National War Museum Is Established in Umuahia, Nigeria
During the duration of the Nigerian civil war, many sophisticated weapons were utilized. A number of these arms were manufactured to meet the immediate needs of the war. It has the highest collection of the Nigerian civil war weapons, no longer used. Such weaponry emanates from the Nigerian military and the defunct Republic of Biafra.
Its location is of no coincidence; Umuahia was the second capital of Biafra proceeding the fall of Enugu. It was where the bunker housing of the famous radio, the Voice of Biafra, was transmitted. Voice of Biafra served as a spokesperson for Biafra during the war. The museum has become a renowned tourist site, attracting hundreds of people daily. From various walks of life, they venture to the institution for varied purposes: to relive the period of the war through items on display or research objectives. Rarely anyone visits to satiate their curiosity.
The museum is on a massive expanse of land, containing three galleries that cover traditional warfare, the armed forces, and the Nigerian civil war galleries. Artifacts pertain to weapons utilized in pre-colonial disturbances, warfare materials used during communal and inter-tribal wars and those of the Nigerian Civil War.
A tour of the museum commences with viewing the prehistoric section where some of the weapons are exhibited. This weaponry pertains to spears, shields, bows, and arrows. Even metal war vests that warriors utilized as protection can be observed. The end of the old war weapons section escorts viewers into the Nigerian Armed Forces gallery where ceremonial uniforms of the army officers and photographs of a few previous military leaders lie. Then visitors travel into the gate of the bunker that houses the Radio Biafra of the defunct Biafran Republic. At the entrance, the Biafran flag hangs, containing the colors red, black, and green with the rising sun in the focal point. Black and white pictures of the Nigerian leaders that were victims of the war, beginning with the January 15, 1966 coup of Kaduna Nzeogwu. Inside the 30 feet deep bunker lies the transmission studio and the transmitter of Radio Biafra. Throughout the large premises of the war museum, are various antiquated military weapons which include anti-aircraft guns and Squid Mortar anti-submarine gun said to be carried by the Navy warship N.N.S. Nigeria.
For those who have never experienced the Nigerian Civil War, they may value visiting the National War Museum, Umuahia to truly deepen their understanding of what it was like to live during such a period. For those who did, this exhibition would allow them the opportunity to retrospectively reflect.
Development Alternatives and Resource Center. The National War Museum, Umuahia. Carolina Academic Press. June 30, 2016.
Tour of the Museum. YouTube, uploaded by nwmumahia. August 11, 2014.
Ojukwu Bunker. YouTube, uploaded by nwmumahia. August 10, 2014.