58. Memorandum From the Country Director for West Africa (Melbourne) to the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Palmer)1 2


  • Activities of Visiting Biafrans - INFORMATION MEMORANDUM

Three distinguished Biafran officials are currently in Washington pursuing a busy schedule of lobbying. They are Dr. Pius Okigbo, Economic Advisor to the Biafran Government with Ministerial rank; Dr. Eni Njoku, former Vice-Chancellor of Nsukka University and now President of the “University of Biafra”; and Dr. Kenneth Dike, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan. Chinua Achebe, the novelist, and Gabriel Okara, the poet, are also in the U.S. and believed to be in and out of Washington.

To keep you posted:

As you know, Okigbo had dinner with Roger Morris and Bob Smith about three weeks ago. Since Okigboʼs return from Biafra last week, he has been in frequent touch with Roger by telephone. Dr. Okigbo also addressed the International Economistsʼ Club, April 17, on the subject, “Does Biafra Make Sense Economically.” He is still pressing to see Dr. Kissinger, most recently through Dr. Teller.
Njoku had lunch this week with Dr. Hannah, AID Administrator, and is also lunching with Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, Director of the Smithsonian Institute, and former Ambassador William Taft of SCI. He is asking the latter to make an appointment for him to see Congressman Taft. He has an appointment on April 18 to see Dr. Lee A. DuBridge, Science Advisor to the President, and has also been in touch with Wilton Dillon, formerly of the National Academy of Science.
All three (Okigbo, Njoku and Dike) are scheduled to have dinner on April 21 with me, Claus Ruser, Col. Kennedy, and Roger.
Dr. Dike is holding a press conference at the National Press Club on April 18.

Needless to say, all of them have been active in making other contacts with prominent Americans, some private, some in the executive branch, and particularly with various Senators and Congressmen, about which we have not been informed.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Special Coordinator on Relief to Civilian Victims of the Nigerian Civil War, February 1969–June 1970, Box 514, Lot 70 D 336, Political. Limited Official Use. Copies were sent to Moore, Ferguson, and Ruser.
  2. The memorandum outlined the lobbying activities in Washington of Biafrans Dr. Pius Okigbo, Dr. Eni Njoku, and Dr. Kenneth Dike.