The Principles Of the Biafran Revolution Known As The Ahiara Declaration

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INTRODUCTION

PROUD AND COURAGEOUS BIAFRANS,
FELLOW COUNTRY MEN AND WOMEN,

I salute you. Today, as I look back over our two years as a sovereign and independent nation, I am overwhelmed with the feeling of pride and satisfaction in our performance and achievement as a people. Our indomitable will, our courage, our endurance of the severest privations, our resourcefulness and inventiveness in the face of tremendous odds and dangers, have become proverbial in a world so bereft of heroism, and have become a source of frustration to Nigeria and her foreign masters. For this and for the many miracles of our time, let us give thanks to Almighty God. I congratulate all Biafrans at home and abroad. I thank you all the part you have played and have continued to play in this struggle, for your devotion to the high ideals and principles on which this Republic was founded.
I thank you for your absolute commitment to the cause for which our youth are making daily, the supreme sacrifice, and a cause for which we all have been dispossessed, blockaded, bombarded, starved and massacred. I salute you for your tenacity of purpose and amazing steadfastness under siege.
I salute the memory of the many patriots who have laid down their lives in defence of our Fatherland. I salute the memory of all Biafrans - men, women and children - who died victims of the Nigerian crime of genocide. We shall never forget them. Please God, their sacrifice shall not be in vain. For the dead on the other side of this conflict, may their souls rest in peace. To our friends and well-wishers, to the growing band of men and women around the world who have, in spite of the vile propaganda mounted against us, identified themselves with the justice of our cause, in particular to our courageous friends, officers and staff of the Relief Agencies and humanitarian organisations, pilots who daily offer themselves in sacrifice that our people might be saved; to Governments, in particular Tanzania, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Zambia and Haiti. I give my warmest thanks and those of our entire people.

THE STRUGGLE
Fellow country men and women, for nearly two years we have been engaged in a war which threatens our people with total destruction. Our enemy has been unrelenting in his fury and has fought our defenceless people with a vast array of military hardware of a sophistication unknown to Africa. For two years we have withstood his assaults with nothing other than our stout hearts and bare hands. We have frustrated his diabolical intentions and have beaten his wicked mentors in their calculations and innovations. Shamelessly, our enemy has moved from deadline to deadline, seeking excuses justifying his failures to an ever credulous world. Today, I am happy and proud to report that, all the odds notwithstanding, the enemy, at great cost in lives and equipment, is nowhere near to his avowed objective.
In the Onitsha sector of the war, our gallant forces have kept the enemy confined in the town which they entered 15 months ago. Despite the fact that this sector has great strategic attraction for the vandal hordes, being a gate-way, as it is, to the now famous jungle strip of Biafra, and the scene of the bloodiest encounters of this war, it is significant that the enemy has made no gains throughout this long period.
In the Awka sector of the war, the story remains the same. The enemy is confined only to the highway between Enugu and Onitsha, not venturing north or south of that road.
In the Okigwe sector, from where the enemy made the thrust that brought him into Umuahia, the situation remains unchanged, with our troops making the entire enemy route from Okigwe to Umuahia no joy ride. In Umuahia town itself, fighting has continued in the township.
In the Ikot Ekpene, Azumini and Aba sectors of the war, the vandals, whilst maintaining their positions in Ikot Ekpene and Aba with our troops surrounding them, have continued to suffer heavy casualties in their attempt to hold firmly on to Azumini.

We now come to the Owerri/Port Harcourt sector. After the clearing of Owerri township and our rapid move towards Port Harcourt, our gallant forces are holding positions in Eleele town, in the outskirts of Igirita and forward of Omoku.

Across the Niger, the successes of our troops have been maintained despite numerous enemy counter-attacks. Our Navy has continued to support all operations along the Niger with good results. Our guerrillas have continued their magnificent work of harassing the enemy and giving him no respite on our soil. I salute them all.

In the air, the Biafran Air Force has made a most dramatic re-entry into the war, and in a brilliant series of raids has all but paralyzed the Nigerian Air Force. In four days’ operations, eleven operational planes of the enemy were put of action, three control towers in Port Harcourt, Enugu and Benin were set ablaze, the Airport building in Enugu, and the numerous gun positions were knocked out. The refinery in Port Harcourt was set on fire. And, more recently, three days ago, the Ughelli Power Station was put out of action. The brilliance of this performance, the precision of the strike, the genius of target selection, have left Nigeria in a daze and her friends bewildered. Another way of looking at this is that in four days of operation, the Biafran Air Force has destroyed more military targets than what the Nigerian Air Force has been able to do for two years.

In cost, probably twice what the Nigerian air raids have cost us in military equipment and installations. The only superiority left in the record of achievement of the Nigerian Air Force is the number of civilians and civilian targets their cowardly raids have destroyed. Proud Biafrans, I have kept my promise.

Diplomatically, our friends have increased and have remained steadfast to our cause; and despite the rantings of our detractors, indications are that their support will continue.
At home, our sufferings have continued. Scarcity and want have remained our companions. Yet, with fortitude, we seem to have overcome th once imminent danger of mass starvation and can now look forward to a period after the rains of comparative plenty. Our efforts in the Land Army programme give visible signs all over our land of imminent victory in the war against want.

Fellow countrymen and women, the signs are auspicious, the future fills us with less foreboding. I am confident. With the initiative in war now in our own hands, we have turned the last bend in our race to self-realisation and are now set on the home straight in this our struggle. We must not flag. The tape is in sight. What we need now is a final burst of speed to breast the tape and secure the victory which will ensure for us, for all time, glory and honour, peace and progress.

Fellow compatriots, today, being our Thanksgiving Day, it is most appropriate that we pause awhile to take stock, to consider our past, our successes notwithstanding; to consider our future, our aspirations and our fears. For two long years we have been locked in mortal combat with an enemy unequalled in viciousness; for two long years, defenceless and weak, we have withstood without respite the concerted assault of a determined foe. We have fought alone, we have fought with honour, we have fought in the highest traditions of christian civilization. Yet, the very custodians of this civilization and our one-time mentors, are the very self-same monsters who have vowed to devour us.

