We broke those technological barriers and achieved those near impossible feats as far back as 5 decades ago under the harshest condition known to man

War hero by Kenneth Obi

Biafra war, 1966 – 1970

Defeated in a war we fought to survive, dehumanized, stripped of our jobs, our assets, our right to human dignity and condemned to live in a state of perpetual poverty and penury with no govt presence other than Police and Army checkpoints, but like the Phoenix, we rose from the ashes and here we are, conquering the arena like Spartacus.

WE ARE ALL HEROES

As far back as 1945 in the Northcentral Nigerian city of Jos and 1953 in the city of Kano, long before independence, we were subjected to two major pogroms by our Arewa Northern neighbors. Thousands of us were slaughtered. Thousands more were displaced. Yet, we refused to remain dead.

WE ARE ALL HEROES

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Not even the ethnic cleansing we suffered after the 1966 coup was able to keep us down. A coup was carried out by soldiers from Igbo, Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba, Tiv, and Esan ethnic groups but it was tagged an Igbo coup even when the same coup was foiled by two brave Igbo sons, the Oxford product Ojukwu in Lagos and Aguyi Ironsi in Kano. Characteristically, the blood of tens of thousands of our soldiers and civilians was again used to appease the vampiric god of the Nigerian state.

But like Klaus Mikaelson, we yet conquered mortality and survived the ethnic cleansing.

WE ARE ALL HEROES

Even when the combined firepowers of world powers such as Britain and Russia aided by Nigeria and Egypt were bombing us from all corners while outgunned, outnumbered and blockaded from both land, sea, and air, we not only resisted for a whole 30 months, we equally did the unimaginable within that period and under the harshest of conditions.

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Here, our ingenuity as a people came to the fore as we were able to refine our oil from a variety of non-fossil fuel, manufacture surface to air missile which we also adopted to surface to surface missiles and converted passenger planes to fighter jets and weaponized them. We would go on to construct the Uli Airstrip and repair it each time it was bombed by the enemy forces. And with nothing other than the sheer patriotism of our men and women and the desire to defend our right to life, we were able to hold off the aforementioned 4 countries even under constant bombardments from both land, air and sea and full blockade from all angle for a whole 30 months.

We broke those technological barriers and achieved those near impossible feats as far back as 5 decades ago under the harshest condition known to man.

Yesterday, almost 50 years after, the Nigerian state is still romancing the idea of producing pencil by the year 2018, with 7 months to go.

WE ARE ALL HEROES

After the Biafran war, all manner of economic, financial and administrative policies were invented to keep us perpetually on the ground:

First, our properties were seized and shared as spoils of war with the tag, “Abandoned properties”. Then came the state-sponsored financial terrorism of seizing all our monies in the bank to ensure that those who survived the genocide during the war would die of penury. Regardless of how much millions and billions we had in the bank before the war, we were given just £20. So, when the rest of the country were getting interest-free loan to buy up national assets, the Nigerian state made sure we wouldn’t have enough to even put food on our table and this is a people who are coming straight from a 3-year civil war with nothing but their battered and traumatized lives. Even their jobs were taken from them.

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So basically, the Nigerian state robbed us of our lives, our monies, our jobs and our properties. And left us with nothing. And what was our offense???? We sought to save ourselves from total annihilation by declaring “Biafra” when it was beyond argument that the Gowon-led Lagos based central govt was neither ready nor willing to protect us from hate-induced killing which started as far back as 1945 in Jos, fifteen years before we even gained independence and 20years before the first coup which mischief makers have tried to use to justify the senseless killings.

Yesterday, decades after the war, the Nigerian state is still carrying out an open war against us with every instrumentality of the state. Even when members of two terror groups from the Caliphate part of the country are being released from detention and protected with special army task force, our sons and daughters who are neither armed nor violent are being killed and maimed and bathed with acid right inside a church by Nigerian soldiers just for daring to remember their fallen heros who gave their lives during the Biafran war. The demonic path that led to the war is the same path the Nigerian state is still treading today.

Yet, we yet breath

WE ARE ALL HEROES

Despite not having had access to political powers for 50 years, our region remains far better developed than that of those who have ruled the country all through those period. And despite being dispossessed of our lives, our monies, our jobs and our properties, we are today the biggest owners of landed properties in the country, we are among the wealthiest with chains of businesses scattered all over the country and beyond. In sports, we hold the No1 position. Even in education, our children always come first. WAEC, NECO and JAMB results confirm this.

Now, ask yourself, how did we overcome the agonies of the Biafran war, the state-sponsored killings, institutionalized marginalization and other devilish policies of the Nigerian state designed to keep us permanently down, to become the very nucleus as well as the mitochondria of the cell called Nigeria??

The answer is in the question

INDEED, WE ARE ALL HEROES

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