Remembrance always goes with a memory often too sad but sweet to remember. Sometimes, we choose who or what to remember, other times, what we remember chooses us.
Be it as it may, with the successive Sit-At-Home recorded victories by the Indigenous People of Biafra against the Nigerian government’s tyrannical and oppressive disposition on 30th May (Biafra Heroes and Heroines Remembrance Day) of every year, a fine and worthy conclusion can be drawn from the results of the compliance. The acceptable and undeniable open truth facing all is that this remarkable day has become a very remarkable day for the Biafran people.
This day has become a special day to re-live a particular experience (Kwashiokor/starvation) or re-tell a certain story (genocide) which the world claims not to remember. It has become a day of deep reflection on a past that is always present in our lives. It is now a day of solid purpose. One of such days in the history of mankind — Biafra Heroes and Heroines Remembrance Day, that it is called.
On such a memorable day, Biafrans celebrate not only their fallen heroes and heroines of which millions of these innocent lives were massacred during the war, they also celebrate their struggle as a people, their dreams and aspirations of living up to the expectation of an independent nationhood. But in a more vocal way, it’s a memorable day of great silence observed in the face of grave and crass injustice from the Nigerian government.
May 30 is a day humanity remained silent in the face of inhumanity. Just as 6 million Jews killed by Hitler are being remembered, Biafrans too on this day, remember over 3.5 million innocent Biafrans killed by the Nigeria Military Government headed by Yakubu Gowon.
This day and in this promising time of the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, there is an indisputable need for the people of Biafra to re-discover their root history and head back towards it. Their victory in history has always been by ‘unity’. To learn unity implies understanding themselves as a people (nation) and their purpose as a people. Throughout history, their strength is found in their ‘unity’ (unity of the south-south and south-east otherwise known as the old Eastern Region). Ask the Eze Nri(s), their ancestors.
There is a need for them to rediscover their identity. This is a task the late literary icon, Chinua Achebe took up personally in his literary enterprise, constantly re-telling his people’s (Biafrans) story. History is foundational to identity. It connects us (the present) and the past (the ancestors). Hence it is paramount for the people of Biafra to return to the root (their root).
The Biafrans lived a peaceful and communal life until the cruel European colonialists entered their communities. In the beginning, their presence seemed a wonderful thing because they could serve some purposes. The truth is that their presence was positively felt to an extent but also, its presence is more painful and detrimental to their peaceful co-existence as a people. Their presence totally stripped the people of their identity, unity and peaceful co-existence. Achebe rightly put it that the gift(colonialists) had put a knife in the thing(unity) that holds his people together, the center can no longer hold and things(Biafrans) have fallen apart.
Because the ancestors of the Biafran people didn’t filter civilisation the Europeans brought before consumption, their culture which was the binding force and their true identity was lost to the cold hands of Westernisation. The aim of this work is neither to castigate nor to apportion blame to anyone but to preserve the truth in history and to draw the attention of all Biafrans to return to their root.
Wills made by the dead are changed by the living. This new generation of Biafrans with their leader, through this successful 30th May ‘Sit-At-Home’ Heroes Day, have said rest in perfect peace to Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’. Unity has returned. Things no longer fall apart and this is the end of “Things Fall Apart”.