The nation Biafra is descended from the seventh son of Jacob, Gad. Three of Gad’s sons – Eri, Arodi, and Areli – left Egypt with their households at the heights of Pharaoh’s torment, and wandered down west Africa to settle in the part today inhabited by their descendants, Biafrans.
Eri, the eldest of the three brothers, settled in Nri – the ancestral home of all Biafrans. His own eldest son, Agulu-Eri, founded the Agulu-Eri town where he built the famous Obu Gad in the loving memory of his grandfather, Gad. Obu Gad is today a historic site, evidencing many Biafran Jewish heritage.
Arodi settled at Arochukwu – the city taking its name from its founder, Arodi. The youngest of the brothers, Areli, went down to settle at the riverine area, giving birth to most of the riverine non-Igbo speaking Biafrans.
As is evidenced in various maps of ancient Africa – maps of 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18thcenturies – the nation Biafra has been in existence for over five thousand (5000) years. In 18th century however, Biafra was conquered by British forces and ruled as a British colony.
In 1914, the colonial administration of Fredrick Lugard, seeking to use the resources in Biafra land to balance the budget deficit in the area today referred to as Northern Nigeria, lumped three separate nations together as one country. Thus, Biafra was forced into the unholy union today called Nigeria. Biafra territory then became known as Eastern Nigeria.
In 1945, the other parts of Nigeria began the killing of Biafrans in a very coordinated form. The pogrom reached an alarming rate in 1966 when about four hundred thousand (400,000) Biafrans were killed. Efforts by the then governor of Eastern Nigeria, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, to get the Nigerian government to stop the pogrom proved abortive.
With the Yakubu Gowon led government of Nigeria turning its back on the agreements reached in the peace talk in Aburri, Ghana, (commonly referred to as Aburri Accord), and the carnage snowballing into a full scale genocide, Biafrans were left no alternative than to seek an identity separate from the Nigerian Identity.
Acting in his capacity as the governor of the oppressed Eastern Nigeria and on the mandate of the ruling council of the then Eastern Nigeria, heads of parastatals, Academic staff Union of Universities, and everyone that mattered in the land, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu on the 30thof May, 1967, declared the then Eastern Nigeria with her territorial waters a sovereign state known, called and referred to as Republic of Biafra – her ancient name.
Nigerian government encouraged by the British government under Harold Wilson then visited war on the young republic, killing, according to Irish report, over six million people in the space of three years the war lasted. In January 1970, Biafra was again forced into the Nigerian union that has no better offer than periodic carnage on Biafrans.
Within the three years of war, Biafran expertise and technological know-hows came to fore as Biafra, blockaded and under heavy bombardments, built her own bombs, guns, armored tanks, telecommunication system, airport, oil refineries, as well as converting passenger planes to fighter jets. Biafra by her achievements in those three years of existence, although under war situation, became the most technologically advanced black nation in the world.