Approaches of MASSOB and IPOB and the Response of Federal Government in the Biafra Secession Movement in Nigeria

Alalade S Ayobola, Oluranti O Ayomola


More than fifty years after the Nigerian Civil War which occurred as a result of the secession of Igbo people of Nigeria’s South-East, the Igbo race under the aegis of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) are calling for secession again, and they appear ready to take desperate measures to achieve this objective. The formation of these groups was in resistance to the perceived marginalization of the Igbo people, which the post-civil war rehabilitation program and military regime suppressed until the return of democracy in 1999. Democracy, with its guarantee of human rights and self-determination gave momentum to recent Biafra secession movements of MASSOB and IPOB. This study seeks to investigate the approaches of MASSOB and IPOB as well as examine the response of Federal Government of Nigeria to the activities of the agitating groups. This study adopts qualitative research method through which data were sourced from relevant literatures, interviews and focus group discussions. The study also adopts Gellner’s Theory of Nationalism to explain the reasons why nationals of a nation-state engage in nationalist movements to seek self-determination and secession. The study finds that marginalization and low level of development in South-East are contributory factors to lingering secession agitations. The study therefore recommends a change of approach by Federal Government to encapsulate creation of South-East ministry and allocation of special intervention funds to address developmental challenges in the region.

Key words: Secession movement, self-determination, IPOB, MASSOB.

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