Fellow Biafrans, I have for a long time thought about this our predicament - the attitude of the civilized world to this our conflict. The more I think about it the more I am convinced that our disability is racial. The root cause of our problem lies in the fact that we are black. If all the things that have happened to us had happened to another people who are not black, if other people who are not black had reacted in the way our people have reacted these two long years, the world’s response would surely have been different.

In 1966, some 50,000 of us were slaughtered like cattle in Nigeria. In the course of this war, well over one million of us have been killed; yet the world is unimpressed and looks on in indifference. Last year, some blood-thirsty Nigerian troops for sport murdered the entire male population of a village. All the world did was to indulge in an academic argument whether the number was in hundreds or in thousands. Today, because a handful of white men collaborating with the enemy, fighting side by side with the enemy, were caught by our gallant troops, the entire world threatens to stop. For 18 white men, Europe is aroused. What have they said about our millions? 18 white men assisting the crime of genocide! What does Europe say about our murdered innocents? Have we not died enough? How many black dead make one missing white? Mathematicians, please answer me. Is it infinity?

Take another example. For two years we have been subjected to a total blockade. We all know how bitter, bloody and protracted the First and Second World Wars were. At no stage in those wars did the white belligerents carry out a total blockade of their fellow whites. In each case where a blockade was imposed, allowance was made for certain basic necessities of life in the interest of women, children and other non-combatants. Ours is the only example in recent history where a whole people have been so treated. What is it that makes our case different? Do we not have women, children and other non-combatants? Does the fact that they are black women, black children and black non-combatants make such a world of difference?

Nigeria embarked on a crime of genocide against our people by first mounting a total blockade against Biafra. To cover up their designs and deceive the black world, the white powers supporting Nigeria blame Biafrans for the continuation of the blockade and for the starvation and suffering which that entails. They uphold Nigerian proposals on relief which in any case they helped to formulate, as being “conciliatory” or “satisfactory” . Knowing that these proposals would give Nigeria further military advantage, and compromise the basic cause for which we have struggled for two years, they turn round to condemn us for rejecting them. They accepted the total blockade against us as a legitimate weapon of war because it suits them and because we are black. Had we been white the inhuman and cruel blockade would long have been lifted.

The mass deaths of our citizens resulting from starvation and indiscriminate air raids and large despoliation of towns and villages are a mere continuation of this crime. That Nigeria has received complete support from Britain should surprise no one. For Britain is a country whose history is replete with instances of genocide.

In my address to you on the occasion of the first anniversary of our independence, I touched on a number of issues relevant to our struggle and to our hope for a prosperous, just and happy society. I talked to you of the background to our struggle and on the visions and values which inspired us to found our own State.

THE MYTH ABOUT THE NEGRO
On this occasion of our second anniversary, I shall go further in the examination of the meaning and import of our revolution by discussing the wider issues involved and the character and structure of the new society we are determined and committed to build. Our enemies and their foreign sponsors have deliberately sought by false and ill-motivated propaganda to becloud the real issues which caused and still determine the course and character of our struggle. They have sought in various ways to dismiss our struggle as a tribal conflict. They have attributed it to the mad adventurism of a fictitious power-seeking clique anxious to carve out an empire to rule, dominate and exploit. But they have failed. Our cause is transparently just and no amount of propaganda can detract from it.
Our struggle has far-reaching significance. It is the latest recrudescence in our time of the age-old struggle of the black man for his full stature as man. We are the latest victims of a wicked collusion between the three traditional scourges of the black man - racism, Arab-Muslim expansionism and white economic imperialism. Playing a subsidiary role is Bolshevik Russia seeking for a place in the African sun. Our struggle is a total and vehement rejection of all those evils which blighted Nigeria, evils which were bound to lead to the disintegration of that ill-fated federation. Our struggle is not a mere resistance - that would be purely negative. It is a positive commitment to build a healthy, dynamic and progressive state, such as would be the pride of black men the world over.

For this reason, our struggle is a movement against racial prejudice, in particular against that tendency to regard the black man as culturally, morally, spiritually, intellectually, and physically inferior to the other two major races of the world - the yellow and the white races. This belief in the innate inferiority of the Negro and that his proper place in the world is that of the servant of the other races, has from early days coloured the attitude of the outside world to Negro problems. It still does today.

Not so long ago the fashion was to question the humanity of the Negro. Some white theorists attributed the creation to the Devil, others even identified the Devil as the first Negro. Later they derived the Negro from the accursed progeny of Ham. Nearer to us still in time, it became a topic for serious debate in learned circles in Europe whether the Negro was in fact a man; whether he had a soul; and if he had a soul, whether conversion to christianity could make any difference to his spiritual condition and destination. By the nineteenth century it had been reluctantly conceded that the Negro is in fact human, but a different kind of man, certainly not the same kind of man as the white. Pseudo-intellectual s went to work to prove that the Negro was a different kind of man from the white. They uncovered the abundant so-called anthropological evidence from archaelogy which “proved” to them conclusively that the Negro was no more the same kind of man as the European than a rat was a rabbit.
It is this myth about the Negro that still conditions the thinking and attitude of most white governments on all issues concerning black Africa and the black man; it explains the double standards which they apply to present-day world problems; it explains their stand on the whole question of independence and basic human rights for the black peoples of the world. These myths explain the stand of many of the world governments and organisations on our present struggle.

Our disagreement with the Nigerians arose in part from a conflict between two diametrically opposed conceptions of the end and purpose of the modern African state. It was, and still is, our firm conviction that a modern Negro African government worth the trust placed in it by the people, must build a progressive state that ensures the reign of social and economic justice, and of the rule of law. But the Nigerians, under the leadership of the Hausa-Fulani feudal aristocracy preferred anarchy and injustice.

Since in the thinking of many white powers a good, progressive and efficient government is good only for whites, our view was considered dangerous and pernicious: a point of view which explains but does not justify the blind support which these powers have given to uphold the Nigerian ideal of a corrupt, decadent and putrefying society. To them genocide is an appropriate answer to any group of black people who have the temerity to attempt to evolve their own social system.

