The Month of May in 1967 witnessed two significant events that permanently redefined and truncated the manifest destiny the giant promise on the African Continent the World called “Nigeria”.
The background to those two events was that following a botched Military Coup in January of 1966, led by middle rank officers which nevertheless led to the death of Leading Political figures in the North including the Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa and the Premier of the Northern Region Ahmadu Bello and that Western Region, Ladoke Akintola, amongst others.
A blood-soaked revenge Coup was executed by Northern Military Officers in July 1966 in which the Military Head of State that emerged from the botched Coup of January, Aguiyi Ironsi, an Easterner and over 300 Igbo Officers and men were summarily rounded up and executed after which a free-for-all xenophobic killings of Easterners wherever they were found in the North in wave pogroms. Most accounts from foreign journalists who covered the events put the casualty figures at over 30 thousand.
Survivors who escaped the pogroms fled to the their Eastern Region Homeland for safety. Others from other Regions also had to dress back to their respective Homeland Regions for safety.
The Federation of Nigeria Nigeria had collapsed unceremoniously.
In the first week of January 1967, following various futile attempts to bring all the sides to the dispute together since the July 1966 fracturing event, as none would venture into the Territory of the other, Ghana’s Head of State, General Ankrah, succeeded in bringing the two sides to Aburi, Ghana, for what was essentially the last ditch attempt at Dialogue to save the badly fractured Union of Nigeria.
After exhaustive deliberations on the issues at stake, a fair Consensus, expressly accepted by both sides, was reached and Documented as the Aburi Accord and hopes were high that a breakthrough had finally been achieved in halting Nigeria’s slide into disintegration.
Upon return to Nigeria, the Ojukwu-led Eastern Region quickly carried out its own key obligations under the Aburi Accord but on the Gowon-led Federal side, there was foot-dragging that degenerated to outright repudiation and abandonment of the Aburi Accord.
Shocked and surprised by the inexplicable volte face by the Federal side, the East insisted on the sanctity of the Accord which birthed the popular slogan ON ABURI WE STAND.
Things negatively cascaded rather quickly through the 4 Months that followed the Aburi Sovereign Conference of January 1967 such that by the last week in May 1966, (precisely 27th), a Solemn Eastern Nigeria Consultative Assembly, after a thorough consideration of the situation, Mandated the Military Governor of Eastern Region Lieutenant-Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu to take the East out of the failed Federation of Nigeria and to Declare the embattled Eastern Region as the Republic of Biafra. A formal Declaration of the Sovereign State of Biafra was slated for 30th May, 1967.
In a matter of hours, same day 27th May 1967, the so-called Federal Government, in what was an obvious preemptive strike to undermine, incapacitate and derail the exit of the East announced, by way of a Decree, a 12 State Structure which basically balkanized the Eastern Region into three States namely East Central State, Rivers State (now Rivers and Bayelsa States), and the South-Eastern State (now Akwa-Ibom and Cross-River States).
This May 27th 1967 malevolent fracturing of the Eastern Region by the so-called Federal Government of Nigeria marked the official beheading of the dying Federation of Nigeria.
On the 30th off May 1967, the Military Governor of the East, Declared the Eastern Region the Republic of Biafra as Mandated by the Eastern Regional Consultative Assembly. This May 30th 1967 Declaration marked the interment of the already beheaded Federation of Nigeria.
These watershed events of May 27th 1967 and May 30th 1967 effectively wound-up the failed Lugardian experiment of 1914 along with the 1960 adoption of same in what was popularly tagged “Independence” and permanently altered the prospects of the realization of the giant promise on the Continent of Africa.
By the 6th of July 1967, the Federal Side fired the first shot at Biafra at a place called Gakem, in what it tagged a Police Action against the Governor of the East. This Police Action was what ballooned into the War of Genocide against the East in which over 3.5 million Easterners were killed, including over 2 million Biafran Children who were deliberately starved to death by the duo if Yakubu Gowon and Obafemi Awolowo under the guidance of Britain and its Western Allies.
From the 1970 bogus proclamation of No Victor, No Vanquished, to the vacuous Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation (the 3Rs), it had been one punitive policy or another against the East.
Nigeria had 50 years since 1967 to do equity and restore the defunct Nigerian Federation but wickedness against the East prevailed.
The East has moved on. The Soul of Eastern Nigeria has departed from the carcass of the Defunct Nigerian Federation which died since 1966.
The only desire of the much despised, much maligned Peoples of Eastern Nigeria today is to exercise their right to Self-Determination which had been so brutally suppressed by the Alliance of the rest of Nigeria.
The only demand of Eastern Nigeria upon the Global Community is a Referendum to determine its future, away from the Union of Death and Attrition which Nigeria had been for it, now worsened with the imposition of Sharia by our Caliphate conquerors who owe it an eternal duty of faith to kill the Infidel.
May the souls of the 3.5 million of our siblings murdered by Nigeria in the Battlefield called Biafra as well as those of the ones recently mowed down by the bullets of Nigeria for daring to repudiate Nigeria, find the eternal rest only God can grant.
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Lower Niger Congress.
May 30th, 2017