YES, THERE WAS A COUNTRY…..Today is the anniversary of the Declaration of the Republic of Biafra: 30th May 1967..”Biafra itself, as declaration was then, and it has always been, to my mind, a trace on an imaginary map of Nigeria that says or was meant to say….To all you people….Our people..,that are being hunted by fellow citizens outside…one, you can get across to this land. two, We will be better able to take care of you, as you are, today. We cannot get to all the various crisis areas outside this land to help you, but This should be clear and visible…Once you step within this boundary, Everything we have is yours…Once you cross this line, if you are alive, We are alive; If you die, We die together……” CHUKWUEMEKA ODUMEGWU OJUKWU, General of the People’s Army.# WE ARE INDESTRUCTIBLE…
Shortly before he died, Ojukwu made a very fundamental transition in his belief in Biafra.He moved from Biafra as a geographical and territorial construct to the Biafra of the mind. And only a few people till today understood him well. It’s said that, only the deep speak to the deep.
Ojukwu’s prescription of ”Biafra of the mind” is that the ethos of innovation, ingenuity, excellence, that marked the greatest proof of resilence, resistance and survival of Biafra as a nation during thet three year gruesome war should be preserved and utilized as a stepping stone of the Igbo place in Nigeria and the world at large.
Biafra as was declared by Ojukwu in 1967 was a state with a territory running through the East of the Niger in what was known as the Eastern Region of Nigeria. The existence of this Republic ended in 1970 when the blockaded state surrendered after a three-year bloody war.
The Country that was, was a Biafra of bricks and mortar and Ogbunigwe. But the new Biafra Ojukwu proposed and left behind is not the Biafra of bricks, mortar and ogbunigwe but a deep philosophical and ideological proposal for a new Nigeria and a new world order, and it is a reflection that could have come fro a world patriot.
Ojukwu’s Biafra of the mind is about the new nation where a group of different people feel a strong sense of common heritage and pursue a common destiny while upholding the principle of egalitarianism and justice for all. It is a world where we shall all be united by our common humanity.
Nigeria has a great challenge to break all the walls and barriers of the old Biafra and replace it with the new Biafra of the mind. So long as the herdsmen carrying AK47 killing, maiming and raping women in the eastern region are not declared as terrorists, but those that carry flags to march are declared as terrorists, the old Biafra will continue to exist. So long as 350 Igbo communities and villages are occupied by Fulani and Shuwa Arab Jihadists, the old Biafra will continue to exist. So long as the corpse of an Igbo trader is brought back from Maiduguri or from any other Northern city to an Igbo village for burial, the old Biafra will continue to exist.
Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2012/03/ojukwu-biafra-of-the-mind/
Ojukwu’s Biafra of the mind is an ideal of justice, a metaphor for man’s irrepressible persuasion to stand up against inhumanity and injustice by man to man. It transcends geographical boundaries and ethnic identities. It is no more the struggle of the Igbo for self-determination in the face of genocide. It is no more about the 30 months bloody civil war that left in its trail the devastation and despoliation of the Igbo heartland. Today, as we mark the anniversary of a country that was, the old Biafra, we should heed to the clarion for a new Biafra, a “Biafra of the mind” where people shall feel a strong sense of common heritage while upholding the principle of egalitarianism and justice for all. And a world where all will be united by our common humanity in the land of the ”rising sun”
Credit source. Excerpts from Bianca Ojukwu’s post, and Vanguard.