May 08 2020 | Radio Biafra
General Philip Effiong, was born in year 18 November 1925 – and died 6the day of November 2003. General Philip Effiong was the first Vice President and the second President of the Republic of Biafra during the Biafra genocidal war christened Nigerian Civil War of 1967 to 1970 engineered by the British government of Harold Wilson.
He was born in Ibiono Ibom in present-day Akwa Ibom State Nigeria, was born on 18th November 1925, Philip Effiong joined the Nigerian Armed Forces on 28 July 1945. He quickly rose through the ranks until on 11th January 1956 he received the Queen’s Commission following his officer cadet training at Eaton Hall in Chester. The UK later commissioned him for duty in the Rhine, West Germany. He was then transferred to the Nigeria Army Ordnance Corps; then to England for further training after a peace-keeping stint in the Republic of Congo in 1961.
He was Nigeria’s first Director of Ordnance. His son is his namesake. General Effiong’s handling of Biafra’s surrender is one of the most tactical and devoted manoeuvres ever seen on the Nigerian scene. Those who do not appreciate the in-depth of it, may not have appreciated what was at stake as Biafra forces were weakened through the Federal government of Nigeria imposed blockade which consequently led to hunger and starvation.
At the time of the surrender, Effiong believed that the situation was hopeless and that prolonging the conflict would have led only to the further destruction and starvation of the people of Biafra. At that time Effiong said, “I am convinced now that a stop must be put to the bloodshed which is going on as a result of the war. I am also convinced that the suffering of our people must be brought to an immediate end.” General Phillip Effiong stood firm and well-grounded with the Biafran side, fought gallantly and took the most tactical and lifesaving decision in order to save what was left of the Biafran people. Through general Effiong’s decision and action, we are here again to reclaim our land and freedom.
General Philip Effiong shall be remembered forever. He is a great Man, loyal and committed to his duty and people. To all our Siblings in the Riverine area, Akwa Ibom included, Effiong stood for truth, fairness and justice which Biafra stands for. In General Philip Effiong’s words of advice to the Nigerian government just like a prophet, “treat the Children of the surrendering Biafra well and accommodated, or risk their Children rising” (Gen. Philip Effiong 1970). For standing with the oppressed, for fighting for freedom of his people even when he had all opportunity to switch sides, even when most of his kinsmen lost interest in the Biafran war, he stood strong and made the right decision. On 30th May 2020, we will remember all your great deeds.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media