The South-East geopolitical zone and the rest of Nigeria

Theend of the civil war and the eventual victory for the Nigerian forces put a briefstop to secession attempts by the people of Biafra. Balogun, (Owechue, 2004) However,the rudiments were not addressed in the interregnum, therefore, agitations areresurfacing. (Agbu, 2004) More than forty-five years after the end of the civilwar, the agitations for separation, which have been intermittent, have resumedwith a renewed dimension, and the Igbo dominated South-East geopolitical zoneand the rest of Nigeria could be heading for a messy divorce with seriouspolitical and economic consequences for both parties. While the Biafra of circa1967-1970 was defeated, the separatist spirit of that war still lingers amongmany, especially with the return of democracy in 1999 with the formation of theRalph Uwazurike led Movement For The Actualization of the Sovereign State ofBiafra (MASSOB).

(Collier, 2002) Things however did not escalate essentiallyuntil 2005 when MASSOB reintroduced the Biafran Pound into flow. The move wasmet with startling fervour in the South East and the Obasanjo government movedto smash the energy by capturing Uwazurike, keeping him imprisoned until theYaradua government discharged him in 2007. Moves like the dispatch of theBiafran Passport in 2009 prompted a re-arrest of Uwazurike and his allies,prompting the Jonathan’s regime to proclaim the movement a terrorist group justlike the Boko Haram group in the year 2013. (Onuoha, 2013) Thearrest of Nnamdi Kanu has brought to the front-line a clamour for a separatistBiafran nation. The role played by Kanu, and his movement, the IndigenousPeople of Biafra, IPOB, shows that unless the issue is tackled at its source,newer and more difficult movements among younger generations demanding foreither Biafra or some other ethnic based national identification will keep increasing.(ICG, 2015)This paper does notmake a case either for or against the independence of the Igbo people ofNigeria. The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the effect ofIPOB’s renewed agitation, government respond, its viability, and the level ofsupport it enjoys which objectively provide a case for or against the agitators. 

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