In this series we have looked at the operational and strategic lessons of the Nigerian Civil War, this instalment analyses how a secessionist effort would be conducted today.
As discussed previously, Biafra’s military defeat was a result of strategic decisions taken by the leadership as well as the geography of the region which lent itself to a devastating blockade and did not favour the conventional defensive war Biafra chose to fight. These factors led to Biafra being overwhelmed by the superior numbers, firepower and resources of the Federal Government
This piece will examine how another Biafran War would be fought, this is relevant as present day agitation for Biafra increases.
This new Biafra could emerge through revolution or evolution. The latter would involve gradually building up a social and political movement, supported by the basic building blocks of a functioning society such as a diverse economy, rule of law, security and functioning infrastructure, whilst balancing the needs and desires of the indigent population and allaying the fears of the rest of Nigeria. This would be a lengthy, gradualist process building consensus amongst the elite and the masses in the mould of the Scottish, Quebecois or even Catalan mainstream secessionist movements.
Whilst fascinating to look at from a geopolitical or academic point of view, there are very few military or strategic lessons in an intelligent evolutionary path as it is emphasises democratic and administrative battles rather than violent ones.
The revolutionary path would use violence to achieve a political objective without the consent of the elite or the masses. As the political leadership of Nigeria has historically struggled with basic governance and cannot agree on even simple issues (except their own salary and allowances), a revolutionary path is more likely and we will look at it in more detail.
Revolutionaries Strategic Objectives, Problems and Imperatives
The overall strategic objective of neo-Biafrans can be defined as the recreation of a sovereign state of Biafra, which for the purpose of this paper we will define as the 9 states of the old Eastern Region.
This gives the neo-Biafrans the following problems
Narrative: Biafra is identified as a mainly Igbo cause in a multi tribal region, of which only 5 of 9 states are Igbo. These 5 Igbo states are landlocked, each with their own political, economic and social issues. The 4 non Igbo states have their own rivalries, political, social, environmental and security dilemmas and have no desire to become Igbo vassal states.
Unlike Biafra 1967 the neo-Biafran revolutionary does not have the immediate memory of a pogrom presenting an existential threat with which to craft a universally accepted narrative, neither do they have access to monopolistic or popular mass media allowing them to reinforce their narrative and influence public opinion.
The narrative of self determination and marginalisation might make sense to many Igbo’s but it is insufficient to motivate and mobilise a large, diverse tribe much less the 4 non Igbo states thus a narrative must be crafted to each audience group individually and made into one unifying narrative. Having to appeal to 5 distinct audience groups, each with their own requirements makes for a weak, diluted narrative.
Access to the sea: without the coastal states Biafra is landlocked and isolated facing the same restrictions as in 1967.
International relations: neighbouring states are unlikely to be supportive, Cameroun with the closest land border, hosting a sizeable Igbo diaspora and a restive Anglophone movement would be especially hostile, especially due to their immediate experience of what happens when a Nigerian insurgency goes ‘viral’ with both Bakassi militants and Boko Haram stretching their security forces. The major world powers (despite the fears of Nigerian conspiracy theorists), needs a strong united Nigeria as a market for their goods and services, as a regional power in West and Central Africa and as a source of raw materials. A secessionist movement that would threaten their investments would not be popular.
Geography and Weather: The Eastern States are the smallest in the country, densely populated and covered by swamps, creeks and forests. The weather is always humid, debilitating diseases prevail and the long rainy season causes floods and erosion. Whilst the distances are shorter, the implications of the differing difficult terrain, indifferent weather, medical and sanitation issues create logistic problems for a professional, well equipped force much less an insurgency.
Cost and consequence: Secession by force requires the revolutionaries to impose their will upon their opponents either by increasing the human and financial cost of the war beyond acceptability, capturing vital territory or defeating their opponent’s forces. This would mean destroying much of the infrastructure that would support the new state and displacing its people.
Post conflict: Even if successful the new country would need to rebuild its damaged infrastructure, build a united military, restart its economy and prevent other nations such as Cameroun, Nigeria or even Equatorial Guinea from interfering and prevent internal tribal, political and personality issues leading to a new conflict like in South Sudan or a repressive dictatorship like Eritrea.
