HERE IS THE SPEECH BY MAJOR GENERAL PHILLIP EFFIONG (MY HERO) MADE ON MONDAY, JANUARY 12, 1970 REGARDING THE ARMISTICE BETWEEN NIGERIA AND BIAFRA:





THE DISCUSSION/AGREEMENT  BETWEEN NIGERIA AND BIAFRA WAS AN ARMISTICE AND NOT A SURRENDER. HERE IS THE SPEECH BY MAJOR GENERAL PHILLIP EFFIONG (MY HERO) MADE ON MONDAY,  JANUARY 12, 1970 REGARDING THE ARMISTICE BETWEEN NIGERIA AND BIAFRA:

"Fellow Countrymen,

As you know, I was asked to be the officer administering the Government of this republic on the 10th of January 1970. Since then, I know that some of you have been waiting to hear a statement from me. I have had extensive consultations with the leaders of the community, both military and civil, and I am now encouraged and hasten to make this statement to you by the mandate of the Armed Forces and the people of this country. I have assumed the leadership of the Government.

Throughout history, injured people have had to resort to arms in their self-defense where peaceful negotiations fail. We are no exception. We took up arms because of the sense of insecurity generated in our people by the events of 1966. We have fought in defense of that cause.

I take this opportunity to congratulate officers and men of our Armed Forces for their gallantry and bravery, which had for them the admiration of the whole world. I thank the civil population for their steadfastness and courage in the face of overwhelming odds and starvation. I am convinced now that a stop must be put to the bloodshed, which is going on as a result of war. I am also convinced that the suffering of our people must be brought to an immediate end. Our people are now disillusioned and those elements of the old Government regime who have made negotiations and reconciliation impossible have voluntarily removed themselves from our midst.

I have therefore instructed an orderly disengagement of troops. I am dispatching emissaries to make contact with Nigeria's field commanders in places like Onitsha, Owerri, Awka, Enugu and Calabar with a view to arranging an armistice. I urge General Gowon, in the name of humanity, to order his troops to pause while an armistice is negotiated in order to avoid the mass suffering caused by the movement of population.

We have always believed that our differences with Nigeria should be settled by peaceful negotiations. A delegation of our people is therefore ready to meet representatives of Nigeria Federal Government anywhere to negotiate a peaceful settlement on the basis of OAU resolutions. The delegation will consist of the Chief Justice, Sir Louis Mbanefo as leader, Professor Eni Njoku, Mr. J. I. Emembolu, Chief A. E. Bassey and Mr. E. Aguma. The delegation will have full authority to negotiate on our behalf.

I have appointed a council to advise me on the Government of the country. It consists of the Chief Justice, Sir Louis Mbanefo, Brigadier P. C. Amadi (Army), Brigadier C. A. Nwawo (Army), Captain W. A. Anuku (Navy), Wing Commander J. I. Ezeilo (Air Force), Inspector-General of Police, Chief P. I. Okeke, Mr. J. I Emembolu (Attorney-General), Professor Eni Njoku, Dr. I. Eke, Chief A. E. Udofia, Chief Frank Opigo and Chief J. M. Echeruo. Any question of government in exile is repudiated by our people.

The civilian population are hereby advised to remain calm and cooperate with the Armed Forces and the Police in the maintenance of law and order. They should remain in their homes and stop mass movements which have increased suffering and loss of lives.

On behalf of our people, I thank those foreign Governments and friends who have steadfastly given us support in our cause. We shall continue to count on their continued help and counsel. I also thank His Holiness the Pope, the Joint Church Aid and other relief organizations, for the help they have given for the relief of suffering and starvation. I appeal to all Governments to give urgent help for relief and to prevail on the Federal Military Government to order their troops to stop all military operations.

May God help us all.”

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