“When I remember the struggle water, runaway me (my) eyes”. Your struggle and death is the reason I am still alive, Adieu. We Must not forget those that gave all, including their lives.
1] For the over 3.5million people killed in just 30 months, 1.9million of them were kids who were starved to death and others that the Federal troops bombed their food and drug stores. I remember you today.
2] For the 7,692 of our officers in the Nigerian army butchered by even their bosom friends in 1966 as a reprisal of what they branded as an Igbo coup. History has vindicated you, the coup was never an Igbo coup, but the envy of your success was their motivational factor.
3] I also remember the over 800 officers killed on the day and after Gen Aguyi Ironsi was murdered by T Y Danjuma. We will never forget this as time refused to heal the wound.
4] I remember the over 200,000 mothers that choose to go without food in other to save their starving and sick children. You are the real Heroine of our time.
5] I remember the over 44,000 Easterner killed in various trains stations and bus park trying to escape the massacre in the North.
6] For the 380 Pregnant women, whom their tummies were were ripped open by Nigerian soldiers and their unborn babies used as football. This is your day.
7] For about 39 Northerners who were killed trying to protect their Igbo friends, heaven is the best place for your good souls. I remember you all today.
8] For over 2,700 killed during the mop-up exercises and house-to-house search for Igbos in some cities in the West and Mid West, your fears, cry and gruesome murder is why we have today.
9] For the over 500 young men in Asaba killed by Ibrahim Haruna when they were tricked to come out to celebrate the liberation of their villages. They were summarily executed while women and children were forced to watch. You will never be forgotten.
10] For over 33,000 young girls used as sex slaves by the Federal troops, majority of them gruesomely raped to death and some ‘lucky’ one forced to marry officers.
11] Specially remembered today are the 71 Missionaries, Relief and Aide workers, Volunteer Doctors and Nurses that lost their lives in some of the deliberate bombing on health and food storage facilities. They were aware of the danger of assisting in a war torn environment yet decided to come over to Biafran homeland to save lives. This day is for you.
12] For dozens from the new South South, West and Mid West betrayed by their own people and even by Biafrans because they choose to be on the front line with Biafran brothers and friends, I specially remember you today.
13] For the Northerners and Westerners who took care of Igbo properties in the light of treats from neighbours and even handed over rents they collected for their Igbo friends after the war. All I can say is Waooooooooo. Bless you all, your generations will benefit from your rare kind hearts.
14] For thousands of Igbos who died of shocked when Ken Saro Wiwa’s committee declared their properties in parts of Niger Delta, abandoned properties. This day belongs to you.
15] For those who lost their millions deposited in Nigerian banks before the war and were handed over only £20. Majority of them did not survive the shock. We will never forget.
16] Few years after the war, the billions of pounds seized from Igbos were loaned to some Nigerians to buys shares in some of the Nationalized companies. The trauma, deprivation and aftermath death of many as a result of this, is what we are remembering today.
17] For millions of young Igbos whose lives were technically wasted by Federal government policies geared to marginalize them, like the quota system, catchment areas in admissions, state of origin. We must overcome.
18] For thousands killed in various hate attacks, mob actions, religious disturbances, including the latest Herdsmen attacks and Boko haram insurgence, that started with attacking Igbo shops, killing traders and destroying their places of worship in the North. You are the reason for this day.
19] For thousands who as a result of their name and being Igbo were denied jobs they actually qualified for, deliberated not promotion, lost their jobs because of envy and hatred for the people East of the Niger, you pain is my pain.
20] For other thousands killed as a result of their membership and involvement in the renewed quest for Biafra Independence, generations will worship you, the hero of our time.
21] For our traders, whose shops has been destroyed by their host states governments with little or no notice and forced to go and develop another swamp. For the small traffic and street hawkers who lost their wares to hate and envious task force groups.
For our business people, billionaires and millionaire business people, who are bankrupted by government polices and deliberately favouring their competitors, you are all victims of the struggle, we will always remember.
22] For you who folded hands and choose to do nothing. For you who used your position at the federal and state levels to make life unbearable for our people. For some Igbos who walked their brothers out of their big offices because they were greeted in Igbo language. It is a matter of time, as evil reign is just temporal, we must overcome.
In a world of hopelessness, anyone without opinion is part of the problem. I am sure that we will surmount all these and release a more peaceful, stable, prosperous homeland for all within or outside the current arrangement.
CONTINUE TO REST IN PEACE… – Chidi Cali (c)