B I L I E                        Biafra Liberation in Exile                            Biafra Flag

BILIE INAUGURAL SPEECH

 

 With the greatest sense of responsibility and honour we see it as a privilege to stand before this great audience today. Brothers and sisters we want to say thank you for coming. We want to thank also those who contributed in no small measure to make this occasion possible. Ladies and gentlemen, we want to acknowledge the great efforts, services and contributions of our political leaders to our Homeland. We want to thank especially our host Imo State and her Governor Rochas Okorocha for the wonderful hospitality we have received from them.

 

 BILIE and Bilie Human Rights Initiative, we must let us know have the backing of the UN having been registered with the United Nations as a civil society organization to represent and push for the interests and rights of the indigenous peoples of Biafra. Here following is the actual mission statement of BILIE as we have it in the United Nations document “BILIE is an Organization for the cultural, social and economic development of the Biafran people, to nurture the needs of Biafran people, to advocate for self-determination and independence of Biafra by legal methods and to bring the awareness of the situation in Biafra to the United Nations and the entire world. BILIE is a National Liberation Movement for the purposes of international law to enforce the rights of the indigenous people of Biafra." We also need to state the fact that BILIE is also registered with the Nigerian Government as a legal entity committed to advocating for the rights of and justice for the indigenous peoples of Biafra. On the whole we are using legal and peaceful means to secure our rights and freedom as a people. We in BILIE are working in association with all advocates for freedom and separation movements in all of Biafra Land. BILIE provides support and guidance of all kinds to all the liberation activists within the region. We are bound together as one people that share common hopes, history, creed, aspirations and a common goal: SELF-DETERMINATION, we want to be free.

 

Everyday around the world histories are being made and we believe that in the next one hundred years this gathering today will still be remembered. Yes, brothers and sisters we feel very privileged to be part of this history. As we all know, the reason for our gathering here today is freedom; Self Determination for us, our children and their own children. Freedom is one of the most basic instincts of the human nature. Freedom and the right to determine how we use it as human beings are as basic to our existence as the air we breathe and the food we eat. For any individual or a group of people anywhere in the world, freedom is not a privilege but a fundamental right that must be asserted and appropriated for such lives to be meaningful and dignified. No doubt, most of us who are here today must have heard this saying before: Live free or die. What this means is that freedom is superior to life itself.

 

Brothers and sisters as a people and as individuals to earn the respect of fellow human beings around the world we must collectively come to this most important realization that freedom precedes honour and must come before wealth and even life. This generation of all the indigenous peoples of Biafra is being confronted with this challenge today. How will history write about us? Shall it be said that we chose survival in bondage, deprivation, subjugation, colonialism, despoliation, exploitation, genocides, ethnic cleansing and hatred and denigration, religious bigotry, etc above our freedom and human dignity? God forbid.

 

Today as we speak, indigenous peoples all over the world are asserting themselves through referendums and even outright declaration of their freedom and independence from oppression and deceit. From Kosovo to South Sudan, peoples everywhere are taking their destinies in their own hands, taking advantage of this time; the era of Self Determination. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the greatest period for all lovers of freedom everywhere, to be alive. So, as a people we have no excuse to continue living, even the next minute, in the Nigerian bondage.

 

We are here today to tell us that as a people that we can be free, we must be free and we have resolved to be free. The entire world stands behind this decision, this collective desire to be free, wake up, bilite (bilie) from our defeat and resignation to a state of helplessness to that of strength so as to earn our respect and dignity among all peoples of the world. The provisions of the United Nations Charter on Indigenous Peoples’ and Human Rights and African Union Declaration in Banjul on Human and Peoples’ Rights amongst other international legal provisions serve as our bulwark and confidence in this resolve. We have both legal and a people’s popular wish for freedom to back us in this most important pursuit and nobody who has any sense of self-respect has any reason not to be part of this great Project.

 

But we want to remind us that what comes of this meeting will be determined not by whether we can sit together today, but whether we can work together tomorrow and always to achieve our collective goal. We believe we can. We believe we must. That is what our people expect from us. That is what the rest of the world expects from us. We will move forward together, or not at all. The challenges we face are bigger than any individual’s preferences or political ambitions. It is freedom and the liberation of a people and their Land who have been so cheated, hated, mass murdered, deprived, oppressed and decimated.

 

We count it as the highest honour to be part of this great Project. We challenge all of us who are seated here today or anyone reading this to get involved and together we can reclaim our sovereignty and freedom. We do not wish to deceive anyone who is here today into believing that any freedom has ever come easy. Just as they say, freedom is never given but taken; we must be ready and work as one people to take Biafra’s freedom. To take this freedom and sovereignty which rightfully belong to us, we must be ready to give it all that we have got. No sacrifice from each and every one of us will be too little or too big. We must accept the challenge and take responsibility and be willing to work together with others as brothers and sisters and as team members. That’s how we are going to achieve this goal. That’s how we’ll win this challenge.

 

We also challenge you to join forces together as we reach out to all others in other political zones of Nigeria who are also anxious to free themselves from this Lugardist’s bondage of one-Nigeria. We extend to all lovers of freedom everywhere our warm hand of fellowship and promise to work together with them to secure a future that is befitting of our individual’s and collective aspirations. Back home, we need to remind us that it is time for us to shed our perceived differences, from Yenegoa to Enugu and from Obubura to Benin and Asaba, we may never have a better time than now to recover that which had been taken away from us; our very selves, respect, dignity, sovereignty and freedom. And we must not fail to remind us that Biafra of today and as it has always been is a federating of consenting nations of equals who have the greatest mutual respect for one another and a sense of brotherly affection for each other because we know that our fortunes and destiny belong together. We must come together and cooperate as one people to achieve this noble goal. Now, and not any other time, is the time to act. Now is the time for all of us to forge a brotherly bond of relationship based on love, mutual respect and a sense of belonging to get the job done. We must not relent, we will not waver, we must not be distracted and we will win through a collective effort. I urge you today, nay; I challenge us, to speak with one voice and fight as one people and continuously reaffirm our unity of purpose and this honourable and legitimate desire for SELF-DETERMINATION.

 

As we do this we must leave behind the divisive battles and discordant voices of the past. We must not let outsiders deceive or distract us or infiltrate our ranks, there will never come a day that those detractors will have any genuine intention for us or our children. History remains our best teacher in this regard. True brother remains faithful and will never turn against you no matter what happens. It is time for us to move forward as one united people.

 

We should have no illusions about the work ahead of us. It will not be easy but we are determined to win and we shall win. It may take some time because along the way there will be so many details and challenges that must be worked out but because we are determined we will neither stop nor be distracted from the great prize; freedom for our people and the Land of our fathers. Standing here today we cannot give us any fail-proof roadmap of how we’ll reach that better place beyond the horizon, the Land of our dreams, but we know and can assure you that we’ll get there. We know we will. The idea and physical/geographical reality of Biafra endures. Our resolve remains firm and our victory more than at any other time in history is certain.

 

Thank you, God bless you and Biafra.

 

J. C. Madu, MD.

ON BEHALF OF BILIE HUMAN RIGHTS INITIATIVE INAUGURAL COMM