The Aba Declaration of a new BIAFRA
Chief Ralph Uwazuruike
Leader of MASSOB at the symbolic hoisting of the Biafra flag in Aba, Abia State, Nigeria, on Monday, May 22, 2000.
Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB.
Fellow Biafrans, Declaration Of Our Demand For A Sovereign State Of New Biafra From The People and Government of Nigeria
FIRST and foremost, I bring you freedom. The freedom to assert your independence. And the freedom to demand for the sovereignty of your new Biafra State, distinct from the geographical expression called Nigeria. The New Biafra is the 4th Kingdom of God on Earth. As you may remember, about 33 years ago, there arose the need to save our people from total annihilation. That attempt could not materialize. Rather, we lost over
one million of our people, in the process.
Today, we are yet face with a similar situation. The unprovoked and organized killing of our people in Nigeria have remained unabated. However, the most worrisome of this conspiracy is the sudden introduction of Islamic Sharia Law in the Northern States of Nigeria. There is also plan to Islamize the entire Nigeria State. Already, Nigeria is a full member of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). This development has
thrown overboard secularity of the Nigeria State.
The introduction of Sharia Law in the northern states threatens the economic life of our people in the northern states. It also threatens the security of our people. In a recent demonstration in Kaduna State against the introduction of the said Sharia Law, about 5000 of our people resident in Kaduna were killed. The governors of the northern States have vowed to continue with the implementation of the Islamic Legal system.
Majority of our people have once again abandoned their investments in the North arising from insecurity. The Federal Government of Nigeria seems incapable of resolving the Sharia issue.
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. It must be stated that the Biafra war of 1967-70 was not a struggle for independence. Rather it was a defensive mechanism to save and accommodate the Eastern returnees who were being massacred in all parts of Nigeria, except in the East. This is different from our position today. MASSOB has therefore packaged about 25 stages for the actualization of
the sovereignty of the new Biafra State through Non-violence and Non Exodus. By this process, no single life is expected to be lost in the realization of our new Biafra State. This method has worked in various countries, including India.
The process admits of negotiations, dialogue and consultation. It also admits of non co-operation and passive resistance to oppressive and obnoxious laws of the authorities. 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. We therefore call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to open up negotiation
with MASSOB without any further delay for the realization of the sovereignty of the new Biafra State. No amount of threat, intimidation or divide and rule tactics can change our resolve. It was through a struggle like ours that Nigeria, Ghana, India, South Africa, East Timor etc gained their independence.
Ours will not be an exception. MASSOB shall commence the establishment of necessary structures that may sustain the sovereignty of the new Biafra State, if after 30 days from today the Federal Government of Nigeria fails to initiate the expected negotiations. Perhaps it might be necessary to state that our desire to be Biafrans is our fundamental right. In as much as we do not interfere with the right of any one in
choosing his nationality, no one should interfere with our own rights, to chose our nationality. More so, there was no time in our history when our various ethnic groups discussed the formation of any entity called Nigeria.
Great Biafrans, we cannot deny the fact that some of our people have their reservations over the actualization of the new Biafra State. They believe in one Nigeria. They say that Biafra is dead. They feel that the cause for which we lost over one million people is dead. They also think that over one million Biafrans died in vain. We recognize their right to freedom of expression. But it is curious that none of these
dissenting voices has provided any guarantee to the safety of life and property of Ndiigbo across the Nigeria State. Some of these Igbo politicians and Federal Government contractors who feel that Biafra is dead have done nothing to stop the spread of Sharia Law in the Northern States, which threatens the existence of our people in Nigeria.
It is on record that the only reprisal action against the constant organized killing of Ndiigbo in Nigeria was initiated and executed by a group. Nobody cared who did the job. Rather every body was happy that such action was taken. It is therefore, unbelievable that some Igbo politicians who still nurse the ambition of becoming future president of Nigeria can sacrifice the lives of Ndiigbo for their selfish ambition. We
shall also resist the ambition of some Igbo contractors to shortchange the overall interest of Ndiigbo for their selfish interest. Our position is that the new Biafra project recognizes the right of any Igbo to retain his Nigerian nationality in the new Biafra, in accordance to the new Biafran Laws.
However, we ask father to forgive them for they know not what they do. Fellow Biafrans, do not despair. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Never shall we resolve to acquire inferior status in Nigeria out of cowardice. Nor shall we compromise the future of our children out of fear. It more honorable to die in the struggle for freedom than to live as slaves. We have initiated the struggle for the emancipation of our
people. It is a long-term project. God will provide the circumstance for the realization of our dream. Our duty is to ensure that the struggle does not die.