A historical Gyroscope
You are here at this website by accident, or by design. If the latter, then it is especially imperative that we reach you. You have been, or will be, exposed to all manner of information, misinformation and disinformation on your search for Igbo-Biafra artifacts. WE must therefore leave you here with essential landmarks for purposes of your orientation on your search-trip.
1) Biafra is a matter of survival—the survival of a people, the Igbo Nation. The threat to Biafra comes from Nigeria: the politics of “one Nigeria,” and the people of Nigeria, most especially the Hausa-Fulani of Northern Nigeria.
2) The Biafran War of 1967-70 was a war of survival for Biafra from the Biafran side, and a war of genocide from the Nigerian side—genocide by Nigeria against the Biafran Nation.
3) While the war of 1967 appears to have been lost by Biafrans, the fact that Biafra and Biafrans are still alive today attests to the success of survival against all odds.
4) Since the threat to the survival of Biafra still exists even today, in the year 2011, just as ominously as it did in the 1960’s, Biafra will continue to act to liberate herself and her people from the murderous clutches of “one Nigeria.”
5) The war of survival will necessarily involve several skirmishes over time and space. It ends with the elimination of, or full protection from, the threat; or the total demise of such oppressed. We Biafrans have no intention of becoming extinct at the hands of Nigeria. We shall assure our victory and the end of the threat to our survival by actualizing a Sovereign Independent Nation of Biafra.
Here are some historical facts you ought to know about:
a) Igbo-Biafrans have been cyclically murdered in Northern Nigeria by Hausa-Fulani in well-organized, State-sponsored genocidal pogroms since mid-1940’s. As of the time of this writing, this has continued, the most notorious being right after the unfortunate September 11 2001 terrorist attack against the US. The Muslim Hausa-Fulani in Northern Nigeria vented their anger over US retaliatory strike (against Al Qaeda and bin Laden in Afghanistan) on Igbo-Biafrans and other Christians living in Northern Nigeria: imagine that! Prior to that, Igbo-Biafrans were massacred in Kaduna, then, Kano, and later, Jos, since the year 2000. That is why and how we understand and know that the threat to Igbo-Biafra survival in one Nigeria is ongoing.
b) The Biafran war was not started by Igbo-Biafra. The near-immediate events started in Yorubaland in Western Nigeria with internecine warring among political factions, so savage as to be called “the Wild, wild, West” of Nigeria, in mid 1960’s, climaxing in 1965. Igbo-Biafrans were not even involved.
I. The effect of the Wild, wild West was to destabilize and paralyze the country known as Nigeria to the extent that the civilian government and the people of Nigeria found welcome relief in the form of a Military coup in early1966.
II. It is true that that first coup was led by an Igbo Officer, and that there were more Igbo coupists than from any other ethnic group in Nigeria.
III. It is equally true that the Coup was frustrated into failure by Igbo officers, notably, Ojukwu, stationed then in Northern Nigeria (and we will return to him later) and Ironsi, stationed in Lagos area.
IV. We now also know that the objective of that first so-called Igbo coup was to release Awolowo from jail and install him as the Leader of Nigeria. Awolowo was a famous Yoruba political leader, one of the combatants in the Wild, wild West. So, there was no intention of installing an Igbo-lead government by the Igbo-led coupists.
V. It is a fact that the leading crop of Northern Nigerian politicians were murdered in this first coup, while many of the Igbo leaders managed to escape. History will show that the escape of the latter was not the result of “being spared,” as much as it was fortuitous and/or circumstantial—but you be the judge.
VI. And, while the coupists had in mind to install a Yoruba leader over Nigeria, the failure of the coup resulted in the Military choosing the highest ranking Nigerian officer—then, Ironsi, to be the leader of the junta. Ironsi is an Igboman.
c) Then, the orgy of singling out and killing of Igbo-Biafran civilians living in Northern Nigeria went full swing (May,1966), as a response to the Ironsi military government’s plan to centralize power. Tens of thousands of Igbos were murdered as such in Northern Nigeria by the Hausa-Fulani. The stories and experiences were macabre. Their property was destroyed. The few who managed to escape limped back to Eastern Nigeria, the then home of the Igbo and other Eastern ethnic groups. Igbos were no longer safe in any other parts of Nigeria.
