The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, 6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970, was an ethnic and political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra. The conflict was the result of economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions mainly between the Hausas of north and the Igbo of the southeast of Nigeria. Over the two and half years of the war, 1 million civilians died from famine and fighting. The war became notorious for the starvation of some of the besieged regions during the war, and consequent claims of genocide by the largely Igbo people of the region.
The Nigerian government launched a "police action" to retake the secessionist territory. The war began on 6 July 1967 when Nigerian Federal troops advanced in two columns into Biafra. The Nigerian army offensive was through the north of Biafra led by Colonel Shuwa and the local military units were formed as the 1st Infantry Division. The division was led mostly by northern officers. After facing unexpectedly fierce resistance and high casualties, the right-hand Nigerian column advanced on the town of Nsukka which fell on 14 July, while the left-hand column made for Garkem, which was captured on 12 July. At this stage of the war, the other regions of Nigeria (the West and Mid-West) still considered the war as a confrontation between the north (mainly Hausas) against the east (mainly Igbos). But the Biafrans responded with an offensive of their own when, on 9 August, the Biafran forces moved west into the Mid-Western Nigerian region across the Niger river, passing through Benin City, until they were stopped at Ore (in present day Ondo State) just over the state boundary on 21 August, just 130 miles east of the Nigerian capital of Lagos. The Biafran attack was led by Lt. Col. Banjo, a Yoruba, with the Biafran rank of brigadier. The attack met little resistance and the Mid-West was easily taken over. This was due to the pre-secession arrangement that all soldiers should return to their regions to stop the spate of killings, in which Igbo soldiers had been major victims. The Nigerian soldiers that were supposed to defend the Mid-West state were mostly Mid-West Igbo and while some were in touch with their eastern counterparts, others resisted. General Gowon responded by asking Colonel Murtala Mohammed (who later became head of state in 1975) to form another division (the 2nd Infantry Division) to expel the Biafrans from the Mid-West, as well as defend the West side and attack Biafra from the West as well. As Nigerian forces retook the Mid-West, the Biafran military administrator declared the Republic of Benin on 19 September, though it ceased to exist the next day. (The present country of Benin, west of Nigeria, was still named Dahomey at that time.)
Although Benin City was retaken by the Nigerians on 22 September, the Biafrans succeeded in their primary objective by tying down as many Nigerian Federal troops as they could. Gen. Gowon also launched an offensive into Biafra south from the Niger Delta to the riverine area using the bulk of the Lagos Garrison command under Colonel Benjamin Adekunle (called the Black Scorpion) to form the 3rd Infantry Division (which was later renamed as the 3rd Marine Commando). As the war continued, the Nigerian Army recruited amongst a wider area, including the Yoruba, Itshekiri, Urhobo, Edo, Ijaw, and etc. Four battalions of the Nigerian 2nd Infantry Division were needed to drive the Biafrans back and eliminate their territorial gains made during the offensive. Nigerian soldiers under Murtala Mohammed carried out a mass killing of 700 civilians when they captured Asaba on the River Niger. The Nigerians were repulsed three times as they attempted to cross the River Niger during October, resulting in the loss of thousands of troops, dozens of tanks and equipment. The first attempt by the 2nd Infantry Division on 12 October to cross the Niger from the town of Asaba to the Biafran city of Onitsha cost the Nigerian Federal Army over 5,000 soldiers killed, wounded, captured or missing. Operation Tiger Claw (17–20 October 1967) was a military conflict between Nigerian and Biafran military forces. On 17 October 1967 Nigerians invaded Calabar led by the "Black Scorpion", Benjamin Adekunle while the Biafrans were led by Col. Ogbu Ogi, who was responsible for controlling the area between Calabar and Opobo, and Lynn Garrison a foreign mercenary. The Biafrans came under immediate fire from the water and the air. For the next two days Biafran stations and military supplies were bombarded by the Nigerian air force. That same day Lynn Garrison reached Calabar but came under immediate fire by federal troops. By 20 October, Garrison's forces withdrew from the battle while Col. Ogi officially surrendered to Gen. Adekunle.
NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR: THE POLITICAL MAINPULATION
Nigerian politics of the 1950’s and 60’s was dominated by tribalism: The three ethnic groups played the card, Larry Diamond captures this very well in his book Class, Ethnicity and Democracy in Nigeria. I know that some have accused only Awolowo of playing tribal politics, such people surely have their plans to single him out. They argue that he formed Egbe Omo Oduduwa in 1945 and the Action Group was formed out of that organisation and to them he was a tribalist, because of this. They know or pretend to overlook the fact that the Igbo State Union was founded in 1934. In 1948, Azikiwe became the president of Igbo State Union. Thus, ethnic sentiments had entered the NCNC, the party he took over as leader in 1946. If Awo now formed Action Group in 1951, was he to be blamed for starting tribal politics in Nigeria? I leave that answer to objective minds.
When Okpara (Ibo) and Sardauna (Hausa) conspired to jail Awolowo, Yorubas didn’t shout that some tribes hate their leader or their tribe. And it is also worthy to point out that Okpara had been threatening to secede from 1964 after the Federal Census and Fedaral Election that did not favour him ( I would not say it did not favour the Igbo people, because he was acting majorly in his own interest, he was only misusing the name of the people). Another fact in this phase of our history is that the rivalry for Federal power between three tribes ( Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo) had been reduced to a battle between Northern leaders and Igbo leaders (Again not necessarily the people, the politicians were the actors) as Awolowo was in jail and the man that was imposed on the West was unpopular and was a puppet of the Northern establishment. This rivalry between Northern and Eastern region influenced the perception of the January 15 1966 Coup. The Coup plotters were idealists who intended to execute a revolution, but the revolution failed: they could not implement their reforms and the victims of that Coup were mainly Hausa/Fulani and Yorubas. I do not believe it was an Igbo Coup, but it was difficult to prove that it was not. The man who took charge of governance was Ironsi, Ibo. And to make things worse, Igbos in the North celebrated the death of Northern leaders on the streets of Nothern Nigeria. I am not justifying the Massacre of the Igbo people in the North after Northern officers staged their own Counter Coup against the Igbo officers, but am saying those events are interconnected.
At this point, it was obvious that the Federal government was now sectional (it was pro North). Igbos were no more safe in the North, but it is reasonable that they fled the West too, though nobody attacked them in the West. The most important question at this point is sovereignty or security for Igbo people? With secession, Biafra would claim the oil reserve of Nigeria in the Delta (not Igboland). But, could Biafra defeat Nigeria without wasting the life of the masses just because Ojukwu, the Eastern military governor, and his war hawks were hell bent on capitalizing on the sentiments of Igbo people, who have been traumatised? It is reasonable that a lot of Igbos wanted to fight because they had been treated badly in the North. But could you win such a battle? The Yoruba adage says: you do not challenge those who killed your father if you do not possess superior weapons. Instead Ojukwu and his advisers chose risking the war. The Federal government was not also justified, Gowon had agreed on a confederacy in Aburi but only for him to renege. Some have even fabricated that it was Awolowo who influenced Gowon to renege, I challenge them to provide us with their source.
