Wednesday, 31 August 2016

At last… Genocidist ideologue reads the handwriting on the wall

ANGO ABDULLAHI, member of the north Nigeria region’s “elders forum” and one of the “country”’s most virulent genocidist ideologues in 50 years of the Igbo genocide by Nigeria and co-genocidist ally Britain has, at last, come to terms with the collapse of genocidist Nigeria: see following excerpts from Paul Obi, Peter Omale & Marvellous Okeke, “Nigeria can break up, it’s not indivisible, says Ango Abdullahi”, ThisDay, Lagos, Wednesday 31 August 2016:

The batures [Europeans, in Hausa, but more pointedly the British in this context] have brought us together … We might not be one ... in terms of language or in terms of geographical location or in terms of customs or in terms of history or in terms of religion and so on but as a people put in one country our first job is to understand one another…

Let’s understand one another. Understanding one another will be the basis for working together … This wish of being one is Utopian because if you look at examples of other parts of the world there’s a lot to learn from…

Take for example India that got independence in 1948 … yet one or two years later Pakistan was created … and in another one or two years [incorrect timeframe  HE-E] … Bangladesh emerged out of Pakistan … because there was insufficient basis on which India would stay together in the first place…

What are we hearing [here in Nigeria]? We’re hearing about the restructuring of Nigeria. We’re hearing about secession, we’re hearing all sorts of things and who are the promoters of this rhetoric … If [foundational British occupation administrator Frederick] Lugard made a mistake in 1914 … let’s correct it now. Why not?

If Nigerians cannot live together and allow peace and development to reign, then let’s go our separate ways and to our different places so that we can concentrate and develop our children and grandchildren in peace. There’s nothing wrong with that.

So many countries have gone through that before. So I don’t believe in all these emotions and sentiments that Nigeria is indissoluble … Take Great Britain, [there’s] been a model for 1,000 years of democracy [incorrect timeframe – HE-E] and then a year or two ago Scotland that had been in the union for about 350 years [incorrect timeframe – HE-E] opted for a referendum to get out; same problem with Ireland...

The Soviet Union was a super power many years ago … today 12 or 13 countries [15 countries in total – HE-E] were created from it … So what is so special about Nigeria? … there is nothing like indissolubility in any country…
(Ornette Coleman Quartet, “Turnaround” [personnel: Coleman, alto saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; Red Mitchell, bass; Shelly Manne, drums; recorded: Contemporary’s Studio, Los Angeles, US, 23 February 1959])
 Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

The archives project! Igbo people: “The stink of genocide is everywhere...”

– excerpts from the gripping and indelible lines on the Igbo genocide (29 May 1966-12 January 1970), the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa during which Britain and client-state Nigeria, southwestcentral Africa, murder 3.1 million Igbo people, beginning 21 years after end of the Jewish genocide, in Leon Uri’s classic, QB VII (London: Bantam Books, 1970), pp. 392-393:
Abe studied them all, his worn-out little band of idealists. 
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” he said in a voice that literally moaned with sorrow, “I would like to make a statement by quoting in effect the words of Thomas Bannister, Q.C., when he said that no one in their wildest imaginations would have believed Hitler’s Germany before it actually happened. And he said, if the civilized world knew what Hitler intended to do then they would have stopped him. Well, here we are in 1967, and the Arabs vow daily to finish Hitler’s work. Certainly the world will not stand for another chapter of this holocaust. There is a right and a wrong. It is right for a people to want to survive. It is wrong to want to destroy them. But alas, the kingdom of heaven is concerned with righteousness alone. The kingdoms of the earth run on oil. Well now, certainly the world should be appalled by what is happening in Biafra. The stink of genocide is everywhere. Certainly, after Hitler’s Germany, the world should step in and stop genocide in Biafra. However, that becomes impractical when one considers England’s investments in Nigeria conflict with France’s interests in Biafra. After all, members of the jury, it is only [African] people killing other [African] people.  
“We should like to think,” Abe said, “that Thomas Bannister was right, when he said more people, including the German people, should have risked punishment and death by refusing orders. We should like to believe there would have been a protest and ask why didn’t the Germans protest? Well today, young people march in the streets to protest Biafra and Vietnam and the principle of murdering their fellow man through the medium of war. And we say to them … why are you protesting so much? Why don’t you go there and kill like your father killed? …” (added emphasis)
(Eric Dolphy Duo, “Alone together” [personnel: Dolphy, bass clarinet; Richard Davis, double bass; recorded: Fuel Records, New York, US, {May?June?July?} 1963])
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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

