The Alaigbo Development Forum (ADF) has called that a befitting memorial me built in Asaba in memory of the slain Igbo civilians of Asaba massacred by Nigerian soldiers on October 7, 1967.
The leader of the ADF, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala made the call in the address of the group he presented at the 50th anniversary of the genocide led by Murtala Mohammed during the civil war.
In the message, ADF said: “We will like to be associated with the project of a befitting Memorial, possibly a War Museum in Asaba in Memory of the victims of the Asaba Genocide.
We can’t be done without paying glowing tribute to our father and historical icon, a man of immense global stature who has done a lot for the cause ofAlaigbo, whose Igbo-ness compelled him to take a wife from the other side of Alaigbo – what else could be a stronger show of Hand-Shake Across the Niger in warm embrace of Igbo sons and daughters. We mean none other than Chief (Dr.) Sonny IwedikeOdogwu, the Ide Ahaba.
We salute the memory of Chief Dennis Osadebay, the first civilian governor of the Midwest Region and Secretary of Igbo State Union. So do we salute the memory of Ambassador Ralph Uwechue, the former President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Indeed, the gruesome cold-blooded killings of innocent civilians by troops of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, culminating in the “Dance of Death” at Ogbeosewah in Asaba on October 7, 1967, where hundreds of helpless civilians were mowed down and buried dead or alive in a mass grave, is the darkest chapter in our history which we must continue to recall for the benefit of our children including those yet unborn.
The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) salutes the courage of those who have continued to provide us the records of the event as well as the opportunity to honor the memory of our people who were victims of this sad and unforgettable event.
We salute the courage of the Asaba people and their noble spirit. We salute the courage of people like Professors Elizabeth Byrd and Frazier Ottonelly who have sustained the records for the sake of history. We also salute our brother Emma Okocha, author of the immortal work – The Blood on the Niger – a book that will perpetually challenge the conscience of men and women of good conscience throughout the ages.
“We salute the courage of our brother, Ifeanyi Uriah and other survivors of that genocide. Ify was with us at the International Colloquium on
the Igbo Question in Nigeria. The Asaba Massacre featured strongly at that event in our search for the roots of Igbo predicament in Nigeria.
His eye-witness account of that massacre presented on that occasion is captioned Ogbeosowah: The Rise from the Dead. An Eyewitness
Account. It is published in the two volume publication that came out of that Colloquium with the title IGBO NATION: History and Challenges
of Rebirth and Development.”