Foreign Policy Digital

Slouching Toward Secession in Nigeria

Apathetic voters are planning to boycott this weekend’s election—and may inadvertently boost the country’s most fervent separatists.

ENUGU, Nigeria—As Emeka Udeze recently counted the 1,200 naira ($3.32) he made from the sale of a generator set, he turned on the radio in his store. Nearby shopkeepers began to troop into Udeze’s shop, which also doubled as a warehouse in this town in the area of eastern Nigeria that was once part of the independent state of Biafra. Every evening during the radio broadcasts, they all gather in Udeze’s shop to listen and debate.

The radio was tuned to the unlicensed radio station Radio Biafra. Mazi Alphonsus Uche Okafor-Mefor—the deputy leader of the separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)—was speaking, urging eligible voters

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