For the record: What is it about the lyrics of the four stanzas of the US national anthem that Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers quarterback, has caused a worldwide publicity storm?

(Colin Kaepernick: ...San Francisco 49ers quarterback)

The lyrics of The Star-Bangled Banner, the US national anthem (Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington, DC, US), 

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The Okonkwo-Ezeulu historic summit communique, February 1885-August 2016

Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo, freedom scholar and publisher, insisits: “[Igbo] have no regrets voting against [Muhammadu Buhari] … and we will do it a million times over”, interview with The Guardian, Lagos, Sunday 28 August 2016 – effectively, the communique issued after that eagerly awaited summit involving lead delegates ogbuefi Okonkwo and philosopher-priest Ezeulu
(Sonny Rollins Trio, “The freedom suite” [personnel: Rollins, tenor saxophone; Oscar Pettiford, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 7 March 1958])
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Monday, 29 August 2016

96th birthday of Charlie Parker

(Born 29 August 1920, Kansas City, US)
Alto saxophonist genius and composer who plays an instrumental role in inaugurating the bebop revolution in jazz, African American classical music, in the 1940s/early 1950s, channelling its creativity and outcomes crucially to this epoch of African American freedom quest
(Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, “Hot house” [personnel: Parker, alto saxophone; Gillespie, trumpet; Dick Hyman, piano; Sandy Block, bass; Charlie Smith, drums; recorded: DuMont television network, New York, US, 24 February 1952])
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Great new week puzzle...

Which of the 51 states listed below has the following inscription etched brazenly on its coat-of-arms?:
Our lead regime cadres of genocidist and putschist sergeants and “generals” and privates and corporals are indeed recycled routinely as immanent crucibles of statecraft

1. Kiribati

2. Solomon Islands

3. Britain

4. Turkmenistan

5. Sénégal

6. São Tomé & Principe

7. Hungary

8. Estonia

9. Surinam

10. The Netherlands

11. Congo Democratic Republic

12. Kosovo

13. Canada

14. Myanmar

15. New Zealand

16. Columbia

17. Russia

18. Kenya

19. Thailand 

20. Togo

21. Venezuela

22. Saudi Arabia

23. Peru

24. St Lucia

25. Libya

26. Vanuatu

27. Brazil

28. Yemen

29. Finland

30. Laos

31. Argentina 

32. Somalia

33. Nigeria

34. Guinea-Bissau 

35. Pakistan

36. Jamaica

37. Ghana

38. Chad

39. Poland

40. Honduras

41. Australia

42. Kenya

43. Kazakhstan

44. Papua New Guinea

45. Kyrgyzstan

46. Côte d’Ivoire

47. Ukraine

48. Ecuador

49. North Korea

50. East Timor

51. Austria
(New York Art Quartet plays Charlie Parkers composition, “Mohawk” [personnel:  John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Roswell Rudd, trombone; Reggie Workman, bass; Milford Graves, drums; recorded: Nippon Phonogram, New York, 16 July 1965]) 
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78th birthday of Alexander Obiefoka Animalu

