The Significance Of Biafra–Emeka Ugwuonye

By Ikenga Chronicles June 5, 2017

The Significance Of Biafra–Emeka Ugwuonye

Even for those who do not consider an independent sovereign state of Biafra a necessity, it is an indisputable fact that the rise and fall of Biafra has been the most defining event in Nigerian history. Almost every single Nigerian government policy since Independence has been about the Biafran phenomenon. (Yes, it started before the word Biafra was ever used).

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Given the centrality of Biafra in the scheme of history, politics and everything else important in Nigeria, Nigeria cannot afford to continue to block every public discussion on Biafra. It is totally ill-advised to continue with the policy of total suppression against every mention of Biafra. That makes Nigeria a nation in a state of denial.

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Anything that caused the death of 3 million people is big enough to justify public debates, memorials, remembrance dates, monuments, symposia, etc. If some people want to hold a remembrance day for those that died in the sad and painful civil war, the government ought to support them, not to suppress them.

Until the Nigerian government agrees to open discussions on Biafra, it will not go away. Rather, it will fester and grow until it will become more difficult to contain.

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The decision of certain groups to sit at home as their way of marking the Biafran remembrance is a basic expression of their constitutional rights. The fact that the Nigerian security forces are mobilizing for war over it is sad and unfortunate.

  • Emeka Ugwuonye is the founder of DPA.
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