Immediately after his final degree exams, and while awaiting his results, he returned to teaching. His first teaching job was at the National Grammar School, Nike, where he was the head of the science department. He later took up a teaching position at the Apostolic Christian Grammar School, Aba. His family later joined him at Aba, where their third child Ijeoma (NwaAba, as she was also called) was born on the 1st of April 1967, three months before the Nigerian civil war broke out on 6th July, 1967. Undeterred by the widespread instability and uncertainty in the air, he continued to teach at the school until September 1968 when Aba fell to the heavy artillery and air bombardments of the federal forces. His residential quarters were soon bombed by enemy war planes, but they survived unhurt.

He then moved his family and their belongings to the residence of the school principal and fled back to his home town Ozara, where life was no less precarious. Within a few weeks,  the Biafran capital Enugu, a few miles to the north, fell to the superior firepower of the federal troops in October 1968, and Ozara soon after. All of a sudden, Peter and his family found themselves in “enemy” territory, on the federal side of the war, with his family home destroyed by the Nigerian forces.

With the fall and occupation of Four Corners and most of Ozara, Peter fled with his family first to his in-laws’ place at Umuaniegu, and thence, like most kin groups in Ozara, to Iyiozo, near Egu Obodo, an isolated natural haven concealed by the dense forests at the southeastern borders with Agbogugu. Some took refuge at Njakwa, also in the same axis (while those at Ozara Ugwu fled mostly to Ituku). All this while, he took along some relatives – the family of Okoronkwo Nze (the widow and two children) and his nephew Edozie. Like other folks, they lived in thatched tents and huts and depended on whatever edibles were offered by the pristine environment. One day, little Ben escaped death by the whiskers when the spot where he sat was hit by a bullet, just seconds after he had toddled away. In panic, Peter’s mother trekked through the bush paths to her land of birth at Umuiba-Obuofia, passing across Umuikowo-Obe.

There, she was surprised to meet a normal life totally different from the chaotic war situation elsewhere. The women of Obuofia were still making clay pots for sale while the men went to the farms seemingly unperturbed. It was said that some men of Obuofia who were business associates of Hausa traders had used their connections to keep federal troops at bay. However, a more plausible explanation was that after capturing Enugu, the federal troops invaded Udi from where they attacked Ozara and thenceforth marched down to Agbani, the divisional headquarters, cutting off most of Awkunanaw, which did not feature much in their combat strategy, the entire area now securely under the federal army control. Whatever the case, Peter’s mother quickly returned and took her family to Obuofia by the same route. At Obuofia they were well received by his maternal uncle, Chief Nnaji Ani Nnaji, a prominent figure in his clan. They melted into their host environment as the gallant but ill-equipped Biafran military continually lost ground and the hostilities dwindled to a forlorn end.

Peter was shaken by the atrocities of the federal troops and the accompanying humanitarian disasters during the civil war. His move to enlist in the Biafran army had been vehemently resisted by his doting mother who had considerable hold on him. As the only son in a polygamous setting, Peter meant the whole world to her. She was said to have forbidden Peter to join the army and somehow secured his compliance. Peter was constantly tuned to the BBC Radio from where he obtained more realistic accounts of the war situation which dispirited him. Now on the federal side by default, Peter kept a low profile at Obuofia where he strove to evade the attention of the prowling Nigerian troops, sometimes disguising himself.

Meanwhile, after the fall of Enugu, Peter’s name reportedly featured in the list of those wanted by the federal authorities. At that time, folks at home feared they had been penciled down for execution, not knowing the Nigerians were looking for qualified people to run the administration. By then the war was dragging to an end as the federal forces increasingly overran Biafra. A number of Ozara people were involved in the administration; the likes of Gabriel Nnaji and Donatus Udeigwe were in the refugees and relief materials department, from where they assisted many people at home.

Peter was eventually conscripted to work in the fledgling Ukpabi Asika administration, this time at the Ministry of Education in Enugu where he took a position in the top cadre as a director. According to his friend Chief Mathias Onovo, he was Commissioner II in the school board, next to one Mr. Molokwu who was Commissioner I.

By this time in 1969, his family was still at Obuofia, as Ozara was still under heavy military occupation. His wife had become pregnant at Obuofia from where she attended ante-natal clinic at the Umueze refugee camp. She was detained at the maternity in Umueze when the white Red Cross health workers observed that she was pregnant with twins. At that time, twins were still tabooed in Obuofia and the Red Cross medics feared they would be killed. It was said that some Obuoffia natives were already anticipating and planing the sacrifice of the Nwomeh twins. He named one twin, Eddy, Ndubuisi – life is paramount. After the harrowing life his family had endured as refugees during the war, this child would be a source of hope and strength, a reminder that his family continued to find God’s favor, even as danger lurked around everywhere. He named the other twin, Dan, Osondu (Osondu agwu ike – meaning, one is never tired of running to safety).

Thousands had been slaughtered during the pogroms in the North, and more than a million had already perished in the war. His family was among those lucky to have survived so far, yet the war raged on and now his newborn twins were in mortal danger. Osondu was a reminder of the never-ending duty he felt, to secure his family away from danger. Once again, he prepared to flee.

Soon after the twins were born, Peter took his family from Umueze to Four Corners, where his kinsman Chief Nwachukwu Ekenta held sway as the “Sarkin” (Hausa word for king) recognized by the occupying Hausa-speaking Nigerian troops. With all dwellings in ruins from the devastations of the war, Peter and his family could only find temporary accommodation at the Teachers Quarters at St. Paul’s, where his old friend, Mr. Ogbodo of Akegbe had been the headmaster before the war.

Whatever the situation, he was happy his family was back in Ozara, which was now more peaceful under federal occupation. Their days as refugees were behind them. They were there for about two months, and then relocated to Enugu.