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An informed evaluation of the Nigerian Civil War of 1967: A social science case study

Culled from Nigerian Muse

How do the Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler opportunity and grievance model, and the James Fearon and David Laitin’s civil war hypothesisassess the Nigeria Civil war (Biafra war of secession, 1967 – 1970)? Was the declaration of Biafra’s Independence largely as a result of opportunity or grievance?

Konye Obaji Ori

International Conflicts and Conflict Resolution

Department of International Relations

University of Indianapolis

12/02/09


Like several African nations, Nigeria was carved by the British who neglected the religious, ethnic and lingual differences that existed among the people who are Nigerians today. The country’s boundaries had been defined subjectively to demarcate where the contending claims of the colonial powers collided. Just seven years after independence from Britain in 1960, the eastern region of Nigeria by May 1967 declared itself an independent state called the Republic of Biafra, under the leadership of Lt Colonel Ojukwu in accordance with the wis…

Biafra - A Recent History (Part I - II)

By Astra Navigo, Subversify

(Coat of arms of the Republic of Biafra – 1967 – 1970)


It is better even from the point of survival to fight and be conquered than to surrender without fighting.

– George Orwell

Biafra lives.

– Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu (President; Biafra – 1967-’70)

5 July; 1967.

The day dawned hot and muggy in the thick forest canopy in eastern Nigeria, on the border of the new nation of Biafra. Early June saw the arrival of two Nigerian army artillery regiments, along with two regiments of Nigerian infantry, to the border.

The time had long passed to negotiate the many injustices suffered by the people east of the Niger River. All that was left was war.

The first shells began falling shortly after midnight.

_________________________

Created from necessity, Biafra existed as a response to the arbitrary ‘political construct’ of Nigeria from the ashes of the former British colony of the same name. The three major ethnic groups (Hausa, Falani, and Igbo) had never lived harmoniously; …

Biafra: A Recent History (Part III - IV)

By Astra Navigo, Subversify

“As I have said before, and I repeat, the war we are fighting is an imperialist war, waged by Britain and Russia in an unholy alliance and with the tacit acquiescence of the United States, and fought by proxy.”

“I see Biafra as a bastion of the free in an age in which freedom and self-determination are conditioned by the color of the skin. I would go further to say that for the acceptance of the black race, there must be a Biafra. If this Biafra is stifled, then perhaps in the future another will emerge.”

– Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu (Radio Biafra broadcasts; November/December; 1968)

By August of 1967, Biafra had been forced to withdraw from the occupied territories in Nigeria gained during its incursions in July and August. Back behind its original borders, Ojukwu could do nothing to prevent the destruction of most of his air force by the new Nigerian MiGs. By September, three Nigerian regiments had crossed the Niger into Biafra. With the abandonment of the c…