As Nigeria marks her Democracy Day, thousands and millions of Ndigbo all over the world are holding series of events in memory of martyr Bruce Mayrock.
Bruce Mayrock, a 20-year-old young student of Columbia University, set himself on fire on 30th May, 1969, near the the United Nations building in New York as a protest to atrocities being committed against the people of Biafra in Nigeria.
The young student felt that the ultimate price of sacrificing his life was what he had to pay to draw the attention of world leaders to the Nigerian genocide against Biafra.
The event scheduled to hold today by 6:00pm at Ofuobi Africa Centre Enugu, is a celebration of love, sacrifice, martyrdom, among others. It will feature citations, poetry, music, expression of love in memory of other martyrs who died that mankind might live.
The event coordinated by Agu Ositadimma is supported by Ndigbo Think Tank, Aladimma, BVI Channel 1, Alaigbo Development Foundation, The, among others.
Although, the purpose of martyr Bruce Mayrock sacrificing his life was to break the deafening silence of the world leaders to the atrocities being committed against Biafra, was not achieved because the struggle ended in favour of Nigeria, he never imagined that 48 years later, he would be the most publicised non-Igbo activist killed during the three year pogrom.
Millions of Biafrans, mostly Igbo, were directly and indirectly killed by their much supported and advantaged enemies. Women and children were raped, tortured, killed and starved to death. Foreign allies like Britain, America and other goaded European nations aided and bathed Nigeria through arms supply, blockade of food, arms,even drugs from the Red Cross.
Blood, the say, is thicker than water. The above gives credence to why Mayrock sacrificed his life and why Ndigbo celebrate his heroic deed every year. Igbo tribe has a plethora of Jewish practices, many of which were forcibly suppressed by the European missionaries by labelling them paganism.
However, such Jewish practices like circumcision, taboo, ritual slaughter, some festivals, day of rest, wedding canopy, and many others written in the Bible, are rituals Igbo tribe still practice to date.
Therefore, freeing Biafra and the Igbo nation in Nigeria from the shackles of cultural, spiritual, economic, political imperialism is a cause the Jewish world must take upon themselves both as a rectification of the past and the need to restore a more complete Israelite and Jewish nation. Perhaps, it was this void that in his heart that martyr Bruce Mayrock attempted to fill by identifying with his kit and kin in six and seven as he sacrificed his blossoming life.
This year's edition is the second of its type. When the maiden edition was held in Lagos last year, it attracted such Igbo of repute like Agu Ositadimma, Chris Maduka, Onyeka Onwenu, Ikenna Enyia, Emeka Ugwu-Oju, Tony Nnadi, Nnenna Nwana, Evang. Amaka Oforbuike Alinta, Chief Edwin Igbokwe, JohnObasi Kalu, Dubem Obaze, Rufus Erinne, Engr. Victor Amorha, Obi Nzeocha, Chief Uzor Ekwremadu, Ani Ranks, Maxwell Onyejiaka, among others.
Most of them are waiting on wings to participate fully in this year's edition. Other eminent and prominent Igbo icons like Arc. Eric Eyitchae, Dr. Jerry Oklo, Dr. Arinze Nwosu, Chief Mrs Maria Okwor, Amarachi Attanah,etc are coming to identify with the noble cause being coordinated by Agu Ositadimma.