(Born 28 August 1938, Okuzu, Biafra)
Distinguished theoretical physicist, expert on solar energy, professor emeritus and prolific multidisciplinary author including a set of biographical studies on leading Biafran intellectuals, one of which is on mathematician Chike Obi aptly subtitled: The foremost African mathematical genius of the 20th century
(Miles Davis Quintet, “Circle” [personnel: Davis, trumpet; Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums; recorded: Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York, US, 24-25 October 1966])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 27 August 2016

79th birthday of Alice Coltrane

(Born 27 August 1937, Detroit, United States)
Perspicuous harpist, pianist, organist, bandleader and versatile composer which includes the ethereal masterpiece, Ptah, the El Daoud (personnel: Coltrane, piano, harp; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone; Ron Carter, bass; Ben Riley, drums [recorded: Impuse! Records, New York, US, 26 January 1970])
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

107th birthday of Lester Young

(Born 27 August 1909, Woodville, Mississippi, US)
“Pres”/“Prez” of the tenor, influential tenor saxophonist whose unique, more introverted tone has had an immense impact on several successive lead players of the instrument including, especially, Gordon, Getz, Mulligan, Cohn, Sims, Quinichette and Stitt
(Billie holiday & Her All Stars, featuring Lester Young, play “Fine and mellow” [full personnel: Holiday, vocals; Roy Eldridge, trumpet; Doc Cheatham, trumpet; Vic Dickenson, trombone; Gerry Mulligan, baritone saxophone; Lester Young, tenor saxophone; Ben Webster, tenor saxophone; Coleman Hawkins, tenor saxophone; Danny Baker, guitar; Mal Waldron, piano; Milt Hinton, bass; Osie Johnson, drums; recorded: CBS, “Sound of Jazz”, New York, US,  8 December 1957])
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Friday, 26 August 2016

Genocidist Nigeria true to character in latest murder outrage in Biafra following John Kerry’s visit


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

Many newspapers in genocidist Nigeria have been reporting the latest in a stretch of the now routinized murder outrages that any of the tripartite wings of the state’s notorious killing machine (military, Boko Haram, Fulani militia) unleashes on the people in occupied Biafra.

Barely 48 hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry engaged that inveterate amalgam of Hausa-Fulani islamist north region Nigeria leadership in a 2-day tripartite summitry (23-24 August 2016) in Sokoto and Abuja – with Sa’ad Abubakar, head of Sokoto caliphate, Muhammadu Buhari, head of genocidist regime, and the heads of north region’s 19 administrative provinces, the Fulani militia struck ghastly in Ndiagu, northcentral Biafra.

Existential

In yet another bout of savagery that maps out its trajectory in Biafra, underscoring its ultimate existential objective to destroy Igbo people, the militia disembowelled an Igbo woman (name not yet published), six months into her pregnancy, and hacked to death Lazarus Nwafor, a 26 year-old student from a local seminary. (The very grisly, distressing still-pictures that carry this savagery have accompanied the story in the Nigeria media and are trending online.) The Fulani militia is an affiliate and cousin of Boko Haram, the world’s most ruthless terrorist organisation, a far greater murdering outfit than ISIS, as the Institute of Economics and Peace is keen to stress (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-17/global-terrorism-index-increase/6947200, accessed 17 November 2015).

Reminder

The world hardly requires reminding that both US President Barack Obama and ex-British Prime Minister David Cameron imposed Muhammadu Buhari as head of regime of genocidist Nigeria in March 2015. Both individuals are hopefully now aware of the Ndiagu savagery and the world will once again observe if they, and their associates, will break the now entrenched Anglo-US states’ catastrophic roles in the ongoing Igbo genocide, this most gruesome and foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/herbert-ekwe-ekwe-this-piece-is.html).
(George Russell Sextet, “Thoughts” [personnel: Russell, piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, bass clarinet; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt, drums; recorded Riverside Record, New York, US, 28 May 1961])
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98th birthday of Katherine Johnson

Born 26 August 1918, White Sulphur Springs, W Virginia, US)

Iconic mathematician, physicist, computer scientist and space scientist, with expansive work in the US space programme