d) The Biafran War would still not be started—not just yet. In July 1966 Northern Nigerian Military Officers then staged a retaliatory coup; although resisted and frustrated once again, by Ojukwu, now in Eastern Nigeria, that was not enough to stop them from taking over power and murdering Ironsi; and Fajuyi, a ranking Yoruba officer. Another orgy of killing, an avowed retaliation against the Igbo, this time, of many of the high-ranking Igbo Officers in the military, in cold blood, occurred, by the second coupists, during and after the coup.
e) The first public pronouncement of Gowon, the leader of the new coupists, was that there was no basis for Nigerian Unity.
f) Forced back to their homeland, and realizing how much they were hated in other parts of Nigeria, the Igbos as a nation felt the threat of annihilation. But, the latter did not sink in until after a second wave of genocide by the Northerners in July 1966. The Ironsi military government of Nigeria had asked the Igbos to go back to the North to refill the vacuum they had left, and Ojukwu, now the military governor of Eastern Nigeria, had pleaded with the Igbos to go back to their previous stations in other parts of Nigeria. With Ironsi now felled by the second coupists, and Gowon and his cabal feasting on the blood of Igbo Military Officers, the Hausa-Fulani civilians were only too keen to do what had become a pleasing but gruesome tradition for them: the mass-killing of Igbo people living in Northern Nigeria. The senseless second wave of massacre of the Igbo by the Hausa-Fulani in Northern Nigeria was totally morally devastating.
g) Gowon, whose first statement on usurping power, was that there was no basis for Nigeria unity, changed his mind and wanted to centralize the government of Nigeria—going against exactly the primary excuse he had rationalized for his coup and the killing of Ironsi. He was now going to force the Igbos to remain in Nigeria, never mind that he and his coupists, in their retaliatory coup, had murdered all Igbo military officers they could lay their hands on, and had encouraged the ethnic cleansing exercise of the Igbo from Northern Nigeria. Gowon, whose Nigerian military government had failed to protect the Igbo (actually, made no effort to protect the Igbo, but in fact played an enabling role in the July 1966 genocide against the Igbo by the Hausa-Fulani), was now going to force the Igbo to remain in one Nigeria. Imagine that!
h) You will read of Aburi. Ojukwu worked hard to keep the Eastern region in Nigeria. The only way to keep Eastern Nigeria safe in Nigeria was through regional autonomy. In fact, the Military junta had by now accepted the fact that regionalization was the best way to keep the country as one. But Gowon refused. A summit was finally hosted by the Ghanaian President in Aburi, Ghana, in 1967 during which the Nigerian parties agreed on decentralization and regional autonomy. Gowon was there, and was party to the agreement. However, once back to Nigeria, within a few days, he did an about-face and reneged on the agreement they all reached in Aburi
i) What would you do if you were an Easterner? What would you do if you were Igbo? You were not safe in any other part of the country—the government did everything it could to ensure that you are not safe. You could not control your own affairs in your own little corner of the country—the military government of Nigeria would not let you.
j) Eastern Nigeria was struggling for its survival, and prepared for secession.
k) Gowon pre-empted with a political maneuver to break up Eastern Nigeria by creating and carving up the region into states, and isolating the Igbo.
l) Biafra therefore seceded from Nigeria in 1967.
Many writers try to re-write history. You have the facts above. They are all verifiable. Below is more information based on facts.
Some have tried really hard to blame Biafra secession on Ojukwu. Others now refer to him as a warlord, having tired of smearing him with “rebel leader.” What sheer ignorance and blindness! Whatever Ojukwu’s faults were / are, nobody could accuse him of being a secession-monger or war-monger. There are no more patriotic Nigerians than Ojukwu. Ojukwu foiled the first coup IN 1966. In so doing, he remained true to his sworn duty in the defense of Nigeria and her constitution. Then, the same Ojukwu spoiled the second coup LATER IN 1966, but only with limited success. Once again, he demonstrated his commitment to his duty to preserve Nigeria. After the second coupists successfully took over the control of the government of Nigeria, it was this same Ojukwu who demanded that the highest-ranking military officer, then a Yorubaman, should be the head of the junta / government, in proper military tradition, much to the irritation of Gowon.
And, under Ironsi, Ojukwu pleaded with already once-wounded Igbo people to return to other parts of Nigeria, and was instrumental in that fateful decision by those who actually went back—all because of Ojukwu’s loyalty to one Nigeria, and his willingness to give Nigeria another chance. That was a deadly chance, as many of those Igbos who went back were killed and or wounded again. Yet, Ojukwu was willing to try again—this time, in Aburi (1967)—to forge a relationship that would preserve Nigeria while protecting the Igbo and the other Eastern Nigerians, the latter being a job which was the complete opposite of what the Federal Nigerian government was doing.
