This is the News Analysis segment of the Voice of Biafra International Broadcast. 


For June 29, 2002


You have heard the news; now, the analysis…


Our people, in their prolific wisdom, always use meaningful and appropriate parables to deliver the most effective communication. So, today, we take you to the 1960’s: why? Because, our people say that if you cannot tell when it started raining on your parade, you will never be able to tell when it stopped raining. We are going to remind you of when it started raining on your party, and when you got soaked wet, so that you can decide when to get out from under the rain and dry out.


We are going to tell you this through the eyes and words of the US intelligence in Nigeria in the 60’s. There is nothing hidden about what we are going to share with you; as you may or may not know, many documents collected by the US government intelligent services are “declassified” after so many years, BY LAW, so that the public can have free and easy access to this information.


We continue from where we stopped last week


Telegram 55599 to Lagos, September 28, [1966] reported that Palmer talked again that morning to Nigerian Ambassador Martins, emphasizing U.S. concern at a deteriorating security situation in the North and reports of reprisals against Ibos. He stressed the need to correct this situation or events might be set in motion that could force the East into secession.


The US clearly saw the true and justifiable reason for the secession of Biafra, because “this situation or events” that concerned the US in the above telegram did in fact get worse and did continue, as Northern Nigerians massacred thousands of Ibo and Biafrans and all Easterners were forced to return to the East—if they made it alive.


Almost 1 year following its last evaluation of Nigeria in August of 1965, the CIA summarizes the situation in Nigeria in an October 1 1966:

“…Africa's most populous country (population estimated at 48 million) is in the throes of a highly complex internal crisis rooted in its artificial origin as a British dependency containing over 250 diverse and often antagonistic tribal groups.


The present crisis began to take shape shortly after Nigeria became independent in 1960, but for some years the apparent success of a federal parliamentary arrangement concealed serious internal strains. It has been in an acute stage since last January when a military coup d'etat destroyed the constitutional regime bequeathed by the British and upset the underlying tribal and regional power relationships. At stake now are the most fundamental questions which can be raised about a country, beginning with whether it will survive as a single viable entity.


At this time, even the immediate further evolution of the crisis is most uncertain. In general, however, the country has appeared in recent months, especially since a second army coup last July, to be moving at an accelerating rate along a downward slope with a consequent diminution of its prospects for unity and stability. Unless present army leaders and contending tribal elements soon reach agreement on a new basis for association and take some effective measures to halt a seriously deteriorating security situation, there will be increasing internal turmoil, possibly including civil war.


So, we see again that the CIA had accurate representation of what was going on in Nigeria in 1966, down to the root cause of the problems in Nigeria being “…a highly complex internal crisis rooted in its artificial origin as a British dependency containing over 250 diverse and often antagonistic tribal groups…” Is this not what we have always stated? Hello! Is anybody listening out there? Was anybody listening then, in the US government—never mind the perjured and prejudiced (against the Southerners) British government.


Today, with the 20/20 of hindsight, many people, including a few misinformed and misguided Biafrans, have blamed Ojukwu for rushing Biafra into war. Nothing could be further from the truth. Listen to this from October 18, 1966:


107. Limdis from Ambassador.


1. In long private talk last night Ojukwu stated flatly that East would  not participate in resumed constitutional conference Oct 24 or later unless all northern troops removed from Lagos and various other conditions met. Ojukwu also said that in view recent atrocities against Ibos, East firmly determined to accept nothing more than loose

confederation. East willing preserve "name of Nigeria" but on own terms. Ojukwu obviously considers chances of continued association East with rest of Nigeria very poor and seems more than reconciled to secession.


The US government subsequently started receiving conflicting advice from her Secretary of State and the Ambassador.


Manila, October 27, 1966, 0220Z.

4645. Secto 23. For Acting Secretary From Secretary. Regarding Mathews' recommendations summarized in Special Summary 18, I think we should be very careful about nominating ourselves as the supervisor of Nigerian federal unity. I do not object to full persuasion in presenting to the East the great advantages to them of remaining in the federation. I would not, however, start applying threats or sanctions of US initiatives as a means of pressure. The proposed West Indian Federation and East African Federation did not come off. French-speaking Africa broke up into far more units than we expected or hoped for. Singapore broke away from Malaysia. We regret all such divisiveness but it is not up to us to go around telling people how they should solve such problems under pressure of US sanctions. I hope the East will not secede; I hope that we can persuade Mfukwu [Ojukwu] and Gowon to get together. But if anyone is to go beyond persuasion into actual measures, the British and their fellow Commonwealth members should be way out in front.


