NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR PLANNING STRATEGIES


NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR PLANNING STRATEGIES
INTRODUCTION
The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, 6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970, was an ethnic and political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra. The conflict was the result of economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions mainly between the Hausas of north and the Igbo of the southeast of Nigeria. Over the two and half years of the war, 1 million civilians died from famine and fighting. The war became notorious for the starvation of some of the besieged regions during the war, and consequent claims of genocide by the largely Igbo people of the region.
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly united state. The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region, or to change government policies. The term is a calque of the Latin bellum civile which was used to refer to the various civil wars of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC.
A civil war is a high-intensity conflict, often involving regular armed forces, that is sustained, organized and large-scale. Civil wars may result in large numbers of casualties and the consumption of significant resources.

MAP OF NIGERIA SHOWING THE BREAKAWAY BIAFRA REPUBLIC
THE VARIOUS WAR PLANNING STRATEGIES EMPLOYED DURING THE CIVIL WAR; 1967-1970
1. THE CLASH OF ARMS STRATEGIES EMPLOYED
Nigeria’s potential in manpower, wealth, natural resources, land mass, infrastructure, international links and diplomacy could hardly be surpassed in Africa. Whenever war is declared, people are generally concerned with the relative strengths of the opposing forces coupled with their war potential. Armed forces are the towing equipment that pulls a nation out if she runs aground in her policy. It is madness for a nation to commit herself more than her armed forces can do. There was no comparison between the strengths of the opposing forces in the Nigerian civil war. Nigerian Army (NA) was too formidable for Biafra, a ratio of 4:1. However each side knew the tactics the other side would employ since they all belonged to the same Armed Forces before the war.
The Biafran Army, realizing the odds against them decided correctly to go into defense. Taking the advantage of fighting on their own ground, they constructed fortified pill boxes on the enemy most likely avenues of approach, the major highways connecting the Eastern Region with the rest of the country. The Biafran army had gathered a lot of information on the disposition of the Nigerian army and made contingency plans to meet any incursion into their territory. They conducted training exercise code named “Exercise Checkmate” which was on the line Biafra Army hoped to fight. This exœrcise was so realistic that when the Nigerian Army started their offensive, they reacted exactly the way Biafra expected them to. Biafra deployed her troops as follows:

1. Northern Sector – 51st Brigade made up of three infantry Battalions

2.Central Zone and Garrison Command – 11th Infantry Battalion

3.Southern Zone – 52nd Brigade made up of three battalions.

The Biafran Air Force carried out strategic bombings of major towns, military installations and the Defense Industry. This had a diverstating effect on civilian population and further helped the Nigerian propaganda which resulted in making more people to join the NA to crush the rebellion. The Biafran Navy also carried out some attack on the Nigerian ships with little effect. Mercenaries were hired to train the troops and took part in the fighting.
2. POLITICAL/DIPLOMATIC
The Nigerian political tensions, conflicts and confrontations, like other human interactions, had never conformed with the law of physics that action and reaction are opposite and equal. Reactions had always been more intense and graver than action, real or imagined. Those who are the sowers of wind are usually the reapers of the whirlwind. The Kano riots of 1953 was a reaction to the humiliation of the Northern legislators in Lagos most of whom are still alive and politicking while the rioters are dead, unsung and long forgotten. In the Nigerian historical context, each political action, tension or conflict had evoked more violence in reaction and the elites who initiated the action are normally not the ones who reap the more violent reaction or destruction. They are masters in the art of survival and they have always emerged almost unscratched. It is the common man who knows little or nothing of the on-goings and who certainly gains nothing from the appointments or the prerequisites of office of these elites that is used as cannon fodder and expendable material for the attainment and sustenance of power, wealth and prosperity.

Our leaders aid those of other developing nations must eschew bitterness and violence, learn that no individual or section has a monopoly of violence and that one action of violence evokes greater and more destructive violent reaction, the magnitude which can never be imagined in advance. In the end the law of retributive justice catches with the perpetrators of bitterness, violence and destruction. This difficult lesson must be learnt.

