chapter
4 Pages

Introduction

This chapter examines three attempts at secession which were preceded and followed by organized large-scale violence. In all three cases, conventional military forces, using heavy weaponry and airplanes, were engaged in heavy fighting with the aim of conquering and controlling disputed territories and its population. The independence of the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria was proclaimed by the military governor of the Eastern Region Lieutenant Colonel Emeka Ojekwu on 30 May 1967. The state of emergency and the division of Biafra was followed by the invasion by the Nigerian federal army of Biafra two months later. Nigeria achieved independence in 1960 as a federal state consisting of three federal units North, West and East and numerous sub-federal provinces and districts. In spite of the development of Nigerian national identity both among the educated elites and ordinary citizens, individuals were identified and would identify themselves as members of a particular ethnic group or sub-group.