A controversy was recently raised by Nnamdi Kanu, the founder of the indigenous people Biafra (IPOB), when he published what he called the Biafra Map. The map included other States, including Akwa Ibom, Cross River and other south-south states, other than geographic parts of the Igbo region.
Many people from this area were upset about the decision to publish the map and felt that Nnamdi Kanu ‘s plan to lord it over others was revealed.
“Mboho Mkparawa Ibibios considers it to be an affront to an unprecedented act of provocation and a break-point of tolerance limits for some of the self serving persons in the cloak of the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), according to Akparawa James Edet of the Ibibio Union to hurriedly make accessible to the public a map of their dream Republic of Biafra, free of all kinds of disturbances
The angry reaction of the Union represents the injustice perpetrated in the brief Republic of Biafra against the Biafra minority. Arua Oko Omaka ‘s publication, “The Forgotten Victims: ethnic minorities in Nigeria-Biafran War, 1967-1970,,” was used to bring the atrocities to life. The publication describes the sufferings of Biafra minorities.
According to him, both Igbo and the ethnic minorities of Biafra have been affected by the conflict. While in Northern Nigeria the tragic event of the Igbo occurred, in its main countries the tragedy of the Biafran minorities – Efik, Ijaw, Ogoja and Ibibio. In the historiography of the Biafra War, the experience of the Biafran minorities was largely overlooked.
He states, in current literature, that minorities have been subject to a high degree of persecution, molestation, discrimination, psychological torture and all other types of misery. The war exposes both the federal authorities and the Biafran government to levels of allegiance and disloyalty.
The Cross River Situation of the Ikun today gives an outstanding description of the crimes against minorities. The Ikun clan is located in the Cross River State Local Government Biase District. The people of the present day Abia State share a common border with the Ohafi a, an Igbo clan. Biafra deployed some of its forces, including Ikun, in the area of the Cross River when the war broke out.
The Ikun supported Biafra initially and had friendly relations with the soldiers, which also were lodging, according to a woman survivor-victim of the Biafran occupation. Tensions grew as time went by. Some Ikun people were reported to have served with Nigerian soldiers. In the Ikun nation, this resulted in arrests, plunderings, violations and other horrors.
William Norris of the London Times, who visited Biafra, reported a testimony in which some men of Ibibio ethnicity were killed in Umuahia on 2 April 19682.28 The Ibibios, including old men and young men, were reportedly suspected of cooperating with Nigerian advancement. They reportedly walked around an open space, as the local people sticked and clubs attacked them. This account is confirmed by oral testimony from the survivor-victim.
Biafran soldiers allegedly brought the Ikun men to Ohafi but never brought them back, according to the eyewitness.
The informant also alleged that the soldiers were back in the community and rounded up and shot some men. The survivor who lost her 4-day old son and grandmother seemed to think that the Ohafi played a folk with a common frontier. The violence continued until an order was given by the Biafran headquarters to avoid people being killed again
In a corresponding account, B. In other towns in the Cross River and Akwa- Ibom States today, J. Ikpeme, the former medical officer of the Senior Medical Officer in the East region of the country, has revealed abuses committed by minority Biapran soldiers.
Ikpeme argued that the declaration made by Ojukwu in the Republic of Biafra was against the wishes of the majority of the people of the provinces of Calabar, Ogoja and Rivers, who have for years been agitating for their own separate state. Ikpeme says that the leadership of Igbo, which did not like the minority turmoil, either decided to force or eliminate fi ve million non-Igbo minorities into the new republic. On this basis Biafran’s soldiers were rapidly sent to the minority zones, Ikpeme says, “to keep the people down, detaining or even killing anyone who would dare raise his voice to protest the idea of Biafra.”
The Biafran soldiers allegedly perpetrated atrocities against some members of non-Igbo groups. Ikpeme described instances. Around four hundred people were taken to an unknown destination in Asang, Enyong, from where Ikpeme came from.
Although all minority groups had various atrocities, the minorities seemed worse off in the area of the rivers. They have also been expelled from their homes, aside from torture and other types of human rights violence.
In February 1968, when the federal troops fell to two strategic villages in the rivers New Calabar and Sombriero, the news was that the majority of soldiers who led the operation were the Rivers, mostly young men from Kalabari. As a result, many people from Bakana, one of the major towns of Kalabari, have been removed and sent to Igbo towns such as Umuahia, Owerri, Abiriba and Ozuitem to ensure that the enemies are not infiltrated any further 3.