REPUBLIC OF BIAFRA THE CASE FOR SELF-DETERMINATION November 2001 The logic for Biafra has returned despite Nigerias so-called No Victor, No Vanquished post-war rhetoric POST-WAR ECONOMIC DISPOSSESSION AND DISCRIMINATION State Sanctioned Financial Asset Seizure (20 Pounds Policy) State Sanctioned Property Confiscation (Abandoned Property) Employment Discrimination in Northern Nigeria PERIODIC POGROMS The Igbo and other Eastern Nigerian nationality groups periodically attacked Federal, State and Local authorities usually respond slowly Since May 1998, pogroms now
wearing explicit religious face SHARIA LAW AND EMERGENCE OF ISLAMIC STATES Emergence of Islamic States in Northern Nigeria since 1999 clearly demonstrates inability of Federal Government to enforce 1999 Constitution and protect citizens Though supposedly applicable to only Muslims, non-Muslims being forced to obey Islamic law; direct assault on secularity of Nigerian constitution LOSS OF SENSE OF CITIZENSHIP The Igbo increasingly feel unwelcome in Nigeria Nigerian authorities have become cynical about Igbo plight; no compelling evidence that
authorities will protect Igbos or work to defend them against encroachment of radical Islamism In Fall 2001, Deputy-Governor of Kano State, personally led Hisbah in attacking a hotel Biafra-bashing now in vogue again; Gen. Obasanjo showed off his war wounds on the 1999 campaign trail; periodically makes hostile references to Biafra Hotels, bars and general Igbo businesses now operate in fear of attacks from Hisbah Igbo civil and human rights stripped away by Islamic law
Hisbah (religious police) now arrest and harass Igbo traders for non-compliance with Islamic law From Zamfaras January 2000 introduction of Sharia Law, Islamic states have mushroomed in northern Nigeria. Gombe in late 2001 implemented Sharia Law Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/africa/newsid_620000/620058.stm The Nigerian Federal Government has demonstrated systematic disregard for the right to life of ordinary Biafrans, even as sectarian violence and hate campaigns increase in frequency In October 2001, religious riots in Kano, a major northern Nigerian city claimed the lives of over 200 Biafrans and southern Nigerians. Questioned about the riots, Nigerian ruler, President Olusegun Obasanjo responded thus: "I don't worry. . . We knew there would be people who would want to express (themselves)." General Olusegun Obasanjo, President and Commander-in-Chief, Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 Present) In contrast, a resident of Kaduna, one of the cities in which hundreds died in Sharia-related riots in 2000, reflected thus: "We now live in perpetual fear because of the incidents of terror unleashed by rampaging youths in their battle to ensure Islamic sharia law is in operation in the city. I don't stay out beyond six in the
evening. Kate Obosa, Kaduna resident Source: Nigerian president says unconcerned by violence, (October 15, 2001) Reuters; BBC Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/africa/newsid_763000/763818.stm The strategic nexus of high level corruption, a militarized democracy and state complicity in civilian massacres has convinced Biafran activists the Nigerian state is incapable of protecting their civil rights High Level Corruption In 2001, Nigeria was ranked among the worlds most corrupt countries by Transparency International, a Berlin-based NGO Corruption related to the upcoming 2003 general elections intensifying. According to NGO groups, contractors are being asked to set aside 20% of the value of a Federal contract to pay for the President Militarization of Law Enforcement and his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) re-election State Complicity in Violence During the Jos massacre of 2001, arms and ammunitions used by Islamic militants supplied by Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Muazu, the former Police Commissioner in Plateau State, among others State sponsored terrorism has now assumed a different dimension
