The Lead Counsel for the Indigenous People of Biafra, Sir Ifeanyi Ejiofor, has asked the governors in the South-East region to declare May 30 as a public holiday.

Ejiofor said the day was set aside as a special day to remember and reflect on the death of over five million South Easterners, who were massacred during the three-year Biafra-Nigeria war, which lasted from July 6, 1967, to January 15, 1970.

He stated this in a press statement he issued on Thursday, adding that the day should be dedicated to honouring its fallen heroes and heroines.

He said, “It is a time of introspection, a moment to consider the position of Biafrans in modern-day Nigeria and their relevance in the broader national context. Unfortunately, the issues that ultimately led to the Biafran war are still present within the policies and decisions of the government.

“Further, we must remember the massacre of over 6,000 men, mainly residents of Asaba, who were gruesomely killed at Obosowe Asaba in present-day Delta State between October 4 and 7, 1967. Nigeria is under a moral obligation to acknowledge this tragedy, as it was not the making of Asaba.

“It is important to note that no matter how long history is hidden, it will always reveal itself on true platforms. Unfortunately, the story of post-war reconstruction, reintegration, and reconciliation has remained a ruse. These three Rs must go hand in hand for a full healing process, but the reverse has been the case.

“I use this moment of sober reflection to call on all South East governors to dedicate May 30 as a public holiday, as a mark of respect and honour for Biafran fallen heroes. It is not asking too much to remember and commemorate Biafran heroes and heroines by declaring this date a public holiday across Biafraland.

“It is worth noting that long before 2019, the entire South West states had set aside June 12 as a public holiday to commemorate the anniversary of the annulled 1993 Presidential election, adjudged to have been won by the late MKO Abiola.

“Heaven did not fall when the South West governors made this declaration in unison. Rather, the Federal Government was later compelled by the strong resolve of these leaders to consequently declare June 12, a national public holiday starting from 2019 to date.

“Only the truth can set us free from the bondage of war and propaganda. I also wish to use this solemn opportunity to call on the government, particularly the Federal Government, to unconditionally release genuine Biafran agitators who are being held in various detention facilities.”

He added that only the gesture would go a long way in assuaging the ill feelings of the gravely marginalised Biafrans and help restore a sense of reintegration in the Nigerian project, pending a United Nations-organised and supervised referendum to determine the ultimate fate of Biafrans.

“As we continue to pray for the repose of our fallen heroes and heroines massacred during the civil war and subsequently, may we remember the cause for which they died.

“They did not die for the cause of relentless perpetration of heinous crimes, not for the cause of kidnapping, not for the cause of rampant rape of their descendants, not for the cause of killing our innocent brothers and sisters by those who have sold their souls to evil,” he added.