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Within few weeks of the declaration of the sovereign state of Biafra, the nascent Republic has to rally its able-bodied youths to rise up to defend their fatherland against hordes of Nigerian troops that were amassing in its northern border. Without any arsenal of armaments to rely on, Biafrans prepared to ward off the invaders with anything that they could lay their hands on.

Machetes, Dane guns, spears, clubs, bows and arrows were brandished by irate but determined citizens who trooped out in thousands to demand to be sent to the warfront to repel the invaders. Because of the tension that pervaded the air, life was almost at a standstill. Schools were closed as teenage high school students poured into the neophyte Biafran Armed Forces.

After a hurried training on weapons handling and few military routines, the new recruits were rushed to the northern borders to await the impending onslaught of the better equipped and more numerous invading federal troops. Proudly adorning their green khaki uniforms embossed with the rising sun insignia, our youths trooped to the battle front armed with antiquated weapons that were leftovers from World War I era. But with faith in God and an indomitable will to live free in our fatherland, we fought heroically for the next 30 months.

As we look back, we must salute and honor our fallen heroes who readily put their youthful lives in harm’s way to ensure that the values that we held so dear would survive another day. It is to their heroism and honor that we dedicate Biafra.

Osondu
The Survival Struggle for Ndiigbo

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