Monday, 22 May 2017

What the Igbo genocide is and isn’t…


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

Quite appositely, we should begin by stating what the Igbo genocide is not. It is definitely not a “civil war” (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/the-oxymoron-civil-war-is-strange-beast.html); neither is it “Nigeria-Biafra ‘civil war’” nor “first ‘civil war’ in Africa” nor “forgotten genocide” nor “ignored genocide” nor “hidden genocide” nor indeed any of the other tracks of quaint, sanitising, obfuscating, occultating and misleading words and phraseologies bandied about here and there whose proponents, particularly in some sectors in academia, media, conference circuits/discussion platforms, more often than not aim at pursuing a hardly disguised project of denialism of this crime against humanity.

Premeditated

On the contrary. The Igbo genocide is a premeditated mass slaughtering of Igbo people, as Igbo people, planned and executed by Britain, Nigeria’s suzerain state headed then by Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Nigeria, Britain’s client state in southwestcentral Africa, a Hausa-Fulani/islamist-led state. At the apogee of phase-III of the genocide in 1968-1969, Wilson reminded the world, on record, of what was the end game of this dreadful mission he chiefly directed from the comfort of his residence and office at 10 Downing Street, London, 3000 miles from Biafra. Harold Wilson informed Clyde Ferguson, the United States state department special coordinator for relief to Biafra, that he, Harold Wilson, “would accept a half million dead Biafrans if that was what it took” Nigeria to destroy the Igbo resistance to the genocide (Roger MorrisUncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy, 1977: 122).

Very much in tune with this Wilsonian logic of Igbo mass slaughter, Benjamin Adekunle, a fiendish Nigeria genocidist commander in south Biafra told a news conference in August 1968, attended mostly by foreign journalists: “I want to prevent even one I[g]bo having even one piece to eat before their capitulation. We shoot at everything that moves, and when our forces march into the centre of I[g]bo territory, we shoot at everything, even at things that don’t move” (The Economist, London, 24 August 1968). The principal language used in the prosecution of the genocide was Hausa. Appropriately, the words of the ghoulish anthem of the genocide, published and broadcast on Kaduna radio and television throughout the duration of the crime, are in Hausa:

Mu je mu kashe nyamiri
Mu kashe maza su da yan maza su
Mu chi mata su da yan mata su
Mu kwashe kaya su

English translation
Let’s go kill the damned Igbo
Kill off their men and boys
Rape their wives and daughters
Cart off their property 

Elsewhere, Nigerian genocidist documentation on this crime is equally malevolent and brazenly vulgar. A study of the genocide-time/“post”-genocide era interviews, comments, broadcasts and writings on the campaign by key genocidist commanders, commandants and “theorists” and propagandists such as Yakubu Danjuma, Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Hassan Katsina, Ibrahim Haruna, Oluwole Rotimi, Obafemi Awolowo, Anthony Enaharo and Allison Ayida underscores the trend. Quite auspiciously, the record of those who ordered/executed the Igbo genocide makes no pretences, offers no excuses, whatsoever, about the goal of their annihilative mission – such was the maniacal insouciance and rabid Igbophobia that propelled the project. They were not into obfuscating over any spheres associated with their studiously orchestrated goal. They stood firmly by the dictates of their assignment. Consequently, students and scholars of this genocide must always be on the alert to challenge anyone, subsequently, who wishes to deny, in any way, this crime of genocide against Igbo people in which its very lead génocidaires, as we have shown, have been openly and distinctly expressive about their mission.

Duo-states genocidists

As the evidence overwhelmingly shows, Britain is the principal agency in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide. Nowhere else in Africa nor indeed the Southern World, during the 1950s-1970s, does any of the seemingly departing European occupying-power in a conquered country effectuate the crime of genocide of a constituent people as a means of safeguarding its strategic interests subsequently as Britain’s sordid record in Nigeria shows. This genocide continues unabated since January 1970 (phase-IV of genocide) with tens of thousands of Igbo murdered across Nigeria but especially in the north region including those massacred by the Boko Haram terrorists and their Fulani militia cousin in the past seven years. No other peoples in Africa have suffered such an extensive and gruesome genocide and incalculable impoverishment in a century as the Igbo. Britain and its client genocide-prosecuting state Nigeria will surely account for this crime against humanity as both states are fully aware, being signatories to the relevant international treaties, that there are no statutes of limitation in international law in the pursuit, apprehension, prosecution and sentencing of individuals and institutions involved in committing genocide. Genocide is a crime against humanity.

The Igbo genocide is the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa. It inaugurated Africa’s current age of pestilence. The genocide has been studied most expansively subsequently. World Igbo scholars have since pushed the parameters of their studies of the genocide unto the very frontiers of the underlying crucibles on which the European-constructed anti-African peoples “Berlin-State” of contemporary Africa. Thus, 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 51 years. The “Berlin-State” is a bane to African peoples progress; it’s a neo-enslavement plantation emplacement by Europe to perpetuate European World expropriation of Africa in perpetuity. African peoples must abandon this state to survive.

