Ex-Nigerian envoy in UN seeks virtues from 1967 Asaba massacre
As indigenes of Asaba in Oshimili South Council of Delta State, marked the anniversary of October 1967 massacre during the Nigeria Civil War, a former permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), Prof. Joy Ogwu, has advocated fresh reawakening and consciousness that will bring virtues from the disaster.
Ogwu, who stressed the contributions of Asaba indigenes before and after Nigeria’s independence, said the anniversary of the killings should be linked to a positive action for Asaba, not to shirk its responsibility as bridge builders.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was represented by Dr. Ndidi Uwaneri, noted that that massacre must become living history shaped by Asaba people and who share their values of humanity, civility and responsibility.
Her words: “Almost 54 years have past since that defining event in Asaba history, a day of infamy, when over 1,000 innocent, defenceless civilians, men and boys, were exterminated in a hail of bullets, under the ruse of a welcome reception.
“In its aftermaths, it left echoing pain, visible scares and indeed some open veins. The significance of today’s event represents more than just a commemoration. It is a powerful testament of the accommodating spirit and resilience of Asaba people,
“Special attention must be given to the role of women. Imagine what it was like for women following the massacre. We must remember their indomitable spirit, resilience, enormous sacrifices, courage and strength.”‘
Speaking, the Asagba of Asaba, Obi Chike Edozien, hinted that a monument project would be built in Asaba in memory of their loved ones, who were killed during the civil war.
He commended Asaba women for their role in keeping the town alive after the massacre of their husbands and brothers during the civil war.
While urging the Federal Government to approve their request for the establishment of a Federal University in Asaba, Prof. Edozien said they would continue to work for the peace and development of the town and the country.
On his part, the Omu of Asaba, Ada Biose, who described their ordeal as a painful experience, expressed concern that their men were massacred for being patriotic, adding:
“Every family was affected. Women, who ready for marriage, could not find men in Asaba to marry them. Many of them had to marry in other parts of the country.”
It was a painful experience.”
The Omu urged widows and others whose loved ones were killed to let go of the sufferings they went through during the Civil War, assuring that never again will such massacre be visited on Asaba.
Also speaking, the Isama of Asaba, Chief Chuck Nduka Eze, said the Asaba Massacre Annual Memorial Anniversary was an opportunity to create awareness about the tragic incident that befell the community in October 1967 and which left most families in mourning, without any encouragement for protest.