By Ike A. Offor
When Ben Omokri recently wrote that Igbo are blessing to Nigeria, few people would not comprehend the gravity of such statement until they could see some of these inventions and innovations by the Biafrans during the war.
So many feats were achieved by the Biafrans during the war, when necessity pressed them to invent and industrialise within a very short time frame.
The civil war was not only a war against Biafran secession, it was a war against Biafran technological advancement; to stop Biafran technological prowess and ascendance or supremacy before it’s too late.
The leaders of Nigeria had so much hate for the Biafrans and were increasingly afraid about having an independent Biafran state which was viewed as viable or potential expansionist neighbour state. That was a situation they wouldn’t want to happen due to the fear of Biafra’s potentials to become a very powerful territorial expansionist country that could absorb closer neighbours into Biafra.
The Biafrans were able to build hundreds of kettles for refining crude oil and derived a good number of hydrocarbon derivatives. They creatively made manifolds via which several hydrocarbon byproducts were collected for further use. These were carried out by Biafran engineers and industrial experts as early as the period of the war in late 60s, something that could be considered alien to Africans then.
Civilian aircrafts were converted into military aircrafts and successively weaponised. Armoured tanks and armoured personnel carriers were made by Biafrans, when such was alien to Africans.
These were feats Biafrans achieved as early as 1967, which would have been best developed now if the were allowed to brace their future without interference from Nigerian government or if they were encouraged to carry on with their research and industrialisation without obstructive policies from Nigeria then.