Rethinking the impact of Nigerian civil war: Commerce in the post civil war Nnewi and its challenges, 1970-2000

  • Ugo P. Onumonu
  • Precious O. Anutanwa


There is no doubt that the impact of Nigerian Civil War has constituted one of the burning issues in post-war discourse of Nigeria even as Nigeria grapples with the challenge of nation building since the end the War in 1970. Indeed, while the War is currently consigned to histories, its “traces and legacies” still live on. Opinions and perspectives with regards to the impact of the War have emerged in several forms, mostly with intense political undertones, stressing the ugly side of the impact arising from the War. This perspective makes the narrative a-one-way-traffic discourse. In view of this foregoing, this paper argues that the Nigerian Civil War with its attendant hardship rather spurred Nnewi peoples to action by stirring their finest potentials through ingenuity and innovation towards commerce in the post-war Nigeria. The paper further interrogates the emergence of large scale commerce at the post-war Nnewi. This fresh perspective on the impact of the Nigerian Civil War as presented in this paper, examines the various coping mechanisms and factors or “secrets” that led to the economic prosperity of Nnewi in the post Nigerian Civil War. On the whole, the paper attempts to examine the positive impact of the Nigerian Civil War on Nnewi and its influence on the evolvement of commerce up to year 2000 when the Shari’a law sage further led to the relocation of Igbo to their region in a bid to avoid the reoccurrence of another round of victimization. The work acknowledges the pains inflicted on the peoples of Nnewi following the 1966 pogrom and the eventual Civil War but majorly concentrates on how such challenges stirred up their potentials as well as initiated the localizing of commercial activities in Nnewi in the post-war Nigeria. In addition, the paper also examines the various challenges that confronted Nnewi community in the post Nigerian Civil War years based on the period covered in this study. The methodology of the research is qualitative. The findings indicate that the adversity created by the 1966/Civil War was explored and turned into great opportunity which resulted in commerce.

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print ISSN: 2346-7126