It is also worthy to raise the point that Awolowo went to Enugu to plead with Ojukwu not to secede. In the middle of the night he came back to Baba ( Baba is a Yoruba word which means ,,Elder’’ in this context) and told him ,, Baba!, ati lo’’ meaning: Elder! We have made our decision to secede, there is no going back. Awolowo now requested that Ojukwu should inform him 2 weeks earlier before he announce secession. This episode is narrated in the memoir of Wole Soyinka: You Must Set Forth at Dawn. Whether Awo was suppose to risk the lives of Yoruba people like Ojukwu did is clear to any reasonable person. I cite the encounter in Enugu only to compare it with some assertions that Awolowo promised Igbos to secede with them and he failed them, hence they see him as traitor. But did Ojukwu inform Awo 2 weeks earlier before secession? He didn’t, who is the traitor? Some even try to fool others by saying that the decision to secede was unanimous. Ralph Uwechue, the Ambassador of Biafra to France until the end of 1968, states clearly in his book (Reflections on the Nigerian Civil War) that there was a schism in Biafra: those who wanted secession by all means and those who placed the security of Igbo as the most important. The other group was always trying to convince Ojukwu not to secede. Two days after Ojukwu fled when Biafra had been conquered, Philip Effiong said that he had always told Ojukwu that negotiation for the security of Igbos was the best for Biafra. Ralph Uwechue said that he left his job as Ambassador for Biafra, because he discovered that secession was Ojukwu’s plan only aim, getting security was less important to him, he preferred showing the world how children were starving than end the war. Security could be achieved through secession or negotiation, but the option of secession in this context is suicide in itself (Biafra was not prepared to fight Nigeria in a real War). I think such argument is just a waste of time and self deceit. Why should someone fail and still fail to reflect on why he failed or where he made a wrong decision but chooses to propound a baseless theory of creating scapegoats.
I am not Awolowo, he knew why he joined the government of Gowon, but that does not make him the problem of Ibos, if they had done their homework very well before secession like Ojukwu claimed: No power in black Africa would be able to touch Ibos once they secede. I have said earlier, Awolowo was a human being, not perfect, am not his sycophant, but I would not fail to recognize his brilliance. His brilliance won that war to a large extent for the Federal side. If that is why some people hate him, it is understandable, but he was not the one who risked the war for his personal gains (capitalizing on the state of mind of Igbos). A study of the personality of Ojukwu would help in understanding why he made those decisions. Some people have also raised some funny accusations against Awo, but the man answered those questions, here is the link to the interview in Abeokuta, where he addressed the issues of Starvation, the 20 pound policy and other baseless accusations against this man in the process of looking for a scapegoat
I was always shocked each time I listened to some people say things like: Igbos are the best in everything, other Nigerians hate them because they always achieve more than other tribes. In the 1950’s one Dr. Sylvester Anieke, an Ibo, who trained in Canada as a medical doctor, claimed he got a PhD in Medicine and got job at the University of Ibadan. Anyway, the story leaked and he was forced to resign. Years after, another Igbo ,Zik, forced him on the University of Ibadan as Chairman of the Governing Council. This misconduct is well documented in Wole Soyinka’s memoir:Ibadan, the Penkelemesi years. This saga does not allow someone to actually believe the Igbo theory of supremacy or is it that some actually try to prove this theory at all cost. But it is no more a surprise to me since I read the write-up of Dr. Johannes Harnischfeger ( a German who lived in Igboland). He describes the discourse going on in Igboland about the theory of supremacy of the Igbo race and the purported conspiracy theory against them . How they believe they are Jews through the theory of the lost tribes of Israel. They believe they are God own people and others around them are pagans and inferior. This write-up is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how some jingoists argue and here is the link to this write- up.Scholars have claimed that Yorubas too are part of the lost tribe of Israel, but nobody is interested in this myth in Yorubaland, here is another article by emeritus Professor Dierk Lange trying to connect Yorubas with Israel.
The Igbo people have the right to believe whatever they want, but the perception about themselves will definitely shape how they see others. An objective reflection would help a lot. Thinking that the way you cook your own food in your own culture or tribe is the best and others are inferior is the height of jingoism and it is very dangerous. They should remember that when their elites lead them to war again, only the masses would fight just like it happened in Biafra: Ojukwu had enough to eat. One would even think he would commit suicide when Biafra lost the war, no , he fled. Children, who did not tell Ojukwu to fight, suffered and were wasted. We should not repeat this ugly scene and desist from these preposterous theories. I want to state clearly here that, not all Igbos believe in these conspiracy theories . I have good right minded Igbos as friends and we are still friends.
