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Tuesday 15 May 2018

BIAFRA: IPOB Women Take Biafra Evangelism To USA On A Diplomatic Mission

IPOB Women Take Biafra Evangelism To USA On A Diplomatic Mission

Paul Ihechi Alagba,
Reporting For Family Writers Press.

Five reputable female IPOB diplomats has taken the evangelism for Biafra restoration project to a whole new level after attending a just concluded international conference organized by a department of University of Maryland, Baltimore County(UMBC), in United States of America; an event organized in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war.
The event which was held from
May 8 through 9 centered on the theme- "Women And The Nigeria-Biafra War: Reframing Gender And Conflict In Africa", had in attendance a good number of dignitaries and intellectuals drawn from varieties of professions.

Mrs Nnennaya Anya, Ogwu N., Amaka Ekwo, Nkiruka Nistoran and Josephine Erewa are the erudite IPOB women-delegates, who duly represented the Indigenous People of Biafra at the historic gathering.

"This international conference is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the war and to highlight the cost of the conflict on Nigerian women, their participation in the hostilities, and their contributions to the survival of families, communities and the country... Thus, this international conference serves as an important platform to present and discuss women as embodiment of vulnerabilities and agency, active participants and survivors, who demonstrated remarkable resilience and initiative, waging war on all fronts in the face of precarious conditions and scarcities, and maximizing opportunities occasioned by the hostilities," a statement from UMBC's  official website reads.

The leader of the IPOB ambassadorial delegation, Mrs Nnennaya Anya expressed profound satisfaction with the aims and objectives of the conference, noting that the immense heroism of the women of Biafra during the war is one that should never be swept under the carpet.
"Our women were the real heroes during the war if you ask me. People tend to ignore them and that was why I requested  that the personal trauma they went through must be looked into and seriously.
"Even though our women  did not carry guns to fight,  they were the ones taking care of families left behind by our fathers and brothers. That alone on its own made them Heroines," Nnennaya Anya told Family Writers Press during an interview.

"By taking up the roll of men to some extent during the war, it did release women more and more from the sense that custom. training and tradition imposed on gender. Women tend to break away as they gradually found themselves playing the  double role of mothers and fathers as the same time.
"It Is important that whenever the experience of war is being researched, please lets not  forget  the effects of the war on our mothers. Are you aware that because of the trauma they had  from the effects of the war, most of our mothers are still having nightmares when ever they hear the sound of guns?  Our mothers should be allowed to talk about their experiences during the war, this will help them in the healing process," she said.

"It is the first of its kind by the Department of African Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 50years after the war," Mrs Nkiruka Nistoran, one of IPOB ambassadors revealed to Family Writers Press.

"They were remembering what happened during the war, to create awareness for the good people around the world to remember that this genocide has been committed against the people of Biafra, and still, what we're demanding is justice," Mrs Nkiruka stated.

It should be noted that from 1967 to 1970 Nigeria experienced a civil war that claimed the lives of about 6 million Biafrans, resulting from Nigeria government's desperation to stop Biafrans from seceding and establishing their own independent state.

One of the IPOB diplomats, Mrs Amaka Ekwo, who presented a compelling lecture at the international conference titled-  "LIVING WITH THE TRAUMAS OF WAR: TALES FROM THE WOMEN OF BIAFRA," believes that such symposium of international standard signifies that notable people of good conscience around the world are still sympathetic to the plight of Biafrans.
"These people, the international  community understands our pains, even though they may not be doing enough, but it is evident they understand what we're passing through,
"In this conference you find out that we have people from different areas of work, we have lawyers and so many others, like we came as representatives of IPOB," Amaka Ekwo told Family Writers Press.

She further highlighted the fact that just as her exposition espoused, there is indisputable evidence that the women of Biafra were subjected to all manner of inhumane treatments and conditions during the war, just as much as their male counterparts and children. According to Mrs Ekwo, the most painful and traumatic aspect of the 'genocidal' war is the fact that even decades after the war ended, the Nigeria government has unrepentantly stifled and muffled every move and voice that tends to recount the infamous bloody conflict.

"You cannot tell stories of the war without mentioning things like starvation, without mentioning rape, without mentioning war crimes, without mentioning genocide, and these are terrible crimes against humanity," she said.

"There is significant proof that our women are living with trauma, and such is known as posttraumatic disorder, that is, traumas associated with conflicts.
"The World Health Organization is a branch of the United Nations and they once created a policy that conference should follow to make sure that the issue of stress relating to war are addressed.
 "The Nigeria government as you know does not respect the wellbeing of anybody, they're not interested in policy, they're not interested in rules and regulations, it is a lawless country.

"Part of healing and part of recovering from trauma is things that has to do with remembrance, allowing people to remember that they lost loved ones, allowing them to mourn, just like every other nation that has gone through war and lost people, annually remember them. And obviously you know that in IPOB, one of the setbacks we've encountered is that we are not even allowed to remember our dead. On the 30th of May 2016, we were hunted down by Nigeria security forces just because we're trying to remember the dead. It is unlawful, Nigeria should understand that people should be allowed to mourn the dead."

Meanwhile, speaking on the Biafra Heroes'/ Genocide Remembrance Day due to be observed across Biafra Land and beyond on May 30, the IPOB women ambassadors advised that Biafra women should not be found wanting, but should ensure that all their family members observe the day by sitting at home.

"The upcoming 'Heroes Remembrance Day', we want our women to fully participate. If you want to go to church, pray for the dead. Everyone should sit at home, everybody should bring out pictures of the dead, tell the stories to your family. Remember the names of your family members that died during the war, mention their names and tell their stories to little children that were not around during the war, tell them this is what happened during the war, give them every information about how we suffered during the war, light candles on the graves of the dead and pray for the souls of our departed ones," Amaka Ekwo admonished.

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