Posted by / Friday 24 February 2017 / No comments

The negative consequences of the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 - 1970

In 1967, the people of Igbo land in the eastern parts of Nigeria decided to secede from the Nigerian federation and form their own country called Biafra. 

In a federal system of government, secession was a taboo so the central government of Nigeria tried to stop the easterners from seceding. This attempt to stop them from breaking away and the resolve of the easterners to secede culminated in the 6th July, 1967 to 15th January, 1970 Civil War. 

It was a waste of resources
One of the negative consequences of the 1967 to 1970 Civil War in Nigeria was the drain it had on the human, material and financial resources of the nation. In order to prosecute the war effort, the government of the day had to expend a lot of money. Even the seceding army had to spend money to procure arms and ammunition that cost millions of naira. Human lives, which constituted a great resource, was lost, estimated to be in the millions. Properties were also destroyed.

Collapsed educational system
Another negative effect of the war was the way it brought the educational system to its knees. Many of the institutions of learning were destroyed. Those that were not destroyed had to close their doors and their academic calendar was totally distorted. 

Dislocation of economic activity
The war brought to a standstill, the economic activity of the entire nation. The industries of the country which should have been producing goods, either closed down or operated at a very low capacity.

Reduction in the size of the Nigerian army
One of the other negative effects of the Nigerian Civil War was that it reduced the strength of the army. This was due to the fact that many of the soldiers were killed in the war. Many civilians were also killed either directly by the soldiers from both sides or by the effects of the war such as starvation and malnutrition. This reduced the population of the country.

Increased criminal activities
After the war, some of the soldiers who were involved in the war effort were not properly demobilized. This had left a lot of small arms in the hands of people who should not be holding guns. The result was that some of these guns were deployed by criminal elements culminating in serious criminal activities.

It destroyed the country’s international image
One other negative effect of the Civil War, which could not have been immediately quantified, was the way it destroyed the image of the country in the eyes of the international community. There were hundreds of thousands of civilians that died through starvation and there were a lot of human rights violations, both on the side of the government and on the side of the Biafran army. This gave the nation of Nigeria a bad press.

1. Highlight six negative consequences of the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 – 1970.

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