Thursday, 22 June 2017

54th birthday of Emma Okocha

(Born 22 June 1963, Asaba, Biafra: onye amuma ndiigbo)
FOOTBALLER, sports administrator, journalist, freedom activist, onye amuma ndiigbo, the courageous 4-year-old who, at at the third month of phase-III of the Igbo genocide, survives the Saturday 7 October 1967 mass execution of  700 Igbo boys and men, by a genocidist Nigeria military brigade commanded by Murtala Mohammed and Ibrahim Haruna and Ibrahim Taiwo in Asaba, twin Oshimili River port, during which most of his family and other relatives are murdered; author of Blood on the Niger (TriAtlantic Books, 2006), compulsory reference in the study of the Igbo genocide, carried out by Nigeria and strategic ally Britain, which meticulously catalogues the savagery and aftermath of the Asaba execution.
Hundreds of other Igbo boys and men are also slaughtered by the Mohammed-Haruna-Taiwo brigade in several other towns and villages in this Anioma region of Biafra, west of the Oshimili, as  Okafor Udoka has shown (Okafor Udoka, “Lest we forget the genocide of Asaba”, Skytrend News, 6 October 2014). Ifeanyi Uriah, now 62, another survivor of the Asaba execution, recalls, in an interview with Udoka, the haunting memory of 7 October 1967:
I cannot tell this story without tears in my eyes … They [genocidist brigade] ordered everyone to come out to the [Asaba] town square … They were honest with us. They told us they were going to kill us. They took us to the mounted machine guns. Then it dawned on us that it was true. I was standing with my older brother at the edge of the crowd. He was holding my hand. He had always taken care of me. We shared the same bed. He was the first to be dragged away by the soldiers. He let go of my hand and pushed me into the crowd. He was shot in the back. I could see the blood gushing from his back. He was the first victim of the massacre. Then all hell let loose. I lost count of time. To this day, I live with the smell of the blood of my brethren that night. Even the heavens wept for the victims of this holocaust. Finally the bullets stopped (Udoka: 2014).
*****Nigeria and Britain murdered 3.1 million Igbo people or 25 per cent of Igbo population during the three phases of the genocide – 29 May 1966-12 January 1970. This genocide, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, inaugurated Africa’s current age of pestilence, and its phase-IV, launched on 13 January 1970 in which tens of thousands of additional Igbo have been murdered, continues till this day.  

The world could have stopped this genocide; the world should have stopped this genocide. The world can stop this ongoing genocide. To understand the politics of the Igbo genocide and the politics of the “post”-Igbo genocide is to have an invaluable insight into the salient features and constitutive indices of politics across Africa in the past 50 years.
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Alabama” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone, McCoy Tyner, piano; Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Jazz Casual [Ralph Gleason], National Educational Television, KQED Studios, San Francisco, US, 1 November 1963])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

FOR THE RECORD … A Nigerian trooper who participates in his Nigeria genocidist brigade’s gory massacres of peaceful Biafra freedom celebrants of Heroes Day in Onicha (west Biafra) and other neighbouring towns and villages on 29 May 2016 is so distraught over the heinous crimes committed by his force that he decides to contact the Nigeria media – here he speaks to the Premium Times, Lagos, 13 June 2016. The Onicha massacres are part of a long stretch of murders carried out by the Hausa-Fulani/islamist-led genocidist Nigeria state in phase-IV of the Igbo genocide it launched with its co-genocidist suzerain state Britain on 13 January 1970. Tens of thousands of Igbo have been murdered during the course of this death campaign. In the earlier three phases of the genocide, 29 May I966-12 January 1970, the duo genocidists murdered 3.1 million Igbo people or 25 per cent of the Igbo population. The Igbo genocide is the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa


Emmanual Mayah“SPECIAL REPORT: How the Onitsha massacre of pro-Biafra supporters was coordinated – SSS operative”, Premium Times, Lagos, 13 June 2016 [Rethinking Africa is publishing this entire report including subtitles from the original without editing]

A WEEK after the slaying of pro-Biafra demonstrators in Onitsha, details of how the mass killing was coordinated by security forces have emerged.

