January 31, 1968
Dick Tiger Joins Biafran Army
Dick Tiger, world light heavy weight champion has joined the Biafran army. Tiger joined the Biafran army as a Lieutenant. “I know this is really a forgotten war as far as the rest of the world is concerned,” said Tiger. “Nobody really cares about Africa; nobody in America understands. If we don’t fight back, if we don’t protect out rights, it will be… what’s the word? Genocide, like they did to the Jews. They’re out to kill us all.”
“They” are the leaders of the largely Muslim north who no dominate the Nigeria government in Lagos. It was in the north that 30,000 Igbos and other easterners were massacred in September of 1966, an act which set in motion the East’s final bid for independence. Why had he joined the army?
“I’ve never been afraid to fight in the ring and I’m not afraid to fight for my country,” he replied, clenching and releasing his fists. “Like a fighter in the ring. I can’t just stand there and open my hands. I have to fight you and maybe I knock you out.” The war has already affected Tiger’s pocketbook. “I used to believe in Nigeria,” he said, somewhat wistfully. “I invested a lot of money in Lagos. I’ve got two apartment houses and real estate that cost me $103,000 and now? They said it’s all gone, requisitioned.” “Lagos Radio says I’m a traitor. Imagine after killing 30,000 of us. Where did they want us to go?” (New York Times).