The blockade imposed during the ensuing stalemate led to severe famine—accomplished deliberately as a war strategy.
This famine entered world awareness in mid-1968, when images of malnourished and starving children suddenly saturated the mass media of Western countries.
Control over oil production in the Niger Delta played a vital strategic role.
However, there was so much difference in the culture and religion of the people.
After the amalgamation, oil was discovered in Eastern Nigeria (now southern South Nigeria), and this was a turning point in the history of Nigeria, as that led to the struggle for control amongst the regions.
These tradition-derived differences were perpetuated and perhaps even enhanced by the British system of colonial rule in Nigeria.
In the North, the British found it convenient to rule indirectly through the Emirs, thus perpetuating rather than changing the indigenous authoritarian political system.
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.
Biafra represented nationalist aspirations of the Igbo people, whose leadership felt they could no longer coexist with the Northern-dominated federal government.The conflict resulted from political, economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions which preceded Britain's formal decolonisation 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.The Yoruba political system in the southwest, like that of the Hausa-Fulani, also consisted of a series of monarchs, the Oba.The Yoruba monarchs, however, were less autocratic than those in the North, and the political and social system of the Yoruba accordingly allowed for greater upward mobility based on acquired rather than inherited wealth and title.As a concomitant of this system, Christian missionaries were excluded from the North, and the area thus remained virtually closed to European cultural imperialism, in contrast to the Igbo, the richest of whom sent many of their sons to British universities.