Tragically, Africans elsewhere remained largely silent on the gruesome events in Nigeria and so did not foresee the grave consequences of such indifference as subsequent genocides in Rwanda, Darfur, Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan (latter three in the Sudan) and Zaïre/Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in other wars and conflicts in every geographical region of Africa during the period have demonstrated catastrophically: Liberia, Mali, Libya, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, southern Guinea, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Central African Republic, Nigeria (Boko Haram insurgency in north, northcentral regions). The haunting killing fields have indeed stretched, almost inexorably, from Igboland to the rest of Africa…

Treasure trove

Thankfully, for the interest of posterity, the Igbo genocide, perpetrated by the duo Anglo-Nigeria states, is one of the most documented crimes against humanity. Nothing is “hidden”/“ignored” here! Leading university and public libraries across Europe (particularly in Britain, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Denmark and Sweden) and North America have invaluable repositories of books, state papers (including, crucially, hitherto classified material now declassified as part of mandatory timeframe provisions and freedom-to-information legislations), church papers, human rights/anti-genocide/anti-war groups’ campaign papers, reports, photographs and interviews, Red Cross/other third sector papers, reports and photographs, newspaper/newsmagazine/radio/ television/video archives and sole individual depositories, some of which are classified as “anonymous contributors”. 

These data variously include extensive coverage of news and analyses of varying features of the genocide between May 1966 and January 1970 (phases I-III of genocide) as well as still photographs and reels and reels of film footage of the devastating impact of the genocidist’s “starvation weapon” attack on Igbo children and older people, the genocidist air force’s carpet bombings of Igbo population centres (especially refugee establishments, churches, shrines, schools, hospitals, markets, homes, farmlands and playgrounds) and the haunting photographs and associated material that capture the sheer savagery of the slaughter of 100,000 Igbo in north Nigeria towns and villages and elsewhere in parts of west Nigeria (especially Lagos and suburbs, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Oyo, Benin) during phase-I of the genocide in May to October 1966. A stream of these archival references has flowed steadily onto the youtube website as well as other internet outlets and much more material on the genocide will be available online in the months and years ahead.

On the whole, these documentations are a treasure trove for the conscientious scholar and researcher on the genocide. For the would-be prosecutor of the perpetrators of this crime, they couldn’t have wished anything more for that crucial resource base to embark on their historic enterprise. A total of 3.1 million Igbo, or 25 per cent the nation’s population at the time, were murdered in the genocide, the worst in Africa since the 19th century. On the morrow of 44 months of unrelenting slaughtering, Nigeria, the direct perpetrator-on-the-ground, emerges as the undisputed obligatory haematophagous monster in this southwestcentral region of Africa. Its death-march on the Igbo and Igboland was soon relayed, across the continent, as earlier indicated, resulting in the murder of additional 12 million Africans in the subsequent 40 years.
(George Russell Sextet here plays “Nardis”, a composition by Miles Davis [personnel: Russell, piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, bass clarinet; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, 8 May 1961])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe




103rd birthday of Sun Ra

(Born 22 May 1914, Birmingham, Alabama, US)
Pianist, bandleader, prolific composer whose output, arrangements and The Arkestra’s performances are influenced profoundly by Kemetic philosophical, astronomical and aesthetic conceptions
(Sun Ra and his Myth Science Arkestra, “Space aura” [personnel: Sun Ra, piano, George Hudson, trumpet; percussion; Marshall Allen, alto saxophone, bells; John Gilmore, tenor saxophone, percussion; Ronnie Boykins, bass, percussion; Jon Hardy, drums; recorded: Saturn, Chicago, US, [?] October 1960])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

113th birthday of Fats Waller

(Born 21 May 1904, Harlem, New York, US)
Innovative pianist, comedian, prolific composer/co-composer including such standards as “Jitterbug waltz”, “Honeysuckle rose”, “Ain’t misbehavin’”, “I can’t give you anything but love, baby”, and “Squeeze me”
(Fats Waller, “Ain’t misbehavin’” [personnel: Waller, piano, vocal; recording: Victor Machine Cos Studio 1, Camden, NJ, US, 21 August 1929; details of rest of personnel at the date not available])
(Charles Mingus Sextet – with multiinstrmentalist Eric Dolphy, Cornell University 1964, plays Waller’s “Jitterbug waltz” composition  [personnel: Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Dolphy, flute; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Jaki Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: live, Cornell University, 18 March 1964])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 21 May 2017

FWD: Chudi Nnamdi’s witness! Chudi Nnamdi runs for Biafra in the Saturday 20 May 2017 Stockholm Marathon, Sweden – definitely, Chudi Nnamdi hasn’t run under genocidist Nigeria’s flag... Nnamdi, who wins a medal at the tournament, dedicates his achievement appropriately: “I thank Chiukwu Okike Abiama for giving me the strength to represent Biafra in a successful marathon in Stockholm, Sweden today. I dedicate my medal to the Biafran heroes and my prayers shall be … both day and night. All hail our heroes! God bless Biafra!”