The great publicity given to the war by Markpress on behalf of Biafra, especially the photographs of starving children and ruined or deserted towns, evoked deep feelings of sympathy all over the Western world. By and large, these pitiful sights touched the conscience of those who mounted large scale humanitarian campaigns on behalf of Biafra. The issues in the war were relegated to the background and the human and humanitarian aspects came to the fore. Most of them were genuine in their humanitarian efforts but little did they know that most of their contributions were used to purchase arms and ammunition which prolonged the war and thereby increased and heightened the sufferings of those they were trying to help.

There were involvement of some notable world leaders on supposedly humanitarian grounds, but they had, as we have seen, ulterior motives which were mainly to satisfy their political, economic or diplomatic interests. Some foreign governments covertly encouraged and sustained rebellion under the guise of humanitarianism by secretly giving weapons and other war material to Biafra. They seceded in fuelling the war and prolonged it and consequently prolonging the suffering of the people in the war affected areas.

The importance of winning the support and mobilizing the civilian populace became very obvious. Biafra, despite her inferiority in manpower and war machineries held on for so long because her people believed in fighting the war which they considered a war of survival. On the same token, Nigeria won the war primarily because she was able to win the support of the populace who enlisted in thousands to reunify the country.
3. MOBILIZATION
The declaration of secession made war not inevitable but imminent. At the dawn of 6 July 1967, the first bullet was fired signalling the beginning of the gruesome 30 month civil war and carnage, brothers killing brothers. Preparations for war had already been set in motion on the Nigerian side by May 1967. All the soldiers of Northern, Western, and Mid – Western origin had been withdrawn from the East and redeployed. Four of the regular infantry battalions of the Army were placed under the command of 1 Brigade and redesignated 1 Area Command. Mobilization of ex – service men was ordered by the Commander – in – Chief. Out of those called up, about seven thousand in number, four other battalions were formed. Increased recruitment from the personnel of the Nigerian Police Force was embarked upon.

The civilians were trained in civil defense duties. In mobilizing the people of Nigeria, the Federal Government had to make the war look a just cause to stop the disintegration of the country and in doing this a slogan was invented “To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done.” Even the letters of the Head of the Federal Government, GOWON was coined to read “Go On With One Nigeria” and became a very strong propaganda.

4.MILITARY

Delivery of arms and equipment for the Nigerian Army were hastened. Nigerian Army Headquarters (NAHQ) Operations plan envisaged a war that will be waged in four phases and that will be over within a month with The four phases were

(1) Capture of Nsukka, (2) Capture of Ogoja, (3) Capture of Abakaliki, (4) Capture of Enugu.

1 Area Command was to be the fighting force, 2 Area Command in Ibadan, Western Region, was earmarked for the defense of Mid – West and border protection while the Lagos Garrison Organization was earmarked for the defense of Lagos, the Federal capital.

The NAHQ assessment of the rebels in terms of men under arms and equipment did not give the NAHQ much concern. The total mobilization and the will of the people of the Eastern Nigeria to fight against severe odds was under estimated. Nigeria knew that the survival of Biafra depended on importation of material from abroad to sustain her war efforts and the only route was through the Atlantic Ocean. As part of strategic planning, the Nigerian Navy (NN) was to blockade the region from the sea thereby preventing shipment of arms, equipment, food and other war materiel and services into the East. At the same time all flights to the region were cancelled and the international community were informed that no flight to the region would be accepted without clearance from Lagos. The NAHQ did not pay any particular attention to strategic intelligence of the Eastern Region. In planning and concept the war was intended to be fought by the troops located in the North and to be supplied mainly from Kaduna.

