My parents and other members of my family were there, brothers, nephews, nieces, cousins. Nnamdi Kanu on the battle for self-determination, {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}, Biafra: 50 years on and the violence continues, take land from Biafra and give it to Fulani, burning down of houses by Nigerian Police in Abia State, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. Then there is the systematic cleansing of whole areas by Fulani herdsmen from the north. I woke up with a start. 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. 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. Kanu made this statement with a brief meeting he has with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu calling for the Israel government to protect him and to ensure the good people of the Biafrans citizens are well protected during the independence, “The zoo country security agents are bitting what they can’t chew, but, we good people of Biafrans are peace lovingly citizens. I protested. You may remember the Biafran war, 50 years ago. 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. Biafra represented nationalist aspirations of the Igbo people, … "The Nigerians who were pursuing us were trained soldiers. Ten feet high. Israel National daily, ... Biafran soldiers, who were outnumbered 10 to one by federal troops and under-equipped, laid down their arms. About Biafran Soldiers UmuChineke. Our struggle for self-determination is the struggle of Africa's post-colonisation from Algeria to the Cape. To truly be free and rectify the sins of European colonialism, Biafra must be allowed its independence. The Nigerian Civil War (also known as the Biafran War and the Nigerian-Biafran War) was a civil war in Nigeria fought between the government of Nigeria headed by General Yakubu Gowon and the secessionist state of Biafra led by late Lt. My father, a strong man, a chief among Biafrans, has lost his life’s companion. It was a terrible and inglorious beginning to post-colonial African history. But I refused to go. The soldiers even shot and killed the family dog. Nnamdi Kanu on the battle for self-determination, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. If they wanted to arrest me or question me, they would have sent the police or agents of the DSS. I suppose for a minute or so I refused to believe what they were telling me: that the soldiers had come to kill me; I would be shot in the head, dumped among my dead companions in a shallow grave on the side of some road. Look around Africa today. 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. My men pushed and pulled me towards the high perimeter wall which ran the full circumference of the compound. How they ignored the bail that had been posted. My left side was swollen, and every breath was agonising. It was a dangerous time. My men pushed and pulled me towards the high perimeter wall. Because of my activism and vocal criticism of the Nigerian government, I was arrested, demeaned, degraded and treated atrociously and held without trial in an undisclosed location for 18 months.I was accused of treason and belonging to an illegal organisation. Missing Nigerian separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu has resurfaced in Israel more than a year after soldiers … It is published in 2016 by Feli Publishing Maryland, USA and available at www.amazon.com for $15. The 1 August 2019 article carries a photo of a plane with “Biafran Airlines” … I might have started involuntarily. It was co-founded by journalist David Horovitz, who is also the founding editor, and US hedge fund manager Seth Klarman. That we were to blame. Lieutenant colonel Ogbonnaya Oji during a battle of Nigerian Civil War. I had fallen on my left rib cage. I realised the soldiers were not here to arrest me – they could have done that at any time. I am the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). 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. More than 50 years later and the violent persecution of the Biafran people by the Nigerian state continues unabated. These killings cannot be disputed. 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. Source: Centre For Memories, Enugu. They were brave, good people. I was still gravely injured and in need of constant medical attention. When Nigeria was created in 1914 the stated purpose by then Governor of Britain’s West African colonies, Sir Frederick Lugard, was to marry the rich South to the Poor North and even up the economics of both. I have lost a mother. My story would be told. We only had our voices. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. I will tell you all these things. Read our full mailing list consent terms here, I was being bundled down the stairs and out into the compound at the back, away from the soldiers who had forced their way into the front of the house. All those who have been killed since, protesting the actions of the Nigerian security forces in Biafraland. I heard footsteps and people talking, more gunfire. Then I remembered my parents, my family members who had stayed in the house, young nephews and nieces. 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. Then I blanked out. Sadly, we have watched his own health decline since the attack on our home and my mother’s death. Photo by Francois Mazure for Agence France-Presse. More than 1,700 deaths were attributed to the Fulani in the first nine months of 2018. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? They had tried to defend my home, my family, without guns, without clubs, only with their bodies and their words. We reject violence. Violence, harassment and persecution by the Nigerian state and their unofficial militia are constant these days. 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. My limbs flailed. We uphold human rights. But it is in the millions. The online English website covers “developments […] Work. Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu (1933–2011) from 6 July 1967 to 15 January 1970. I wish this had been an unusual day in Biafraland. 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. From London, where I had been living, I had set up Radio Biafra to offer a platform for debate over the right to self-determination of the Biafran people. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. When we stopped to rest on the road, I couldn’t go out. 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 … I was determined to be there. Two people were arrested at a synagogue in Iriebe Okpulor for “wearing Kippah & Magen”. t was 14 September 2017. 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. It never worked. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. On May 30, pro-Biafra groups and their supporters celebrated the anniversary of the declaration of the Biafran Republic on May 30, 1967, by Col. Odumegwu … Nnamdi Kanu “My coming to Nigeria with Israeli military is to address some issues with the good citizens of Biafra, who has been coming for my arrival and to also be in the right position to fight for a due course for the actualization of Biafra. No doubt they hope to stave off the collapse of Nigeria, which commentators from all regions have recognised in recent months. Theirs was called the disabled Biafran war veterans camp. 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. 