Biafra is forty-five today

This is the Declaration speech by
Lieutenant-colonel Chukwuemeka
Odumegwu Ojukwu on Tuesday,
May 30, 1967! Fellow countrymen and women,
YOU, the people of Eastern
Nigeria: CONSCIOUS of the supreme
authority of Almighty God over all
mankind, of your duty to
yourselves and prosperity; AWARE that you can no longer be
protected in your lives and in
your property by any
Government based outside
eastern Nigeria; BELIEVING that you are born free
and have certain inalienable
rights which can best be
preserved by yourselves; UNWILLING to be unfree partners
in any association of a political or
economic nature; REJECTING the authority of any
person or persons other than
the Military Government of
eastern Nigeria to make any
imposition of whatever kind or
nature upon you; DETERMINED to dissolve all political
and other ties between you and
the former Federal Republic of
Nigeria; PREPARED to enter into such
association, treaty or alliance
with any sovereign state within
the former Federal Republic of
Nigeria and elsewhere on such
terms and conditions as best to subserve your common good; AFFIRMING your trust and
confidence in ME; HAVING mandated ME to proclaim
on your behalf, and in your name
the Eastern Nigeria be a
sovereign independent Republic, NOW THEREFORE I, Lieutenant-
Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-
Ojukwu, Military Governor of
Eastern Nigeria, by virtue of the
authority, and pursuant to the
principles recited above, do hereby solemnly proclaim that
the territory and region known
as and called Eastern Nigeria
together with her continental
shelf and territorial waters shall
henceforth be an independent sovereign state of the name and
title of THE REPUBLIC OF BIAFRA. AND I DO DECLARE THAT: (i) All political ties between us and
the Federal Republic of Nigeria
are hereby totally dissolved. (ii) All subsisting contractual
obligations entered into by the
Government of the federal
republic of Nigeria or by any
person, authority, organization
or government acting on its behalf, with any person,
authority or organization
operating, or relating to any
matter or thing, within the
Republic of Biafra, shall
henceforth be deemed to be entered into with the Military
Governor of the Republic of
Biafra for and on behalf of the
Government and people of of the
Republic of Biafra, and the
covenants thereof shall, subject to this Declaration, be performed
by the parties according to their
tenor; (iii) All subsisting international
treaties and obligations made on
behalf of Eastern Nigeria by the
Government of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria shall be
honored and respected; (iv) Eastern Nigeria’s due share of
all subsisting international debts
and obligations entered into by
the Government of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria shall be
honored and respected; (v) Steps will be taken to to
open discussions on the question
of Eastern Nigeria’s due share of
the assets of the Federation of
Nigeria and personal properties
of the citizens of Biafra throughout the Federation of
Nigeria. (vi) The rights, privileges,
pensions, etc., of all personnel of
the Public Services, the Armed
Forces and the Police now serving
in any capacity within the
Republic of Biafra are hereby guaranteed; (vii) We shall keep the door open
for association with, and would
welcome, any sovereign unit or
units in the former Federation of
Nigeria or any other parts of
Africa desirous of association with us for the purposes of running a
common services organization and
for the establishment of economic
ties; (viii) We shall protect the lives
and property of all foreigners
residing in Biafra, we shall extend
the hand of friendship to those
nations who respect our
sovereignty, and shall repel any interference in our internal
affairs; (ix) We shall faithfully adhere to
the charter of the Organization
of African Unity and of the United
Nations Organization; (x) It is our intention to remain a
member of the British
Commonwealth of Nations in our
right as a sovereign, independent
nation. Long live the Republic of Biafra!