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Thursday, 25 August 2016

83rd birthday of Wayne Shorter

(Born 25 August 1933, Newark, New Jersey, US)
Cerebral tenor and soprano saxophonist, member of the Miles Davis Second Great Quintet (1964-1968; personnel: Davis, trumpet; Shorter, tenor saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums)) and arguably the most prolific living composer in the repertoire – compositions include standards “Lester left town”, “Footprints”, “Nefertiti” and “ESP” and  Schizophrenia, Speak No Evil  and the classic, The All Seeing Eye
(Wayne Shorter Septet, “Schizophrenia” [personnel: Shorter, tenor saxophone; Curtis Fuller, trombone, James Spaulding, alto saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood CliffNJ,US, 10 March 1967)
(Wayne Shorter Septet, “Chaos” [personnel: Shorter, tenor saxophone; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Grachan Moncur III, trombone, James Spaulding, alto saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood CliffNJ,US, 15 October 1965)
(Wayne Shorter Octet, “Mephistopheles” [personnel: Shorter, tenor saxophone,  Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Alan Shorter, fluegelhorn; Grachan Moncur III, trombone;  James Spaulding, alto saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano;  Ron Carter, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 15 October 1965])
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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

FWD: Teresa R Kemp, African American historian, traces her origin to Oka, Biafra

(Teresa Kemp)
By Biafra Diboh (slightly edited from the original)

Teresa R Kemp, one of African Americans involved in the free medical care trip to the Anambra region, northwest Biafra, has traced the ancestral home of her father to Oka, Biafra.
Kemp, a military historian, who has in the past organised an Igbo arts and cultural festival in South Carolina, United States, said that her great grandfather, named Osinachi, was enslaved and trafficked over 187 years ago as a metalsmith from Oka to the United States, as confirmed by DNA.
With an interest in the works of African peoples, Kemp told The Nation that she had written a book, Keeper of the Fire (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Plaatform, 2014),  of an Igbo metalsmith from Awka, detailing the story of her ancestor. She describes Igbo people as hardworking, intelligent, unassuming, and entrepreneurial in nature: “I am proud to be linked to Ndiigbo, the world has prospered because of Ndiigbo”.
Kemp went to Anambra with an organisation called ASA-World (which has membership in 27 countries), made up of the region’s indigenes resident overseas whose mission is to provide free medical care for the people, costing US$ 800,000.
The team brought diagnostic equipment and medicine to be left behind for resident doctors and other health officials to continue using in Oko, in Orumba north local government, Abagana, Njikoka local government, Obosi, Idemili north local government, Ihembosi and Ozubulu, both Ekwusigo local government, and Oba, Idemili south local government district.
The medical mission treated and provided medicine to people suffering from different ailments. Total treated are: 1,100 in Oko, 8,500 in Abagana, 1,200 in Ihembosi, 1,300 in Obosi, and 1,200 in Ozubulu.
(Sonny Rollins Quintet, “Decision” [personnel: Rollins, tenor saxophone, Donald Byrd, trumpet; Wynton Kelly, piano; Gene Ramey, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 16 December 1956])
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe 



Monday, 22 August 2016

Biafrans are surely not in the business to bail out genocidist Nigeria…


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

For those not particularly familiar with the inner workings of that haematophagous monster which calls itself Nigeria, the following news item in African Spotlight (Friday 12 August 2016), carried similarly by several other news organisations, could appear extraordinary if not outlandish.

