Discuss extensively four major conflicts in Nigeria since 1960 till date

Discuss extensively four major conflicts in Nigeria since 1960 till date
Discuss extensively four major conflicts in Nigeria since 1960 till date

Discuss extensively four major conflicts in Nigeria since 1960 till date



Disagreement, crises, war, violence, opposition, revolt are words synonymous with conflict. Conflict arises in different shapes, patterns or dimension. The emergence of conflict depends on the issue at stake. Conflict exists when two people wish to carry out acts that are mutually inconsistent. They will want to do the same thing or do different things that are incompatible. The definition of conflict can be extended from individuals to groups such as: states or nation. It can involve more than two parties

Conflict is a negation which is anchored on behavioural norms. It is a negative or over-reaction to situation, idea, principles and other forms of behaviour. Once there is the cause for inter-group relations, conflict becomes inevitable and peace must be given a chance. Hence, conflict could be seen as a natural phenomenon which must occur among human beings.


  1. The slave trade

All of the events that have occurred in human history the one that has degraded, deformed and distorted human dignity in a large scale is slave trade. This alone has questioned, dismissed and made a mockery of man’s claim to rationality, knowledge and civilization. In that scene man’s inhumanity to man was given full expression. For in it, man made his fellowman a cargo, an object, a good, a toy to be used and discarded at will. In the hands of those who introduced this inhuman trade animal pets were treated with much love, respect and dignity than human cargos that could be stubborn at times. It is this man’s inhumanity to man exhibited in various forms that made God to weep and to regret to have made man.

  1. The second was the coup de a eta of 1966

The coup de a eta of 1966 organized by some Nigerian majors in the Nigeria army led by the late major Kaduna Nzeogwu. According to the coup plotters their reason was to ensure that Nigeria remained united and stable. In other words, to save Nigeria from politicians’ divisive activities. The planners of the coup did not succeed in assuming the leadership of the country but it was assumed by another group in the army headed by the late Gen. Aguyi Ironsi.

The coup was bloody as the prime minister the late Sir Abubakar Tarfawa Belawa was among the persons that lost their lives. The encounter coup that took place later in the year consumed the life of the head of state and other officers and men most of them from the eastern region – the region most of the first coup plotters hailed from. Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), headed the new government.

  1. The neocolonialism. Nigeria got its freedom (independence) from Britain in 1960 and attained the republican status in 1963. Some privileged Nigerians assumed the leadership of the new state. The Nigerian masses were beside themselves with joys as they were now to be ruled by their own people who had promised them heaven on earth. But to their utter confusion and disappointment, within a short period they noticed that the predatory character of their former taskmasters had already reappeared in the character of their present leaders.

The differences were only in name and skin colour but ideas, thinking pattern, behaviour, actions and reactions were the same with those of colonial masters. It was a will to survive among the leaders- a will that brook no opposition; hence they engaged in war of words that latter resulted in the outbreak of Nigerian civil war. Before the outbreak of the war, the Nigerian nation witnessed crises, uprisings, upheavals, riots, demonstrations, strikes, fights, etc, in all facets of its life. The language of force was common and often translated into physical fight.


Discuss extensively four major conflicts in Nigeria since 1960 till date

  1. The 2015–2016 Killing of Biafran Protesters

The 2015–2016 Killing of Biafran Protesters refers to the killing of demonstrators demanding the restoration of the sovereignty of the Republic of Biafra by Nigerian security forces, especially the Nigerian army, across the southeastern parts of Nigeria. The demonstrations are spearheaded by several secessionist groups. In addition, residents of the above-mentioned region have often been subjected to conditions synonymous with those obtainable in a Police State.

The South-East Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs) estimates that about 80 members of the pro-Biafra group the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their supporters have been killed by Nigerian security operatives under the directive of the Nigerian government between August 30, 2015 and February 9, 2016.

The most notable incidents were the protests that took place in Onitsha on December 2, 2015 where about 11 people reportedly lost their lives, including 2 policemen and 9 activists; and in Aba on February 9, 2016 where six members of the secessionist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were allegedly killed by Nigerian security forces and about 20 others arrested. Also, the Indigenous People of Biafra claimed that Nigerian soldiers clandestinely killed and burned the corpses of Biafran activists in a separate incident in Aba.

In addition to the killings, members of the Igbo ethnic group, who are at the forefront of the secessionist agitations, have been subjected to abuse, intimidation and harassment by Nigerian security operatives. On December 23, 2015, many Igbos returning home for Christmas celebrations from the western part of the country were detained and molested on the Onitsha Niger River Bridge for several hours by soldiers conducting stop and search operations. The gridlock occasioned by this lasted for up to twelve hours with many commuters spending the night on both ends of the bridge.

The Nigerian military and Federal Government have strenuously denied engaging in any of these acts. On 24 November 2016, Amnesty International accused Nigerian security forces of killing at least 150 Biafra’s secession peaceful advocates. The rights group also said Nigerian military fired live ammunition, with little or no warning, to disperse members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group between August 2015 and August 2016. But the military and police dismissed the allegations and say it was aimed to tarnish the security forces reputation.

  1. The incident of communal or regional crises

The communal or regional crises are common events in Nigeria. Hardly a month passes without news about one communal crisis or another being carried as a headline story in any of the daily newspapers with soul-sapping violent clashes resulting in enormous loses of lives and property.

When communal conflicts or crises are mentioned in Nigeria the following easily come to mind: the Gbaragolo and Sama conflict which occurred in February 1993, the clashes between communities in Benue in June 1993, the Andonis and Ogonis conflict in July 1993, the Ogoni and Okrika conflict from May to December 1993, the Jukuns and Tivs conflict in 1995, the Ijaws and Itsekiris conflict in 1997, the Ife and Modakeke conflict in August 1997, the Ezilos and Ezza conflict in June 2008, the Niger Delta crisis in the south-south part of the country and the federal government from 1960 to date and many other conflicts.

Each of these conflicts is a pathetic show of violence in a country which needs peace said to be a catalyst of development more than any other 98 The Root Cause of Violence in Nigeria country in the world given its backwardness in many areas of life.

  1. 2020 Lekki shooting

On the night of 20 October 2020, at about 6:50 p.m., members of the Nigerian Army opened fire on unarmed End SARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State, Nigeria. Amnesty International stated that at least 12 protesters were killed during the shooting.[3] A day after the incident, on 21 October, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-olu, initially denied reports of any loss of lives, but later admitted in an interview with a CNN journalist that “only two persons were killed”.

The Nigerian Army initially denied involvement in the shooting, but later stated that it had deployed soldiers to the toll gate on the orders of the governor of Lagos State. A month after the shooting, following a CNN documentary on the shooting, the Nigerian Army admitted to the Lagos Judiciary panel of inquiry into the shooting that it had deployed its personnel to the toll gate with both live and blank bullets.

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Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of onlineproject.com.ng. A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.