On Thursday 30th May 2019, Biafrans all over the world, will be solemnly observing yet another memorial for our slain heroes and heroines who spiritedly and sacrificially poured out their blood in order that we may live. There is an African adage which says that: “Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”, and that is precisely what these noble men and women did, laying down their lives that we may yet live amidst our inheritance. Fifty three years ago, these heroic Biafrans made the valuable choice of defiantly establishing their faith by enlisting in the liberation struggle of our beloved nation – Biafra, taken away from us by the British imperialists. These are the freedom champions who at the costly exchange of their lives (blood), prepared the way for us for the little peace and tranquility we all enjoy today as a people.
There is definitely a season in the history of humanity, when due to gruelling ordeals, one is compelled to take a decisive action even if that entails staking his/her life as a price. In the year 1966, when the International Court of Justice (ICC) failed to assist Namibia in her quest for self-determination, in the face of fascism, Peter Ndilimani Nanyemba pointedly stated: “We will cross many rivers of blood before we can achieve our freedom”. Without disputation, Biafrans have really crossed many bloody rivers and are yet crossing, in their quest to realize the restoration of the sovereignty of their homeland. But one thing is absolutely certain. It is far more better to be a coward in your own land than exhibiting acts of heroism in a strange land. Biafrans will never ever capitulate until the total and complete restoration of the land of their ancestry is achieved. Just like our great leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will always say: “It is either the flag of Biafra is raised in victory or I am lowered into the grave”. This declaration is pregnant with uncompomisable seriousness attached to the Biafra restoration struggle.
It is due to the sacrifices of our fallen heroes and heroines that we yet dream of a prosperous homeland today rather than nurse the nightmarish victimization, oppression and injustice of the Nigerian state. These were men, women, children and even the elderly that sacrificed their lives for us and the upcoming Biafran generations. They traded their individual ambitions when murderously confronted. They really found themselves at the crossroads and eventually paid the ultimate price. They could have chosen otherwise but instead, decided to thread the pathway of torture and death, all for our sake. They never had any promise of their own glory, honor and pleasure. But they were fully aware that they were going against the powers that be which would definitely provoke unprecedented trouble with attached consequences for them but nonetheless, they persisted. These are our heroes and heroines who broke down the walls of the last bastion of Britain and other foreign powers allied to Nigeria, determined to totally annihilate Biafrans from the surface of the earth. War in whatever shape or form, is never a good thing. Biafrans are neither war mongers nor people known for violence and terrorism but fulanised Nigerians backed by the British, unrepentantly are.
We however, should note that enemies are always on the prowl, sniffing around and willing to put our tolerance and peaceful disposition to test, expecting violent response. The Nigerian government criminally supported by Britain acted in such manner. They created the atmosphere that precipitated the armed struggle (resistance) of Biafrans to meet them in their own violent nature, being the only language they understand. These Biafran freedom warriors/champions that we are today honoring are also inclusive of all those killed during the peaceful protests and rallies organized by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), at Aba, Igweocha, Nkpor, Asaba, Afara-Ukwu Ibeku, Yenegoa, Onitsha, etcetera. There are others that are yet in detention in various prison facilities across Biafraland and in Nigeria and also the maimed. All these staked their lives for us as a people and as a nation in search of our freedom and independence. These men and women are perfect examples of what selflessness, courage and determination portend. These are sterling qualities that only the bravest of souls are made of.
The baton has been passed to us and most assuredly, we must deliver victoriously at the touchline of political, economic and social independence/prosperity. Their sacrifices have given impetus to us in this struggle and we must fully utilize the privilege and opportunity created to really play the men for our beloved fatherland. We must have to espouse the ideals of a notable African hero, late Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana who once stated: “Africa is one continent, one people, one nation”. In like manner, Biafra is one country, one IPOB, one people, one nation. Let us therefore, not trifle with the freedom and the peace these our brave fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters pricelessly fought so valiantly for. We must maintain the cause and the momentum.
Dr. John Maxwell, one of the greatest inspiration authors of our time, in his book titled: “Success Journey”, states that “success is not a trip that you take alone. But it is something that you take with your family and your friends”. Seriously think about it, if at the end of all the achievements and accomplishments, you as an individual, find yourself standing alone. Can that be regarded as success? The answer is a capital NO!. There exists those who state that peace and stability have really not brought them any benefit but it is important you pay heed to the words of late Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, who said that: “Unity will not make us rich but it can make it difficult for Africa and the African people to be disregarded and humiliated. And it will therefore, increase the effectiveness of the decisions we make and try to implement for our development”.
Fellow compatriots, brothers and sisters in the Biafra restoration struggle under the family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), as we commemorate this year’s edition of Heroes and Heroines Remembrance Day, let love, unity and peace reign amongst us. They are indispensable ingredients that will escort us in this project into the much anticipated victory and at the end of it all, the blessings of Chukwuokike Abiama (God Almighty), encapsulated in Biafra, will be ours.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media