C. Odumegwu Ojukwu
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was a Nigerian military officer and politician who served as the military governor of the Eastern Region of Nigeria in 1966 and the leader of the breakaway Republic of Biafra from 1967 to 1970. He was active as a politician from 1983 to 2011, when he died aged 78. Chukwuemeka "Emeka" Odumegwu Ojukwu was born on 4 November 1933 at Zungeru in northern Nigeria to Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, an Igbo businessman from Nnewi, Anambra State in south-eastern Nigeria. Sir Louis was in the transport business, he began his educational career in Lagos, southwestern Nigeria. Emeka Ojukwu started his secondary school education at CMS Grammar School, Lagos aged 10 in 1943, he transferred to King's College, Lagos in 1944 where he was involved in a controversy leading to his brief imprisonment for humiliating a white British colonial teacher who assaulted a black woman. This event generated widespread coverage in local newspapers. At 13, his father sent him overseas to study in the United Kingdom, first at Epsom College and at Lincoln College, Oxford University, where he earned a master's degree in History.
He returned to colonial Nigeria in 1956. Ojukwu joined the civil service in Eastern Nigeria as an Administrative Officer at Udi, in present-day Enugu State. In 1957, after two years of working with the colonial civil service and seeking to break away from his father's influence over his civil service career, he left and joined the military enlisting as a non-commissioned officer in Zaria. Ojukwu's decision to enlist as an NCO was forced by his father's pulling of political strings with the Governor-General of Nigeria to prevent Emeka from getting an officer-cadetship. Sir Louis and Governor-General Macpherson believed Emeka would not stick to the grueling NCO schedule however Emeka persevered, it wasn't until an embarrassing situation between Emeka and a drill sergeant named Fort-Lamy wherein Emeka corrected the Sergeant's mispronunciation of the safety catch of the Lee-Enfield.303 rifle that the British Depot Commander recommended Emeka for an officer's commission. From Zaria, Emeka proceeded first, to the Royal West African Frontier Force Training School in Teshie and next, to Eaton Hall where he received his commission in March 1958 as a 2nd Lieutenant.
He was one of the few university graduates to receive an army commission. He attended Infantry School in Warminster, the Small Arms School in Hythe. Upon completion of further military training he was assigned to the Army's Fifth Battalion in Kaduna. At that time, the Nigerian Military Forces had 250 officers and only 15 were Nigerians. There were 6,400 other ranks. After serving in the United Nations’ peacekeeping force in the Congo, under Major General Johnson Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi, Ojukwu was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1964 and posted to Kano, where he was in charge of the 5th Battalion of the Nigerian Army. Lieutenant-Colonel Ojukwu was in Kano, northern Nigeria, when Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu on 15 January 1966 executed and announced the bloody military coup in Kaduna in northern Nigeria, it is to Ojukwu's credit. Lt. Col. Odumegwu-Ojukwu supported the forces loyal to the Supreme Commander of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Major-General Aguiyi-Ironisi. Major Nzeogwu was in control of Kaduna.
Aguiyi-Ironsi took over the leadership of the country and thus became the first military head of state. On Monday, 17 January 1966, he appointed military governors for the four regions. Lt. Col. Odumegwu-Ojukwu was appointed Military Governor of Eastern Region. Others were: Lt.-Cols Hassan Usman Katsina, Francis Adekunle Fajuyi, David Akpode Ejoor. These men formed the Supreme Military Council with Brigadier B. A. O. Ogundipe, Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, Chief of Staff Army HQ, Commodore J. E. A. Wey, Head of Nigerian Navy, Lt. Col. George T. Kurubo, Head of Air Force, Col. Sittu Alao. By 29 May 1966, there was a pogrom in northern Nigeria during which Nigerians of southeastern Nigeria origin were targeted and killed; this presented problems for Odumegwu Ojukwu. He did everything in his power to prevent reprisals and encouraged people to return, as assurances for their safety had been given by his supposed colleagues up north and out west. On 29 July 1966, a group of officers, including Majors Murtala Muhammed, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, Martin Adamu, led the majority Northern soldiers in a mutiny that developed into a "Counter-Coup" or "July Rematch".
