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Mozie, Spiropoulos, Ezeife launch new book in Enugu

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A NEW book on Nigeria Civil War has been launched. The book titled, ‘Through the Eyes of The Child: An Anthology of the Nigeria Civil War’ was written by three authors, John Mozie, Charles Spiropoulos and Dozie Ezeife and launched on Saturday,  September 18, at Amadeo Event Centre (Beside Elim Plaza) Ebeano Tunnel Road, Ogui, Enugu State, under the distinguished chairmanship of the former Chief Judge of Anambra State, Rtd Hon.  Justice Peter Umeadi.

    The 435-paged book, dedicated to children who lost their lives in Biafra; the unseen, unheard innocents who paid the price for a cause that was not theirs, lucidly tells about a war that took 3million lives, narrated by the voices of 25 child survivors who lived through it. This compendium of individual stories written by men and women, aged three and 15, takes one through their journeys and captures their experiences during the civil war, in their own words.

  According to the Moderator and Reviewer of the book, Dilibe Onyeama Esq. the book “tells the story of war from a child’s perspective. It records the memories and experiences of children- not soldiers and adults, but children who survived that war, who have come to tell the world, in their own words, what happened to them – what they saw, what they felt, what they heard, and presenting a vivid portrayal of, in the eloquent words of the editors” the very spirit of a child’s life in the drama of war.

   “This is a “beautiful” collection (and I invert the word ‘beautiful’) of horror stories by the surviving children of Biafra who bear the burden of untold memories. It should essentially be seen as a strident lament in the form of a demand for answers to the challenge – “We never started any war. So why should we end up as fodders of war?

  “The book, for the very reason of its perceived uniqueness, presents a scathing indictment of the United Nations for its failure to enact befitting legislation that specifically protects the rights of children – and, by extension, their mothers, from the ravages of warfare, maybe with the establishment of protective buffer zones guarded round-the-clock by UN soldiers against the combatants and arsenals of war”.

  Onyeama further revealed that: “the editors of the book may not be able to make out a case that the ordeals to which these youngsters were subjected to were the most unspeakable in the history of warfare, noting that they have surely triumphed in possibly recording a first in the endorsement of any warfare through the exclusive eyes of the children who survived it.

  Commending the authors for a book so  timely and skillfully written, the chairman of the occasion and former Chief Judge of Anambra State, Hon. Peter Umeadi enjoined the youths to desist from all forms of violence, urging them to present a common position on issues of governance through a professional body like political party.

  “Go and join politics and in that, you can put up your pressure demands. That is what we are not doing.”

  In her own remarks, the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Godfrey Okoye University Enugu, Prof. Rina Okonkwo commended the authors of the book for coming up with such a haunting collection, adding that the book is a historic collection that cannot be gotten anywhere.

  She further commended the contributing authors for a conversation well presented. The conversation which centered majorly on such issues of concern as the removal of history from our curriculum and  the scanty indictment of the United Nations for its failure to enact befitting legislation that specifically protects the rights of children and by extensions, their mothers, from the ravages of the war face, was in her words  ‘ beautiful and educating”.

  She urged the federal government to set up an archive, museums and monuments in remembrance of Biafra. “The Jews have archives upon archives, museums and monuments for remembrance sake. Learn from them”, she said.

  In his vote of thanks, one of the authors, Dr Dozie Ezeife expressed his gratitude to friends and well-wishers who honoured their invitations to the launch and prayed God to grant them journey mercy, noting that the conversation started by the contributors will help to repair the damage of the war.

  “We are grateful to all those who showed up in today’s book launch.  We sold a lot of copies of the book today, received a lot of financial support. We kind of started a kind of conversation that focused on what will be done now to begin to repair the damage of the war. There seems to be a general agreement about the war- Ozoemena-that children and aged are usually the most vulnerable. I am very grateful to all those who showed up. 

  Highlights of the event include review of the book, the contributors in conversation, individual short stories from audience, Questions and Answer session, chairman’s remarks and launch, book signing, among others.

    Other dignitaries at the event include: The Dean, Faculty of Law, Godfrey Okoye University Enugu, Prof. Gozie Ogbodo,  CEO, Croesus Integrated Services, Roz Amechi, James Ikeyi, SAN and Onyebuchi Marcus Ukandu Esq, among others.

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