Historical Fiction StoriesNaija Stories

Christmas In Biafra

The night was without life. It was dead cold, the trees and shrubs stood still. Our feet and skin were cracked and ashy. We were caked in dust and grime. We spoke in sotto-voce, puffs of cloudy steam like smoke in the cold air made their way out of our mouths. We laid low in the sludge using the raffia palm and shrubs to make a cover. There was no close bunker, the raffia palm and the shrubs will deter the enemy planes.

Our hearts were filled with hope even in the face of uncertainty as we heard the voice of Okon Okon Ndem on air. “Our gallant boys have pushed them out of Nteje, we’ll never bow to the enemy as the people of Biafra will continue to fight like the Spartans untill we are free from this genocidal and blood thirsty contraption called Nigeria.”

Tears rolled down my cheeks, I remember how he was murdered In cold blood. I can picture how the rough-faced soldiers with deep tribal marks running through their faces clubbed him to death, I saw them piss on his corpse. I couldn’t control my tears, he died while trying to protect me, he died fighting for what is right, he died trying to save me from the fists of those brutes and bloodthirsty men in army uniform.

My eyes were heavy with scenes that rips the heart apart. The sight of women oozing blood and the sight of corpses with no one to bury them made my heart to bleed. Here we were at Abagana, our fingers are worn and broken, our souls were broken and our hearts bled. We laid low, waiting for the call to join those who left before us. We couldn’t wait to pour libations for Chukwuokike Abiama for keeping us alive even when we had to hunt for lizards.

The sounds were nearer than they seemed, the vandals were here again to take us down never to rise whole. They rained shrapnel on us, we felt the presence of heavy artillery and strong millitary presence. It was as if ten thousand batallions where marching towards us. We lay faced down and prayed to our chi to accept us in good fate. We closed our eyes and waited for death to serve it to us chilled.

Our chi smiled on us. Our valiant men, our young and old jumped out of their hiding with sticks and some stones, some with anything fistful. They fought like hungry lions and devoured the enemies. The ogbunigwe blinded the enemies and they fled at its sound. Our enemies trembled for the first time. Many of them scampered for safety. Some of our men fell, it was a gory visage that I wouldn’t like to behold in my life again.

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