First, the story’s blazing headline: “Rio 2016: Mikel Obi pays $4,000 to save Nigerian players embarrassment from Brazilian hotel”. Second, the first paragraph in the dispatch that duly elaborates on the theme: “In yet another scandal, Team Nigeria captain at the ongoing Olympics, Mikel John Obi, had to pay $4,000 of his personal money, to save the footballers from embarrassment after a hotel in Sao Paulo held the entire team to ransom over the bills incurred by additional officials, it has been revealed. The Nigerian Olympic team almost missed their flight [from São Paulo] to Salvador, reports say” (emphasis added). A player – not even one of the usual retinue of accompanying genocidist Nigerian officials (coach, managers, trainers, hangers-on, etc., etc), pays for his team’s hotel bills incurred at a foreign assignment 3500 miles away from Nigeria! Furthermore, this intervening player, with his personal money to pay for the outstanding São Paulo hotel costs, is Biafran!

Genocidist state

What sort of state on this planet would send a sports team to represent it abroad – not just, for instance, to some other state across its frontiers, contiguous to its territory (if such a rationalisation could ever be contemplated) but 3500 miles away, in a competition, the prestigious Olympic games for that matter, and not adequately fund the team’s passage and upkeep and welfare comprehensively? Straight-ahead reply: genocidist Nigeria.

Why? Not too complicated either: genocidist Nigeria, now 50 years in the making after it and strategic ally Britain had initially murdered 3.1 million Igbo people during phases I-III of the Igbo genocide (29 May 1966-12 January 1970) is currently run by Muhammadu Buhari. This is an islamist jihadist operative who is so riled by the defiant Igbo youth’s doggedly dominant presence and drive stamped on the creative arts and sports and academic disciplines and practices across the Nigeria landscape, despite the genocide and occupation of the Biafran homeland. In what the uninitiated genocidist Nigeria watcher might think is perverse, Buhari would rather adamantly prefer a non-Nigeria participation in the Rio Olympics or a complete loss of a game’s tournament by Nigeria if the “country”’s participating sports team, in this case a football team, as is more often than not, is captained by an Igbo or/and has a substantial personnel of the team, as is also more often than not, populated by Igbo talent.

Depression

Muhammadu Buhari must have literally been thrown into days of agonising depression by this football team heading from São Paulo to Salvador in Brazil whose captain has the following name profile with its uncompromisingly classed Igbo registers: John Michael Nchekwube Obinna – not Ahmed, Saraki, Abacha, Muhammadu, Ahmadu, Maigida, Salisu, Maimuna, Mohammed, Buhari, Sulaiman, Lamido, Sadiq, Abubakar, etc., etc, that would more likely characterise the forename or surname of an operative that sits on a genocidist preparatory committee or participatory cell/squad/brigade in an Abuja, Katsina, Maiduguri, Kano or Sokoto, meticulously planning the next slaughtering outrage in Onicha, Oka, Owere, Igwe Ocha, Enuugwu or somewhere else in occupied Biafra.

Asset

For Muhammadu Buhari, the Nnamdis and Nnekas and Ngozis and Obiagelis and Nkeirus and Ikechukwus and Nkechis and Chidis and Emekas and Chukas of the Igbo nation should be sequestrated in the cities, towns and villages of Biafra awaiting the genocidist slaughter-next-round instead of being positioned, as hundreds of thousands of them are indeed primed currently, in several top colleges and universities and innumerable sites of creative endeavours and sports activities around the world. One of the insistent factors that has fuelled the Igbo genocide in these past 50 years is the Hausa-Fulani islamist leadership’s trenchant aversion to the well-known Igbo hardworking ethic and entrepreneurial drive. Consequently, this dual attribute of ethic and drive has transformed Igbo people to presently control one of Africa’s best-developed multidisciplinary humanpower conglomeration of assets.

Finally, to return to that Mikel Obi’s US$4000.00 personal payment to rescue the Nigeria football team from its São Paulo hotel bill’s entanglement, an obvious question on the minds of many must be the following: Given the existential threat that most know the Igbo face due to the ongoing genocide from Nigeria, was Nchekwube Obinna’s payment motivated by sheer naivety or just crass ignorance?  No, contrary to seemingly predictable impulses, neither is distinctly on the mark. Instead, Obinna was indeed acting out from a script that tragically pervades the entire Africa landscape, in the wake of centuries-old European conquest and occupation of the continent, where the largely non-deconstructed conqueror’s/conquest social sciences & humanities project the prevailing “state”, the “Berlin-state”, as some raefied if not ahistorical construct to which each and every African is “strapped”.

