About the Asaba Massacre

In October 1967, during the bloody civil war, federal troops occupied the peaceful town of Asaba, on the west bank of the Niger River. They accused the people of supporting the retreating Biafra troops and for two days they rampaged through the town, killing hundreds. The violence culminated in an unspeakably tragic event:

"On Saturday, October 7, several thousand townspeople, clad in their best white attire, came together, believing that a show of support for the Nigerian government would pacify the situation. Instead, after separating women and children from men and older boys, soldiers gathered the males in the square of Ogbe-Osowa village and turned their machine guns on them. More than 700 died, with many more gravely wounded. Most families were unable to retrieve the bodies, and the dead were buried in mass graves. Over the month of October, more than 1,000 civilians were killed, raped, and terrorized, and the town lay in ruins"

The Asaba Memorial Project

Learning Resources:

Find below our list of resources for information on the Massacre:

Blood on the Niger

The book that captured the attention of the World.

Written by Emma Okocha, it gives the account of the massacre from the perspective of interviewed survivors and witnesses.

The Asaba Memorial Research Project

The University of South Florida Research Project

Over the course of six years Anthropologist Dr Elizabeth Bird and Historian Dr Fraser Ottanelli visited Nigeria eight times and conducted over a hundred interviews with witnesses and survivors.


The Legacy of the Asaba Massacre - The Documentary

The reconstruction of the massacre, featuring interviews with witnesses and survivors.

The Asaba Massacre: Trauma, Memory and the Nigerian Civil War

A comprehensive account with the facts of the Massacre

The culmination of the findings of Anthropologist Dr Elizabeth Bird and Historian Dr Fraser Ottanelli.