Britain and the Soviet Union were the main supporters of the Nigerian government in Lagos, while France, Israel and some other countries supported Biafra.France and Israel provided weapons to both combatants.The differing political systems among these three peoples reflected and produced divergent customs and values.The Hausa-Fulani commoners, having contact with the political system only through a village head designated by the Emir or one of his subordinates, did not view political leaders as amenable to influence. As with all other authoritarian and liberal religious and political systems, leadership positions were given to persons willing to be subservient and loyal to superiors.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.In contrast to the Hausa-Fulani, the Igbo often participated directly in the decisions which affected their lives.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.
When the war broke out in 1967, there were still 5,000 Igbo in Lagos.
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 blockade imposed during the ensuing stalemate led to severe famine.
During the two and half years of the war, there were about 100,000 overall military casualties, while between 500,000 and 2 million Biafran civilians died from starvation.
After the amalgamation, oil was discovered in Eastern Nigeria (now southern South Nigeria).