War veteran, General Godwin Alabi-Isama has explained how he escaped Biafra famous bomb popularly known as Ogbunigwe.
General Godwin Alabi- Isama, the Chief of Staff, Third Marine Commando, during the Biafran War, turned 80 on 24 December 2020.
In an interview with ADEMOLA ADEGBAMIGBE, NEHRU ODEY (AND AYODELE EFUNLA who snapped the photos), the General speaks about his life, philosophy that guide him, the civil war, insecurity in Nigeria and other contemporary issues.
Speaking on how he escaped several death traps, he says –
“Ah, if you are talking about escaping death, I must tell you another one before you ask another question. This was during the war. We were attacking a place called Azumini (Azumini is in today’s Akwa Ibom State), and our soldiers on the right started withdrawing.
“There was a lot of firepower from Biafra. And they came to call me. I rushed in there, stopped all those coming back. I took the bus. I drove the bus and stopped it somewhere. I just stopped the bus. And by the time I had loaded that bus to take them back, the group on the left started withdrawing again. So I left the bus and rushed. And I told the driver, “Take them back.” If I did not run, I was already on Ogbunigwe. There was this Biafra bomb. I was right there. The man just released the hand brake to move the car back, it blew up everybody to penny pieces of meat. If I did not run! I was just running, saying, “Come on everybody, come on everybody come back,” I would have been dead. How many are you going to count? All my life, I survived. And here I am at 80. Praise the Lord!
In another scenario, he narrates “So when you are talking about my missing death, looks during the civil war, Gen. Akinrinade and I went to the Federal Palace Hotel at night for dinner. Then we decided again: “Let’s go to Caban Bamboo and eat fried rice.” Then we phoned Caban Bamboo. Of course, Bobby Benson said, “Ah, E maa bo.” Before we got down to the car at the Federal Palace, the very table both of us sat on got blown up.
“Somebody wanted to blow us up. We didn’t plant the bomb. But finally, they caught one Agu who was bombing places in Lagos and all that. We were lucky. If they didn’t catch that man, it is either we did it because we didn’t want to bomb ourselves.