THE MAINPULATION: THE ECONOMICAL
Before 1945 the colonial government undertook no serious comprehensive planning. Nigeria's earliest national plans, the 1946-55 Ten-Year Plan of Development and Welfare (with plan revisions, 1951-55) and the 1955-60 plan (later extended to 1962), were framed by colonial administrators. As the authors of the First National Development Plan, 1962-68 (henceforth, first plan) wrote, these "were not `plans,' in the truest sense of the word . . . [but] a series of projects which had not been coordinated or related to any overall economic target." After 1960, however, development planning had a broad scope, encompassing government policies to achieve national economic objectives, such as accelerated growth and higher levels of average material welfare. This planning affected the policies of such agencies as the central bank, state-owned enterprises, the Ministry of Education, marketing boards, state-level departments, and extension services.
Nigerian plans included economic forecasts, policies toward the private sector, and a list of proposed public expenditures. Plans did not constitute commitments by public departments to spend funds. Although Nigerian political leaders made decisions about general objectives and priorities for the first plan, foreign economists were the main authors of the actual document. Its authors favored decentralized decision making by private units, disregard of major discrepancies between financial and social profitability, and high economic payoffs from directly productive investments (as opposed to indirect returns from social overheads). They discouraged increased taxes on the wealthy (out of a fear of dampening private incentive), and advocated a conservative monetary and fiscal policy emphasizing a relatively small plan, openness to foreign trade and investment, and reliance on overseas assistance. Foreign aid was set at onehalf of public sector investment.
Nobel economist W. Arthur Lewis has suggested that the main weaknesses of the 1962-68 plan were incomplete feasibility studies and inadequate evaluation of projects, accompanied by meager public participation, followed by excessive political intervention in economic decisions. Moreover, insufficient attention was paid to the small indigenous sector, and the machinery for implementing developments in the public sector was unsatisfactory. Lewis noted that the most important aspects of Nigeria's 1962-68 plan were "how the government proposes to raise the money and to recruit the personnel to carry out its objectives."
Postwar reconstruction, restoring productive capacity, overcoming critical bottlenecks, and achieving self-reliance were major goals of the Second National Development Plan (1970-74). The replacement cost of physical assets damaged and destroyed in the civil war with the secessionist Igbo area in the southeast, then known as Biafra, was estimated to exceed N600 million (then about US$900 million).
The United Nations (UN) Center for Development Planning, Projections, and Policies observed that Nigeria's real growth in GDP between 1970 and 1974 was 12.3 percent per year. The annual target had been only 6.2 percent. Nigerian growth could be explained by factors largely outside the planners' purview--rapid oil industry growth and sharply increasing oil prices.
Announced in March 1975, the Third National Development Plan (1975-80) envisioned a twelvefold increase in the annual rate of public capital expenditures over the previous plan period. This document included the statement, "There will be no savings and foreign exchange constraints during the third plan period and beyond." The document outlined ambitious plans to expand agriculture, industry, transport, housing, water supplies, health facilities, education, rural electrification, community development, and state programs. The third plan also designated substantial funds for prestige projects, such as Festival of African Culture (FESTAC) in Lagos.
Amid the euphoria of the 1974 oil price boom, the Ministry of Economic Development approved and added numerous projects for other ministries not supported by a proper appraisal of technical feasibility, costs and benefits, or the technical and administrative arrangements required to establish and operate the projects. According to Sayre P. Schatz, who advised the Ministry of Transport while it prepared feasibility studies for the plan in 1974,
"Economic reasoning gave way before economic enthusiasm," and the necessary coordination and implementation were ignored.
Inflationary minimum wage and administrative salary increases after October 1974, in combination with the slowing of the economy, made budget shortfalls inevitable. In June 1975, several state and local governments did not receive their monthly subsidies from the federal government. Just before the July 29, 1975, coup in which head of state General Yakubu Gowon was toppled, government workers in several areas threatened to impair vital services unless their June wages were paid.