Immediately secession was declared, Nigeria sent her war ships to blockade and secure all sea routes into the region. The Nigerian Air Force was tasked to ensure the control of the air space over the entire country. The offensive was to be a two prong attack, a combined arms mechanized infantry divisional attack from the north and an amphibious operation by another division from the south with the aim of crushing the Biafran army in between. The offence was to be supported by the Air Force and the Navy. A third and fourth fronts were introduced later in the war.

5. THE NIGERIAN ARMY OFFENSIVE.
Nigeria opened her offensive operations from the northern sector. 1 Area Command NA, supported by an Artillery Brigade, Armored units equipped with British Scorpion tanks, Saladin armored cars and ferrets, and Engineer units, issued its operational orders for OPUNICORD, the code name for the “police” action against the rebels on the 2 July 1967.The offence was launched on two fronts. The command was divided into two brigades with three battalions each. 1 Brigade advanced on the axis Ogugu – Ogunga – Nsukka road while 2nd Brigade advanced on axis Gakem – Obudu – Ogoja road. The rebels successfully repulsed the attack. However, with the many friends the command had made since they concentrated on the border waiting for the order to attack, they began to recruit guides, informants and with this came the intelligence on the disposition of the Biafran troops, their strength and plans and a breakthrough.

By the 10th of July 1967, 1st Bde had captured all its first objectives and if they had had the detail intelligence of the Biafran army on this day they would have pressed on to take Enugu, the Biafran capital. H.M. Njoku remarked, “At Ukehe I could not believe my eyes. All along the way were refugees streaming towards Enugu on Nsukka road. Many of the retreating troops carried self inflicted wounds. Some senior offices complained of malaria, headache, and all sorts of ailments. If the NA knew the situation on the Biafran side on this eventful day and pressed on they would have taken Enugu the same day without resistance.” (4:128)
By the 12th of July the 2nd Bde had captured Obudu, Gakem, and Ogoja. A second front, the southern sector was opened on the 26 July, 1967 by a sea landing on Bonny by a division formed from the Lagos Garrison Organization (LGO). With the support of the Navy, the division established a beach head and exploited north after a fierce sea and land battle. On 8th August 1967, Biafra invaded the former Mid – Western Region with the aim to relieve the pressure on the northern sector and to threaten Lagos, the Federal Capital. While the LGO was making preparations for subsequent operations beyond Bonny, the news of the rebel infiltration into the Mid – West was passed to the commander who was then instructed to leave a battalion in Bonny, suspend all operations there and move to Escravos with two battalions with a view to dislodging the rebels and clearing the riverine area of the Mid – West. These moves were carried out with the support of the Nigerian Navy and the merchant of the National Shipping Line. Another division was formed to support the LGO in the clearing of the Mid – West of the rebels. At this point, the formations were redesignated 1 Area Command became 1 Infantry Division, the newly division was designated 2 Infantry Division, and the LGO became the 3 Infantry Division. And with this the “police action” turned into a full scale military operation.

By the end of September 1969, a substantial part of the Mid – West had been cleared of the rebels. The commander of the 3 Infantry Division secured permission to change the designation of his formation to 3 Marine Commando because of the peculiarly riverine and creek operations already carried out by the division. This was the first time something in the resemblance of a Marine organization was tried in the history of the Nigerian Army. The division was not trained In amphibious operations. Infact the troops were made up of the soldiers of the Lagos Garrison Organization (LGO), the administrative establishment for the Federal capital. However, with some crash training, the division became the most feared and successful throughout the war.

