“Girls at War” By Chinua Achebe Book Review

The book by Chinua Achebe “Girls at War” bases on the Nigerian civil war known as the Biafran war as the setting. The war happened between the Igbo-led Biafran secessionists and the Nigerian national government. The war in Nigeria started by the misunderstanding between the two parties and led to the suffering of innocent people. This review focuses on explicating the causes of the war, the resolution and the aftermath.
After the independence, a vicious struggle of power ensued regionally. The “fear of supremacy”of one sector by the other had spread everywhere. The elections were stolen.

The government was not popular. A group of army majors carried out a coup and killed government officials six years later. The Igbo coup was at the North, a plan by the southern Igbo to gain supremacy. Despite the new head of state declaration of unitary decree in attempts to calm the country, the tension and acts of violence still kept waged on.

A second coup by northern officers had the Igbo officers hunted down and slayed. The massacres kept increasing while the tension kept building. Insecurity heightened to unimaginable heights. The murders between these two different groups that scrambled for power augmented the war. The Nigerian civilians killed between May1996 and September of the same year; their rummaged through homes that were set on fire. The Nigerian civilians massacred the other Nigerian civilians. At least seven thousand people died during that time.

The federal government was not able to stop the impending war; these acts of massacres just propagated the major war. The government incapability to stop the war was just insane. The northern civilians and the southern fell amid a serious situation.
This was the darkest part of Nigerian history with 1 million people dead. The towns were entirely demolished and the entire generation stripped of its innocence and its recently earned independence. It seemed that the colonialist made the country more independent that they were after the independence attainment.

The Nigerian government waging war on the Igbo’s secessionists had put all the nation civilians at great danger. The Igbo’s secessionists made heinous repercussions with the intervention of the Nigerian government of their scramble for supremacy and their need to control the country. The rigged elections caused more imbalance as the different groups scramble for power. Their different beliefs of leading the country led to the death of 1 million people who paid their price.

The Igbo secessionists wanted to take advantage of the weak environment after the departure of the colonialist knowing that the people had no faith in the government due to the rigged elections. The rich southern region was facing threats from the poor northern Igbos. This need to control the most resource-rich region in the south created the rush to own it. The unstable government had no trust from its people and the northern Igbos wanted to take advantage of the situation.

The story talks about people’s belief in freedom and national identity. It shows how struggle for power makes the power evil. The vicious power struggle made people fight and regardless of the government’s mediation, their greed for power still pursued. The struggle for power between the north and the south Igbos led to heightened tension and war.

The northern Igbos belief of possessing power to control the north and the southern Igbos belief of possessing control of the south led to pandemonium. The instigating of wars in the sake of national-identity formation is ridiculous. So many people died during their struggle for acclaiming the power.

The story also shows the importance of a strong national government that can take control of situations such as the rebels. The weakness of the Nigerian government at that time in taking control of the situation and stopping the war that was impending was seriously troubling. The government’s inability to control the country was part to blame.

In conclusion
It is important for other people to learn from the aftermath of struggle for supremacy and power to control. The need to fight for beliefs that are worthless like the freedom and national identity is stupendously stupid. After the colonial government’s departure, freedom was finally attained; but to other people it was not. The need for a country to have a strong and powerful government is equally important. Their strength is vital in suppressing the upcoming rebellion of led with power hungry individuals in the name of freedom.

Works cited
Achebe, Chinua. Girls at War and Other Stories. New York: Anchor Books, 1991. Internet resource.
Achebe, Chinua. Girls at War and Other Stories. New York: Anchor Books, 1991. Internet resource.