The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), has encouraged all patriotic Igbo people across the globe to observe the May 30 Biafra Remembrance Day, as according to it, the day remained an important part of the history of the Igbo nation.
The ADF which made the call in a statement signed by its president, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala, and spokesperson, Chief Abia Onyike, on Friday, argued that May 30 has become an official Igbo Remembrance Day, which cannot be wished away.
The Indigenous People of Biafra had called for a candlelight procession on May 30 and sit-at-home on May 31 in honour of those killed during the Biafra war.
But throwing its weight behind the decision of the May 30 commemoration, ADF maintained that “the event is deeply rooted in the heart of Igbo people and which nobody can wish it away or ban by force of Law or prevent by force of arms.
“Events in Alaigbo on May 30, each year show that May 30 has become an official Igbo Remembrance Day not only within Alaigbo but throughout the entire world where Igbo citizens live. Each year from London to Johannesburg, to several cities in Europe, Asia, America and Canada, the story is the same with various activities organized by Umuigbo and their friends to mark the occasion,” ADF said in the statement.
“Back home the entire Alaigbo have often been shut down; markets, shops, schools, and offices closed while streets are deserted to mark the Remembrance Day.
‘The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) is fully aware that May 30 is a day in the history of Alaigbo, deeply rooted in the heart of our people and which nobody can wish away or ban by force of Law or prevent by force of arms.
“It is in the light of this that the ADF fully supports the observance of May 30, this year as Igbo Day Celebration. We urge all Igbo patriots to celebrate this year’s event on Sunday, 30th May 2021. Let Ndigbo celebrate it as a solemn occasion by going to Church, wearing of black bands and fasting including peaceful activities lined out for the day by different Igbo organizations.”
The ADF said May 30 is day the defunct Biafra Republic was declared, and no conscious Igbo person would deny that Biafra is part of their history.
“May 30 marks the day Biafra was declared in 1967 and no patriotic Igbo son or daughter can pretend that Biafra is not part of the history and indeed the major watershed in the history of the Igbo nation,” the group noted.
“If anyone is in doubt let him recall what has often happened on May 30, especially in 2017 and 2018 when our sons and daughters under the aegis of IPOB, MASSOB, and other Pan-Igbo organizations declared an SIT-AT-HOME to commemorate Biafra Day as a historic day in the life of Ndigbo, while other forms of memorial activities take place to mark the historic day.
“The total compliance of that call throughout the length and breadth of Alaigbo was not because these pan-Igbo and pro-Biafra organizations had become their supreme authority. No! That call evokes intense yearning in the innermost recesses of the hearts and minds of Umuigbo.
“Consequently, whosoever provoked the observance is welcome as a lover of the Igbo nation. BIAFRA evokes intense longing for freedom for our people. Biafra is indeed more than a state of the mind. It is also a material force that moves our people.”
According to the group, Biafra has remained in the mind of Igbo people because it symbolizes their longing for freedom.
“Why will Biafra not symbolize their longing for freedom, when their predicament since the Amalgamation in 1914 up to the Biafra Declaration on My 30, 1967 and ever since Biafra has been a continuous state of estrangement, brutal attacks and punitive measures against their spiritual, economic, political and physical survival?
“The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), therefore, proposes that Umuigbo should turn May 30 every year to be observed as a REMEMBRANCE DAY – a day to remember our history, to review our successes and failures, to remember those who have died fighting for the Igbo cause and also think of our future,” the statement concluded.