Enugu became the bastion of secession and rebellion and the Federal Government of Nigeria expected that its capture would mean the end of secession. The advance from Nsukka to Enugu began in earnest on 12 September 1967. The rebels counterattacked and for the first time launched their “Red Devil” tanks. These were modified pre – second World War armored personnel carriers made in France. They were dangerous, slow, blind, cumbersome and not easily maneuverable. T hey were easy prey to anti – tank recoilless rifles and bold infantry attack. By the 4th October 1967, Enugu was captured and with this capture 1 Infantry Division took time to refit and reorganize. The division had the erroneous belief that the fall of Enugu would automatically mean the collapse of the rebellIon. 1 Infantry Division decided to give the rebels time to give up secession not knowing that the fire of rebellion was still burning high in the hearts of most Easterners. Ojukwu was callously fanning the fire and riding high on the emotions of his apparently wounded and high spirited people who felt slighted and wanted to revenge for all the events of 1966. It took the division another six months to resume the offence thereby giving the rebels the necessary respite to also reorganize and acquire more ammunition, weapons and equipment to continue the resistance.
The 3 Marine Commando opened another front on the south / south eastern border. With the support of the Navy, Calabar was captured on the 13th October 1967. The capture of Calabar, Warri, Escravos and Bonny established the supremacy of the Federal Government in Nigerian waters and international waters bordering Nigerian coast. Biafra was sealed off leaving Portharcourt Airport as the only means of international communication and transportation with the outside world. It was at this point that Biafran leadership decided to find alternative routes for importation of war materiel and medical aids into the enclave. Three stretches of straight roads were developed into airstrips; Awgu, Uga and Ulli. On 19th May 1968 Portharcourt was captured. With the capture of Enugu, Bonny, Calabar and Portharcourt, the outside world was left in no doubt of the Federal supremacy in the war. The mercenaries fighting for Biafra started deserting. Biafra started to smuggle abroad photographs of starving children and to blackmail Nigeria of genocide. This secured military, economic and political relief from international organizations for Biafra and further lengthened the war and the suffering of the people of Biafra.

By the early 1969, 2nd Infantry Division crossed the Niger River at Idah, after several unsuccessful attempts to cross the river at Asaba, advanced through the already liberated areas of Nsukka and Enugu to capture Onitsha. The division continued its advance towards Owerri. At the same time 1 Infantry Division advanced on Umuahia. The 3 Marine Commando was by now advancing on three fronts: Oguta – Owerinta – Ulli airstrip – Umuahia axis; Portharcourt – Aba – Owerri – Umuahia axis; and Calabar – Uyo – Umuahia axis. The plan was a link up with 1 Infantry Division at Umuahia in order to envelop the rebels and either force them to surrender or to destroy their fighting spirit. his plan, the final offensive, was successfully implemented. Biafra tried unsuccessfully to hold the NA onslaught using guerrilla tactics.
On the 10th January 1970, Lt. Col. Ojukwu, the self proclaimed Head of State of Biafra, on realizing the total chaotic and hopelessness of the situation, handed over to the Commander Biafran Army Maj. Gen. Phillip Effiong, the administration of Biafra and flew out of the enclave with his immediate family members in search of peace. Maj. Gen. Effiong consulted with the Biafra Strategic Committee on the situation and they decided that enough was enough and that the only honorable way out was to surrender.

CONCLUSION
The war had come and gone. The story of the war and what led to it has been told, is being told and will continue to be told. What seems to me a human tragedy all through ages is the inability of man to learn a good lesson from the past so as to avoid the pitfall of those who had gone before. There is also the innate and unconscious desire of man to remain oblivious of the lessons of the past. He hopes and believes that the past can be ignored, that the present is what matters, that no mistakes of the present can be as serious and grievous as the mistakes of the past. As a result history tends to repeat itself. However, there are exceptions of nations and men who had learnt from history to avoid collective and individual disasters or a repetition of such disasters. I feel confident that Nigeria must join the group of these happy exceptions if we are to have political stability, economic progress, integrated development, social justice, contentment and be the epicenter of African solidarity. Since the end of the civil war, Nigeria has made considerable progress in all these areas.

