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

The Bight of Bonny (also known as the Bight of Biafra) 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 till Cape Lopez in Gabon.

Countries located at the Bight of Bonny are Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (including Annobon), São Tomé and Príncipe and Gabon.

History

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 Bights 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.
Bight of Bonny in 1841.

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

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. People who still consider themselves Biafrans live in various parts of the world today.

References

Coordinates: 2°50′00″N 8°00′00″E / 2.8333333433333°N 8.00000001°E / 2.8333333433333; 8.00000001

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