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Nigeria: Rangers, Igbo Identity, and the Imagination of War

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Part of the Global Culture and Sport book series (GCS)

Abstract

Several scholars and essayists have written on the Nigerian civil war that took place between 1967 and 1970. The war involved mostly Igbo-speaking people in the East of Nigeria who sought to break away from the country and form an independent nation of Biafra. Most of the war literature focused on antecedents to the war, and on the war itself including military coups, political crises, military victories, refugee problems, and similar stories. The war officially ended after an estimated 30,000 Igbos were killed in a prewar pogrom, a further 100,000 military casualties died in the military war, and 500,000 to two million civilians died from starvation. While there is an abundance of literature on these war facts, there is far less literature on postwar issues such as latent war situations that may have continued to exist years after the war was declared over. As one can imagine, the stress of a civil war that began with an extensive pogrom cannot end overnight based on an arbitrarily declared date for the end of the conflict. Instead, there is always a trace, albeit psychological, that follows an official end to such conflicts. Traces after crises are marked in postwar relationships, sport, social behavior, and other everyday life events. The Nigerian civil war was not free of such traces in spite of the fact that there is very little literature that has sought to record them.

Keywords

  • Ethnic Identity
  • Social Identity Theory
  • Football Club
  • Military Coup
  • British Rule

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2014 Chuka Onwumechili

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Onwumechili, C. (2014). Nigeria: Rangers, Igbo Identity, and the Imagination of War. In: Onwumechili, C., Akindes, G. (eds) Identity and Nation in African Football. Global Culture and Sport . Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137355812_8

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