Understanding the Biafran War and Sub-Conflict

kanu_uwazuruike
Nnamdi Kanu (L), Ralph Uwazuirike (R): “The worst mistake MASSOB made was to let me leave Okwe torture chamber alive. If they had the intention of continuing in their criminality they should have killed me. Biafra is the only reason why I live that was something none of you knew.” -Kanu

Nigeria started the experience of her first civil war on the 6th of July 1967. The bitter experience of Nigeria arose after her independence in the year 1960 and a call for the formation of the Republic in the year 1963. The civil conflict known as the “Biafran War” was initiated by the leaders of the Igbo people to strive for an independent Biafran Republic.

It was believed that there was and still is political unevenness and partial share of power due to the population differences that give the northern part of Nigeria an edge (specifically in the realm of political leverage) ahead of the eastern and western parts of the nation, where it is less populated.

However, there are many tracks to the aspirations of the Igbo people. Nationalists who represent Biafra feel that there is political, economic and cultural discrimination in the doctrine of the religions obtained from the colonization of Nigeria.

This started as military coup, a counter-coup, and the prosecution of Igbo people living in the northern part of Nigeria.

Timeline:

31 October 2015: Pro-Biafran protest took place in no less than 88 undisclosed countries of  the world, leaving Onitsha city with a death toll of seven people when police fired into the crowd.

18, October 2005: The director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu was arrested by secret police from the Department Of State Services.

26, November 2011: Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu was confirmed dead. Ojukwu was the first person who lead the people of Igbo society to the Biafran war.

2007: Ralph Uwazuruike was released along with oil militant, Mujahid Asari-Dokubo from prison.

2006: Ralph Uwazuruike was arrested by State Security Services and was charged for treason by the Abuja high court.

13, September 1999: Movement for the Actualization for the sovereign state of Biafra was established with chief Ralph Uwazuirike as the leader. He was arrested in the year 2005 and was charged for treason by the Abuja high court.

13, January 1970: Philip Effiong surrendered to General Yakubu Gowon of the Federal Army of Nigeria after his leader, Odumegwu Ojukwu was exiled to the Ivory Coast.

19, May 1968: Nigeria captured the rest of the Biafran axis with an operation called “OAU” which included the blocking of oil rings around port Hartcourt and the rest of the Igbo community.

6, July 1967: Biafran War commenced in Nigeria with Igbo people trying to escape home amidst a deadly war between Nigerian soldiers and Biafran soldiers led by Lt. Col. Banjo, a Yoruba with Biafran ranked brigadier.

29 September  1966: The northern programs killed no less than ten thousand Igbo people who dwell in the north. This prosecution was based on anti-Igbo or anti-eastern leanings among the Tiv, Folani and Hausa.  The attack got worse when Hausa in the Nigerian army pretended to stop the fight but increased the killing of Igbo people.

16, January 1966: General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi overthrows Obafemi Awolowo who was originally nominated to be the president of Nigeria by both the western and southern parts of the country, but Igbo loyalist Ironsi, takes over and is head of the Nigerian army at that point of term.

15, January 1966: Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna lead a coup called “coup d’etat” which successfully eliminates two major northern political leaders, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Ahmadu Bello. The Nigerian president who hails from Igbo land, Sir Nnamdi Azikwe was on vacation in the west Indies. He could not return  to the country until the crisis of the coup was suppressed.

Nnamdi vs Uwazuirike:

Judging from his constant and acerbic criticism of Ralph Uwazuirike; the founder of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign Biafra (MASSOB), not many would believe that Nnamdi Kenny Okwu-Kanu, was a key member of MASSOB.

According to several Nigerian media reports, Kanu the firebrand Director of Radio Biafra revealed the issues that led to his disagreements with Uwazuruike.

According to Kanu, Uwazuruike has betrayed Biafrans and has been making efforts to derail any genuine effort to restore the Republic of Biafra, while pretending he was fighting for Biafra in a non-violent way. Kanu revealed that while Uwazuruike chose a non-violent stance with the Nigerian Government, he uses violence on fellow Biafrans.