The agitation for Biafra by the Igbo people in Nigeria has gained international attention – One clear indication of the far reaching impact is a recent mention of the agitation in the TIME magazine website – Biafra supporters posted the mention on their Facebook page as a sign of success That the agitation for Biafra is gaining international recognition is no news.
On Monday, October 2, 2017, the prestigious TIME magazine spoke on the importance of self-determination. Below is the full quote mentioning the agitation for Biafra, the Catalan referendum in Spain among other separatist movements: A country of 250+ ethnic groups, Nigeria declared independence from Britain in 1960, but a couple of military coups in 1966 stoked underlying ethnic tensions. In 1967, southern groups (led by the Igbo people, one of Nigeria’s three major ethnic groupings) declared the independent Republic of Biafra in Nigeria’s south.
Nigeria refused to recognize the breakaway state, and a 3-year civil war ensued. All told, more than 1 million people lost their lives, many due to starvation. Biafra surrendered in 1970. But defeating a secession movement on the battlefield is a far cry from defeating its spirit — and nearly half a century later, the dream of Biafra remains alive.
These and other nationalist currents continue to make Nigerian politics choppy, as does a president whose frail health has the country continuously on edge. Southern leaders have rejected secession calls as impractical.
But the movement for Biafran statehood is still considered enough of a threat that the Nigerian military declared the Biafra separatist movement a terrorist group just a few weeks ago—harkening back to a simpler time when just wanting a homeland of one’s own was enough to be labeled a terrorist.
A Facebook page, belonging to the IPOB movement had this to say on the mention: “Yesterday it was the London based Financial Times, today its the all powerful Times magazine of USA. “IPOB has accomplished something hitherto thought impossible.
Biafra is the number 1 emerging nation in the world all thanks to millions of Nnamdi Kanus all over the world.”