50 years after the Nigerian Biafran war, the people of Asaba in delta state organized a memorial for the massacre of over 700 innocent Nigerians made up of men and boys by the soldiers of the second division of the Nigerian army.
The remembrance, a week long activity, was attended by the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, former Nigerian vice president Alex Ekwueme, Prof Wole Soyinka, archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma and other notable Nigerians. It was rounded off with the unveiling of a book ” massacre: trauma, memory and the Nigerian civil war” and the unveiling of an architectural model of birth hospital.
The memorial activity resonates the pensive mood of the Asaba massacre as every speaker bemoaned war and its attendant effects
the host governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa dwelt on the use of social media to propagate bigotry and to demonize others with the intent to advance one’s radical, narrow goals, exhort Nigerians to exploit tolerance, dialogue, reconciliation and understanding in Resolving disputes
“we should all resolve that our nation will never take this part again. Honor our dead by avoiding recourse to war does no good it should be avoid at all costs”.
Former vice president Alex Ekwueme , Prof Wole Soyinka, former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, and the national president Ohaneze Ndigbo Nnia Nwodo in their solidarity speeches called for activities that will deepen Nigeria’s unity
chairman organising committee of the event Ogbueshi Ofili Okonkwo said the essence of the memorial was to remember the dead and ensure that future generations of Nigerians know that no good comes from war
every Asaba woman, man, or child carries a memory of genocide, it is a communal memory of loss that has stayed with them for fifty years.