Nigeria: The Secret Furies

In January, when the army overthrew Nigeria's government in a blaze of gunfire, all eyes turned instinctively to the fearsome, feudal Moslem tribes that rule the northern two-thirds of the land. Led by a group of officers from the non-Moslem Ibo tribe in the South, the coup had broken the Northerners' long political hold over Nigeria. It had also taken the lives of the nation's two most prominent Northerners: Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and the revered Sardauna of Sokoto, a portly potentate who was both political and spiritual leader of 12,500,000 Nigerian Moslems. Would the North, whose ferocious...