PREMIUM TIMES has obtained an insider account by a whistleblower, who is an operative of the State Security Service.

The same whistleblower had reached out and provided vital information to two human rights organization, the Amnesty International and the Intersociety for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law.

Blowing the whistle
The operative, who was part of the security joint operation but is now disturbed by the manner soldiers “refused to play by the rule”, contacted a trusted human rights activist.

The identity of the whistleblower is being concealed so he is not punished by the authorities. His recorded narrative is however in the possession of this newspaper.

The whistleblower stated that the operation started with medium use of force on the night of May 29.
The following morning, the joint task force moved from the Onitsha Army Barracks to the rally venue on Nkpor-Umuoji Road only to find a crowd of pro-Biafra supporters who had been battered the night before by invading soldiers in the premises of St Edmunds Catholic Primary School.

The crowd, joined by newcomers, was by now in a resistance mood.

At that point the JTF retreated to Onitsha Military Barracks. The retreat infuriated Cantonment Commander, Issah M. Abdullahi, a colonel, who ordered them back to clear the venue and roads of all “miscreants.”

With this firm directive, the JTF, dominated by soldiers and led by Major C.O. Ibrahim of the Nigerian Military Police, stormed the streets and the event venue.

The rest is history. The whistleblower said that while other members of the JTF were minimizing the use of force, soldiers recklessly opened fire at crowds, shooting at close range, and “wasting people indiscriminately.”

Passersby and people in their homes and shops were not spared of stray bullets, the SSS operative said.

He said it got to a point where injured pro-Biafra supporters, seeing the countless bodies of their colleagues on the ground, opened their arms wide, advanced towards the soldiers screaming that they too should be killed.

Three military trucks were used to cart away heaps of dead bodies.

According to the whistleblower, there are two cemeteries inside the Onitsha Army Barracks. Though reserved for fallen soldiers, victims of the massacre were buried in the cemetery close to Yahweh Church, inside the barracks.

The whistleblower added that in the evening of the same day when everyone thought the dust had settled, JTF operatives invaded the Nnewi Teaching Hospital and to the fury of nurses, abducted 12 gunshot victims and seven of their relations looking after them.

The 19, including women, were brought before the Commissioner of Police, Hosea Karma. He claimed that the commissioner accused the 19 of threatening the security of the state.

He would however order that the wounded men be returned to the hospital while their family members be taken away by SARS for interrogation. Human rights activists familiar with police tactics in Nigeria say that interrogation by SARS is a euphemism for torture.

Continuing his narrative, the whistleblower said that on June 2, two days after the massacre, soldiers stormed the Nnewi hospital and arrested eight of the 12 critical injured men the commissioner had earlier sent back to hospital.

Their whereabouts remain unknown.

PREMIUM TIMES separately gathered that on June 3, five men with serious bullet wounds were transferred by soldiers from Onitsha Army Barracks to the State CID and dumped inside a cell without any medical attention.

We are unable to ascertain if the five men were among the eight abducted from Nnewi Teaching Hospital the day before. The name of one of the abducted men is given as Ugoo K.C.

As the news spread that soldiers had invaded the Nnewi Teaching Hospital, gunshot victims in other hospitals begged their relations to move them to other states.

Among those moved to Abia State were Chidi Nwigwe, Uchenna Odaa, Ezeaka Ejike, Chima Anamuasonye, Nwaowe John, Ifeanyi C. Azubuike and Ugochukwu Nnamu. Those moved to Enugu included Ifeanyi Ogumma and Arinze Aja.

Since the whistleblower’s account, human rights groups have worked their contacts in the various security outfits to check out the story.

A security source, another SSS source and a military police source individually confirmed that a mass burial occurred in the afternoon of Wednesday, June 1 in a military cemetery, near Yahweh Church, inside the Onitsha Military Barracks.

The military police source added that a total of 15 graves were prepared with some taking as many as 10 bodies while some contained only five.

