Monthly Archives: November 2015

Decades soon after Nigeria’s war, new Biafra movement grows

ENUGU, Nigeria Nearly half a century right after a civil war in which a million individuals died, 27-year-old Okoli Ikedi is element of a new protest movement in southeastern Nigeria calling for an independent state of Biafra.

Such calls have turn out to be typical considering that the leader of the group Ikedi represents in Enugu, the region’s major city, was arrested in October, prompting thousands in the oil-making southeast to join demonstrations in recent weeks calling for his release.

It really is an additional challenge for President Muhammadu Buhari, who is grappling with a sharp slowdown in Africa’s largest economy, the bloody Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast and fears that militancy could resume in the oil-rich southern Delta area when an amnesty ends in December.

Like numerous in the surge of southeastern secessionist sentiment, Ikedi was born long right after the war ended.

Displaying absolutely nothing that would betray his pro-Biafran leanings such as a flag or campaign T-shirt, to steer clear of unwanted police consideration, the diminutive baker stated poverty and high unemployment in the region have been symptoms of government neglect.

“They want to make us economically poor. They think the only way to handle us is to increase our suffering,” mentioned Ikedi in a trembling voice, adding that his group, the Indigenous Individuals of Biafra (IPOB), wants a referendum.

The group points to fundamental difficulties to help its demands for an independent Biafra, on which presidential spokesman Garba Shehu declined to comment, adding that he was not conscious that the government was undertaking something on the problem.


The highways that connect southeastern cities are a source of frustration for enterprise men and women in the area who say the partially tarmaced roads, punctuated by potholes, must be arteries of commerce but are dangerous to navigate.

And the refuse strewn by roadsides, combined with the acrid stench of open sewers, hints at the dilapidation that has fomented discontent in the 45 years since the civil war ended.

The 1967-70 conflict followed a secessionist attempt by the eastern Igbo people. Most of the million who lost their lives died from starvation and illness rather than violence.

Now, like then, Igbos say they have been marginalized – excluded from essential government posts and denied important funding for infrastructure improvement, schools and hospitals.

IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu – an activist who divides his time among the UK and Nigeria, spreading his ethos on social media and Radio Biafra – was arrested last month on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal society.

Political analyst Okereke Chukwunolye said the selection to arrest Kanu, previously a little known figure whose social media following outweighed actual help on the ground, was a error because it “enhanced his recognition and made him much more visible”.

The sight of the red, black, green and yellow Biafran flag at largely peaceful protests in the southeastern cities of Port Harcourt and Aba, and the capital, Abuja, has prompted secessionist debates in newspapers, on radio and social media.

“The troubles that brought about the Biafran-Nigerian civil war have remained unresolved,” stated Chukwunolye.

In the 1960s, Enugu – which was the capital of Biafra – became recognized for its coal production which designed jobs, as did steel, cement and gas industries.


When the civil war ended, Yakubu Gowon, the basic who led the government side to victory more than Biafra, declared that there should be “no victor, no vanquished”, in a pledge of reconciliation. But the Igbos feel left behind.

Nearby individuals say the demise of Enugu’s industries, a decline that coincided with the oil boom in Africa’s best crude producer, led to widespread unemployment and was a consequence of the federal government failing to fund projects in the region.

At a industry in Asata, an impoverished city center district of Enugu, it is difficult to discover anybody who supports the government.

“Why cannot you leave a slave to go?” asked vegetable stall holder Victoria Emelue in response to the query of secession, raising her voice above the cacophony of traders, shoppers and blaring music.

She mentioned her three kids – all graduates in their twenties – had been unable to uncover perform, prompting her to be fearful about the future.

“Of course I’m in support of Biafra,” said 28-year-old wholesale food trader Uchenna Ede. “If we are freed, the eastern portion of Nigeria would have a enormous turnaround.”

A widespread complaint is that Nigeria’s presidents have tended to come from the north or southwest – areas dominated by Hausa and Yoruba individuals – which, some say, has led to Igbos not being appointed to influential government positions.

The constitution says there have to be a minister from every of Nigeria’s 36 states, but the presence of a Muslim northerner as president with a Yoruba vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo, has been cited as evidence that the north and southwest stay dominant.

It’s a reminder of the complicated alchemy that brings together 170 million individuals in Africa’s most populous nation, split roughly equally amongst Christians and Muslims across around 250 ethnic groups, who mostly co-exist peacefully.

