We have a clear understanding of our identity and our history. Our fathers have told us how their fathers were killed, maimed and dispossessed. We learnt of how they swore never to return to the North… alas they did! But does it matter that they did? I ask because the descendants of those who violated them have now come to our doorsteps.

The ruthlessness of those who have become our countrymen by colonial veto is undesirable, unacceptable and untenable. We cannot continue to keep silent and die in secret. The secrets of the pogroms were exposed in the war. The death toll of the war may have excluded those who died in the massacres before the war. Our fathers and their fathers found themselves victims – before the war, during the war and after the war. Our joy has been restored because we are a resilient people not because we have forgotten.

We have not forgotten, we have only chosen to forgive and live together. We do not need you but we find that you do need us, or maybe only want us or what is ours. We smile with you knowing you carry swords in your clothing. We trade with you knowing you could poison us at any time. We do not hate you but we are certainly wary of you because of who you are: descendants of Ishmael.

The blood of our brothers does not stay silent. It speaks across generations and across geographical boundaries, throughout the world to those in the diaspora. We hear the shouts. The songs that we heard from our fathers are now being resounded by our brothers. Ukpabi cries, Nimbo wails. The blood of the slain does not keep silent.

We wish to live with you but it seems you love only those who are like you. We wanted to sing with you till nations are no more but it is as though you know only the drums of war. We know enough not to give you our lands. You have yours in abundance, why do you seek ours? We pay for your meat with our money, why must we also pay with our farms? We choose to live in peace but we have not forgotten the art of war.

We choose to forget, do not remind us!