AHIARA DECLARATION, A BAD IDEA
Below is a quote from the Ahiara Declaration of June 1, 1969:
“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.”
The Biafra-Nigeria War ended six and a half months after the defiant declaration. It sounds more like the last gasps of a dying nation than a document for nation building. It is also chauvinistic. “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.” Mrs. Claude Jacqueline Pompidou, a feminist would certainly not be supportive of a manly Biafra. Her husband Georges Pompidou, the French President, was sympathetic to the Biafran cause.
Some have argued the timing was wrong. I agree, very, very, wrong. If such a declaration was made prior to the onset of hostilities, not one nation would have rallied to the Biafran cause. That line of action is obvious – every nation is your enemy. Their advice – Call off the idea of secession and seek peace with your enemies.
The Biafran nation can be resuscitated in the future with better planning. The socialist nature of the Declaration might have earned Biafra, the sympathy of an East Bloc nation. The Vietnamese defeated America with Chinese and Russian help.
The Ahiara Declaration was well-intentioned but you do not bare your secrets to building a great black nation to your enemies during a war of survival. The Feudalist Arab-Muslims, the Capitalist and Imperialist West, and the Communist East are all against Biafra. Where is Biafra going to get war materiel and support? May be from Space Aliens? The declaration was a bad idea.
Biafra should have sided with one of her enemies to achieve her aim of secession and then switch position after independence. Mass conversion to Islam will garner Muslim sympathy. Biafrans can discard Islam after independence.
A communist manifesto will encourage Russia to switch sides. After achieving nationhood, Biafra will be more capitalist than the USA. With the unrepentant colonialist Britain, intent on squelching black innovation on the Nigerian side, a game of divide and rule by Biafra may cause a division in the West. Others can play divide and rule as well as the British.
Granting oil licenses to France or Italy could open up a lifeline of war and humanitarian supplies to Biafra.
Until past, present, and future Biafrans acknowledge mistakes made by General Odimegwu Ojukwu and his advisers, if he had any, during the liberation struggle, future Biafrans are bound to repeat same.
Could these mistakes form part of the reasons that made Ojukwu not write a memoir?
Africastallestman will surely pose that question to the General in the afterlife.