The coup failed in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria where Ojukwu was the military Governor, due to the effort of the brigade commander and hesitation of northern officers stationed in the region. The Supreme Commander General Aguiyi-Ironsi and his host Colonel Fajuyi were abducted and killed in Ibadan. On acknowledging Ironsi's death, Ojukwu insisted. In that case, the most senior army officer after Ironsi was Brigadier Babafemi Ogundipe, should take over leadership, not Colonel Gowon, however the leaders of the counter-coup insisted that Colonel Gowon be made head of state. Both Gowon and Ojukwu were of the same rank in the Nigeria Army then. Ogundipe could not muster enough force in Lagos to establish his authority as soldiers available to him were under Joseph Nanven Garba, part of the coup, it was this
The Nigerian pound was the currency of Nigeria between 1907 and 1973. Until 1958, Nigeria used the British West African pound; the pound was subdivided into each of 12 pence. The Nigerian pound was replaced with the introduction in 1973 of the decimal naira at a rate of 1 pound = 2 naira; this made Nigeria the last country to abandon the £sd currency system. Coins were issued in 1959 in denominations of 1, 3 and 6 pence, 1 and 2 shillings; the 1/2 and 1 penny coins were holed. The 3 pence coin, minted in nickel-brass, was a smaller version of the distinctive twelve-sided threepenny bits that were used in the UK, Jersey; the higher denominations were struck in cupro-nickel. In 1918, emergency issues were made by the government in denominations of 10 and 20 shillings. In 1959, the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced notes in denominations of 5 and 10 shillings, 1 and 5 pounds. Three series of notes were issued, in 1958, 1967 and 1968. Economy of Nigeria
Enugu is the capital of Enugu State in Nigeria. It is located in southeastern Nigeria; the city had a population of 722,664 according to the 2006 Nigerian census. The name Enugu is derived from the two Igbo words Énú Ụ́gwụ́ meaning "hill top" denoting the city's hilly geography; the city was named after Enugwu Ngwo. Since the 17th century the location of present-day Enugu has been inhabited by the Nike subgroup of the Igbo people. In 1900 the Southern Nigeria Protectorate was established by the colonial administration of the British Empire; the discovery of coal by the colonialists led to the building of the Eastern Line railway to carry coal from the inland city to the port of Port Harcourt, a city created for this purpose located 151 miles south of what was called Enugu Coal Camp. Enugu was renamed Enugu and developed as one of the few cities in West Africa created from European contact. By 1958 Enugu had over 8,000 coal miners; as of 2005 there are no significant coal mining activities left in the city.
Enugu became the capital of the Eastern Region after Nigeria's independence in 1960. On 30 May 1967 Enugu was declared the capital of the short-lived Republic of Biafra. After Enugu was captured by the Nigerian armed forces, the Biafran capital was moved to Umuahia. Industries in the city include bottling industries. Enugu is one of the filming locations for directors of the Nigerian movie industry, dubbed "Nollywood". Enugu's main airport is the Akanu Ibiam International Airport; the main educational establishment in the city is the Enugu campus of the University of Nigeria based in Nsukka, a town north of Enugu and in the same state. The first settlement in the Enugu area was the small Nike village of Ogui, present since the era of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Nike in the Igbo language means "with strength or power." It was through slave raiding that the Nike people acquired most of their lands, which were unsettled. The Nike used slaves for a defence strategy, placing slave camps at the edge of their territories so that it was harder for an enemy to access the free born.
