As people all over the world remember Biafra today, a renowned Nigerian economist and social media commentator, Mr. Kelechi Deca writes why the Nigeria-Biafran war should not be forgotten in this piece he titled “Unforgettable”:
Some people have asked me why is it that we cant just forget this ‘Biafra’ and move ahead. I asked them, move ahead to where? Are we behind because we refused to forget Biafra?
But how can anyone forget Biafra?
How can we forget what brought us joy and sadness?
How can we forget the event that changed our humanity?
How can we forget the 2 million of our people that perished?
How can we forget our sisters and our mothers whose chastity were desecrated?
How can we forget our young men whose lives were cut short in defence of fatherland?
How can we forget the bloods on the Niger?
Is it Nsukka sector, Abagana Sector, Nkwelle Sector, The fall of Enugu, Onitsha, Umuahia, Port Harcourt, Aba, and the gallantry at Owerre?
Can we forget Ahiara?
How can we forget?
I found out that those who want us to forget about Biafra which happened 43 years ago, commends the tenacity of the Jews in holding on to their memory of the Holocaust, they do not mind the Japanese remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki.Americans have not forgotten their civil war of over 200 years,even the Boer wars are still commemorated.
Yet they want us to forget.
Remembering the Biafran National anthem, The Land of the Rising Sun written by Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.
Land of rising sun, we love and cherish, Beloved homeland of our brave heroes; We must defend our lives or we shall perish, We shall protect our hearts from all our foes; But if the price is death for all we hold dear, Then let us die without a shred of fear.
Hail to Biafra, consecrated nation, O fatherland, this be our solemn pledge: Defending thee shall be a dedication, Spilling our blood we’ll count a privilege; The waving standard which emboldens the free Shall always be our flag of liberty.
We shall emerge triumphant from this ordeal, And through the crucible unscathed we’ll pass; When we are poised the wounds of battle to heal, We shall remember those who died in mass; Then shall our trumpets peal the glorious song Of victory we scored o’er might and wrong.
Oh God, protect us from the hidden pitfall, Guide all our movements lest we go astray; Give us the strength to heed the humanist call: To give and not to count the cost’ each day; Bless those who rule to serve with resoluteness, To make this clime a land of righteousness.
The tune of this anthem was adopted from Sibelius’ “Finlandia” written in 1899 by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. It share same melody with six Christian hymns such as;
Be Still, My Soul;
I Sought the Lord;
We Rest on Thee;
A Christian Home;
This Is My Song;
and I Then Shall Live.
Other historic songs that share same tune are Gweddi dros Gymru or A Prayer for Wales (a national song of Wales).
Ambrosian Oaks (the alma mater of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa).
And At Thy Call We Gather (the alma mater of Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii).
It is also the tune for Capital University’s alma mater, “O Capital.”
We remember today and always the People’s Republic of Biafra, founded, May 30, 1967.