Who reneged on the Aburi agreement? It was not Ojukwu.
Please, then, tell me: how is it that Ojukwu has been stuck with these ignorant labels? You be the judge.
Another foolish notion by foolish persons is that the Biafran War was about Resource Control, meaning, the control of Crude Oil Resources in the East. This is pure nonsense—unless you want to say now that “the Wild, wild West” had anything to do with Eastern Crude Oil.
There is also an inane title of a speech made by Gowon at the end of the Biafran war: “No victors no vanquished.” It should come as no surprise to anybody reading the above account that the exact opposite happened to Biafrans in Nigeria after the war. Since when can you trust Gowon to do what he says or what he has agreed on?
Gowon was later to run Nigeria into the ground from sheer incompetence, paving the way and the example for uneducated, illiterate, unscrupulous and uncouth mostly Northern Nigerian military officers and occasional Northern civilian to rape Nigeria and steal the country dry. This is all history: the facts are all there.
Today, (2002) Obasanjo, the Military officer who then received the instrument of surrender from Biafra in 1970, and who is now the bumbling President of Nigeria, treats Biafra as his war booty, and non-Biafrans are more than willing to award him the prize of Biafra. Truth be known, Obasanjo did not defeat Biafra. It was the combined forces of Britain, Russia, Egypt, Czechoslovakia—and we are not speaking of just mercenaries—that defeated Biafra. The US, by claiming neutrality, and not even raising a moral voice against this ganging-up against a nation struggling for its survival, played an enabling role. (De-classified CIA documents in the public domain are available to confirm this.) Contributing in no small measure to the defeat of Biafra were Biafran saboteurs. So, Obasanjo has a vain glory and an empty boast when it comes to Biafra. He was reminded of that by Igbo youths who once again were attacked by Northern Nigerian Hausa-Fulani in the North, just last year. Although embattled, wounded, but gallant and courageous, the undeterred Igbo youth defiantly shouted to Obasanjo, who was inspecting the carnage that his government could not or would not prevent: Give us Biafra!
Finally, the conditions that led to the Biafran War in 1967 are still present today, and are getting worse. Once again, the Igbos have been killed en masse repeatedly in Northern Nigeria by the Hausa-Fulani. Internecine murders similar to those which led to the Wild, wild West in the mid 60’s are happening again in Yorubaland, the Justice Minister and Attorney General of the Federal Government of Nigeria being the latest victim. The corruption of the government drips like pus from the highest post where Obasanjo, the President, sneaked in an odious self-serving clause before signing the electoral bill; thought that he could get away with it, then blamed it on other politicians when caught. The gross insult and marginalization of Igbo-Biafrans by this government continues unabated.
The most ominous development that has confirmed that Nigeria is no longer viable as a country is the introduction of strict Sharia Muslim law in most Northern Nigerian States in such a way as to turn what should be secular State governments into (Muslim) religious States. These States then cannot be separated from the sponsorship of, and responsibility for the terrorism unleashed by extremist Muslims in the name of Sharia, usually against non-Muslim Nigerians, but especially against the Igbo living in those states. The government of Nigeria under Obasanjo is unable or unwilling to challenge or check Sharia, and is just plain prostrate. Where terrorism departs, the cruelty and inhumanity of Sharia-prescribed punishment take over, shocking non-Muslim Nigerians (and the world at large, for that matter) into asking the question: Do I want to belong to the same country as the Shariarists?
Sharia has made the breakup of Nigeria irrevocable and irreversible; Nigeria is irredeemable. This is the final nail in the coffin, as they say, of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, even though the Federal Government of Nigeria steals all the Oil money which by all accounts should make Nigeria a rich country, none of that trickles down to the people, with the result that Nigeria is listed as one of the poorest countries in the world. And, by embarking on an unabashed policy of Igbo-Biafra suppression and marginalization, Nigeria is deprived of the intellect and industry of Biafrans, resulting in the ineptness of Nigeria in every meaningful aspect of socio-politico-economic endeavor and progress.
Biafra lives. Actualization is a matter of time. Time is on the side of the oppressed. God is on the side of the oppressed.
We hope that the above will serve as a gyroscope to stabilize your mind and thoughts in your search for information on Biafra. In time, you can get this information directly from the Sovereign Independent Nation of Biafra. But for now, judge each piece of information by how accurately it depicts the historical events and facts above.