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15.11.2022 | Original Article

Neo-Biafra Separatist Agitations, State Repression and Insecurity in South-East, Nigeria

verfasst von: Chikodiri Nwangwu

Erschienen in: Society

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Abstract

The resurgence of Biafra separatism in Nigeria is largely a reaction to a perceived ethno-national superordinacy as well as the compromised state-building capacity of the Nigerian ruling groups. The tendency to attribute the upswing in ethnic nationalism, separatist agitations and the ascendancy of sectarian cleavages in Nigeria to the widening of the democratic space since 1999 is flawed. Whilst every part of Nigeria is bedevilled with one security challenge or another, the most visible existential threats to lives and livelihoods in Nigeria’s South-East are coordinated attacks on state facilities by unknown gunmen and the brutal military response of the Nigerian state to the neo-Biafra separatist uprisings. Although the reinvention of Biafra separatism has received substantial scholarly attention, available studies have neglected how the persistence of state repression has lubricated the wheels of the neo-Biafra separatist movement in Nigeria. This study argues that the repressive disposition of the Nigerian state towards Biafra separatism is at the base of the current mutation of the Indigenous People of Biafra’s strategy from the non-violent option to the armed movement. This article relies mainly on the analysis of secondary data on Biafra separatism and state repression in Nigeria. Drawing from the basic assumptions of the theory of state repression, this study concludes that the wanton deployment of the kinetic approach involving harassment, proscription, arrests, extraordinary rendition, torture and mass killing of pro-Biafra agitators tends to stimulate insecurity in the South-East.
Fußnoten
1
Biafraland is a term used to describe the geographical location of the envisaged Republic of Biafra. It covers the defunct Eastern Region. However, the groups often argue that parts of Edo, Benue (Idoma and Igede) and Kogi (Igala) States are also included in Biafraland (Nwangwu et al., 2020a).
 
2
Biafra Remembrance Day is commemorated on 30 May every year. It is a day slated for the celebration of the fallen heroes during the Biafran war as well as other neo-Biafran agitators who were allegedly murdered by the Nigerian state. The day is often characterised by various awareness creations through rallies and peaceful protests.
 
3
International Crisis Group (2020), for instance, reports that some armed herders, Islamists and criminal gangs fleeing security operations in the North-West have moved to the Middle Belt and Southern states where they pose additional security problems for affected communities and the governing authorities.
 
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Metadaten
Titel
Neo-Biafra Separatist Agitations, State Repression and Insecurity in South-East, Nigeria
verfasst von
Chikodiri Nwangwu
Publikationsdatum
15.11.2022
Verlag
Springer US
Erschienen in
Society
Print ISSN: 0147-2011
Elektronische ISSN: 1936-4725
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-022-00782-0