On the fiftieth anniversary of Biafra from the period of its declaration as an independent state to the time of the end of the war, some of the facts about the horror of Biafra have been coming to the front burner.
Conferences for the very first time are being held to commemorate the spirit of Biafra and those who died during the ugly war.
The Republican News has been reporting on a lot of them and here it brings the sequences of events that took place and those said what and did what to the horror and cause of the Biafran wars
“I want to see no Red Cross, no Caritas, no World Council of Churches, no Pope, no missionary, no UN delegation. I want to prevent even one Ibo from having even one piece to eat before their capitulation. We shoot at everything that moves and when our troops march into the centre of Ibo territory, we shoot at everything, even things that do not move” (Benjamin Adekunle, Commander, 3rd Marine Commander Division, Nigerian Army to French Radio Reporter).
“All is fair in war, and starvation is one of the weapons of war. I don’t see why we should feed our enemies fat in order for them to fight harder”, (Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Nigerian Minister of Finance, July 28, 1969)
“Until now efforts to relieve the Biafran people have been thwarted by the desire of the central government to pursue total and unconditional victory and by the fear of the Ibo people who surrender means wholesale atrocities and genocide. But genocide is what is taking place right now and starvation is the grim reaper. This is not the time to stand on ceremony, or go through channels or to observe diplomatic niceties. The destruction of an entire people is immoral objective, even in the most moral of wars. It can never be condoned”, (Richard Nixon, during the presidential campaign, September 9, 1968)
“Federal troops killed, or stood while mobs killed, more than 5000 Igbos in Warri, Sapele, Agbor” (New York Times, 10th January 1968).
“Its (mass starvation) is a legitimate aspect of war (Anthony Enahoro, Nigerian Commissioner for Information at a press conference in New York, July 1968)
“Starvation is a weapon of war, and we have every intention of using it against the rebels” (Mr Alison Ayida, Head of Nigerian delegation, Niamey Peace talks, July 1968.)
“The Igbos must be considerably reduced in number”, Lagos Policeman quoted in New York Review 21 December 1967)
“One word now describes the policy of the Nigerian military government towards secessionist Biafra: genocide. It is ugly and extreme but it is the only word which fits Nigeria’s decision to stop international Red Cross and other relief agencies from flying food to Biafra ( Washington Post editorial, July 2, 1969).
“In some areas in the East, Igbos were killed by local people with at least the acquiescence of the Federal forces, 1000 Igbo civilians perished in Benin in this way” (Max Edward Reporter, reporter on the ground – New York Review, 21 December 1967).
“After federal forces take over Benin, troops killed about 500 Igbo civilians after a house to house search with the aid of willing locals” (Washington Morning Post, 27 September 1967)
“The greatest single massacre occurred in the Igbo town of Asaba where 700 Igbo male were lined up and shot as terrified women/children were forced to watch” (London Observer, 21 January 1968)
“Federal troops killed or stood by while mobs killed more than 5000 Igbos in Warri, Sapele, Agbor (New York Times, 10th January 1968).
“There has been genocide on the occasion of the 1966 massacres, the region between the towns of Benin and Asaba where only widows and orphans remain, federal troops having, for unknown reasons, massacred all the men” (Paris Le Monde, 5th April 1968)
“In Calabar, federal forces shot at least 1000 and perhaps 2000 Igbos, most of them civilians” (New York Times, 18th January 1968)
“Bestialities and indignities of all kinds were visited on the Biafrans in 1966. In Ikeja Barracks (Western Nigeria) Biafrans were forcibly fed on a mixture of human urine and faeces. In Northern Nigeria, numerous housewives and nursing mothers were violated before their husbands and children. Young girls were abducted from their homes, walking places and schools and forced into intercourse with sick, demented and leprous men” (Mr Eric Spiff, German War Correspondent, eyewitness, 1967)
“650 refugee camps, contained about 700,000 haggard bundles of human flotsam waiting hopelessly for a meal, outside the camps, was the reminder of an estimated four and a half to five million displaced kwashiorkor scourge, a million and a half children, suffer(ed) from it during January; that put the forecast death toll for another 300,000 children. More than the pogroms of 1966, more than the war casualties, than the terror bombings, it was the experience of watching helplessly their children waste away and die that gave birth to, a deep and unrelenting loathing. It is a feeling that will one day reap bitter harvest unless” (Frederick Forsyth, British Writer, January 21st, 1969)
“The Nazis had resurrected just here as Nigerian forces” (Washington Post, editorial, July 2, 1969).
“The loss of life from starvation continues at more than 10,000 persons per day over 1,000,000 lives in recent months. Without emergency measures now, the number will climb to 25,000 per day, within a month and 2,000,000 deaths by the end of the year. The new year will only bring greater disaster to people caught in the passion