The Nigerian Civil War: Causes, Strategies, And Lessons Learnt
SUBJECT AREA History
THE NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR
CAUSES, STRATEGIES AND
MAJOR ABUBAKAR .A. ATOFARATI
STUDENT: US MARINE COMMAND AND
1. List of Maps.
4. Executive Summary.
5. Background History of Nigeria.
6. History of the Nigerian Army before 1966.
7. The War - Planning Strategies.
8. The Clash of Arms.
9. Lessons Learnt.
LIST OF MAPS
1. Map 1 : The four Regions of Nigeria.
2. Map 2 : The twelve states of Nigeria.
3. Map 3 : The liberation of the Mid - Western state.
4. Map 4 : The front line in mid - 1969.
5. Map 5 : The final offensive.
THE NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR
CAUSES, STRATEGIES, AND LESSONS LEARNT
The Nigerian Civil War was fought to reintegrate and reunify
the country. This paper will focus on the causes of the war, strategies
employed by the belligerents in the conflict, and the lessons learnt.
I. Background History of Nigeria
II. History of the Nigerian Army before 1966
III. The War - Planning Strategies
IV. The Clash of Arms
V. Lessons Learnt
The Federation of Nigeria, as it is known today, has never really
been one homogeneous country, for it's widely differing peoples and
tribes. This obvious fact notwithstanding, the former colonial master
decided to keep the country one in order to effectively control her
vital resources for their economic interests. Thus, for administrative
convenience the Northern and Southern Nigeria were amalgamated in 1914.
Thereafter the only thing this people had in common was the name of
their country since each side had different administrative set - up.
This alone was an insufficient basis for true unity. Under normal
circumstances the amagalmation ought to have brought the various peoples
together and provided a firm basis for the arduous task of establishing
closer cultural, social, religious, and linguistic ties vital for true
unity among the people. There was division, hatred, unhealthy rivalry,
and pronounced disparity in development.
The growth of nationalism in the society and the subsequent
emergence of political parties were based on ethnic/tribal rather than
national interests, and therefore had no unifying effect on the peoples
against the colonial master. Rather, it was the people themselves who
were the victims of the political struggles which were supposed to be
aimed at removing foreign domination. At independence Nigeria became a
Federation and remained one country. Soon afterwards the battle to
consolidate the legacy of political and military dominance of a section
of Nigeria over the rest of the Federation began with increased
intensity. It is this struggle that eventually degenerated into coup,
counter coup and a bloody civil war.
The Nigerian Civil War broke out on 6 July 1967. The war was the
culmination of an uneasy peace and stability that had plagued the Nation
from independence in 1960. This situation had its genesis in the
geography, history, culture and demography of Nigeria.
The immediate cause of the civil war itself may be identified as
the coup and the counter coup of 1966 which altered the political
equation and destroyed the fragile trust existing among the major ethnic
groups. As a means of holding the country together in the last result,
the country was divided into twelve states from the original four
regions in May 1967. The former Eastern Region under Lt. Col. Ojukwu saw
the act of the creation of states by decree "without consultation" as
the last straw, and declared the Region an independent state of
"Biafra". The Federal Government in Lagos saw this as an act of
secession and illegal. Several meetings were held to resolve the issue
peacefully without success. To avoid disintegration of the country, the
central government was left with only one choice of bringing back the
Region to the main fold by force.
The Federal side expected a quick victory while the Biafrans saw
the war as that of survival and were ready to fight to the last man.
By August 1967, the war had been extended to the Mid - Western Region by
the Biafrans with the aim to relief pressure on the northern front and
to threaten the Federal Capital, Lagos. Both sides employed Political,
Diplomatic, Psychological and Military strategies to prosecute the war.
By the end of April 1969, after almost two years of bloody and
destructive war, the envisioned quick victory had eluded the Federal
side, the rebel enclave had been drastically reduced in size but the
Biafrans were still holding on. More peace conferences were held but
none achieved a cease - fire and an end to the war. The Federals
embarked on a strategic envelopment of the remaining Biafran enclave. By
the Christmas of 1969, it was obvious that the end of the civil war was
The self - acclaimed Head of State of Biafra, Lt. Col. Ojukwu,
realizing the hopelessness of the situation fled the enclave with his
immediate family members on the 10th of January 1970. The Commander of
the Biafran Army who took over the administration of the remaining
enclave surrendered to the Federal Government on 14th January 1970
bringing an end to the war, secessionist attempt and bloodshed.
Several lessons were learnt from the war and these have helped in
the unification, political, military and economical progress of the
THE NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR CAUSES, STRATEGIES AND LESSONS LEARNT
The Nigerian civil war, popularly known all over the world as the
"Biafran War" was fought from 2 July 1967 to 15 January 1970. The war
was between the then Eastern Region of Nigeria and the rest of the
country. The Eastern Region declared itself an independent state which
was regarded as an act of secession by the Federal Military Government
of Nigeria. The war was fought to reunify the country. In order to
understand what led to the civil war, it is necessary to give a brief
background history of Nigeria.
BACKGROUND HISTORY OF NIGERIA
The land mass known today as Nigeria existed as a number of
independent and sometimes hostile national states with linguistic and
cultural differences until 1900. The Governor General of Nigeria between
1920 - 31 , Sir Hugh Clifford, described Nigeria as "a collection of
independent Native States, separated from one another by great
distances, by differences of history and traditions and by ethnological,
racial, tribal, political, social and religious barriers." (Nigeria
Council Debate. Lagos, 1920). The building of Nigeria as a multi -
national state began in 1900 with the creation of Northern and Southern
Protectorates along with the colony of Lagos by the British government.
Further effort at unification and integration was made in May 1906 when
the colony of Lagos and the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria, which had
existed separately, were amalgamated to become the Colony and
Protectorate of Southern Nigeria.
Even then the Northern and the Southern Administration were
separate and distinct. Both were independent of one another and each was
directly responsible to the Colonial Office. The first momentous act of
the British in the political evolution of Nigeria as a modern state was
the amalgamation of the administration of the two sections of Nigeria on
1 January 1914 by Lord Lugard. For ease of governing and in the economic
interest of the British, indirect rule and separate development policy
were maintained in the two sections of the country, with the amalgamated
administration based in Lagos. This, in effect produced two Nigerias, each
with different social, political, economic, and cultural backgrounds and
development within the country.