To hell and back: an escapee experience
‘To hell and back’ is the only way to summarize the experience of Henry Ibebuike Enekwe, the 32-year old electrical engineer who was abducted by soldiers on his way to Enugu.

News of Mr. Enekwe’s abduction was widely circulated by the human rights coalition called the Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations.

Recounting his ordeal, Mr. Enekwe, who is not an IPOB member, said he was on his way to Enugu from Onitsha to seal an electrical-installation contract with a Lagos-based businessman. In the morning of the D-Day, May 30, 2016, he was abducted by soldiers and taken to the Onitsha Military Cantonment.

“I live at Nkpor-Agu. The greatest shock of my live was witnessing the killing of three young men returning from early-morning mass in front of the street leading to St Edmunds Catholic Church Nkpor-Agu (Early-morning mass is a daily ritual for Catholic communities). I was arrested and thrown inside a military truck. I think the three young men panicked when they saw the soldiers waving their guns and barking. They attempted to run and right before my very eyes, the soldiers fired at them one after the other. They picked up their corpses and threw them like logs of wood into the same truck I was sitting inside. The soldiers moved from that street to another, arresting people and throwing them inside the same truck and killing others and picking up their bodies. They were acting like hunters on a hunting expedition.

“When we got to the barracks, I saw heaps of bodies on the ground. Those still breathing were dumped together with the dead. Another military vehicle brought in a new set of corpses. Later in the evening, all the corpses were taken in the direction of a nursery and primary school inside the barracks. I never saw anything again because we were taken into a cell,” Mr. Enekwe recounted.

While in captivity, Mr. Enekwe said he and other detainees were tortured every morning by soldiers.

“The soldiers call it morning tea. They force us to lie on a long bench and flog you with koboko (horsewhip) till you begin to bleed. When blood comes out, they pour water on wounds and continue to flog you to bring out more blood. As they flogged us, they rain curses on our mothers, our fathers and our [people],” Mr. Enekwe recalled.

In a little office filled with sympathizers, among them a PREMIUM TIMES reporter, Mr. Enekwe told human rights activists that in the night of Wednesday June 1, about 8.30pm, soldiers guarding his cell crudely announced to the detainees: “We don give your brothers mass burial today and if you people mess up, you will join them and nothing will happen.”

The engineer further added that in the early hours of June 3, about 1.30am, soldiers came to his cell and moved some detainees, including six groaning with gunshot wounds. They were never returned to the cell till June 4, when he regained his freedom.

Mr. Enekwe said he was lucky to have come out of military detention alive. His rescue was made possible by family contacts within the SSS. It could not be confirmed but someone in the Ebonyi State Directorate of the SSS is believed to have contacted a senior SSS colleague in Anambra. He was told that his SSS savior came six times to the Onitsha military barracks but was each time told Mr. Enekwe was not in their custody.

Inefficient Human Right Desk
In February this year, the Nigerian Army announced the establishment of what it called the Army Human Right Desk. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Tukur Buratai, represented at the commissioning by the Chief of Civil-Military Affairs (CCMA), Rogers Nicholas, had said the establishment of the desk office was borne out of the increasing interest of the local and international human rights bodies on what the army was doing in the North East and other parts of the country.

He had added that the human right desk was facilitated by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), assuring that the Nigerian Army under his leadership would investigate all cases of human rights complaints brought before it.

That has not happened. The litmus test was the invasion by soldiers same month of a prayer meeting inside the National High School Aba and the shooting dead of 22 unarmed pro-Biafra sympathizers whose bodies were later dumped in a borrow pit. The Army announced it had dispatched an investigation team to Aba but almost four months after, the outcome of the  military investigation is yet to be made public.

Massacre on Heroes Day

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that May 30 every year is set aside since 1966 for remembrance of fallen heroes of Igbo Ethnic nationality. In 2014 and 2015 the day was marked in Enugu and Aba and by Igbo diaspora in Europe, America, Canada and some countries of Africa. Programme of events include lectures, church services and solemn procession. There are no street protests or armed activities.

