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Yakubu Gowon

(b. 1934) Nigerian general and statesman, head of state 1966–75

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Biafran War

Biafran War  

(1967–70, Nigeria)A Nigerian civil war caused by irreconcilable ethnic tensions. In 1966, an army coup brought to power a military regime headed by an Ibo (from the south), who was himself deposed by ...
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu  

(b. 4 Nov. 1933).Leader of Biafra 1967–70 Born in Zungeru, he studied at Oxford (1952–5) and then joined the Nigerian army. He had reached the rank of lieutenant‐colonel by 1966. He became military ...
Economic Community of West African States

Economic Community of West African States  

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(ECOWAS) An economic grouping constituted largely on the initiative of General Gowon at Lagos in 1975 by 15 West African countries, and later (1977) joined by Cape Verde. Its object was to provide a ...
Obafemi Awolowo

Obafemi Awolowo  

(b. Ikenne, Nigeria, 6 Mar. 1909; d. Ikenne, 8 May 1987)Nigerian; leader of the Opposition 1960–2, leader of Unity Party of Nigeria 1978–83 A member of the Yoruba ethnic group, Awolowo graduated from ...
Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo  

(b. Abeokuta, Nigeria, 5 Mar. 1937)Nigerian; Military ruler 1976–9, President 1999–2007 Obasanjo, a Christian from the Yoruba-speaking south-west of Nigeria, joined the Nigerian army in 1958, ...

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