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Friday, 10 May 2019

BIAFRA: WHY WE CELEBRATE OUR HEROES AND HEROINES

BIAFRA: WHY WE CELEBRATE OUR HEROES AND HEROINES

The relentless struggle for the unfettered restoration of the sovereignty of the nation of Biafra which has rich and diverse historical records, has produced quite a number of outstanding Biafran personalities. Such is inclusive of all heroes and heroines to whom this 2019 Remembrance Day is entirely dedicated. The upcoming memorial is planned for all Biafrans who in one way or the other, laid down their lives for us and the future generations. They uncompromisingly treasured peace, justice, equality and the well being of all, thereby taking the bold and costly steps of sacrificing their lives for our existence. That is the stuff Biafrans are made of. Such degree of sacrifice is needed for the freedom of cherished ones than staking one's life for the enemies. Preserving and treasuring lives are integral parts of our national pride as a people. Therefore, it is our historic mission to employ all within our reach to ensure that we preserve it.

In the wise resolve of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) globally, to have this annual event celebrated, we must conscientiously honor all those that authored this history by fully partaking in the restoration struggle to free our nation from the pangs and travails of corruption prevalent in the British contrapted Nigeria. We must steadily carry on with this laudable annual event, for our freedom as a people can never ever be compromised. We must continue to commemorate these men and women whose love and sacrifice for their nation/people, remain priceless. These flag-wavers and champions of our freedom may have been irresistibly fired up by the words of Pixley Ka Isaka Seme, which stated that: "The greatest success shall come when man shall have learned to cooperate, not only with his own kith and kin but also with all peoples and with all life". It is particularly for these reasons that the month of May annually, is purely dedicated. It is for the re-affirmation of the significance of our liberation struggle, which is part of Biafra Cultural Heritage. Throughout this month of May, we boldly remind ourselves that our freedom as a people emanated at an enormous cost, with over 3.5 million men, women and children sacrificed on the altar of hatred and genocide by our enemies. And of course, we are alive today by this purposeful act of our heroes and heroines, who are exceptionally worthy of our recognition, honor and pride.

As we embark on this year's memorial, we draw inspiration from the pool of the early resistance movement led by unsung Biafran personalities. We remember those brave fighters that participated in the defense of their fatherland and people and who were visited by the most awful genocidal war known in human history. Between 1967 and 1970, over 3.5 million Biafran citizens were mowed down by the Nigerian military invaders, fully backed by allied foreign mercenaries led by Britain. As we commemorate the 2019 edition of Heroes and Heroines Remembrance Day, our tributes go to the men and women who lost their lives fighting in our defense and liberation.

Let us be reminded also about all those our brethren who suffered various degrees of torture and death in the hands of the Nigerian combined security operatives during all the IPOB staged peaceful protests and rallies across Biafraland. It must be reiterated that these unfortunate incidents  also form part of our heritage as a people. Those heroines killed during the Organised Women Resistance Protest of 1929, against high taxation by the British colonialists which is erroneously being referred to as "Aba Women Riot" by our enemies, must be honored. Our understanding of the heroes and heroines of our national liberation struggle, goes beyond all those that were directly involved in those earlier stages of our independence quest. It is all encompassing. The event of Thursday 30th May 2019, includes all IPOB family members who also have employed their creative talents, visions, vocations and professionalism into drawing attention to the realities and demands of our national liberation struggle. We must have to remember all those who employ the services of faith-based organizations and traditional institutions through which the struggle has also attracted support and moral guidance.

We must have to rededicate ourselves to the uncompomisable ideals of the movement for which they all courageously stand and fight. These are men and women who have variously taught us never to abandon the cause of freedom and justice. Let me draw our attention to a very wonderful poem rendered by the father of the Cuban nation, Jose Marti, titled: "I Dream of Cloisters of Marbel". In the poem, Marti dreamt of a world where the sculptures of dead heroes of the Cuban Revolution came alive. "I dream of cloisters of marble wherein silent divine heroes lie upright,  sleeping. I speak to them at night by the light of soul, Marti continued. Then the eyes of stone are open, I see moving lips of stone,  Beards of stone are trembling. They grip a sword of stone and cry". He concluded the poem by saying: "The stone resounds, The white hands reach down to touch their belt, And then from high on the pedestal, The men of marbel leap down!".

Dear fellow Biafrans, let us therefore use this year's edition of Heroes and Heroines Memorial as a vehicle to convey new and decisive advances as we labor to build the Biafra of our dreams.  Let us ensure that we put up a society that we can truly be proud of, a society that revers/worships God and takes pride and satisfaction in it's unity, peace, love and progress.

Shalom!

Written by Obulose Chidiebere N.

Edited by Peter Oshagwu
For Family Writers Press

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