Almost half a century since the Biafran war broke out, a new secessionist movement is rapidly taking hold in South East Nigeria.
Renewed demands for an independent state of Biafra have gained fresh impetus through widespread grass roots agitation and the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu, the outspoken public face of the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra.
Like their leader, these new separatists are drawn from a young generation without memories of the Nigerian civil war. Frustrated by their perception of misrule and unfair governance in Nigeria, they seek reformation outside the confines of what they see as a discredited state burdened by a history of corruption.
The current demands for an independent Biafra nation appear to present potentially one of the greatest threats to Nigeria’s unity.
To some, Biafra is not a priority. It’s yesterday's story, a long-forgotten event totally overshadowed by the current government’s much-trumpeted anti-corruption campaign and its frantic efforts to restore economic stability.
And yet to those committed to its cause, Biafra is the new frontier in a relentless search for independent cultural identity combined with autonomous political and economic destiny.
Does Biafran nationhood pose a serious existential threat to Nigeria? Or is it symptomatic of a failing post-colonial state? And what does or should Nigeria really mean to modern Nigerians? Is the unity of the nation too important to risk fracture and dissolution?
Crucially, if it can no longer be held together as a single country is there an opportunity to resolve differences peacefully through the creation of an ethnically separate Igbo nation? And, just like with the UK’s current EU membership decision, is a referendum the best route to resolving this growing separatist issue?
Please come and join a really lively debate with a panel of informed and opinionated scholars and activists as we pose the question, ‘Is Biafra Dead or Alive?’