When the Nigerians violated our basic human rights and liberties, we decided reluctantly but bravely to found our own state, to exercise our inalienable right to self-determination as our only remaining hope for survival as a people. Yet, because we are black, we are denied by the white powers the exercise of this right which they themselves have proclaimed inalienable. In our struggle we have learnt that the right of self-determination is inalienable, but only to the white man.

SELF-DETERMINATION
The right to self-determination was good for the Greeks in 1822, for the Belgians in 1830, and for the Central and Eastern Europeans and the Irish at the end of the First World War. Yet it is not good for Biafrans because we are black. When blacks claim that right, they are warned against dangers trumped up by the imperialists - “fragmentation” and “Balkanization” , as if the trouble with the Balkans is the result of the application of the principle of self-determination. Were the Balkans a healthier place before they emerged from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire? Those who sustained the Ottoman Empire considered it a European necessity, for its Eastern European provinces stood as a buffer between two ambitious and mutually antagonistic empires - the Russian and the Austrian. For the peace and repose of Europe, it therefore became a major cncern of European statesmen to preserve the integrity of that empire. But when it was discovered that Ottoman rule was not only corrupt, oppressive and unprogressive, but also stubbornly irreformable, the happiness and well-being of its white populations came to be considered paramount. So by 1918 the integrity of that ancient and sprawling empire had been sacrificed to the well-being of the Eastern Europeans. Fellow Biafrans, that was in the white world.

But what do we find here in Negro Africa? The Federation of Nigeria is today as corrupt, as unprogressive and as oppressive and irreformable as the Ottoman Empire was in Eastern Europe over a century ago. And in contrast, the Nigerian Federation in the form it was constituted by the British cannot by any stretch of imagination be considered an African necessity. Yet we are being forced to sacrifice our very existence as a people to the integrity of that ramshackle creation that has no justification either in history or in the freely expressed wishes of the people. What other reason for this can there be than the fact that we are black?
In 1966, 50,000 Biafrans - men, women and children - were massacred in cold blood in Nigeria. Since July 6, 1967, hundreds of Biafrans have been killed daily by shelling, bombing, strafing and starvation advised, organised and supervised by Anglo-Saxon Britain. None of these atrocities has raised enough stir in many European capitals. But on the few occasions when a single white man died in Africa, even where he was a convicted bandit like the notorious case in the Congo, all the diplomatic chanceries of the world have been astir.; the whole world has been shaken to its very foundations by the din of protest against the alleged atrocity and by the clamour for vengeance. This was the case when the Nigerian vandals turned their British-supplied rifles on white Red Cross workers in Okigwe. Recently this has been the case with the reported disappearance of some white oil technicians in the Republic of Benin. But when we are massacred in thousands, nobody cares, because we are black.

Fellow countrymen and women, the fact is that in spite of their open protestations to the contrary, the white peoples of the world are still far from accepting that what is good for them can also be good for blacks. The day they make this basic concession that day will the non-Anglo-Saxon nations tell Britain to her face that she is guilty of genocide against us; that day will they call a halt to this monstrous war.

Because the black man is considered inferior and servile to the white, he must accept his political, social and economic system and ideologies ready made from Europe, America or the Soviet Union. Within the confines of his nation he must accept a federation or confederation or unitary government if federation or confederation or unitary government suits the interests of his white masters; he must accept inept and unimaginative leadership because the contrary would hurt the interests of the master race; he must accept economic exploitation by alien commercial firms and companies because the whites benefit from it. Beyond the confines of his state, he must accept regional and continental organisations which provide a front for the manipulation of the imperialist powers; organisations which are therefore unable to respond to African problems in a truly African manner. For Africans to show a true independence is to ask for anathemization and total liquidation.

ARAB-MUSLIM EXPANSIONISM
The Biafran struggle is, on another plane, a resistance to the Arab-Muslim expansionism which has menaced and ravaged the African continent for twelve centuries. As early as the first quarter of the seventh century, the Arabs, a people from the Near-East, evolved Islam not just as a religion but as a cover for their insatiable territorial ambitions. By the tenth century they had overrun and occupied, among other places, Egypt and North Africa. Had they stopped there, we would not today be faced with the wicked and unholy collusion we are fighting against. On the contrary, they cast their hungry and envious eyes across the Sahara on to the land of the Negroes.

Our Biafran ancestors remained immune from the Islamic contagion. From the middle years of the last century Christianity was established in our land. In this way we came to be a predominantly Christian people. We came to stand out as a non-Muslim island in a raging Islamic sea. Throughout the period of the ill-fated Nigerian experiment, the Muslims hoped to infiltrate Biafra by peaceful means and quiet propaganda, but failed. Then the late Ahmadu Bello, the Sarduana of Sokoto tried, by political and economic blackmail and terrorism, to convert Biafrans settled in Northern Nigeria to Islam. His hope was that these Biafrans on dispersion would then carry Islam to Biafra, and by so doing give the religion political control of the area. The crises which agitated the so-called independent Nigeria from 1962 gave these aggressive proselytisers the chance to try converting us by force.

It is now evident why the fanatic Arab-Muslim states like Algeria, Egypt and the Sudan have come out openly and massively to support and aid Nigeria in her present war of genocide against us. These states see militant Arabism as a powerful instrument for attaining power in the world.

Biafra is one of the few African states untainted by Islam. Therefore, to militant Arabism, Biafra is a stumbling block to their plan for controlling the whole continent. This control is fast becoming manifest in the Organisation of African Unity. On the question of the Middle East, the Sudanese crisis, in the war between Nigeria and Biafra, militant Arabism has succeeded in imposing its point of view through blackmail and bluster. It has threatened African leaders and governments with inciting their Muslim minorities to rebellion if the governments adopted an independent line on these questions. In this way an O.A.U that has not felt itself able to discuss the genocide in the Sudan and Biafra, an O.A.U. that has again and again advertised its ineptitude as a peace-maker, has rushed into open condemnation of Israel over the Middle East dispute. Indeed in recent times, by its performance, the O.A.U. might well be an Organisation of Arab Unity.

