The Stream

#Biafra50YearsOn: Is Nigeria’s secessionist movement re-emerging? Part 2

A look at the Biafra movement, five decades after the civil war.

It has been fifty years since the start of the Biafran war, one of the bloodiest conflicts ever seen on the African continent. But why does its legacy still matter? Separatist sentiment in south eastern Nigerian states has continued to simmer and in recent years the pro-Biafra movement has resurged.


Today, Nnamdi Kanu is perhaps the most visible face of the pro-Biafra movement. He’s the leader and founder of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and was recently jailed for treasonable felony charges. But his star is rising among pro-Biafrans who say they have been economically and socially marginalised by the government for years. Clashes in the last year between Nigerian security and pro-Biafra activists have killed more than 100 people. And there have been calls for a referendum on independence, which Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has ruled out.

In part two of this special episode of The Stream, we’ll delve into what the Biafra issue means to people today.

Joining us:

Rudolf Okonkwo @drdamages
Columnist, Sahara Reporters

Uche Mefor  
Deputy Leader, Indigenous People of Biafra

Oguchi Nkowcha    
Biafra activist

Jaafar Jaafar @Jafsmohd
Journalist, Daily Nigerian

Peter Obi
Former Governor, Anambra State 

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.