The Nike people were allied to the Aro people who formed the Aro Confederacy, an Igbo organisation that controlled slave trading in the Enugu area. Along with the Aro people who came to trade from Arochukwu in the south were the Hausa people who came to trade from the north; the Hausa traders provided horses to the Nike. Both the Aro and Hausa migrated back and forth to what is now the city of Enugu and were considered foreigners to the area. A British campaign to invade Arochukwu and open up the hinterland for British military and political rule was carried out in 1901. A war between the British and Aro started on 1 December 1901 lasting till 24 March 1902 when the Aro were defeated; the Aro Confederacy ended and the rest of Aro dominated areas was added to The Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria, declared in 1900. Europeans first arrived in the Enugu area in 1903 when the British/Australian geologist Albert Ernest Kitson led an exploration of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate to search for valued mineral resources under the supervision of the Imperial Institute, London.
By 1909 coal was found under the village of Enugwu Ngwo in the Udi and Okoga areas and by 1913 the coal was confirmed to be in quantities that would be viable commercially. By 1914 the colonial government had merged the Northern and Southern Nigeria Protectorate to form the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. In 1915 the British began talks with the indigenous people of the land that would become Enugu about its acquisition in order to lay the Eastern Line railway and to build a colliery; the first houses built in the area were in a temporary settlement consisting of Igbo traditional mud housing inhabited by a W. J. Leck and some other Europeans on Milliken Hill. Another settlement known as Ugwu Alfred or "Alfred's Camp", inhabited by an Alfred Inoma and his labourers, was located on a hillside. After the land acquisition by the British, Frederick Lugard, the Governor-General of Nigeria at the time, named the colliery built at the bottom of the Udi Hills Enugu Coal Camp to distinguish it from Enugwu Ngwo which overlooks the city from atop a scarp on Enugu's west.
The first coal mine in the Enugu area was the Udi mine opened in 1915, shut down two years and replaced with the Iva Valley mine. Enugu became the only significant one in West Africa; the Eastern Line railway connecting Enugu with Port Harcourt was completed in 1916 in order to export the coal through its seaport of which the city was created for this purpose. Enugu became one of the few cities in West Africa created out of contact with Europeans. By 1916 parts of Enugu reserved for Europeans were set up by the colonial government; the area now known as the Government Reserved Area became the European Quarters located north of the Ogbete River. The built-up area of Enugu comprised these two areas, by 1917 the city gained township status. On the African side of the city a rapid influx of migrant workers sparked the development of squatter camps on the Udi Hills near the coal mines and the Iva Valley. In 1938 Enugu became the administrative capital of the Eastern Region; the number of employed co
The Biafran Airlift was an international humanitarian relief effort that transported food and medicine to Biafra during the 1967-70 secession war from Nigeria. It was the largest civilian airlift, after the Berlin airlift of 1948-49, the largest non-combatant airlift of any kind carried out; the airlift was a series of joint efforts by Protestant and Catholic church groups, other non-governmental organizations s, operating civilian and military aircraft with volunteer civilian crews and support personnel. Several national governments supported the effort behind the scenes; this sustained joint effort, which lasted one and a half times as long as its Berlin predecessor, is estimated to have saved more than a million lives. By 1968, a year after the start of the Nigerian Civil War, large numbers of children were starving to death due to a blockade imposed by the Federal Military Government and military. By 1969 it was reported. A FMG representative declared, "Starvation is a legitimate weapon of war, we have every intention of using it."
With the advent of global television reporting, for the first time, famine and the humanitarian response were seen by millions around the world, demanding that both the government and private sector join efforts to save as many as possible from starving to death. International reactions to the plight of the civilian population in the secessionist region was diverse; the United Nations and most national governments, expressing reluctance to become involved in what was considered an internal Nigerian affair, remained silent on the escalating humanitarian crisis. Secretary General of the United Nations, U Thant, refused to support the airlift; the position of the Organization of African Unity was to not intervene in conflicts its members' deemed internal and to support the nation-state boundaries instituted during the colonial era. The ruling Labour Party of the United Kingdom, which together with the USSR was supplying arms to the Nigerian military, dismissed reports of famine as "enemy propaganda".