No further constitutional development took place until 1922. The
1922 constitution made provision, for the first time, for elected members
to sit on a Nigerian legislative council, but did not empower them to
make laws for the North. Nigeria was divided into four administrative
units in 1940; the colony of Lagos, the Northern, Eastern and Western
provinces. This administrative divisions, with increased power for the
colony and the provinces, was not only maintained but separateness was
also strengthened and deepened by Sir Arthur Richardson's constitution
of 1946 which inaugurated Nigeria's regionalism. It however achieved a
half - hearted political breakthrough by integrating the North with the
South at the legislative level for the first time.
The post second World War political awareness and upsurge of
nationalism in Africa brought about the Richardson's constitution of
1950. Political parties were formed on regional and ethnic basis.
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The outcome of this was obvious: full scale regionalism. With the
Macpherson's constitution of 1951, a greater measure of autonomy was
granted the regions with stronger regional legislatures. With only
residual power left to the central government, Nigeria politically took
a turn for the worse, and there was a possibility of three countries
emerging out of Nigeria.
In 1953, the central cabinet was split over the acceptance of a
target date for securing self - government with the end result of the
Kano riot. The gap between the regions widened. For the first time the
North talked openly of the possibility of secession rather than endure
what they saw as humiliation and ill - treatment. The West also threatened
to secede over the non - inclusion of Lagos in the West in the new
constitution. The 1954 constitution confirmed and formalized the wishes
of Nigerian leaders to move and remain as far apart as they possibly
could. The choice between Unitary and Federal options in the form of
government had been irrevocably made. The leaders settled for Federal
option. Thereafter things happened fast in the political arena. There
were constitutional conferences in 1957, 1958, 1959 and in 1960
culminating in the granting of independence to Nigeria on October
It should be noted that from 1954 onwards, the political direction
was constantly away from a strong center towards a formidable, almost
insulation of the regional base of each major political party. The
failure of the Willink commission to recommend the creation of more
states in 1958 for the Nigerian type of federalism planted the most
potent seed of instability into the evolution of Nigeria as a nation in
the 1950s. All the political leaders who had strong and firm political
bases in the regions fought hard for maximum powers for the regions
which weakened the center. At the same time, the ugly embers of
tribalism and sectionalism had been fanned into a deadly flame by all
the political leaders. These leaders rode on the crest of this cancerous
tribalism and ignorance of the people to power, at the expense of
national unity and the nation.
Instead of regionalism ensuring and preserving national unity, it
became its bane. There were diffusion instead of fusion of the three
units. According to Gen. Obasanjo: "The only point on which Nigerian
political leaders spoke with one voice was the granting by the British
of political independence - and even then they did not agree on the
timing." (5:3) With granting of independence in 1960, all the dirt,
swept under the carpet, surfaced. Nigeria was now beset by strings of
political problems which stemmed from the lop-sided nature of the
political divisions of the country and the type of the existing federal
constitution, and the spirit in which it operated.
The first post independence disturbance was over the defense
agreement between Great Britain and Nigeria, which was seen as "an
attempt (by Britain) to swindle Nigeria out of her sovereignty", by
contracting with Nigeria to afford each other such assistance as may be
necessary for mutual defense and to consult together on measures to be
taken jointly or separately to ensure the fullest cooperation between
them for this purpose. It was viewed an unequal treaty. Through student
demonstrations and vehement opposition by the general public and members
of the Federal House of Representatives, the agreement was abrogated in
This episode was nothing compared with later developments in the
country's turbulent political history. The general census conducted in
1962 was alleged to be riddled with malpractices and inflation of
figures of such astronomical proportions that the Eastern Region refused
to accept the result. A second census was carried out in 1963, and even
then the figures were accepted with some reservations. Meanwhile the
people of the Middle Belt area of the North had grown increasingly
intolerant of the NPC rule of the North. The Tiv, one of the major
tribes in the Middle Belt, openly rioted for almost three years
(1962 - 1965). Then came the biggest crisis of them all - the general
election of 1964. The election was alleged to be neither free nor fair.
All devices imaginable were said to have been used by the ruling parties
in the regions to eliminate opponents.
The Chairman of the Electoral Commission himself admitted there
were proven irregularities. The President, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe refused to
appoint a Prime Minister in the light of these allegations. The
President and the incumbent Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa,
were each seeking the support of the Armed Forces. This marked the first
involvement of the Armed Forces in partisan politics. For four anxious
days, the nation waited until the President announced that he had
appointed the incumbent Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, to
form a broad based government. The same could not be said of the Western
Region election of 1965. The rigging and irregularities in the election
were alleged to be more brazen and more shameful. Law and order broke
down completely leading to an almost complete state of anarchy. Arson
and indiscriminate killings were committed by a private army of thugs of
political parties. Law abiding citizens lived in constant fear of their
lives and properties.
This was the state of affairs when the coup of 15 January 1966 took
place. "As an immediate cause, it might be claimed that the explosion of
that day could be traced back along the powder trail to the fuse lit at
the time of the Western Region election of October 1965." (5:6) The
aim of the coup was to establish a strong, unified and prosperous
nation, free from corruption and internal strife. The outcome of the
half-hearted and ill-fated coup was a change of political balance in the
country. Major Nzeogwu's (the leader of the coup) aims for the coup was
not borne out of its method, style and results. All the politicians and
senior military officers killed were from the North and Western Region
except a political leader and a senior Army officer from the Mid - West
and the East respectively.
The coup hastened the collapse of Nigeria. "The Federation was sick
at birth and by January 1966, the sick, bedridden babe
collapsed." (1:210) From independence to January 1966, the country had
been in a serious turmoil; but the coup put her in an even greater
situation. Most of the coup planners were of Eastern origin, thus the
Northerners in particular saw it as a deliberate plan to eliminate the
political heavy weights in the North in order to pave way for the
Easterners to take over the leadership role from them. The sky high
praises of the coup and apparent relief given by it in the south came to
a sudden end when the succeeding Military Government of
Maj Gen. J.T.U. Aguiyi Ironsi, an Easterner, unfolded its plans. If
Ironsi had displayed a greater sensitivity to the thinking of the
Northerners, he could have capitalized on the relief that immediately
followed the coup.
