3 out of 4 stars
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In 1914, the British government declared that the geographical region surrounding the river Niger would be known as Nigeria. This action resulted in a fusion of the predominantly Muslim northern parts with the mostly Christian southern parts. As a result, severe conflict arose between the Hausa-Fulani ethnic groups of north and Yoruba and Igbo groups of the south. When Biafra declared its independence from Nigeria in 1966, the resultant civil war claimed the lives of prominent political leaders from the northern region. A retaliatory attack by the northern forces killed an enormous number of Igbo people. In The Case For Biafra Restoration, Obi Ukwuoma recounts the tale of this horrific genocide and strongly advocates the reinstatement of Biafra with an autonomous government.
Ukwuoma conducted thorough research to provide a book full of detailed historical information. He included direct quotations and excerpts from numerous articles, websites, and official announcements. He presented the perspectives of both the Igbos and the Hausa-Fulani, although his arguments were completely skewed in favor of the former.
I liked that the book carefully explored all possible causes behind the upheaval. Ukwuoma emphasized that Biafra existed before British colonization. However, the British government masterminded the civil war to control the local mineral resources. Additionally, he explained how the socioeconomic and political backdrop acted as a prelude to war. The scarcity of basic facilities played a significant role as well. Besides, cultural differences fueled a deep-rooted prejudice against the Igbos, resulting in their persecution. This book portrayed a realistic picture of Nigeria in the twentieth-century.
From the book, it became evident how ruthless torture by the northern armies forced the oppressed people of Biafra to revolt. In this regard, Ukwuoma openly criticized Muhammadu Buhari, the current Nigerian President. The book exuded a distinct vibe of barely suppressed anger. However, only a reader with sufficient knowledge of the topic would be able to judge its validity. Nonetheless, the book provided logical arguments, culminating in the demand for re-establishing Biafra. Also, Ukwuoma carefully delineated the functions of each department of the proposed government.
The major negative aspect of the work was its repetitive nature. Summarizing the pages-long excerpts of cited materials that frequently interrupted the narrative could make it concise. Besides, Ukwuoma's desperation for Biafra sometimes bordered on obsession. A firm and reasonable voice is a prerequisite for a valid case. However, the tone of his comments was blatantly vehement, tending to obfuscate the intent of the book. I especially detested his disgruntled remarks toward the Biafrans who did not share his ideals.
Considering the above-mentioned points, I rate this work 3 out of 4 stars. The presence of a few technical issues did not detract from the reading experience. I would recommend this book to readers interested in world history, especially Biafran history. This is not a work of fiction, so readers enjoying historical fiction might be unable to appreciate the book.
The Case For Biafra Restoration
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