A recent breaking article has raised serious questions on the validity of the so-called “Biafra Restoration” project being pushed by Radio Biafra. Allegedly, according to Nnamdi Kanu’s station, he and his followers’ roots are in Biafra and not Nigeria. The facts revealed by the research article however put Biafra several miles outside Nigeria’s eastern borders.
All olden maps show the country called Biafra as a region that starts far off in Cameroon and extends southward to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Encyclopedia Britannica 11th and 12th editions clarify that the Portugese named the Bight of Biafra and the Biafra country after a town in Portugal called “Marfa,” and that this country which lasted till the 19th century was in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, St Thomas’s Island and The Princes’s Islands. Biafra never extended west into Nigeria.
Encyclopedia: “The Bight of Biafra, or Mafra (named after the town Mafra in southern Portugal), between Capes Formosa and Lopez, is the most eastern part of the Gulf of Guinea; it contains the islands Fernando Po [Equatorial Guinea], Prince’s and St Thomas’s [São Tomé and Príncipe]. The name Biafra-as indicating the country-fell into disuse in the later part of the 19th century.”
Rather, the regions in Nigeria’s south that have been falsely defined as Biafra were in all 1500-1900s maps called “Benin.” The Benin region further extended eastward way past Calabar into today’s Cameroon.
Biafra as can be seen in maps starts from the right of the river Camarones or Rio dos Camarões, which is today called river Wouri. This is somewhere in today’s Cameroon and far right of Nigeria’s eastern border state of Cross river and Calabar.
Several old maps illustrating where Biafra was on the right side of today’s Nigeria can be viewed on the Princeton University website.
If the youthful Radio Biafra family does believe they are from Biafra, this would mean that they are Cameroonians and Equatorial Guineans and can only take their grouses and demands of a return to their ancestral home and creation of a related state to these countries and to the UN with the proper geographical location in these Nigeria’s neighbors’ territory.
The report questioned whether Odumegwu Ojukwu knew Biafra was not in Nigeria’s current territorial boundaries when he selected that name.
It is left to see whether realizing this, the Biafra Restoration project will properly trace their roots based on accurate geographical locations and take their plight to and desire to restore “Biafra” to Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
We call on all Nigerians and foreigners to resolve to intellectual redress of pertinent matters and to refrain from insult, disrespect and violence.