But in addition to his failure to take advantage of the
initial favorable reaction to the coup, he did not know what to do
with the ring leaders who had been arrested. He did not know whether to
treat them as heroes of the revolution or send them before a court
martial as mutineers and murderers. Military Governors were appointed to
oversee the administration of the regions. In the North the numbed
favorable reaction in certain quarters turned to studied silence and a
"wait and see" attitude. This gradually changed to resentment,
culminating in the May 1966 riots throughout the North during which most
Easterners residing in the North were attacked and killed.
A counter coup was staged by the Northern military officers on 29
July 1966 with two aims: revenge on the East, and a break up of the
country. But the wise counsel of dedicated Nigerians, interested and
well-disposed foreigners prevailed. The Head of State, Maj. Gen Aguiyi
Ironsi and many other senior officers of Eastern origin were killed.
After three anxious days of fear, doubts and non-government,
Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, at the time the most senior officer of Northern
origin and then the Chief of Staff, Nigerian Army, emerged as the new
Nigerian political leader. The lack of planning and the revengeful
intentions of the second coup manifested itself in the chaos, confusion
and the scale of unnecessary killings of the Easterners throughout the
country. Even the authors of the coup could not stem the general
lawlessness and disorder, the senseless looting and killing which spread
through the North like wild fire on 29 September 1966.
Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, the then Head of State, in a broadcast to
the people of the North in September said; "I receive complaints daily
that up till now Easterners living in the North are being killed and
molested and their property looted. It appears that it is going beyond
reason and is now at a point of recklessness and
irresponsibility." (3:9) Before then, in an effort to stop the killings
and to preserve the nation in one form or the other, an ad hoc conference
of the representatives of the regions was called on 9 August 1966 in
Lagos. The meeting made the following recommendations:
1. Immediate steps should be taken to post military
personnel to barracks within their respective regions of origin.
2. A meeting of this committee or an enlarged body should
take place to recommend in a broad outline the form of political
association which the country should adopt in the future
3. Immediate steps should be taken to nullify or modify any
provisions of any decree which assumes extreme centralization.
4. The Supreme Commander should make conditions suitable for
a meeting of the Supreme Military Council urgently as a further means of
The first recommendation was implemented on 13 August 1966. Troops
of Eastern Nigeria origin serving elsewhere in the country were
officially and formally released and posted to Enugu, the capital of
Eastern Region, while troops of non-Eastern origin in Enugu moved to
Kaduna and Lagos. This marked the beginning of division and disunity
within the rank and file of the Nigerian Armed Forces. "This simple and
seemingly innocuous action broke the last thread and split the last
institution symbolizing Nigeria's nationhood and cohesion which had been
regularly tampered with by the politicians since 1962. The rift between
the Eastern Region and the rest of the country was total." (5:8) Most of
the civilian of Eastern Region origin who had never lived in the East
and would have continued to live elsewhere in the country lost
confidence and moved to the East. Some of them when they arrived at
their destination became refugees in their own country
None of the other recommendations was fully implemented except
nullification of the unification decree. The implementation of the
recommendation with regards to the posting of troops to barracks within
their region of origin was relentlessly pursued by the political leaders
of Western Region after the exercise had been completed in the Eastern
Region. They were afraid of the so - alled Northern troops domination
and probably of the safety of the troops of Western Region origin.
With the troops of Eastern Region back in Enugu and the non-Eastern
troops withdrawn from there, with Nigerians of non-Eastern origin driven
out of the East in their own interest, and with Easterners at home and
abroad returning home with news of Nigerian's brutality against them,
and with the oil flowing in the Eastern Region, the way was now open for
the implementation of the secession. The East and the North began a
virulent of words through their radios and newspapers. Early in 1967, a
peace negotiating meeting of the Supreme Military Council of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria and the Eastern Region Military Governor,
Lt. Col. Ojukwu was called under the auspices of Gen. Ankrah of Ghana in
Aburi, Ghana. As it turned out, all the other members of the council
except Ojukwu were either too thrusting, too naive or too ill - prepared
for the meeting. Therefore Ojukwu scored a vital goal in his ambition.
Walter Schwarz remarked : "Ojukwu got his way with little effort,
by being the cleverest. He was the only one who understood the issue.
Step by step the others came to acquiesce in the logic of Ojukwu's basic
thesis - that to stay together at all, the regions had first to draw
apart. Only Ojukwu understood that this meant, in effect, a sovereign
Biafra (Eastern Region) and the end of the Federation." (6:18)
Different versions of what happened in Aburi were released by
Ojukwu in the East and by the Federal Military Government in Lagos.
Ojukwu accused the Federal Government of bad faith and going back on
promises. The Federal Government accused Ojukwu of distortion and half
truths. After several meetings amongst the Federal and Regional
officials, what amounted to the demise of the Federation was promulgated
in decree No. 8 of 17 March 1967 in a desperate effort to implement the
Aburi decisions and to avoid further stalemate and possible civil war.
Not surprisingly, Ojukwu completely rejected Decree No. 8 as falling
short of full implementation of Aburi decisions. The die was cast. All
efforts to intervene by eminent Nigerians and well - wishers to Nigeria
like Gen. Ankrah, late Emperor Hallie Selassie of Ethiopia and the late
Dr Martin Luther King proved abortive.
The flurry of conciliatory meetings achieved nothing. Gen. Obasanjo
remarked: "Ojukwu was adamant, obstinate and obdurate. He refused to
attend the Supreme Military Government meeting called in March in Benin
city, Nigeria to discuss outstanding issues and deliberate on the budget
for the coming fiscal year. If he could not achieve his long cherished
ambition of ruling an independent Nigeria, he could break it up and rule
an independent and sovereign "Biafra." Nothing could stop him." (5:10)
As early as 7 June 1966, after the May incident in the North, Ojukwu was
quoted as saying: We are finished with the Federation. It is all a
question of time." (5:11)
