Release The Biaffra Surrender Document – Now!
(AN OPEN LETTER TO Dr. GOODLUCK JONATHAN, GCFR)
Dr. Goodluck E. A. Jonathan,
President and Commander-in-Chief
Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Presidential Villa (Aso Rock),
Dear President Jonathan,
APPEAL FOR RELEASE OF THE DECLASSIFIED BIAFRA SURRENDER DOCUMENT
I hope that you, the first lady, and the rest of your household are well. As much as I realize how tough things can be since the abduction of the girls that finally drew the attention of the international community to Boko Haram, I trust that this letter will meet you in good spirits. However, that is not why I write you this public letter. Instead, it is about Biafra. I know you still remember the tragedy that befell the Igbo and other Easterners even though you were young when the Biafra war started in 1967.
On this day that commemorates the historic independence proclamation of Biafra on May 30, 1967, I make bold to earnestly entreat the Nigeria government that you now head to please release, without further delay, the declassified document of the surrender of Biafra – following a three-year genocidal war that the venerable Julius Nyerere, then President of Tanzania, appropriately called “cruel war,” rather than the benignity of “civil war” some commentators ascribe to it.
The release is warranted, Mr. President, by the dictates of both Nigerian domestic and international law. Beginning with Nigerian law, the Nigerian National Assembly passed a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) that you signed into law on May 28, 2011. In addition, a constitutional issue here was a major factor behind the adoption of the FOI: Nigeria's 1999 Constitution, which guarantees to all Nigerians a range of “fundamental” freedoms, including the right to know and freedom of speech. The immediate release of the Biafra surrender document would be consistent with the letter and spirit of both the FOI and the Nigerian Constitution that inspired the adoption of the law. Turning to international law, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a multilateral treaty that Nigeria is a party to, also importantly guarantees these freedoms. You will agree with me, Mr. President, that Ndi Igbo and other interested Nigerians deserve access to this public document 44 long years since the genocidal war ended. Without question, 44 years is more than the maximum 30-year rule imposed for declassification of key national security documents. Complying with this release request would NOT be an onerous act that imposes any hardship on your government. Under the presidential system of government, borrowed from the United States of America that Nigeria operates, all that is needed is for you, as chief executive, to take care that the law is faithfully executed. Accordingly, I expect action within the mandatory 30 working days, under the FOI Act.
On January 12, 1970, General Philip Effiong of blessed memory, called for a cease-fire dialogue, and submitted his request to that effect. In accepting the unconditioned request, we know the following words were part of the final agreement signed three days later with the Nigeria authority:”Truce –Cessation of Hostilities, This Country, This Armistice, Peace,” etc. At the negotiating roundtable, everyone was equal, hence the truce agreement. The occurrence recounted for you here was a key factor in General Yakubu Gowon's declaration of “no victor, no vanquished.” The truce agreement was also, what impelled Gowon to declare the three “Rs” of Reconciliation, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction, that, as it turned out, and, as Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, pungently pointed out recently, applied to other regions of Nigeria, but not the war devastated East or Biafran territory. Where, then, is the “surrender” of Biafrans? Is it not possible that, as the Aburi Accord preceding it, lends testimony to, the contents of the so-called surrender letter presented by General Effiong, contained words that were “too complicated” for Generals Gowon and Obasanjo to understand?
Since the end of the genocidal war, self-termed pundits have busied themselves celebrating the “defeat” of Biafra, signified by the so-called surrender document, but enquiring minds demand publication of the contents of the letter – so we can finally bring to an end, the speculation, since the end of hostilities, regarding its actual content. I hope that you will use your good offices to contribute to that demystification by releasing the document without any more delay.
Mr. President, for all the opportunity it had to build a durable peace in the aftermath of the genocidal war, Nigeria, unfortunately, remains a historical fraud. It is a heartening relief to know that, after 100 years, the fraudulent experiment has, technically expired without renewal. If old nations like France, and Britain (The “United Kingdom”) still have difficulty with unity (as will crystallize for Britain later this year when Scotland votes for independence after 300 years of uneasy marriage), there is no way the disagreeable nations, with nothing in common, and comprising the “geographical space” called Nigeria could be in one country. When about 80 years ago, one German bully, by the name Adolf Hitler, came out with his born-to-rule mentality, others, real leaders, rallied the world and forced him into the submission – and perdition – he deserved. Similarly, the incompatible nations of Nigeria forced into un-consented and unhappy marriage ought to be set free forthwith.
Mr. President, although it is you I address in this letter, please permit me to make a few remarks about two of your predecessors, as Heads of the Nigerian State: General Gowon and General Obasanjo. Each of them participated in the genocidal war perpetrated against the Igbo and other Easterners.
