Post-transitional Justice in Nigeria and the Igbo Nationalism Question

  • Tola Odubajo


The 1990s saw the resurgence of transitional justice as a mechanism for reconciling groups and individuals in hitherto authoritarian and undemocratic  states. The former military-governed states and post-conflict states in Africa adopted a truth commission approach to transitional justice and latched on  to the window of opportunity that could engender new beginnings. Nigerians generally applauded the initiative of the Obasanjo civilian administration  (1999-2007) of setting up a Truth Commission to investigate the human rights violations against individuals and groups between 1966 and 1999. With the  aid of secondary data, this article adopts the descriptive and historical methodological approaches to interrogate the fissiparous tendencies of the  Igbo ethnic nationality in Nigeria. The article employs content analysis to examine the variables that induced both the selfdetermination drive of the Igbo  and the responses of the Nigerian government between 1999 and 2018. The work investigates the nexus in the activities of the two prominent  separatist revival groups - the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) - and  the Nigerian state, against the backdrop of the recommendations of the Truth Commission. The government’s inability to negotiate the implementation  of the recommendations of the Truth Commission, and therefore redress the perceived historical injustices to the Igbo, resulted in continued exclusion,  marginalisation and peripheralization of the Igbo in the Nigerian state. 


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1995-641X
print ISSN: 0256-2804