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The political and social system of the Yoruba accordingly allowed for greater upward mobility, based on acquired rather than inherited wealth and title.
In contrast to the two other groups, the Igbo in the southeast lived mostly in autonomous, democratically organised communities, although there were eze or monarchs in many of the ancient cities, such as the Kingdom of Nri.
In its zenith the Kingdom controlled most of Igbo land, including influence on the Anioma people, Arochukwu (which controlled slavery in Igbo), and Onitsha land.
Unlike the other two regions, decisions within the Igbo communities were made by a general assembly in which men could participate.
The Nigerian Civil War, commonly known as the Biafran War (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970), was a war fought between the government of Nigeria and the secessionist state of Biafra.
Biafra represented nationalist aspirations of the Igbo people, whose leadership felt they could no longer coexist with the Northern-dominated federal government.
More than fifty years earlier, the United Kingdom had carved an area out of West Africa containing hundreds of different ethnic groups and unified it, calling it Nigeria.
The three predominant groups were the Igbo, which formed between 60–70% of the population in the southeast; the Hausa-Fulani, which formed about 65% of the peoples in the northern part of the territory; and the Yoruba, which formed about 75% of the population in the southwestern part.
Intended for better administration due to the close proximity of these protectorates, the change did not account for the great difference in the cultures and religions of the peoples in each area.
A chief function of this political system in this context was to maintain conservative values, which caused many Hausa-Fulani to view economic and social innovation as subversive or sacrilegious.