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First-lady
Mar 13, 2012, 05:05 PM
I would start by saying that I feel very honored that admin and NVS would give us this opportunity to tell some personal stories about the events of that time in our nation's history that spanned 3 years 1967-1970 when our country was thrown into a civil war.
There is no denying that the events of that time shaped Nigeria in some fashion,positively or negatively or a little bit of both, depending on how one chooses to see it.
This is not about what or who started the war and what should have been done that was left undone but about stories untold from the mouths of Nigerians on either side.
I would encourage all villagers to participate because I believe that we all have a story to tell.
What did you hear?
What was passed down?
What did you or your family experience personally
If you were on the Nigeria side,what stories did you hear from elders and people around you or from Biafrans who returned to Nigeria afterwards.
The floor is open,please tell your stories,who knows where this may just lead us.
Who wants to go first?

First-lady
Mar 13, 2012, 09:03 PM
Something wonderful Happened today
A few minutes after I started this thread,I went back to work and here was an older white gentleman and as we spoke,I found out he was a missionary in the Benin area in Nigeria during the war,he left Nigeria in 1970 and you can imagine what discussion we had amidst the main reason he came.
He spoke Ishan to me hoping I would understand it.
His last visit to Nigeria was in 2008 to Ile ife he said
He told me an interesting story about the war which I would relay in a bit.
I hope to get his phone number and possibly email address when I see him again next week,because I believe he would be a valuable resource on this little project.
Watch out for that story when I return.
Tell me yours too

First-lady
Mar 13, 2012, 10:33 PM
So my missionary friend I met today had been caught up in the civil war
His face lit up when I told him I was Nigerian and he spoke what he later told me was Ishan and was disappointed I didn't understand him.He said that since he left Nigerria,he had been unable to find anyone who spoke it.
I told him I was Igbo
he said "I love Igbos,very resourceful people"
I said yes and thank you for the compliments
I worked with a lot of Igbos he said,when I enquired if he ever went to Igboland he said yes,he had been to Onitsha and the Port Harcourt area.
When he told me he left Nigeria the first time in 1970 ,I said " so you were in NIgeria thought the war" and he answered to the affirmative
I told him I was gathering stories from ordinary individuals about the Nigerian/Biafran civil war and he said he had quite a few and I was excited.
When we set out to do this who knew I would be coming in contact with a white missionary who lived through that period albeit on the Nigerian side.

The story

My new friend told me that during that period,Igbos were being killed outside of their homeland and their only crime was being Igbo
I knew from stories that this went on in the northern part of Nigeria and have just recently heard of similar occurrences in Lagos.
I watched a clip here on NVS of Jerome Okoli recounting atrocities in Asaba where villagers were called for a meeting and unbeknown to them it was all a trick,Nigerian soldiers had targeted them and they gathered in large numbers to welcome the visitors,they were massacred.

My missionary friend said that in the area wthe he lived,in the then Midwestern Nigeria,he knew several Igbos and recounted a story of an Igbo man who lived in this town,he was just newly married and at that time it was a death sentence to be an Igbo man so he fled into the bushes with his bride to escape being killed.
He would set traps to catch little animals for meat and at night time he would venture out to people who took pity on him and provided him with some sustenanceI wanted to make sure I heard him right so I asked if the other people ,non Igbos, lived in fear and hid also,he said no,then he added something that shocked me which perhaps most people never knew happened,I was hearing it myself for the first time.
He said the natives of the land were offered 5 pounds as bounty on the head of any Igbo captured alive so it was lucrative business to give out Igbos in the area to Nigerian soldiers. :eek::eek:
This young man in this story received constant threats of being given up so he fled further and further into the bushes with his young bride and when he ventured out he would crawl back and forth on his knees so he couldn't leave footprints that may give away his exact location.
One day it seemed like someone made good on the promise and the soldiers came looking for him,he climbed up a tree and could see them searching for him.
My new friend says he had no clue how this man survived and the most interesting part of all was that by the time they came out one year after his wife had conceived and borne a child right in that bush.:lol:
I hope to get more stories from him and he told me he will like to hear mine when next he comes.

