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Control over the lucrative oil production in the Niger Delta played a vital strategic role.Within a year, the Federal Government troops surrounded Biafra, capturing coastal oil facilities and the city of Port Harcourt.Although these groups have their own homelands, by the 1960s, the people were dispersed across Nigeria, with all three ethnic groups represented substantially in major cities.When the war broke out in 1967, there were still 5,000 Igbos in Lagos.The Nigerian Civil War, commonly known as the Biafran War (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970), was a war fought between the government of Nigeria and the secessionist state of Biafra.Biafra represented nationalist aspirations of the Igbo people, whose leadership felt they could no longer coexist with the Northern-dominated federal government.As southern Nigeria was not as united as the north, it was disadvantaged in the power struggle. During his tenure, killing of Easterners in the north continued; several retaliatory actions took place, eventually resulting in the Biafran war.In July 1966 Northern officers staged a counter-coup to revenge on the easterners for the targeting their own political leaders in the first coup; Lt. Nigeria, which gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, had at that time a population of 60 million people, made up of more than 300 differing ethnic and cultural groups.

Christian missionaries were excluded from the North, and the area thus remained virtually closed to European cultural imperialism.The conflict resulted from political, economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions which preceded Britain's formal decolonization of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963.Immediate causes of the war in 1966 included a military coup, a counter-coup and persecution of Igbo living in Northern Nigeria.The Yoruba political system in the southwest, like that of the Hausa-Fulani, also consisted of a series of monarchs, the Oba.The Yoruba monarchs, however, were less autocratic than those in the North.In its zenith the Kingdom controlled most of Igbo land, including influence on the Anioma people, Arochukwu (which controlled slavery in Igbo), and Onitsha land.Unlike the other two regions, decisions within the Igbo communities were made by a general assembly in which men and women participated.The civil war can be connected to the British colonial amalgamation in 1914 of Northern and Southern Nigeria.Intended for better administration due to the close proximity of these protectorates, the change did not account for the great difference in the cultures and religions of the peoples in each area.They had a lively awareness of the political system and regarded it as an instrument for achieving their personal goals.Status was acquired through the ability to arbitrate disputes that might arise in the village, and through acquiring rather than inheriting wealth.

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