It was further gathered that Onitsha was chosen for this year’s celebration. An expanse of land along Nkpor-Umuoji Road, close to ALO Aluminum Industry Ltd, was chosen as venue. The land belongs to a cooperative run by a traders’ association which had acquired same for the building of residential houses by its members.
The leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) showed this newspaper a copy of a notification letter addressed to and sent to the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Hosea Karma, requesting security protection at the venue.

The letter dated May 23, 2016 was signed on May 24, 2016 by Uchenna Asiegbu of the IOPB’s Directorate of State. A security source said the letter became the “working document” for counter-strategies against the Heroes Day celebration.

In the night of May 29, the eve of the anniversary, blockades were mounted on all roads leading into Onitsha by soldiers, some of whom were said to have come from 82 Division Enugu. The sealed roads were Onitsha-Owerri Expressway to stop IPOB/MASSOB supporters coming in from Imo, Abia, Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom States; the Asaba-Onitsha Expressway to prevent travelers coming in from Lagos, Edo and northern part of the country; and the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway to contain those arriving from Enugu, Ebonyi, Cross Rivers, Benue and Kogi States.

Innocent travellers and IPOB sympathizers alike were allegedly pulled out of buses, verbally attacked, flogged with horsewhip and hit with the butt of the gun.

At the Delta end of the Niger Bridge, some passengers were shot at, arrested and taken away. Some night travellers, who were neither IPOB/MASSOB members nor aware of anything called Heroes Day were equally beaten up by soldiers.

Not a few, including women and teenagers, had to run into the bush and remained there all night.

The whistleblower told a trusted human rights campaigner that to the chagrin of anti-riot policemen and operatives of the SSS, rampaging soldiers “hijacked the security operation” kicking passengers, ordering them to lie face down on the dirt, shooting indiscriminately and mouthing ethnic slurs.

Meanwhile IPOB/MASSOB supporters who had entered Onitsha before the blockades made their way to the venue of the Heroes Day celebration. In their hundreds they camped out in a primary school close to St. Edmunds Catholic Church at Nkpor-Agu. The pro-Biafra supporters said that minutes before 2am when most of them were sound asleep, soldiers invaded the school, shooting into the crowd. Those who could run did so but that did not stop the bullets hitting them from behind. The exact number of people killed in the primary school or left with bullet wounds is difficult to tell as most of the victims had arrived from different states and did not particularly know one another.

Survivors said the dead and some of the wounded were taken away in military trucks. Those arrested were packed into the same trucks carrying the dead and taken to the Onitsha Military Barracks.

The D-Day
In the morning of May 30, the D-Day, news of the killings of sleeping men at the school near St. Edmund Catholic Church had been heard in Onitsha, Asaba and different parts of the South East.
In Onitsha, dozens of trucks and vans filled with soldiers in combat gears raced down major roads and streets. Any gathering of three or more people was at risk of being fired upon.

Shootings were recorded at hotspots in Onitsha and environs including Nkpor Junction, Eke-Nkpor –Umuoji road, Afor-Nkpor to Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, Flyover Bridge by New Parts Market, Ojoto- Umuoji road, Ifite-Dunu, Ogbunike and Ogidi.

Following the blockade of every road leading to the event venue, the pro-Biafra leaders resorted to using mobile phones to coordinate their members. Thousands soon assembled simultaneously at three strategic spots: the Asaba-Abraka Junction by BridgeHead in Delta State, Ifite-Dunu and Ojoto/Umuoji. From these different spots, the three different crowds began to match into Onitsha with the open-air venue as destination.

Not everyone made it to the Heroes Day venue. Way before sunset, 14 critically injured citizens were writhing on the floor of the Nnewi Teaching Hospital, 15 at the Multicare Hospital in Nkpor and nine at St Mary’s Hospital, Nnewi.

Several private hospitals, including the Crown Hospital and St Michael Hospitals in Nkpor were equally recipients of gunshot emergencies. Same for medical facilities in Asaba and Okija.

The Acting Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Delta State, Charles Muka, had in a statement said that five members of the pro-Biafra group were killed by military officers after confrontations along the Asaba-Onitsha Expressway.