DoubleCaramel
Mar 14, 2012, 03:42 AM
So glad we have this forum. Thanks Admin/NVS. What a story FL? Can you imagine how much money €5 was back then.
I do have some stories too, and so will be contributing to this forum. These stories are part of our history as Nigerians and most be told.
It believe it will help with the reconciliation and enhance the unification of our Nation. We are all equally Nigerians and what hurts one of us, needs to mean something to the next person.
Igbos were massacred in great numbers and lost almost everything they had. Their children lost 3 years of school, their women were raped against the wall by the side of the buildings....in public. All these things have to touch the very heart of every single one of us.
We are one nation.
God bless Nigeria.

DC

tit
Apr 14, 2012, 03:14 AM
This was narrated to me by a colleague (about 10 years ago). I shall do my best to recall :

I was a ten year old boy when the storm clouds gathered. Eastern Region officials were involved in mobilizing the people and came to my village of Ikot Obioko. They gave out campaign stickers with 'Easterners get Ready'.
Then the war drums started. While the Nigerians had automatic weapons, the Biafrans had single shot bolt action rifles. Biafran resistance to the Nigerian invasion soon disappeared. I remember seeing Biafran soldiers cracking palm kernel with the butts of their rifles.
The approach of the Nigerian soldiers caught the village unawares. Somehow some single Igbo men who were either traders or working in the agribusiness sector living in the village knew of the advance. We woke up that morning to find them gone. As the soldiers approached, shooting at everything they saw, the whole village took to their heels. In the pandemomium to get to the safety of the thick forest, my father's hot water flask fell from my hands. Abasi Mbok! I did not look back.
We stayed in the bush for a few days and the Nigerian Army pushed on the highway towards Aba. We went back to pick up our lives.
The Nigerian soldiers soon came to get the villagers to comb the bushes for stranded Biafran soldiers.
Some villagers pointed out some Igbo families. The Igbo males were killed. Their women and girls were carried away by the soldiers to shouts of "oshe bey! hey!"
When the war ended, some of the Igbo men who ran away visited, spoke with my father, and went away.

First-lady
Apr 14, 2012, 03:42 AM
Thanks tit for relaying that story

Our nanny that lived with us from the time I can remember is my mom's first cousin and she had some beautiful war stories to tell.
Surprisingly I remember these stories so well like I heard them yesterday.
She had come to live with my parents right after they got married and stayed through the birth of all mysiblings andI but one
She left in the 80's while I was in secondary shool.
I remember as kids after the night baths she would have us all white with dusting powder and right after dinner she would tell us some stories about the war.She was like a second mommy to us.
Sometime in the the mid to late 70's when mom went away to further her education,aunty did all she could to help us get through mom's long absence.she would console us when we cried and missed mom.We loved her dearly and still do.
I remember her especially for her gentleness and kind heart and her many Biafran war stories.
She told us of a time the family had fled to Mbano as the war advanced towards our area.
One day she was sent to go and buy garri in a neighbouring village.
I remember being surprised that they still had markets at war time.
I also remember her saying that as one passed by it was not unusual to see dead and rotten bodies here and there
And that people usually used leaves or sand to cover their faces to give the bodies some of dignity.
So this day as she went by,you had to cross a bridge to get to the market
She walked for miles,bought the garri and on her way back,the bridge had been blown down and some people had laid logs across this little river and that was the only way to cross to the other side.

She said it was the scariest thing ever
The logs wobbled as people walked by and only one person at a time, so the line was long
She cried her eyes out just thinking about how she would do it
What if she fell
What if she dropped her small sack of garri
The fear of losing the garri was worse than the fear of drowning in the river
That garri was life and they depended on her,how could she come home telling tales
The more she thought about it,the more she cried
Then her turn came,she had the garri balanced on her head and timidly she walked,everyone knew she was nervous and they all chorused words of encouragement cheering her on
When she got half way she became gripped by fear and suddenly stopped
People persuaded her with soothing words to continue
Others yelled angrily at her to hurry before they get killed
Then she continued,all the while the garri was balanced steadily on her head till she made it over
She eventually made it over with the garri intact but she was home so late and everyone was worried sick

blissfully
Apr 15, 2012, 10:37 AM
From the mouth of Prof. Ali Mazrui in Africa a triple heritage:



In Nigeria, the Yoruba, Hausa, and Ibo all share the same nation. Mazrui presents Nigeria as the example of the arbitrary partitioning of Africa by the imperial powers. The Northern Hausa have received traditional Muslim education. The Southern Ibo have received Western education. In Hausaland, the Ibo took the technical jobs and prospered. In 1966, there was an Ibo-led military coup. In revenge, Hausa killed many Ibo. Thus, many Ibo people returned to Igboland. Ibo then seceded from Nigeria, creating their own nation, Biafra. A civil war ensued, called the Biafra war. One reason for the war was the fact that petroleum was in Biafra

webofmatrix
Jun 28, 2012, 04:25 AM
The beginning is more important than the middle, this is very important in informing the young ones inorder not to misinform the coming generation as if there is some inborn universal hatred towards the Igbos. I don't think that exist, because travelling round the country, I have seen nothing but love amongst different tribes in this country; marriages among different tribes grow in numbers. Igbos are well welcome and patronise in their business whereever they choose to settle. Aside religious problem let nobody stupidly spread hatred unnecessarily. Issues lead to a civil war; and remember it takes two to tango. The truth may be bitter but remember going to war was a decision made as a choice where other avenues could have been taken. Politics sometimes end in war, so was this one you are narrating. But to the one who stopped this "killing", the war, credit has never been given for his genius. When you are down and close to extemination, thank the man who made sure you remain alife to tell the story of the war. While the veracity of the story is dependent on which side is talking..... find time to give thank to God.




So my missionary friend I met today had been caught up in the civil war
His face lit up when I told him I was Nigerian and he spoke what he later told me was Ishan and was disappointed I didn't understand him.He said that since he left Nigerria,he had been unable to find anyone who spoke it.
I told him I was Igbo
he said "I love Igbos,very resourceful people"
I said yes and thank you for the compliments
I worked with a lot of Igbos he said,when I enquired if he ever went to Igboland he said yes,he had been to Onitsha and the Port Harcourt area.
When he told me he left Nigeria the first time in 1970 ,I said " so you were in NIgeria thought the war" and he answered to the affirmative
I told him I was gathering stories from ordinary individuals about the Nigerian/Biafran civil war and he said he had quite a few and I was excited.
When we set out to do this who knew I would be coming in contact with a white missionary who lived through that period albeit on the Nigerian side.

The story

My new friend told me that during that period,Igbos were being killed outside of their homeland and their only crime was being Igbo
I knew from stories that this went on in the northern part of Nigeria and have just recently heard of similar occurrences in Lagos.
I watched a clip here on NVS of Jerome Okoli recounting atrocities in Asaba where villagers were called for a meeting and unbeknown to them it was all a trick,Nigerian soldiers had targeted them and they gathered in large numbers to welcome the visitors,they were massacred.

My missionary friend said that in the area wthe he lived,in the then Midwestern Nigeria,he knew several Igbos and recounted a story of an Igbo man who lived in this town,he was just newly married and at that time it was a death sentence to be an Igbo man so he fled into the bushes with his bride to escape being killed.
He would set traps to catch little animals for meat and at night time he would venture out to people who took pity on him and provided him with some sustenanceI wanted to make sure I heard him right so I asked if the other people ,non Igbos, lived in fear and hid also,he said no,then he added something that shocked me which perhaps most people never knew happened,I was hearing it myself for the first time.
He said the natives of the land were offered 5 pounds as bounty on the head of any Igbo captured alive so it was lucrative business to give out Igbos in the area to Nigerian soldiers. :eek::eek:
This young man in this story received constant threats of being given up so he fled further and further into the bushes with his young bride and when he ventured out he would crawl back and forth on his knees so he couldn't leave footprints that may give away his exact location.
One day it seemed like someone made good on the promise and the soldiers came looking for him,he climbed up a tree and could see them searching for him.
My new friend says he had no clue how this man survived and the most interesting part of all was that by the time they came out one year after his wife had conceived and borne a child right in that bush.:lol:
I hope to get more stories from him and he told me he will like to hear mine when next he comes.