Tensions are rising. IPOB campaigners say they are committed to peaceful protests, but their demonstrations prompted the military to concern an “unequivocal warning” that efforts to bring about the “dismemberment of the country” would be crushed.

Chukwunolye mentioned it was unlikely that Igbo anger would outcome in bloodshed, in stark contrast to Boko Haram militants who have killed thousands and displaced two.1 million men and women since 2009 in an try to set up an Islamic state in the northeast.

“There is no separatist movement – it is just an agitation by some youth elements,” he mentioned. “Those who had been involved in the thick of the Biafran struggle will never want to see war once again.”

(Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram Further reporting by Anamesere Igboeroteonwu, Camillus Eboh, Felix Onuah and Buhari Bello Editing by Ulf Laessing and Giles Elgood)

Agen Sabung Ayam

‘It’s time to get pleasure from the celebrations’

I had a split second to come to terms with winning the Davis Cup just before I was mobbed by my group-mates.

A single of the specific things about this competition is you get to celebrate with your group-mates straight away, whereas after any other win you never get to see them till perhaps an hour soon after the match has finished.

On Sunday it was immediate, and I felt the full force of the team!

It’s not the initial time, it happened to me when at college soon after I scored a purpose and everyone then jumped on best of me, so it brought back a couple of memories.

I in fact get claustrophobic, so it was fine at the beginning when Leon got to me and then a couple of other people but when there were a couple of far more and I couldn’t move, I began to panic and shouted to all of them “get off!”

‘We should make the most of this’

The subsequent couple of days will be significantly far more enjoyable than after my two Grand Slam wins, for confident.

I regret maybe not celebrating as considerably as I ought to have accomplished after some of my other wins, since now I know how significantly work goes into attaining them. You never know when the subsequent one may well come – it may in no way – so we should make the most it.

That’s why we spent an hour and a half on court soon after the match taking selfies and chatting with the supporters. I never really have numerous personal images to be truthful, but hopefully it produced the day that bit more special for those who travelled more than to Belgium.

Brothers Jamie and Andy Murray pose with fan Ben Stanbury

It did take its toll on me a bit though – I could barely stand up at the finish of it! By the time I got back to the locker area, I consider everybody had enjoyed a handful of glasses of champagne but I jumped in an ice bath instantly. I’d began to stiffen up from not obtaining to cool down, stretch or go through my regular routine following matches. Standing about in wet clothes is not very good for you.

I do now make sure that I devote the time soon after wins like this with the men and women that I want to devote time with. Right now I want to commit my time with the rest of the group, and also my family and close friends.

There are plenty of characters right here and it will be excellent over the subsequent day or two to appreciate some celebrations. I would imagine Dan Evans is the most experienced on our group in that respect.

Highlights: Andy Murray wins Davis Cup for GB

‘I try to stay away from eye make contact with with Jamie’

To play and win a Davis Cup final with your brother is great, I’m truly proud of him, and it might never happen once more, so it’s anything else to savour.

What he was undertaking standing in my line of vision during Sunday’s match even though, I have no idea!

I just saw him standing in the entrance at the corner of the court at one particular point and located it far more off-putting because it was my brother, rather than an individual I never know. I normally attempt to keep away from eye make contact with with him altogether during matches.

Some players may possibly locate it beneficial to look over at their family members but when they’re right there, you see when they’re stressed or nervous or pumped, and due to the fact you know them, you know what their expressions mean.

I’d just rather Jamie wasn’t in my eye-line at that moment, so I let him know!

Britain’s victorious Davis Cup group gather for a celebratory selfie

‘Davis Cup can be a springboard’

Winning the Davis Cup is a large victory for every person in the group, but from a individual point of view I don’t see it so a lot like ticking off another massive title from a list.

There are naturally still two Grand Slams I haven’t won, and the Australian Open is a tournament I would really like to win because I’ve been close there so frequently, reaching the final four occasions.

And had I got by way of the fifth set of my semi-final with Novak Djokovic, I would have had an opportunity to win the French Open, so I’m not that far off on the clay.

Hopefully I can use this Davis Cup win as a springboard for next year, to take on the attitude I had in every single point and possibly get my first Aussie Open in January.

The Davis Cup has been remarkable this year, and I would like to thank all these that have followed us. It really is been an incredible journey and we could not have carried out it without you. Now for some rest prior to I start off coaching for the new season in a week or so…

Andy Murray was speaking to BBC Sport’s Piers Newbery. You can follow Murray on Twitter,