Mark Curtis writes that the UK reportedly provided military assistance on the'neutralisation of the rebel airstrips', with the understanding that their destruction would put them out of use for daylight humanitarian relief flights. The church-funded groups and NGOs became the most outspoken of the international supporters of aid to Biafra; the Joint Church Airlift provided relief aid as well as attempted to establish an air force for Biafra. The American NGO Catholic Relief Services was the leader and organizer of the JCA operation and Edward Kinney the CRS executive was responsible for securing the fleet of large Cargo aircraft donated by the US government. On the ground CRS coordinated with the well positioned and established missionary priests and sisters the Holy Spirit Fathers from Ireland to pull together the effective distribution and services on the ground; this led to a ban by the Federal Military Government on aid flights into the region. The ICRC accepted the FMG's ban and did not participate in any international publicity about Biafra, a position, condemned by the more vocal and active NGOs providing aid and here we would highlight the effective voices of CRS and Caritas International..
Bernard Kouchner, a French doctor and one of the more outspoken critics, declared that this silence over Biafra made the ICRC's workers'accomplices in the systematic massacre of a population'. American president Lyndon Johnson demanded his State Department "get those... babies off my TV set", using a racial expletive. The US government prevailed upon by the large effective constituency and advocacy efforts of CRS began providing funding to relief efforts. By 1969 the US had sold eight C-97 military cargo aircraft to CRS for JCA and was reported to be providing 49% of all aid to the relief effort. Canada, facing its own internal separatist threat in the form of the Quebec sovereignty movement, was reluctant to extend aid to an area trying to separate from a fellow Commonwealth member in a region in which it had no prior experience. However, early assistance was provided with food and one military transport aircraft for several months. Financial assistance was provided in the closing months of the airlift.
France responded by providing aid to Biafra: humanitarian aid through the French Red Cross and military aid if not officially. While the vast majority of governments remained uninvolved, assistance was demanded by people around the world. 30 non-governmental organizations responded. Relief aid into Biafra began arriving by land and air soon after the start of the Nigerian Civil War in 1967. Reports of widespread famine began emerging, many from NGOs participating in the relief aid efforts. Relief flights ramped up after Nigeria's land and sea blockade of Biafra became near-total in June, 1968; these flights were under the auspicies of the ICRC, with Nordchurchaid being a major donor/partner. In June 5, 1969 an ICRC DC-7 aircraft was shot down by Nigerian forces. A dispute arose between the NGOs and the ICRC over the latter's position to comply with Nigeria's demands for a ban on outside relief flights; the ICRC defended their position stating that "Article 23 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, intended for international armed conflict, stipulates that a belligerent State can satisfy itself that material assistance is neutral."
A leading critic of the ICRC's position declared that their silence over Biafra made its workers
Umuahia is the capital city of Abia State in southeastern Nigeria. Umuahia is located along the rail road that lies between Port Harcourt to its south and Enugu city to its north. Umuahia has a population of 359,230 according to the 2006 Nigerian census. Umuahia's indigenous ethnic group are the Igbo. Umuahia is well known as being an agricultural market center since 1916, it is a railway collecting point for crops such as yams, corn, citrus fruits, palm oil and kernels. There are several breweries in Umuahia, there is a palm-oil-processing plant. Nigeria's National Root Crops Research Institute, at Umudike, is adjacent to the town. Umuahia has several colleges including Trinity College and several hospitals. Umuahia comprises two local government areas: Umuahia South; these local governments are composed of clans such as the Umuopara, Olokoro and Ohuhu communities. Umuahia town is traditionally owned by the Ibeku after early British administrators based the town in their lands. According to popular legend, the name Umuahia derives from the Igbo word OmaAhia or "Oma Ahia", which means "market place or market center", respectively.
