Opinion: Biafra and the Up-NEPA generation

by Hounge

We should learn to tolerate each other and stand firm as one, just like we did during Occupy Nigeria. A crisis created by the ego trip of men must not dictate relations of today.

As a Nigerian, I believe you know a little about Biafra, however lopsided the story is, you must have an idea. “The UP NEPA GENERATION” I can’t lay claim to this appellation and I am sure Chinedu @ekekeee doesn’t mind me using it. The appellation is basically for all 1980-1989 children, the generation most of us -writer and readers alike – belong to. The generation that holds the key to the transformation of this country. We grew up shouting “Up NEPA”, witnessed June 12 and a successful change from military rule to civilian rule. We are the generation past generations fear and coming generations look up to. We transcended both ethnic and religious differences when we did “Occupy Nigeria” earlier this year. Our potential is great and our energy enormous. Now, how does Biafra concern us?

Last month, Chinua Achebe, on of the finest writers to come out Nigeria, stirred the hornet’s nest with his new book ‘There was a country’. Lots of reactions have trailed the book, especially from south-west Nigeria because he alluded that Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo committed genocide by not allowing relief aid into war torn Biafra. We all know how Obafemi Awolowo is venerated amongst the Yorubas. It is a controversial book no doubt, as most of the principal actors are now dead, verifications can’t be done.

We the Up NEPA generation did not see the war, it ended a decade before our arrival, our memories of it are mostly from the traditional way of telling stories – oral. One thing about reported speech is that; it is either too spiced or it’s deficient. Few of us have read books on the war, some of us have had venom deposited in us by those who saw the war. Biafra sure elicits a range of emotions, depending on what you’ve heard. Why should a war we didn’t witness, dictate how we relate with one another?

The problems that led to the war were created by people who are either dead or now senile. We have global warming, global recession, terrorism, crass corruption among other things to deal with. Why bother ourselves with what happened a decade before us?

I agree, we have to know our history, because if one doesn’t know where he is coming from, he can’t know where he is headed. We should learn to tolerate each other and stand firm as one, just like we did during ‘Occupy Nigeria’. A crisis created by the ego trip of men must not dictate relations of today. We have risen out of the ashes of that war, let the hatchet be buried with it’s principal actors.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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