Ethnic tensions bubble in Nigeria in echo of Biafra civil war

Ethnic tensions bubble in Nigeria in echo of Biafra civil war

KADUNA – A northern Nigerian state’s governor on Wednesday ordered the arrest of activists for demanding the eviction of eastern Igbo people, amid rising tensions between ethnic groups that hark back to the country’s Biafra civil war.

Secessionist feeling has simmered in Nigeria’s east since the Biafra separatist rebellion, a mainly Christian Igbo movement, tipped the country into a civil war from 1967 to 1970 that killed an estimated 1 million people.

Since 2015, those sentiments have heightened, spurred by a lack of economic development and fears of Islamic encroachment, often blamed on the government of Muslim President Muhammadu Buhari. That has in turn sparked ill will towards secessionists, especially from northern Muslims.

“All Igbos currently residing in any part of northern Nigeria are hereby served notice to relocate within three months and all northerners residing in the East are advised likewise,” a spokesman for a movement called the Northern Youth Groups said on Tuesday in the northern city of Kaduna.

He called for “sustained, coordinated campaigns” to remove Igbo people from the region.

The Northern Youth Groups coalition is made up of organisations who claim to promote the interests of the region.

The widespread slaughter 51 years ago of Igbos living in Nigeria’s north helped spur the Biafran secession from 1967-70, which led to war against Nigeria’s central government and a famine in which millions died.

Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Tuesday ordered the arrest of the signatories to the Northern Youth Group statement, condemning their “inciting” and “hate speech.”

The Kaduna government “assures every resident of our state that their constitutional and human rights to live peacefully and own property wherever they choose is sacrosanct,” a spokesman for El-Rufai said in a statement.

Nigeria has in recent years seen a rise in other ethno-religious conflicts, particularly deadly clashes between Muslim herders and Christian farmers, partly over land use, in the region known as the Middle Belt.

Reuters

Facebook Comments

About author

Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 1705 posts

We are about democracy, human rights, public opinion, political behavior, civil rights and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries.

You might also like

Nigeria Orders Developers in Niger Delta to Resume Work Within 30 Days

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria has given contractors 30 days to resume delayed development projects in the Niger Delta oil region or face prosecution, the presidency said on Tuesday. The government

Brave five-year-old takes police to her alleged rapist’s house

A brave five-year-old girl helped authorities to catch her alleged rapist by taking law enforcement officers to his house. “Law enforcement officers attached to the Transport Enforcement Unit were on

Community 0 Comments

CULT CLASHES LEAD TO KILLING OF NIGERIANS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Cult group clashes, which was and still pervasive in the Nigerian tertiary institutions and society have led to the death of some Nigerians in South Africa. The most recent of

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply