Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date

December 2009

Creation Date


Publisher Information

Florida Holocaust Museum in conjunction with University of South Florida Tampa Library and Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center


Asaba (Nigeria), Civil War, 1967-1970, Crimes against humanity, Massacres, Okocha, Sylvester


Oral history interview with Sylvester Okocha, a survivor of the Asaba Massacre, a mass killing of civilians that occurred in 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War. Okocha had been a civil servant in Benin City; when the war started, he and his family returned to their hometown of Asaba. They heard that the Nigerian soldiers were planning to kill all of the men, so Okocha hid in the bush for a week. When he returned, he started compiling a list of all the people who had been killed. After the war ended, Okocha returned to his job in Benin, where he was suspected of being a Biafran agent. He was arrested, imprisoned in Lagos, and tortured. He was eventually released and went home to Asaba. Okocha's nephew, Emma Okocha, is the author of Blood on the Niger, the primary book about the massacre, which was written using the lists compiled by his uncle.

Physical Information

1 sound file (32 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (21 p.)