BRiIEF HISTORY OF THE BIAFRA AGITATION
Biafra's declaration of independence from Nigeria resulted in civil war between Biafra and Nigeria. Biafra was formally recognised by Gabon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Zambia. Other nations, which did not give official recognition but provided support and assistance to Biafra, included Israel, France, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Rhodesia, South Africa and Vatican City. Biafra received aid from non-state actors, including Joint Church Aid, Holy Ghost Fathers of Ireland, and under their direction Caritas International, and U.S. Catholic Relief Services. Médecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) also originated in response to the suffering.
Its inhabitants were mostly Igbo, who led the independence movement due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. Other ethnic groups included the Efik, Ibibio, Annang, Ejagham, Eket, Ibeno and Ijaw.
After two-and-a-half years of war, during which almost two million Biafran civilians (3/4 of them small children) died from starvation caused by the total blockade of the region by the Nigerian government, Biafran forces under Nigeria's motto of "No-victor, No-vanquished" surrendered to the Nigerian Federal Military Government (FMG). The surrender was facilitated by the Biafran Vice President and Chief of General Staff, Major General Philip Effiong, who assumed leadership of the Republic of Biafra after the original President, Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, fled to Ivory Coast. After the surrender of Biafra, some Igbos who had fled the conflict returned to their properties but were unable to claim them back from new occupants. This became law in the Abandoned Properties Act (28 September 1979). It was purported that at the start of the civil war, Igbos withdrew their funds from Nigerian banks and converted it to the Biafran currency. After the war, bank accounts owned by Biafrans were seized and a Nigerian panel resolved to give every Igbo person with an account only 20 pounds. Federal projects in Biafra were also greatly reduced compared to other parts of Nigeria. In an Intersociety study it was found that Nigerian security forces also extorted approximately $100 million per year from illegal roadblocks and other methods from Igboland - a cultural sub-region of Biafra in what is now southern Nigeria, causing greater mistrust of the Igbo citizenry towards the Nigerian security forces.
If FGN is to give #5m to each Igbo son and daughter to forget about Biafra, will you accept it?
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