On May 30, 1967, a new nation was born. Fourteen million people had taken their destiny into their own hands and embarked on the task of building a nation free from fear, bitterness and hate. Their sole aim is to develop their innate capabilities and rear their children in an atmosphere of peace and security. They stretch their hands of fellowship to all nations and appeal for understanding, friendship and co-operation.
We, Biafrans, opted for self-determination after a long period of heart-searching and after making desperate efforts to save the federation of Nigeria from disintegration. More than any other people in the former federation, Biafrans contributed their human and material resources to the cause of national unity.
From 1914, when the British amalgamated Biafrans, Yorubas in the South & Hausa Fulani in the North into one entity called Nigeria. Biafran began to leave their homeland in large numbers to settle in several places among the Fulani-Hausa in the North and the Yuroba the West. In those areas they opened up new avenues of commerce and industry and at the same time built new homes and erected places of worship and institutions of learning. By so doing they came to acquire a real stake in the progress and well- being of ALL parts of the country. They regarded themselves as citizens of Nigeria to an extent that no other group in the country ever did.
opted for self-determination after a long period of heart-searching and after making desperate the Federation of disintegration. any other people former Federation, contributed their material resources of national unity. when the British Biafrans, Yorubas in Hausa Fulani in the one entity called Biafrans began to homeland in large settle in several the Fulani-Hausa and the Yoruba in those areas they
Wherever Biafrans sojourned, their industry, resourcefulness and drive marked them out from their neighbours. In the North particularly, the distinction was enhanced by religion; for while the majority of the Fulani-Hausa populations were Muslims the Biafrans were and still remain mostly Christians. In addition, the progress and dynamism of Biafrans contrasted with the tardiness and conservatism of their neighbours who were generally unable to achieve the same standards of efficiency and prosperity. The envy and animosity against Biafrans were manifested periodically, such as in the massacre of Biafrans by Northern Nigerians at Jos in 1945 and at Kano in 1953, which continues till date.
While Biafrans abroad were thrusting ahead and setting the pace for the economic development of Nigeria, those in Biafra land were diligently exploiting the human and material resources of their homeland. Their ready acceptance of modern ideas and techniques brought them to the forefront of economic and political activities. Democratic by tradition, they championed democratic ideals and at the same time advocated the concept of a united country. They resolutely opposed the reactionary ideas of the Fulani-Hausa ruling elite which controlled the North and dominated the Federal Government. They also resisted the vicious and unscrupulous methods by which the Northerners sought to perpetuate their hold on the political strings of Nigeria. It was largely this confrontation between the forces of progress, represented by Biafrans, and those of reaction, represented by the Fulani-Hausa which culminated in the Nigerian census crisis of 1963-64, the Federal election crisis of 1964 and the Western Nigeria election crisis of 1965 which brought the military to power in January 1966.
During the massacre of 29 May 1966, which was the reaction of the Fulani-Hausa to Unification Decree No. 34 of the Supreme Military Council, Biafrans were the sole victims and there was no discrimination with regard to their individual ethnic origin. The massacre of Biafran army officers and men by their Northern “comrades- in-arms” on 29 July 1966, and of Biafran civilians later, followed the same pattern: they were killed only because they were Biafrans. Those who survived the pogrom fled back to their homeland disillusioned and embittered.
Their investments in other parts of the Federation had been destroyed and those whom they held dear had been killed or maimed. The families in Biafra who received them back shared their grief, and hardly any family In Biafra escaped the loss of a member or the return of a destitute relative needing relief. The Northern Assailants showed no sign of remorse. On the contrary they were jubilant over the expulsion of the Biafrans in their midst. The Biafrans themselves would never think of going back to expose themselves to the risk of a repeat of their previous harrowing experience. Thus, the pogrom of 1966 resulted in an irreversible movement of population.
In spite of all they had suffered during earlier massacres and during the more recent pogrom, the people of Biafra sought no revenge but strove strenuously to find a peaceful solution which would keep Nigeria together. The Northerners, on the contrary, rejected every overture, ignored the implementation of agreements which had been mutually arrived at, and relied on their military occupation of Lagos and Western Nigeria to humiliate Biafrans even further.
Two of these agreements stand out clearly. As far back as 9 August 1966 representatives of the Military Governors and Lt. Col. Gowon agreed in Lagos that, inter alia “Immediate steps should be taken to post military personnel to barracks within their respective regions of origin”. It was generally recognized that tension would be reduced and Biafrans would have less fear of attending meetings elsewhere in Southern Nigeria if this measure was taken.
The implementation of this agreement was pressed on numerous occasions from August 1966 until the collapse of the Federation, but was totally ignored by the Northern “conquerors”. Again, after long persuasion, the military rulers of Northern Nigeria agreed to attend a conference at Aburi, Ghana, in January 1967. Far- reaching decisions aimed at restoring the Federation to normalcy were taken at this meeting. As is now well- known, the Northern military rulers at first repudiated the decisions as soon as they returned to Lagos but, following further persuasion both from within and outside Nigeria, proceeded to implement only a portion of the Aburi decisions. At the same time the Federal Government contrary to an Aburi decision stopped paying its staff serving in Biafra, and withheld the Biafran share of Federal revenues.
The protests of Biafrans against the attitude of the North were met with threats of military subjugation. The proposal that Nigerian military leaders should meet in the presence of named African heads of States was spurned. The stoppage of salaries of Biafrans in the Federal public Service and Corporations compelled the Government of Biafra to pay these salaries in addition to bearing the financial burden of rehabilitating other refugees and displaced persons. Then the Lagos Government continued to withhold the periodic payments and remittances from Federal funds due to the Government of Biafra, the Biafran Government was forced to take steps to stop the continued accumulation of debt by the Lagos Government by promulgating the Revenue Collection Edict. Thereafter, the Lagos Government mounted a blockade aimed at the economic strangulation of Biafra.
