The Eastern Province of Nigeria was conquered, in its entirety, in 1914. The battle for Igbo-lands, Ibibio and by extension Ogoja land raged on for thirteen years. The war in Igbo land was frosted in cunning tactic on the part of the Igbo. It was complicated by the fact that Igbo towns were small and independent of a centralized political authority.
The British had to fight a town once at a time, and had to return to re-fight a conquered town. By 1899, the British had thought defeating the Aro people of Arochukwu was enough to achieve military and political control of the hinterland. The Aro people actually mobilized resistances before the invading British began the “Aro Expedition” in late November 1901. Although the Aro people were defeated December 1901, the Aro War actually ended in March 1902.
The first trait of a prolong war in Eastern Nigeria was observed after the fall of the Aro people. Two groups that were supposed to go down with the Aro people began staging independent resistances. The British mounted an expedition against the first group Olokoro clan of Umuahia, and later against the second group, Uzuakoli village-group in Bende. Then came series of military actions against Igbo towns and villages.
In 1904, the British initiated the Akwete Patrol, and in the same year, prosecuted the Onitsha Expedition.
In 1905, military actions were taken. Ezza, Ovoro, Nonya, Onicha and Ahiara were defeated.
In 1907, Isuikwuato, Urualla, Etche, Ntarakpu and Isiagu were conquered.
The British entered into large-scale war, sending scores of military units to several villages in 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912 and 1914. Eleven expeditions were launched after the 1914 Amalgamation of Nigeria. In spite of the successful takeover of the area in 1914, British troops continued marching to and fro Igbo-land confronting violence and resistances up till 1917.
The antidote that cured the resistance for good was the arrest and molestation of elders by the British. Before then, people in conquered communities would gather to welcome British troops, giving them water, fruits and food. But they would soon stage a resistance once the British forces have marched down to the next village.


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