This was sound advice and would have made a civilized and well-balanced US policy, but read the Ambassador’s planbelow:


Telegram 3120 from Lagos, October 26, reported Mathews' recommendations that he be authorized to inform Ojukwu that in the event of a unilateral secession the East could expect neither recognition nor support from the U.S. Government and that, unless Ojukwu could give assurances that the East would not secede, U.S. citizens would be advised to leave the East and U.S. Government programs would be suspended there


Special Summary No. 18, October 26, reported Mathews' recommendations and his belief that political and economic sanctions could be effective in thwarting any secession attempt.


Telegram 73734 to Lagos, October 26, sent prior to the receipt of this cable, stated reservations about Mathews' proposed actions, including the threat of the evacuation of U.S. nationals and the curtailment of the AID programs, and stated that any approach to the FMG or to Ojukwu should be coordinated with the British.


Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Nigeria


Washington, November 9, 1966, 5:44 p.m.



1. USG seeks maintain Nigerian unity because it realizes East's defection would cause grave problems for rest of country as well as for East and because prospects for further fragmentation would be high. Obviously our continuing efforts must depend upon full appreciation by influential Nigerian elements.


What a misguided direction by the US. How soon they forget the pogrom and genocide against the Igbos and other Easterners in Nigeria.


2. Department has been giving much thought to US policy in event East should secede. US cannot be expected to serve with UK as guardian of Nigerian territorial integrity if, after long and arduous effort in this direction, a powerful and cohesive section of country should prove determined to disavow its association with rest. Subject has

been discussed at IRG meeting in preliminary way.


A lesson to us today: only when you persevere and liberate your own nation can you expect recognition from the other countries. Other countries may and will fight against you, but don’t expect any to advance your cause for you. Only you can liberate yourself!


The discussions in the US continue:


More intensive discussion scheduled for November 17 and will revolve around following general contingency situations and their variants:


a. Eastern Nigeria proclaims UDI [unilateral Declaration of Independence]. FMG declares East in state of rebellion and attempts invasion of East, in conjunction with blockade, to restore its authority. This contingency presents US with its most difficult decisions and poses most serious threat to US citizens resident in Nigeria.


b. East intensifies its drift into de facto independence without UDI and is coupled with disturbances and breakdowns in law and order in various sections of country. Lack of adequate military capabilities prevents FMG from invading East, but it mounts general effective political and economic blockade.


c. There is prolonged period of continuing drift and uncertainty during which negotiations between East and other regions take place but without any definitive solution being reached.




3. Current approach here to problem may be summarized in these terms. If unity no longer possible despite US-UK efforts, in such environment US must move to protect its own interests, strive for as much stability in area as possible, and seek to maintain its presence in all regions of Nigeria to prevent vacuum which others could enter and exploit.


4. It should be emphasized that outlined contingency approach and brief resume above are tentative pending serious examination. Prior to this on November 17 it would be most helpful if you could give us your views within such a context.


Telegram 3675 from Lagos, November 16, reported the Embassy's view of Nigeria's problems. It concluded that the Embassy considered that the Nigerian situation was "not yet hopeless" and that the most urgent problem was to try to help avert the "worst of all contingencies" namely the fragmentation of Nigeria.


Of course, what would you expect from the US Ambassador’s office? He and his office minimized the true situation in Nigeria, in their hope and blind allegiance to one Nigeria. The Biafra war became inevitable. The fault lines appeared and matured in the fabric called Nigeria. Fragmentation has already occurred and Nigeria has been crumbling, doing so slowly as if to torture Nigeria as punishment for her iniquities and criminal past treatment and mistreatment of Biafrans. The process is painfully slow, perhaps, to remind Britain and the US of their mistakes.


We present this to you for your information. There are all kinds of people out there today, including even some misguided Biafrans, who would love nothing more than to revise history. Even General Obasanjo has tried; that, of course, was understood and predictable. Now, you can make up your own mind. You can be the judge as to whether much has changed with the circumstances and fortunes of Nigeria since 1960’s.


Biafra was the answer then. Biafra is still the answer today.


Biafra lives!



That’s all the news analysis for this week.


God bless and keep Biafra and you, until next week. VOBI broadcast continues. (Audio version part of weekly VOBI broadcast posted on Biafraland website,, follow the "Voice of Biafra" Link)