The Biafran War: A 19-year-old American boy burned himself to attract global attention to Igbos

Bianca Ojukwu told a shocking story of how a 19-year-old American boy set himself on fire for the sake of Biafrans during the Nigerian civil war. He did it to draw attention from international bodies to the endangered seceeding ethnic group.

This undated picture shows Chief Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu and family.

Bianca Ojukwu, a widow to the late warlord Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, had nothing but praise and good memories of the young foreign national who sacrificed his life to save others.

The former beauty model made this revelation at an event held in Owerri, Imo State, to mark 5 years since Ojukwu’s lamentable death.

Reports confirm that Bianca told the story of this American while highlighting details of her late husband’s dying wishes. She said the Biafran warlord made some requests before breathing his last.

“Out of the three wishes from the late Odimegwu Ojukwu, two have been fulfiled,” she said.

Bianca disclosed that the first of Ojukwu’s dying wishes was that his body must be taken to Aba, Abia state before burial.

The second was that a monument must be erected in memory of the 19-year-old American boy named Bruce Mayrock who died during the Nigerian civil war for the sake of Biafrans.

The ex-beauty queen said Mayrock’s family is expected to arrive Nigeria for the commissioning of his monument.

Bianca decided to keep the late warlord’s third wish. She said it’ll remain a secret until the right time comes.

In 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 coffin.

“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.”

As the crowd cheered on, Bianca disclosed that she has fulfilled her late husband’s second wish by erecting a monument in favour of Mayrock, adding that she’s always in touch with the boy’s family in America.