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The Nigerian Civil War started on July 6, 1967 and formally ended on January 15, 1970. Major-General Philip Effiong, the chief of staff of the Republic of Biafra, formally renounced the existence of a state called Biafra. This exercise took place at Dodan Barracks Lagos on January 15, 1970.

 

CAUSES OF THE CIVIL WAR

There were remote and immediate causes of the war and some of them were.

 

IMMEDIATE CAUSES

  • The massacre of the Ibos in Northern Nigerian army by the politicians of the first republic.
  • Another immediate cause of the civil war was the personality clash between Ojukwu and Gowon.
  • Both Ojukwu and Gowon believed that they could only reach agreement through violence which was another immediate cause of the civil war.
  • Secession Bid: The declaration of the Eastern Region as the Republic of Biafra on May 30, 1967 after the federal government had created 12 states out of the former 4 Regions.
  • Aburi Declaration: The failure of General Gowon to implement his own side of the agreement reached with Ojukwu at Aburi, Ghana was another cause of the civil war.

 

REMOTE CAUSES

  • The rigging of the Western election of 1965.
  • The fear of one tribe dominating others resulting from the January 15, 1966 first military coup in Nigeria contributed remotely to the civil war.
  • The abolition of federal system of government in place of unitary system of government by General J.T.U. Aguiyi Ironsi was another remote cause of the civil war.
  • The refusal of General Ironsi to bring January 15, 1966 coup plotters to book played a part in causing the civil war.
  • Another remote cause of the civil war was the over ambition of some military officers to placed themselves in power. Many of the army officers wanted to test power by all means.
  • The intention of the Eastern Region to control the oil discovered in that part of the country was another remote cause of the civil war.
  • The unilateral division of the country into twelve states by Gowon’s government played a major role in causing the civil war.

 

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  • When did the civil war start and when did it end?
  • Enumerate the immediate causes of the civil war.

 

POSITIVE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CIVIL WAR

  • The territorial integrity and unity of Nigeria was maintained.
  • The civil war reduced the possibility of secession by any ethnic groups or states.
  • The war made the central government to become more powerful.
  • The war enables the federal government to create more states in the then Northern, Eastern and Western Regions.
  • The war enabled Nigeria to improve in the area of technology.
  • The war enhanced the confidence of the federal government in O.A.U. as there were only four countries that recognized the state of Biafra.

 

NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCIES OF THE CIVIL WAR

  • Loss of lives and properties: Lives and properties were lost during the war, which led to the reduction in the population of Nigeria.
  • The war also reduced the population of Nigerian soldiers. Many soldiers lost their lives in the war front while fighting a war they did not cause.
  • The civil war cost the country a lot of money and other materials.
  • The civil war caused a lot of untold hardship on the people of Nigeria.
  • Another negative consequence of the civil war was the disruption of education in many parts of the federation.
  • Economic activities in the country came to a stand still as a result of the civil war.
  • The war led to the division of the country into twelve states.
  • Another major consequence of the civil war was that it brought disrespect to Nigeria.
  • Peace and tranquility in the country was jeopardized as a result of the war.

 

 

EVALUATION QUSTION

Enumerate the positive consequences of the civil war

 

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Highlight 5 remote causes of the Nigeria Civil War.
  2. Enumerate 5 negative consequences of the Civil War.
  3. Highlight 5 achievements of the second republican constitution of 1979.
  4. State 5 differences between 1963 and 1979 republican constitution.

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. The Nigeria civil war started in (a) 1973 (b) 1961 (c) 1965 (d) 1967
  2. The following were the immediate causes of the Nigeria civil war except (a) the rigging of Western election of 1965 (b) The killing of Ibos (c) Secession bid (d) Aburi declaration
  3. One of the following was the remote cause of the civil war (a) the Aburi agreement (b) over ambition of some military officer (c) personality clash between Ojukwu and Gowon (d) massacre of the Ibos
  4. The renouncement of the Republic of Biafra was formally announced by (a) Major General Philip Effiong (b) Ojukwu (c) Brigadier Ogundipe (d) OdumeguOjukwu
  5. The following were the negative impact of the civil war except (a) lost of lives and properties (b) lost of money (c) improvement in technology (d) disruption of the educational system

 

THEORY

  1. State four immediate causes of the Nigerian civil war.
  2. Highlight four positive consequences of the war.

 

See also

MAJOR POLITICAL CRISIS IN NIGERIA IV

MAJOR POLITICAL CRISIS IN NIGERIA III

MAJOR POLITICAL CRISIS IN NIGERIA II

MAJOR POLITICAL CRISIS IN NIGERIA

POLITICAL PARTIES IN THE SECOND REPUBLIC

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