Aftermath of the Nigerian civil war (1967-1970): The struggle for peaceful coexistence between parties in post-war Nigeria
Fifty years ago, the Nigerian civil war, one of the bloodiest conflicts occurred in Africa, ended but its echoes are still an abiding presence today. It was a fratricidal war ensued between the Federal Military Government of Nigeria headed by Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon and the secessionist Eastern Region of Biafra headed by Lt. Col. Emeka Ojukwu, between July 6, 1967 and January 15, 1970. The main focus of this paper is to analyze the aftermath of the civil war on the post-war Nigeria, focusing in particular on the consequences that the conflict had as a threat to national security, unity and peace, in present days Nigeria. This thirty-month war had devastating consequences for the country, including death, displacement of people, and destruction of public infrastructure as well as physical and social capital. After the secessionist forces surrendered, Biafra was reincorporated into Nigeria as the East Central State. The Civil War left a legacy of death and destruction, particularly in the war-torn eastern region. Many of Nigeria’s post-war problems still plague the nation today. In fact, ethnic tensions and military dictatorships continue to pose a threat to Nigerian unity. Additionally, this study will put its attention on the reasons why, half a century later, the war’s legacy continues to hold Nigeria captive. It simultaneously brings the country together and pushes it apart. In this scenario, it’s fundamentally important to find peacebuilding solutions and politic actions to maintain peaceful coexistence between parties, in order to avoid the incurrence of new conflicts.