The resurgence of pro-Biafra movements led by the likes of MOSSOB and IPOB over the past six to seven years is proof of the failed accountability the Nigerian government has displayed in addressing the trauma of the Biafran war. Nigeria’s deliberate choice to ignore particular aspects of its history is a reflection of its refusal to adequately address the impact of state violence on its people. The labeling and crackdown on these groups, as extremists that pose a threat to Nigerian security, disregards the principle issues that allow for the existence of these groups in the first place. While understandings regarding the need for a Biafra to exist vary between the present and past, the underlying tension between the state and these secessionists groups remains the same: The protection of Nigerian security continues to be more important than the people who make up the state. In this study, I examine how the use of language, such as “extremists” or “terrorists” by the Nigerian government in labeling various protest groups and, particularly in the Southeastern region, functions as an attempt by the Nigerian government to maintain control over the area’s resources and invalidate the concerns of the peoples in those areas to the general public. This has resulted in the proliferation of further tension between state and minority groups.
Otuonye, Chinonye A.
"The Fight for Language: An Exploration of the Nigerian State’s Response to Protest Groups in Southeastern Nigeria,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol13/iss2/10
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