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THE FLAG OF SHAME - Biafra History

Nigeria was the creation of British imperialists out of the many and diverse national units which they grouped together in what they called Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria and which, until 1914, were administered as separate territories. All through the period 1914 - 1966, Nigeria was plagued by the unfortunate consequences of the amalgamation which the former Premier Of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, called “the mistake of 1914”. While speaking of the political and social unrest of early 1950’s he declared: “The mistake of 1914 has come to light and I should like to go no further”. From this period, the Northern Nigerians began to think of repudiating, the unfortunate merging of their region with the South. As Sir Ahmadu Bello put it “We should set up on our own; we should cease to have anything more to do with the Southern people; we should take our own way”.
This line of thought was encouraged by the Imperial and religious ambitions of the Northern Nigeria rulers, including Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the former Prime Minister of Nigeria.
The constitutional and social development of Nigeria was held up for many years by this arrogant attitude of the Northerners and their refusal to be involved in the search for stronger ties within the country. Their desire, moreover, to dominate the country continued to frustrate all efforts at constitutional advance.
The people of the then Eastern Nigeria were held responsible for the failure of the North to dominate the country. In 1945 and in 1953, organized riots in Northern Nigeria led to the massacre of hundreds of “unwanted” people Eastern Nigeria origin. Even as late as December 1964, the manifesto of the government party in Northern Nigeria read, in part: “The time has come. We are going to show these intellectual fools. We are only in the morning of all leadership of this country .... Our only obstacles are the Ibos. They have over played their card. They will sink.”
Nigeria in the end came to be run by compromises made and broken between the Northerners and consenting Southern politicians. This led to interminable violent crises, to corruption and nepotism, and to the arbitrary use of power. The coup of January 15, 1966, was hailed as the God sent salvation for a dying Federation.

International press conference, Umuahia, January 28, 1968
C. Odumegwu Ojukwu
General of the people’s Army Of Biafra

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