The "Civil Society" Problematique: Deconstructing Civility and Southern Nigeria's Ethnic Radicalization

By Adedayo Oluwakayode Adekson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V

Summary of Results-Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB)

IN CHAPTER V, I REVIEW THE ECONOMIC, POLITICAL AND SOCIAL CONTEXTS in which MASSOB was formed in 1999, the ends that it attempted to attain afterwards, the statements which its representatives publicly issued to myself and Nigerian journalists, the direct manner in which members clashed with and undermined constituted authority, and the state's often heavy-handed reactions to this perceived insubordination. In a manner akin to the other examined ethnic associations, I categorize MASSOB as an overtly militant and non-mainstream group that exemplifies radical civil society par excellence. This classification derives from the group's expression of the three features of this study's radicalization model, which I describe in turn below.

At a minimum, the organization's main objective, disengagement, predictably threatened traditionalists and others desirous of a unified Nigeria. Unlike the IYC and OPC, MASSOB consistently affirmed that its members wanted to secede from the country and establish an independent Biafran homeland because of the injustices they suffered prior to and after Nigeria became an independent state. Therefore, the Movement did not seek a reformation of the country's economic, political and social conditions, as it supposed that the Nigerian government could not spiritedly or perhaps quickly reverse years of inattention and discrimination. To achieve its overarching aim, the Biafra Movement requested a meeting of the country's ethnic stakeholders and an Eastern-only plebiscite that would gauge Igbo support or lack thereof for secession.

Resulting from the emphasis on Igbo withdrawal from the Nigerian federation, MASSOB officials used inflammatory rhetoric in a manner reminiscent of the OPC, IYC and indeed other fanatical organizations elsewhere. As shown in the subsequent section, movement leaders consistently depicted Nigeria as a monstrous entity, described politics as a sleazy enter-

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The "Civil Society" Problematique: Deconstructing Civility and Southern Nigeria's Ethnic Radicalization
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Tables xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Preface xv
  • Chapter I - Introduction 3
  • Chapter II - Overview of Study 13
  • Chapter III - Review of Literature 31
  • Chapter IV - Summary of Results-Ijaw Youth Council 59
  • Chapter V - Summary of Results-Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob) 87
  • Chapter VI - Summary of Results-Oodua Peoples Congress 109
  • Chapter VII - Analysis of Theoretical Anomalies and Regime Policy 135
  • Chapter VIII - Analysis of the Process of Radicalization 169
  • Chapter IX - Implications of Findings and Conclusion 207
  • Appendix A 221
  • Appendix B 227
  • Appendix C 233
  • Appendix D 235
  • Appendix E 237
  • Notes 241
  • Bibliography 277
  • Index 315
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