Nchekwube Obinnas of Africa are free to choose

In the Nigeria case, as any cursory observer should attest to, the horror of that imagination, characterisation and association must be catastrophically profound. For the Igbo, in the maelstrom of that wretchedness, the history of the past 50 years attests chillingly and overwhelmingly. The Nchekwube Obinnas of Africa must now know that they are not wedded to any such states. On the contrary, states are historical constructs which human beings negotiate, pick and choose from. That is why states have, thankfully, remained transient in human history. The Nchekwube Obinnas of Africa are free to choose any states they wish to belong. It must therefore be a pointedly unthinkable personal tragedy if the Nchekwube Obinnas of Africa who are also survivors of genocide from genocidist Nigeria end up ticking Nigeria as the state of choice… Tufia kwa

The Nchekwube Obinnas of Africa must cease to represent genocidist Nigeria in all conceivable competitions: sports, creative and performing arts/other spheres of intellectual labour… Never again should we be treated to the grotesque scene of witnessing some Igbo athlete, some Igbo writer, some Igbo academic, appearing at some world stage carrying or wrapping themselves around a Nigerian flag. Enough! Order a Biafran flag for the occasion or alternatively promote the flag of your generous host. Definitely not genocidist Nigeria’s. A genocidist state’s fate is nothing else but to be abandoned, to be voided, to be dismantled. This is Nigeria’s fate as the handwriting on the wall is writ large.

Nchekwube Obinna should have donated or invested his US$4000.00 in any or some of the many private clinics across Biafra treating hundreds of desperate Biafran survivors from the recent murdering escapades carried out by genocidist Nigeria military/Boko Haram/Fulani militia brigades, beginning October 2015. Ironically, by paying the sum of US$4000.00 to the São Paulo hoteliers, due responsibility of genocidist Nigeria’s, Nchekwube Obinna provided ready savings or credit for this genocidist state and allies to fund the fresh cache of AK-47 rifles, ammunitions, bazookas, tank shells and suicide vests for their next planned murderous outrage in Oka, Onicha, Enuugwu, Igwe Ocha, Aba… 

Not only do Biafrans not obviously bail out genocidist Nigeria from its quagmire but Biafrans cannot be a party to Nigeria’s hardly disguised chart and intent of Biafran annihilation. This is precisely what the philosophers who worked strenuously on the name Nchekwube insist the Igbo and the world must know.
(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, US, 8 May 1961])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe







Sunday, 21 August 2016

112th birthday of Count Basie

(Born 21 August 1904, Red Bank, New Jersey, US)
Pianist, organist, composer, arranger, his salutary majesty of the big band and swing whose orchestra for 50 years, beginning in 1935, becomes a conservatoire for the distinguished graduating array of instrumentalists and singers of the age including, particularly, tenor saxophonist Lester Young, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry Edison and singers Billie Holiday, Helen Humes, Big Joe Turner, Joe Williams and Jimmy Rushing
(Count Basie and Orchestra, “One O’clock jump” [Reveille with Beverley film, 1943])

Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

88th birthday of Art Farmer

(Born 21 August 1928, Council Bluffs, Iowa, US)
Very distinguished lyrical fluegelhorn player and trumpeter with grace and sensitive tonality, composer and bandleader
(Benny Golson & Milt Jackson & Art Farmer & Neils-Henning Ørsted Pedersen Nonet, “Bags groove” [personnel: Golson, tenor saxophone; Farmer, flueguelhorn, Jackson, vibraphone; Pederson, bass; Toot Thielsman, harmonica; Ulf Wakenius, guiter; Jonas Johansen, drums; Max Roach, drums; recorded: live, Große Konzertscheue, Jazzbaltica, Salzau, Germany, 14 June 1997])
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Father of African Literature: Chinua Achebe’s twin portals of engaging historic witness