Ojukwu seized the Federal Government property and funds in the
East. He planned the hijacking of a National commercial aircraft Fokker
27 on a schedule flight from Benin to Lagos. All these and other signs
and reports convinced the Federal Military Government of Ojukwu's
intention to secede. Lt Col. Yakubu Gowon, the Head of Federal
Government, imposed a total blockade of the East. It was realized that
more stringent action had to be taken to weaken support for Ojukwu and
to forestall his secession bid. Short of military action at that time,
creation of States by decree was the only weapon ready to hand. The
initial plan was to create States in the Eastern Region only. Such
action was considered impolitic and fraught with danger. Eventually
12 States were created throughout the country on 27 May 1967.
The Eastern Region was divided into three states. The reaction from
Enugu was sharp and quick: the declaration of Eastern Nigeria as the
independent sovereign state of "Biafra" on 30 May 1967. The month of
June was used by both sides to prepare for war. Each side increased its
military arsenal and moved troops to the border watching and waiting
until the crack of the first bullet at the dawn of 6 July 1967 from the
Federal side. The war had started and the dawn of a new history of
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HISTORY OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY BEFORE 1966
What is known today as the Nigerian Army was, before 1966, a part of
the British West African Army called the Royal West Africa Frontier
Force ( RWAFF ). This force included the armies of Gold Coast (Ghana)
Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Gambia. At this time, there were eight
indigenous Nigerian officers in the entire force, the rest being British
officers. The role of an army in a developing country was not fully
realized by the nationalist leaders struggling for independence, hence,
there was no effective pressure on the British Government to train
Nigerian officers in preparation for independence. Even at this stage,
it was clear that the future stability of a nation such as Nigeria
depended to a large scale on the existence of a reliable army. One
result of this short - sightedness was that the first Nigerian to
command the Nigerian Army - Maj Gen. J.T.U. Aguiyi Ironsi, was not
appointed until 1965, nearly five years after independence.
At independence, it was also obvious that only the group that
controlled the Army could aspire to run a stable Nigerian government.
Either by coincidence or by design, almost all the military
installations were concentrated in one area of the country - The North.
To illustrate this fact, below is a list of major military installations
in Nigeria and their locations before the January 1966 coup:
1. 3rd Bn Kaduna
2. 5th Bn Kano
3. 1 Field Battery (Arty) Kaduna
4. 1 Field Squadron (Engrs) Kaduna
5. 88 Transport Regt Kaduna
6. Nigerian Defense Academy "
7. Ordinance Depot "
8. 44 Military Hospital "
9. Nigeria Military Training College "
10. Recon Squadron & Regt "
11. Nigerian Air Force "
12. Ammunition Factory "
13. Recruit Training Depot Zaria
14. Nigerian Military School "
1. 4th Bn Ibadan
2. 2 Field Battery (Arty) Abeokuta
3. 2 Recon Squaron "
1st Bn Enugu
There were no military units in the Mid - Western Nigeria and those
in Lagos were either administrative or ceremonial. Recruitment of
soldiers into the Nigerian Army was based on ethnic quota system. Under
this system Northern Nigeria provided 60%, Eastern and Western Nigeria
15% each and Mid - Western Nigeria 10%. This was done to encourage the
Northerners who had not been interested in joining the Army initially.
The standard of entry into the Army was as well lowered to favor the
Northerners. As a result the North in 1966 had the absolute majority
within the rank and file of the Army. The standards fell within the Army
and the soldiers became more politically conscious. Madiebo pointed out
"In order to ensure the loyalty of the military thus established, the
criterion for promotion and advancement was based more on political
considerations than efficiency or competence. (2:10)
The involvement of the Military in politics took a turn for the
worse during the Western Nigerian elections in October 1965. The
politicians openly courted the friendship of top military officers. Due
to the chaos that characterized the general election of 1964 and the
Western Region election of 1965, it had become clear that Nigeria was
overdue for a change. By October 1965, rumors of an impending coup were
already circulating in the country. It was therefore not much of a
surprise when the coup was finally staged.
THE WAR PLANNING STRATEGIES NIGERIA MOBILIZATION
The declaration of secession made war not inevitable but imminent.
At the dawn of 6 July 1967, the first bullet was fired signalling the
beginning of the gruesome 30 month civil war and carnage, brothers
killing brothers. Preparations for war had already been set in motion
on the Nigerian side by May 1967. All the soldiers of Northern,
Western, and Mid - Western origin had been withdrawn from the East and
redeployed. Four of the regular infantry battalions of the Army were
placed under the command of 1 Brigade and redesignated 1 Area Command.
Mobilization of ex - service men was ordered by the Commander - in -
Chief. Out of those called up, about seven thousand in number, four
other battalions were formed. Increased recruitment from the personnel
of the Nigerian Police Force was embarked upon.
The civilians were trained in civil defense duties. In mobilizing
the people of Nigeria, the Federal Government had to make the war look a
just cause to stop the disintegration of the country and in doing this a
slogan was invented "To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done."
Even the letters of the Head of the Federal Government, GOWON was coined
to read "Go On With One Nigeria" and became a very strong propaganda.
Delivery of arms and equipment for the Nigerian Army were hastened.
Nigerian Army Headquarters (NAHQ) Operations plan envisaged a war that
will be waged in four phases and that will be over within a month with
the capture of Enugu, the capital and nerve center of Eastern Region.
The four phases were (1) Capture of Nsukka, (2) Capture of Ogoja, (3)
Capture of Abakaliki, (4) Capture of Enugu. 1 Area Command was to be
the fighting force, 2 Area Command in Ibadan, Western Region, was
earmarked for the defense of Mid - West and border protection while the
Lagos Garrison Organization was earmarked for the defense of Lagos, the
The NAHQ assessment of the rebels in terms of men under arms and
equipment did not give the NAHQ much concern. The total mobilization
and the will of the people of the Eastern Nigeria to fight against
severe odds was under estimated. Nigeria knew that the survival of
Biafra depended on importation of material from abroad to sustain her
war efforts and the only route was through the Atlantic Ocean. As part
of strategic planning, the Nigerian Navy (NN) was to blockade the region
from the sea thereby preventing shipment of arms, equipment, food and
other war materiel and services into the East. At the same time all
flights to the region were cancelled and the international community were
informed that no flight to the region would be accepted without
clearance from Lagos. The NAHQ did not pay any particular attention to
strategic intelligence of the Eastern Region. In planning and concept
the war was intended to be fought by the troops located in the North and
to be supplied mainly from Kaduna.
Immediately secession was declared, Nigeria sent her war ships to
blockade and secure all sea routes into the region. The Nigerian Air
Force was tasked to ensure the control of the air space over the entire
country. The offensive was to be a two prong attack, a combined arms
mechanized infantry divisional attack from the north and an amphibious
operation by another division from the south with the aim of crushing
the Biafran army in between. The offence was to be supported by the Air
Force and the Navy. A third and fourth fronts were introduced later in
At the Diplomatic level, the Federal Government mounted a serious
campaign to dissuade other countries, particularly the super powers, the
USA, USSR, and the United Kingdom from recognizing the secessionist.