(Chudi Nnamdi soon after his historic medal win run under the Biafra flag at the Stockholm Marathon, Sweden, Saturday 20 May 2017)
To underscore, further, the historic significance of Chudi Nnamdi’s decision to run for Biafra, not genocidist Nigeria, see Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “Biafra at the Rio 2016 Olympics: A retrospective”, Pambazuka News: Voices for Freedom and Justice, 9 March 2017, 
(https://www.pambazuka.org/democracy-governance/biafra-rio-2016-olympics-retrospective), accessed 12 March 2017.
(Cecil Taylor, “Pontos cantados” [personnel: Taylor, piano; recorded: One night with Blue Note: The historic all-star reunion concert, Town Hall, New York, US, 22 February 1985])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 20 May 2017

274th birthday of Toussaint L’Ouverture

(Born 20 May 1743, Bréda at Haut de Cap enslaved estate [probably], Saint-Domingue)
Leader of the Haitian Revolution, embarks on the armed mobilisation of tens of thousands of enslaved Africans, beginning 1789, in revolt against French-occupied Saint-Domingue, west Hispaniola, the Caribbean, wealthiest African-enslaved territory of the Americas during the epoch, with the eventual historic 1804 African military victory (against not only France but also the expanded forces of its pan-European allies who come to its aid) when they proclaim the Republic of Haiti
(Mal Waldron Quartet, “Hymn from the inferno” [personnel: Waldron, piano; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Cecil McBee, bass; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: Vanguard Studios, New York, US, 15 November 1981])
 Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe



Friday, 19 May 2017

Friday 19 May 2017 urgent news focus: Nigeria occupying genocidist brigade in Biafra attack a Biafra women’s conference meeting in Abiriba, east Biafra, stripping several women bare right in the hall of the assembly…

(Friday 19 May 2017: Some of the delegates gather soon after the horrendous assault by Nigeria genocidist brigade of the  Biafra women’s conference meeting in Abiriba, east Biafra)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

If ever the world requires a reminder, this assault on Igbo women conference delegates in Abiriba underscores the definitive stride of the Hausa-Fulani islamist-led Nigeria/British suzerain state genocide against Igbo people. During phases I-III (29 May 1966-12 January 1970), the genocide anthem’s lyrics in Hausa language from its ghoulish sound track, broadcast on Kaduna radio and television state-run radio and television services, are hauntingly stark:

Mu je mu kashe nyamiri
Mu kashe maza su da yan maza su
Mu chi mata su da yan mata su
Mu kwashe kaya su

English translation
Let’s go kill the damned Igbo
Kill off their men and boys
Rape their wives and daughters
Cart off their property

Pointedly, the anthem’s mission and thus the genocide strike at the very heart of  Igboland gender relations for over a millennium – clearly what the cerebral Igbo sociologist Kemena Okonjo has described programmatically as Igbo dual-gender complementarity. This genocide’s annhilative goal is total: Igbo people – the Igbo female and the Igbo male. 

Alas, the genocide perpetrators do not as yet recognise the current often noisy NGO-ish, easy-money churning, essentially grandstanding a-historical discourses in the West World that flag off  “girl-child” and “male-child” binaries in the attempt to engineer the humanity of especially African peoples for envisaged, suggestively catastrophic gender “re-ordering” schemas... For now, the duo Anglo-islamist Nigeria that has murdered Igbo people for the past 51 years, murdering 3.1 million and tens of thousands more, duly acknowledge a composite Igbo humanity and this is what they pursue and the Abiriba attack is encapsulated in that strategy... 

AS USUAL, the Biafran resistance recorded comprehensively all principal Nigerian genocidist troopers (including rank details and formations) who participated in the Abiriba outrage earlier today. These genocidists and their chief, Muhammadu Buhari,do know too clearly that there are no statute of limitations in international law in the apprehension, prosecution, conviction and punishment of anyone or institution involved in the act of committing genocide. 

The Igbo will seek to prosecute all these troopers in Abiriba who attacked Igbo today, Friday 19 May 2017, as well as all those who have committed similar heinous crimes against the Igbo since the genocide was launched on Sunday 29 May 1966.
(Eric Dolphy Septet plays “Naima”, John Coltrane’s classic composition [personnel: Dolphy, bass clarinet; Donald Byrd, trumpet; Nathan Davis, tenor saxophone; Jacques Dieval, piano; Jacques B Hess, bass; Franco Manzecchi, drums; Jacky Bambou, percussion; recorded: ORTF radio broadcasts, Paris, France, 11 June 1964])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe


82nd birthday of Cecil McBee

(Born 19 May 1935, Tulsa, Oklahoma, US)
Eminently influential bassist, composer, academic
(McCoy Tyner Quartet, “Bluesin’ for John C” [composer: McCoy Tyner] [personnel: Tyner, piano; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone; Cecil McBee, bass; Roy Haynes, drums; recorded: Impulse! Records, New York, US, 9 July 1987])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe