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Sunday, 17 July 2016



By Okonkwo Isaac Somto
For Family Writers

I get this question almost all the time, why Biafra? What do you hope to achieve? Why the agitation? What's next when Biafra is achieved? Who will be the leaders of this New nation? Etc. Well those questions are very direct but also complicated. It’s as if you asking me why I drink water when am thirsty or why I dream when I sleep at night. As a boy from the East, Biafra is a part of me, always will be whether I choose to admit it or not. When I first heard about Biafra, I was a kid, though I didn’t know much back then because there wasn’t much to talk about. Whenever I mentioned or asked about Biafra, it always sounded like a taboo, as if it was forbidden to talk about. Just like in the Harry Potter movie, you dare not mention the name “Voldemort”, you simply say “you-know-who” or “he-who-must-not-be-named” to avoid been killed by death eaters.

I remember always, I ask my Father about Biafra, I was always curious to know what happened during the civil war. My father would always sit me down quietly after having dinner to enlighten me about the war, because I wasn’t born when it happened. He always talked about the war with a heavy heart, “so sad and cold” he said. Yes, he witnessed the events of the war. I recall one night when he was talking about the war, little did I know that my mother was eavesdropping, then all of a sudden I heard a voice saying to my father, “that’s enough for one night.” I turned and there she was, standing in the dark. One thing I could observe, was the tears in her eyes, hmm, it made me wonder what really happened during the war.

Well, I couldn’t do much research because I was dam too young to understand the Biafra war. Even in high school, we weren’t taught history,the history we were taught only suited and complied with the Nigeria system. It was as if the Nigeria-Biafra war never happened. As if the 3.5millions Biafrans who were massacred during the war, died for nothing. But I always knew in my heart that Biafra was part of my existence, and I wanted to know more about Biafra, so I went to my friend’s house. His father fought in the Biafra war, he barely escaped with a bullet to an eye. He told me so many stories about the Biafra war, just like my father did. But there was something missing.

These stories always lacked something, and I asked myself what was really missing in this stories have heard about Biafra, it then dawn on me “HOPE”.  They both told the story like someone who lost hope about Biafra. It was as if they wanted to get Biafra so much but couldn’t give anymore to get it. They had sacrificed so much at the time, it gave them Hope for a better tomorrow but couldn’t give anymore because they already lost a lot and were frightened to

loss more. Well as you can see, these questions are very direct but also complicated. Years passed, I still went on living like a patriotic Nigerian. I always prayed and hoped for a better future for Nigeria, I really did. I even enlisted to join the Nigeria Army. I wrote the Nigeria Defense Academy (NDA) examination and did well, though the results of the examination wasn’t made public. I was very confident that I would be enlisted, as fate may have it, I wasn’t enrolled. Well, I moved on with my life, but something was still missing in my life, I was trying to arrange the puzzles but I couldn’t. Even though, I worked so hard to make Nigeria a better Nation, I knew that her political infrastructure destroyed everything. I saw as my people (Igbo-Biafrans) were been marginalized and slaughtered on a daily basis in a country I once admired. It made me wonder the kind of hatred that was injected in the veins of the people I considered brothers and sisters from the other ethnic groups in Nigeria. It was very obvious we lacked genuine love for one another. There was this jealous, anger and discontent amongst us. Even, the Muslims living in Nigeria saw Christians as "infidels" and any chance they get to kill a christians, they do it very swiftly, sometimes publicly.

Granted, I read the Nigeria-Biafra civil war and what led to the war on the internet and history books, but I really didn’t grasp why my people (Biafrans) had to be killed and slaughtered to keep Nigeria as one. Was the oil wells in Biafra Land worth the lives of more than 3.5million Biafran? That's why after several years of the civil war, the agitation of Biafra still continues. Biafrans always dreamt of leaving Nigeria and having their own sovereign state, nothing has changed now. The killings of Biafrans is even more rapid under president Buhari administration. Thousands of peaceful Biafran protesters have been killed and executed by the Nigeria Armed Forces alone, not to talk of the deaths of Biafrans caused by Northerners and fulani Herdsmen. The big question remains, Can we still have Biafra? That's the question most critics are asking and even those who are scared to join the agitation. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy because, Biafra, as far as am concerned needed something “magical”. Until one faithful day, in my cousin’s house, I heard an angelic voice, a voice that sounded heavenly but it was springing out of a radio station (Radio Biafra).

That voice, was NNAMDI KANU. I sat down, very calm and in deep silence as I listened, not that I was under any sort spell or an influence of any kind but for the first time in my life I heard the truth been spoken openly on air without fear but fire. I was mesmerized at the level of information and awareness he was boosting out. I was humbled. Finally, I found my missing puzzle. Biafra, Biafra, Oh Biafra, I never knew that hope could be restored to my people. I felt all that urge and eagerness to get Biafra, coming out of me at once. It was as if I could finally have the freedom and liberty to witness a new beginning for my people (Biafrans) and also have total control over my destiny. I felt alive, I could feel goose-bumps all over me. At last, I knew that with Biafra, I could freely be myself without any fear of intimidation and oppression. Seriously, I have Nnamdi Kanu to thank for that, he gave my people hope and personally, he gave me zeal to live on and believe in a better tomorrow.

He restored the dreams and determination in Biafrans. He made me realize that Biafra was destined to be restored. Finally, I understood the true meaning of Biafra. Biafra is hope. Biafra is light. Biafra is truth. Biafra is liberty. Biafra is freedom. Biafra is the future….this is the reason why millions of Biafrans have died in their fight to restore Biafra and even more are ready to sacrifice their lives for Biafra. Without Biafra, we all are empty and hopeless. Biafra is a new beginning for my people, a new dawn, a second chance. You asked me a very direct and complicated question, and I just gave you a very direct and complicated answer.

I hope we are even? I guess we are. Also for those of you asking how the government of Biafra would operate, how the leaders of the state would be chosen, whether it will run as a monarchy, or a presidential executive, where its capital would be located and whether it will a secular state, all this question will be addressed, its one step at a time. Freedom first, then comes administration. But the killings of Biafrans in Nigeria needs to stop, I call on the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights, International Communities, European Union, United states and even the British government to do right by Biafrans. Biafrans have the right to Self-determination and a sovereign state, so help us implement our rights to self-determination.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".- Thomas Jefferson

1 comment

  1. Chuks Nwa Biafra18 July 2016 at 10:39

    Good outspoken you're very right for your underlined statements. Leadership isn't our problems when the time comes,we ill know whom will be there for us.To restore Biafra is the best option for us without Biafra we ill all perish in the hands of the zoo. So,everyone must join hands together to ensure that Biafra is achieved for brighter future, therefore Biafra must be restored in the name of chukwu-okike -abiama we've prayed ise -ise-iseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh.all haile Biafrans God bless Prince Nnamdi kanu.


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