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The 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 veterans 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 BMP.
The Survival Struggle for Ndiigbo

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