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Biafra Is Ijaw – by Dokubo Asari

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The [Ojukwu] assembly debated on many names put forward by delegates and chose BIAFRA which was put forward by Frank Opigo an Ijaw. It was another Ijaw Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson who first played the glorious Biafran national anthem during the proclamation of independence on 30th May, 1967 at Enugu.

Ignorance can be a terrible disease but is curable if the sufferer is ready to humble himself to learn and accept the cure for his sickness.

Biafra is a Kalabari Ijaw phrase BIA FULO meaning not properly cooked. The Kalabari of Kula named the estuary of Santa Barbara BIA FULO because of the turbulence of the sea at the estuary.

The Portuguese like they did to many other names, words and phrases which they could not pronounce properly named the area BIAFRA.

Later the coastline from the estuary of River Nun to the coast of Gabon was named the Bight of Biafra.

The doyen of our struggle Isaac Adaka Boro clearly affirmed that Ijaw is BIAFRA in Chapter Six, page fifty-seven of his autobiography ‘Twelve Day Revolution’.

Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, before the declaration of secession, convoked an Eastern Nigerian consultative Assembly to decide on the direction and way forward for the Eastern Region after the 1966/1967 pogrom against Easterners in the north.

The assembly debated on many names put forward by delegates and chose BIAFRA which was put forward by Frank Opigo an Ijaw.

It was another Ijaw Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson who first played the glorious Biafran national anthem during the proclamation of independence on 30th May, 1967 at Enugu.

The Igbos are the closest neighbors of the Ijaws. With inter-marriages and trade going back several centuries, some Ijaw City states had Igbo Kings and prominent Igbo Alapu, Military strategies and traders.

Even today some Ijaw Kings bear Igbo names e.g. King Kien Ezeolisa Ambrose Allagoa and King Edmund Maduabebe Daukoru both kings of Nembe; King S.P. Uwakwe Ogan and King Alfred Seminitari Abam all of Okrika.

I am also Alabo EDI ABALI of Kalabari.

What other proof do we need to show strong ties and inseparable relationship with our Igbo brothers and sisters? Most importantly is the fact that the name BIAFRA is Ijaw.

Asari Dokubo wrote via Dokubo Asari Justice Foundation

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