Bight of Biafra

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Map of the Gulf of Guinea showing the Bight of Bonny.

The Bight of Biafra (also known as the Bight of Bonny) is a bight off the West African coast, in the easternmost part (beyond the Bight of Benin to the West) of the Gulf of Guinea. It extends from the River Delta of the Niger in the north until it reaches Cape Lopez in Gabon.[1]

Countries located at the Bight of Bonny are Nigeria (eastern coast), Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (Boko Island and Rio Muni), and Gabon (northern coast).

History[edit]

On 30 June 1849, Britain established a colonial protectorate over the Bight of Biafra, under the authority of the British Consuls of the Bight of Benin:

  • May 1852 - 1853 Louis Fraser
  • 1853 - April 1859 Benjamin Campbell
  • April 1859 - 1860 George Brand
  • 1860 - January 1861 Henry Hand
  • January 1861 - May 1861 Henry Grant Foote
  • May 1861 - 6 August 1861 William McCoskry (acting)

On 6 August 1861, the Bight of Biafra and the neighboring Bight of Benin protectorate (under its own British consuls) became a united British protectorate Bights of Biafra and Benin, again under British consuls:

  • 1861 - December 1864 Richard Francis Burton
  • December 1864 - 1873 Charles Livingstone
  • 1873 - 1878 George Hartley
  • 1878 - 13 September 1879 David Hopkins
  • 13 September 1879 - 5 June 1885 Edward Hyde Hewett.

From 16 July 1884, it merged into the British protectorate over Brass, Bonny, Opobo, Aboh and Old Calabar (excluding Lagos Colony), which was confirmed on 5 June 1885, and named Oil Rivers Protectorate, where, on August 1891, effective consular administration was established, headed by a consul general (on 5 June 1885, the aforementoned former consul Edward Hyde Hewett became the first). The area would, in different steps, merge further via the 12 May 1893 Niger Coast Protectorate, 1 January 1900 (renamed Southern Nigeria Protectorate into which, on 16 February 1906, Lagos was incorporated), on 28 February 1906 made into the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria. From 1 January 1914, it was part of Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.

The bight was renamed within independent Nigeria in 1972, when after the Biafran War, the Nigerian government wanted to remove the name of the secessionist Biafra.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Benin, Bight of." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Library Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 2°50′N 8°0′E / 2.833°N 8.000°E / 2.833; 8.000