And I cried for Biafra…
I am not used to talking things that are not about Christianity here… But I think this is worth a little space on my blog. I am from Eastern Nigeria (Defunct Biafra Republic) after all.
Going through the detailed facts of the past, the pogrom and massacre of thousands of Igbo’s, the declaration of Biafra, the betrayal by fellow southerners and the killings of hundreds of thousands of people during the war… My heart melted.
Yes… It was unfair. The joys of Biafrans at that time was cut short. Igbos became the scapegoat of the entity called Nigeria. Was it wrong to be an Igbo man?… I asked same question for the Jews! Is it wrong to be from this part of the world? The Northerners believes we are the curse in Nigeria… Well, there are good Northerners. Our Southern kinsmen feels we are too domineering, therefore the killings makes it easy for them.
The Biafrans lost everything, they lost their children, their properties, their business and lots more. Even Chimamanda Adichie’s Kainene is still missing till date but the story is intact. The Biafrans story is a story that has come to stay… The songs and chants of Biafra cannot be wiped away.
Yes, we were so wronged. We were so dealt with and we remain to this day a rejected stone and yet the most lively. The Biafran identity, flag, story and anthem has been immortalized in the hearts of Easterners. The story of Biafra is sealed forever. It cannot be wiped out.
The story of Biafra is the story of heroes who can survive with nothing. Biafrans did not do like heroes, heroes do like Biafrans. It is a story of people who were able to rebuild a country with only 20 Naira… Fight all you can, kill all you can but the story of Biafra has come to stay.
However, we have learnt from the story of Biafra, we are still learning from it and its time to move on. We don’t need to fight for Biafra the second time… It’s already in our hearts. No matter how we try to do away with it as Easterners, its just there staring at us with all its stories… Stories that touch the heart and melt the soul.
Looking at the Biafran story, there is more reason to drop our arms, stop the chants of war and keep rebuilding! Yes… Let’s keep rebuilding. It doesn’t matter if there is Biafra in the new map, what matters is that the story of Biafra cannot be hidden. Our heart knows Biafra…
Do all you can but you can’t change that fact that there was a country… A place of the Half of a Yellow Sun, the place were Heroes called and made a pact with their blood… THERE WAS A COUNTRY.
But wait a minute… Do we need peace now? Yes! We have moved on and so many things have happened so far. We can’t continue dying, we can’t continue fighting… We can only continue getting better. What we must pursue now is not shadows. We must forgive the unforgivable. Reading and watching the effect of the Biafran war last night, I was soaked in my own very tears and for the second time I was crying again.
We can still make a difference… By just moving on and continue the rebuilding. Its our story… We shouldn’t write another tragedy… We can’t continue crying for the past. At least, let the story end with happily ever after.
Chinua Achebe gave it the fitting title… There was a country!