The Biafra Remembrance Day is used to commemorate the1967 secession of then Eastern Region of Nigeria.
Here’s what you need to know about the day:
- On May 30, 1967, Lt Colonel, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, announced the separation of the Eastern Region from Nigeria.
- The new nation was called Biafra with a flag that bore the half-sun image.
- Ojukwu, who declared Biafra hails from Nnewi in Anambra state but was born in Zungeru, Niger State.
- In 1966, Ojukwu became the military governor of the Eastern Region.
- Representatives of the Supreme Military Council and secessionists met in Aburi, Ghana in
January 1967 to find a middle ground. The result of that meeting was called the Aburi Accord. It failed to prevent the war.
- Ojukwu’s declaration of Biafra on May 30, 1967, led to the civil war between that year and 1970.
- The bloody war caused the death of many people in the old eastern region.
- On January 12, 1970, Phillip Effiong, Ojukwu’s right-hand man and temporary successor, announced the end of Nigeria’s Civil War.
- Then Head of State, Yakubu Gowon maintained a policy of ‘no victor, no vanquished’ to reconcile the warring factions.
- After the war in 1970, Ojukwu went to Ivory Coast where he was granted political asylum and by 1982, the Federal Government granted him a pardon.
- In 1983, the government arrested Ojukwu again after a coup occurred and he was later released in 1984.
- Since the civil war, agitations for secession have not completely ended in the South-East.