Clamor for Secession in Nigeria “a problem of bad governance”: Christian Leaders

Map of Nigeria. Credit: Public domain

The push for secession from a section of Nigerians is a manifestation of “bad governance”, representatives of Christian leaders in the West African country have said.

“More people and groups are clamoring for secession from Nigeria. You cannot blame the citizens, because it’s a problem of bad governance,” an official of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has been quoted as saying in a Tuesday, October 5 news report.

CAN’s Director of National Issues and Social Welfare who was reacting to Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe’s claim that over 30 secessionist groups exist in Southeastern Nigeria blamed the clamor for secession to marginalization.

The government’s failure to meet the basic needs of the citizens is behind the push for the creation of a new state, Bishop Stephen Adegbite says in the October 5 report, and explains, “If the ordinary citizen is able to meet up with the necessities of life, nobody will seek to secede from Nigeria."

Until the basic needs of the people of God in Nigeria are met, the CAN official says, “The agitation by secessionists will continue to mount.”


In a news report published August 3, there are numerous advocates of separatism in Nigeria, the two most prominent being Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho.

The two advocates for the creation of a new State share some goals, and an enemy in the Federal government, but their ethnic bases are different, the report indicates.

According to the report, Kanu, the founder of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), aims at establishing an independent state of Biafra in Southeastern Nigeria.

Outlawed by the federal government in 2017, IPOB draws on memories of an independent Biafra defeated in the 1967–70 Nigerian Civil War, which reportedly killed up to two million people. Most supporters of Biafra are ethnically Igbo, according to reports.

In late 2020, IPOB formed an armed wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), ostensibly to protect the predominantly Christian Igbo from Fulani Muslim herders.

More in Africa

In the October 5 news report, CAN’s Director of National Issues and Social Welfare says Nigeria is "at crossroads and the situation is becoming alarming".

He calls on the Muhammadu Buhari-led government to reach out to citizens of Africa’s most populous nation and discuss the unity of the country for the well-being of everyone.

“We plead with the government to create room for us to sit-down as brothers and sisters and dialogue to make progress," CAN’s Director of National Issues and Social Welfare says.

The official of the Christian leaders’ forum that includes members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) adds, “Unless the Federal Government brings Nigerians together to sit-down and discuss the structure and unity of this country, there may be no end in sight for the agitations.” 

“Our leaders must exercise fair play, justice, and equity. We should stop pretending that all is well with our people,” Bishop Adegbite says in the October 5 report.


“If someone is not comfortable, the tendency to complain and seek to get out of the situation will arise," the Methodist Bishop says, and adds, "Letour leaders ensure that Nigeria is governed properly.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.