This is Philip Efiong’s account of the Nigeria–Biafra Civil War (1967–70). He was a key player during the event and second-in-commandto the Biafran leader, General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. The story begins with the coup d’états of January and July 1966, and recounts ensuing ethnic and regional conflicts. After the first coup,Efiong is posted to State House as Principal Staff Officer and then to Kaduna as Acting Commander of the First Brigade. But the second coup is executed shortly after and he is forced to escape from Kaduna following a failed attempt on his life.
He makes his way back to the East where he also relocates his family after officers have been directed by the new military government to return to their regions of origin. Efiong is in Enugu when talks break down between the new military head of state, then Lieutenant Colonel Yakubu Gowon and the Governor of the Eastern Region, Lieutenant Colonel Ojukwu. The result is a declaration of secession by the Eastern Region (Biafra), which leads to the outbreak of war in July 1967. In Biafra, after holding a number of positions, Efiong ends up as Chief of General Staff and second-in-command to the Biafran leader.
With each incursion and onslaught by the enemy, the author moves his family to a new town or village until they arrive in Owerri, their last place of refuge before Biafra’s collapse. Ojukwu then flees and hands over power to Efiong who performs the final task of leading a delegation to Lagos to negotiate peace and deliver Biafra’s surrender. The war formally comes to an end on 15 January 1970, after which former Biafran officers, including Efiong, receive punishments ranging from dismissal to imprisonment.