Gowon's memory must have failed him as he repeatedly draws bizarre parallels between Boko Haram and Biafra. The only similarity I perceive is that the executors of both are the same people, who continue to operate with impunity because the Nigerian State and well-meaning citizens in general, refuse to bring them to account for their murderous ways. Gowon needed to be reminded that in spite of all the forces that ganged up against Biafra, the strange company of opposites consisting of Britain, the former Soviet Union, Egyptian pilots, and other Arab States, it still took close to three years to end what initially was called “Police Action.” He needs to be reminded in plain language that, yes, there was a truce to end the war, but that the promised reconciliation that formed the basis for that truce never happened. The backstabbing, coup plotting general needs to know that psychologically, and in many other ways, Biafrans never returned to the Nigeria they left in 1967! Gowon and his collaborators of Biafra genocide need to know that “all is not fair in war” when you direct your extreme anger and hate on defenseless children and women, especially through starvation. Under the Principles of Humanitarian Law, signified by the Geneva Conventions, even captured soldiers in the battlefield deserve fair treatment, which the people did not receive from Gowon's Nigeria. He should be told that he could not simply wish away the more than three million souls of Biafra, the spirit of Captain August Martin, whose Red Cross plane was shot down, the spirit of Bruce Mayrock who burnt himself protesting the genocide, and many other Biafra friends he had a hand in wasting. The spirit of the legendary John Lennon must still be singing his “Instant Karma” song against the backdrop of his government's (British) involvement in the Biafra genocidal war. Gowon should be told in plain language that, pray all he wants, God turned His face from him long ago because of the injustices he perpetrated on innocent Biafrans, and including the many opportunities he deliberately missed to repair his victims, many of them innocent Biafran children. God is indifferent to the prayers of the wicked!
Next now to General Olusegun Obasanjo: His invasion of Owerre did not end the war; instead, it brought only a truce agreement. We now know that the truce agreement with Biafra was the greatest mistake of his life since it denied him and his fellow travelers-in-crime, the opportunity of total ethnic cleansing of the Biafrans. Being the merciless and ruthless ruler he was, he wasted the lives of many innocent people. He ordered the shooting down of Captain August Martin, an African-American pilot flying an International Red Cross aircraft carrying relief supplies to the starving children of Biafra. When this clear breach of humanitarian law, embedded in the Geneva Conventions, outraged the world, his other partner-in-crime, Harold Wilson, came to his rescue. He had many opportunities to repent but chose the ways of the devil – continuously displaying his regrets for the truce. He rebuked Samuel Ogbemudia for contemplating to resuscitate the Biafra technologists. Through cowardice and fear mongering, he (goaded by Fulani-Hausa bloodsuckers) wickedly refused to site any international airport in the whole of Igboland. Bloodletting remains second nature to his life. Communities of Odi and Zaki Biam, once again, are few examples here. I can go on and on with his list of malicious designs, borrowing a leaf from his tribesman, Obafemi Awolowo.
For the time, running into three terms, he had to transform the country Obasanjo failed miserably. Yet that was not enough for him as he was willing to truncate the constitution to make himself a “Life President,” like his Northern feudal co-travelers claim “born-to-rule.” It is important to know that his actions or inactions created the Neo-Muslim extremism, including the creation of the Boko Haram surge as its enforcement sub-set. Is it not amazing that he knows who, when, and now how to negotiate with these religious jihadists? The only correct assessment about Nigeria ever to come out of his mouth was the observation that the country takes “one step forward, two steps backward, and two steps sideways.” Given this occurrence, there is no shred of merit to his statement that “this country, Nigeria has been created to be great by God.”
Mr. President, there is no question you mean well. However, your humility has been misinterpreted as weakness, even worse spinelessness. The suggestion then is that in a fraudulent country like Nigeria, that is full of blind people, a one-eye man like you, haba, cannot be king! There is no doubt you are directly under the influence of the Hausa-Fulani parasitic Jihadists and their unrepentant masters. If anyone questions this, your speech at the recent security summit in France says it all. A lone tree can never make a forest, not in the “geographic entity,” Nigeria, to use the appellation made famous by the Yoruba tribalist, Awolowo. You must know also that today's Hausa-Fulani designed Boko Haram is a rejuvenation of the old planned “Operation No Mercy” of the early sixties, designed to Islamize the “infidels.” If not, why has the Sultan of Sokoto and all the other Northern traditional rulers not declared “Fatwa” on Shekau and his marauding murderers?
Mr. President, Biafrans remain the only final obstacle to the design to “dip the Koran into the Atlantic Ocean,” an occurrence that explains the intense hatred for Igbo and their neighbors. Easterners must be aware that Hausa-Fulani inspired Boko Haram marauders are all over their neighborhoods – as their house gatekeepers, drivers, etc. Let them ignore this warning at their peril. As an Igbo saying goes, the empty calabash spinning around upstream thought it was enjoying a macabre dance, not knowing its dance toward downstream would be its doom at the mighty waterfall!
Mr. President, follow the law and your conscience by releasing to the world, immediately, the declassified Biafra surrender document so that we might behold its real content. As you do so, please note that the expired fraud called Nigeria needs to be laid to rest with a proper burial. Do the “needful” final acts as East European leaders did, by tearing down the Berlin wall, in obedience to the entreaties of the late Ronald Reagan – and be counted honorably among heroes – like Mikhail Gorbachev. The late Nnamdi Azikiwe, whose last name you count among your middle names, was great in some ways but might not qualify as a hero in the sense I use it here. Neither does the late Aguiyi Ironsi for all his military exploits and bravery. You must learn from the mistakes of these two men, and do not fall into the trap of sycophants. You must re-calculate, re-calibrate, and damn the consequences. May words of wisdom bring you strength as you gain power through knowledge. Thank you for your time reading this letter. I look forward to your release of the Biafra Surrender Document.
Maazi Nnanna B. Uma, PhD, CPCM
Cc: General Yakubu Gowon
General Olusegun Obasanjo
Ohaneze Ndi Igbo