Unlike the rest of massacres cum genocide committed against the Biafran people before, during and after the war, much is not known of the hidden Umuaka massacre which was a post Biafra-Nigeria civil war massacre.  I chose to term it a "post-civil war" because it did happen when the war was officially declared ended and the people’s psyches configured to the official declaration of the inapplicable "No Victor, No Vanquish".  It was at the ending part of 1969 that "pamphlets were thrown from civilian choppers. The pamphlets read that the defunct OAU has made peace between us (Biafrans) and the then Gowon led Nigeria government.  Biafrans dropped their weapons hearing of the brokered peace by OAU.  Little did we know that the Nigeria Army officers camping at censorious Umuaka High School, had evil intentions on the Biafran soldiers who dropped their weapons in expectation that the war has ended.  As they were coming home from Ugwuta, at Njaba river, they were shelled and over hundreds of them died", said Mr Ifeanyichukwu Nwachikwu.

Narrating his own experience, Chief Mgbeoji Christopher who was 45 years of old when the war broke out, stated that he was a serving soldier in Nigerian Army before the war broke out.  "Things changed from the time Aguiyi Ironsi was murdered by the Hausa/Fulanis. The cleansing was extended to we the Biafran officers within the Nigeria Army serving in northern Nigeria.  We were taking at night from barracks and slaughtered like chickens. Those of us who read the ominous signs on time, relocated to Biafraland for refuge.  Surprisingly, the Nigerian Army declared war on us and we, especially the military officers in Nigeria of Biafra extraction were forced to defend our fathers land.  It is through that Nigeria committed war crimes by raping our women, daughters and starving our kids to death, but we are proud to defend the motherland.  You know after war, the worst carnage happened in Umuaka where over 5000 people were killed by the Nigerian Army. This cowardly incident happened at Njaba river.  Biafran soldiers who were coming back having dropped down their weapons, were murdered along with civilian returnees in Njaba River hill.  That wicked act of the Nigerian Army, was the height of the massacre we recorded during the war", he narrated weeping. 

Furtherly, he shared of another scene, in which civilian refugees were bombed at a place called Achara. "On that terrible day in Achara where refugees were camped, at the day time, a military jet flew across and everyone thought the jet was heading towards war fronts. Less than ten minutes, what we saw was the returning of the jet. While some of us suspecting the jet took cover, the next thing we saw was the jet dropping of bombs on civilians at the refugees camp there in Achara. Over a hundred died instantly while the rest having battled with their lives from injuries sustained, gave up to ghost later". "That is the horror of the war and genocide committed here in Umuaka", Mr Christopher narrated.

Mr Santana Nwaebe who said he was 25 years of age during the war, told us how he saw another pillage done in Umuaka by the Nigerian soldiers during the war. "You know that Umuaka was home of refugees during the war.  In St Mary's Catholic Church, refugees from Awo and nearby villages ran to here in Umuaka and were camped in St Mary's Catholic Church as refugees. The barbaric soldiers never minding that there was a church premises, came in, raped and killed many. Many men were watching seeing their wives and daughters taking away by the Nigerian soldiers. Some were raped before their husbands and fathers while those men who dared tried to object were killed.  It was a very disturbing experience that I never wanted to retrospect", he stated.

Many more sins of Nigeria against the innocent civilian population can never be swept under the carpet.  While nature is taking her course on her, we own these heroes respect. It is too painful and daring that same Nigeria that killed these people, is standing against their remembrance having intentionally oppose any trace of their pains and sorrows in any history book.  We must understand that like the victims of Nigeria genocide in Umuaka, so are many areas that the victims’ stories are deliberately suppressed. We the IPOBians from Umuaka would wish to say a very big thanks to those who died for us.

Written by:
Chika Austin
For: Imo State Media

Edited by:
Oby Mboma
For: Imo State Media

Published by:
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Imo State Media

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