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

DISARMED IN A TRENCH - PART 2

DISARMED IN A TRENCH - PART 2

Ojukwu never knew this until 1976 when we met in Washington DC at the reception the late Nchewi Imoke gave him. After I told him how I saved his life, he said he would like to meet Reginald whenever he came to Nigeria. But we never did.

Immediately Ojukwu’s plane took off, a long distance shelling started raining from Awommama and we could see the canons flying past the airport. The Nigerians had miscalculated, so the shelling hit a village and killed people there. In between this shelling an International Red Cross plane from Caritas arrived and instead of landing on the air strip it lowered and poured its food supplies on the tarmac. We loaded some in our van to send to my parents. Because of the shelling a lot of the evacuation flights were cancelled. After Ojukwu’s departure, Colonel Achuzia took over the podium and started calling people to board for evacuation. He called Captain Anuku. Anuku entered. Called Colonel Timothy Onwuatuegwu, but he was absent. Meanwhile, the pilot of the plane was already panicking because of the shelling that had just taken place. As people forced themselves in, the staircase broke and every person on it fell off. The pilot panicked and took off without closing the doors. One person fell off and died. A young girl had her head crushed by one of the tyres of the plane. She was about 7 years old and the daughter of a prominent Nigerian.

We kicked off with our jeep loaded with food. Many people had come to board the planes but could not, so there was an exodus of people leaving the airport. You can’t believe that from within that massive crowd I heard the voice of my youngest brother, my mother’s last child. He was shouting the name of my sister, “Echika, Echika, Echika.” I told Reggie that I just heard Ugo’s voice calling Echika, and he said, “Lambo, how can you hear Ugo’s voice in this crowd?” I said, “Driver, stop, let me go down. You can continue. If you don’t see me again, tell the story but I will not live with my conscience if I don’t investigate this voice.” Immediately I got down my brother cocked his Kalashnikov and ordered everybody down. He took over the wheels and we started driving slowly backwards, and who did we see? My last sister, Echika, holding my two youngest brothers. She was only eleven years while Ugo was four. He had fallen down and bruised his leg that was why he was calling out her name. We put them in the vehicle and took them straight to my parents.

What happened was that my mother had handed three of them to Colonel Anuku and asked him to take them overseas. Colonel Anuku put them in a vehicle with an orderly and driver with instructions to take them to the airport. Then he took his own children and rode with them in another vehicle. When the shelling started, the driver carrying my siblings panicked and fell into a ditch, brought the children out of the vehicle and fled. My mother cried and cried. Reginald cried also and said he’d never dispute anything I said again. It was providence.

Many children got lost or separated from their parents that way. It could have been the same with my siblings. If they had evacuated them to Gabon or Ivory Coast they would have been sent to an orphanage and who knows what their fate would have been afterwards. My mother was the head of the Red Cross in Owerri and because there were so many abandoned children on the streets, she was helping people adopt these children. She would give them documents which they would take to their local governments and register the adoption.

During her funeral in 2000, a woman came with a huge cow, many dancers, and a young lady. During the presentation, she told the congregation how my mother knew she had been pining away from childlessness and asked her to adopt a child, who was one and half years old at the time. That was the young lady with her; all grown up. She told the crowd it was because of that her adopted daughter that she wakes up every day to face face the world.

Everybody applauded.

[Photos taken from the internet]

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Dr. Achiugo Lambert Agugua is a Consultant and Businessman.

DISARMED IN A TRENCH - PART 1
'AFIA ATTACK' - A Soldier's Account

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Comments 3

 
Guest - PJay on Thursday, 24 May 2018 13:10

My heart bleeds reading these recounts of what happened during the war.

My heart bleeds reading these recounts of what happened during the war.
Guest - Okoli C.U on Friday, 15 June 2018 06:51

War stories that melts the heart. We need this and more to know about the past, appreciate the present , then plan for a better future. God bless the author

War stories that melts the heart. We need this and more to know about the past, appreciate the present , then plan for a better future. God bless the author
Guest - Ọbụmneke on Thursday, 26 July 2018 17:53

This melt my heart. Each time I read this sort of recount, I feel I was part of the war. I have struggled to study why it is so with no answer or result.

Thanks for sharing this with us. My offsprings will surely read all of this.

This melt my heart. Each time I read this sort of recount, I feel I was part of the war. I have struggled to study why it is so with no answer or result. Thanks for sharing this with us. My offsprings will surely read all of this.
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Monday, 15 October 2018
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