I don’t remember much about the Nigerian Biafran War but I remember then I was in primary 6, 1967 or 66. Yes, 66 -67 No, then, there was a time – they started teaching us a song, you know, it says it is going to be our new anthem for our new country, Biafra. So we were learning the song. What we are going to do with it we don’t know but then we started noticing people in the north – because then I was staying with my grandmother in Onitsha [in the Southeast] – we started noticing our family members in the North coming home [to the Southeast] you know. We don’t know they came back telling us stories of killing in the North about how they will come to the house. The Hausas will come to the houses, kill them you know especially the men and my father came home with my mother because they were in the North. My family came home. Though my father wasn’t killed. He was on leave [from work]. He came home and they were telling me stories. One afternoon my mother was in the market. We were home and people started running and I was very young then. I didn’t know why they were running. They said the Hausas have crossed the bridge and that they are coming into Onitsha.
We were hearing gun shots and bomb blasts and all that so I gathered my brothers and started running with the neighbors. We didn’t know where we were going. We left the house and we were just trekking and people were falling and people were crying you know because they couldn’t see their loved ones. My mother came home looking for us you know. Eventually she found us. Then my father had gone back to the North because after his leave he had to go back and we didn’t see him again so.
“We were hearing gun shots and bomb blasts”
Yes, after his leave, he decided to go back because then he was working with the white men. He was persuaded not to go back because of the killings [there in the North] but he said no. He just wants to get there, take permission from his work place and come back [to join us in the Southeast in Onitsha] so he left one morning and then we never see him again and that was it. So eventually somebody came to tell us that he was killed. He was killed actually with some people that, they were to board the train, that was September 29, 1966, they were to board the train coming back to the Southeast from Jos, Bukuru precisely. They were waiting for the train at the station that night to come to the Southeast so these Hausas, they came and killed all of them there. That was how we never saw him, my father, again till date.