Thus we can summarise their key strategic imperatives are:
- Unify Igbo people behind their cause
- Unify the non Igbo peoples of the East behind their cause
- Begin hostilities
- Increase the cost of hostilities beyond acceptability
- Secede from Nigeria
Unify Igbo people behind the cause:
Igboland is divided into 5 states and 95 LGA’s, with at least 10 political parties and numerous socio cultural groups for different villages, towns or provinces. The Igbo nation whilst generally monoethnic and monolingual has at least 9 dialects and over 20 sub tribes, some of whom do not reside in traditional Igbo states. It is mainly Christian with traditional Catholic and Anglican churches outnumbered by new ‘prosperity’ evangelical churches.
The main ‘Igbo’ political party has had mixed electoral success. Commerce revolves around trade, manufacturing and services. Agriculture is mainly subsistence, producing cassava, palm oil, yam, rice, maize etc seasonally. Protein is provided by goats and chickens, cattle imported from the north, local and imported fish. Commercial farms mainly produce cash crops for export. There is a huge diaspora, with Igbos settled in all states in the Federation, across West Africa, Cameroun, Equatorial Guinea, Europe (Germany, UK and elsewhere), South America and Malaysia, China, Thailand. Whilst there is a national socio cultural grouping it has as much credibility as any other national group party in Nigeria. Most local and diaspora groups are organised along town, state or provincial lines.
Pre colonial Igboland like most societies was a male dominated hierarchical society. Unlike most African societies however, hierarchy was based not on entitlement but on achievement, with age acting as both a limiter and enhancer of prestige. Thus upward social mobility was open to almost all males-which in a densely forested, subsistence agriculture economy with relatively poor soil meant success depended on hard work, thrift and trading acumen. In colonial time’s education (provided mainly by Christian missionaries) also became a measure of success. In moderns times whilst education is still fanatically pursued, wealth (however obtained) is an unambiguous measure of success.
Thus whilst education is still revered; many working class males would rather trade or go into business than school. The more conservative Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and Baptist faiths have been greatly eroded by evangelical churches preaching prosperity and miracles in which loyalty to the church or Pastor is almost as important as family or tribe.
This new society has created several different classes such as the extremely wealthy, corrupt political class, wealthy businessmen, industrialists and traders, aspiring middle income and start up traders, educated professionals, rural dwellers, conservative ‘old’ Christians, evangelical Christians and finally the unemployed, under employed or subsistence workers.
These different societal groups have different needs. The political class depends on the Nigerian state for patronage and wealth, wealthy merchants need the markets and networks built up in Nigeria and stability in order to do business, traders have invested or borrowed limited resources which they would lose if there was conflict or secession. Only the unemployed, under employed and subsistence workers have little or no stake in the status quo.
Thus a revolutionary must unite these disparate economic, religious, political and social groups and find a common narrative that they can all agree with.
The easiest way to do this is with the lowest common human denominators of fear and greed.
Greed is unlikely to work amongst a business minded people as there are virtually no economic incentives to a war, loss of recognised citizenship, markets, security and investments outside the homeland. Fear on the other hand is easy to create and sustain particularly amongst those with the least invested in the system. In absence of a threat one must be created using the following tools:
Propaganda: 1967 Biafra used propaganda to sustain a strong believable narrative. Whilst untruths and exaggerations were used, the propagandists and their audience genuinely believed the core of their narrative- that they faced an existential, genocidal threat.
As such a threat does not exist today, the revolutionary must create it by using crude and sensationalist propaganda to attack other tribes and religions and own tribe opponents. The objective of this propaganda is not to create rational, logical debate but to create a general climate of conflict, provoke response (preferably in kind) and give fellow minded people a place to indulge and feed their beliefs.
Radicalisation: whilst the majority would ignore or dismiss the propaganda others will not. Some will become sympathisers (generally agreeing with the cause but not actively involved), some will become supporters (donating funds, time, resources etc), some will become activists (actively working for the cause) and some will become radicals, prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve the objective.
Agitation: Activists will meet, campaign, broadcast, distribute propaganda material (virtually and physically). These actions will attract more activists, supporters and sympathisers and reinforce the word view of the radicals. It will also antagonise opponents, other tribes or groups, the government and security forces
Provocation: radicals will initiate incidents such as vandalism, riots, civil disobedience, harassment or attacks on own tribe opponents and other tribes and the security forces. The objective of this exercise is to provoke overreaction from other tribes and the security forces in order to create martyrs or newsworthy incidents which can be portrayed as repressive measures not just against the revolutionaries but against the tribe as a whole.