AFRICA EXPLOITED
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.

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 very great extent by their greed for economic gain. For over three and half centuries, it suited them to transport and transplant millions of the flower of our manhood for the purpose of exploiting the Americas and the West Indies. They did so with no uneasiness of conscience. They justified this trade in men by reference to biblical passages violently torn out of context.
When it became no longer profitable to them to continue with the depopulation and uncontrolled spoilation of Negro Africa, their need of the moment became to exploit the natural resources of the continent, using Negro labour. In response to this need they evolved their informal empire in the 19th century under which they controlled and exploited Negro Africa through their missionaries and monopolist mercantile companies. As time went on they discarded the empire of informal sway as unsatisfactory and established the direct empire as the most effective means of exploiting our homeland. It was at this stage that with cynical imperturbability they carved up the African continent, and boxed up the native populations in artificial states designed purely to minister to white economic interests.

This brutal and unprecedented rape of a whole continent was a violent challenge to Negro self-respect. Not surprisingly, within half a century the theory and practice of empire ran into stiff opposition from Negro nationalism. In the face of the movement for Negro freedom the white imperialists changed tactics. They decided to install puppet African administrations to create the illusion of political independence, while retaining the control of the economy. And this they quickly did between 1957 and 1965. The direct empire was transformed into an indirect empire, that regime of fraud and exploitation which African nationalists aptly describe as Neo-Colonialism.
To God be all Glory!!

Home         The Biafra

 

 

 

Ojukwu: 1933-2011
The Ahiara Declaration 
The principles of the Biafran Revolution
-By Emeka Ojukwu (General of the Peoples Army)
Today we begin a series on ‘The Ahiara Declaration’. The philosophy formulated and delivered by the late ‘General’ Emeka Ojukwu on the second anniversary of the Nigerian/Biafran strife in 1968

INTRODUCTION

PROUD AND COURAGEOUS BIAFRANS, FELLOW COUNTRY MEN AND WOMEN

I salute you. Today, as I look back over our two years as a sovereign and independent nation, I am overwhelmed with the feeling of pride and satisfaction in our performance and achievement as a people. Our indomitable will, our courage, our endurance of the severest privations, our resourcefulness and inventiveness in the face of tremendous odds and dangers, have become proverbial in a world so bereft of heroism, and have become a source of frustration to Nigeria and her foreign masters. 

For this and for the many miracles of our time, let us give thanks to Almighty God. I congratulate all Biafrans at home and abroad. I thank you all the part you have played and have continued to play in this struggle, for your devotion to the high ideals and principles on which this Republic was founded.
I thank you for your absolute commitment to the cause for which our youth are making daily, the supreme sacrifice, and a cause for which we all have been dispossessed, blockaded, bombarded, starved and massacred. I salute you for your tenacity of purpose and amazing steadfastness under siege. 

I salute the memory of the many patriots who have laid down their lives in defence of our Fatherland. I salute the memory of all Biafrans - men, women and children - who died victims of the Nigerian crime of genocide. We shall never forget them. Please God, their sacrifice shall not be in vain. For the dead on the other side of this conflict, may their souls rest in peace. To our friends and well-wishers, to the growing band of men and women around the world who have, in spite of the vile propaganda mounted against us, identified themselves with the justice of our cause, in particular to our courageous friends, officers and staff of the Relief Agencies and humanitarian organisations, pilots who daily offer themselves in sacrifice that our people might be saved; to Governments, in particular Tanzania, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Zambia and Haiti. I give my warmest thanks and those of our entire people.

THE STRUGGLE
Fellow country men and women, for nearly two years we have been engaged in a war which threatens our people with total destruction. Our enemy has been unrelenting in his fury and has fought our defenceless people with a vast array of military hardware of a sophistication unknown to Africa. For two years we have withstood his assaults with nothing other than our stout hearts and bare hands. 

We have frustrated his diabolical intentions and have beaten his wicked mentors in their calculations and innovations. Shamelessly, our enemy has moved from deadline to deadline, seeking excuses justifying his failures to an ever credulous world. Today, I am happy and proud to report that, all the odds notwithstanding, the enemy, at great cost in lives and equipment, is nowhere near to his avowed objective.

In the Onitsha sector of the war, our gallant forces have kept the enemy confined in the town which they entered 15 months ago. Despite the fact that this sector has great strategic attraction for the vandal hordes, being a gate-way, as it is, to the now famous jungle strip of Biafra, and the scene of the bloodiest encounters of this war, it is significant that the enemy has made no gains throughout this long period.

In the Awka sector of the war, the story remains the same. The enemy is confined only to the highway between Enugu and Onitsha, not venturing north or south of that road. In the Okigwe sector, from where the enemy made the thrust that brought him into Umuahia, the situation remains unchanged, with our troops making the entire enemy route from Okigwe to Umuahia no joy ride. In Umuahia town itself, fighting has continued in the township.

In the Ikot Ekpene, Azumini and Aba sectors of the war, the vandals, whilst maintaining their positions in Ikot Ekpene and Aba with our troops surrounding them, have continued to suffer heavy casualties in their attempt to hold firmly on to Azumini. We now come to the Owerri/Port Harcourt sector. After the clearing of Owerri township and our rapid move towards Port Harcourt, our gallant forces are holding positions in Eleele town, in the outskirts of Igirita and forward of Omoku.

Across the Niger, the successes of our troops have been maintained despite numerous enemy counter-attacks. Our Navy has continued to support all operations along the Niger with good results. Our guerrillas have continued their magnificent work of harassing the enemy and giving him no respite on our soil. I salute them all.

In the air, the Biafran Air Force has made a most dramatic re-entry into the war, and in a brilliant series of raids has all but paralyzed the Nigerian Air Force. In four days’ operations, eleven operational planes of the enemy were put of action, three control towers in Port Harcourt, Enugu and Benin were set ablaze, the Airport building in Enugu, and the numerous gun positions were knocked out. 

