Monday, December 5, 2011

My first memories of the name 'Ojukwu' involved a scandal. All I knew was that his girlfriend was very young and it was a very bad thing.

I later learned about Ojukwu's role in Nigeria's civil war. The creation of Biafra and the millions who died as a consequence. I learned about the pain felt and left unaddressed by many over 40 years later. I also discovered a family secret that my grandfather almost died at the hands of Biafran soldiers who lined up Abonema's villagers because many refused to recognize the new country they were forced into.


It was not until Ojukwu's death on November 26th, 2011, that I decided to truly take the time to think about the circumstances that forced the creation of Biafra. Of course, the cards were stacked against the 30,000 square mile-wide nation: former colonial controller Great Britain supplied the Nigerian military with an even greater tactical advantage than it already had in the form of weapons, strategic advice and more. And Egypt provided military planes.

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