Reaction: as these incidents escalate, the security forces will respond with security measures such as curfews, stop and search, checkpoints, cordon and search, raids etc. Even if done professionally these will inconvenience for people. If done unprofessionally, with mass detentions, harassment, illegal or inhuman detentions, extra judicial murders or torture, it feeds into the revolutionaries’ narrative of persecution and victimisation. Detention centres could be used by detained revolutionaries to radicalise or coerce criminals or innocent detainees.
The overreaction of members of other tribes with their own negative propaganda, harassment and attacks will inevitably affect mainly innocent people creating a general climate of fear and further reinforcing revolutionary propaganda.
Retaliation: real or perceived excesses by other tribes or the security forces allows the revolutionaries to increase violence against these groups claiming self defence or revenge, leading to more retaliatory counter attacks. This cycle of violence will be mostly affect innocent civilians on both sides, leading to heavy casualties and massive displacements putting pressure on the economy and administration of the Eastern states and cementing the climate of fear and uncertainty, leading even moderate or conservatives to consolidate around the revolutionaries’ narrative.
Summary: Through a campaign of propaganda and agitation the revolutionaries will create conditions in which members of their tribe are targeted by other tribes and the security forces, thus creating ‘unity by fear’ and forcing all members of the tribe to unify in self defence around the revolutionaries narrative.
Unify the non Igbo peoples of the East behind the cause: without the coastal minorities Biafra is isolated and militarily and economically untenable as a functioning sovereign state.
To overcome this the revolutionaries will need to unify the aspirations of the Igbos and coastal tribes, which have never recovered from the war. Two conflicting views exist; Fear of Igbo political and economic hegemony and disaffection with the Nigerian state due to underdevelopment and pollution. This is further complicated by ethnic divisions within the coastal minorities with smaller minority tribes fearing domination by larger minority tribes like the Ijaw.
For the revolutionaries to overcome this, they must emphasise disaffection with the state while reassuring minorities of autonomy. Or more simply make the argument that my enemy’s enemy is my friend.
The latter is more likely and can be done using a similar path as above using proxies such as disgruntled former militants and militants-to-be who are missing or have missed out on the amnesty and patronage largesse.
Unlike with the Igbo’s the coastal minorities have no historic narrative of genocide nor do they face a credible physical existential threat (although it can be argued that pollution and environmental degradation present exactly this). Unlike Igbo’s their national and international diaspora is smaller and they are less vulnerable to pogroms. However the key lesson from the last Niger Delta insurgency is that crime pays. Lucky militants were paid a stipend and sent on expensive foreign courses, militant leaders were awarded huge contracts became billionaires, whilst oil bunkering and illegal refineries proliferated. Thus the common denominator will be greed.
Propaganda: these proxies will use propaganda to agitate the populace, with a narrative of disenfranchisement and unfair treatment after the last Presidential election, combined with the existing narrative of under development and pollution. Perceived slights or discrimination would be exaggerated to overcome the cynicism with the outcome of the last insurgency, which enriched a select few but left the rest in exactly the same state as before.
Incentivisation: the economic gains of insecurity such as theft, piracy, bunkering, protection rackets, political patronage and so on as well as the potential benefits of a post conflict ‘amnesty’ will be used to recruit fighters, activists and sympathisers
Provocation: a resumption of attacks on oil facilities, kidnappings, attacks on security forces etc as well as general crime such as robberies and so on will generate a sense of lawlessness, in order to provoke a security force overreaction.
Reaction/ Counter reaction: efficient law enforcement and counter insurgency methods such as checkpoints, patrols etc will cause inconvenience, inefficient methods such as mass detention, collective punishment and indiscriminate attacks will reinforce the insurgents’ propaganda and increase their support. An increase in repression would lead to the insurgency becoming more violent, this in turn leads to more counter insurgency measures which disaffect the populace. As long as the insurgents demonstrate a level of discrimination in their targeting and appear to protect civilians, the populace will become more sympathetic to them.
Alliance: as the insurgency continues, the narrative of resource control can translate to independence. The proxies argument would be that both insurgencies have better chance of success if efforts and resources are pooled and that resource control would be easier in a smaller state which they fought to create.
