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The Biafra Story: Part Fourteen

"The Biafra Story: Part Fourteen"

As the months progressed, Biafra grew increasingly smaller and smaller, as Nigerian forces captured more and more territory. By 1969, Biafra was a small enclave around the town of Uli (in modern-day Anambra State) that was desperately battling for survival. Its lifeline to the outside world was a small heavily-camouflaged airstrip on which humanitarian organizations flew in food and other necessities by night.

After Nigerian forces made a final offensive, Ojukwu, the Head of State of Biafra, fled to Côte D'Ivoire, and on the 12 of January 1970, Phillip Effiong, the new President of Biafra, surrendered to Nigerian forces in Biafra's capital at Owerri. After 30 months of fighting, the war had claimed over 3 million lives.

In an attempt to reintegrate the Igbos and other Biafrans into Nigerian society, Nigerian Head of State Yakubu Gowon declared "No victor, no Vanquished" and paid a paltry sum of 20 pounds to each and every Biafran, regardless of how much money or investments he or she had possessed before the war.

The end of the Biafran conflict did not mean defeat for the Igbos; instead it highlighted their resiliency and strength and brought them together as a nation united under a shared traumatic experience. The fact that the Igbos survived near extermination is a testament to the strength of the men, women, and children, whom after 30 months of hell, greeted each other with the phrase "Happy survival".#TheBiafraStory





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