Biafra at 50: Historical Lessons, Present Challenges and Future Prospects

Philip Olayoku's picture
Call for Papers
May 30, 2017
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Anthropology, Area Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Military History

The declaration of a ‘no victor, no vanquished’ end to the Nigerian civil war signaled an attempt at genuine reintegration of the seceding Biafra State back into the Nigerian geopolitical structure. Almost five decades later, the discourse on the right to negotiate Nigeria’s unity remains a burning issue with analysts, scholars, politicians, security agents and the Nigerian public holding on to different, at times opposing, perspectives in the discourse. While some maintain that no group must be forced to live together under a political arrangement such as the British 1914 amalgamation, others would rather explore the complexities involved in terms of reaching a consensus on new political and geographical redefinitions and its implications for future inter-group relations. As the debate rages on, there are collateral experiential contexts of the continuous feeling of exclusion by the Igbo, with claims of continuous oppression by the Nigerian State. Among other things, the confiscation of some monies and property belonging to the Igbo after the war, the lack of an Igbo President since the First Republic, claims of insufficient government-initiated developmental projects in the eastern part of the country and allegations of low representation in governance at the federal level are reference points for the aggrieved Igbo who continuously demand a renegotiation of their stay within the Nigerian State as championed by groups such as Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), the Zionist Movement(s) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The ethnically polarized contexts are indicative of the need to carefully and methodically explore the Nigerian question through individual and collective narratives in harnessing the various perspectives to chart a course for the future. In line with this, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), an independent nonprofit organization, is calling for short contributions (between 1,500 and 2,000 words) to an edited volume on various thematic issues to help unpack the historical legacies of the Biafran War, its implication for ethnic, religious and socio-religious interactions of the present and charting a course for the future. The edited volume, designed to commemorate the declaration of the Nigerian Civil War 50 years after, intends to collate objective contributions on various topics including but not limited to the following:

• Zionism and Neo Judaism among the Igbo in Nigeria

• Trauma, Healing and the Legacy of the Biafran War

• Political inclusion of the Igbo in Nigeria

• The Igbo and Nigeria’s Economic Development

• Secession in Nigeria: Pros and Cons

• Women and the Untold Story of Biafra

• Memory and Postmemory of the Biafra War

• The Challenge of representation of the Biafra War in Film and Literature

• Biafra and Ethnoreligious Politicisation in Nigeria

• The Aburi Accord in Retrospect

• Biafra, Technology and Economic Development

Intending authors are invited to submit an abstract of not more than 250 words on or before May 30, 2017 succinctly capturing the aim of the contribution and how it fits into the thematic issues of the volume. Submissions should be made electronically by submitting to before the due date. Selected abstracts will be peer-reviewed and notifications on the status of the abstracts will be given by June 23, 2016. Full papers from accepted abstracts are expected to be turned in by 30th August, 2017.

Contact Info: 

Philip Ademola Olayoku

Centre for Democracy & Development- CDD
16 A7 Street
CITEC Mbora Estate
Jabi/Airport Road By pass