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Biafra is one of the sad outcomes of the turbulent era that followed the rancorous politics of post-Independence Nigeria.  In January 1966, young military officers felt that they were duty bound to intervene in national governance in order to address the national ills that had virtually paralyzed the country's political class.  Unfortunately, the immediate outcome of that bloody putsch created the impression, in some quarters, that the military intervention  was designed to bring Nigeria under Igbo domination.  Though the suspicion was unfounded, the military establishment became quickly politicized to the extent that its leadership became steeped in the same ethnocentric biases for which they had ousted civilian politicians.  A northern-led counter coup, 6 months after the debut of army rule, provided official connivance for well-orchestrated pogroms that were unleashed on innocent men, woman and children of Igbo ancestral heritage which resulted in estimated loss of 30 thousand lives within a period of less than six months.

The Igbos and other inhabitants of former Eastern Nigeria, in fear for their lives, abandoned everything they owned and fled to the safety  of their home base in the East.  The former Eastern Nigeria Consultatie Assembly mandated the then Military Governor, General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, to seek the means to restructure the Nigerian political arrangement in order to prevent the repeat of the atrocities that the Igbos suffered at the hands of their supposed fellow citizens.  In early 1967, a conference of Nigerian leaders was convened at Aburi, Ghana to deliberate on how to break the political impasse that had paralyzed the nation at that time.  Suffice it to say that the confederate structure, which was agreed to as the only feasible means to maintain national cohesion, was never allowed to see the light of day because General Gowon and his advisers in Lagos decided to unilaterally renege on its implementation.

As if to force the hands of the Igbos at that time, the Federal Military Government arbitrarily decided to divide up Nigeria into 12 federating states without consultation from anyone.  This move by General Gowon left the then Easterners with no other viable choice than to opt for self-determination through the declaration of a sovereign Biafran State on May 30, 1967.  For the next 30 months, Biafrans were blockaded by air, land and sea as the might of the Nigerian army, with the massive support of Britain, Russia and Eqypt, was unleashed on the enclave from all sides.

Various aspects of the conflict that led to the Biafra, prosecution of the Civil War as well as its aftermath shall be presented in this page in all it ramifications.

Osondu
The Survival Struggle for Ndiigbo

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