• Recherche textuelle
  • Brèves
  • Des interviews exclusives de Dja-Apharou ISSA IBRAHIM, ami et confident de Jacques Baulin, responsable par donation de l’intégralité des documents constituant le fond, et président de l’association sont actuellement publiées dans la rubrique présentation.

  • Les trois ouvrages de J. Baulin : Conseiller du président Diori, La politique africaine d’Houphouët-Boigny et La politique intérieure d’Houphouët-Boigny
    seront disponibles sur le site en version iBook et en version Pdf dès septembre

photo faite

Geneva, June 18, 1969

C’est trop stupide je ne suis pas d’accord 23.06.69

Dear Sir

I have asked to make a report on what can be be done in the field of the public opinion, to gain their sympathies for the cause of the Nigerian governement.

In the following pages i shall try to precise what can be the Strategy and the Tactics of a good advertising campaign to achieve this aim.


the present situation.

Why the public opinion in Western Europe and America is siding the so-cailed Biafra ? According to me for the following reasons :

1. They believe that the fight going on is more or less a struggle between Christians and Moslems,

2. they have always sided by a sentimental reaction - of course when their interets are not involved too much - for the weak againts the strong,

3. they bilieve that the Biafrese are starving to death,

4. they are anticommunists, and Nigeria is helped military by the Soviet Union.

What must be said to couteract this trend.

1 The religioud problem.

Nine out of ten persons in Europe do not aven know for instance that General Gowon, the head of the Nigerian State, is a Christian. Nobody Knows that there are millions of Christians in Western Nigeria and aven in its Northern part, in the very area Wich is supposed to be populated on ly by Moslems.

The public opinion must know that it is a crookery which makes them believe that the civil war going on in Nigeria is a religious ware. This can be done through the press by giving for example the opportunity to Western newsmen to witness the real situation and to interwiew priests and clergymen or to visit churches in remote parts of Nigeria.

2 . The weak and the strong

The very fact that "Biafra" is carrying on the fight since two long years may be considered as a proof that the secessionists are not so weak. It is backed by countries and organisations some of which are eager to see the desintegration of Nigeria. It receives enough weapons and ammunition to carry on the fight and enough money to have the best propagande abrood.

One must not forget that at the beginning of the fratricide war"Biafra" is waging againts Nigeria, Ojukwu and is men were so strong that they even succeeded for a while to invade a large part of Nigeria.

3 . the starving children.

It must be known abroad that the pictures of children starving to death representes only a very small minority and that it is impossible now to get such pictures. That all newsmen who have been to biafra lately have witnessed that there is no more any starvation.

It must be said that any way the Nigerian government cannot be considered responsible even of the death of those of its citizens who vere starving one or two years ago because :

a - Those who are responsible for the starvation are the secessiionists themselves who, not only tried and are trying to take away a part of the country from the authority of the central government, but even did not let it help its citizenns. The responsibility of the death of these innocent Nigerian citizens falls on those who tried to separate a part of the country without thinking to the necissity of feeding its population.

b - The Nigerian Government proposed from the beginning to put an end to that tragic situation by sending food, or by allowing conwoys of lorries of the International Relief Organizations to bring the necessary supplies to its citizens in the seperated area. All the Nigerian Government ws asking for, was a check just to avoid arms and ammunition to be smuggled by this way.

c - Even when this proposal was rejected by the secessionists for the abvious reason that they were eager to get arms and ammunition through unchcked flights of planes some of them carying unfortunately a Red Cross, the central government, precisely to avoid its citizens to starve, accepted these flights, even if it was known quite well that weapons also were carries in to the rebel area.

d - This situation cannot be perpetuated anymore, because more people are dying now because of some stubborn rebel leaders who recieve, every night, 20 to 25 tons of weapons and ammunition. This kind of relief cannot be considered in any way as a humanitarian action.

The Nigeriian Govenment, according to International Law is quite decided to make its sovereignty respected by all those who are lengthening the bloodshed and the avoc in Nigeria, by procuring weapons to the rebels. In order to shorten the war and bring back peace in Nigeria by negociation, there is only one way : stop the night flights and allow the only day flights which can be supervised as carrying only food and medecine.

4. the communist problem.

Everyone knows that the Nigerian Government is neither communist not even pro-communist. But like Churchill at the eve of his alliance with Soviet Russia during the last Great War, the Nigerian Government is ready to ally with the devil in order to preserve the integrity of the territoty.

What could the Nigerian Government do to stop the invasion by the rebels of other parts of Nigeria at the beginning of the secession ? It had to look for arms everywhere possible. At that moment Moscow proposed to help Nigeria. It would have been foolish to refuse such a help when, at the same moment, the Western World was not making the leat to help Nigeria to preserve the integrity of its territory.

All these ideas may seem quite obvious for a Nigerian. They are however unknown to Foreigners. That is why i think that these thesis must be hammered in the minds of the Western public opinion. Because advertising is like hammering a nail : it is impossible to do it by one stroke, it needs lots of strokes, lots of repetitions of thes few basic ideas in several different ways.

I think too, tht by yhis media, it is possible to change the whole atmosphere which is prevailing now in Western Europe and which is hostile to Nigeria. If this atmosphere changes, even the state-supervised Broadcastings and TVS will have to revise their present attitude.