British colonists, who arrived the area and invaded it sometime around the mid-to late 19th century, upon learning the name and misspelled it as "Umuahia". Other legends exist regarding the origin of Umuahia, but the foregoing version seems most probable by consensus. In precolonial times, it served as one of the central marketplaces in the region for commerce. Given its serenity and proximity to other towns, such as Ohafia, Arochukwu, Ngwa, Uzuakoli, Nnewi, Akwa Akpa, Kalabari, merchants of produce, crafts, traditional medicine, palm wine, tools travelled from afar to trade at the busy market center with many roads leading to it. However, the name Ama Ahia was not the town's name. With increasing British administrative and commercial activities in the region and yonder, Umuahia, as it came to be known and written, was relocated to Ibeku Town for better oversight by administrative offices and the convergence of roads at Ibeku; the new location became one of the major trading posts along the rail route built by the United African Company for carting produce, raw materials, minerals along the trade route from Sub-Sahara to the Atlantic Ocean, for onward exportation to Europe.
The trading post was named Umuahia-Ibeku Station to reflect domain. Over time, the area became known as Umuahia, while the original market town at Afor Ibeji was renamed to Old Umuahia; the hyphenated Umuahia-Ibeku became a source of dispute, given that neighboring towns such as Ohuhu, Afugiri, etc. were constituted into the Umuahia administrative area, entitling them to be under Umuahia, not Umuahia - Ibeku, since Ibeku is on the same level as the constituent parts of Umuahia. Umuahia is composed of five sister clans and phonologically homogenous at most, with each clan having its own version of autonomy and social evolution. Umuahia was established by the British colonial administration of Nigeria in the early 20th century. Umuahia was declared the second capital of the short-lived nation of the Republic of Biafra on 28 September 1967 after the first capital, Enugu was captured by Nigerian troops. On June 28, 1968, Umuahia was captured by Nigerian troops during Operation OAU but was re-captured by Biafran troops on July 23 that same year.
On April 22, 1969 Umuahia was occupied and nearly taken by Nigerian troops but they were forced to retreat due to a stiff offensive by Biafran Maj. E. A. Eutuk. After Umuahia's capture on 24 December 1969, the last Biafran capital before its dissolution became Owerri. Known as Ikwuano/Umuahia Local government council until the Babangida-led government divided it into two LGAs—Ikwuano LGA and Umuahia LGA in 1991—and later in 1996, the former Umuahia Local Government Area was split by Abacha-led government into two local governments: Umuahia North and Umuahia South; the first executive chairman of the old Umuahia local government area is Chief Chibiko Ukanwoke, elected in December 1991. Government College Umuahia and University of Agriculture, Umudike now fall into the domain of Ikwuano people. There are two LGAs in Umuahia, namely. Both LGAs are made up of Clans, villages make up the Clans; the South has three Clans, namely - Ubakala and Umuopara. The Local Government council Headquarters is located at Apumiri in Ubakala.
The North consists of Ohuhu. Its Local Government council Headquarters is located at Ibeku. Umuahia's climate is classified as tropical. During most months of the year, there is significant rainfall in Umuahia. There is only a short dry season; the climate here is classified as Am by the Köppen-Geiger system. In Umuahia, the average annual temperature is 26.0 °C. Precipitation here averages 2153 mm. Precipitation is the lowest in December, with an average of 15 mm. Most precipitation falls with an average of 322 mm. At an average temperature of 27.5 °C, March is the hottest month of the year. In August, the average temperature is 24.5 °C. It is the lowest average temperature of the whole year. Okechukwu Enelamah - Medical Doctor, Chartered Accountant, Certified Financial Analyst and honorable minister for trade and investment John Godson - Polish Lawmaker and Philanthropist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani - Award-winning novelist and essayist. OC Ukeje - Lagos based Award-winning Nollywood Actor Michael Okpara - Premier of Nigeria's Easte
A currency, in the most specific sense is money in any form when in use or circulation as a medium of exchange circulating banknotes and coins. A more general definition is that a currency is a system of money in common use for people in a nation. Under this definition, US dollars, pounds sterling, Australian dollars, European euros, Russian rubles and Indian Rupees are examples of currency; these various currencies are recognized as stores of value and are traded between nations in foreign exchange markets, which determine the relative values of the different currencies. Currencies in this sense are defined by governments, each type has limited boundaries of acceptance. Other definitions of the term "currency" are discussed in their respective synonymous articles banknote and money; the latter definition, pertaining to the currency systems of nations, is the topic of this article. Currencies can be classified into two monetary systems: fiat money and commodity money, depending on what guarantees the currency's value.