The war was painted as an adventure by an individual. The government in
Lagos continued to represent the entire country in the international
organizations where a very strong propaganda was mounted to continue to
portray the war as one to re-unite the country. This made it possible to
win the support of the super powers and to continue to discredit Biafra.
Through this support, Nigeria was able to import more arms and equipment
from all over the world to prosecute the war. In order to show that she
was prepared for a peaceful solution to the conflict, Nigeria continued
to participate in peace talks organized by the international community.
Realizing the importance of the support of the civil populace,
Nigeria embarked on an elaborate psychological warfare. "To keep
Nigeria one is a task that must be done" became a very popular slogan.
Leaflets discrediting the Biafran Head of State, encouraging the
Biafrans to lay down their arms with a promise of non-persecution, were
regularly dropped in the East.
On the Biafran side, preparation for war was put into high gear as
soon as the troops of non - Eastern origin withdrew from Enugu in
August of 1966. Thousands of people poured in for recruitment. Training
was embarked upon both for officers and soldiers who were mainly
lecturers and university students. Before the outbreak of hostility, the
Eastern Region had no sufficient arms since all the soldiers who
returned to the region did so without their arms while the soldiers who
were withdrawn from the East departed with their weapons. What was left
of the Nigerian Army at Enugu barracks amounted to about 240 soldiers,
the majority of them technicians and tradesmen and not all the soldiers
had weapons. However at the outbreak of the war, the Eastern Region had
succeeded in securing arms and ammunition from France, Spain and
Portugal. Madiebo remarked, "When more weapons were received in May
1967, a decision was taken to form two new battalions to be called the
9th and 14th Battalions." (2:100)
Many pilots and technicians formerly of the Nigerian Air Force of
Eastern origin returned to the region to form the Biafran Air Force
(BAF). Two old planes, a B26 and a B25 were acquired with new
helicopters. T he two bombers were fitted with machine guns and locally
made rockets and bombs. The BAF also acquired Minicon aircrafts. A small
Navy was established in Calabar with some patrol boat formerly used by
the Nigerian Navy. More boats were later manufactured locally and these
were armored plated and fitted with light guns and machine guns. A
peoples army called, the Biafra Militia, was formed. Local leaders and
ex - servicemen trained young men and women in the use of whatever
weapon the indivIduals had. These weapons were mainly imported and
locally made short guns. The militia were to provide a ready source of
manpower re-enforcement for the regular army, to assist with military
administration immediately behind the frontline, to garrison all the
areas captured or regained from the enemy, and to help educate the
population on the reason why Biafra was fighting.
An establishment known as the Administration Support was formed.
Before the declaration of hostility, the small Biafran Army was almost
completely administered and maintained by donations from the civil
populace. This establishment was to muster necessary support
particularly logistic requirements for the army and to run the
administration since all the young and able bodied men and women were to
be engaged in the fight. A Food Directorate, responsible for the
purchase and distribution of all food, drink and cigarettes to the
armed forces and the nation was formed. A Transport Directorate with
operational procedure similar to that of the Food Directorate was
established. A Petroleum Management Board was established for
procurement, management and distribution of POL. The board designed and
built a sizeable and efficient fuel refinery which produced petrol,
diesel, and engine oil at considerably fast rate.
Several other directorates such as Clothing, Housing, Propaganda,
Requisition and Supply, and Medical were established. Clothing in
particular was very essential as uniform was unavailable in Biafra. The
textile mills in the Eastern Region were reactivated to produce bails
of uniform for the armed forces and the civilians. A Research and
Production Board was established. This organization researched and
manufactured rockets, mines, tanks, grenades, launchers, bombs, flame
throwers, vaccines, biological and alcoholic beverages and so forth.
Women were not left out in the scheme of things. Women were trained
in intelligence gathering and how to infiltrate into the Nigerian side.
Women Voluntary Service was formed to assist in educating the women of
Biafra on the cause of the crisis, keep women informed of developments,
rehabilitation of war casualties, setting up of nurseries, orphanages,
civil defense corps, and provision of cooks for the troops. An Advisory
Committee was set up to plan and execute the war and to advise the Head
of State on political and military matters.
POLITICAL / DIPLOMATIC
The Biafrans knew that the odds against them was immense and that
their survival depended on the amount of external support they were able
to muster. The Biafrans, through many of their people abroad, mounted a
very strong campaign and propaganda for the recognition of Biafra by the
international community and for the purchase of arms and equipment. This
powerful propaganda paid off by her recognition by countries like,
Tanzania, Zambia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Haiti, covert support by France
and double dealing by countries like West Germany, Spain, Portugal,
Switzerland, Sweden, Republic of Dahomey, Sierra Leone and secret
importation of arms and ammunition into the region.
THE CLASH OF ARMS STRATEGIES EMPLOYED
Nigeria's potential in manpower, wealth, natural resources, land
mass, infrastructure, international links and diplomacy could hardly be
surpassed in Africa. Whenever war is declared, people are generally
concerned with the relative strengths of the opposing forces coupled
with their war potential. Armed forces are the towing equipment that
pulls a nation out if she runs aground in her policy. It is madness for
a nation to commit herself more than her armed forces can do. There was
no comparison between the strengths of the opposing forces in the
Nigerian civil war. Nigerian Army (NA) was too formidable for Biafra, a
ratio of 4:1. However each side knew the tactics the other side would
employ since they all belonged to the same Armed Forces before the war.
The Biafran Army, realizing the odds against them decided correctly
to go into defense. Taking the advantage of fighting on their own
ground, they constructed fortified pill boxes on the enemy most likely
avenues of approach, the major highways connecting the Eastern Region
with the rest of the country. The Biafran army had gathered a lot of
information on the disposition of the Nigerian army and made contingency
plans to meet any incursion into their territory. They conducted
training exercise code named "Exercise Checkmate" which was on the line
Biafra Army hoped to fight. This exœrcise was so realistic that when the
Nigerian Army started their offensive, they reacted exactly the way
Biafra expected them to.
Biafra deployed her troops as follows:
1. Northern Sector - 51st Brigade made up of three infantry
2.Central Zone and Garrison Command - 11th Infantry Battalion
3.Southern Zone - 52nd Brigade made up of three battalions.
