orty-sixty-year-old Mrs Lilian Obiechina, popularly called ‘Ada Ide’, is a native of Ogidi in the Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Her looks expose the doggedness in her participation in the struggle for Biafra which she told our correspondent was strengthened by what she termed by the ill-treatment of Igbo in Nigeria.
Obiechina said, “I was more of a Nigerian than an Igbo but as things keep happening, one keeps hearing news of what is going on and one watches one’s people being pushed to the wall. One then asks oneself ‘who am I?’ Are you more Nigerian than an indigenous person? I am Igbo.’’
“When you watch others, you see the northerners when they react or do their things; you see the Yoruba how they do their things and now you are sitting back watching your own people being pushed to the wall. You ask yourself, why are you not there? Why are you not where your people are?
“Getting to that consciousness spurred me into getting involved in what is happening to me as an Igbo woman. As an Igbo person, that was what actually motivated me into the struggle.”
She noted that if the Igbo got what they felt they deserved in Nigeria, there would be no need for struggle, adding “Why won’t we (Biafrans) govern ourselves – like other states that broke out of a larger country?’’
Obiechina, who adorned her hair with colourful beads, said there was nothing wrong for Biafrans to govern themselves within Nigeria.
“Is anything wrong with Biafra being an autonomous state from Nigeria? Why can’t Nigeria move on and allow Biafra to move on or any other indigenous people that want to move forward? Why?
“Must all of us be dragged together at Nigeria’s pace? How can somebody who has learnt how to crawl, walk and run wants to fly, and you that is crawling is holding the person down? Is that right? We want to govern ourselves; we, we want to man our place. We want to take charge of what is happening to us, whether we get it right or we don’t get it right, it doesn’t concern any other people.”
She explained that they were not after other tribes’ domains, stating that even if they were in Nigeria, there was nothing wrong in Biafrans getting what was due to them.