OTB Musings :On The Nigerian Civil War

Despite not reading all the Literature, journals or documents surrounding the Nigerian Civil War, some thoughts linger in my mind on the ones I have read, tweets seen and just reading other people’s takes on it.

It is such an imperative event in the life of Nigerians that I am befuddled on why this is not being taught in schools, at least in secondary schools. History should be part of the school curriculum. It frightens me that the only information the younger generation may have about the Nigerian Civil War would be about its duration (i.e 1967-1970). Knowledge on the key political and military figures, massacres, countries that were for/against Biafra, those who assisted in flying in humanitarian aid, important dates and events would be lost to them.

It would be such a huge shame.

Why am I musing on this topic?

I’d give you a bit of context.

A couple of weeks back, precisely on the 19th of October was the 85th birthday of a former Military Head of State, the one whom under his regime over 3 million Nigerian lives were lost – Rt. General Yakubu Gowon.

This would have been a normal day for everyone, I mean the usual ass licking government officials would have just given their birthday wishes and life would have gone on, except for one individual who apparently had forgotten the massacre on his people during the Nigerian Civil War.

Nigeria had its General elections early in the year. A presidential aspirant under the party;Young Progressive Party (honestly, there are too many political parties), Kingsley Moghalu tweeted his own congratulatory message and tagged the former Head of State as “humane”.

The sheer uproar on Twitter Nigeria was incredible. The obvious retaliation by the Presidential Aspirant was to prove his rightful words by asking if he was by any means a mate to the youths who voiced their opinion. I was not in the least bit surprised, it is the usual route that senior citizens tend to take when their knowledge is questioned by people younger.

He realised his mistake and made his absolution. One thing he forgot was that the Internet always remembers and these “receipts” might come back to harm him in future should he decide to come forth for the next election in 2023.

He seemed to have forgotten how the warmonger hindered humanitarian aids from getting into Biafra, shooting down relief supplies right after closing down the Nigerian border, leaving millions of children starving. War comes with a lot of diseases, I am thankful to the documentary photographers who captured those moments. The photos should be displayed often so as to juggle the memory of individuals before they come on Adele’s internet to spew rubbish.

Lets not talk of the decapitated bodies that littered the streets, leaving the atmosphere pregnant with the stench of death. Let us not go down memory lane, please dears.

On this Nigerian Civil War issue, it gutted me to find out via Twitter, that certain individuals had no idea we had a civil war. There were tweets stating that children in that moment had no clue on why their Igbo classmates had disappeared from school. One tweet said that they assumed the Igbos decided to all go on a trip.

I am appalled, bruh!

The above statement might seem like a fallacy which is why I regret not coming forth with my “receipts” (i.e tweets). Next time dears, I would come with an arsenal of them.

It is the reason why I have taken it upon myself to read books about this important event in Nigerian history, get as many views and perspectives as I can. I need to fully understand everything about this issue so as not to uninformed about this event before I end up like a deer in headlights.

I have a few takes though. Let me lay them out for you.

We deserve a memoir, biography or autobiography. Are you feeling me on this?

Like a few people who decided that 70 years or 85 years would be a good time to give us a book on their “well-lived” lives, don’t you think it would be such an excellent idea if Rt. Gen. Gowon would gift us his thoughts?

I am curious to find out what exactly his thoughts were concerning the issues at that time. Who were his advisers? Both the documented and those behind the scenes who somehow ruled Nigeria. Is it that the “powers-that-be” have hindered him from sharing this with us? Is there a document gathering dust or probably decayed that he signed his voice to?

I am anxious to know. Do give us your personal account of the War. Whose wise idea was it to close off the border thereby weaponizing hunger? It is an awesome idea because that is what is still being used in present day Nigeria alongside poverty. After all, our dear friends in the United Nations have told us and the world of the poverty on the streets of Nigeria.

What fancy name did they call it again? Oh, I remember! Multidimensional!

On the Multidimensional poverty status of Nigeria as stated by the UN

This would be an awesome project for you before the ancestors ask you to join them.

Nigeria might have been a major weapons dealing country

When we talk about best military personnel and weapons arsenal, we mention countries like Russia ( do not try their nuclear weapons), USA ( the absolute best, action movies makes me happy), UK, France, most of the countries in the Middle East etc.

Countries with the best Military in the World

Our dear country might have made the cut if only we harness the skills of its citizens rather than let other countries step in. During the Civil war, a group of people lead by Sylvester Akalonu,Gordian Ezekwe, Benjamin Nwosu, Willy Achukwu and Okezie Confidence created a series of weapons systems including command detonation mines,improvised explosive devices and rocket propelled missiles; which the Biafrans called Ogbunigwe.

These weapons made the Nigerian soldiers run back to their homes. The blast radius was from 180 to 800 metres. I wonder what happened to these individuals, were they captured and killed? Did they run for their dear lives knowing that if caught, their outcome might not be pretty? Or are they in some country developing weapons or machines for that countries benefit?

So many questions are in my mind right now. Imagine if we had harnessed the finesse of these individuals, Boko Haram may have been a thing of the past. Instead what did the military do?

I will tell you.

They destroyed the unexploded ordnance left over from the war. It included 646 pieces of live Ogbunigwe bombs and 426 other improvised explosive devices in areas that were formerly Biafra in 2010.

The military should have brought in research analysts, weapons specialists and made different variations of Ogbunigwe, we many have had a safe Nigeria today for both its citizens and foreign investors so as to boost this crumbling economy.

Perhaps, the brilliant minds may not have gone to other countries that value human resources. We may have been a giant in renewable energy, Artificial intelligence, Technology and Science – these would have built the economy, provided jobs and reduced crime, rather than depend solely on Petroleum that is depleting at an alarming rate.

All these and many more roam my mind in various distortions. As I read on the war, these musings would come up and I would definitely share them with you.

Are there any issues or questions that plague your mind when it comes to the Nigerian Civil War?

Do let me know.

As always,

Love,

A.G

4 Comments

  • Desire Uba

    First off, Wow!
    I am so impressed by your writing. You are literally saying words that we all should pay attention to. Plus, the infusion of sarcasm/ humor is just right.
    This post has got me thinking; Why is history so meaningless to us in Nigeria? How do you not know what year the civil war began in your own country?!!
    How can an educated Nigerian from the Nnewi patronize Gowon? It’s scary to think about but at the same time I wonder… is there something I don’t know?

    One thing is for sure… we need to pay more attention to our history. Read books, articles, ask questions. It really would do us a word of good.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article! Once more, well done Agnes ♥️♥️

    • A.G

      thank you so much Nwanne. I know this post has been long overdue, thanks for your constant support. I am really bothered about Nigerian History, if we do not take conscious efforts, it may be lost forever. I am glad that more young people are beginning to get inquisitive, read more and generally want to be enlightened.
      we may have hope for the future!

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