(Father of African Literature: visiting Umeå, Sweden, in the autumn of 1988 [19 October 1988] to launch the Swedish translation of his Anthills of the Savannah, 1987)

Portal-I: Aftermath of pan-European conquest and occupation of the African World
[The European conquest of Africa] may indeed be a complex affair, but one thing is certain: You do not walk in, seize the land, the person, the history of another, and then sit back and compose hymns of praise in his honour. To do that would amount to calling yourself a bandit; and you won’t to do that. So what do you do? You construct very elaborate excuses for your action. You say, for instance, that the man in question is worthless and quite unfit to manage himself or his affairs. If there are valuable things like gold and diamonds which you are carting away from his territory, you proceed to prove that he doesn’t own them in the right sense of the word – that he and they had just happened to be lying around the same place when you arrived. Finally if the worse comes to the worse, you may even be prepared to question whether such as he can be, like you, fully human. From denying the presence of a man standing there before you, you end up questioning his very humanity …[I]n the [European conquest] situation presence was the critical question, the crucial word. Its denial was the keynote of [this conquest’s] ideology. (Chinua Achebe, “African Literature as Restoration of Celebration”, Kunapipi, 12, 2, 1990: 4; emphasis added) 
Portal-II: Aftermath of Igbo genocide, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970 
[Nigeria’s] wartime cabinet, it should also be remembered, was full of intellectuals like Obafemi Awolowo and Anthony Enaharo and super-permanent secretaries such as Allison Akene Ayida among others who came up with a boatload of infamous and regrettable policies. A statement credited to … Obafemi Awolowo and echoed by his cohorts is the most callous and unfortunate: All is fair in war, and starvation is one of the weapons of war. I don’t see why we should feed our enemies fat in order for them to fight harder’. It is my impression that … Obafemi Awolowo was driven by an overriding ambition of power, for himself in particular and for the advancement of his Yoruba people in general. And let it be said that there is, on the surface, at least, nothing wrong with those aspirations. However, Awolowo saw the dominant Igbo … at the time as the obstacles to that goal, and when the opportunity arose – the Nigeria-Biafra War – his ambition drove him into a frenzy to go to any length to achieve his dreams. In the Biafran case it meant hatching up a diabolical policy to reduce the numbers of his enemies significantly through starvation – eliminating over two million people, mainly members of future generations. (Chinua AchebeThere was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra [New York: The Penguin, 2012], p. 233; emphasis added) 
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Wise one” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin J ones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, Cliff, NJ, US, 24 April 1964])
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Friday, 19 August 2016

Dr Akanu Ibiam’s letter to Queen Elizabeth II: The world appears to have hardly changed in 50 years…

(Venerable: Dr Akanu Ibiam)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

Forty-nine years ago to the day, in August 1967, the venerable Dr Akanu Ibiam, Christian missionary physician, erudite theologian and statesperson who had worked for 30 years in the Church of Scotland/Presbyterian Church rural medical programmes across central and east regions of Biafra, wrote a 20-paragraph historic letter to Queen Elizabeth II of England. 

In his letter, Dr Ibiam denounced, unreservedly, the central role being played by Britain in the Igbo genocide, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, which had then entered its second year of unremittingly ruthless slaughter. In protest to this role, Dr Ibiam renounced and returned to the British head of state the three insignias of knighthood (OBE, KBE, KCMG) that both she and her father, King George VI, had earlier conferred on the esteemed missionary physician for services to church and state.

Britain and Nigeria would ultimately murder 3.1 million Igbo people, 25 per cent of this nation’s population, by 12 January 1970 at the end of phase-III of the genocide. The genocide then moved on to phase-IV which has gone on to this day...