In March 1976, in response to an economy overheated by demands for new programs and higher wages, General Olusegun Obasanjo, then head of state, pointed out that petroleum revenue was not a cure-all. Many projects had to be postponed, scaled down, or canceled when oil-revenue-based projections made in 1974-75 later proved too optimistic. Projects tended to be retained for political reasons, not because they were considered socially or economically useful by the Central Planning Office of the Supreme Military Council.
The civilian government that tack office on October 1, 1979, postponed the beginning of the fourth plan (1981-85) for nine months. Whereas the plan's guidelines indicated that local governments were to be involved in planning and execution, such involvement was not feasible because local governments lacked the staff and expertise to accept this responsibility. The plan was also threatened by falling oil revenues and an increased need for imported food that had resulted from delays in agricultural modernization. Projected to rise 12.1 percent annually, exports actually fell 5.9 percent yearly during the plan, as a recession among the nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reduced demand for Third World imports. As exports declined, the capacity to import construction materials and related capital goods also fell, reducing growth in the construction, transport, communications, utilities, and housing sectors.
Nigeria was heavily dependent on agriculture, with the sector accounting for more than 40 percent of pre-1973 GDP. But in the decade up to 1983, agricultural output in Nigeria declined 1.9 percent and exports fell 7.9 percent. Agricultural imports as a share of total imports rose from 3 percent in the late 1960s to 7 percent in the early 1980s. Nigeria's unfavorable agricultural development resulted from the loss of competitiveness among farm exports as the real value of the Nigerian naira appreciated substantially from 1970 to 1972 and from 1982 to 1983.
Thanks in large part to the overthrow of Nigeria's second civilian administration, the Second Republic headed by President Shehu Shagari, at the end of 1983 and of the military government of General Muhammadu Buhari in 1985, the Fifth National Development Plan was postponed until 1988-92. Continuing the emphases of the SAP, the fifth plan's objectives were to devalue the naira, remove import licenses, reduce tariffs, open the economy to foreign trade, promote nonoil exports through incentives, and achieve national self-sufficiency in food production. The drafters of the fifth plan sought to improve labor productivity through incentives, privatization of many public enterprises, and various government measures to create employment opportunities.
In late 1989, the administration of General Ibrahim Babangida abandoned the concept of a fixed five-year plan. Instead, a three-year "rolling plan" was introduced for 1990-92 in the context of more comprehensive fifteen- to twenty-year plans. A rolling plan, considered more suitable for an economy facing uncertainty and rapid change, is revised at the end of each year, at which point estimates, targets, and projects are added for an additional year. Thus, planners would revise the 1990-92 threeyear rolling plan at the end of 1990, issuing a new plan for 1991-93. In effect, a plan is renewed at the end of each year, but the number of years remains the same as the plan rolls forward. In Nigeria, the objectives of the rolling plan were to reduce inflation and exchange rate instability, maintain infrastructure, achieve agricultural self-sufficiency, and reduce the burden of structural adjustment on the most vulnerable social groups.
A major cause of political conflict in Nigeria since independence has been the changing formula for allocating revenue by region or state. Before 1959 all revenues from mineral and agricultural products were retained by the producing region. But after 1959, the region retained only a fraction of the revenue from mineral production. This policy was a major source of dissatisfaction in the Eastern Region, which seceded in May 1967 as the would-be state of Biafra. By contrast, the revenue from agricultural exports was retained by regional marketing boards after 1959, but the agricultural exports of eastern Nigeria were smaller than those of the other major regions.
The rapid growth of petroleum revenue in the 1970s removed most of the severe constraints placed on federal and regional or state budgets in the 1960s. Total federal revenue grew from N306.4 million in 1966 to N7,791.0 million in 1977, a twentyfivefold increase in current income in eleven years. Petroleum revenue as a percentage of the total went from 26.3 percent in 1970 to more than 70 percent by 1974-77.