But that was only in Delta State. In the push from Delta into Anambra, two policemen were pushed into the River Niger. One drowned, the other was rescued. A Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) was stabbed to death in Onitsha. His name was given as Genesis Akagha. He was from Umu Ororonjo in Owerri Municipal, Imo State.

Family members told PREMIUM TIMES that the late Mr. Akagha was just transferred to Sapele in Delta State and was to resume at his new post the same week he was killed.

Victims’ identities

IPOB and the human rights organization, the Intersociety, said no less than 29 civilians were killed in Asaba alone. The Asaba victims included Ichoku Ndu, Ebere Obidike, Nwabueze Uzonna, Okey Roland, Chukwudi Ifenna, Isaac Uzochukwu, Eberima Aguh, Henry Gideon, Efion Apani, Abuchi Obi, Ozoemena Chukwuma, Lotenna Ifeajuna, Ifebuchi Okenwa, Wisdom Omota, Ejike Abunchukwu, Ozobu Ogbonna, Emeka Madueke, Paschal Gideon, Afam Onyeburu, Izu Onwubiewe, Okey Agubata, Celestine Nnamdi, Obieke Lotenna, Nwabueze Oti, Chijioke Ozoro, Nwadike Chibuzo, Azuka Ifeake, Chioma Nkemjika and Obiora Okonkwo.

PREMIUM TIMES also gathered that in addition to the Asaba casualties, killings recorded elsewhere in Onitsha and environs were as high as 90 deaths. Intersociety claims a death toll of over 120.

The names of some of the victims were given as Obi Nkemakonam, Ubani Nwenneakonam, Nwuzo Friday, Ilo Friday, Olisama Chukwuemeka, Awah Sopuruchi, Okoye Chinedu, Ezeilo Chuka, Onyeduna Ifesinachi, Nnamani Sunday, Chinonso Amadi, Tagbo Chibuzo, Anyanwu Chika, Egbe Johnson, Osukwe Ijeoma, Nkechukwu Ikechukwu, Kenneth Eni, Orjichukwu Chigozie, Solomon Izundu, Ebili Edward, Gabriel Onyedikachi, Ilo Ozoemena, Nwauju Charles, Onuoha Chidozie, Onyemaechi Nwaezeoma, Innocent Obodoekwe, Ifeanyi Azubuike, Adigwe Chukwudi, Ogochukwu Mbam, Obiosa Chukwueme, Ugochukwu Samuel, Onuoha Chigozie, Maduka Egwela, John Onuchukwu, Maduabuchi Onwukanjo, Izuchukwu Nwaogba, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Ibekwe Okechukwu, Felix Odianwu, Okafor Moses Madukasi and Egwu Joseph.

Like Tiananmen Square

Security operation of May 30 in Onitsha has variously been compared to the Tiananmen Square Massacre in China, in 1989.  IPOB alleges ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Heads of the different security units involved in the Heroes Day operations included Col Isah M. Abdullahi who is the Onitsha Military Cantonment Commander; Commissioner of Police, Hosea Karma; Major C.O. Ibrahim of the Nigerian Military Police at Onitsha Army Barracks; Deputy Commissioner of Police J.B. Kokomo, who is the deputy commissioner in charge of operations in the Anambra State Police Command; DCP Makama, Second–in-command, Anambra State Police Command;  Assistant Commissioner of Police H. Ezekiel who is the Onitsha Area Commander;  Superintendent of Police Rabiu Garba, the DPO of Fegge Police Station; Superintendent of Police, Mark Ijaradu of Inland Town police unit; CSP Kayode Olabanji of Okpoko police station.

Officers of the Ogidi Police unit also participated in the security operations but PREMIUM TIMES was unable to confirm the identity of the Head of the unit.

Aside those killed or critically wounded, dozens of others have gone missing. Family members said they initially thought their missing relatives were among the over 100 people arrested and held in various detention facilities including the Onitsha Army Barracks, the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) at Awkuzu, the Nigerian Prisons in Onitsha and the State CID at Awka.

