one-naira’s account

My grandfather and his family used to live in Lagos; they ran back to Asaba before the onset of the war. Left everything they owned in Lagos and sort refugee back home. When the war kicked off, because of rumors and fear of attack from the Nigerian government and very little Biafra soldiers roaming Asaba, my grandmother sort refugee with her sister and her husband in Onitsha. My grandfather stayed behind and that cost him his life. During the massacre, he was among the ones killed. Sadly, the news of his death did not reach the FAM until 5 months after his death; his death motivated my uncle to join Biafra soldiers. My grandmother survived with her children by pretty much staying as close as she can to Biafra movement. If they moved, she followed them move. According to her, life was not that bad during the war. She pretty much kept a low profile. Apart from the constant shooting and kwashiorkor, everything else was okay. After the war, they lost everything. She even tried to get some of her properties back, even pleaded for it but it was not given to her (I hope whoever has it, chokes on it). Similar to my father, my granddad was just a businessman, most of his business was trade so life was relevantly easy for them. After the war, finding no way to get their properties back, they had to start all over again. That ordeal is my father’s biggest motivation in building nothing outside of Igbo land. To quote my father, after the war life was hard. He grew up in a rich/moderate lifestyle, only to be dropped in an extreme poverty lifestyle after the war. He and his siblings had to sell banana and groundnuts in the street just to survive while my grandma sold soap. That is the whole story on my dad side. My mother side family on the other hand was able to escape the country in the middle of the war. My mother told me they survived by actually living in an already destroyed village. In my opinion, it was a smart move: they thought no one would look for any Igbo people in an already claimed territory. They stayed hidden in the day and moved at night until they reached Cameroon and was able to seek refugee there.