REFERENCES
1. http://www.litencyc.com/theliterarymagazine/biafra.php
2. http://www.clickafrique.com/Magazine/ST014/CP0000000008.aspx%5Bdead link]
3. http://www.africamasterweb.com/BiafranWarCauses.html
4. Genocide and the Europeans, 2010. Page 71.
5. Malcolm MacDonald: Bringing an End to Empire, 1995. Page 416.
6. Ethnic Politics in Kenya and Nigeria, 2001. Page 54.
7. Africa 1960–1970: Chronicle and Analysis, 2009. Page 423
8. “Nigerian Civil War”. Polynational War Memorial. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
9. “Biafra: Thirty years on”. Africa (BBC News). Retrieved 4 January 2014. “Ethnic split: At independence, Nigeria had a federal constitution comprising three regions defined by the principal ethnic groups in the country – the Hausa and Fulani in the north, Yoruba in the south-west, and Ibo in the south-east. Crowd The fighting led to famine and chaos but as the military took over in the mid-1960s, and the economic situation worsened, ethnic tensions broke out. Up to 30,000 Ibos were killed in fighting with Hausas, and around 1million refugees fled to their Ibo homeland in the east”
10. David D. Laitin. Hegemony and Culture: Politics and Religious Change among the Yorubas (1986). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
11. Ijeaku,Nnamdi
12. Biafra Story, Frederick Forsyth, Leo Cooper, 2001 ISBN 0-85052-854-2
13. Audrey Chapman, “Civil War in Nigeria,” Midstream, Feb 1968

THE PRINCIPLES OF THE BIAFRAN REVOLUTION KNOWN AS THE AHIARA DECLARATION.


THE PRINCIPLES OF THE BIAFRAN REVOLUTION KNOWN
AS THE AHIARA DECLARATION.

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!!

DISCUSS NORTHERN NIGERIA ALONG THESE LINES


DISCUSS NORTHERN NIGERIA ALONG THESE LINES
INTRODUCTION
Northern Nigeria was a British protectorate which lasted from 1900 until 1914 and covered the northern part of what is now Nigeria. The protectorate spanned 255,000 miles (410,000 km) and included the states of the Sokoto Caliphate and the Kano Emirate and parts of the former Bornu Empire, conquered in 1902. The first High Commissioner of the protectorate was Frederick Lugard, who actively suppressed revolutions and created a system of administration built around native authorities. The Protectorate was ended in 1914, when its area was unified with the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and the Lagos Colony, becoming the Northern Province of the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.

MAP OF NORTHERN NIGERIA

1. HISTORY/POLITICS
The Berlin Conference of 1884 and 1885 provided the area that would become the Northern Nigeria Protectorate to the British. The Royal Niger Company was formed in 1886 with George Taubman Goldie as the vice governor. The Company negotiated trade agreements and political agreements, sometimes coercive, with many of the chieftains, emirs, and the Sokoto Caliphate. In 1897, Frederick Lugard was the appointed head of the West African Frontier Force which was tasked with stopping Fulani resistance and possible French incursions in the northwest area.
On 1 January 1890, the Royal Niger Company’s charter was revoked and the British government took control. The Royal Niger Company was paid £865,000 and was given the rights to half of all mining revenue in a large part of the areas for 99 years in exchange for ceding the territory to the British government. Lugard was appointed the High Commissioner of the newly created Northern Nigeria Protectorate. Zungeru became the headquarters for the protectorate in 1902 because it was the most northerly city accessible by river transport.
Military operations began in 1902 and continued for about five years of sporadic fighting. The remnants of the Bornu Empire were conquered in 1902 and the Sokoto Caliphate and the Kano Emirate were taken over in 1903. Fighting continued in 1904 in Bassa. In 1906 a large Mahdist revolution began outside of the city of Sokoto in the village of Satiru, a combined force of the British and the British-appointed Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Attahiru II, destroyed the town and killed most residents involved. After 1907 there were fewer revolts and use of military force by the British and the focus of the High Commissioner turned toward taxation and administration.

