May 30th is set aside as a special day to remember and reflect on the death of over five million Biafrans who were genocidally massacred during the three-year Biafra-Nigeria war, which lasted from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970. This day is dedicated to honoring our fallen heroes and heroines, not only to remember the cause for which they were brutally killed but also to reflect on how their deaths have impacted the lives of Biafrans, the lessons learned, and the resolutions made since then.

It is a time of introspection, a moment to consider the position of Biafrans in modern-day Nigeria and their relevance in the broader national context. Unfortunately, the issues that ultimately led to the Biafran war are still present within the policies and decisions of the government.

Further, we must remember the massacre of over six thousand men, mainly residents of Asaba, who were gruesomely killed at Obosowe Asaba in present-day Delta State between October 4 and 7, 1967. Nigeria is under a moral obligation to acknowledge this tragedy, as it was not the making of Asaba. The massacre, where Nigerian troops summoned unarmed and innocent Asaba residents, rounded them up, and killed them in cold blood remains fresh in our minds.

It is important to note that no matter how long history is hidden, it will always reveal itself on true platforms. Unfortunately, the story of post-war reconstruction, reintegration, and reconciliation has remained a ruse. These three Rs must go hand in hand for a full healing process, but the reverse has been the case.

I use this moment of sober reflection to call on all South East Governors to dedicate May 30th as a public holiday, as a mark of respect and honour for Biafran fallen heroes. It is not asking too much to remember and commemorate Biafran heroes and heroines by declaring this date a public holiday across Biafraland. It is worth noting that long before 2019, the entire South West states had set aside June 12 as a public holiday to commemorate the anniversary of the annulled 1993 Presidential election, adjudged to have been won by the late MKO Abiola. Heaven did not fall when the South West Governors made this declaration in unison. Rather, the Federal Government was later compelled by the strong resolve of these leaders to consequently declare June 12th, a national public holiday starting from 2019 to date.

Only the truth can set us free from the bondage of war and propaganda. I also wish to use this solemn opportunity to call on the government, particularly the Federal Government, to unconditionally release genuine Biafran agitators who are being held in various detention facilities. This gesture will go a long way in assuaging the ill-feelings of the gravely marginalized Biafrans and will help restore a sense of reintegration in the Nigerian project, pending a United Nations-organized and supervised referendum to determine the ultimate fate of Biafrans.

As we continue to pray for the repose of our fallen heroes and heroines massacred during the civil war and subsequently, may we remember the cause for which they died. They did not die for the cause of relentless perpetration of heinous crimes, not for the cause of kidnapping, not for the cause of rampant rape of their descendants, not for the cause of killing our innocent brothers and sisters by those who have sold their souls to evil. It is not in our character, culture, and tradition to kill our own. Onye nwere nti ya nuru! Ozo emezina!!!

May the souls of our departed fallen heroes and heroines continue to rest in the bosom of the Almighty Chukwuokike Abiama. Iseee, Iseeee, Iseeee!!!

Sir Ifeanyi Ejiofor (KSC)
IPOB Lead Counsel
May 30, 2024

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