Testament vs that establishment consensus

As is evident in the last four main paragraphs of Dr Ibiam’s letter published below (paragraphs 14-17 in the original), this document could easily have been written by the great humanist to Queen Elizabeth last year, 2015, after the month of  March, when this same Britain, now under the political leadership of Prime Minister David Cameron, who was born 5 months after the 29 July 1966 launch of the genocide (coordinated then by No. 10 Downing Street resident Prime Minister Harold Wilson), installed Muhammadu Buhari, the notorious genocidist trooper of north/north central Biafra killing fields (July 1967-January 1970), as new head of Nigeria regime. No, Dr Ibiam could well have written this testament a few days ago! As the world duly knows, Buhari now drives this segment of phase-IV of the Igbo genocide as ruthlessly as he deems fit, murdering thousands of Igbo people in all regions of Biafra especially since October 2015, aware that, as before, he and Nigeria have the back of the British government to ensure, particularly, that Nigeria is shielded from international outrage and sanctions in its strategic goal to destroy Igbo people. Consequently, the British government is yet to condemn any of these murders nor confront its own involvement in the perpetration of the entire 50-year stretch of this most gruesome and devastating genocide of contemporary history. 

Quite gravely, there is a haunting half-a-century-old consensus shared by the critical clusters of the British establishment including the political “class”, academia, media, charities, human rights, even the church, to maintain a deafening silence as the British state uninterruptedly wages this Igbo genocide in alliance with its on the ground Hausa-Fulani north region islamist-led client state in Nigeria. The goal is pointedly to protect, in perpetuity, Britain’s perceived strategic and economic interests in this southwestcentral Africa region – 3500 miles away from Britain. The fact that this alliance appears to challenge some of the more predictable characterisation of the salient features of contemporary international politics is indicative of how much more resilient and enduring shared worldviews (for instance, in this case, to collaborate to wage a genocide on a third party, a mutually-targeted people, for complementary interests) from supposedly or seemingly contradictory state systems can be.

(Paragraphs 14-20 of Dr Akanu’s letter to Queen Elizabeth II of England, August 1967)

(Queen Elizabeth II: recipient of Dr Ibiam’s August 1967 letter)

...

YOUR MAJESTY, the British officials in Nigeria are fully aware of all these. They know that we are injured and deeply grieved people and had been cruelly treated by our erstwhile fellow citizens of Federal Republic of Nigeria. The British officials not only knew the crux of the matter, but they also encouraged Northern Nigeria to carry out and execute their nefarious plan against us. They are angry with Biafra because Biafra categorically refused to remain as part of the Nigeria federation and political unit only to be trampled upon, discriminated against and hated, ruthlessly exploited and denied her rights and privileges, and slaughtered whenever it suited the whims and caprices of the favoured people of Northern Nigeria. To add insult to injury, Your Majesty’s Britannic Government, instead of being neutral in our quarrels or finding ways and means to mediate and bring peace to the two countries, has now taken it upon herself to supply military aid to Nigeria to help them defeat and subjugate Biafra.

It is simply staggering for a Christian country like Britain to help a Moslem country militarily to crush another Christian country like Biafra. This is just too much for me, Your Gracious Majesty, this act of unfriendliness and treachery by the British Government towards the people of Republic of Biafra who, as Eastern Nigerians, had so much regard for Britain and British people.

In the circumstance, Your Majesty, I no longer wish to wear the garb of the British Knighthood. British fair play, British justice, and the Englishman’s word of honour which Biafra loved so much and cherished have become meaningless to Biafrans in general and to me in particular. Christian Britain has shamelessly let down Christian Biafra.

I love the Republic of Biafra very dearly and pray that, by grace of God, she may remain and continue to grow and live and always act like a truly Christian country for all times.

I am, your Majesty

Yours Most Respectfully

(AKANU IBIAM)
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Wise one” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, Cliff, NJ, US, 24 April 1964)
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