During the civil war, most of the twelve new states created in 1967 faced a revenue crisis. But a 1970 decree brought the states closer to fiscal parity by decreasing the producing state's share of export, import, and excise duties, and of mining rents and royalties, and by increasing the share allocated to all states and the federal government. Also, in 1973 the commodity export marketing boards, which had been a source of political power for the states, were brought under federal control. Other changes later in the 1970s further reduced claims to revenue based on place of origin. In the 1970s, the federal government was freed to distribute more to the states, thus strengthening federal power as well as the states' fiscal positions. Statutory appropriations from the federal government to the states, only about N128 million in FY1966, increased to N1,040 million in 1975 with the oil boom, but dropped to N502.2 million in 1976, as oil revenues declined.
The burgeoning revenues of the oil boom had encouraged profligacy among the federal ministries. Government deficits were a major factor in accelerated inflation in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. In 1978 the federal government, compelled to cut spending for the third plan, returned much of the financial responsibility for housing and primary education to state and local governments. Federal government finances especially drifted into acute disequilibrium between 1981 and 1983, at the end of President Shagari's civilian administration, with the 1983 federal government deficit rising to N5.3 billion (9.5 percent of GDP) at the same time that external debt was increasing rapidly. The state governments' deficit compounded the problem, with the states collectively budgeting for a deficit of N6.8 billion in 1983.
Falling export prices caused the military governments between 1983 and 1988 to continue cutting real spending, especially for capital, imports, civil service and armed forces salaries and consumer subsidies. Many parastatals also had their subsidies cut, while others were sold off entirely. The result of these actions was a substantial reduction in the federal deficit. The announcement of the spending reductions that would be part of the fifth plan coincided with the military coup of August 1985. Unlike earlier plans, the fifth plan (put back to 1988-92 party because of the coup) allocated the largest amounts of capital to agriculture and stressed the importance of private investment.
In 1988 the federal budget was still highly dependent on oil revenues (taxes on petroleum profits, mining rents and royalties, and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation earnings). Altogether, oil receipts accounted for 77 percent of total federal current revenue in 1988. The federal government retained 62 percent of the revenue it collected in 1988, while the rest of the funds were distributed to the state and local governments by a formula based on population, need, and, to a very limited extent, derivation.
International aid designated for domestic Nigerian development constituted a minor source of government revenue. In 1988 such official assistance amounted to US$408 million, or US$1.1 per capita, which placed Nigeria lowest among low-income and lower-middle-income aid recipients. This aid represented 0.4 percent of Nigeria's GNP, far less than the average of 2.4 percent received by all low-income countries, a group that included much states as China, India, and Zambia.
THE MAINPULATION: THE DIPOLMATIC WAY
The Aburi Accord: The Turning Point That Never Turned
On January 4thand 5th,1967, all members of the Supreme Military Council (SMC) met for the first time in six months since the conflicts began at Aburiin Ghana under the auspices of the Ghanaian Head of State, Lt. General Joseph Ankrah who had overthrown the first Ghanaian President, Kwame Nkrumah who was in China.16 At this juncture, this was the first formal international dimension in the Nigeria crises. In other words, it was the first time the differences between the FMG and the Eastern Regional Government were taken outside the shores of the country. The journey to Aburi on the wake of the discord between the FMG led by Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon and the Eastern Regional Military Government led by Lt. Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu was expected to be a landmark in the Nigerian conflict resolution. Nonetheless, the parley ended up in a discordant accord. Returning back home in Nigeria, however, both parties gave different interpretations to the Aburi agreements.
To this end,opinions held in some quarters had attributed the incalcitrant nature of Gowon after the meeting at Aburi to the British creation.Hence, endless haggling over the Aburi Accord led to mounting tensions which resulted in the secession of the Eastern Region to form the Independent Republic of Biafra with Odumegwu Ojukwu as Head of State. The FMG refused to recognize the Eastern Region secession eventually led to the Civil War in 1967.