reminiscent of the events leading up to the 1967 civil war Only in a failed state would allegedly legitimate authorities sponsor terrorism against its own citizens Since the beginning of the Obasanjo Administration, supposedly a democracy, the use of military force to crush civilian populations, following attacks by militant youths or criminal elements has intensified October 12, 2001: Soldiers opened fire on villagers in central Nigeria and razed four communities, along the border between Benue and Taraba states near the place where the bodies of 19 soldiers were found hacked to death. More than 200 people killed. Over 100,000 refugees created by military action November 1999: Odi Village: Invaded and razed by the Nigerian Army following the kidnap and murder of a dozen Nigerian Police Force
officers Thus, Biafra is a response to the terrorism, cruelty, failure and utter lack of humanity represented by the Nigerian state Logic: Biafrans at historical crossroads The Federal Government is afraid of daring the perpetrators of the Sharia Law. We, therefore, find ourselves at another crossroads. Do we want freedom in a New Biafra or Slavery in Nigeria? The memory of the past civil war stares us in the face. The issue of another Biafra therefore raises more questions than answers. We are now faced with the problem of convincing our people that the quest for the new Biafra will not cause another war. We have therefore resolved to pursue the cause of freedom in our new Biafra. This is the greatest legacy that we can bestow on our future generation. Objective: Biafran Independence Having hoisted the flag of our new Biafra today, we wish to declare our resolve to demand and pursue the realization of our sovereignty from the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Independence Strategy: Non-violence and negotiation culminating in a referendum The process admits [use] of negotiations, dialogue and consultation. It also admits [use] of non co-operation and passive resistance to oppressive and obnoxious laws of the authorities. Process Steps: 25 stages for the actualization of the sovereignty of the new Biafra State through Nonviolence and Non Exodus. It was through a struggle like ours that Nigeria, Ghana, India, South Africa, East Timor etc gained their independence. Source: MASSOBs Aba Declaration. For a copy please see http://www.kwenu.com/aba_declaration.htm
The proposed Biafran territory subject to an initial referendum and perpetual constitutional right for its members to secede - is about 29,400 square miles Proposed Biafran Borders Biafran independence campaigns intend to conduct a referendum to determine who wants to be included in the new republic. Campaigners are hopeful that the boundaries of the republic will match those given below: West: By the lower reaches of the River Niger and its Delta East: By the Obudu plateau and the Highlands of Oban and Ikom South: By the Bight of Biafra North: by an administrative boundary following, approximately, the 7 degree North latitude The revival of the Biafran self-determination project flagged off in 1999 - has been effectively led by a local grassroots based organization, MASSOB
Background Full Name: Movement For the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) Founded in 1998/99 Influences: Ghandi, Mandela and King Objective: Lead a non-violent campaign for Biafra self-determination and independence Goal: Obtain UN-supervised referendum for independence Key Leadership: Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, Mr. Orjiakor and Mr. Uche Okwukwu Headquarters: Okigwe Membership: 7.5 million (within and outside Nigeria) The revival of the Biafran self-determination project flagged off in 1999 - has been effectively led by a local grassroots based organization, MASSOB (Cont.) Successes Developed a 30+ step for the journey to self-determination In May 2000, declared the Republic of Biafra Introduced a number of organizations and paraphernalia of Biafra In May 2001, celebrated the first anniversary of the Republic of Biafra Chief Magistrate declared she had no jurisdiction to try case of treason against MASSOB members for MASSOB membership. Establishment of MASSOB courts to accommodate Biafrans who prefer the MASSOB courts to Nigerian courts. Parties involved agree to accept the rulings of the MASSOB courts as final. In September 2001, inaugurated Biafra House in Washington, D.C.
