August 14, 1967 20:00 GMT
Excerpts From Brig Victor Banjo Broadcast on Benin Home Service As Biafran Troops Storm Into Mid-West
“… The 29th July 1966 Federal Military Government, came into being as a result of a mutiny in which the primary action was directed at the elimination of a particular ethnic group and the supremacy of another ethnic group in Nigeria. This has had the effect of destroying the basic mutual trust and confidence among the people of Nigeria and has created the (decentralization) of the Nigerian people into tribal groups. This action, more than any other event that has occurred throughout the history of Nigeria has had the greatest effect on the dismemberment of Nigeria.
The Federal Military Government cannot claim to represent the government of the people of Nigeria and to fight for the unity of Nigeria while constantly rejecting fundamental human rights for all people forming part of Nigeria. The Federal Military Government cannot claim to be seeking a peaceful solution to the problems for achieving Nigerian unity, while at the same time contemptuously ignoring the wishes of the people of the Mid-West and the West in their previous demands for the removal of the unruly troops of the North from their territories in order to allow the unfettered decision of the present political crisis.
The Federal Military Government cannot claim to be genuinely interested in the progress and welfare of the Nigerian people while at the same time inflicting the most bloody warfare on the people of Nigeria and employing unscrupulous foreign mercenaries in a total war that really destroys hundreds of our people and the economy of our nation.
The people of Biafra have right to fight a government that has constantly treated its people to the most savage forms of brutality and persists in denying this people its fundamental human rights while (words indistinct) to represent other interest. It is my view that the people of Biafra were prepared to remain part of the nation into which they have for so many years invested their resources of manpower and material and with which they had the closed social ties. Provided the people of Biafra could live within such a nation under a government that truly represents all sections of its people and truly tries to pursue such measures as are designed to promote the welfare of all Nigerians irrespective of tribe or religion (sentence as broadcast).
It is the remnant of the old Nigerian Army that broke away in July that now threatens the Nigerian nation. This Northern Army is now under the power and control of a group of Northern feudalists who have as their aim the total conquest of Nigeria. The Federal Military Government, having been brought to power and control by that army, is playing to that end. Hence policies are inevitably directed towards achieving the objectives of the Northern feudalists who control that army.
Biafra has (words indistinct) against the ambition of the Northern feudalists who expected to inflict their despotic dictatorship on the rest of Nigeria. While Biafra’s resistance (succeeds) the rest of Nigeria appears to enjoy some form of participation in the Federal Government. If Biafra were to be subdued the ambition of the Northern feudalists would have been achieved and the people of Nigeria will be (brought) too late into the realization that they have been living under the shadow of a dictatorship that is being imposed by the least enlightened of its people. It is ironical that the other sections of Nigeria are assisting the Northern feudalists to crush Biafra and to impose on themselves a dictatorship that will be devoid of the rule of law and of normal human standard of conduct.
It is even more astonishing that the great democracies of the world, whose people have over the years fought for freedom and representative government, should actively be supporting the imposition of feudal dictators on the rest of Nigeria.
Fellow Nigerian citizens, I am a Nigerian, I believe in the Nigerian nation and I am fighting for a Nigeria in which no group will be dominated by another: in which the rule of law shall be entrenched; and in which the various peoples of Nigeria can live together in mutual trust under a government that truly represent and truly strives for the progress of all its people.
I have fought for Biafra in the struggle of its people to sustain their right to live a life of peace in their own way and at their own pace …”