By Dennis Agbo
HUMAN Rights activist and former Executive Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Prof Chidi Odinkalu is among Igbo leaders designated to speak, online, on Saturday, May 30 as part of 53rd anniversary of declaration the defunct Biafra statehood.
Other speakers include Social Scientist and founder of Enugu Center for Memories, Mr Patrick Okigbo III; Rev fr. Nicholas Omenka, visiting Professor of History, Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu; Dr Ifeoma Ezedinachi, lecturer, Department of History and International Studies, Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu; and Nana Nwachukwu, knowledge management advisor, DFID.
Organised by the Centre for Memories, CFM, Odinkalu is expected to speak on how to leverage on the Biafra experiences to win the war against the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Director of CFM, Uchenna Achunine, the online function is expedient given the importance the 30 months Nigeria-Biafra fratricidal war that ended 50 years ago.
“The purpose of the anniversary celebrations is to honour the memory of the many men and women who played various roles before, during and after the war. Ndigbo will not forget your sacrifices,” Achunine eulogised.
He noted that the event on social media platforms with the theme: “Onye aghana nwanne ya: Winning the pandemic war by leveraging Biafra experiences”, was coming at a time when the world is in a different kind of war against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The centre said there is the need to explore whether there are lessons the world can learn from how Biafrans were able to mobilise and defy all odds for 30 months.
“The conversations at this year’s event will explore the Igbo philosophy of ‘Onye aghana nwanne ya’ which drives the Igbo spirit of community, collaboration, unity, and resilience.
“The webinar, which will start at 5:00 pm, has assembled a panel of eminent scholars to lead the discussion,” Achunine said.
Other activities slated for the commemoration include poetry performances, an online slide show of Ozoemena: A Biafra war photo exhibition; presentation of the compressed version of the documentary: January 15, 1970: Untold memories of the Nigeria- Biafra War as well as host a video, “Gratitude”, that recognises and thanks, on behalf of Ndigbo, all the people and organisations that provided non-military direct and indirect aid to support the people of Biafra.