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BIAFRA:Nigeria remains a divided state

According to Eghosa Osahgae, a professor of comparative politics at the University of Ibadan, the reasons behind the war — between 500,000 and 3 million people are estimated to have been killed — have not changed to this day.

“People still think that the southeast continues to be to most marginalized, or the most powerless in that sense,” Osahgae told DW when speaking about the consequences of Nigeria’s internal divisions. In this sense, a clear identity and feeling of belonging can be established along this line.

Uchenna Chikwendu, for example, feels no connection with the state of Nigeria. “I don’t feel Nigerian at all,” she told DW. “I feel happy I’m an Igbo. But as a Nigerian, no. There is no Nigeria, to me. I have nothing to be proud of as a Nigerian.”

At the same time, millions of people remain extremely mobile. This is largely due to the need for trade, which the war failed to stop. Many Hausa people live around Ogui Road in Enugu. Their sarki — their king — is Abubakar Yussuf Sambo — whose family arrived in Enugu from Adamawa about a hundred years ago.

“After the war, many people came back quickly from the north, just as the Igbos went back north,” he said.

Even on a personal level, he never experienced resentment because he was Hausa: “All my life I’ve been in Enugu state here. This is my community, this is where I grew up, this is where I got my education. I have more of the Igbo community as friends than I know in my state of Adamawa. I feel comfortable here.”

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The struggle for access to resources

Domestic politics in Nigeria also remain sensitive.” Among other things, it was the question of the balance of power which led to the civil war,” said Osaghaw. “Right now, this has intensified. The civil war has continued to shape relations within Nigeria.”

This is most clear when it comes to certain authority figures being awarded high political positions. Last year, President Muhammadu Buhari was accused of favoring the north. The major parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) usually make sure to select presidential candidates so that the two options represent both the north and the south — and therefore also Islam and Christianity.

And yet, some elements of Nigerian society have still been left out.

In the former region of Biafra, for example, many have criticized the fact that the country has still never had an Igbo president. Many people here still feel marginalized, giving a boost to independence advocates. Movements such as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), for example, are able to find supporters more easily — although their agitation for action has waned ever since a court in Abuja declared the IPOB a terrorist movement in September 2017

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