War, as we may know or might have heard of, is never a thing or a period or situation of joy, some of us may have witnessed it, while some merely heard of it. The Causes Of Civil War In Nigeria is hell on earth. Meanwhile, for those that have not witnessed the war in Nigeria and those that have and do not know the causes, we bring to you today in this article the Causes Of Civil War In Nigeria alongside its effects. We strongly believe no one wants to witness the war in his or her country, which is why we all have to strongly avoid the causes of war; meanwhile, what are the Nigeria civil war effects? If you really want to know, then you are right on track, as all your questions would be discussed right in this article.


The Major Causes of War in Nigeria is traced down to the attempted secessions of the southern region or province of Nigeria and also religious, economic, ethnic, and cultural tensions between the Hausas of the Northern region of Nigeria and the Igbos of the eastern part of Nigeria.

The civil war in Nigeria is also termed or known as the Biafran war due to the facts that the provinces involved in this war made their name known to Nigerians as the Republic of Biafra. However, the reasons given by the province for the secession were deeply rooted in a series of religious, political, and economic factors.

The seceding provinces were mainly populated by the Igbo tribe which is an ethnic group that had a democratic institution for a long period of time now. This clashed strongly with the northern cultures and western cultures as well, whose tradition of politics is termed autocratic. The southeastern province was highly also populated by Christians, unlike the northern and western regions of Nigeria, which were dominated by Muslims. A military coups onslaught, which was the last operation carried out by non-Igbo officers, flair up the situation or exacerbated the situation.

Now, pertaining to the issue of oil, the southern province of the Biafran is richly endowed with oil unlike the northern and western region of Nigeria, oil presence in the Biafran region or lands was a literarily a powerful source of income for the nation as a whole of which if lost, would cause an economic breakdown and would as well be detrimental to all other regions in Nigeria.

More also, ethnic violence in Nigeria is another Cause of Civil War in Nigeria and has further destabilized the country’s affairs and peace. In an attempt to get hold of the volatile situation of the country, General Odumegwu Ojukwu declared the creation of the Republic of Biafra so as to be independent from Nigeria on the 30th of May of the year 1967. Following his declaration, The Nigerian Civil War took came up on July 6 of the same year 1967 till January 16 of the year 1970, which was approximately a three (3) year war, this war claimed so many lives of which when counted, was over one million civilians and soldiers through hunger and war, but at the end Biafra was ultimately rejoined with Nigeria.

The Nigerian civil war is known widely as the Biafran war which took place from the 6th of July of the year 1967 till the 15th of January of the year 1970 was a war brutally fought between the sessions of Biafra and the Nigerian Government. Biafra stood as Nationalist aspirants for the Igbo tribe, due to the fact that they felt that the Northern-dominated Federal Government leadership was no longer conducive for them. The conflict or war emanated from economic, ethnic, religious, political, and cultural tensions that preceded the formal Britain decolonization of Nigeria from the year 1960 to the year 1963. The immediate reasons and Causes of the Civil War in Nigeria in the year 1966 included a counter-coup, a military coup, and persecutions and punishments of the Igbo people living in the Northern region of Nigeria. Holds over the profitable oil production in the Niger Delta Region contributed immensely to their strategic role.

Nigeria Civil War Effects

The effects of the Nigerian Civil war are mainly massive loss of lives and starvation during the war period, during the war, approximately close to three (3) million people including military, civilians (Both young and old) lost their lives of which the majority died of hunger and diseases. And despite the efforts made to rebuild the Nation, ethnic and religious tensions still persists in the political affairs of Nigeria. For lots of years in Nigeria, the Military government took over the control of the Nation’s affairs.

The Nigeria Civil war was the cause of a series of events kick-started by a seething keg of gunpowder which was set on fire because of the selfish ambitions of some men with viral zeal than foresight.

Effects of the Civil War in Nigeria are as follows;

  • Political landscape domination by the northern region since then remains one of the Nigeria civil war effects.
  • Lack of trust till date between the South and the North, in particular, the Eastern part of Nigeria. The Igbo tribe earned seemingly for themselves places in the political margins of the country ever since then.
  • Structural pseudo-federal ramifications that impact negatively the economy.
  • The Nigeria state was in the year 1960 still being independently incubated by the British. A man with the vision was needed to make sense of a seemingly incongruous thing. But instead, tribalism persisted in the country. The then so-called founding fathers except one love dominating their respected strongholds.

On the 15th of January of the year 1966, a military young group of officers formed a coup, hereby murdering political leaders. These military officers were all noted to be from the southern part of the country. All the leaders of the coup were Igbo apart from one.

  • Maj. Emmanuel Ifeajuna
  • Maj. Kaduna Nzeogwu
  • Maj. Don Okafor
  • Maj. Chris Anuforo
  • Maj. Timothy Onwuatuegwu
  • Maj. Adewale Ademoyega (the Only Yoruba)
  • Capt. Ogbu Oji
  • Maj. Humphrey Chukwuka
  • Capt. Ben Gbulie
  • Capt. Emmanuel Nwobosi

These self-employed revolutionists stated that they were out to uproot politicians that are corrupt, but in an aspect, their idea of rooting out the corrupt politicians seemed self-centered and had an ethnic coloration.

All the victims of the coup were majorly or mainly the Northern or Southern region allies. Tafawa Balewa (the first prime minister), the Northern region premier “Ahmadu Bello”, were victims of the coup. The premiere of the western region “Ladoke Akintola” which was an ally of “Ahmadu Bello” was also murdered. Meanwhile, the Premier of the Eastern region and Nnamdi Azikiwe (The Then President of the country) were spared as both of them were Igbo.

The victims of the coup was not only the leaders of the Northern region and western region but also the victims included most of the senior military officers from the west and North but none of the southern and eastern Igbo regions was a victim of the coup, therefore, the coup was termed “The Igbo Coup”

The Coup failed in their quest but the head of the overall senior military officer “General Aguyi Ironsi” became head of state, He was Igbo. Much was expected of General Aguyi Ironsi specifically to reassure the Northern region and embark on a move that will cast out fears of the southern region’s domination.

The Northern region had every reason to fear for their lives especially as the Southerners educated in the western region gained control of the Civil service, the economy, and the military. But instead of the General to carry out the operations expected of him he completely did the exact opposite, he imposed a unitary system of government and annulled the Federal system of government, which was a move that stunned the country’s development politically ever since. Forcing the Military’s unitary structure was nothing less than encouraging the southern domination agenda, as it came to rule that Southerners can be posted to the northern region to rule as leaders. However, he did not take any aggressive steps against the deeds of his tribesmen the Coupist.

General Ironsi was unable to read through the political atmosphere and this hereby made the Military lose their trust in him, and this was followed up by a military revenge coup which was led by the Northern officers in July of the year 1996. Following this coup, General Aguyi Ironsi was murdered and Lt. Col Yakubu Gowan who was a Northerner but a Christian emerged as the Head of state.

Following up this new era of change, tensions began to run high as there was a massive killing of the Igbo tribe all over the Northern region of which was estimated to over eighty thousand people which hereby lead to a massive exodus back to the Eastern region.


Conclusion On The Causes Of Civil War In Nigeria And Its effects

It is best advised to avoid war in the country as war will only bring about death and suffering in the country which will take along innocent children that know nothing of the situation. The Causes Of Civil War In Nigeria have been discussed above which is religion, ethnicity, economic, and political disarray. Whereas the effects of civil war in Nigeria are deaths of masses alongside hunger and suffering.

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