Summary: By relaunching attacks in the Niger Delta and provoking the security forces to react a common feeling of persecution and conflict will be created. The financial rewards would recruit and pay for fighters and weapons and allow proxies to make the argument that a common cause with Biafran revolutionaries is their best chance for success
Begin hostilities: the preparation stage consisted of propaganda using media to create a unity of fear and provoke a counter reaction. This stage uses low level terrorism and minor guerrilla warfare to reinforce the narrative, compel the security forces to deploy and use repressive or unpopular methods, cause casualties and damage, militarily and economically as well as create conditions for conventional conflict.
- Preparing urban and rural terror cells
- Preparing training camps
- Raising Funds.
- Procure weapons and equipment by purchase and capture
- Use guerrilla attacks to attrite and isolate government forces
- Develop conventional forces
- Define inhospitable terrain as base areas from which to launch conventional attacks
Preparation: this phase occurs simultaneously with the latter part of propaganda stage with radicals training and forming cells in preparation for combat. This will be sustained by supporters providing them with money and other resources and masked by normal campaigning activity of the activists.
Fund could be raised from various sources within the Region; donations from activists, blackmail, robbery, protection rackets, kidnap for ransom, illegal taxes on legitimate goods (palm oil, spare parts etc), illegal taxes on criminal activities, oil bunkering, piracy or contributions from politicians. Going to outside sources for funds would potentially expose them to detection by local and international law enforcement thus is less of an option.
‘Start up’ weapons could be obtained by theft or purchased from corrupt military and police. Others will be bought from the Central or West African arms market. They would likely initially consist of light weapons as well as civilian weapons such as shotguns, dane guns, locally made pistols etc. Heavier weapons such as mortars would come later as skills and finances improve.
Terrorism: assassination of isolated security personnel, government officials, politicians and moderate own tribe opponents would be used to spread fear and capture arms. Terror attacks will also using arson, IEDs, small arms and other means on symbols of the state such as courts, prisons, secretariats as well as businesses, markets, mosques and cultural or religious objects of other tribes or religions. These acts would compel the security forces to prioritise force protection measures over defending the population, thus isolating and alienating them from the population
Out of area attacks are likely particularly in the Western Nigeria and Abuja. These attacks as well as those in the East would inevitably lead to further anti Igbo attacks and massacres, feeding a vicious cycle of revenge attacks.
Guerrilla warfare: would most likely be begin with attacks on isolated police patrols or police stations in order to capture more weapons and ammunition. When better equipped, attacks will escalate to overrun larger police stations, small military outposts and small convoys. Attacks will continue on this scale until the militants are confident or well equipped enough to attack larger military bases or patrols. The revolutionaries are likely to use IEDs and small arms ambushes and illegal checkpoints along transport routes to attrite and restrict security force movement and also extort funds, spread propaganda and terror and give the impression of omnipotence.
As attacks increase security forces will be forced to divert more resources to defending themselves, main population centres and economic targets leaving rural areas and smaller population centres poorly defended. This allows the revolutionaries to define safe areas for arms caches, training and bases, which even if the security forces attack and clear will not have the manpower to hold. The revolutionaries will simply retreat deeper into forest or swamps or disperse in slums, where the security forces superiority in numbers and firepower is countered by the terrain.
Parallel government: as the insurgency increases in strength, institutions of government will leave or be pursued from captured or contested areas and the revolutionaries will step into this vacuum to reinforce their claims of legitimacy. Overt symbols such as flags, passports/ ID cards, passes, licenses etc will be issued, people in the contested or occupied areas would be coerced into destroying official documents so as to further disenfranchise them and force them to adopt militant bureaucracy.
The militants could reinforce this by forming a genuine parallel government governed by laws and customs acceptable to the local populace and attempt to maintain a recognisable security, judicial, economic and administrative structure. Alternatively these enclaves will be dominated by local warlords who will rule it as their personal fiefdoms according to their whims.
Summary: The insurgency will utilise terror and guerrilla attacks to shape the battlespace. Their operational objectives will be to force the security forces to concentrate in defined areas such as their own bases, major population centres and key targets such as oil, power, transport and industrial infrastructure. These actions suck up huge numbers of troops and resources, leaving few in reserve for offensive action allowing the revolutionaries maintain the initiative picking fights when and where they can win and defining safe spaces in which to train and grow their forces and also isolate and alienate the populace from the government.