The Biafran Air Force carried out strategic bombings of major towns,
military installations and the Defense Industry. This had a
diverstating effect on civilian population and further helped the
Nigerian propaganda which resulted in making more people to join the NA
to crush the rebellion. The Biafran Navy also carried out some attack on
the Nigerian ships with little effect. Mercenaries were hired to train
the troops and took part in the fighting.
THE NIGERIAN ARMY OFFENSIVE.
Nigeria opened her offensive operations from the northern sector.
1 Area Command NA, supported by an Artillery Brigade, Armored units
equipped with British Scorpion tanks, Saladin armored cars and ferrets,
and Engineer units, issued its operational orders for OPUNICORD, the
code name for the "police" action against the rebels on the 2 July 1967.
The offence was launched on two fronts. The command was divided into two
brigades with three battalions each. 1 Brigade advanced on the axis
Ogugu - Ogunga - Nsukka road while 2nd Brigade advanced on axis Gakem -
Obudu - Ogoja road. The rebels successfully repulsed the attack.
However, with the many friends the command had made since they
concentrated on the border waiting for the order to attack, they began
to recruit guides, informants and with this came the intelligence on
the disposition of the Biafran troops, their strength and plans and a
By the 10th of July 1967, 1st Bde had captured all its first
objectives and if they had had the detail intelligence of the Biafran
army on this day they would have pressed on to take Enugu, the Biafran
capital. H.M. Njoku remarked, "At Ukehe I could not believe my eyes. All
along the way were refugees streaming towards Enugu on Nsukka road. Many
of the retreating troops carried self inflicted wounds. Some senior
offices complained of malaria, headache, and all sorts of ailments. If
the NA knew the situation on the Biafran side on this eventful day and
pressed on they would have taken Enugu the same day without
By the 12th of July the 2nd Bde had captured Obudu, Gakem, and
Ogoja. A second front, the southern sector was opened on the 26 July,
1967 by a sea landing on Bonny by a division formed from the Lagos
Garrison Organization (LGO). With the support of the Navy, the division
established a beach head and exploited north after a fierce sea and land
battle. On 8th August 1967, Biafra invaded the former Mid - Western
Region with the aim to relieve the pressure on the northern sector and
to threaten Lagos, the Federal Capital. While the LGO was making
preparations for subsequent operations beyond Bonny, the news of the
rebel infiltration into the Mid - West was passed to the commander who
was then instructed to leave a battalion in Bonny, suspend all
operations there and move to Escravos with two battalions with a view to
dislodging the rebels and clearing the riverine area of the Mid - West.
These moves were carried out with the support of the Nigerian Navy and
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the merchant of the National Shipping Line. Another division was
formed to support the LGO in the clearing of the Mid - West of the
rebels. At this point, the formations were redesignated 1 Area Command
became 1 Infantry Division, the newly division was designated 2 Infantry
Division, and the LGO became the 3 Infantry Division. And with this the
"police action" turned into a full scale military operation.
By the end of September 1969, a substantial part of the Mid - West
had been cleared of the rebels. The commander of the 3 Infantry Division
secured permission to change the designation of his formation to 3
Marine Commando because of the peculiarly riverine and creek operations
already carried out by the division. This was the first time something
in the resemblance of a Marine organization was tried in the history of
the Nigerian Army. The division was not trained In amphibious
operations. Infact the troops were made up of the soldiers of the Lagos
Garrison Organization (LGO), the administrative establishment for the
Federal capital. However, with some crash training, the division became
the most feared and successful throughout the war.
Enugu became the bastion of secession and rebellion and the Federal
Government of Nigeria expected that its capture would mean the end of
secession. The advance from Nsukka to Enugu began in earnest on 12
September 1967. The rebels counterattacked and for the first time
launched their "Red Devil" tanks. These were modified pre - second World
War armored personnel carriers made in France. They were dangerous,
slow, blind, cumbersome and not easily maneuverable. T hey were easy prey
to anti - tank recoilless rifles and bold infantry attack. By the 4th
October 1967, Enugu was captured and with this capture 1 Infantry
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Division took time to refit and reorganize. The division had the
erroneous belief that the fall of Enugu would automatically mean the
collapse of the rebellIon. 1 Infantry Division decided to give the
rebels time to give up secession not knowing that the fire of rebellion
was still burning high in the hearts of most Easterners. Ojukwu was
callously fanning the fire and riding high on the emotions of his
apparently wounded and high spirited people who felt slighted and wanted
to revenge for all the events of 1966. It took the division another six
months to resume the offence thereby giving the rebels the necessary
respite to also reorganize and acquire more ammunition, weapons and
equipment to continue the resistance.
The 3 Marine Commando opened another front on the south / south
eastern border. With the support of the Navy, Calabar was captured on
the 13th October 1967. The capture of Calabar, Warri, Escravos and Bonny
established the supremacy of the Federal Government in Nigerian waters
and international waters bordering Nigerian coast. Biafra was sealed off
leaving Portharcourt Airport as the only means of international
communication and transportation with the outside world. It was at this
point that Biafran leadership decided to find alternative routes for
importation of war materiel and medical aids into the enclave. Three
stretches of straight roads were developed into airstrips; Awgu, Uga and
Ulli. On 19th May 1968 Portharcourt was captured. With the capture of
Enugu, Bonny, Calabar and Portharcourt, the outside world was left in no
doubt of the Federal supremacy in the war. The mercenaries fighting for
Biafra started deserting. Biafra started to smuggle abroad photographs
of starving children and to blackmail Nigeria of genocide. This secured
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military, economic and political relief from international organizations
for Biafra and further lengthened the war and the suffering of the
people of Biafra.
By the early 1969, 2nd Infantry Division crossed the Niger River at
Idah, after several unsuccessful attempts to cross the river at Asaba,
advanced through the already liberated areas of Nsukka and Enugu to
capture Onitsha. The division continued its advance towards Owerri. At
the same time 1 Infantry Division advanced on Umuahia. The 3 Marine
Commando was by now advancing on three fronts: Oguta - Owerinta - Ulli
airstrip - Umuahia axis; Portharcourt - Aba - Owerri - Umuahia axis; and
Calabar - Uyo - Umuahia axis. The plan was a link up with 1 Infantry
Division at Umuahia in order to envelop the rebels and either force them
to surrender or to destroy their fighting spirit. his plan, the final
offensive, was successfully implemented. Biafra tried unsuccessfully to
hold the NA onslaught using guerrilla tactics.
