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Ret. Colonel Joseph "Hannibal" Achuzia

Ret. Colonel Joseph “Hannibal” Achuzia, was among Biafra’s most distinguished commanding officers. Originally a Colonel in the Nigerian armed forces, shortly before the outbreak of the war, during the military’s ethnic cleansing, the Midwest-born officer fled eastwards, where he and other Igbo officers defected over to the Biafran side. A skilled commanding officer and a daring tactician, Achuzie was notorious for his ferocity and his guerilla tactics, which on numerous occasions wrought terror on the invading Nigerians and won him the nickname “Hannibal”. In the battle for Onitsha in 1967, Achuzie and his forces twice routed the larger and better-equipped Nigerian 2nd Division under the command of General Murtala Muhammed, as it attempted to force an amphibious assault on the city across the Niger.

Soon after, Achuzie and the Biafran 11th and 18th Battalions once again inflicted another defeat on the Nigerians in an ambush at Abagana, destroying and setting ablaze a convoy of unsuspecting enemy vehicles and mammy wagons. Achuzie fought gallantly for the Biafrans even to the last days of the war and even participated in the Biafran liberation of Owerri from Nigerian occupation. Following the conflict, he served a prison sentence during which he wrote “Requiem Biafra”, a work in which he discusses his persuasions and involvement during the war. Ever since the 90s, he has remained active in politics and currently resides in Anambra.#igbohistory#biafranawarenessmonth


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