Today, January 15, marks 50 years since the catastrophic war known in some quarters as “Nigeria and Biafra war” or “Nigeria Civil war” ended after almost three years. The date is also chosen by the Federal Government of Nigeria as the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, a day to remember the fallen heroes across the country.
Though no special mention for the millions of lives that were lost in the avoidable civil war, Nigerians on Social Media have been using all possible means to honour those men and women who paid the supreme price for the unity, peace and progress of the country.
Those who are skilful in graphic design, did there best to show their appreciation. Those who can write poetry, did so, as beautifully as possible. While those who can publish write-ups about the civil war did so with all the dexterity that they can bring to the table.
To some, today is another day to reflect on the value of the unity of the country; to others, it is another day to lament about how the project Nigeria has not been working. Some experts say, Nigeria is still suffering from the woes of the war, others believe that the war which officially started in 1967 and ended in 1970, has created a generational wound that may never heal under this current system.
In all, the big questions have been, how can the labour of our hero past not be in vain? How can we co-exist without being hunted by the bloody 1967 to 1970 so-called civil war?
How can the South easterners and the South Southerners wipe away their memories and that of their generations of the 2 million people their countrymen starved to death in the name of civil war? How can they forget about the over 100, 000 soldiers killed in the war?
Have the Northerners and South Westerners forgotten about the over 45, 000 military men they also lost in the war? What happened to the over 6.5 million people displaced on both sides during the senseless war?
So many questions to ask but the biggest of them all is, has Nigeria as a united country proven that it is not a waste to die for the country? If it is not a waste, how has the country taken care of those the dead heroes left behind? If it is not a waste, how did the country take care of the heroes that survived? If it is not a waste, what happened to General Yakubu Gowon’s policy of Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Restoration? And if it is a waste, then, what is the gain for the so-called hero past? Indeed, the battle is over but the war rages on.
See a tweet Vice President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo shared to mark the remembrance day
Whenever Nigeria calls,— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) January 15, 2020
No matter the danger or circumstances, you answer the call.
We thank you for your sacrifice and the sacrifices your families pay for our continuing liberty.
It is a debt we can never repay. pic.twitter.com/0w4B3HIHFb