Biafra is Africa’s first industrial power to liberate black Africans from subjugation and white imperialism
By Prince Eze Ugochukwu
17th November 2016
As we mourn the departure from this mother earth of the great legend himself, Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, a lot has been written about what he represents and the essence of his leadership. While many tend to see him as purely an Igbo leader, others have described him as dogged military tactician. For a legendary figure like Ojukwu, a clear-cut definition is more often than not difficult to arrive at. One thing that is undeniable is that Ojukwu is an icon.
The political, military and cultural aspects of the Ojukwu legend have dominated discussions since his demise. But in so doing, commentators have failed or ignored to truly and comprehensively define and capture the philosophy of his leadership of the Biafran nation, which can be defined as the total liberation of the black African spirit from subjugation. In his Ahiara declaration, Ojukwu went beyond the confines of the war between Nigeria and Biafra to postulate the African problem as a continent. Not only that, he admonished that the war is actually between the black race and our colonial masters.
He told Nigerians and Africans that the suppression of Easterners in the Nigerian project is a continuation of the denial of the African people as equal citizens of the world. Hear him, “Our struggle, in an even more fundamental sense, is the culmination of the confrontation between Negro nationalism and white imperialism. It is a movement designed to ensure the realization of man’s full stature in Africa”. Continuing he said, “Ever since the 15th century, the European world has treated the African continent as a field for exploitation. Their policies in Africa have for so long been determined to a great extent by their greed for economic gain.” From the above assertions, one can clearly see that Ojukwu was actually fighting the domination of the black race through their lackeys in Africa. After all, it was the same Europeans that were supplying and arming the Nigerian side as it where, with their weapons for the killing of blacks by fellow blacks.
Ojukwu saw clearly the amalgam of European colonial interest arrayed against Biafra as a means of economic exploitation. In advancing the weapons of war, the Europeans were making huge profits and at the same time killing the Igbo spirit of entrepreneurship. In the three years of Biafra’s existence, it challenged the industrial domination of the so called European powers through her advanced technological prowess.
For the first time in the history of black Africa, a nation arose and marched into the industrial and technological age without any European input. And that posed a serious threat to the western world domination and world view.
The crushing of Biafra, for the first time brought the entire white race into co-operation irrespective of their capitalist and communist bent. This is because Biafra was self-sustaining in everything from armaments manufacturing, petroleum refining, agricultural self-sufficiency, aircraft and missiles.
In fact, the success of Biafra would have signaled the eventual liberation of black Africa from the clutches of neo-colonial domination and exploitation. The Biafra industrial and technological breakthrough includes the production of arms and ammunition including missiles, manufacture of aircraft and fighter jets, indigenous refining of petroleum products, production of ethanol from sugar cane and an agrarian agricultural food program to sustain her citizens despite the declaration by Nigerian policy makers that starvation is a weapon of war.
The Biafra nationalism is truly an African nationalism. Today black Africa is swimming in the ocean of poverty and backwardness. All the oil giants of the West from Shell to Mobil have dominated that sector without any local content throughout Africa, while Biafra refined her crude oil and introduced ethanol fuel, Nigeria the so-called giant of Africa cannot even maintain her existing foreign built refineries let alone build one herself. The Nigeria defense industry is still epileptic and many years behind what was achieved in Biafra despite billions of dollars invested in it. We can go on and on.
Look at Nigeria today and what we have lost as a nation by our failure to comprehend Ojukwu’s libration philosophy after the war. The monumental corruption, brain drain, capital flight and under-development which we now witness in Nigeria would have been avoided if the winning Nigerian side had retained, adapted and inculcated the war time achievements of Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu. What a shame. For the core Igbo States or South East States, the indictment is more damming.
For a people bequeathed with such technological and industrial advancement, their inability to close ranks and salvage their people since after the war cannot be forgiven. Even if the federal government of Nigeria refused to act, why is it that these states cannot come together to banish poverty in their land? Why is it they cannot pull resources together to develop their energy endowment using the available coal resources.
Why is it they cannot resuscitate the co-operative farms and plantations scattered all over Igboland and thereby create an export market. Why have they not rallied together to push for a working international airport in the South East. Is it impossible for them to provide a modern rail system to evacuate goods and people? The death of Ojukwu is actually a wakeup call.
Today, South East politicians are jumping up and down pouring encomiums and eulogies on Ojukwu. This is the same people that failed to learn any single lesson from his philosophy. The same politicians who refused to come together and take a holistic view on how to industrialize Igboland, are now gunning to bury Ojukwu. What they forgot is that the colossus called Ojukwu became larger than life as a result of his selfless service to his people and the black race as a whole. Cry our beloved Biafra . Cry our beloved Nigeria. Cry the black African race.
Adieu Odimegwu Ojukwu.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AS BIAFRA: THE FIRST AFRICAN INDUSTRIAL POWER ON NOVEMBER 27, 2015 BY DURUEBUBE