Showing posts from 2009

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 accordanc

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 nev

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

Heinz Herrmann: My father in learning

By Mark Nwangwu, Vanguard THE most important duty of parents is to bring up their children to know and understand what is right and what is wrong; to be a person of good character. Better put, parents lead their children to live a life of virtue, of value, in all the circumstances that they, the children, may encounter. This learning experience takes place early in life and soon, one is ready to leave home, to face the world, armed with the truth of one's upbringing and the strength of one's character. Professor Heinz Herrmann, who passed on in the early hours of October 18, 2009, was a man who nurtured me in the character of learning. He created a laboratory where learning and the pursuit of truth were the highest goals of human life. I was already twenty-nine and had my doctorate, when I first came to Prof. Herrmann's lab in 1966 on a post-doctoral fellowship paid entirely from his grants. If I had not learnt right from wrong, and did not know what it meant to live a

Revisiting The Asaba Massacres

By Obi Nwakanma, Vanguard My attempt this week is to bring some attention to the subject of the Asaba massacres, one of the haunting ghosts of Nigeria’s last civil war. I pay particular tribute to Emma Okocha – Onye Amuma Cable – author of Blood on the Niger, the chilling account of the Asaba massacres of October 7, 1967. More than any other individual, Okocha has pursued the Asaba story with the temerity of a survivor, and the hardnosed instincts of a well-trained journalist. He has brought attention to the great evil that Nigerians love to forget: the attempt at selective annihilation of a people through acts of terrible war crimes. Asaba has become Okocha’s life work; an obsession. He says it is to bring closure, and give final rest to those who perished that day in Asaba. But I suspect something much deeper and personal. Of course it is up close and personal for Emma Okocha. He is from Asaba; he survived the massacres; but his entire family perished. The Igbo name their child

Death of a Missionary Priest, Father Aengus Finucane

Written by John O'Shaughnessy, Limerick Post FATHER Aengus Finucane, the former Chief Executive of the Third World charity Concern, and a native of Limerick, where he was made a Freeman of the City, has died, aged 77. He died in the Spiritan Fathers’ nursing home in Kimmage after a short illness. The late Fr Finucane is survived by two sisters and three brothers. He was a product of Limerick CBS and later studied Philosophy, and was ordained a Holy Ghost priest in 1958. The Nigerian civil war four decades ago catapulted him into emergency aid. As a Spiritan missionary in Biafra, a region that was trying to breakaway from Nigeria, he was confronted with famine. He joined parishioners in braving bombing raids to unload relief cargoes at a local airstrip. Supporters of Fr Finucane and his fellow missionaries raised almost €4m and sent four shiploads of humanitarian aid. They founded Africa Concern. Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power, expressed deep re

Biafran Retrospect: Umu-Igbo Express Gratitude to a Man Who Saved Them

By Rev. Father Tobe Nnamani Dr George Hussler and Rev Father Tobe Nnamani Gabon 1970: A gift given to Dr Hussler by the Biafran children at "Village KM 11" Rev. Dr. Hussler and Chief Joseph Mmeh “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” - Cicero - Preamble In April 1968, the survival of the nascent Republic of Biafra was hanging on the balance. After the fall of Enugu in September 1967, Biafran major cities continued to fall one after the other into the hands of the enemy. Consequently, what was left of the Biafran Secretariat consisted of a mobile van moved from one corner to the other. While major world powers watched with folded arms, debating on the proper interpretation and application of the principles of territorial sovereignty and non-intervention in the OAU Charter, the Federal soldiers continued their ferocious onslaught on the defenseless Biafran population. They rampaged, pounded, bombed and shelled villages and to