The refinery in Port Harcourt was set on fire. And, more recently, three days ago, the Ughelli Power Station was put out of action. The brilliance of this performance, the precision of the strike, the genius of target selection, have left Nigeria in a daze and her friends bewildered. Another way of looking at this is that in four days of operation, the Biafran Air Force has destroyed more military targets than what the Nigerian Air Force has been able to do for two years.
Source: Sun, 28th November 2011.

 

Ojukwu: 1933-2011
Ahiara: The Houses that defined the Biafran struggle
By CHIDI OBINECHE

Ahiara - The Houses that defined the Biafran struggle

About 25 kilometres on the Owerri-Umuahia Road lie two edifices that shaped the sound and philosophy that guided the failed secessionist bid of the former eastern region from Nigeria. The two houses which qualify by any stretch of the imagination as historical monuments adore both sides of the road, defiantly overlooking each other. Not much is known about the reason that guided their preferences at the times of the holocaust. 

Totally bereft of the serenity and sanguine blessings that ordinarily inform choices of deep insight and retreat, they have come to be accepted as the sanctuary and fountain of the “revolution”. Behold the St Brigids Catholic Church , Nnarambia Ahiara, and the Ahiara Technical College.

Within the adorablke confines of St Brigids Catholic Church, the late secessionist Biafran leader, Emeka Ojukwu , stood before a select assemblage of great minds of the enclave to deliver an inspirational declaration that formed the heart and soul of the Biafran struggle.

It was the “Ahiara declaration”- the principles of the Biafran Revolution. The stirring speech encapsulated in a locally brewed philosophy of socialism, in 22 pages evoked the spirit of resistance, and moved the spirit of “Biafrans” across the enclave to the extent that the youths and the old spontaneously took to the streets chanting (Ojukwu nye anyi egbe) Ojukwu give us guns.

Ojukwu returned to the place a year ago, shortly before he took ill and was flown abroad. The Cathedral Administrator of Ahiara diocese , who lives within the premises, Rev Thadeaus Opara , relieved the visit when he told Daily Sun that “ It was as if he knew the end was in sight. He came here last November in company with his wife, Bianca, the leader of the outlawed Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra(MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazurike and other top Igbo leaders. It was like home coming as he reminisced on the event of over forty years ago. I received him and his entourage and he remarked quietly that the place had undergone great physical transformation.”

Ojukwu, Daily Sun learnt stepped forward to the exact spot where on a beautiful wooden elevation, he delivered the overwhelming speech. He shook his head, smiled and said nothing. For Corporal Cheche Onyekwere, a former war veteran and son of the traditional ruler of Ahiara, the host community, HRH, Eze Desmond Onyekwere “ Ahiara is the epitome of the struggle.” He reminisces with deep affection and nostalgia to Daily Sun “ we began the war with Double Barrel and Mark 4 , until Ojukwu came here to make the declaration and subsequently assembled Biafran scientists at the technical centre to manufacture all sorts of things. I served under him as a Corporal in the Nigerian Army at 106 battalion , Kano. He used his father’s money to kick start the war. “

He speaks further on the ingenuity of the fable Biafran scientists. “ At Ahiara Technical College here, they manufactured Sure battery, Ogbunigwe and enemy beer. Enemy beer was bottled with crown cork and displayed strategically in several counters in the enemy territory(ie Nigeria ). Immediately, they gulped enemy beer, they will be transfixed to a spot until the Biafran soldiers reached there and disarmed them and took their arms.

“When you touched sure battery, or stepped on them, you will be magnetized . They were laid like landmines. Of course, there was “ogbunigwe” nicknamed Ojukwu’s bucket . They were all done here. The Christian brothers from Haiti supplied us Madison and Sattima , which were the first rifles we used before we started manufacturing our own”.

Bring his corpse to Ahiara
Onyekwere has one last wish for a man he considers his hero. “ His corpse must be brought to the two edifices that defined his struggle, before interment”, he intoned emotionally.
Source: Sun, 28th November 2011.

 

Ojukwu: 1933-2011
The Ahiara Declaration

By Our reporter 

On Monday November 28, we began serializing the Ahiara Declaration, the principles of the Biafran revolution by late Dim Chukwuemeka-Odumegwu Ojukwu. Today we continue with the fourth part.

Nigeria was a classic example of a neo-colonialist state, and what is left of it, still is. The militant nationalism of the late forties and early fifties had caught the British imperialists unawares. They hurried to accommodate it by installing the ignorant, decadent and feudalistic Hausa-Fulani oligarchy in power. 

For the British, the credentials of the Hausa-Fulani were that not having emerged from the Middle Ages they knew nothing about the modern state and the powerful forces that now rule men’s minds. Owing their position to the British, they were servile and submissive. The result was that while Nigerians lived in the illusion of independence, they were still in fact being ruled from Number 10 Downing Street. The British still enjoyed a stranglehold on their economy.

The crises which rocked Nigeria from the morrow of “independence” were brought about by the efforts of progressive nationalists to achieve true independence for themselves and for posterity. For their part in this effort, Biafrans were stigmatised and singled out for extermination. In imperialist thinking, only phoney independence is good for blacks. The sponsorship of Nigeria by white imperialism has not been disinterested. 

They are only concerned with the preservation of that corrupt and rickety structure of Nigeria in a perpetual state of powerlessness to check foreign exploitation. I am certain that if tomorrow I should promise that Biafra is going to be a servile and sycophantic state, these self-appointed upholders of the territorial integrity of African states will sing a different tune. No...I shall not oblige them. Biafra will not betray the black man. No matter the odds, we will fight with all our might until black men everywhere can, with pride, point to this Republic, standing dignified and defiant, as an example of African nationalism triumphant over its many and age-old enemies.

Fellow countrymen and women, we have seen in proper perspective the diabolical roles which the British Government and the foreign companies have played and are playing in our war with Nigeria. We now see why in spite of Britain’s tottering economy Harold Wilson’s Government insists on financing Nigeria’s futile war against us. We see why the Shell-BP led the Nigerian hordes into Bonny, pays Biafran oil royalties to Nigeria, and provided the Nigerian Army with all the help it needed for its attack on Port Harcourt. We see why the West African Conference Lines readily and meekly co-operate with Gowon in the imposition of total blockade against us. We see why the oil and trading companies in Nigeria still finance this war and why they risk the life and limb of their staff in the war zones.

