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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.The differing political systems among these three peoples reflected and produced divergent customs and values.The Hausa-Fulani commoners, having contact with the political system only through a village head designated by the Emir or one of his subordinates, did not view political leaders as amenable to influence. As with all other authoritarian and liberal religious and political systems, leadership positions were given to persons willing to be subservient and loyal to superiors.In mid-1968, images of malnourished and starving Biafran children saturated the mass media of Western countries.The plight of the starving Biafrans became a cause célèbre in foreign countries, enabling a significant rise in the funding and prominence of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Immediate causes of the war in 1966 included a military coup, a counter-coup and persecution of Igbo living in Northern Nigeria.The civil war can be connected to the British colonial amalgamation in 1914 of Northern and Southern Nigeria.Intended for better administration due to the close proximity of these protectorates, the change did not account for the great difference in the cultures and religions of the peoples in each area.With their emphasis upon social achievement and political participation, the Igbo adapted to and challenged colonial rule in innovative ways.These tradition-derived differences were perpetuated and perhaps enhanced by the British system of colonial rule in Nigeria.
A chief function of this political system in this context was to maintain conservative values, which caused many Hausa-Fulani to view economic and social innovation as subversive or sacrilegious.