They have gone from one detention centre to another; visited hospitals and mortuaries yet cannot find their loved ones. Following the Heroes Day rally, soldiers and SARS operatives have routinely invaded homes at midnight, abducting men from their beds. One of them is Chikezie Nwodo, a native of Enugu State.
Human rights organizations working in the South East said that before the rally, over 600 people were documented to have been arrested, tortured and being held without trial in prisons in different parts of the country.

Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe



89th birthday of Eric Dolphy

(Born 20 June 1928, Los Angeles, US)
Multiinstrumentalist genius – alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, bassoon, oboe… – whose compositions, recordings and evocative soloing with any chosen instrument in his own multicombo-led settings and across a range of collaborative ensembles (especially those led by drummers Chico Hamilton and Max Roach, alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman, pianists George Russell and Andrew Hill, tenor and soprano saxophonist John Coltrane and bassist Charles Mingus) have a distinctly recognisable Dolphyian signature and impacted the jazz repertoire most profoundly
(Eric Dolphy Quartet, “Softly as in a morning sunrise” [personnel: Dolphy, bass clarinet; Herbie Hancock, piano; Eddie Khan, bass; JC Moses, drums; recorded: live, University of Illinoi, Champaign, Illinoi, 10 March 1963])
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe


Sunday, 18 June 2017

Reminiscences – the “dot” is at once a colossus: Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, general of the people’s resistance, highlights grounding statistics on Biafra during phase-II of the Igbo genocide, 30 May 1967

(General of the people’s resistance)
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-OjukwuThey call us a dot on the map, and nobody’s sure quite where. Inside that dot were 700 lawyers, 500 physicians, 300 engineers, 8 million poets, 2 novelists of the first rank, and God knows what else – about one-third of all [Africanintellectuals in Africa. Some dot. Those intellectuals had once fanned out all over Nigeria … where they had been envied and lynched and massacred. So they retreated to their homeland, to the dot (30 May 1967) (added emphasis).

DURING phases I-III of the Igbo genocide, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970, Nigeria and its co-genocidist suzerain-state Britain murdered 3.1 million Igbo people, 25 per cent of the Igbo population, in this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa. Tens of thousands of additional Igbo have been murdered by the dual-genocidists subsequently, in phase-IV of the genocide, begun on 13 January 1970 and continues till this day.
(colossus on the map)
(Tina Brooks Sextet, “Back to the tracks” [personnel: Brooks, tenor saxophone; Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Jackie McLean, alto saxophone; Kenny Drew, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Art Taylor, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, US, 1 September 1960])
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The British proconsul or Britain’s chief representative to genocidist Nigeria


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

Few now fail to observe the unassailable ascent of the Biafra freedom movement. The convulsive desperation being exhibited presently by the British chief representative to genocidist Nigeria in speech after speech in this “country” of Britain’s denouncing Igbo/other African peoples’ rights to self-determination speaks volumes of British acknowledgement, however belated, 51 years later, that neither it nor its client co-genocidist state Nigeria can stop the triumph of Biafra freedom. No one else can. The Igbo are gone! Gone! Free!

Some would probably argue that the chief representative’s rantings, condemning African peoples’ inalienable rights to freedom whilst on the ground in the “foreign land” of their posting as a “diplomat”, is “not diplomatic”. This representative would retort, and correctly so, that their position in Nigeria is far beyond that of the “conventional diplomat” but that of a proconsul – from suzerain state Britain.

“Driving seats” of freedom

Two major unfolding events in Britain itself and the perceived, related consequences that these could have on the politics of the ongoing Igbo genocide waged by both Britain and Nigeria account for this proconsul’s unrestrained utterances on African freedom and feeling of bitterness: (1) Scotland’s (nation and state positioned at north region of Britain) quest for restoration-of-independence from Britain after 310 years of union and (2) British departure from the European Union after 44 years of union. Both “unions”, it must be stressed, were consummated because of the voluntary wish or disposition of each of the constituent members/parties. 