Russian Imperialism
And now, Bolshevik Russia. Russia is a late arrival in the race for world empire. Since the end of the Second World War she has fought hard to gain a foothold in Africa recognising, like the other imperialist powers before her, the strategic importance of Africa in the quest for world domination. She first tried to enter into alliance with African nationalism. Later finding that African nationalism has been thwarted, at least temporarily, by the collusion between imperialism and the decadent forces in African society, Russia quickly changed her strategy and identified herself with those very conservative forces which she had earlier denounced. Here she met with quick success.

In North Africa and Egypt, Russian influence has taken firm root and is growing. With her success in Egypt and Algeria, Russia developed even keener appetite for more territory in Africa, particularly the areas occupied by the Negroes. Her early efforts in the Congo and Ghana proved still-born. The Nigeria-Biafra conflict offered an opportunity for anther beach-head in Africa.

It is not Russia’s intention to make Nigeria a better place for Nigerias or indeed any other part of Africa a better place for Africans. Her interest is strategic. In her challenge to the United States and the Western World, she needs vantage points in Africa. With her entrenched position in Northern Nigeria, the Central Sudan of the historians and geographers, Russia is in a position to co-ordinate her strategy for West and North Africa. We are all familiar with the ancient and historic cultural, linguistic and religious links between North Africa and the Central Sudan. We know that the Hausa language is a lingua franca for over two-thirds of this area. We know how far afield a wandering Imam preacing Islam and Bolshevism can go. 

When Russia gives the Nigerians Illyushin jets to bomb us, the MiGs to strafe and rocket us and AK-47 rifles to mow us down, we should see all this in proper light that Russia, like other imperialist powers, has no regard for the Negro. To her, what is important is to gain a vantage point in Negro-land from which to challenge American and Western European world power and influence. The Arabs also in this find further attraction in that it gives to them a back-door entry eventually into Israel. In this jungle game for world domination and black man’s life, let alone his well-being, counts for nothing.

Fellow Biafrans, these are the evil and titanic forces with which we are engaged in a life and death struggle. These are the obstacles to the Negro’s efforts to realise himself. These are the forces which the Biafran Revolution must sweep aside to succeed.

Anglo-Saxon Genocide
If the white race has sinned against the world, the Anglo-Saxon branch of that race has been, and still is, the worst sinner of all. The Anglo-Saxon British committed genocide against the American Indians. They committed genocide against the Caribbs. They committed genocide against the Australian Blackfellows. They committed genocide against the native Tasmanians and the Maoris of New Zealand. During the era of the slave trade, they topped the list and led the genocidal attempt against the Negro race as a whole. Today, they are engaged in committing genocide against us. The unprejudiced observer is forced in consternation to wonder whether genocide is not a way of life of the Anglo-Saxon British. Luckily, all white people are not like the Anglo-Saxon British.

Negro Renaissance 
Luckily too, all African states not like Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt and Sudan, sworn enemies of the Negro, willing tools of white racism, white economic imperialism and Arab-Muslim expansionism. We salute the shining and enduring examples of Negro renascence throughout the world. To Tanzania, to Gabon, to the Ivory Coast, to Zambia and Haiti, we wish more success in their soldiering for all that is right, just and honourable.

We do not claim that the Biafran Revolution is the first attempt in history by the Negro to assert his identity, to claim his right and proper place as a human being on a basis of equality with the white and yellow races. We are aware of the Negro’s past and present efforts to prove his ability at home and abroad. We are familiar with his achievements in prehistory; we are familiar with his achievements in exploring and taming the African and American continents; we are familiar with his achievements in political organisations; we are familiar with this contributions to the world store of art and culture. The Negro’s white oppressors are not unaware of all these.

But in spite of their awareness they are not prepared to admit that the Negro is an man and a brother. This is why we in Biafra are convinced that the Negro can never come to his own until he is able to build modern states (whether national or multi-national) based on a compelling African ideology, enjoying real rather than sham independence, able to give scope to the full development of the human spirit in the arts and sciences, able to engage in dialogue with the white states on a basis of transparent equality and able to introduce a new dimension into international statecraft.
In the world context, this is Biafra - the plight of the black struggling to be man. 

From this derives our deep conviction that the Biafran Revolution is not just a movement of Igbo, Ibibio, Ijaw and Ogoja. It is a movement of true and patriotic Africans. It is African nationalism conscious of itself and fully aware of the powers with which it is contending. From this derives our belief that history and humanity are on our side, and that the Biafran Revolution is indestructible and eternal. From here derives the support we enjoy from the brave and proud peoples of Tanzania, Gabon, the Ivory Coast, Zambia and Haiti who share these ideals and visions with us and who are already engaged in realising them.

We have indeed come a long way. We were once Nigerians, today we are Biafrans. We are Biafrans because on 30th May, 1967, we finally said no to the evils and injustices in which Nigeria was steeped. Nigeria was made up of peoples and groups with very little in common. As everyone knows, Biafrans were in the fore-front among those who tried to make Nigeria a nation. It is ironic that some ill-informed and mischievous people today will accuse us of breaking up a united African country. Only those who do not know the facts or deliberately ignore them can hold such an opinion. We know the facts because we were there and the things that happened, happened to us.
Source: Sun, 1st December 2011.

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Celebrating Ojukwu with Historic Ahiara Biafran Declaration

PATRICK IROEGBU

We knew that we had challenged the many forces and interests, which had conspired to keep Africa and the black race in subjection forever. We knew they were going to be ruthless and implacable in defence of their age-old imposition on us and exploitation of our people. But we were prepared, and remain prepared, to pay any price for our freedom and dignity.

Our revolution is a historic opportunity given to us to establish a just society; to revive the dignity of our people at home and the dignity of the black man in the world. We realize that in order to achieve those ends we must remove those weaknesses in our institutions and organizations and those disabilities in foreign relations which have tended to degrade this dignity. This means that we must reject Nigerianism in all its guises.