2. GEOGRAPHY AND SETTING
The highest point in Northern Nigeria is Chappal Waddi at 2,419 m (7,936 ft). The main rivers are the Niger and the Benue River which converge at Kabba province and empty into the Atlantic Ocean. The expansive valleys of the Niger and Benue River valleys dominate the southern areas of the country. To the southeast of the Benue river, hills and mountains which forms the Mambilla Plateau create the highest Plateau in Northern Nigeria. This plateau extends to the border with Cameroon, this montane land forms part of the Bamenda Highlands in Cameroon. The Great savannah belt of the Great Plains of Hausa land dominates much of the rest of the country. This region experiences rainfall between 20 and 60 inches (508 and 1,524 mm) per year. The savannah zone’s three categories are Guinean forest-savanna mosaic, Sudan savannah, and Sahel savannah. Guinean forest-savanna mosaic is plains of tall grass which are interrupted by trees. Sudan savannah is similar but with shorter grasses and shorter trees. Sahel savannah consists of patches of grass and sand, found in the northeast. In the Sahel region, rain is less than 20 inches (508 mm) per year and the Sahara Desert is encroaching. In the dry north-east corner of the country lies Lake Chad, which Northern Nigeria shares with Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
Northern Nigeria is an ethnically and religiously diverse state. The, Hausa, Fula and Birom peoples dominate much of the North Western and central parts of the Country. While the Hausa and Fula are chiefly Muslims, they have a very rich Christian history, The Ancient Hausa Kings of Gobir ‘Masu Sakandami’ – the Cross Bearers were Christians long before the coming of European evangelists and a large Christian Hausa and Fula minority thrives in many of the North Western Provinces. A substantial part of the Huusa population also adheres to ancient religion of Hausa Animism.
The Biroms of the Plateau and the Tiv and Jukun of the Benue are chiefly Christian, they were converted to Christianity after the colonization of the country by the British. The Nupe, Kebawa and Yoruba peoples occupy the south western parts of the Counrty, these people are also mainly Muslims with Emirate type Native systems that predate the country’s existence.

3. RELIEF AND DRAINAGE
In general, the topography of Nigeria consists of plains in the north and south interrupted by plateaus and hills in the centre of the country. The Sokoto Plains lie in the northwestern corner of the country, while the Borno Plains in the northeastern corner extend as far as the Lake Chad basin. The Lake Chad basin and the coastal areas, including the Niger River delta and the western parts of the Sokoto region in the far northwest, are underlain by soft, geologically young sedimentary rocks. Gently undulating plains, which become waterlogged during the rainy season, are found in these areas. The characteristic landforms of the plateaus are high plains with broad, shallow valleys dotted with numerous hills or isolated mountains, called inselbergs; the underlying rocks are crystalline, although sandstones appear in river areas. The Jos Plateau rises almost in the centre of the country; it consists of extensive lava surfaces dotted with numerous extinct volcanoes
The major drainage areas in Nigeria are the Niger-Benue basin, the Lake Chad basin, and the Gulf of Guinea basin. The Niger River, for which the country is named, and the Benue, its largest tributary, are the principal rivers. The Niger has many rapids and waterfalls, but the Benue is not interrupted by either and is navigable throughout its length, except during the dry season. Rivers draining the area north of the Niger-Benue trough include the Sokoto, the Kaduna, the Gongola, and the rivers draining into Lake Chad. The coastal areas are drained by short rivers that flow into the Gulf of Guinea.
The climatic conditions in the northern part of Nigeria exhibit only two different seasons, namely, a short wet season and a prolonged dry season. Temperatures during the day remain constantly high while humidity is relatively low throughout the year, with little or no cloud cover.

There are, however, wide diurnal ranges in temperature (between nights and days) particularly in the very hot months. The mean monthly temperatures during the day exceed 36°C while the mean monthly temperatures at night fall, most times to below 22°C.

Thus much of Nigeria and the region to the west experiences two rainy periods as the intertropical convergence move north or south; but in the north the two rainy seasons merge to give a single wet season between July and September.

