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My Biafran Story

My Biafran Story .org website is a collection of eye witness accounts of the Nigerian-Biafran civil war.

Biafran Children, A Gathering of Survivors.

Biafran Children, A Gathering of Survivors.

As Published by documenta 14’s Press Center.

The Parliament of Bodies: ‘Biafra’s Children: A Survivors’ Gathering.’

JUNE 30; 5.00-10.00 pm; Parko Eleftherias, Athens Municipality Arts Center and Museum of Anti-dictatorial and Democratic Resistance, Vassilissis Sofias, Athens.

JULY 1; 11.00–9.00pm; Parko Eleftherias, Athens Municipality Arts Center and Museum of Anti-dictatorial and Democratic Resistance, Vassilissis Sofias, Athens.

Life stream available.

Organized by Olu Oguibe, with Faith Adiele, Phillip U. Effiong, Okey Ndibe, Eddie Iroh, Vivian Ogbonna, Obiageli Okigbo, E.C.Osondu, Emeka Okereke.

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Biafra Blues

Biafra Blues

The Nigerian civil war is often looked at through a binary lens: The East versus the rest of Nigeria and good versus evil, depending on who is telling the story. There is hardly ever a dispassionate commentary because it is so emotional and traumatic, and the narrators are invested in their story. There has not been a shortage of narrative; by my own count there are close to one hundred books on the subject of Biafra’s aborted secession.

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Memories that live forever.

The experience of the war was terrible. I doubt if there’s any emotional clinic one can go to wipe away those effects. No. I think we’ll live with it for the rest of our lives. We can’t escape it. As I’m sitting down here what are you going to tell me to erase that experience from my mind?

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My Biafran Eyes, by Okey Ndibe

*My Biafran Eyes was published by Guernica on August 12, 2007.*

“My father’s decision to stay in Yola nearly cost him his life. He was at work when one day a mob arrived. Armed with cudgels, machetes and guns, they sang songs that curdled the blood. My father and his colleagues—many of them Igbo Christians—shut themselves inside the office. Huddled in a corner, they shook uncontrollably, reduced to frenzied prayers. One determined push and their assailants would have breached the barricades, poached and minced them, and made a bonfire of their bodies. The Lamido of Adamawa, the area’s Muslim leader, arrived at the spot just in the nick…He scolded the mob and shooed them away. Then he guided my father and his cowering colleagues into waiting vehicles and spirited them to the safety of his palace. In a couple of weeks, the wave of killings cooled off and the Lamido secured my father and the other quarry on the last ship to leave for the southeast.” – Okey Ndibe

                                                                 

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Immune to horror.

Immune to horror.

I was in primary two at St. Mary’s primary school, Umuopara, Nguru, Mbaise when the war started. Fighter jets were flying over our school and when it became unbearable, we had to go into the bush to continue studying. I was only eight years but I started to see emergency platoons. I don’t know who summoned them but I started to see traders, secondary school leavers, tailors, in their work dresses, coming together and chanting war songs, “Nzogbu, enyimba enyi, nzogbu enyimba enyi!” After hearing of the pogroms in Lagos, Kano and how Igbo soldiers were massacred in barracks, people were saying, “We’re ready, enough is enough.” They absorbed them into the army and they started forming sectors all over Igbo land.

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