Sunday, 4 December 2016

How a 19-year-old American Boy Set Himself on Fire During the Biafran War to Attract Global Attention to Igbos

A story has been told of a young American
boy who sacrificed his life for the Biafran
people during the Nigerian civil war.
Bianca ojukwu
Bianca Ojukwu, the widow to the late
warlord, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu
Ojukwu, has revealed how a young
American boy died to attract attention to
the Biafran people.
She made the revelation while speaking
about her late husband’s dying wishes.
Speaking at an event to mark the fifth year
of Ojukwu’s demise in Owerri, the Imo
State capital, the former beauty queen
disclosed that the Biafran warlord prior to
his death had urged her to fulfill three
wishes out of which she has actualized two.
Bianca said Ojukwu’s dying wishes were
that his body must be taken to Aba, Abia
state before burial, erecting a monument in
memory of a 19 year old American, Bruce
Mayrock who died for Biafra, which she
said would soon be met.
Bianca, however refused to reveal the third
wish, promising to do so at the appropriate
Her words: “There are three things Dim
Chukwuemeka Ojukwu asked me to do for
him when he is dead. I have done one; the
first is that he demanded that when he is
dead, before he is buried, I should take his
body to Aba. When I get to Aba, that I
should place the coffin on the ground,
touch the dust and sprinkle it on the
“After this, we should bury him whenever
we wish to. By the grace of God, I was able
to do that.
“The second one is that before Dim Ojukwu
died, he narrated the story of a young
American boy named Bruce Mayrock. He
told me that this young boy was 19 years
old, a white American and University
student who came from a wealthy family.
During the Biafra war, Mayrock was too
disturbed about the pictures of starving
Biafran children and the genocide. He
wrote letters to American senators and
President, individuals, Christian
organizations and the United Nations
calling on them to come to the aid of the
Biafran people. Mayrock lamented that the
Biafrans were facing extermination.
“All these people even the United Nations
could not do anything. To bring attention
to the plight of suffering Biafrans, this boy
went to the front of the United Nations
building doused himself with gasoline,
struck a match and set himself on fire.
When they were chasing him to put away
the fire he was running with the inferno.
He ran until he collapsed. He was taken to
the hospital and by midnight on 30th May
1966, he died. Ojukwu was humbled that a
19 year old boy sacrificed his life for a
people thousand miles away that he never
knew or met.
“His parents were unhappy that he
sacrificed himself but he had told his priest
that it was the only way he could get
attention from the United Nation to take
notice and save dying Biafra people.
“Ojukwu demanded that when he is dead,
the story be narrated to his children and
when his son turns 19, that a little plot of
land be gotten to erect a monument in
honour of Bruce Mayrock who sacrificed
his life for the people of Biafra. Today in
America, many Igbo people regularly visit
Mayrock’s grave to lay flowers and pray
for him.”