The revival of the Biafran self-determination project flagged off in 1999 - has been effectively led by a local grassroots based organization, MASSOB (Cont.) Funeral Procession for Slain MASSOB Members Set Backs Over 45 members shot and killed by Nigerian Police Force About 1000+ members in detention; a number on trial for treason Source: http://www.BiafraNigeriaWorld.com/images/biafra/MASSB/Procession1.gif The Sept. 2001 opening of Biafra House marks a critical shift in the efforts towards self-determination; it provides a platform for organizing the Biafran Diaspora, as well as international relations On Sept. 29, 2001, the leadership of MASSOB, Biafra Foundation, Ekwe Nche and a number of well-wishers opened Biafra House located in Washington D.C. Biafra House acts as central gathering
point for Biafran activities in North America Provides a platform for the organization of intellectual, fund raising and diplomatic efforts to support the independence of the Biafran state Provides a credible symbol of the results of a strategy of non-violence in the pursuit of Biafran independence Source: Biafra Foundation (http://www.biafraland.com/biafrahouse_opening.htm) Voice of Biafra International has been broadcasting once a week since late 2001. The one-hour broadcast provides a critical source of information and boosts the morale of Biafrans globally Voice of Biafra International (VOBI) The goal of VOBI is to provide and disseminate news and information of relevance and pressing import to IgboBiafra, and to the rest of the world, using SHORTWAVE Radio.. On September 1, 2001, the maiden broadcast was made. Frequency: 7380 KHz (equivalent to 41 Meter Band)
Time: 2100 Hours UTC (Universal Time [Coordinated]) equivalent to 10.00pm Biafraland time every Saturday. A project of Biafra Foundation and Biafra Actualization Forum. (updated 1/24/04) Source: Biafra Foundation (http://www.biafraland.com/vobi.htm) To join the effort to help achieve Biafran independence and guarantee over 30 million people their freedoms, please contact the following organizations Movement For the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) National Headquarters 153 Owerri RoadOkigwe, Biafra PH: 234-88-420-120 E-mail: [email protected] Biafra Liberation Movement (BLM) & Biafra Committee for Immediate Action (BCIA) P.O. Box 501 Iowa City, IA 52244 E-mail: [email protected]
Biafra Foundation 733 15th St NW Suite 700 Washington DC 20005 PH: 202 347-2983. E-mail: [email protected] Ekwe Nche Organization. P.O.BOX 408250 CHICAGO, IL 60640 E-mail: [email protected] Voice Of Biafra International 733 15th St NW Suite 700 Washington DC 20005 PH: 202 347-2983. E-mail: [email protected] Backup Slides REPUBLIC OF BIAFRA NATIONAL ANTHEM REPUBLIC OF BIAFRA NATIONAL ANTHEM Land of the Rising Sun
Land of the rising sun, we love and cherish, Beloved homeland of our brave heroes; We must defend our lives or we shall perish, We shall protect our hearts from all our foes; But if the price is death for all we hold dear, Then let us die without a shred of fear. We shall emerge triumphant from this ordeal, And through the crucible unscathed well pass; When we are poised the wounds of battle to heal, We shall remember those who died in mass; Then shall our trumpets peal the glorious song Of victory we scored oer might and wrong. Hail to Biafra, consecrated nation, Oh fatherland, this be our solemn pledge: Defending thee shall be a dedication, Spilling our blood well count a privilege; The waving standard which emboldens the free Shall always be our flag of liberty. Oh God, protect us from the hidden pitfall, Guide all our movements lest we go astray; Give us the strength to heed the humanist call: To give and not to count the cost" each day;
Bless those who rule to serve with resoluteness, To make this clime a land of righteousness. Since 1945, Biafran nationality groups have been subjected to repeated pogroms, harassment and dispossession of property. The scale and frequency suggests genocide During the 1967-70 Biafran Civil War, over 1 million Biafran civilians died of starvation as a result of a Nigerian policy aptly described as starvation is a legitimate weapon of war. Biafran and Southern Nigerian Deaths in Northern Nigeria (1945-2001) 60000 50000 40000 30000 20000 10000 0 1945 1953
1966 1980 1982 1984 1985 1991 1993 1994 2000 Deaths Source: Biafra Foundation, http://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/david-west/101901.html 2001 Nigeria has experienced a creeping Islamization since the 1804 Jihad, only interrupted by the British colonial era, with Islamic
radicals pursuing a goal of dipping the Koran in the sea 1960-1977: Secular state (and occasionally) constitution in force; Sharia negotiated away during preindependence negotiations 1977-78: New constitution being drafted; efforts to introduce federal Islamic law up to creating a Sharia Supreme Court headed by a Grand Mufti with powers equal to Chief Justice of Federation; defeated at last minute. Efforts backed by then and current president, General Obasanjo 1979-83: Era of first post-war civilian government led by Alhaji Shehu Shagari. Sharia issues raised but no significant gains 1983-85: Era of brutal Buhari-Idiagbon dictatorship. Regime focused on repression, hence did not push forward on Sharia agenda 1985-93: Era of Babangida dictatorship. Nigeria secretly enrolled in Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) by General Babangida. Nigeria also joined the Islamic Development Bank 1993-98: Era of Abacha dictatorship. Nigeria openly participates in OIC and D8 (Islamic Development Conference) meetings. 1999 - Present: Proclamation of Sharia Law and emergence of nine Islamic States in northern Nigeria. President Obasanjo declines to mount constitutional challenge; insists not a problem
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