As I have shown elsewhere 
(http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/rights-for-
scots-rights-for-igbo.html), Scotland is a very unlikely candidate to wish to leave the British Union given the exponential benefits that it has derived from the association for three centuries but the Scots insist that they want to exercise their inalienable right to freedom, a right recognised by the United Nations as a right for all peoples. Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish first minister couldn’t be clearer on this goal of the Scottish mission: “Our dream is for Scotland to become independent … To be in the driving seat of our own destiny, to shape our own future”. In her own 29 May 2017 letter to EU President Donald Tusk formally triggering British exit from the EU, British Prime Minister Theresa May unequivocally strikes the chord of freedom: “[we are leaving the EU] to restore our self-determination”.

Both Sturgeon and May declarations on freedom are at the core of the historic Igbo freedom resolve made on 29 May 1966, 51 years earlier, to exit from the British-created Nigeria conquest-“federation” in response to the Anglo-Nigeria launch of the Igbo genocide, this foundational genocide of post-(European conquest) Africa. Both genocidist states’ collaborators murdered 3.1 million Igbo people, 25 per cent of this nation’s population, during phases I-III of the genocide (29 May 1966-12 January 1970) and have subsequently murdered tens of thousands of additional Igbo during phase-IV of the crime which continues to this day.

In the wake of Brexit and the Scots’ restoration-of-independence drive, such high-profile and most unprecedented manifestations of freedom for the peoples not seen recently within Britain, the British government has no confidence at all that its clients in Nigeria can adequately articulate the seeming complexity of explaining to African peoples in Nigeria why their “country” should be waging a 50-year-old genocide against Igbo people, an African people, for demanding to be free to be in the “driving seat of [their] destiny, to shape [their] own future”, “to restore [their] self-determination”, just as the Scots and the other constituent peoples in contemporary Britain so wish. 

That task of explaining has been assigned to its chief representative in Nigeria and the outcome is the staggering racist vituperation voiced by the envoy and covered in the media in Nigeria. Reading through the vitriol, it appears that the proconsul is not only actively waging this phase of the Igbo genocide but is also confronting the Igbo all over again as in the enslaved plantation estates of Virginia, the Carolinas and elsewhere in southern United States and in Jamaica and Barbados and Saint Domingue of the Caribbean after not too many centuries since... The hostility to African freedom can indeed be devastating to the psyche of its assailant(s)… A Fanonian diagnosis here couldnt be more instructive. 

Genesis

British chief representatives in genocidist Nigeria as proconsul did not, of course, emerge with the recent dramatic developments of Scottish freedom and Brexit. Nigeria, it cannot be exaggerated, belongs to Britain; Nigeria is Britain’s (for a more expansive range of discourse on this theme, see Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe“Igbo genocide, Britain and the United States”, http://re-
thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/herbert-ekwe-ekwe-conquerors-concord-in.html).

Right from the outset, beginning of the Igbo genocide in May 1966, the resident British chief representative, Francis Cumming-Bruce, was proconsul liaising unabashedly with Yakubu Gowon-Yakubu Danjuma-Murtala Mohammed genocidist cells in the Nigeria military and civilian genocidist operatives who were on their premeditated goal raging and murdering any and all Igbo in their sights. During phase-III of the genocide (6 July 1967-12 January 1970), some ex-British conquest administrators/officials who had worked in Nigeria and were back home were often tagged as more “coherent spokespersons” who “rationalised” the genocide than the official Nigerian genocidist spokespersons especially Tony EnaharoAlison AyidaMurtala MohammedObafemi AwolowoThe British Broadcasting Corporation, that state broadcaster, particularly its World Service channel, was nothing short of being the external radio station for the prosecuting Nigeria genocidist junta in Lagos. This service was much more robust in its “rationalisation” of the genocide (“one Nigeria”, “territorial integrity”, “inviolability of colonial-set frontiers”, “indissolubility of colonial-set borders”, “rebels”, “unacceptable precedence for rest of Africa”, “secessionist!”, “secessionist!”, “secessionist!”…) than the rambling, ramshackle Voice of Nigeria

We should note that neither the BBC nor any major broadcaster, news agency, webcaster and the like in the European World/West would dare use any or a variation of the epithets in the parenthesis above employed to demonise Igbo freedom in commentaries/discussion on the Scottish freedom movement or those of the English, Welsh or Irish peoples of the British Isles or indeed that of Catalonian people in Spain currently on course.