The few high plateaus of Jos and Biu, and the Adamawa highlands, experience climatic conditions which are markedly different from the generalized dry and wet period in northern Nigeria. Temperatures are 5 – 10°C lower due to high altitude than in the surrounding areas. Similarly, the annual rainfall figures are higher than in areas around them, particularly on the windward side.

4. POPULATION
Northern Nigeria comprises of 62% of Nigeria’s land mass and 53.7% of the national population. Majority of the people in northern Nigeria are Muslims and the culture of these people reflects largely Islamic influences. Western-style education was introduced into the southern part of Nigeria by Christian missionaries in the mid 1800th. On the other hand, it took the Europeans another 64 years to establish the first primary school in the north in 1907. European form of education was initially rejected by the people of the north regarding it as a threat to their culture and religion. For many years people were not willing to send their children (especially girls) to those schools. Early marriage was popularly supported by most families and large percentages of girls were rarely allowed to attend formal western schools or go beyond primary school education.

5. LAND TENURE
Traditional land tenure throughout Nigeria was based on customary laws under which land was considered community property. An individual had usufructuary rights to the land he farmed in his lineage or community area. He could possess the land as long as he used it to his families or society’s benefit, and could pass the land on to heirs and pledge its use to satisfy a debt, but could not sell or mortgage it. The right of disposal belonged only to the community, which, acting through traditional authorities, exercised this right in accordance with customary law.
The Fulani conquest of much of northern Nigeria in the early 1800s brought a change in land tenure in areas under Fulani control. The conquerors bestowed fiefs on certain individuals, who sometimes appointed overseers with the power to allocate unused land without regard for local community interests. One result was a growing number of grants to strangers during the nineteenth century because overseers sought to increase the revenue from their landlords’ holdings. This practice gradually reduced the extent of bush land and encouraged the migration of farmers to urban areas that began toward the end of the nineteenth century.
In the early 1900s, the British established hegemony over the Fulani and declared all land in the former Fulani fiefs to be public property. Subsequently, in contrast to southern Nigeria, where the community owned land in the north the government required occupancy permits. However, at the same time the northern authorities were charged with supervision and protection of the indigenous population’s traditional rights, and a general reversion to customary land-tenure practices occurred. In predominantly Muslim areas, traditional land inheritance laws were allowed to remain in force. As a result of the government’s support of local customary laws, encroachment by outsiders appears largely to have been halted. In 1962 the government of the Northern Region placed formal restrictions on landholding by individuals who were not members of a northern community.
During the 1970s, however, individuals and business enterprises drove up land prices, especially in newly urbanized areas, by investing heavily in real estate. In the south, customary owners turned from land sales to more profitable high-rent leasing arrangements. In the north, where land was held only by permit, farmers on the outskirts of cities became victims of developmental rezoning. Their permits were revoked, and, only minimally compensated, they moved to other areas. The land was then subdivided and sold at high prices.
In response to a potential crisis in land distribution, the Federal Military Government promulgated the Land Use Decree of March 1978, establishing a uniform tenure system for all of Nigeria. Subsequently incorporated in the constitution of 1979, the decree effectively nationalized all land by requiring certificates of occupancy from the government for land held under customary and statutory rights and the payment of rent to the government. However, the decree stipulated that anyone in a rural or urban area who normally occupied land and developed it would continue to enjoy the right of occupancy, and could sell or transfer his interest in the development of the land.
The main purpose of the 1978 decree was to open land to development by individuals, corporations, institutions, and governments. The decree gave state and local government’s authority to take over and assign any undeveloped land.

CONCLUSION

Northern Nigeria is now known for many negative things, which many believed is promoted by extreme poverty in the region accentuated by continual irresponsible leadership that has taken over the region, leaders who fail to follow the footstep of one of the greatest leadership example who show complete transparency in leadership, backed by honesty and humility, Sir Ahmadu Bello will never forgive these men who continue to use his name to deceive the masses while in the real sense they are busy destroying the legacies he left behind.

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