By Chima Onyekachi

November 03, 2016

The people of Awa community in Oguta local government of Imo state, laughed at my uncertainness over the name of the market located in the community called “NKWO-BIAFRA”. I and my work partner- Ifeanyi Chijioke, were invited by the principal officers of Oguta Zone Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to get a better enlightenment and have a first-hand feeling of the improvised oil-producing community in the Igbo clan of Biafraland.

Nkwo-Biafra is located immediately you enter Awa community from Ukwuorji junction along Owerri - Onitsha expressway. The market was constructed during the Biafra genocide of 1967-70, when the capital of the seceded Republic of Biafra was moved to Owerri. According to an elder and a member of the king’s cabinet who spoke to us, he said that the market was heavily bombarded during the war but was quickly restored back to business after every raid. Nkwo-Biafra was a major market for Biafrans during the war and has become the main market for the people of the community after the war.
The previous state government of Achike Udenwa, tried every effort to force the community to rename the market but he was resisted by the people. Nkwo-Biafra is seen by the people of the community as a sacrament and a pride, it is also a reminder of whom they are. The community decried the negligence of the Federal and State governments to the community even though it is an oil-producing community. There is no power supply nor a good source of water apart from the streams, the primary and secondary schools are an eyesore, and majority of the youths are unemployed.

I wondered if the name of the market is what is deterring the government from developing the community but the people of the community insisted that the market is their heritage and strongly believe that only the restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra can bring development to the oil-producing community

Mr.Chima Onyekachi writes for BiafraPost
Editor/Publisher: Akachukwu Udo
For Biafra Reporters


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