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The Nigerian Civil War, commonly known as the Biafran War (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970), was a war fought between the government of Nigeria and the secessionist state of Biafra.
In contrast to the two other groups, the Igbo in the southeast lived mostly in autonomous, democratically organised communities, although there were eze or monarchs in many of the ancient cities, such as the Kingdom of Nri.
As southern Nigeria was not as united as the north, it was disadvantaged in the power struggle. During his tenure, killing of Easters in the north continued; several retaliatory actions took place, eventually resulting in the Biafran war.
In July 1966 Northern officers staged a counter-coup to revenge on the easterners for the targeting of their own political leaders in the first coup; Lt. Nigeria, which gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, had at that time a population of 60 million people, made up of more than 300 differing ethnic and cultural groups.
A chief function of this political system in this context was to maintain conservative values, which caused many Hausa-Fulani to view economic and social innovation as subversive or sacrilegious.
In contrast to the Hausa-Fulani, the Igbo often participated directly in the decisions which affected their lives.
The semi-feudal and Islamic Hausa-Fulani in the North were traditionally ruled by a feudal, conservative Islamic hierarchy consisting of Emirs who, in turn, owed their allegiance to a supreme Sultan.
This Sultan was regarded as the source of all political power and religious authority.The differing political systems among these three peoples reflected and produced divergent customs and values.The Hausa-Fulani commoners, having contact with the political system only through a village head designated by the Emir or one of his subordinates, did not view political leaders as amenable to influence. As with all other authoritarian and liberal religious and political systems, leadership positions were given to persons willing to be subservient and loyal to superiors.The conflict resulted from political, economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions which preceded Britain's formal decolonization of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963.Immediate causes of the war in 1966 included a military coup, a counter-coup and persecution of Igbo living in Northern Nigeria.In mid-1968, images of malnourished and starving Biafran children saturated the mass media of Western countries.