Increase the cost of hostilities beyond acceptability: In this stage the revolutionaries objective is de facto or de jure secession, either seizing or denying sufficient territory to set up a parallel state and drain so much blood and treasure that the government is willing to negotiate a secession or simply accept facts on the ground and fail to contest it anymore. This requires several tasks
- Initiate conventional attacks in conjunction with terror attacks
- Use conventional attacks to engage government forces
- Use conventional attacks and terror to attrite and stretch government forces
- Seize territory
- Hold or deny territory to government forces
- Set up parallel government structures in captured territory
- Achieve strategic stalemate through military decision or social, political or economic exhaustion
- Negotiate or unilaterally impose secession
Conventional warfare: as more no go areas are defined and security forces are further isolated in the population centres, the revolutionaries conventional capability will develop with, captured and purchased equipment hidden, fuel and ammunition stockpiled and forces trained.
Timing will be critical; the majority of the local population should either support the cause or be intimidated into cooperation or inaction.
Security forces would need to be in an operational and tactical stalemate; overstretched, demoralised and incapable of effective offensive action, whilst the government and non Eastern population needs to either be war weary or psychologically unprepared for a general offensive.
The friendly strategic priority would be to maintain control of the ports, cities and economic areas, this would suit the revolutionaries operational objective as they could isolate these forces by constant raids and IED attacks and raiding targets on the approaches to these key targets thus fixing them with and making the security forces concentrate on defence rather than offence, leaving them with the freedom to gradually isolate and then overrun targets on the periphery of their safe areas, until these areas have expanded sufficiently to constitute a contiguous zone.
Depending on the operational situation the enemy would then seek to overrun more major targets or simply defend their gains.
The most important factor of this general offensive is that even if it fails to defeat government forces or overrun or hold a large amount of territory the economic cost will be huge, due to the large military expenditure, damaged or destroyed infrastructure, humanitarian crisis, destruction of oil and industrial facilities and stagnation of economic activity. This will lead to a strategic decision point.
Decision Point: the government will need to make a strategic decision as to whether the cost of the conflict is bearable.
Unlike the civil war it is unlikely to have unqualified major foreign power support. Unlike the civil war the government would still be the legal power responsible for all the victims of the war. Unlike the civil war the population is much larger and civil administration inefficient and ineffective. Unlike the civil war there are multiple security crisis all over country, absorbing the security forces. Unlike the civil war there are other African powers, with mobilised combat experienced Armies on the borders who could take advantage of the situation.
Balanced against this is the prohibitive cost to the economy of the war and the loss of revenue from the Region. Even if terrorism is contained and the conventional offensive fails the increased security and transport costs of doing business in southern Nigeria will deter investment and lead to divestment.
Unlike Boko Harams vague need to ‘Islamise Nigeria’ the Biafran narrative is logical and based on an internationally recognised principle of self determination thus a basis for a negotiated settlement exists.
International Escalation: the large Igbo diaspora in Europe, North and South America and Asia will be a huge resource if motivated and organised. Many will be conditioned by the retaliatory attacks and conflict to support the revolutionary cause with funds and demonstrations. However a further element could be motivated to conduct acts of terror and sabotage particularly against countries overtly supporting the Government. This could be considered the ‘nuclear option’ used only when the situation at home is bordering on defeat or support in the target country is wavering. Its outcome could result in increased support for the Government or the opposite, however as an option it has the benefit of demonstrating the revolutionaries reach and boosting their international profile. Security measures taken against Igbo’s abroad, particularly in less politically correct countries in Asia or South America will also feed into the unity through fear objective.
International settlement: the conflict will develop a natural operational tempo, most likely dictated by seasons, with spikes in violence to coincide with other events such as elections, budgets, negotiations, international or media interest. Locations will change hands repeatedly and civilian casualties will increase. International organisation like the UN or AU will mediate. The negotiated solution will almost certainly emanate from outside Africa, if not under the auspices of the UN then from traditionally pacific countries such as Sweden or other Scandinavian countries as it is probable by this stage that neither party will accept mediation from any of the Permanent 5. The UK will be hampered by its colonial and 1967 Biafra history, the US will be hampered by its status as the sole superpower and thus be accused of either starting, fomenting or in some way contributing to the conflict (or failing to intervene), France will also be dogged by its colonial and Biafran War past, China and Russia will most likely be selling weapons directly to the Government and to the revolutionaries through third parties so are unlikely to be trusted as honest brokers. However it is likely that the permanent 5 and the AU will have observer and guarantor status at the peace talks.
