“O Igbo arise! O Igbo arise! O Igbo arise!
Let the chains of subjugation be broken, let the yoke of slavery be shattered and let the shackles of servitude fall.
For the voices of your ancestors and your dead are calling. The voices of your slaughtered children wail, scream and screech through the night and they shed whimpering and pitiful tears through the day.
They call for justice and vengeance that their souls may be appeased and that they may find peace and eternal rest.
For they were slaughtered in their millions by the barbarians and infidels and they were butchered like cattle in the sanctity and privacy of their churches and homes.
They cry for Biafra. They cry for the land of the rising sun. They cry for the memory of the fallen and those that stood like men to defend their honor. They cry for the pitiful souls of the children yet unborn.
Heed their cry and honor their sacrifice. Forget not the land of the rising sun. Forget not Biafra.
Forget not the slaughtered millions and those that were cut short in the prime of their infancy”- ‘The Land Of The Rising Sun’, Femi Fani-Kayode, May 30th 2017.
I have written this essay as a historian and not as a politician. Consequently I am not guided or bound by political correctness but rather by truth.
I do not seek to create division but rather to establish the facts with a view to ensuring justice and healing the wounds.
I do not believe that we can ever have peace in our country without that justice. I write this essay for the helpless and innocent victims of ethnic cleansing, mass murder and genocide that were cut short during the civil war and I dedicate it to them.
I write it as a patriotic Nigerian who fervently and passionately believes in the equality of every Nigerian, regardless of ethnicity or faith, and in justice for all.
I write it as the voice of the voiceless, the servant of truth and for those that cannot speak for themselves because they are either dead and buried or because they do not have the skill, the reach or the wherewithal to do so.
I write it for the young and new generation of Nigerians and particularly the Igbo who have no knowledge or recollection of most of these ugly events and who were never taught history in our schools because the powers that be did not want them to know. I write it in the name of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is not an essay for the cowardly, the faint-hearted, the slow, the intellectually challenged or the dull but rather for those that courageously seek truth and that thirst for knowledge about our very ugly past.
It seeks to shine the light of truth into the darkness of deceit, lies, historical revisionism and the continuous and godless suppression of the ugly and utterly barbaric facts.
It is a long essay and consequently I have broken it into two parts. I urge each and every Nigerian and Biafran that is interested in seeking truth, no matter how ugly and inconvenient that truth may be, to read both parts and to meditate earnestly on its contents and assertions. Fasten your seat belts and come fly with me!
50 years ago today the Nigerian civil war began and the struggle for the sovereign state of Biafra commenced.
Since then it has been 50 years of blood, sweat and tears for the Igbo people of south eastern Nigeria.
The only redeeming factor is the fact the last few years has witnessed the rise of a new generation of relatively young, fresh, strong-willed and deeply courageous Igbo nationalist leaders who have made it their life’s work and calling to resurrect the noble vision and compelling dream of Biafra.
Names like the heroic Nnamdi Kanu of IPOB and notable leaders of other Igbo nationalist groups come to mind.
Words cannot possibly express the indignities, anguish and turmoil that the Igbo have suffered in the hands of Nigeria over the last 50 years.
And no matter how one attempts to put it or narrate the story it is difficult, nay next to impossible, to fully comprehend their degradation and suffering.
Few events come close to it in world history. Some of those events are as follows. Firstly the slaughter of 10 million natives of the African Congo by King Leopold 11 of Belgium.
Secondly the mass murder of 6 million Jews by Hitler’s Nazis during the course of the Second World War.
Thirdly the massacre of 1 million Armenians by the Turks whilst under the leadership of Kamal Ataturk, the founder of Turkey.
Fourthly the almost total elimination of the Red Indian tribes and races in the plains and prairies of the American “wild west” by the white American settlers.
Fifthly the commission of genocide and ethnic cleansing of almost 1 million Tutsis by the indigenous Hutu population in Rwanda.
Sixthly the 30 million black Africans that were killed by white and Arab slave traders and slave owners over a period of three hundred years in north Africa, the Middle East and the west.