In an uncommon endeavor to mend the scars of the Biafra war which finished 47 years back, Nigeria’s government has agreed to pay casualties of the war $139 million in remuneration. The legislature will spend a further $105 million to empty deserted bombs in parts of the nation.
Government specialists have screened and distinguished 685 people as survivors of the war. Almost 500 of them, including the individuals who initially sued the administration, were affirmed to have been casualties of military mines and bombs and will be qualified for the remuneration. The pay was the consequence of an out-of-court settlement following a suit documented against the administration in 2012.
The settlement comes after months of increased tensions in Nigeria’s south-east amid renewed calls for secession to create an independent Biafra nation by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Last month, Nigerian troops deployed to the region clashed with IPOB members reportedly leaving four members of the group were dead while Nnamdi Kanu, the group’s self-appointed leader, has not been seen in public since. Soon after, Nigeria declared IPOB a terrorist organization citing its “possession and use of weapons.”
While the compensation which will likely placate some in the south-east, many will hope it also signals a change in the government’s general disposition to discussing the war which remains a taboo to Nigeria.
Cheta Nwanze, a Lagos-based specialist whose granddad was slaughtered amid the war, says “as it’s past the point of no return for compromise programs,” more discourses about the war will assume a further part in helping those influenced recuperate the scars of war. “What we require is for each side to be permitted to recount its story, at any rate for the cathartic impact,” he said.