Of course the main problem is to know how all this can be done in a practical way.


1. An Information Bulletin

Markpress, the Biafrese Publicity Agency in Geneva is Issuing an information Bulletin which is sent to thousands of persons in the world.

Nothing is done, for the time being, on the Nigerian side. This is a gap that has to be filled as soon as possible by the fallowing means :

a . The best way would be of course to have a Publicity Organization which will accept to counteract the Biafrese propagande. If this, as it seems, is impossible, there is only one other way : to give the Nigerian Embassy in France the responsibility of doing it.

b. A small advertising technical Orgenization well equiped and staffed and able to send every week nearly 10.000 bulletins, must be created within that Embassy. It is possible to get the necessary addresses - they exist already - of the most interestes people in Afrocan Affairs especially in France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, etc. The weekly must be sent olso to all Nigerian Embassies abroad and they mus be asked to give it the widest ciculation.

c. The bulletin must be sent in three languages, in French, English and German.

d. The contents of that weekly must :

- advertise the real facts of what is going on in Nigeria,

- advertise the official position of the Nigetian Governmment, its eagerness for a settlement, the statements of Nigerian Christians religious leaders, etc.

- answer to the arguments of Markpress without quting it,

- show for instance that everyone is congrulating Ojukwu for the liberation of the 18 men of the Italian Petroleum Group and forgeting that he is responsible for the death of 11 others,

- remind Houphouët-Boigny that while he is backing now Biafra, he fought like hell in his own country from 1960 to 1966 againts the Sanwi peoole were asking also for self-determination and who were backed by Kwame N’Krumah,

- just show the real political and personnal reasons of Houphouët’s backing of Biafra,

- show that the great majority of the African States are quite aware of the dangers od secession in any country of Africa,

- advertise the pro -Nigeria positions of the African Heads of States.

e. An experienced journalist well eware of the state of mind of European Public opinion throug his contacts with journalits specialized in African Affairs must be in charge of the editorial conduct of the weekly.

2. Full page publicity.

At the same time in the main newspapers of the Western countries, a full page odd, advertising the position of the Nigerian Government must be paid for on the basis of the publicity tariff, let us say every 3 or 4 months at least for one year. This will not only popularize the views of the Nigerian Government, but also from that moment on these newspapers, looking for more adds in the future similar to the first one, will be more cautions when writing on the Nigerian drama.....

This must be done of course through the official channel of the Embasies.

3. Invitation to newman.

Always at the same time, invitations must be extended to jounalits to visit Nigeria. They must be carefully chosen, after casual preliminary discussions with yhem by someone who knows them personnaly, just in orrder to know beforehand if there is any chance to convince them that the position of the Nigerian Government is correct.

They must be invited :

By small groups (3 or 4 at the utmost just to have them silidly in hand),

For solide week,

On a national basis, i.e. the French together, the Dutch together, etc.

These invitations must be, at the beginning, at a very rapid rate, let us say a group every 15 days.

They must be given the largest possible liberty to go everywhere - or at leats they must have that feeling - with in the limits of their own security and that of the Nigerian army, but always in a liberal way.

They must be able to go from the North to the South and from East to the West, or at leats they must be convinced of it.

They must meet the Head of the State as well as the Ministers. These officials must do their utmost to present their thesis in the most humanitarian way, to show that what the Nigerian Government is looking for is to bring back peace, that as any other Government in the world it cannot accept the breaking down of the unity of the countrythat if it does such a thing it will endanger the fragile unity of nearly all the countrien of Africa, etc. All these things must be said in a wayto touch the hearts as well as the brains of th journalists.

Above all, there must be, in Lagos, one NIgerian man, with the broadest culture possible, well convinced of the justice of the Nigerian case, a good debater, i.e. able to answer intelligently to all the questions of the journalists, having enough auturity in order to make the Civil Servants in Lagos as well as the in land receive the guest of the Government in the true African tradition of hospitality. He must have enough money to be able to pay cash the meals, the drinks and the other expenses of the guests, while behaving with the utmost visible honesty, that is to say, by taking openly a check for every expenditure.

The experience shows that such invitations are fully paid back in a very short time, in the form of articles in the newspapers.

The weekly will then publish excerpts of these papers thus broadening their scope.

4. The Public Relations problem.

The Nigerian Ambassadors abroad must be given the necessary exceptional funds to invite jurnalists, MPS, economists, social workers, etc. Even if some of them are not pro-Nigerian, for lunches, or drinks, or diners to which must participate the Press Officers of these Embasies.

The aim for the Public Relations offensive is to make the elites of every country get acquainted with the problems of the Nigerian Govenment, and to begin to understand the drama of Nigeria.

Of course, it can be asked to these Diplomats, to make reports on their various meetong once a month for example.

Such an action can be success ful with in les than six months..

info portfolio

Creative Commons License Fonds d’archives Baulin (http://www.fonds-baulin.org), développé par Résurgences, est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons : Paternité-Pas d’Utilisation Commerciale-Pas de Modification 2.0 France.
Plan du site
Site propulsé par l'Atelier du code et du data, chantier d'insertion numérique