Some currencies are legal tender in certain political jurisdictions. Others are traded for their economic value. Digital currency has arisen with the popularity of the Internet. Money was a form of receipt, representing grain stored in temple granaries in Sumer in ancient Mesopotamia and in Ancient Egypt. In this first stage of currency, metals were used as symbols to represent value stored in the form of commodities; this formed the basis of trade in the Fertile Crescent for over 1500 years. However, the collapse of the Near Eastern trading system pointed to a flaw: in an era where there was no place, safe to store value, the value of a circulating medium could only be as sound as the forces that defended that store. A trade could only reach as far as the credibility of that military. By the late Bronze Age, however, a series of treaties had established safe passage for merchants around the Eastern Mediterranean, spreading from Minoan Crete and Mycenae in the northwest to Elam and Bahrain in the southeast.
It is not known what was used as a currency for these exchanges, but it is thought that ox-hide shaped ingots of copper, produced in Cyprus, may have functioned as a currency. It is thought that the increase in piracy and raiding associated with the Bronze Age collapse produced by the Peoples of the Sea, brought the trading system of oxhide ingots to an end, it was only the recovery of Phoenician trade in the 10th and 9th centuries BC that led to a return to prosperity, the appearance of real coinage first in Anatolia with Croesus of Lydia and subsequently with the Greeks and Persians. In Africa, many forms of value store have been used, including beads, ivory, various forms of weapons, the manilla currency, ochre and other earth oxides; the manilla rings of West Africa were one of the currencies used from the 15th century onwards to sell slaves. African currency is still notable for its variety, in many places, various forms of barter still apply; these factors led to the metal itself being the store of value: first silver both silver and gold, at one point bronze.
Now we have other non-precious metals as coins. Metals were mined and stamped into coins; this was to assure the individual accepting the coin that he was getting a certain known weight of precious metal. Coins could be counterfeited, but the existence of standard coins created a new unit of account, which helped lead to banking. Archimedes' principle provided the next link: coins could now be tested for their fine weight of metal, thus the value of a coin could be determined if it had been shaved, debased or otherwise tampered with. Most major economies using coinage had several tiers of coins of different values, made of copper and gold. Gold coins were the most valuable and were used for large purchases, payment of the military and backing of state activities. Units of account were defined as the value of a particular type of gold coin. Silver coins were used for midsized transactions, sometimes defined a unit of account, while coins of copper or silver, or some mixture of them, might be used for everyday transactions.
This system had been used in ancient India since the time of the Mahajanapadas. The exact ratios between the values of the three metals varied between different eras and places. However, the rarity of gold made it more valuable than silver, silver was worth more than copper. In premodern China, the need for credit and for a medium of exchange, less physically cumbersome than large numbers of copper coins led to the introduction of paper money, i.e. banknotes. Their introduction was a gradual process which lasted from the late Tang dynasty into the Song dynasty, it began as a means for merchants to exchange heavy coinage for receipts of deposit issued as promissory notes by wholesalers' shops. These notes were valid for temporary use in a small regional territory. In the 10th century, the Song dynasty government began to circulate these notes amongst the traders in its monopolized salt industry; the Song government granted several shops the right to issue banknotes, in the early 12th century the government took over these shops to produce state-issued currency.
