from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – AFRICA’S most populous country, Nigeria, is marking 50 years to the end of the civil war that left 2 million civilians dead from starvation, disease and war.
It is one of the deadliest conflicts in the continent’s history, having started in 1967 when indigenous peoples in the eastern region declared self-independence with the formation of the state of Biafra.
The conflict, known as the Nigeria-Biafra war, ended on January 15, 1970.
During the Biafran War, images of children suffering from malnutrition sparked outcry across the world.
“As we commemorate this moment in history, I would hope that the news that 95 million Nigerians are living in extreme poverty will once again spark outcry and action, both here and overseas,” said Charles Usie, Christian Aid’s Nigeria Manager.
Analysts decried that five decades after the end of the conflict, global data revealed that the West African country was the so-called poverty capital of the world.
It is estimated that nearly half of the country’s estimated 200 million population is living in poverty today.
Usie decried the widening gap between the rich and poor in a country that is hailed as Africa’s biggest economy.
Despite its economic might, driven by its being Africa’s biggest oil producer, Nigeria is said to have the world’s largest number of people living in extreme poverty globally.
The World Poverty Clock dubbed Nigeria ‘the poverty capital of the world’ in 2018.
“In a country blessed with riches, this is nothing short of a scandal,” Usie said.
– CAJ News