The history of enmity and pain is long, when it concerns Nigeria and Biafra. Presently the situation is hot again and the court case of Biafra vs. Nigeria is widely discussed by people.
As many other countries, throughout the history Nigeria has faced plenty of troubles. The most striking of them is the Civil War. This issue is connected with Biafra vs. Nigeria court case.
If you want to understand what was and is still going on, you must know more about history of conflict, its reasons, and circumstances.
To find out more about Biafra vs. Nigeria court case, let’s observe situation from the beginning. The Civil War in Nigeria is also known as Biafra War. It started in 1967 and continued until 1970. It was the conflict between two parts of the country – the Eastern one and the rest of Nigeria. Eastern Region announced to be independent. Thus, Federal Military Government of Nigeria decided it to be the act of succession. And the following measures were directed to the reunion of the country.
You should know Nigeria as a state was created by British Empire. That’s why some important things such as culture, religion, language, and other things were kind of neglected.
It led to tensions among the people. Nigeria got independence in 1960. There were about 300 various ethnic groups and tribes on its territory. The predominant ones included:
• Igbo (most of south-eastern population – about 70%),
• Hausa-Fulani (they occupied the northern territory – about 60% of the population),
• Yoruba (they lived in south-western region and comprised almost 80% of its population).
It is also necessary to understand, these tribes were completely different. Hausa people were ruled by the strict and autocratic Islamic hierarchy. They had 30 Emirs, who owed their allegiance to supreme Sultan. While the Sultan considered the source of political power and religious authority.
As for Yoruba, they are a bit similar, but they did not have that strict autocratic society. They had monarchs as well, although, their political and social systems were different. They accepted greater upward mobility based upon acquired not obligatory inherited wealth or title.
Igbos had much more prominent distinguishing features. They lived in autonomous and democratically-organized villages. All the decisions were made by general assembly, and everyone could participate in process. There were monarchs (either elected or hereditary), but they weren't that powerful.
During the colonial times, the situation began to change. Many people became capable of getting education (including one in the British universities). The first tribe adopted it was Yoruba. Then, a bit later, same thing happened to the Igbo. Many of them shifted to Christianity. However, Hausa were left behind with their Emirs, because it was hard to control them.
The tension grew with the oil issue, when the southeastern population became afraid that their wealth would be used to benefit the North. The main breakthrough happened in 1967, when military governor Odumegwu Ojukwu proclaimed the southeastern part of the state to be independent.
Decision was made because of the mass massacre of Christians in Northern region by Muslims. Possible electoral fraud also made its effect. Thus, the region was called the Republic of Biafra.
History of Biafra
You have already understood it was a secessionist state of Nigeria. The name came from the nearby bay, known as Bight of Biafra. Proclamation of independence was one of key reasons of Nigerian-Biafran War.
Among the world countries, there were those, which supported Nigeria, and those, which backed Biafra. Of course, there were some with neutral position as well. Let’s have a look at them:
France (they helped with weapons, resources, and assistance)
Britain (with the caution not to damage the oil installations)
The USA (however, they provided military assistance to the government of Nigeria)
Soviet Union (strong support, they also supplied them with weapons, including aircrafts)
Israel (weapon supplies and good diplomatic relations)
Egypt (provided pilots)
As you can see, although Biafra had some support, there were many more of those, who backed the Federal Military Government of Nigeria.
You should know that armed forces were applied by both sides of the conflict. While Nigeria wanted their southeastern region back, Biafra moved into the Mid-Western region across the Niger River. They were actually stopped just 130 miles east of Lagos (the capital). The most striking thing was that the majority of federal soldiers were Igbos. That’s why they were somehow connected with those they had to fight. It was one of the reasons to come to an agreement and stop killings.
The initial arrangement was that all the soldiers should return to their regions. A bit later, the Federal government initiated naval, land, and air blockade of Biafra. That fact led to the chance in balance of forces. Biafran forces were back into their Igbo territory, and Nigerian forces captured the capital of Biafra (Enugu). Although they still tried to fight, the Republic was soon surrounded.
The Biafra map included several provinces, among which:
- Port Harcourt,
By the year of 2015, the special project of restoration has been started. It concerns Indigenous People of Biafra. It is also essential to know what are indigenous rights. They exist in recognition of the specific condition of particular peoples. They contain not only basic human rights, but also preservation of the land, language, religion, and any other cultural heritage elements, which are part of people’s existence.
The Indigenous People of Biafra still try to fight for their identity. They say Nigeria is illegal. They have even taken their case to the United Nations (they are currently recognized by this organization). According to the UN, Indigenous People of Biafra have a right for self-determination, while Nigerian government cannot arrest peaceful gatherings of such individuals.
READ ALSO: Who Created Nigeria.
Nowadays all our attention is on the case in the Supreme Court of Nigeria. The latest hearing was in September this year. However, according to the Nigeria Biafra newsit was adjusted until December 15. The recent data also say that the director of Biafra Radio.comhas appeared inAbuja magistrate court. He is a kind of agitator, and his speeches are sometimes to extreme.
The Indigenous People of Biafra even claim they have nothing to do with this resource. However, this radio observes important issues (such as one, concerning the Ijaws: whether they are Biafrans or just they are made to be).Thus, you see that the general situation is still quite hot. The suit is meant to be continued and more and more rumors appear.
Biafra genocide was over about 30 years ago. About 3.5 million people were killed. In fact, it is hard to find something worse than the civil war, because people are forced to kill their compatriots. It may only lead to hostility and suffering. Nowadays the disputes continue. And we still expect to find out the results of the court current case of Biafra vs. Nigeria.