Yet the banknotes issued w
Nigerian Civil War
The Nigerian Civil War known as the Biafran War and the Nigerian-Biafran War, was a war fought between the government of Nigeria and the secessionist state of Biafra. Biafra represented nationalist aspirations of the Biafran people, whose leadership felt they could no longer coexist with the Northern-dominated federal government; the conflict resulted from political, ethnic and religious tensions which preceded Britain's formal decolonization of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963. Immediate causes of the war in 1966 included ethno-religious riots in Northern Nigeria, a military coup, a counter-coup and persecution of Igbo living in Northern Nigeria. Control over the lucrative oil production in the Niger Delta played a vital strategic role. Within a year, the Federal Government troops surrounded Biafra, capturing coastal oil facilities and the city of Port Harcourt; the blockade imposed during the ensuing stalemate led to mass starvation. During the two and half years of the war, there were about 100,000 overall military casualties, while between 500,000 and 2 million Biafran civilians died of starvation.
In mid-1968, images of malnourished and starving Biafran children saturated the mass media of Western countries. The plight of the starving Biafrans became a cause célèbre in foreign countries, enabling a significant rise in the funding and prominence of international non-governmental organisations; the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union were the main supporters of the Nigerian government, while France and some other countries supported Biafra. The civil war can be connected to the British colonial amalgamation of Northern protectorate, Lagos Colony and Southern Nigeria protectorate. Intended for better administration due to the close proximity of these protectorates, the change did not account for the great difference in the cultures and religions of the peoples in each area. Competition for political and economic power exacerbated tensions. Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, but remained in the Commonwealth of Nations, composed of 53 former UK colonies. In 1960, Nigeria had a population of 60 million people, made up of more than 300 differing ethnic and cultural groups.
More than fifty years earlier, the United Kingdom had carved an area out of West Africa containing many different ethnic groups and controlled it as an empire, calling it Nigeria. When the British arived The three predominant groups were the Igbo of Biafra, which formed between 60–70% of the population in the southeast. Although these groups have their own homelands, by the 1960s, the people were dispersed across Nigeria, with all three ethnic groups represented in major cities; when the war broke out in 1967, there were still 5,000 Igbos in Lagos. The semi-feudal and Islamic Hausa-Fulani in the North were traditionally ruled by a feudal, conservative Islamic hierarchy consisting of Emirs who, in turn, owed their allegiance to a supreme Sultan; this Sultan was regarded as the source of religious authority. The Yoruba political system in the southwest, like that of the Hausa-Fulani consisted of a series of monarchs, the Oba; the Yoruba monarchs, were less autocratic than those in the North. The political and social system of the Yoruba accordingly allowed for greater upward mobility, based on acquired rather than inherited wealth and title.
In contrast to the two other groups and other Biafran in the southeast lived in autonomous, democratically organised communities, although there were eze or monarchs in many of the ancient cities, such as the Kingdom of Nri. In its zenith the Kingdom controlled most of Igbo land, including influence on the Anioma people and Onitsha land. Unlike the other two regions, decisions within the Igbo communities were made by a general assembly in which men and women participated; the differing political systems among these three peoples reflected and produced divergent customs and values. The Hausa-Fulani commoners, having contact with the political system only through a village head designated by the Emir or one of his subordinates, did not view political leaders as amenable to influence. Political decisions were to be submitted to; as with all other authoritarian religious and political systems, leadership positions were given to persons willing to be subservient and loyal to superiors. A chief function of this political system in this context was to maintain conservative values, which caused many Hausa-Fulani to view economic and social innovation as subversive or sacrilegious.
In contrast to the Hausa-Fulani, the Igbos and other Biafrans participated directly in the decisions which affected their lives. They had a lively awareness of the political system and regarded it as an instrument for achieving their personal goals. Status was acquired through the ability to arbitrate disputes that might arise in the village, through acquiring rather than inheriting wealth; the Igbo had been victimized in the Atlantic slave trade. With their emphasis upon social achievement and political participation, the Igbo adapted to and challenged colonial rule in innovative ways; these tradition-derived differences were perpetuated and enhanced by the British system of colonial rule in Nigeria. In the North, the British found it convenient to rule indirectly through