The Biafran revolution is the people’s revolution. ‘Who are the people?’ you ask. The farmer, the trader, the clerk, the businessman, the housewife, the student, the civil servant, the soldier you and I are the people. Is there anyone here who is not of the people? Is there anyone here afraid of the people anyone suspicious of the people? Is there anyone despising the people? Such a man has no place in our revolution. If he is a leader, he has no right to leadership, because all power, all sovereignty, belongs to the people.

In Biafra the people are supreme; the people are master the leader is the servant. You see, you make a mistake when you greet me with shouts of ‘power, power’. I am not power you are. My name is Emeka; I am your servant that is all.

Fellow countrymen, we pride ourselves on our honesty. Let us admit to ourselves that when we left Nigeria, some of us did not shake off every particle of Nigerians. We say that Nigerians are corrupt and take bribes; but here in our country we have among us some members of the Police and the Judiciary who are corrupt and who ‘eat’ bribes. We accuse Nigerians of inordinate love of money, ostentatious living and irresponsibility: but here, even while we are engaged in a war of national survival, even while the very life of our nation hangs in the balance, we see some public servants who throw huge parties to entertain their friends; who kill cows to christen their babies.

We have members of the armed forces who carry on ‘attack’ trade instead of fighting the enemy. We have traders who hoard essential goods and inflate prices, thereby increasing the people’s hardship. We have ‘money-mongers’ who aspire to build on hundreds of plots on land as yet unreclaimed from the enemy; who plan to buy scores of lorries and buses and to become agents for those very foreign businessmen who have brought their country to grief.

We have some civil servants who think of themselves as masters rather than servants of the people. We see doctors who stay idle in their villages while their countrymen and women suffer and die.

When we see all these things, they remind us that not every Biafran has yet absorbed the spirit of the revolution. They tell us that we still have among us a number of people whose attitudes and outlooks are Nigerian. It is clear that if our revolution is to succeed, we must reclaim these wayward Biafrans.

We must Biafranise them. We must prepare all our people for the glorious roles, which await them in the revolution. If, after we shall have tried to re claim them, and have failed, then they must be swept aside. The people’s revolution must stride ahead and, like a battering ram, clear all obstacles in its path. Fortunately, the vast majority of Biafrans are prepared for these roles.

When we think of our revolution, therefore, we think about these things. We think about our ancient heritage; we think about the challenge of today and the promise of the future. We think about the charges, which are taking place at this very moment in our personal lives and in our society. We see Biafrans from different parts of the country living together, working together, suffering together and pursuing together a common cause.

We see our ordinary men and women the people pursuing, in their different but essential ways, the great task of our national survival. We see every sign that this struggle is purifying and elevating the masses of our people. We see many bad social habits and attitudes beginning to change. Above all, we find a universal desire among our people not only to remain free and independent but also to create a new and better order or society for the benefit of all.

In the last five or six months, I have devised one additional way of learning at first hand how the ordinary men and women of our country see the revolution. I have established a practice of meeting every Wednesday with a different cross-section of our people, to discuss the problems of the revolution. These meetings have brought home to me the great desire for challenge among the generality of our people.

I have heard a number of criticisms and complaints by people against certain things. I have also noticed groups forming themselves and trying to put right some of the ills of society. All this indicates both that there is a change in progress, and need for more change. Thus, the Biafran revolution is not dreamt up by elite. It is the will of the people. The people want it. Their immediate concern is to defeat the Nigerian aggressor and so safeguard the Biafran revolution.

I stand before you tonight not to launch the Biafran revolution, because it is already in existence. It came into being two years ago when we proclaimed to the entire world that we had finally extricated ourselves from the sea of mud that was Nigeria. I stand before you to proclaim formally the commitment of the Biafran state to the principles of the revolution and to enunciate those principles.

Some people are frightened when they hear the word revolution. They say: ‘revolution? Heaven help us, it is too dangerous. It means mobs rushing around destroying property, killing people and upsetting everything.’ But these people do not understand the real meaning of revolution. For us, a revolution is a change a quick change a change for the better.

Every society is changing all the time. It is changing for the better or for the worse. It is either moving forward or moving backwards; it cannot stand absolutely still. A revolution is a forward movement. It is a rapid for ward movement, which improves a people’s standard of living and their material circumstance and purifies and raises their moral tone. It transforms for the better those institutions, which are still relevant, and discards those, which stand in the way of progress.

The Biafran revolution believes in the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the human person. The Biafran sees the wilful and wanton destruction of human life not only as a grave crime, but also as an abominable sin. In our society every human life is holy, every individual person counts. No Biafran wants to be taken for granted or ignored, neither does he ignore or take others for granted.

This explains why such degrading practices as begging for alms were unknown in Biafran society. Therefore, all forms of disabilities and inequalities, which reduce the dignity of the individual or destroy his sense of person, have no place in the new Biafran social order. The Biafran revolution upholds the dignity of man. The Biafran revolution stands firmly against genocide, against any attempt to destroy a people, its security, and its right to life, property and progress. Any attempt to deprive a community of its identity is abhorrent to the Biafran people. Having ourselves suffered genocide; we are all the more determined to take a clear stand now and at all times against this crime.

The new Biafran social order places a high premium on love, patriotism and devotion to the fatherland. Every true Biafran must love Biafra, must have faith in Biafra and its people, and must strive for its greater unity. He must find his salvation here in Biafra. He must be prepared to work for Biafra, to die for Biafra. He must be prepared to defend the sovereignty ofBiafra wherever and by whomsoever it is challenged.

Biafran patriots do all this already, and Biafra expects all her sons and daughters of today and tomorrow, to emulate their noble example. Diplomats who treat insults to the fatherland and the leadership of our struggle with levity are not patriotic. That young man who sneaks about the village, avoiding service in his country’s armed forces is unpatriotic; that young, able-bodied school teacher who prefers to distribute relief when he should be fighting his country’s war, is not only unpatriotic but is doing a woman’s work.

