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On this day, the Nigeria-Biafra war broke out

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By Fredrick Nwabufo

 

51 years after we have not healed. All the ingredients of that war are still sizzling in the national cauldron today.

If Rwanda, which experienced a genocidal war like Nigeria could heal in less than 30 years and become a lodestar for Africa in terms of development, unity and peace, why then has it been difficult for the most populous black nation to achieve this?

I think it is simple. Rwanda acknowledges the weight of the crisis on the national shoulder. It recognises the sacrifice of those who died for the country to live. It recognises that nearly a million Tutsis were killed by the Hutus in a genocidal orgy. And it remembers the lives lost to sinful machetes in an annual commemoration ceremony.

But Nigeria?

We live in denial. We never acknowledge that the war led to the death of about one million Igbo sons and daughters.

In fact, President Buhari said the war was a ” benevolent” one. That the Nigerian forces treated Biafra with kindness.

We don’t even want the mention of Biafra in conversations.

We exist in a unity of lies.

And we pretend that the war never happened.

To find healing we must interrogate and acknowledge this low moment in our history; and most importantly for a resurgimento in national bonding.

Nigeria is ours, Nigeria we must serve.

 


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