Letter from Washington

October 7, 2010

October 7 Monument On The Niger

”As for how beautiful the edifice is, it is its own witness. It can be confidently asserted that the ancients never built to such a height nor risked challenging the sky itself.

Brunelleschi’s genius was so commanding that we can surely say that he was sent by heaven to renew the art of  architecture.”  – Giorgio Vasari , The Lives of the Artists [1568]

”It Is Only The Lost Tribe That Allows Her History To Be Written By Others.” – Blood On The Niger.

Sydney, Beliosa, Asiodu was an Olympic athlete who graduated 1966, from the University of Nigeria with honors in Zoology.

As an all round athlete he had represented Nigeria in the Commonwealth games, had been to Turin, Italy, Jamaica and was preparing to depart Nigeria when the Biafran invasion of the Midwest, in August 9, 1967 cut him off from his family in Lagos.

Sydney who was the Gamesmaster at Hussey College, Warri, was shot into the Niger, when Asaba changed hands after the withdrawal of the secessionists. When his beautiful pet dog charged the soldiers, they cut the dog to pieces.

Governor Fashola a fellow alumnus of Igbobi College Lagos, recently led the old boys donating millions to enable the school build a befitting memorial for perhaps the greatest Nigerian all round athlete of all times.

Elsewhere,  the Masterlist, that bloody list of the condemned,  which also had the names of the Midwest’s Chief Justice, Chike Idigbe, The Premier of the region, Chief Dennis Osadebay, the Accountant General, late Mornu, Police guru Ogbolu, the first Nigerian to attain to the rank of ASP was being brandished.

In that list were names of some of the early Nigerian trained professionals; lawyers, engineers, and top bureaucrats whose days under the sun came to a gruesome end, on that fateful dusk of the 7th of October, 1967.

Because the Ogbeosowa massacre was carefully planned and brutally executed, the mayhem was to be hurriedly covered up . For years Asaba genocide was denied by both its perpetrators and sadly by her own ever forgiving, giddy people.

Like all dastardly organized inhumanities, the willful injustice had its consequences. Asaba in October 7, found women and children separated from their condemned fathers and brothers.

When the holocaust visited Rwanda, there was no chance for the men and the women. All were massacred. Significantly, in Dafur , Sudan, because of the Asaba lie, where the perpetrators and the victims had embarked in a conspiracy of guilty silence, the genocide in Darfur decimated not only humans, but this time in that area of the Sahara wastes, goats, sheep, domestic animals including homes and villages were torched and bombed out.

We shall therefore with a garland salute those courageous brethren and soldiers of the Asaba Ogbeosuwa mission for their tenacity and promise not to accept a fable history written by others.

For all their sacrifices from day one, through the Oputa Human Rights and Justice Commission, to the University Of South Florida spearheaded research project of reclaiming Asaba history.

How can Asaba ever forget the courageous consideration and pioneering work of the USF Asaba Memorial and Forensic research project? It was the faithful Florida forensic expert, Dr. Erin Kimmerle that must take the most compliments.

There would not have been any Asaba modern history if this egg head had not considered our proposal.

Despite the unexpected frustrations and obvious obstructions in conducting research on such a very sensitive area in an environment where very few are ready to step out from the crowd, we must at this time pause, and count our roses.

For more than a decade, we have without much attention to our own, our families, our businesses, been able to restore our tragic history, stimulate and engage our very badly beaten down people, and without batting an eyelid, Asaba has physically accomplished the design and by this time next year , the monument, the symbolic memorial for the human blight at Ogbeosuwa will stand on the Niger.