Top > African Study Monographs > ASM Back Number > Vol.35(2014) No.3&4
Vol.35 (2014) No.2
pp. 129–148

Kenneth Chukwuemeka NWOKO
Department of History and Diplomatic Studies, McPherson University

COUNTING THE COST: THE POLITICS OF RELIEF OPERATIONS IN THE NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR, A CRITICAL APPRAISAL

ABSTRACT

.This study examines the role of international humanitarian organizations and the
politics of relief operations during the Nigerian Civil War. It investigates the nexus between the
politicization of humanitarian operations during the three-year conflict, and the death, hunger
and starvation of millions of Biafrans. The study explores how the triangular politics among the
Federal Military Government of Nigeria, the Biafran authorities, and the humanitarian organizations,
in particular, the International Committee of the Red Cross impacted on the women,
children and the elderly in Biafra. The author argues that the issue of sovereignty was only a
cover to politicize the relief assistance going to Biafra and consequently abort the operations,
thus, serving as a war strategy for both the Nigerian and Biafran authorities.

Key Words: Propaganda; International Committee of the Red Cross; Biafra; Civil War; Mark
Press.

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pp. 149–181

Philip Colin HINDLEY
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris
Service Général d’Enseignement des Langues, Université Paris 1
Panthéon-Sorbonne

NOMINAL AND IMPERATIVE ICONIC GESTURES USED BY THE KHOISAN OF NORTH WEST BOTSWANA TO COORDINATE HUNTING

ABSTRACT

Twenty-three elderly males from nine Khoisan ethnic communities currently
living in Botswana were interviewed in August 2012. The interviews concerned the audio
(paralinguistic) and gestural means of communication that the men use during hunting. Hunters
sometimes command attention through whistles, clicks and bird-like chatter, but communication
is mainly gestural. Deictic (pointing) gestures are used to indicate the location of game and
are followed by iconic hand movements to direct hunting partners. Both types of gestures, as
well as audio signals, function as imperatives. They are accompanied by nominal iconic hand
gestures that communicate the identity of the game by reproducing salient features, such as
horns, tusks, ears, and tails. !Xõ hand shapes are frequently based on the contours of an animal’s
spoor and suggest reduced iconicity. In addition, kinesthetic adverbial features are sometimes
used to portray the behavior of the game. There was also some evidence of adjectival modification
of deictic (pointing) gestures. A taxonomic lexicon of nominal iconic gestures that depict
animals was constructed. Analysis of the hunting communication system revealed the possibility
of a basic syntax.

Key Words: Gestural communication; Hunting; Iconic gestures; Khoisan.

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pp. 183–203

Niyi AKINGBE
Department of English & Literary Studies, Federal University

THE ARTICULATION OF SOCIAL DECAY: SATIRE IN CONTEMPORARY NIGERIAN POETRY

ABSTRACT

Contemporary Nigerian poets have addressed the country’s social and political
problems using satire to crystallize the malaise affecting their society. Their social critiques rest
on their linguistic skill, which renders their work both accessible and popular. The extraordinary
lucidity and elegance of these selected poets is demonstrated in the sense of humor reflected
in their poems, which endears them to their readers. The poems cited in this paper are
characterized by an abundance of anecdotes, humor, suspense, and curiosity. This paper examines
the use of satire in the work of contemporary Nigerian poets such as Niyi Osundare, Tanure
Ojaide, Chinweizu, Femi Fatoba, Odia Ofeimun, Ezenwa Ohaeto, Obiora Udechukwu, and
Ogaga Ifowodo, emphasizing the role of these poets as synthesizers of, and conduits for, the
concerns of the Nigerian society for which they claim to speak. I will attempt to demonstrate
how satire is used in contemporary Nigerian poetry to criticize certain aspects of contemporary
Nigerian society. Furthermore, the paper focuses on the mediating role of proverbs, aphorisms,
and metaphors in the satiric references in selected poems that constitute impassioned critiques
of the social and moral problems related to Nigeria’s sociopolitical development.

Key Words: Social decay; Contemporary Nigerian poets; Satire; Articulation of social issues;
Humor.

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pp. 205–229

Iro AGHEDO
Department of Political Science, University of Benin

Oarhe OSUMAH
Department of Public Administration, Ambrose Alli University

BREAD, NOT BULLETS: BOKO HARAM AND INSECURITY MANAGEMENT IN NORTHERN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

Nigeria has experienced pervasive violence since it returned to civilian rule in
1999 after more than 15 years of military dictatorship. Despite the brutal strategy followed by
the state in response to public disorder, efforts to establish peace in Africa’s most populous and
largest oil-producing nation have failed. Indeed, state repression has increased rather than reduced
violence in many areas. This empirical study investigated the effect of the military strategy
to manage the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria. Despite the emphasis
on economic empowerment as a viable mechanism for conflict mitigation, which has permeated
mainstream discourse since the end of the Cold War, the application of this approach in much
of sub-Saharan Africa, especially Nigeria, remains at the level of rhetoric or political spin. Our
data also reveal the ineffectiveness of military brutality in managing anti-state uprisings. Thus,
this study contributes evidence to the debate regarding economic empowerment as tool to manage
security. In the context of the prevailing socioeconomic problems and inequities in northern
Nigeria, including rampant poverty and mass illiteracy, this study suggests that economic empowerment
(bread) is a more effective strategy than is brutal force (bullets) for insecurity management
in the region.

Key Words: Boko Haram; Insurgency; Military; Security; Economic Empowerment.

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