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Thursday, 2 June 2016



By Ifeanyi Chijioke

For Family Writers
It took this long for this topic to be discussed by us because we are still traumatized and what we passed through; it took miracle for us to be here today. We were in a battlefield without sticks, pebbles or any weapon. We were only carrying Biafran flag and the posters of Nnamdi Kanu. What happened was beyond our apprehension, waging war against unarmed people. Killing us like animals and dumping us on their vans, I had said that was ‘Human hunting’.

We don’t believe we are today writing once more of the bloodbath in Nkpor, we should have been in the mortuary or in the hospital. We are yet to acknowledge the reality that it is not right to take away human life, the way the soldiers and police shoot; we began to see the whole thing as a legal thing. We are still traumatized, we are beginning to detest Africa, and we are beginning to ask questions, both of us are beginning to ask God where He is. If God was not asleep, why didn’t He take away the lives of these men that take our lives they cannot give? God was really with us because we prayed before living and I saw miracle when a Biafran next to me was taken by a bullet.

It all started on Saturday with siren and movement of combined forces of Nigerian Army, Navy, and Police etc. Onitsha was getting ready; men could perceive death while children jubilated to the sound of the siren. Hungry soldiers were seen hanging on the frame of their vans, a set of men not properly fed. The difference was their gun, I can take them if we go with bare hands, these boys are not worthy of being called soldiers, they are children given AK47 and military cloth. Close observation of them, they are from the Northern region; black unhealthy skin of theirs was enough to tell me where they came from.

They patrolled Onitsha and Nkpor and intimidated commercial drivers, probably warning Biafrans not to come out on Monday being their heroes’ day. While I was heading to Asaba in a commercial vehicle, the people were adamant “if they like let them bring more one million vans, we will celebrate our heroes’ day” a stern looking man angrily said gesturing at them. The next to him was quick to chip in “They didn’t see Avengers? They are rushing down here because IPOB don’t bear arms” he said scornfully. I spent my entire day in Asaba speaking to Asaba massacre survivors in observance of heroes’ day. I needed to leave for Onitsha on Sunday because I know by Monday morning; Bridge head will be war zone, which later was right.

Chima and Chijioke of Family writers
My hotel lodge was situated not too far from Nkpor, my colleague Chima Onyekachi had joined up with me. Monday morning came with reluctance, no movement in entire state, the busy up iweka express way was lonely, one car passes and it takes 41 minutes for another to pass. We headed for Nkpor and 30th yards away from Nkpor junction, we cited combined team of army, navy and police. It is a Biafran event, nobody would be spared, and we are aware of that so we stopped our car and parked. While trying to join up with people and get live events, the story of what happened last night had already taken over.

Chima Onyekachi was sluggish after what happened to him in Porthacourt where he captured Nigerian soldier’s atrocities, he sustained injury and so was compelled to be cautious, even at that, he still came to the war front. “The church can be invaded because it is Biafra land, who dare try invade a mosque in the North?” one man said to Chima onyekachi. We did not give attention; we were more focused on what we are here for. Nkpor junction was a strategic point, Biafrans had been chased back, it was still friendly until when information got to the forces that Biafrans were assembling at Nkor Park, they drove in shooting sporadically at the people.

The commander with them was conscious enough to order them to stop shooting to kill but harass the people, like a deviation, they continued shooting at innocent people. Lives would have been lost but bullets could not penetrate most of the Biafrans, God was truly with them. While shooting escaping two Biafrans, they tried to jump over an open drainage; they fell and was picked, beaten and molested before they were taken out in their hilux van.

The beat changed after this move, while Biafrans respected them and sang from a distance, these shameless soldiers then started confrontation. Chasing and shooting unarmed Biafrans, men, women and children, nobody was spared.

The first attempt would have taken our lives, we ran for our lives but their Hilux caught up with us, instead of shoot me as Chima was already ahead, they shot a young guy behind me, Chima Onyekachi had ran into a compound, I was only the last to escape. Still panting and in great fear, on coming out of the building I ran into, Biafrans had gathered again, singing “How many Biafrans Buhari go kill o (2x)….eh! he go kill us tire o (2x)” they sang repeatedly, shouting Biafra or death and indeed Biafrans are dying and never retreating

I began to fear, Chima began to miss his family, there is no two ways about this, and it is either we die or we live. We had the chance to go back home, but the spirit of Biafra is a strong spirit, the spirit held us down to the point we are ready for anything. This is a war front, guns were shot sporadically at our people, while some men and women are crying, and some are shouting Biafra or death. I don’t know the definition of war, if Biafra continues saying no war but peace, we are simply hiding reality to our selves, and there is a war already on ground. We might say we don’t want to fight back, but as for war, we saw war on our heroes’ day.

Unarmed Biafrans killed and taken away by Nigerian force
The Nigerian forces shoot or kill and cart away with the corpses, the effort was to terminate evidence against them but camera is already everywhere. They quickly kill and take the dead bodies to military barrack, dump them and come back to the scene again. This was how they kept killing and transiting their victims. It became so much that Biafrans got angry, burning tires to restrict their movement, no minute did their guns’ sleep, it kept sounding and each sound takes a Biafran life. I was shattered, I thought of what happened before and in 1967, I found out that truly, we need to stand, pick up arms and die honorably.

They flaunt the dead body of Biafrans like we are animals, they shoot and take unto their vans, flaunting it
that we may see them and lose morale or admit fear, they are not aware that each death is a motivation to do more. Shooting even at people in their various homes, while shooting tear gas even on the flat of tenants, it was clear their frustration is spontaneous. Biafrans would run when confronted and they would shoot unlucky ones and arrest lucky ones. Life is such a disgrace being a Nigerian army, when they cannot turn back and shoot he who commanded them to shoot innocent men and women.

Biafrans got angry and started burning tires
The shooting continued until we left the scene and even while leaving, Biafrans are falling down, they are being arrested and hospitals kept receiving victims. It is a pity that the world is keeping quiet at such crime against humanity. We are ashamed of the world, we had thought dying would have made more sense than staying alive and suffering this trauma and pain.

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