For 14 days we travelled in dangerous seas in a small boat with an outboard motor. Israel was a haven for me, but it took over a year to get there, ... Biafran rebel soldiers during an attack to take the city of Ikot Ekpene from the Nigerian troops in 1968. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. All those who have been killed since, protesting the actions of the Nigerian security forces in Biafraland. In 1967 Igbo leaders declared a Biafran state, ... 'Lost tribe of Israel' ... he was a soldier in the army that defeated the separatists in 1970. I couldn’t even tell my wife or family where I was, just in case they became targets. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. I stayed hidden in a room while my companions went foraging for supplies. We had friends and supporters outside and inside. How they ignored the bail that had been posted. I would stay for that. A sharp, sharp pain literally took my breath away. I mourn my mother. I was still in pain and the threat from Nigerian agents abroad never went away. I had wanted my day in court in 2017, but the military response tells me that the rule of law in Nigeria has collapsed. All those who have been killed, protesting the actions of the Nigerian security forces in Biafraland, were brave, good people. I mourn all my IPOB family member who had given their lives to protect mine. Ten feet high. You may remember those photographs of starving children, their bellies distended, crying with hunger, crying without tears because their tear ducts had dried up. To truly be free and rectify the sins of European colonialism, Biafra must be allowed its independence. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. There are some countries with a functioning democracy, where the rule of law is respected, and free and fair elections allowed. In a press statement signed by its Head of Directorate of State, Chika Edoziem which was made available to ORIENTAL TIMES , the group described the news which seems to have circulated all over Nigeria media as fake. Informally Israel, France, Portugal, Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe), and South Africa provided support as did the Vatican partly because the Biafran were overwhelmingly Catholic. I had to get up. The “Times of Israel” for the first time has carried news concerning ‘Biafran Jews’ on its Front Cover. Our struggle for self-determination is the struggle of Africa's post-colonisation from Algeria to the Cape. I protested. Government agents act with impunity, and I include among them the Fulani terrorists who are doing the Nigerian government’s dirty work, not one of whom has been brought to justice for the murders they’ve carried out.It is a sign that Nigeria itself is imploding. Somehow, they man-handled me to the top of this and I fell to the ground the other side. “If Nelson Mandela can do it, then, I can do it. My father, a strong man, a chief among Biafrans, has lost his life’s companion. Once in Senegal I was able to make arrangements to travel to Israel. We planned to go to the Republic of Benin, just west of Nigeria. They had tried to defend my home, my family, without guns, without clubs, only with their bodies and their words. If we can achieve this, perhaps we can lead other African countries to bring democracy and respect for law and human rights into the lives of African peoples. It never worked. A starving Biafran child sits by a pile of yams, English model and actress Jean Shrimpton joins a group of anti-war protestors campaigning to end the killing of civilians in Biafra and the Nigerian Civil War, on the steps of the Shaftesbury Memorial in Piccadilly Circus, Biafran injured men lie on a street of Ikoi as the overcrowed hospitals of the town couldn't take care of all the injured people, A group of mothers and their babies at the Enugu Civilian Hospital, Biafran refugees gather after the storming of the city of Nnewi, Refugees walk on a road as they flee the city of Aba, Nigerian leader General Yakubu Gowon (rigjt) welcomes United Nations Secretary General U Thant (left) who flied into Lagos to hold talks over the continuing Biafran refugee crisi, Biafran rebel soldiers during an attack to take the city of Ikot Ekpene from the Nigerian troops in 1968, IPOB supporters and members of the Yahveh Yashua Synagogue celebrate Shabbat, Amarachi Onyemaechi lost a leg during a pro-Biafra protest in 2015, A security guard in the empty Ogbaru Market in 2017, closed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Nigerian Civil War, A convoy of Nigerian soldiers in Aba, a pro-Biafra separatist zone, At the height of the war in 1969, 12,000 people a day starved to death in Biafra. I was in my old home in Umuahia. Government policies intended to take land from Biafra and give it to Fulani from the north are driven by a strong undertone of radical political Islam, their objective literally to change the landscape by creating a homeland for the Fulani in the south in order to dominate Nigeria’s political space indefinitely. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. 0 shares. Biafran soldiers supervised by Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu (Getty) Harold Wilson’s British Labour government, realizing the position of Nigerian as having a clear military advantage in the conflict, backed Nigeria solely with the goal of quickly defeating the Biafran army. How they refused to bring me to court when a judge demanded it. Little is done to stem the flow of violence from either group. My story would be told. Log In. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? Dying mothers, Biafran youth dead on the roads around Port Harcourt. The Indigenous People of Biafra has reacted to alleged DSS report which claims that a certain Biafran Army Camp exists in Israel. The attorney for Nigerian activist Nnamdi Kanu, head of the Biafran separatist movement, has confirmed that Kanu is in Israel following the first sighting of him in more than a year – but Israeli authorities say they’re not so sure. Israeli prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has ordered the Israeli Military following the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu set to arrive at Biafra’s own country any moment from now. My limbs flailed. My left side was swollen, and every breath was agonising. It is published in 2016 by Feli Publishing Maryland, USA and available at www.amazon.com for $15. At the same time, the plight of the Igbos reminded many Israelis of the Holocaust. They were brave, good people. t was 14 September 2017. I will give you facts and figures. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. I didn’t want to leave my home. My men pushed and pulled me towards the high perimeter wall. The use of Fulani herdsmen to drive farmers from their land, with hundreds of men and women killed in peaceful farming communities in Plateau State and Adamawa and Enugu, documented by the Global Index on Terror and confirmed by Human Rights Watch, ought to be worthy enough of reporting. When we stopped to rest on the road, I couldn’t go out. Video: Biafran Zionist Movement Sends "500 Military Personel" To Israel To Train As Pilots and Engineers. Nigerian separatist leader admits he’s in Israel, says owes life to Jewish state Pro-Biafran chief Nnamdi Kanu, who faces treason charges, gives credit to … “The conflict caused an … I might as well have been in prison.Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, all the countries I had to pass through rely economically on Nigeria, their governments corrupt enough to arrest me and send me back. Later on I discovered how, miraculously, no one was killed or badly hurt and the Nigerian army let them be once they knew I was not in the house. Lieutenant colonel Ogbonnaya Oji during a battle of Nigerian Civil War. The Times of Israel is an Israeli-based news website launched in 2012. Israel was a haven for me, but it took over a year to get there, and only then did I feel confident enough to let my fellow IPOB family members and immediate family know I was safe. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. How there was still some faint ghost of independence among Nigeria’s judiciary. But a handful of adults and children would have been too many, never mind millions. The … More than 28 of my fellow IPOB members were killed that day. Biafrans have been butchered for reasons that range from religious intolerance, economic incompetence and xenophobic warmongering on the part of a Nigerian state that can hardly keep itself together. And yet, despite the violence meted out to us on such occasions, we are called ‘terrorists’ and proscribed by the Nigerian government. At the time I knew nothing more. It only forced together unhappy and angry bedfellows. I will tell you all these things. In 1975, the government, in further its perceived bid to appreciate them for their gallantry, moved the wounded soldiers to Oji River and settled them on one end of the Oji River Leprosy Settlement Centre. I was told they had all congregated in my mother’s room when the soldiers broke in. Biafra has always been wealthier, better endowed with natural resources and more creative with them than the north of Nigeria. In May 1967 Biafra was left with no choice but to secede from Nigeria only to face a vastly superior invasion army and a blockade of food supplies supported by governments as diverse as the UK and the Soviet Union. In 1970, after nearly three years of fighting, Biafran soldiers, who were outnumbered 10 to one by federal troops and under-equipped, laid down their arms. It was agonising to realise that they didn’t know if I was dead or alive. Our successes are measured by peaceful protest, such as the stay-at-home day we have organised on 30 May each year to commemorate the Biafran declaration of independence in 1967. Biafran Jews mark 50 years since failed bid for independence - Times of Israel for the first times reports Biafra news Nigeria on Tuesday marks 50 years since the declaration of an independent Republic of Biafra plunged the country into a civil war, amid renewed tensions and fresh calls for a … It was a terrible and inglorious beginning to post-colonial African history. The People of Biafra and the south of Nigeria are predominantly Christian and Jewish. Facebook; Twitter . "The Nigerians who were pursuing us were trained soldiers. Children also helped out in their own way. Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, is a subsumed state in West Africa that existed from May 1967 to January 1970 and also before the creation of Nigeria by Britain. They were not here to negotiate my surrender. We only had our voices. It was a dangerous time. I have no doubt of this. Now Nigeria’s government, dominated for so many years by politicians and top brass from the north, has set itself to oppose with full military force peaceful calls for Biafran self-determination. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. I wouldn’t have the chance to turn the spotlight of the media on to Nigeria itself. I woke up with a start. On January 11, 1970, Nigerian forces captured the provincial capital of Owerri, one of the last Biafran strongholds, and Ojukwu was forced to flee to the Ivory Coast. It was co-founded by journalist David Horovitz, who is also the founding editor, and US hedge fund manager Seth Klarman. Source: Centre For Memories, Enugu. Nnamdi Kanu on the battle for self-determination, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. The case of the so-called Muslim Fulani herdsmen from the north of Nigeria, who have already been recognised as terrorists by the international community, is a perfect example of this ongoing persecution. The Biafran secession of 1967 and ensuing civil war presented Israel with an acute dilemma. I had fallen on my left rib cage. I wish this had been an unusual day in Biafraland. In a letter to the president of Nigeria in March 2019, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights declared Nigeria’s proscription of IPOB as a terrorist group and attacks against its members as prima facie violation of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. So I wouldn’t have a judge decide on my case in a free and open hearing. Overhead I could hear helicopter gunships, their propellers whirring with that sick, lazy beat they have when they hover. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) that I lead, has one principal purpose: we call for the recognition of the Biafran people’s right to self-determination. They were attacking the compound, shooting, killing my friends and family. What astonishes me, though, is the almost total silence from the world’s media, politicians and the international community surrounding this horrible persecution. Bodies are buried in shallow graves, thrown in the bush or left on the street. The Israeli public, press and parliament called for assistance to Biafra, evoking their country's deep moral obligation to help a people in distress. The world would know how the Nigerian Security Forces tried to keep me imprisoned without trial on trumped-up charges. Violence, harassment and persecution by the Nigerian state and their unofficial militia are constant these days. My parents and other members of my family were there, brothers, nephews, nieces, cousins. None of these journeys was easy. She became very ill and died earlier this year. More than 50 years later and the violent persecution of the Biafran people by the Nigerian state continues unabated. My men shouting. Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu (1933–2011) from 6 July 1967 to 15 January 1970. Biafrans have been persecuted and murdered since before I was born: from the killings of hundreds of Igbo people in Jos in 1945 to the attempted extermination of Biafrans during the war of 1967-70 and modern-day pogroms such as the on-going military attacks on Biafra by the Nigerian Army known as “Operation Python Dance”. Then I blanked out. Initially the Nigerian army denied the assault, but footage and photographs show the attack as it happened and its aftermath. Israel Needs a Clear Biafra Strategy. The men who came to my family home in September 2017, came to kill me. They should not have been forced to make that sacrifice, but I will honour them for it until my dying day. If they wanted to arrest me or question me, they would have sent the police or agents of the DSS. I have lost a mother. Sign Up. I wanted to confront the soldiers and ask them what they had come for. I was still recuperating, and I was sleeping that afternoon in my room, and someone was shaking me and calling my name. Since 2017 state oppression has included: the beating of young men attending a relative’s funeral in Onitcha in 2019; in August 2018 the arrest and imprisonment in Owerri of 100 women protesting against violence carried out by the security forces and specifically the attack on my home; in 2017 and 2018 brutal beatings given by Nigerian soldiers and police to anyone wearing or carrying the Biafran flag, including a disabled man in Onitsha; the indiscriminate burning down of houses by Nigerian Police in Abia State in October 2019, because their inhabitants support Biafran self-determination. Biafran War Memories is a digital archive of first-hand accounts of the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War. I heard footsteps and people talking, more gunfire. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. I might have started involuntarily. The consequences for persecution of Biafran #Jews will be ... 7AM and 6PM Toll Free number in Israel … We reject violence. But we had no guns in the house. Obiozor, a former Nigerian ambassador to the United States, Israel and Cyprus, was on January 10 declared President of the group after an election held at Dan ... cooked and took care of Biafran soldiers as well. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. To connect with Biafran Soldiers, sign up for Facebook today. The Biafra war was fought to counter the secession of Biafra from Nigeria, Shame of a nation: up to 12,000 people a day died from starvation during the civil war, A Biafran man trains with a dummy rifle during the simulation of a confrontation with the enemy in a field of Biafra, Biafran rebel soldiers during an attack to take the city of Ikot Ekpene from the Nigerian troops on 11 August 1968, A group of mothers and their babies waiting at the Enugu Civilian Hospital, A Nigerian army soldier wounded on his neck is carried by his comrades on the pannier rack of a bicycle, Refugees walk on a road as they flee the city of Aba, to go to Umuahia, the new capital of the Republic of Biafra, A Biafran mother and her starving baby during the famine resulting from the Biafran War, Colonel Odumegwu Emeka Ojukwu, the leader of the breakaway Republic of Biafra, delivers a press conference, Singer-songwriter John Lennon on the telephone during a press conference held after he returned his MBE to the Queen in protest against the war in Biafra and the British support of the American action in Vietnam. No doubt they hope to stave off the collapse of Nigeria, which commentators from all regions have recognised in recent months. At least six Igbo synagogues were razed by soldiers last week in Nigeria’s River State, located in the country’s Biafra region, 9Africa news reported. By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News - Soldiers destroyed six synagogues of the Igbo Jewish community in Nigeria last week during a siege of several areas in the country’s Rivers State, while killing at least 50 people and arresting two, 9Africa reports. Share this post on facebook. No one else in the world has agreed with this move to ban our movement. Shouting. But even now, if a Nigerian government was willing to talk honestly and openly about our demands and to consider a referendum on self-determination for the Biafran people, in a neutral space provided by the United Nations, I would be there at the table. The outlawing of IPOB has given the Nigerian government an excuse to send in the army and provided impetus for Islamist militias to drive us from our homes. I am the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). I was denied the bail that had been granted me. The incident took place as soldiers besieged Oyigbo, Etche, Iriebe and Eleme after violence broke out […] I gasped, convinced that I had punctured my lung in the fall. I had felt safe, secure. About Biafran Soldiers UmuChineke. But it is in the millions. On more than one occasion waves threatened to swamp our little craft. IPOB celebrates as Israel ‘recognizes Biafra’ The Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB has thanked the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for openly recognizing Biafra. But that was 50 years ago. Then I heard the gunfire and I understood what the man standing over me was trying to tell me. Soldiers had come. 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