Biafra: Sunset Before Dawn

■ Author : Chimaobim Nnanna
■ Twitter: @Umuchiukwu_writ
■ 25, June,  2019

It all happened on the 9th day of February 2016 at National High School Aba, Abia State, Biafra land.

It was on this beautiful day, the sun has woken up already and begins to smile as usual. A soft breeze blew from the North Pole to the South caressing our skin. The sky was blue and a little bit cloudy. Little birds have already begun singing their ever-melodious morning songs.

Everybody looked busy because to them it was just a normal day. But not for me, to me, it was a very special day as the Biafran people were to meet at National High School along Igweocha (Port Harcourt) road in Aba for a very important prayer for the liberation and for the freedom of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) and their leader. I horridly took my bath as I couldn’t afford to miss this prayer session. To me, it wasn’t just a prayer session It was more like a petition unto the Lord God Almighty to let justice prevail.

Mother was in the kitchen preparing a delicious meal, but she was shocked at her toes when I told her I wasn’t gonna eat before I go out. I had made it my personal praying and fasting session too.

I took a ride to the venue of this prayer as I live about one and a half miles from there. There were not many people present but they started showing up, and before the given time, there were more than enough people. The hunger to sign the petition unto God was very high, so one of us, an IPOB faithful and a hardcore Biafran led the first song We all started singing and clapping Before long, our spirits were very high and our souls lifted But something happened.

We saw combined troops of army, police, navy, and others drive in with their vans. They were so battle ready as if they were deployed on a battlefield. We weren’t guilty of any crime, so there was no reason to get scared. We kept singing and clapping our hands unto God. 

But in no time, I noticed that we have just been surrounded by these men in uniforms kneeling down and pointing their guns at us. I was just beginning to get uncomfortable with all these dramas then I heard the first shot It raised tension, the song died down, and the high spirits began to turn into high panic, Then I saw one of them point a big gun towards our direction and fired something It was not a bullet, but it’s content wanted to choke the life out of our body, Everyone scattered like little birds I was still confused when I saw their leader give an order and the deal was done. 

They opened fire on us, I wondered what we did to them to deserve the death fired at us, I tried to run but just a few steps away something hit my head and I fell down I waited for the pains to creep in but there was none So I stood up and to my surprise, I saw me lying there on the ground like a log of wood I shed tears I hadn’t wanted to die at this age, I had great plans and dreams that I still looked forward to making them come true I had people I love so much who will never even think of losing me, Mama would never think that this has become the fate of his lovely son.
To me, death was not on my agenda for the next 180 years, but here I am, It was my first out of body experience, I looked up and people were falling and getting up too just like myself, Others were getting wounded and other lucky ones were coming back in the midst of the rain of bullets to carry some of the wounded But then, the troops chased and shot on and they fled.

I saw the troops come towards my direction I tried to hide but they seemed not to even notice me They carried all our bodies lying everywhere and we just helplessly looked on and cried.

They put our bodies inside their vans, poured petrol on our blood spilled all over the fields and burned them so as to erase every trace and evidence, In a few minutes, they made away with our bodies on board and other wounded ones who are still battling for their lives However, they didn’t know we followed them.

They carried our bodies to a place known as burrow-pit, dumped us there, and poured a substance on us that burned our lifeless skins beyond recognition. The wounded ones too were either shot on the head or stabbed to death with a knife I tried to hit one of them but just like a wind, I couldn’t touch him I tried to shout and scream into his wicked, dark soul, but he seemed not to even hear me And as we watched them drive away, I knew that this has just become my SUNSET BEFORE DAWN.

Edited By Aguocha Chinwendum
Published By Nwaiwu Chiukwuebuka
For Umuchiukwu writers.
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