ABW Editorial-Indeed times have changed. During the era of the sixties, Nigeria along with the Nigerian Press particularly known as the Lagos-Ibadan News axis told the story from the Nigerian perspective. The people in the East had no media access to air their views at that time. Today with the advent of Technological innovation people can air their view points across large audiences of the world of Social Media and Discussion chat forums giving rise to a more balanced perspective hearing from all sides. This is exactly what happened in the below Aljazeera interview. Watch the Part 1 on ABW through the YouTube interview below, and draw your own informed conclusion!
Aljazeera Exclusive on Biafra
Interview with Igwe Christopher EjioforAide-de-camp to head of Republic of Biafra
Olusegun Obasanjo, Former president of Nigeria
Rudolf Okonkwo Columnist, Sahara Reporters
Uche Mefor Deputy Leader, Indigenous People of Biafra
Dr. Oguchi Nkwocha Biafra activist
Jaafar Jaafar Journalist, Daily Nigerian
Peter Obi Former Governor of Anambra State
It has been fifty years since the Biafra War, but the scars have yet to heal-Aljazeera
In 1967, Igbo military officer Odumegwu Ojukwu declared an independent nation, the Republic of Biafra, in a southeastern part of Nigeria. Biafra, he said, was going to be the homeland of the Igbo people. The government, though, responded with a heavy hand and a bloody civil war ensued. Pro-Biafrans say the authorities then starved the region, cutting off aid and access. There was no official death toll, but estimates range from one to six million.
The war ended with the surrender of Biafra in January 1970 with then head of state Yakubu Gowon famously declaring there was “no victor, no vanquished”. Biafrans returned to Nigeria and the country once known as Biafra, ceased to exist. Separatist sentiment, though, continued to simmer and in recent years the pro-Biafra movement has resurged.
Today, Nnamdi Kanu is perhaps the most visible face of the pro-Biafra movement. He’s the leader and founder of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and was recently jailed for treasonable felony charges. But his star is rising among pro-Biafrans who say they have been economically and socially marginalised by the government for years. Clashes in the last year between Nigerian security and pro-Biafra activists have killed more than 100 people. And there have been calls for a referendum on independence, which Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has ruled out.
In part one of this special episode of The Stream, we’ll speak to two war veterans about their experiences, and what their feelings are on the Biafra issue now. We’ll also delve into the legacy of the Nigerian civil war and what the Biafra issue means to people today.
Watch the Exclusive Interview through the Link below