Mazi Okon; A victim of Buhari's inhumanity to Biafrans

By Chima Onyekachi
December 11, 2016

I was told about his ordeal by a close confidant in the struggle, I did not grasp the seriousness of the injury until I met the victim face to face. As I walked into a one-room apartment in Ugwuocha (Port-Harcourt), hung on the wall is a picture of a handsome young man displayed in a customized Biafran frame depicting the coat of arm and flag, also hanging on the wall was a gown made with the Biafra flag. Immediately, I felt at home knowing I am in the home of a vibrant Biafran.

My mood and countenance changed immediately he walked into the room, he was looking an opposite of his picture I saw on the wall of his room. He was thinner, with a disfigured face, his jaw and neck was swollen, showing a large tumor and a smaller one slowly growing beside his left ear. Then it struck me, I know this man!
His name is Godspower Okon Amos, 25-year-old, a native of Ikot Ekpene community in Ikot Obio Itam town of Oruk Anam local government area, Akwa-Ibom state, Biafra land. He is a victim of the May 30th 2016 massacre of Biafrans on peaceful procession at Nkpor-Onitsha by the Nigeria security forces. He is one of those agile Biafrans who had travelled from afar to honor the heroes and heroines of the Biafra Genocide of 1967-70 at the event slated in Anambra state.

Shocked to the marrow after seeing the extent of his injury, it took me awhile to put my emotions on check before I began to interview him. According to Okon, he had travelled from Ugwuocha to Nkpor for the commemoration of the Biafra Heroes Day, even after escaping unhurt from the previous massacre of Biafrans at National High School, Aba. I remember that Okon had called me on that day to narrate his ordeal and miraculous escape in Aba from the murderous Nigeria security forces. In pain, Okon narrated to me what happened to him on May 30th 2016, in his effort to rescue a man who had fallen while escaping from the rain of bullets coming from the Nigeria army, he was caught unaware as a teargas canister shot by a soldier landed on his jaw. He felt blood around his neck region, wiped it off and continued.

After he got back to Ugwuocha from Nkpor, he didn’t seek appropriate medical attention for the injury he found on his jaw and neck. He did not care if he had been shot by a poisonous tear gas canister, all he cared about was that he participated in the remembrance of Biafran heroes who died during the Biafra genocide. Few weeks later, Okon found out that his injury was not healing but worsening even after minor treatment from a patent medicine store. His jaw began to swell after a month, extending to his neck to form a tumor that continued to grow larger each day. He also observed that another tumor was beginning to grow by the side of his left ear. The larger tumor is constantly bleeding even while it is bandaged. It was obvious he needed urgent medical attention but he was more concerned about the restoration of Biafra than his health condition.

Okon is obviously in an excruciating dilemma but you will never notice that on his face especially when he is talking about the restoration of Biafra. He finds it hard to eat even when he is given food because chewing causes intense pain around his jaw and neck. He said to me “my journalist, do not feel too bad for me, I am not afraid to die because I am sure Biafra will be restored whether Buhari likes it or not.” He continued “my father is dead, I have only my widowed mother and siblings,they have joined the struggle because I convinced them to join, my mother has been praying for Director Nnamdi Kanu ever since she had a revelation about him and the restoration of Biafra." Going through his personal pictures and files,Okon showed me his certificate in Gumanship, Hot Mobile Mechanical Engineering from the Government Craft Centre located in Ugwuocha. He still dreams of been one of Biafrans best inventors.

Exasperated, I told Okon our discussion will have to end when I noticed fresh bleeding from the tumor even while bandaged, I became more frustrated because I knew he needed emergency medical attention and there was nothing I could do at that moment to assist him. He insisted I must snap him with his Biafra gown worn on him after I tried to dissuade him because he was hurting his injury while struggling to wear the gown.

Then I began to reminisce on when I first met him, it was on the journey to the burial of Late Maduka Obasi who was killed by the Nigeria security forces during IPOB evangelism session at Onitsha. On the course of the journey, while some were trying to conceal their identities out of fright, Okon was ready to tell anyone who wishes to hear him that he was a Biafran. Throughout, he followed me around while I did my reportage and he also got interviewed by the media/video crew that covered the burial ceremony.  Then the protests and demonstrations began in Ugwuocha calling for the release of the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, I will always find him at the forefront of the protest holding the flag, he was always one of those I will call over on phone to know the actual location of the protesters. He will always shout aloud whenever he sees me “my journalist, snap me and show the world, I am not afraid to be seen”.

Sadly, Godspower Okon Amos is a victim of the continuous subjugation and suppression of the Indigenous People of Biafra by President Muhammadu Buhari. He is a clear evidence of the report from Amnesty International that indicted the Nigeria security forces of extrajudicial execution and violence against the Indigenous People of Biafra. Okon has given the people of Biafra more reason to continue to ask for their right to self-determination. He is not afraid of death but death must not be allowed to snatch him carelessly, he must be urgently taken care of by the people of Biafra, I believe in his dream of becoming an inventor.

Editor/Publisher: Chinwe Korie
Please follow me on twitter via @ckorie17


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