ABOUT BIAFRA

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Nwachineke
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ABOUT BIAFRA

Post by Nwachineke » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:21 pm

Republic of Biafra was a secessionist state in eastern Nigeria that was made up of the states in the old Eastern Region. Its first attempt to leave Nigeria resulted in the Nigeria/Biafra war from 30 May 1967 to January 1970. It took its name from the Bight of Biafra, the Atlantic bay to its south, on the east end of the Gulf of Guinea. The inhabitants are mostly the Igbo people who led the secession due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. Other ethnic groups that constitute the republic are the Efik, Ibibio, Annang, Ejagham, Eket, Ibeno and the Ijaw among others.

The secession of the Biafran region was caused by the pogrom that was committed against the Igbo and other Biafrans living in the north in revenge of what the northerners termed the assassination of northern leaders by a group of young soldiers led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, an Igbo, in Nigeria's first military coup early on 15 January 1966 which was followed by another coup that resulted in the death of the new head of state Major Gen Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, also an Igbo, the same year. The state was formally recognised by Gabon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Zambia.[1] Other nations which did not give official recognition, but provided support and assistance to Biafra, included Israel, France, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Rhodesia, South Africa and the Vatican City. Today[when?] a new struggle for Biafran independence is being championed by a mass movement, the Indegenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu and his London-based colleagues from where they run Radio Biafra and Biafra Television. The movement has grown so rapidly that it has a following at home and abroad made up of Biafrans in diaspora in nearly every country in the world. International human rights organisations like the Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch have corroborated IPOB and its sister organisations, among which are Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB)'s accusations of extrajudicial killings by the Nigerian Army and the police of their members, in their reports. Another group is the Biafra Nations Youth League (BNYL) Led by Princewill C Obuka and Ebuta Ogar Takon with a National Presence on Bakassi Peninsula where the Leaders of the group were apprehended by Nigeria toops on November 9, 2016 in Ikang-Cameroon Boarder Area following an operation against the dreaded Militant group Bakassi Strike Force. [2] BNYL is more of a grassroot Organization which operates within and outside the Igbo speaking areas, their activities has earlier been centered within the coastal areas. The Organization is reportedly in working alliance with Liberation Governing Council of Former British Southern Cameroons, a body seeking to dismember Northwest and Southwest Cameroon from French Cameroon. [3][4][unreliable source?] Biafra also received aid from non-state actors, including Joint Church Aid, Holy Ghost Fathers of Ireland, Caritas International, MarkPress and U.S. Catholic Relief Services.[4][unreliable source?]

After two-and-a-half years of war, during which perhaps a million Biafran civilians died from starvation caused by the total blockade of the region by the Nigerian government and the migration of Biafra's Igbo people into increasingly shrinking territory, Biafran forces under the motto of "No-victor, No-vanquished" surrendered to the Nigerian Federal Military Government (FMG), and Biafra was reintegrated into Nigeria.
In 1960, Nigeria became independent of the United Kingdom. As with many other new African states, the borders of the country did not reflect earlier ethnic boundaries. Thus, the northern region of the country is made up of Muslim majority, while the southern population is predominantly Christian. Following independence, Nigeria was divided primarily along ethnic lines with Hausa and Fulani majority in the north, Yoruba and Igbo majority in the south-west and south-east respectively.[6]

In January 1966, a military coup occurred during which a group of predominantly Igbo junior army officers assassinated 30 political leaders including Nigeria's Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and the Northern premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello. The four most senior officers of Northern origin were also killed. It was alleged to be an Igbo coup because Nnamdi Azikiwe, the President, of Igbo extraction, and the premier of the southeastern part of the country were not killed and the commander of the army, General Aguiyi Ironsi seized power to maintain order.[7][8][9]

In July 1966 northern officers and army units staged a counter-coup. Muslim officers named a General from a small ethnic group (the Angas) in central Nigeria, General Yakubu "Jack" Gowon, as the head of the Federal Military Government (FMG). The two coups deepened Nigeria's ethnic tensions. In September 1966, approximately 30,000 Igbo were killed in the north, and some Northerners were killed in backlashes in eastern cities.
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu in pursuit of a more agreeable arrangement for peaceful co-existence of all regions in Nigeria proposed for a confederated Nigeria.

In January 1967, the military leaders and senior police officials of each region met in Aburi, Ghana and agreed on a loose confederation of regions. The Northerners were at odds with the Aburi Accord; Obafemi Awolowo, the leader of the Western Region warned that if the Eastern Region seceded, the Western Region would also, which persuaded the northerners.[10]

After the federal and eastern governments failed to reconcile, on 26 May the Eastern region voted to secede from Nigeria. On 30 May, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the South Eastern Region's military governor, announced the Republic of Biafra, citing the Easterners killed in the post-coup violence.[6][10][12] The large amount of oil in the region created conflict, as oil was already becoming a major component of the Nigerian economy.[13] The Eastern region was very ill-equipped for war, out-manned and out-gunned by the military of the remainder of Nigeria. Their advantages included fighting in their homeland and support of most South Easterners
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