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Nigeria, separatist agitation, contemporary

Adebusuyi I. Adeniran

Subject History
Applied Psychology » Political Psychology

Place Western Africa » Nigeria

Period 2000 - present
1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics ethnicity, minorities, revolution, separatism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01106.x


Nigeria gained independence from British colonial domination on October 1, 1960 as a fusion of well over 250 ethnic nationalities. Intense competition for political power among postcolonial leaders has given rise to stiff divisions and suspicion among various nationalities, ethnic groups, and, indeed, religious associations within the country. By 1967, the bid to declare a state of Biafra by the Igbo secessionists of Eastern Nigeria had led to the outbreak of a fatal civil war, which lasted until 1970 and claimed an estimated three million lives. All along the evolutionary path of contemporary Nigerian society, secessionist agitations have been largely restricted to the southern bloc of the country. In the southwest, the Oodua People's Congress (OPC) emerged and has been holding sway as a reactionary movement against the perceived political injustice being meted out to the rest of the country by the northern oligarchy. The group's assertion is typified by the unjust annulment of the presidential election of June 12, 1993 (won by Chief Moshood Abiola – a southerner) by General Ibrahim Babangida – a northerner. In the southeast, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) emerged in response to the contemporary alienation of the Igbo people in the political permutations of Nigeria. It promptly resuscitated previous platforms within which the Biafran ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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