Declaration Of Biafra By Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, On May 30, 1967
FELLOW countrymen and women, you, the people of Eastern Nigeria: Conscious of
the supreme authority of Almighty God over all mankind, of your duty to yourselves and prosperity; Aware that you can no longer be protected in your lives and in your property by any Government based outside Eastern Nigeria; \
Believing that you are born free and have certain inalienable rights which can best be preserved by yourselves; Unwilling to be unfree partners in any association of a political or economic nature; Rejecting the authority of any person or persons other than the Military Government of Eastern Nigeria to make any imposition of whatever kind or nature upon you;
Determined to dissolve all political and other ties between you and the former Federal Republic of Nigeria; Prepared to enter into such association, treaty or alliance with any sovereign state within the former Federal Republic of Nigeria and elsewhere on such terms and conditions as best to subserve your common good; Affirming your trust and confidence in me;
Having mandated me to proclaim on your behalf, and in your name the Eastern Nigeria be a sovereign independent Republic.
Now Therefore I, Lieutenant-Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria, by virtue of the authority, and pursuant to the principles recited above, do hereby solemnly proclaim that the territory and region known as and called Eastern Nigeria together with her continental shelf and territorial waters shall henceforth be an independent sovereign state of the name and title of
The Republic of Biafra. And I Do Declare That:
(i) All political ties between us and the Federal Republic of Nigeria are hereby totally dissolved.
(ii) All subsisting contractual obligations entered into by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or by any person, authority, organisation or government acting on its behalf, with any person, authority or organisation operating, or relating to any matter or thing, within the Republic of Biafra, shall henceforth be deemed to be entered into with the Military Governor of the Republic of Biafra for and on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Biafra, and the covenants thereof shall, subject to this
Declaration, be performed by the parties according to their tenor;
(iii) All subsisting international treaties and obligations made on behalf of Eastern Nigeria by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be honoured and respected;
(iv) Eastern Nigeria’s due share of all subsisting international debts and obligations entered into by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be honoured and respected;
(v) Steps will be taken to open discussions on the question of Eastern Nigeria’s due share of the assets of the Federation of Nigeria and personal properties of the citizens of Biafra throughout the Federation of Nigeria.
(vi) The rights, privileges, pensions, etc., of all personnel of the Public Services, the Armed Forces and the Police now serving in any capacity within the Republic of Biafra are hereby guaranteed;
(vii) We shall keep the door open for association with, and would welcome, any sovereign unit or units in the former Federation of Nigeria or any other parts of Africa desirous of association with us for the purposes of running a common services organisation and for the establishment of economic ties;
(viii) We shall protect the lives and property of all foreigners residing in Biafra, we shall extend the hand of friendship to those nations who respect our sovereignty, and shall repel any interference in our internal affairs;
(ix) We shall faithfully adhere to the charter of the Organisation of African Unity and of the United Nations Organisation;
(x) It is our intention to remain a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations in our right as a sovereign, independent nation. Long live the Republic of Biafra! And may God protect all those who live in her.
The Civil War is Over. Broadcast by (Biafran) Major-General Phillip Effiong on Monday, January 12, 1970
FELLOW Countrymen, as you know, I was asked to be the officer administering the
government of this Republic on the 10th of January, 1970. Since then, I know that some of you have been waiting to hear a statement from me.
I have had extensive consultations with the leaders of the community, both military and civil, and I am now encouraged and hasten to make this statement to you by the mandate of the armed forces and the people of this country. I have assumed the leadership of the government.
Throughout history, injured people have had to resort to arms in their self-defence where peaceful negotiations fail. We are no exception. We took up arms because of the sense of insecurity generated in our people by the events of 1966.
We have fought in defence of that cause. I take this opportunity to congratulate officers and men of our armed forces for their gallantry and bravery which had for them the admiration of the whole world. I thank the civil population for their steadfastness and courage in the face of overwhelming odds and starvation.
I am convinced now that a stop must be put to the bloodshed which is going on as a result of war. I am also convinced that the suffering of our people must be brought to an immediate end.
Our people are now disillusioned and those elements of the old government regime who have made negotiations and reconciliation impossible have voluntarily removed themselves from our midst.
I have therefore instructed an orderly disengagement of troops. I am dispatching emissaries to make contact with Nigeria’s field commanders in places like Onitsha, Owerri, Awka, Enugu and Calabar with a view to arranging armistice.
I urge General Gowon, in the name of humanity, to order his troops to pause while an armistice is negotiated in order to avoid the mass suffering caused by the movement of population.
We have always believed that our differences with Nigeria should be settled by peaceful negotiations. A delegation of our people is therefore ready to meet representatives of Nigeria federal government anywhere to negotiate a peaceful settlement on the basis of OAU resolutions.
The delegation will consist of the Chief Justice, Sir Louis Mbanefo as leader, Professor Eni Njoku, Mr. J. I. Emembolu, Chief A. E. Bassey and Mr. E. Aguma. The delegation will have full authority to negotiate on our behalf.
I have appointed a council to advise me on the government of the country. It consists of the Chief Justice, Sir Louis Mbanefo, Brigadier P. C. Amadi (Army), Brigadier C. A. Nwawo (Army), Captain W. A. Anuku (Navy), Wing Commander J. I. Ezeilo (Air Force), Inspector-General of Police, Chief P. I. Okeke, Mr. J. I Emembolu (Attorney-General), Professor Eni Njoku, Dr. I. Eke, Chief A. E. Udofia, Chief Frank Opigo and Chief J. M. Echeruo. Any question of government in exile is repudiated by our people.
Civilian population are hereby advised to remain calm and cooperate with the armed forces and the police in the maintenance of law and order. They should remain in their homes and stop mass movements which have increased suffering and loss of lives.
On behalf of our people, I thank those foreign governments and friends who have steadfastly given us support in our cause. We shall continue to count on their continued help and counsel. I also thank His Holiness the Pope, the Joint Church Aid and other relief organisations, for the help they have given for the relief of suffering and starvation.
I appeal to all governments to give urgent help for relief and to prevail on the Federal Military Government to order their troops to stop all military operations.
May God help us all.