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On This Day: Biafra Declares Independence As A Sovereign Nation

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Date: 30th of May, 1967
Location: South Eastern Nigeria
Event: Today marks the 50th year anniversary when the historical declaration of the South Eastern Nigeria as a new sovereign republic Biafra seceding out of Nigeria was made by Colonel Emeka Ojukwu. The Igbos which were the major ethnic group in the South Eastern Nigeria had been feeling maligned after a military coup which left their leaders dead and also a mini genocide against ethnic members living in northern Nigeria. After a breakdown in negotiated peace talks, the assumed leader of Biafra, Colonel Emeka Ojukwu took the bold step to declare South Eastern Nigeria as a sovereign nation called Biafra Republic.Following the declaration, in July 1967, the head of Nigeria’s military government, General Yakubu Gowon declared war and attacked Biafra for 30 months. After three years of non-stop fighting, in fear of being assassinated, General Odumegwu-Ojukwu in 1970 handed over power to his second in command, Major-General Philip Effiong and traveled to Ivory Coast where he was in exile for 13 years. And that marked the partial abandonment of plans by secessionists. But the thirst for a sovereign nation still exists in the region, with the main actor in this continuous play now being Nnamdi Kanu who who was recently granted bail after being held on treason charges for over a year.Fun Facts: Biafra entire population is about 35 million people which is greater than the population many advanced countries in Western Europe, including Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, Austria and more.Photo Credit: Getty

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