To this end, and it must be emphasized that the failure of the Ghanaian government under Ankrah who had hosted and witnessed the Aburi Accord to urge the Gowon regime to adhere to the agreement reached was a mockery and weakness of the international system at resolving conflicts in troubled-African nations. In addition, and on the part of African leaders, it portrayed insincerity and lack of commitment to confront and tackle African colonial-created problems.
It is equally necessary to revisit and re-evaluate the international mediation of the Organisation of African Unity (O.A.U.) in the Civil War. From the outset of the war, the position of the OAU was predictable.
The organisation had insisted and rigidly too,on the principle of settlement within the context of one Nigeria Hence, at its summit meeting in Kinshasa in September, 1967, the OAU made timid and uncoordinated efforts to settle the war, however, the outcome was imaginable. Raph had proffered explanation to the African leaders’attitude when he remarked that: African leaders had opposed to secession on the ground that any Biafran success at secession would trigger off similar movement in the continent.
Therefore, many African leaders were contented and satisfied with their newly positions and inherited powers from the colonial masters even if it means sacrificing Africa’s future peace and stability for personal aggrandizement. In other words, African leaders were gratified with the arbitrary states’ creation bemused and bedevilled with ethnic animosity decided at Berlin Conference of 1884/85 when the continent was partitioned.
The consequences precipitated a protracted and unending ethnic conflicts and border disputes on the continent. The Nigeria Civil War, the Rwanda Conflict in 1994 between the Tutsi and the Hutu, the Sudanese crises are cases in points.
The position of the African leaders and the decision of the OAU in this regard on the Nigerian Civil Warwas short-sighted and auto-centric. Thus, incessant conflicts and civil wars bordered on the same problems gnawed across the continent in subsequent years.
Another international outlook in the Nigerian Civil War was the international recognition for the Republic of Biafra.
In the course of the war, the following African countries:Tanzania, April 13, 1968; Gabon, May 8, 1968; Ivory Coast, May 14, 1968 and Zambia, May 20, 1968 had accepted and recognized the Biafra right to self-determination.
The recognition spurred and propelled the intransigence of the Biafran government not to relent in its struggle for survival even in the face of annihilation. On the other hand, the recognition provoked and infuriated the FMG to decide that more force should be adopted in order to crush the Biafrarebellion. In addition, the support the Biafran government received from severalinternational charitable organisations such as International Red Cross, Joint Church Aid, CARITAS and a number of the national Red Cross Organisation emboldened the Ojukwu khaki boysto fight on.
James O. Ojiako, Nigeria: Yesterday, Today, & ...?, (Onitsha: Africana Educational Publishers (Nig.) Ltd., 1981), p.84
Toyin Falola & Matthew M. Heaton, A History of Nigeria, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008), p.158 James O. Ojiako, Nigeria: Yesterday, Today,... , p.85
Adewale Ademoyega, Why We Struck, (Ibadan: Evans Brothers Ltd., 1981), p.21; Raph Uwechue, Reflections on the Nigerian Civil War, (New York: Africana Publishing Corporation, 1971), p.28; Toyin F. & Matthew M. H., A
History of Nigeria..., p.159
Toyin F. & Matthew M. H., A History of Nigeria..., p.158
Olayiwola Abegunrin, Africa in Global Politicsin the 21st century, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp. 83-84
Max Siollin, Oil, Politics & Violence: Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture (1966-’76), (New York: Algora Publishing, 2009), p.12
Olayiwola A., Africa in Global Politics ..., pp.86-87
Olusanya G. O., ‘Constitutional Developments in Nigeria 1861-1960’ in Obaro Ikime (ed.) Groundwork of Nigerian History, (Ibadan: Heinemann Educational Bks (Nig.) Plc., 1981), p.528
Olayiwola A., Africa in Global..., p.94
Max S., Oil, Politics & Violence..., p.12.