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Transforming Genocidal Relations Through Strategic Nonviolent Resistance: A Case Study of the Pro-Biafra Secessionist Social Movements

Uchenna Chester Azubuike


PhD Thesis, University of Manitoba, December 3, 2018

This study explored and explains reasons and outcomes of the deployment of strategic nonviolent resistance by the pro-Biafra secessionist social movements, as a weapon of war against, and towards the transformation of, the culture of genocidal relations in Nigeria. The idea about “Biafra” or today’s pro-Biafra strategic nonviolent confrontation is intricately-tied to undying secessionist resistance aimed at ending more than fifty years of episodic genocidal killings, and covertly-scripted policy of cultural genocide, by the Nigerian state against indigenous peoples of Biafra. This study reports that pro-Biafra movements, despite losing over 5,000 members to the state’s episodic genocidal attacks and extrajudicial abuses (between 1999 and 2018), remained steadfast in upholding nonviolent resistance as the best strategy towards actualizing their desired (Biafrexit) referendum towards a new Biafran state, and thereby save Indigenous Biafrans from another genocidal civil war. But while the Nigerian state resorted to “siege warfare” or its intensification of genocidal engagements against the Biafrans, this study discovered the nonviolent confrontation by pro-Biafra social movements gets stronger and more popular (with supports of and even secessionist agitations by some non-Biafran elites and groups). The study also discovered that “Biafra” since 2016 has become a metaphor for expressing/resisting the genocidal oppression against mainly Christian-dominant communities in other parts of Nigeria, and resistance against the Hausa-Fulani elite’s grandstanding opposition to the “restructuring” of Nigeria. Lastly, study concludes that as Nigeria becomes one of the deadliest, most terrorism-threatened and most war threatened (almost) failed states in the world, it is only an immediate confederal-like restructuring, or a referendum for a multi-state framework that will pull it from an inevitable genocidal balkanization.

Full Text:


Biafran War Database.
Editor: Azuka Nzegwu.

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