Those who help these loafers to dodge their civic duties should henceforth re-examine themselves. All Biafrans are brothers and sisters bound together by ties of geography, trade, inter-marriage, and culture and by their common misfortune in Nigeria and their present experience of the armed struggle. Biafrans are even more united by the desire to create a new and better order of society, which will satisfy their needs and aspirations.

Therefore, there is no justification for anyone to introduce into the Biafran fatherland divisions based on ethnic origin, sex or religion. ‘To do so would be unpatriotic. Every true Biafran must know and demand his civic rights. Furthermore, he must recognize the rights of other Biafrans and be prepared to defend them when necessary. So often, people complain that they have been ill-treated by the police or some other public servant.

But the truth very often is that we allow ourselves to be bullied because we are not man enough to demand and stand up for our rights, and that fellow citizens around do not assist us when we do demand our rights. In the new Biafran social order sovereignty and power belong to the people. Those who exercise power do so, on behalf, of the people. Those who govern must not tyrannize the people. They carry a sacred trust of the people and must use their authority strictly in accordance with the will of the people. The true test of success in public life is that the people who are the real masters are contented and happy.

The rulers must satisfy the people at all times. But it is no use saying that power belongs to the people unless we are prepared to make it work in practice. Even in the old political days, the oppressors of the people were among those who shouted loudest that power belonged to the people.

The Biafran revolution will constantly and honestly seek methods of making this concept a fact rather than a pious hope. Where, therefore, a ministry or department runs inefficiently or improperly, its head must accept personal responsibility for such a situation and, depending on the gravity of the failure, must resign or be removed. And where he is proved to have misused his position of trust to enrich himself, the principle of public accountability requires that he be punished severely and his ill-gotten gains taken from him.

Those who aspire to lead must bear in mind the fact that they are servants and, as such, cannot ever be greater than the people, their masters. Every leader in the Biafran revolution is the embodiment of the ideals of the revolution. Part of his role as leader is to keep the revolutionary spirit alive, to be a friend of the people and protector of their evolution.

He should have right judgment both of people and of situations and the ability to attract to himself the right kind of lieutenants who can best further the interests of the people and of the revolution. The leader must not only say but always demonstrate that the power he exercises is derived from the people.

Therefore, like every other Biafran public servant, he is accountable to the people for the use he makes of their mandates. He must get out when the people tell him to get out. The more power the leader is given by the people, then less is his personal freedom and the greater his responsibility for the good of the people. He should never allow his high office to separate him from the people. He must be fanatical for their welfare.

A leader in the Biafran revolution must at all times stand for justice in dealing with the people. He should be the symbol of justice, which is the supreme guarantee of good government. He should be ready, if need be, to lay down his life in pursuit of this ideal. He must have physical and moral courage and must be able to inspire the people out of despondency. He should never strive towards the perpetuation of his office or devise means to cling to office beyond the clear mandate of the people.

He should resist the temptation to erect memorials to himself in his life-time, to have his head embossed on the coin, name streets and institutions after himself or convert government into a. family business. A leader who serves his people well will be enshrined in their hearts and minds. This is all the reward he can expect in his lifetime. He will be to the people the symbol of excellence, the quintessence of the revolution. He will be Biafran.

One of the corner stones of the Biafran revolution is social justice. We believe that there should be equal opportunity for all, that appreciation and just reward should be given for honest work and that society should show concern and special care for the weak and infirm. Our people reject all forms of social inequalities and disabilities and all class and sectional privileges. Biafrans believe that society should treat all its members with impartiality and fairness.

Therefore, the Biafran state must not apportion special privileges or favours to some citizens and deny them to others. For example, how can we talk of social justice in a situation where a highly paid public servant gets his salt free and poor housewives in the village pay five pounds for a cup? The state should not create a situation favourable to the exploitation of some citizens by others.

The State is the father of all, the source of security, the reliable agent, which helps all to realize their legitimate hopes and aspirations. Without social justice, harmony and stability within society disappear and antagonisms between various sections of the community take their place. Our revolution will uphold social justice at all times. The Biafran state will be the fountain of justice.

In the new Biafra, all property belongs to the community. Every individual must consider all he has, whether in talent or material wealth, as belonging to the community for which he holds it in trust. This principle does not mean the abolition of personal property but it implies that the state, acting on behalf of the community, can intervene in the disposition of property to the greater advantage of all.

Over-acquisitiveness or the inordinate desire to amass wealth is a factor liable to threaten social stability, especially in an under-developed society in which there is not enough material goods to go round. This creates lop-sided development, breeds antagonisms between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ and undermines the peace and unity of the people.

While the Biafran revolution will foster private economic enterprise and initiative, it should remain constantly alive to the dangers of some citizens accumulating large private fortunes. Property grabbing, if unchecked by the state, will set the pattern of behaviour for the whole society, which begins to attach undue value to money and property. Thus a wealthy man, even if he is known to be a crook, is accorded greater respect than an honest citizen who is not well-off. A society where this happens is doomed to rot and decay.

Moreover, the danger is always there of a small group of powerful property owners using their influence to deflect the state from performing its duties to the citizens as a whole and thereby destroying the democratic basis of society. This happens in many countries and it is one of the duties of our revolution to prevent its occurrence in Biafra. Finally, the Biafran revolution will create possibilities for citizens with talent in business, administration, management and technology, to fulfil themselves and receive due appreciation and reward in the service of the state, as has indeed happened in our total mobilization to prosecute the present war.

The Biafran revolution is committed to creating a society not torn by class-consciousness and class antagonisms. Biafran society is traditionally egalitarian. The possibility for social mobility is always presented in our society. The new Biafran social order rejects all rigid classifications of society. Anyone with imagination, anyone with integrity, anyone who works hard, can rise to any height. Thus, the son of a truck pusher can become the Head of State of Biafra. The Biafran revolution will provide opportunities for Biafrans to aspire and to achieve their legitimate desires. Those who find themselves below at any particular moment must have the opportunity to rise to the top.

Source: Daily Champion, 29th November 2011.

 

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