On the 10th January 1970, Lt. Col. Ojukwu, the self proclaimed Head
of State of Biafra, on realizing the total chaotic and hopelessness of
the situation, handed over to the Commander Biafran Army Maj. Gen.
Phillip Effiong, the administration of Biafra and flew out of the
enclave with his immediate family members in search of peace.
Maj. Gen. Effiong consulted with the Biafra Strategic Committee on the
situation and they decided that enough was enough and that the only
honorable way out was to surrender. In his surrender announcement to the
people of Biafra on Radio Biafra, part of Maj. Gen. Effiong address said:
As you know I was asked to be the officer administering the
government of this republIc on the 10th of January, 1970. Since
then I know some of you have been waiting to hear a statement
from me. Throughout history, injured people have had to result
to arms in their self defense where peaceful negotiation have
failed. We are no exception. We took up arms because of the
sense of insecurity generated in our people by the events of
1966. We have fought in defense of that cause. I am now
convinced that a stop must be put to the bloodshed which is
going on as a result of the war. I am also convinced that the
suffering of our people must be brought to an end. Our people
are now disillusioned and those elements of the old regime
who have made negotiations and reconciliation impossible have
voluntarily removed themselves from our midst. I have,
therefore, instructed an orderly disengagement of troops.
I urge on Gen. Gowon, in the name of humanity, to order his
troops to pause while an armistice is negotiated in order to
avoid the mass suffering caused by the movement of population.
We have always believed that our differences with Nigeria
should be settled by peaceful negotiation. A delegation of our
people is therefore ready to meet representatives of Nigerian
Government anywhere to negotiate a peace settlement on the
basis of OAU resolution.
Part of Maj. Gen. Yakubu Gowon, the Head of the Federal
Government's speech to accept formally the declared surrender and the
end of the civil war read:
Citizens of Nigeria,
It is with a heart full of gratitude to God that I announce to
you that today marks the formal end of the civil war. This
afternoon at the Doddan Barracks, Lt. Col. Phillip Effiong,
Lt. Col. David Ogunewe, Lt. Col. Patrick Anwunah,
Lt. Col. Patrick Amadi and commissioner Police, Chief Patrick
Okeke formally proclaimed the end of the attempt at secession
and accepted the authority of the Federal Military Government
of Nigeria. They also formally accepted the present political
and administrative structure of the country. This ends thirty
months of a grim struggle. Thirty months of sacrifice and
The world knows how hard we strove to avoid the civil
war. Our objectives in fighting the war to crush Ojukwu's
rebellion were always clear. We desired to preserve the
territorial integrity and unity of Nigeria. For, as one
country, we would be able to maintain lasting peace amongst
our various communities; achieve rapid economic development to
improve the lot of our people; guarantee a dignified future
and respect in the world for our posterity and contribute to
African unity and modernization. On the other hand, the small
successor states in a disintegrated Nigeria would be victims
of perpetual war and misery and neo - colonialism. Our duty
was clear. And we are today, vindicated.
The so - called "Rising Sun of Biafra" is set for ever. It
will be a great disservice for anyone to continue to use the
word "Biafra" to refer to any part of the East Central State
of Nigeria. The tragic chapter of violence is just ended.
We are at the dawn of national reconciliation. Once again we
have the opportunity to build a new nation. On our side, we
fought the war with great caution, not in anger or hatred, but
always in the hope that common sense would prevail. Many times
we sought a negotiated settlement, not out of wickedness, but
in order to minimize the problems of reintegration,
reconciliation and reconstruction. We knew that however the
war ended, in the battlefield or in the conference room, our
brothers fighting under other colors must rejoin us and that
we must together rebuild the nation anew. All Nigerians share
the victory today. The victory for national unity, victory for
hopes of Africans and black people everywhere. We mourn the
dead heroes. We thank God for sparing us to see this glorious
dawn of national reconciliation. We must seek His guidance to
do our duty to contribute our quota to the building of a great
nation, ounded on the concerted efforts of all its people and
on justice and equality. A nation never to return to the
fractious, sterile and selfish debates that led to the tragic
conflict just ending. The Federal Government has mounted a
massive relief operations to alleviate the suffering of
the people in the newly liberated areas. We are mobilizing
adequate resources to provide food, shelter, and medicines for
the affected population. My government has directed that
former civil servants and public corporation officials should
be promptly reinstated as they come out of hiding. Details of
this exercise have been published. Plans for the
rehabilitation of self - employed people will also be
announced promptly. We have overcome a lot over the
past four years. I have therefore every confidence
that ours will become a great nation.
The surrender paper was signed on 14th January 1970 in Lagos and
thus came the end of the civil war and renunciation of secession.
The Nigerian civil war, unlike other wars across international
boundaries, was a war of unification, a war of reintegration. It was
therefore a much more difficult war for the Federal field commanders to
prosecute with the objectives of unification in mind than wars fought
against aggressors on foreign land. The human aspect was paramount. It
was a contradiction and complication not easy to resolve - how to fight
causing only limited destruction, how to inflict wounds and heal at the
same time, how to subdue without fatal and permanent injuries, how to
feed and house civilian population without exposing our troops to danger
and risk of saboteurs and infiltrators, how to achieve surrender without
inflicting permanent or long lasting psychological humiliation.
The Nigerian political tensions, conflicts and confrontations, like
other human interactions, had never conformed with the law of physics
that action and reaction are opposite and equal. Reactions had always
been more intense and graver than action, real or imagined. Those who
are the sowers of wind are usually the reapers of the whirlwind. The
Kano riots of 1953 was a reaction to the humiliation of the Northern
legislators in Lagos most of whom are still alive and politicking while
the rioters are dead, unsung and long forgotten. In the Nigerian
historical context, each political action, tension or conflict had
evoked more violence in reaction and the elites who initiated the action
are normally not the ones who reap the more violent reaction or
destruction. They are masters in the art of survival and they have
always emerged almost unscratched. It is the common man who knows little
or nothing of the on-goings and who certainly gains nothing from the
appointments or the prerequisites of office of these elites that is used
as cannon fodder and expendable material for the attainment and
sustenance of power, wealth and prosperity.
Our leaders aid those of other developing nations must eschew
bitterness and violence, learn that no individual or section has a
monopoly of violence and that one action of violence evokes greater and
more destructive violent reaction, the magnitude which can never be
imagined in advance. In the end the law of retributive justice catches
with the perpetrators of bitterness, violence and destruction. This
difficult lesson must be learnt.
