFRA WITH FREEDOM.BIAFRA will stand.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. May God help Biafra and Biafrans and may the worst fear of the British Government about Biafra come through, may the Greatness of Biafra shine so bright that nobody or country will be able to hide it. Amen

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  4. Thank you family writers may God continue to bless you and your efforts.

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