Biafra : The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (effects of the Nigerian Civil War in present day Nigeria) by Isaac Somto - The Isaac Somto Foundation

  • Biafra : The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (effects of the Nigerian Civil War in present day Nigeria) by Isaac Somto

    In 1687, popular English mathematician, astronomer, theologian, author and physicist, Isaac Newton, published the "Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica" and in it contained the three laws of motion. The third law of motion which states that “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. ”. This law means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The forces acting on the two interacting objects always give birth to an effect, for example, when a baseball bat hits a ball. The ball exerts an equal and opposite force on the bat. This is the reaction force. The baseball forces the bat in one direction and the bat forces the ball in the opposite direction. The effect of this reaction affects the two objects, it pushes the bat backward and it pushes the ball forward. In a bid to explain how an action affects the bodies (objects) involved and produces an effect, the third law of motion was used as a bait.

    In the “Biafra : The Good, The Bad & The Ugly ” context, the “action” is the Nigerian Civil war, the two bodies are Biafra and Nigeria. What are the effects?. Biafra : The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly talks about the effects, the good effects, the bad effects and ugly effects in present day Nigeria.

    Brief History Of The Nigerian Civil War


    The Nigerian Civil War, generally known as the Biafran War which lasted for 2 years, 6 months, 1 week and 2 days (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970), was a war fought between the northern dominated federal government of Nigeria and the secessionist province of Biafra. The war was a political and ethnic conflict that occurred when the Nigerian Eastern region proclaimed themselves as the Republic of Biafra.

    Why The War Nigerian War Was Fought.


    The Nigerian Civil War emerged from political, economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions. The tensions increased in1966 after a military coup, a counter-coup and a pogrom targeted towards the Igbos (mostly called the 1966 pogrom)  living in Northern Nigeria. The control over oil production by the northern dominated federal government in the Niger Delta also increased the tension. Though, most people say that the war was fought because of Odumegwu Ojukwu greed and ego. Odumegwu Ojukwu was the military governor of the southeastern province of Nigeria. It was believed that Ojukwu wanted to be the Nigerian head of state after a coup carried out by the Nigerian northern soldiers(the coup led to the death of Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi who was the Nigerian first military head of state) because he had more experience, but Gowon became the head of state, though such beliefs are apocryphal.

    The Nigerian army had military support mainly from Egypt (who provided air support ) and Britain. While, the Biafra army were backed mainly by France and Israel. Though other countries like United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Senegal,  Somalia, Sierra Leon, Cameroon, Niger, Algeria, Syria, Saudi Arabia and East Germany gave support to the Nigerian armies. While the Biafra army received support from France, Israel, Portugal, South Africa, Rhodesia, Haiti,  Italy, China, Yugoslavia, Canada, Gabon, Ivory Coast, West Germany and Tanzania armies.

    Let's talk about the effects of the Nigerian Civil war in present day Nigeria. I'll only be talking about the effects in “present” (i.e as of now) day Nigeria.

    The Good : The good effects of the Nigerian Civil War in present day Nigeria.



    • Development (one-sided)
    The Igbo speaking states in Nigeria are considered to be well to do. In fact, the Igbo tribe in Nigeria are known to be the most richest and business inclined tribe in Nigeria. I know the inquiry at the forefront of your thoughts will be how this is related with the Nigerian Civil War, it's really identified with the Nigerian Civil War. After the Nigerian Civil War the Igbos grew a fear for doing businesses in different regions other than theirs, this fear was birthed after the 1966 pogrom that was focused towards the Igbos and occurred in the Northern areas of Nigeria, the fear of the pogrom reoccurring has made most Igbos develop and put resources into their locales/region, along these lines developing their reigons.

    The Bad : The Bad effects of the Nigerian Civil War in present day Nigeria.

    • Corruption Never Left
    After the Nigerian Civil War, the corruption level rose up to it's most noteworthy stage under General Gowon. It was under General Gowon's leadership that Nigeria witnessed the "cement armada" in 1975. In fact, General Gowon himself said to a foreign reporter that "the only problem Nigeria has is how to spend the money she has." Anyways, till today the corruption never left.

    • Tribalism
    Tribalism actually started after the first Nigerian coup led by Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu in the year 1966. The coup led to the death of Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa and Premier Ahmadu Bello (first premier of the Northern State) this angered the Hausas and they grew hatred towards the Igbos because the coup was carried out by an Igbo soldier. Tribalism still exists and it remains a great problem in Nigeria.

    • Disunity
    The Nigerian Civil War has made a huge number of Nigerians never to stand and cooperate as one. While this may be similar to tribalism, disunity is a total different thing. After the Nigerian Civil War, the Igbos takes the Yorubas as betrayals as they always stayed in the middle of every crisis, the Hausas takes the Igbos as over ambitious due to the fact they wanted to pull out, while the Igbos takes the Hausas as “foolish” and wicked and nothing they do seem perfect, the lists goes on and on. Disunity is one of the children of the Nigerian Civil War living amongst us.

    • Bad Governance
    In a state where tribalism and corruption lives, bad governance is sure to occur.


    The Ugly : The Ugly effects of the Nigerian Civil War in present day Nigeria.

    • Involvement in politics
    The Igbos barely involve themselves in focal politics, why the Hausas adores to involve in central politics. Indeed, it'll be safe to consider the Hausas the most political tribe in Nigeria. The Igbo tribe lean towards business to politics as politics is viewed as an "exercise in futility". Such convictions came to presence after the Nigerian Civil War, and from that point forward the Igbo tribe never produced a president. Shockingly, the Nigerian first president was an Igbo man, Nnamdi Azikwe.

    The effects of the Nigerian Civil War still lives among us and as opposed to passing on, it's getting stronger day by day.

    This article was written for the discovering africa initiative.
    Written by : Isaac Somto 

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