Artur Alves Pereira, a Portuguese pilot who was dedicated to providing help to southeasterners and served as Squadron Leader in the defunct Biafra Air Force (BAF), has died aged 80.
Newsbreak reports that late Pereira initially flew relief aids to the then war-torn Biafra before he joined the BAF in 1969. The Biafran T6-Texans which was among the ‘Biafra Babies’ was under his command.
He returned to his country in January 1970 at the end of the Nigerian civil war and until his death at the weekend, was a pro-Biafra campaigner. Pereira died from COVID-19.
“It is with great regret that we have communicated that Artur passed away today, he did not resist Covid.
“We thank all his friends for the friendship and affection they have shown him,” a message on Pereira’s Facebook page reads on Saturday.
Furthermore, Raquel Pereira, the deceased’s child, wrote on her Facebook page: “The wake will take place on 2022-06-15 at 09:30 at Cascais Funeral Center. Funeral on the same day at 3:30 pm (mass), shortly after to Cascais Crematorium (same venue).”
Reacting to Pereira’s exit, the former Deputy-Leader of the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Uche Mefor said via Facebook: “Rest on Sir, Artur Alves Pereira. You are still a hero and a highly valued friend of Biafra and Biafrans, even in death. Biafrans will forever remain grateful for your love in their very hour of need. May the Most High God grant you everlasting peace.”
In a similar vein, Aloy Ejimakor, who is a lawyer to the detained leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu wrote on Twitter: “Dear Arthur Alves Pereira: You were young & a foreigner but when it mattered most, you took to the dangerous skies to fight #genocide. Your heroic service saved a lot of lives in the #Dot. That’s your enduring legacy. RIP, sir!”