"Testimonies such as these should become a kind of chain letter, hung permanently on the leaden conscience of the world."
Wole Soyinka, The Man Died: Prison Notes, 1972
Here we share clips from a few of our many videotaped interviews, conducted in Tampa, Lagos, Benin City, Ibadan, London, and Asaba. Shorter versions of some were used in our video, "Most Vulnerable Nigerians: The Legacy of the Asaba Massacres," completed in 2012, and now available widely across the Internet.
Liz Bird interviews the late Akunwata Sylvester Okocha in Asaba, 2009. Mr. Okocha was a senior civil servant in Benin before fleeing home to Asaba. He documented details of the massacres, and was later imprisoned in Lagos after trying to send information to the International Red Cross.
In 2022, I placed placed third in the 2022 International Human Rights Art Festival's Creators of Justice Literary Awards, with an essay about witness accounts of the massacre. It may be accessed here:
Ify Uraih survived the Oct. 7 massacre. His father and two brothers were killed.
Celestina Isichei-Isamah describes the killing of her 16-year-old brother, Osi, and his friend Callistus, as the crowd gathered for the parade.
Patience Chukura, expecting her 4th child in 1967, describes the killing of her husband Eddie and his brother, Christian, on Oct. 6, the day before the Ogbe-Osawa massacre.
Stanley Okafor describes waking up to soldiers occupying Asaba, followed by targeted killing of people at the Police Station. Later that day, his father was killed by soldiers stealing his car.
Joseph Nwajei escaped before the massacre, but his two brothers, Felix and Francis, went to Ogbe-Osawa and were killed.
Christopher Mkpayah describes the killings at Ogbe-Osawa, Asaba.
Many people were killed in places other than Ogbe-Osawa. Nicholas Azeh describes a horrific killing of boys at a sports field.
Five of Patrick Okonkwo's family were killed by soldiers before the Ogbe-Osawa massacre. A young corporal, Joseph, saved the remaining family members' lives.
Nekendelim Maduemezia describes how occupying soldiers treated women and girls.
Frank Ijeh, who lost three brothers at Ogbe-Osawa, describes how he organized burials of many victims killed in different parts of Asaba.