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. Shouting. I was told they had all congregated in my mother’s room when the soldiers broke in. We pursue the right to self-determination for Biafrans without the use of force. Almost from the moment Nigeria’s independence was declared, the Biafran people wanted out, which led to the bloody war of 1967-70. Biafran War Memories is a digital archive of first-hand accounts of the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. You may remember those photographs of starving children, their bellies distended, crying with hunger, crying without tears because their tear ducts had dried up. Israel sought to maintain correct relations with the Federal Government of Nigeria, which viewed as a hostile act any support rendered to the Biafran separatists. That we had opened fire on the soldiers. I would stay for that. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. My name is Nnamdi Kanu. But we must add the killing and brutal beating by the Nigerian army and police of anyone who supports the Indigenous People of Biafra or calls for Biafran self-determination. 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. 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. Then I heard the gunfire and I understood what the man standing over me was trying to tell me. 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. Soldiers had come. According to the most recent Global Index on Terror, the first and fourth most deadly Islamic Terrorist organisations in the world operate in Nigeria. 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”. My men shouting. They were not here to negotiate my surrender. The Times of Israel is an Israeli-based news website launched in 2012. For 14 days we travelled in dangerous seas in a small boat with an outboard motor. 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. So I wouldn’t have a judge decide on my case in a free and open hearing. I had to get up. The Israeli public, press and parliament called for assistance to Biafra, evoking their country's deep moral obligation to help a people in distress. On more than one occasion waves threatened to swamp our little craft. They would say I had resisted arrest. 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 … I wouldn’t be able to expose the attempts by the Department of State Security to silence me. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. 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. 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. Biafra: Israeli Soldiers Set To Arrived In Enugu On October 15 Ahead Of Biafra Independence September 19, 2020 Admin Biafra: Israeli soldiers Set to arrive in Enuguon October 15 ahead of biafra independence. 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. We left from a small town in Abia, Azumiri, an unobtrusive place where the Nigerian authorities might not have thought to look. More than 28 of my fellow IPOB members were killed that day. In 2017 Amnesty International recorded hundreds of killings of Biafrans by the Nigerian state. Children also helped out in their own way. How they refused to bring me to court when a judge demanded it. Soldiers shouting. My mouth opened but I couldn’t take in air. They should not have been forced to make that sacrifice, but I will honour them for it until my dying day. At the height of the war in 1969, 12,000 people a day starved to death in Biafra. 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 was in great pain. Eventually we were able to rent a boat on the coast. Share this post on facebook. Somehow, they man-handled me to the top of this and I fell to the ground the other side. It was about 4pm. Israel needs to harness its resources and influence to force this outcome. My mother suffered heart complications as a result of the trauma and stress of the Nigerian army’s invasion of my house. I had to get out now. I mourn all my IPOB family member who had given their lives to protect mine. The People of Biafra and the south of Nigeria are predominantly Christian and Jewish. After being silent about the key question that everyone has been asking, for more than 1 year, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu has recounted how he arrived in Israel from Nigeria when the Nigerian army broke into his home in Umuahia, Abia State. Once in Senegal I was able to make arrangements to travel to Israel. But a handful of adults and children would have been too many, never mind millions. Facebook; Twitter . I was denied the bail that had been granted me. 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. But the attack took its toll on my parents. We planned to go to the Republic of Benin, just west of Nigeria. In just less than a month I had a court hearing. These were crack troops; they’d called in the air force. And always the sound of helicopter blades ripping up the air above me. The … Two young soldiers of the Biafran army, Moise, 14 (L) and Ferdinand, 16 (R) talk to one another in the city of Umuahia on August 31, 1968 as the Nigerian federal troops continue their advance during the Biafran war. My world was shrunk to a room with a window, and sometimes not even that. But first… My men began to drag me from the bedroom. 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. But we had no guns in the house. The numbers since have not been collated but will be equal. The world would know how the Nigerian Security Forces tried to keep me imprisoned without trial on trumped-up charges. At one point we put ashore to find ice to keep the medication I needed chilled. I had internal bleeding, a doctor told me, and I was advised to rest before I could go anywhere. How many Biafrans were killed because of this deliberate policy of starvation has been argued ever since. Biafra has always been wealthier, better endowed with natural resources and more creative with them than the north of Nigeria. I will give you facts and figures. or. 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. 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. What astonishes me, though, is the almost total silence from the world’s media, politicians and the international community surrounding this horrible persecution. 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. After that terrible day in September 2017, I woke up in a safe house. Bodies are buried in shallow graves, thrown in the bush or left on the street. But not Nigeria. Biafran Soldiers UmuChineke is on Facebook. Sign Up. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. The incident took place as soldiers besieged Oyigbo, Etche, Iriebe and Eleme after violence broke out as a result of a youth protest demanding an end to police brutality in the country, 9Africa news reported, citing Igbo Jewish adherents … The book tells the story of the Biafran War from the perspective of a Biafran soldier, John Ude who fought on many fronts against the unwarranted … A sharp, sharp pain literally took my breath away. Meanwhile, the army is busy attacking peaceful Biafrans under the smoke screen of ‘military manoeuvres’. 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. I couldn’t even tell my wife or family where I was, just in case they became targets. And my men had been telling the soldiers they had no right to enter. Little is done to stem the flow of violence from either group. 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