The great publicity given to the war by Markpress on behalf of
Biafra, especially the photographs of starving children and ruined or
deserted towns, evoked deep feelings of sympathy all over the Western
world. By and large, these pitiful sights touched the conscience of
those who mounted large scale humanitarian campaigns on behalf of
Biafra. The issues in the war were relegated to the background and the
human and humanitarian aspects came to the fore. Most of them were
genuine in their humanitarian efforts but little did they know that most
of their contributions were used to purchase arms and ammunition which
prolonged the war and thereby increased and heightened the sufferings
of those they were trying to help.
There were involvement of some notable world leaders on supposedly
humanitarian grounds, but they had, as we have seen, ulterior motives
which were mainly to satisfy their political, economic or diplomatic
interests. Some foreign governments covertly encouraged and sustained
rebellion under the guise of humanitarianism by secretly giving weapons
and other war material to Biafra. They seceded in fuelling the war and
prolonged it and consequently prolonging the suffering of the people in
the war affected areas.
The importance of winning the support and mobilizing the civilian
populace became very obvious. Biafra, despite her inferiority in
manpower and war machineries held on for so long because her people
believed in fighting the war which they considered a war of survival. On
the same token, Nigeria won the war primarily because she was able to
win the support of the populace who enlisted in thousands to reunify the
Moral and discipline are two of the most important factors that
greatly contribute to success in war. Obasanjo commented on the effects
of these factors thus, "I observed amongst Nigerian troops during the
war different aspects of human behavior under the stress and strains of
battle, and interaction between ordinary Nigerians, war or no war. What
I found amazing was the length to which soldiers would go when morale
and discipline broke down, in order to avoid going to battle or, so to
speak, facing death. In effect, while running away from death they
inflicted death on themselves as some of them died from their self -
inflicted injuries. But towards the end of the war when everything was
going right - the rebels were on the run, advance was fast and
co-ordinated, moral was high - even our own wounded soldiers did not want
to be evacuated to the rear for treatment and medical attention. Several
times I heard such wounded soldiers saying to me, "Oga, na you and me
go end this war and capture Ojukwu. " (5:169)
Motivation is another very important factor that made troops fight.
The Nigerian soldiers enjoyed rapid promotion and increase in pay
throughout the war. This encouraged them to fight on. It is also
important to allow troops time to worship in their various religious
faith. Chaplains should be provided to pray for the troops whenever time
warrants. War is a situation that requires faith - faith in your
equipment, faith in your comrades and colleagues, faith in God or the
supreme being or whatever one believes in, faith in oneself and in the
cause for which one is fighting. I believe that success in a profession
that embraces the twin problem of human relationships and personal
danger in a degree not to be found in any other profession demands more
than the attributes of man, it requires divine guidance as well. The
care for the wounded and the dead must be taken seriously.
High standard of training can never be over emphasized. Most of
the soldiers recruited during the war did not undergo enough depot
training before being launched into battle. This resulted in many
casualties on both sides. Most of them who survived the war had to be
retrained. Members of the military must recognize that they depend more
on the professional and technical competence and proficiency of their
team members than on the formal authority structure. The maintenance of
the highly sophisticated weapons and equipment procured during the war
became very difficult. Most of them lasted for a few months in combat.
Weapons were imported from all over the world and this led to non -
standardization after the war. Most of them had to be phased out due to
lack of spare parts.
The quality of initiative in the individual must be allowed to
develop. It is the most valued of all leadership qualities and virtues
in the military. In this period of tremedious technological change,
military leaders are confronted with almost perpetual change or crisis
of organization especially in a fairly fluid combat situation. Whatever
may be the technological achievement of our age and it's impact on
military science, improvisation is still the keynote of the individual
fighter and combat group. This aspect of military training must be
emphasized in peacetime. This is particularly important in the
developing nation like ours.
Failures arising from lack of adequate joint training became very
obvious as a result of fratricide that occurred during the war. On many
occasions fire support request made to the Air Force never came, and
when it did come, it was sometimes on own friendly positions. Supply
from the air that became necessary atimes and were tried often fell on
the enemy side.
It is commonly said that an army fights on its stomach. Logistics
won the war for Nigeria. If the Biafrans had half of the resources
Nigeria had, the story might be different. The Biafrans were better
organized and managed the meager resources available to them more
effectively. The Nigerian Army learnt a big lesson from this. The Army
school of Logistics was upgraded and well funded to train and produce
high quality logisticians for the Army after the war.
Communication in the field was a big problem to both sides in the
conflict. Radios were lacking and when they were procured, trained
manpower was not available. The importance of good and reliable
communication and gathering of adequate and up to date intelligence of
the enemy was a big lesson.
The silencing of guns allowed the milk of brotherhood, love,
understanding and sympathy to flow from both the civilians and the
soldiers on the Federal side to their fellow citizens on the rebel side.
As time went by, everybody came to appreciate the futility of the war
which some had regarded as inevitable.
The war had come and gone. The story of the war and what led to it
has been told, is being told and will continue to be told. What seems to
me a human tragedy all through ages is the inability of man to learn a
good lesson from the past so as to avoid the pitfall of those who had
gone before. There is also the innate and unconscious desire of man to
remain oblivious of the lessons of the past. He hopes and believes that
the past can be ignored, that the present is what matters, that no
mistakes of the present can be as serious and grievous as the mistakes
of the past. As a result history tends to repeat itself. However, there
are exceptions of nations and men who had learnt from history to avoid
collective and individual disasters or a repetition of such disasters. I
feel confident that Nigeria must join the group of these happy
exceptions if we are to have political stability, economic progress,
integrated development, social justice, contentment and be the epicenter
of African solidarity. Since the end of the civil war, Nigeria has made
considerable progress in all these areas.
1. Kirk - Green, A.H.M. Crisis and Conflicts in Nigeria 1967 - 70.
Vol. I, January 1966 - July 1967. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971.
2. Madiebo, A. Alexander. The Nigerian Revolution and the Biafran War.
Fourth Dimensions Publishers, 1980.
3. New Nigerian: Daily Newspaper.
4. Njoku, H.M. A Tragedy Without Heroes: The Nigerian - Biafran War.
Fourth Dimensions Publishers, 1987.
5. Obasanjo, Olusegun General. My Command: An account of the Nigerian
Civil War 1967 - 70. Heinemann Publications, 1980.
6. Schwarz, Walter. Nigeria. London, 1968.