Biafra mission

Biafrans have an opportunity to begin to build a new civilisation where human life, fundamentally, is sacrosanct. This salient feature cannot be overstressed. Nigeria has been, for the Igbo, a haematophagous quagmire throughout its history especially since 1945 when the first organised pogrom against Igbo immigrants in Jos (northcentral Nigeria) executed by the Hausa-Fulani/islamist north took place under the very watch of the British occupation regime. Hundreds of Igbo were murdered and their homes and other property looted or destroyed. This pogrom was followed by yet another in Kano (further north) in 1953, executed by the same assailants, again under the watch of the British occupation. These dual-pogroms became the prelude,  the “dress rehearsals” to the concerted launch of the Igbo genocide by Anglo-Nigeria on 29 May 1966. In neither the Jos nor Kano pogroms did the British prosecute anyone involved in the Igbo massacres. Those writing the scores of the Biafra freedom symphony are aware of these crucial interlocking features of this devastatingly tragic history of Igbo people. 

The Biafran freedom mission is therefore not geared to begin to construct a state that is merely post-genocide or post post-conquest/post post-“colonial” state of Africa – in other words, cancelling out here and there, in some mechanical venture, that which was Nigeria, arguably “Berlin-state” Africa’s most notorious state. Instead, Biafra is a realisation, a profound reclamation of that which makes us all human and part of humanity. Biafra is a beacon of the tenacity of the spirit of human overcoming of the most desperate, unimaginable brutish forces. Biafra is a haven of creativity, humanism, and progress, in the wake of the gruesome and expansive Igbo genocide.
(Alice Coltrane Quartet, “Lord, help me to be” [personnel: Coltrane, piano; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone;  Jimmy Garrison, bass; Ben Riley, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 29 January 1968]) 
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

95th birthday of Jaki Byard

(Born 15 June 1922, Worcester, Mass, US)
Pianist, pianists’ pianist whose “encyclopaedic knowledge” (to quote the recurring phrase from many a critic) of the jazz piano repertoire ensures he ranges effortlessly in his solo take from the stride traditions of the 1920s-1930s (James Johnson, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Fats Waller) to the late 1940s/early 1950s revolutionary breakthroughs of Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols and the later flights of Cecil Taylor but still sounding Jaki Byard; academic, indelible footprints on the Charles Mingus jazz workshop – particularly the classic sextet: Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, flute; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums
(Charles Mingus Sextet – with Eric Dolphy, Cornell University 1964, “Orange was the colour of her dress, then blue silk” [personnel: Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Dolphy, bass clarinet; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: live, Cornell University, 18 March 1964]) 

Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

What other source of information on the intrinsic character of genocidist Nigeria does the cynic still desire? Even the British conqueror regime is honest enough, right from the outset, about the entrenched differences in the key sociological and historical markers of the constituent peoples in the Nigeria contraption that it knows exist soley for its optimum resource expropriation indefinitely

(Hugh Clifford)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

IN DECEMBER 1920, Hugh Clifford, the British conquest and occupation governor in Nigeria, makes the following contribution to a “Legislative Council Debate, Lagos”:
[Nigeria is a] collection of Independent … States, separated from one another by great distances, by differences of history and traditions and by … racial … political, social and religious barrier.[1]
Today, Tuesday 13 June 2017, 97 years on, would Hugh Clifford conceivably make these same assertions? If so, why? If not, why not?
(The New York Contemporary Five plays Don Cherry’s composition, “Consequences” [personnel: Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; Cherry, pocket trumpet; John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Don Moore, bass; JC Moses, drums; recorded: live, Jazzhus Montmarte, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 November 1963])
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[1]Quoted in George CE Enyoazu, “Sovereign National Conference – Will the people have their say at last?”, African Democrat, 30 October 2013.