Biafra Memorial Project (BMP) Committee recently paid a visit to
the Home for Biafran Veterans in Oji River, Enugu State. The delegation,
which was led by Meke Ifejika and the BMP leader for the Southeast,
Chief Chuba Nweke, ended on a very high emotional tone when the
and their dependents as well as the guests burst into nostalgic
songs of the Biafran era.
As he delivered a heartfelt speech to the veteran representatives
inside their residential compound in Oji River, Chief Nweke saluted
the crippled Biafran warriors as heroes who gave all they had to
defend their fatherland. He lamented the impoverished and deplorable
state of their lives now that they have been virtually abandoned
by all levels of government and left to survive by their own means.
He presented a generous cash donation to the veterans amidst a solemn
pledge to mobilize additional resources to address their welfare.
He concluded by assuring the veterans that they, “from now,
have a caring family in the BMP”.
Meke Ifejika, in his own contribution, informed the gathering that
the BMP was founded by a group of dedicated Igbo indigenes in the
US who are determined to bring issues relating to Biafra to a satisfactory
resolution so as to enable Ndiigbo to move on with their lives.
He recalled that the pillaging, raping and humiliation which Ndiigbo
suffered at the hands of the conquering federal troops in January
1970 had set the stage for subsequent treatment which the national
government has meted to Ndiigbo till date. He admonished the veterans
to overcome whatever differences they may have amongst themselves
so that they can remain united because the “day of redemption
for them is at hand”. He assured them that the BMP, through
its publication Osondu Newsletter, will provide nationwide publicity
about the urgent need to come to the rescue of Biafran veterans.
The Vice Chairman of the Biafran Veterans Association, who was a
“Biafran Armored Car” operator, recalled the day he
sustained his paralyzing injury in the heat of battle. He pleaded
for help for thousands of other Biafran veterans, outside their
camp at Oji River, who are dying silently in penury because of their
physical disabilities. He reminded the visiting entourage that they
had families living with them who depend, for daily sustenance,
on the tips they collect from passersby.
Other BMP officers in the entourage were Chief Chude Akus, Director
of Operations and Arc. Don Ifejika, Director of Finance and Administration.
Chief Akus, a former battalion commander at both Abagana and Nkpor
sectors of the war, pledged to work closely with the veteran formations
in the East to ensure that they benefit from the activities of the