Whilst negotiations are ongoing both sides will try to improve their negotiating position by trying to inflict military defeats on their opponents.
The conflict is unlikely to result in a peace deal and more likely a ceasefire, leaving the basis for future conflict.
Summary: the revolutionaries will seek to achieve their aims by using conventional and unconventional warfare to overwhelm the government, socially, militarily and economically. Whilst they may not achieve battlefield decision, they stand a fairly good chance of achieving either independence or a semi autonomous status through negotiations due to presume from the rest of the world that is having to deal with the economic and humanitarian effect of the conflict
Conclusion: this paper is based on an analysis of the behaviour of insurgencies in Africa particularly secessionists movements, such as in Eritrea, Cabinda/ Angola, Azawad/ Mali, Casamance/ Senegal, Darfur/ Sudan and South Sudan. It also looks at the peculiarities of the Eastern Nigeria, in which there is no current overt persecution but an unresolved bitter historical legacy, similar to the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda or Myanmar/ Burma.
It does not factor in an intelligent counter insurgency and counter radicalisation strategy. It simply sets out a likely enemy course of action.
Biafran nostalgia is a recurring undercurrent in Igboland, whilst dislike for the Igbos and ignorance of the facts and circumstances of the civil war pertains amongst many in Nigeria.
These conditions make it easy for a determined actor to agitate certain sections of Igbo society into provocative actions and as history shows other tribes need little incentive to retaliate violently.
This cycle of violence would become self perpetuating and self sustaining, forcing the vast majority of Igbos to support the secessionists simply out of self defence.
As Nigeria’s military history has shown, whilst individual soldiers have shown great courage and resilience, organisational and strategic failings have made conflicts more costly in blood and treasure than they need be.
The poor organisation, logistics and lack of operational and tactical innovation and predictable conventional response of the Nigerian security forces to crisis favours any force willing to accept the appalling loss of life and destruction that an asymmetric conflict would bring.
As destructive as the Boko Haram insurgency has been it has taken place far away from key Nigerian terrain and presents a bigger existential threat to Chad, Niger and even Cameroun than it does Nigeria. An insurgency in the South East takes place within a key economic area of Nigeria, within striking distance of the economic areas of the West and the food producing areas of the Middle Belt.
The massive dislocation of people fleeing the fighting would disrupt states on the periphery such as Benue, Kogi, Delta, Edo etc all of which suffer their own internal militancy and IDP issues.
Despite the destruction of the civil war, it was fought between two armies, a revolutionary war would be fought amongst the people, with the people as both the objective and the target. As military history shows, even the most professional and disciplined forces in the world struggle with counter insurgency, thus it is likely that COIN operations in the South East would generate a high level of casualties and destruction, which as set out above the revolutionaries would deliberately provoke on their people in order to unify them by fear.
Even if the secessionists aimed for a negotiated outcome this is fraught with complications, despite the fact that unlike Boko Haram, neo Biafrans actually have a logical and achievable goal and the pressure both internally and externally to negotiate a settlement would be immense.
The problem with this is there is no outcome that would be satisfactory to either side. Biafra without access to the sea would be untenable, Biafra with access to the sea would cost Nigeria virtually all of its oil income, which would be anathema to the political elite.
This would present an irreconcilable red line to both sides.
Even if Biafra was granted or captured the coast, conflict between the Niger Delta militants and Igbo militants would be a high probability as arguments over how resources are shared erupt.
If they accepted a loss of the coast, as a landlocked country surrounded by a hostile power, Biafra would need to maintain a strong, large military to safeguard its sovereignty to the detriment of reconstruction and development, leading to a situation like in Eritrea of a militaristic, perpetual police state.
However the war ends, an insurgency in this small, densely populated, urbanised and industrialised region with close proximity to key areas of Nigeria would be cataclysmically destructive and whoever ‘won’ would have brief pyrrhic victory before the conflict restarted in another form.
It is thus the opinion of this commentator that a revolutionary attempt to actualise Biafra through violent insurgency would present not just a clear existential threat to the Federal Republic of Nigeria but to Igboland and the Igbo nation as a whole.