The Nigerian civil war, also recognized as the Biafra War, was a war waged to counter the retreat of Biafra in Nigeria. The war that began on July 6, 1967, ended on January 15, 1970. 46 years after the end of the war, the state’s cry of Biafra reappeared as an Igbo descent from Nigeria say they want to the independence of Nigeria. In light of this, INFORMATION NIGERIA takes a retrospective look at the war by putting in place these things that not everyone knew happened
- Biafra represented the nationalist aspirations of the Igbo people, whose leaders felt that they could no longer coexist with the northern-dominated federal government.
- The war came, therefore, the culmination of the peace and stability that was uncomfortable in preoccupation with the independence of Nigeria in 1960. This position has its origin in geography, history, culture, and demography of Nigeria.
- The immediate causes of the war in 1966 included a military coup led by Major Kaduna Nzeogwu that led to the deaths of prominent Northern masters such as Tafawa Belewa, a counter-attack led by Yakubu Gowon, who led brutal murder of Aguiyi Ironsi, Nigeria’s first head of state, his deputy Fajuyi, etc. and the persecution of Igbo living in northern Nigeria.
- The former Eastern Region under Lieutenant Colonel Ojukwu saw the act of creating states by decree “without consultation,” as the straw that broke the camel’s back, and declared the region an Independent state of “Biafra,” but the federal government Lagos saw this as an act of secession and illegal.
- Several meetings were held to resolve the problem peacefully without success. As a result, the Nigerian government had no choice but to use force to recover the territory.
The federal side expects a quick victory, but in late April 1969, after nearly two years of bloody and destructive war, the expected quick victory had evaded the federal side, the rebel enclave was greatly reduced in size, but Biafrans continued to hold.
- On January 10, 1970, the head of state of Lieutenant Colonel Ojukwu so-called Biafra, realizing the desperation of the situation fled the enclave with their immediate family surrender to the army, General Phillip Effiong.
- The commander of the Biafra Army, who took over the administration of the remaining enclave, surrendered to the federal government on January 14, 1970, and ended the war, secessionist intent and bloodshed.
- Only five countries (Tanzania, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Zambia, and Haiti) officially recognized the new republic but did not provide arms and ammunition, while Britain provided quantities of heavy weapons and ammunition on the Nigerian side.
- The war has cost Igbos a lot regarding lives, money, and infrastructure. It has been estimated that up to three million people have died as a result of the conflict, most of them through hunger and diseases caused by Nigerian forces.