In 1960, Nigeria gained independence from Britain. Six years later, the Muslim Hausa’s in northern Nigeria began massacring the Christian Igbos in the region, prompting tens of thousands of Igbos to flee to the east, where their people were the dominant ethnic group.
The Igbos doubted that Nigeria’s oppressive military government would allow them to develop, or even survive, so on May 30, 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu and other non-Igbo representatives of the area established the Republic of Biafra, comprising several states of Nigeria.
After diplomatic efforts by Nigeria failed to reunite the country, war between Nigeria and Biafra broke out in July 1967. Ojukwu’s forces made some initial advances, but Nigeria’s superior military strength gradually reduced Biafran territory.
The state lost its oil fields–its main source of revenue–and without the funds to import food, an estimated one million of its civilians died as a result of severe malnutrition.
On January 11, 1970, Nigerian forces captured the provincial capital of Owerri.
Four days later, After Ojukwu’s Travelled to Ivory Coast for help, Gen. Phillip Effiong called a ceasefire and surrendered Biafra to Nigerian Forces.
On January 12, Effiong, Achuzie, and other prominent members of the Biafran military and leadership broadcast their surrender to the Nigerian forces.
Gen. Phillip Effiong, number two citizen and, briefly, leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, has explained why he surrendered to the federal forces in January, 1970.
Efiong became Chief of General Staff of Biafra under Head of State, Odumegwu Ojukwu during the Nigeria-Biafra war.
Born in Ibiono Ibom in present-day Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, on 18 November 1925
Gen. Effiong said he handed Biafra’s instrument of surrender to then Col. Olusegun Obasanjo, commander of the 3rd Marine Commando, to salvage what was left of the breakaway area and protect the people’s interest.