Chukwura Philip is a 70-year-old veteran, who hails from Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State. He said he fought in Onitsha and Awka in Anambra State.

Chukwura Philip is a 70-year-old veteran, who hails from Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State. He said he fought in Onitsha and Awka in Anambra State.

Can you share your experience with us?

I was conscripted into the Biafran Army in 1968 at Ndoni now in Rivers State, at the age of 14. We faced lots of challenges during the war. The challenges we faced included lack of arms and ammunition; shortage of food and this one was a strong weapon that affected both Biafran soldiers and civilians in its enclave. We had little or nothing to eat at a point and a lot of people, especially children died of malnutrition and starvation. It was a period of horror and uncertainties for us. But, thank God we still forged ahead and did our best in the course of the war. But it was a horrible experience for us.

 

Are you in support of the call for self-determination as championed by persons from some parts of the country?

 

Well, there is nothing wrong with self-determination, because that is what we are looking for.  I say this because we are still marginalised and a lot of people, including children, aged women, pregnant women, youth, our old men and our gallant soldiers died in the course of the civil war. So, the price they paid does not equal the kind of maltreatment meted towards them by the Nigerian government. This is why the call for self-determination rages and will continue to rage.  Let us face the truth, some sections of the country are still being marginalised despite their contributions to the development of the country. They are denied their rights and made to feel that they are not part of this country. Why won’t the call for self-determination be on the rise with these factors I just mentioned above?  Something needs to be done.

Source link: Daily Trust/