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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

THE ERA OF A NEW DAWN

THE ERA OF A NEW DAWN
By Oscar Onyeani Umah
(For family writers)

A new nation is ready to be born with more than thirty five million people who have decided to take their destiny into their own hands and embarked on the task of building a nation free from fear, bitterness, hate, bomb blast and Boko Haram or ISIS, with the sole aim to develop their innate capabilities and rear their children in an atmosphere of peace and security. They are stretching their hands of fellowship to all nations and are appealing for understanding, friendship and co-operations. We, Biafrans are opting for self-determination after a long period of heart-searching and after making desperate efforts to better the zoo called Nigeria.

More than any other people, Biafrans contributed their human and material resources to the cause of national unity. From 1914 when the British amalgamated Northern and Southern protectorates, Biafrans began to leave their homeland in large numbers to settle in several places among the Fulani-Hausa in the North and the Yoruba in the West. In those areas Biafrans 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. Wherever Biafrans sojourned their industry, resourcefulness and drive marked them out from their neighbors.

In the North, particularly, the distinction was enhanced by religion for while the majorities of the Fulani-Hausa population 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 neighbors 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 etc. Biafrans have to bear in mind that no work of Freedom has ever fought and won on a platter of Gold and now is the time for all well meaning Biafrians to take their destiny into their hands for the second after the first Biafran war with Nigeria and any attempt to chicken out will take a toll to our children and our children’s children.

While Biafrans were thrusting ahead and setting the pace for the economic development, 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 free speech. They resolutely opposed the oppressive ideas of Yoruba and the Fulani-Hausa ruling elit, 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 that of oppressive 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.

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 and till now the trend has not change as we can see the constant massacre of our citizens in all part of Nigeria by the men in uniform with orders from their pay masters, how long shall they kill us while we stand beside and look and 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. 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.
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 of agreed Aburi accord as soon as they returned to Lagos, 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 plus with many other factors which will not be elaborated here but subsequently we will bring the truth to bear.

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 close association with Fulani-Hausa is fraught with disaster. We have therefore taken up the challenge to our liberty and dedicated ourselves to the struggle for our survival.
With the works of our able Director and his Army we are sure of victory at last, and on this note I call all the good people of BIAFRA far and near to join hand in making the struggle a reality.

1 comment

  1. ALL OF US ARE HAPPY FOR THIS DEVELOPMENT. WE ARE EAGER AND FULL OF LIVING FAITH AND HOPE! OUR FREEDOM IS HERE! OUR FREEDOM IS IN OUR HANDS!THE GOD OF BIAFRANS WILL SHOCK OUR ENEMIES WITH UTMOST DEFEAT! WE SHALL BE FREE IN NO DISTANT TIME! GOD BLESS BIAFRA!

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