Their rocket got me

Gideon Njoku remembers the Nigerian-Biafran War. Photo by Chika Oduah

My name is Gideon Njoku. I was born 1951. I entered the war as a Biafra soldier in 1968. I got an injury in 1969, August 12.

I volunteered to become a Biafran soldier because the Hausas were killing our brothers and sisters, all our relations in north. Our people ran to the south. Some women, they [Hausa people] cut their breasts. Some they cut them hand. Some they cut them leg.

I see them, begin tears. Till reach the time Ojukwu [Chukwuemeka Ojukwu] declared war. People dey enter I follow them at Emmanuel College Owerri. There I enter junior militia. After some months, I come enter regular army.

I felt that we were at war because there is something bad inside Nigeria. I go war to defend my people call Biafra. That is why I motion to enter force. Hausas or Nigerian soldiers go come handle me, my treatment bad. I better enter soldier force.

If they no kill me as I sustain injury, I come back. That’s how God I like it.

My injury. We dey battle. I see, that day by 4:30. There was  shelling. The Nigerian soldiers murdered people inside our camp. And that their rocket got me and my friends rushed me to Oforola, from Oforola to hospital then to the International Red Cross the following day.

Today, I have seven children. My wife and children are in the village.

As you see me now, charity organizations are feeding me.  If you see me at Enugu or in Onitsha, I go there to go beg people for money.


*This interview was conducted at the Biafran War Veteran’s shelter in Oji River, Enugu State, Nigeria


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