It is this calculated and systematic persecution of Biafrans in the former Federation of Nigeria that has driven us to seek justice and salvation in independence. Molested, taunted, hounded, murdered and finally driven away from other parts of Nigeria, Biafrans have been compelled to acknowledge that those associations with Hausa/Fulani is fraught with disaster. We have therefore taken up the challenge to our liberty and dedicated ourselves to the struggle for our survival.
But the federal government of Nigeria had not finished with the Biafrans. On July 6,1967, barely five weeks after Biafra’s declaration of independence, Nigeria declared a genocidal war against the people of Biafra. With the military and diplomatic backing of Britain, the former Soviet Union, Spain and other western countries and employing the most unconventional means of warfare including starvation, Nigeria had the upper hand after thirty months of intense combats. Biafra was left with no other choice but to surrender to Nigeria.
Despite the promise of “no victor no vanquished” declaration at the end of the war in January 1970, Biafrans have consistently and systematically been subjected to economic, political and social strangulation by the rest of Nigeria. The mindless killings of Biafrans which compelled Biafrans to seek their independence in 1967, have resumed with greater intensity. Gatherings of Biafrans and places of Christian worship in the Northern part of the country are regular targets of Islamic terror, spearheaded today by the Boko Haram. In 2013 Biafrans resident in the western part of Nigeria were subjected to mass deportations back to their homeland.
The one-hundred-year amalgamation contract for Nigeria ended on December 31, 2013. This means that the component parts of what was Nigeria can now go their different ways. Meanwhile, the ethnic cleansing against Biafrans in Nigeria has not abetted. For us, nothing short of the restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra will guarantee security to our lives, our liberty, and our God-given right to pursue happiness in order to make the world a better place.
In the following pages the reader will discover the real Biafra, a country which has through the ages undergone a political as well as an economic transformation resulting in the emergence of a virile and united nation that is capable of sustaining itself in the comity of nations.
The country, Biafra, is an almost rhomboid shaped territory which is demarcated to the west by the lower reaches of the River Niger and its Delta, to the East by the Obudu plateau and the Highlands of Oban and Ikom, to the south by the Bight of Biafra and to the North by an administrative boundary following, approximately, the 7 deg. N. latitude. The total area is over 29,400 square miles. Thus Biafra, almost as big as Gambia and Sierra Leone put together, is bigger than Togo or Rwanda and Burundi combined, and is four times the size of the
The territory is well watered throughout the year, lying to to a large extent in the basins of the Niger River, the Cross River, the Kwa River and the Imo River. Three quarters of these river basins are lowland less than 400 feet above sea-level. The well-known Niger delta which extends through two of the twenty provinces of Biafra, occupies about one-fifth of the lowland. North of the lowland the country rises gradually through open flat land to the Oban hills and Obudu plateau in the east and the Nsukka and Udi hills in the west. The Obudu plateau rises to over 6,300 feet and is one of the coolest and most delightful parts of West Africa. There are also beautiful uplands in the provinces of Okigwe, Orlu and Nsukka.
Biafra is wholly located within the tropics, being only a few degrees north of the equator. But the climate, although humid at some periods of the year, is on the whole not too hot. Average temperatures range between 70 deg. F and 90 deg. F, and average rainfall from about 60 inches in the north to about 140 inches in the Niger Delta. Like the rest of West Africa, the territory has two main seasons, namely rainy and dry seasons. The former generally begins towards the end of April but remains mild until the period June to September when the rains become heavy though intermittent. There is usually a short break in the rains during the first two weeks of August. The dry season which, in most parts of Biafra, lasts from November to March is characterized by relatively light rainfall. A prominent feature of this season is the dry, bracing Harmattan wind that blows from
territory is well-watered throughout the year, a large extent in the of the Niger River, River, the Kwa River Imo River. Three of these river basins lowland less than 400 sea-level. The well- Niger Delta which through two of the provinces of Biafra, about one-fifth lowland. North of the the country rises through open flat
the Sahara southwards between the months of December and February. The tropical climate of the country favours the growth of luxuriant vegetation. Mangrove forest covers a depth of between 10 and 40 miles of the coastal lowlands, including the Niger Delta. Beyond this belt is the rain forest which extends northwards for approximately 80 miles. In the few places where the forest is still virgin are to be found many species of giant and medium-size trees with a thick evergreen canopy of broad leaves which restrict the penetration of sunlight. Except in the forest reserves, which are located especially in parts of the Cross River basin, much of the rain forest has been cleared and is honeycombed with villages, farms and oil-palm groves. North of the rain forest, as far as the Northern boundary of Biafra, the vegetation thins out into rich grassland or Guinea Savannah which is characterized by tall grasses and medium size trees.
However, the new Biafra will include our brothers with whom we have strong historical, ancestral and cultural ties those who cherish peace and freedom. These include Anioma people (Ika Ibo) from Asaba to Igbanke, the Ijaws to the west of the River Niger, the Itshekiris and the Urhobos (Igabas). Others are the Idomas and the Igallas. These are our blood brothers whom Hausa/Fulani Yoruba deceived with their media propaganda so as to achieve their divide and rule, a system they learnt from their slave master Britain. Unfortunately for them we are wiser now. They can never divide us again for we now know whom our brothers are and who are our enemies.