Nigeria-Biafra War: 50 Years After, What has Changed in the Country and What is Expected

Regina Daniels and Ned Nwoko 2

The Nigeria civil war also known as Biafran War is a war that took place in Nigeria 50 years ago which resulted to loss of lives and properties and other casualties and abnormality in the country.

Apparently, it took place between 6th of July, 1967 to 15th of January, 1970 making it 50 years today and it lasted for about 2 years, 6 months, 1 week and 2 days under the regime of General Yakubu Gowon (Rt’d) and Murtala Mohammed.

Biafra represented nationalist aspirations of the Biafran people, whose leadership felt they could no longer coexist with the Northern-dominated federal government.

The conflict resulted from political, economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions which preceded Britain’s formal decolonization of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963.

Immediate causes of the war in 1966 included ethno-religious riots in Northern Nigeria a military coup, a counter-coup and persecution of Igbo living in Northern Nigeria. Control over the lucrative oil production in the Niger Delta played a vital strategic role in causing the war.

In 1960, Nigeria had already got her independence from the British colonial masters with a population of about 60 million people, made up of more than 300 differing ethnic and cultural groups.

But as of today, Nigeria is the 6th largest country in the world and the largest most populated in Africa with a population of about 200 million yet the poorest in the world.

Now, the question is, what caused the war, what has changed since then, and what are the people of Nigeria expecting?

From the beginning what caused the war also included religious affiliation.

Biafra represented nationalist aspirations of the Biafran people, whose leadership felt they could no longer coexist with the Northern-dominated federal government. The conflict resulted from political, economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions which preceded Britain’s formal decolonization of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963.

Apparently, tribalism, religions, ethnicity and political powers became our main problem which has birthed several problems to the people of Nigeria including bribery and corruption, looting of public funds, insecurity, lack of social amenities and generally poor governments.

Nigeria continues to suffer from these. Who will lift us up from this mess? Should we ask how did we get here?

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