Eziachi’s account

Although many of you knew mine but again I will tell those that doesn’t that I was a student of Bishop Shanahan College Orlu when the war broke out. I was only 17 years old and I was the youngest of four other brothers but 3 sibling sisters. Our father was a member of the Eastern house of parliament. My father and my senior brother joined the army first and soon two of my other brothers joined. My big brother was among those that fought in Oguta side by side with Ojukwu.
On february 7th 1968 after a raid by the Nigerian airforce, on a heaving Eke market day, I lost 13 members of my immediate family including my grandparent whom happens to be in the packed market. Our community lost not less than 600 people on that particular air raid. No one attends your funeral because they are busy burying their own dead.
It became so desperate after that raid that I decided to enlist along with my remaining brother still at home. Our mother cried for days because, not just our father but five of his boys will be going into the theatre of a brutal war. But I had made up my mind, that I don’t want to die at home with women and children as the bombs rain down morning and night without let up on markets, churches, schools, hospitals, nothing is spared. The planes bomb anywhere they see corrugated roof shines forth.
To prevent this many people used palm front to cover the roof of their houses with palm fronts and little lighting in the night is a no-no, because it attracts the planes.

I was drafted to fight in Obudu and Ogoja after just two weeks of intensive training at Isiekenesi in Ideato. I was in Obudu when the war ended. I made many friends among my Biafra soldiers, may of them from Efik, Annang, Ibibio. My commanding officer Mr Ephraim Henshaw is from a town called James town in the present Akwa Ibom state. We kept in touch until his death in 1989. A wonderful man, he took care of me during this period like a son and I was the youngest in our battalion. Food was nothing but terrible.
It was at times difficult to make friend because before you get to know someone, he is blown into pieces in front of you and you start again.

When the war ended, we were asked to go home just like that. Many took their weapons home with them (tHE FOUNDATION OF ARMED ROBBERY). I buried mine there.
There were no transport home. I walked from Obudu to the present day Imo state for two weeks, mainly because of the dangers on the road faced by the returning Biafra soldiers in the hand of Nigerian soldiers. So we treck at night and hide in the thick bushes in the day without any food.
Sometimes you met your luck with village people who will give you some food and water. I will always be grateful to Efik and Ibibio people.

When I got home after two weeks, I met my father and my big brother but unfortunately my three other brothers did not make it and we never saw their corpses too bury, my mothers world was gone and my father only brother too did not made it back.
Their was funeral rites for all of them three years after war when it dawn on us that they are not coming home again and my mother died three years later after losing three sons, brother in-law, father/mother law and his immediate younger brother murdered in front of her own parent by Nigerian soldier on returning from the front.