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Friday 29 May 2020

Biafra Memorial: They Died That We May Live

Biafra Memorial: They Died That We May Live

Fifty-three years ago, Nigeria waged a war of genocide against the nation and people of Biafra. The two-months-old sovereign state of Biafra and her people were forced to defend themselves from extermination.

Harold Wilson’s British Government encouraged, sponsored and supplied weapons from Britain and the Soviet Union to Nigeria to unleash mayhem on Biafra and Biafrans. For thirty months, Egyptian pilots in Russian Ilyushin and MiG warplanes “rained” bombs and strafed defenseless Biafrans, killing men, women and children in their homes, market places, hospitals and refugee camps. Within these thirty gruesome months, more than three million Biafran children died of starvation occasioned by the blockade of Biafra’s borders air, land and sea by the Nigerian military government.

Intelligence reports on the Nigerian air raids on Biafran civilian targets; the consequent large civilian casualties and the mass death of starved Biafran children did not jolt the conscience of the British government. Rather, they were perceived by 10 Downing Street and it's officials in Lagos as a pointer of the imminent collapse of Biafra. Sir Francis Cumming-Bruce and David Hunt as well as many other British diplomats, jumped and danced in ecstasy because, for them, “foul is fair in war” and that the “starve-them-to-submission” policy was hugely effective. Harold Wilson gleefully clapped, nodded and waltzed, puffing dark tobacco smoke over London from his pipe. 10 Downing Street, amidst clinking goblets held with blood-stained hands, hailed Jack Yakubu Gowon as a “CHRISTIAN BOY!”. The world stared drowsily. But Humanity stirred irresistibly in a twenty-year old Columbia University student Bruce Mayrock of Westbury L. I. New York, USA.

Bruce Mayrock—the quintessence of freedom and justice, the epitome of love and compassion set himself ablaze on 30th May 1969 to spur the conscience of the United Nations and the world in general, to stop the genocidal war against Biafra that Biafrans may live.

Amongst the men and women of conscience in Britain who detested 10-Downing street’s treachery against humanity arose Jonathan Ambache – a medical student at Trinity College, Cambridge and University College Hospital, London and his teammate Father Malachy Riddle, who flew into Biafra to help save the starving Biafran children but were killed near Awgu by Nigerian soldiers on 29th July 1968 just to frighten and prevent other humanitarians from coming to help save starving children in Biafra. In different parts of France such as Paris and Lille, some young people and adults set themselves on fire in protest against the genocidal war on Biafra.

15th January 1970 sneaked into Biafra, survivors to mourn the more than five-million victims of the genocidal war that was largely orchestrated by Britain, Nigeria, the Soviet Union, and Egypt from 1967 to 1970. Has the genocidal war against Biafra really ended? The world should not be deceived by the touted “no victor, no vanquished” propaganda which is as deceitful and treacherous as it's source. The 15th day of January 1970, marked the beginning of a new strategy to exterminate Biafrans. Since that day, several hundreds of thousands of Biafrans have been murdered in various parts of Northern Nigeria and in Biafraland by Nigeria, using it's security agents, the Fulani militia (also known as Miyetti Allah) and organized Fulani mobs; and the victims buried in mass graves. Not satiated by plundering Biafraland dry, the Fulani-dominated Nigeria has not hidden it's desire and plan to exterminate Biafrans and steal their indigenous land.

From the 1945 Jos and 1953 Kano massacres of Biafrans through the 1966 pogrom and 1967 to 1970 genocidal war till date, more than six million Biafrans have been slaughtered on the altar of amalgamation and one-Nigeria fraud to ensure British economic interests. There are more than a hundred countries whose populations are less than six million each; some as low as two million. By implication, the British-Nigeria alliance has exterminated the equivalent of a country or more. How many British people—civilians and soldiers—died in the Second World War? Does the world want to see more Bruce Mayrocks immolate themselves, more Jonathan Ambaches and Father Malachy Riddles blown to pieces with land mines by the Nigerian forces, and more children starved to death before acting decisively?

Biafrans want their freedom and the restoration of the sovereignty of the Land of the Rising Sun—Biafra. Biafrans want to be left alone to serve their God—the Almighty—in peace and love. As long as there is a Biafran on this planet earth, our dear Bruce Mayrock, Jonathan Ambache, Malachy Riddles and many others who died or risked their lives that Biafrans may live, shall remain our beloved heroes/heroines through eternity. Biafrans shall never forget the assistance of "The Save the Children Fund, Caritas International, World Council of Churches, The American Peace Corps Volunteers, Bernard Kouchner and his colleagues in le Comité de Lutte Contre le Genocide au Biafra, The Red Cross, Count Carl Gustaf Ericsson von Rosen and his friend Lynn Garrison, for their efforts to sustain our hope and courage. Biafra places on record the courage of John Lennon to speak and demand justice for the oppressed Biafrans when on November 25th 1969, he returned his MBE awarded to him by Queen Elizabeth II in 1964 in protest against British support for Nigeria in the war. Biafra shall eternally remain grateful to Frederick Forsyth for keeping the records straight that the world may know the truth about the plight of Biafrans.

Our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, who made the supreme sacrifice for the survival of Biafra for the present and the yet-unborn generations, we salute you and pray the Almighty God to grant you glorious rest in heaven, Amen! Your sacrifices shall never be in vain!!

Hail Biafra, the Land of the Rising Sun. To Chukwuokike Abiama (God Almighty, the Creator) alone, be all the glory, Amen.

Written by Iheukwumere Uche

Edited by Peter Oshagwu
For Family Writers Press International

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