General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu gave his last speech as Biafran Head-of-State before leaving for Côte d’Ivoire, on this date. On that occasion, he said:
“In the three years of the war, necessity gave birth to invention.
During those three years of heroic bound, we leapt across the great chasm that separates knowledge from know-how. We built rockets, and we designed and built our own delivery systems. We guided our rockets. We guided them far, we guided them accurately.
For three years, blockaded without hope of import, we maintained all our vehicles. The state extracted and refined petrol, individuals refined petrol in their back gardens. We built and maintained our airports, maintained them under heavy bombardment.
Despite the heavy bombardment, we recovered so quickly after each raid that we were able to maintain the record for the busiest airport in the continent of Africa.
We spoke to the world through telecommunication system engineered by local ingenuity; the world heard us and spoke back to us! We built armoured car tanks. We modified aircraft from trainer to fighters, from passenger aircraft to bombers. In the three years of freedom we had broken the technological barrier.