All over the world today, Ndigbo will sit at home from morning till 4pm in the evening to remember the over two million Biafrans who died in the genocidal war which took place between May 1967 to January 1970.
History has shown that the war was an unjust war, fought in unequilateral dimensions with the Nigerian side employing inhumane measures to win the war. One of these inhumane measures was the blockade policy which prevented food from being brought into Biafra by relief agencies such as THE RED CROSS SOCIETY AND other international assistant committees. This blockade policy was spearheaded by Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief Anthony Enahoro. Obafemi Awolowo when asked about the blockade, was reported to have said:
All is fair in war and starvation is one of the weapons of war. I don’t see why we should feed our enemies fatter in order for them to fight harder.
Historical records like these go a long way in portraying just how much deep-seated hatred there was against Ndigbo and how much desperation there was in the mastermind of the war to emasculate the Biafran people, the result of which was genocide.
There was also the case of Asaba massacre where over 500 men putting on white were mercilessly shot dead by General Murtala Muhammed and General Ibrahim, even while they chanted ONE NIGERIA at the command of the soldiers. A very similar gory evil was perpetrated in Calabar and it is said there are far more cases that weren’t properly documented.
General Adekunle was known to have said that the reason he was fighting the war was not for the sake of the unity of the country. Rather it was for the oil and if it required him killing Biafran children, then it was too bad.
Reading the history of the war, it is clear that the Biafrans were killed unjustly in an unfair and genocidal war. Even the UN has refused to recognize what went on in that gory war as genocide. This is why it is important for us to remember our fallen heroes for ourselves and to sit at home on the 30th day of May every year. This is why Ndigbo all over the world are sitting at home today. It is expected that as an act of patriotism, every Igbo man and woman should rest from work activities and perhaps, light a candle in honour of the Biafran fallen heroes.