10 Details You Didn’t Know About The Biafran War

#1 The Biafran Flag

It was designed based on the Pan-Africanist teaching of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). Garvey was a controversial personality, a major Pan-Africanist thinker and Civil Rights pioneer in the twentieth century. He came up with the horizontal tricolored morphology of the Pan-African flag, with three horizontal bands of red, black and green. For African Biafrans, the red represented the bloodshed of the pogroms, the black stands for our ancestral connection of years past while the green represents an abundance of natural wealth and resources. The rising golden sun and rays represented the 10 original provinces that were in Biafra.

#2 The Biafran Anthem

The Biafran National Anthem, “Land of the Rising Sun” was written based on a poem written by Nigeria’s first President, Nnamdi Azikiwe called “Onitsha Ado N’idu: Land of the Rising Sun”. It contained many phrases that made it sound more like a prophetic poem, “But if the price is death for all we hold dear, / Then let us die without a shred of fear…

#3 Steve Jobs

After reading the Biafran story and what happened in Biafra, he wrote in his autobiography that he stopped going to church after that, saying if Christians could do that others while should he worship the God they serve. He really felt very bad about the war and stories about it.

#4 Bernard Kushnia

He use to work in the Red Cross in Biafra and had to resign because of the activities he personally felt was not right. He founded the Meson Son Frontiers (MSF) because of the Biafra situation.

#5 John Lennon

He returned his MBA to the queen because of the Biafran War.

#6 Jimmy Hendrix

He was raising money though concerts to feed the children that were dying of starvation in Biafra due to the blockade caused by the Nigerian government; which is seen as a war strategy. A total of 3,170 flights came in with food into Biafra for the 3 years duration of the war.

#7 Akanu Ibiam

He had so many awards from the queen right up to the knighthood but all of that was returned to the queen due to activities that took place in Biafra during the war.

#8 Asaba Masacre

700 people died on the 7th of October, 1967 by 4 pm. The event was such that the Nigerian Army said they were coming into Asaba and the people of Asaba were prepared to welcome them. The welcoming speech was written by the father of the former First Lady of Nigeria, Maryam Babangida, the late wife of Ibrahim Babangida. He didn’t live to give that speech because while they gathered with food and drinks the visiting soldiers pulled the men and boys to one side and the women to another side; and the men and boys were killed in front of the women. Their record is still available today.

#9 Dick Tiger

He was a world-renowned boxer who had won world championships both in the lightweight and middleweight categories. He was from Amaigbo in Imo State. He was made a lieutenant by Ojukwu after his enlistment. He also returned his MBE (Member of the British Empire) medal to the Great Britain’s government as a way of protesting their support for Nigeria.

#10 Julius Nyerere

During the war, many world powers were in support of Nigeria and the situation seemed hopeless for Biafra. The African Union also was playing to the tune of those powers at the detriment of Biafrans plight. Meanwhile somewhere in Tanzania, Julius on April 13, 1968 published a statement showing that he recognizes Biafra as an independent African nation. This caused a lot of jubilation in Biafra despite the woes of the war and people started playing Tanzanian music. In time other African leaders; Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda, Gabon’s Omar Bongo and Ivory Coast’s Houphouet-Boibny also recognized Biafra.


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