These data variously include extensive coverage of news and analyses of varying features of the genocide between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970 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 in the country’s Lagos/west/midwest region during phases I-II of the genocide, 29 May 1966-5 July 1967.
(New York Art Quartet plays Charlie Parker’s composition, “Mohawk” – personnel: John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Roswell Rudd, trombone; Reggie Workman, bass; Milford Graves, drums [recorded: Nippon Phonogram, New York, 16 July 1965])
Maniacal insouciance, Prospero, Caliban
A stream of these archival references has flowed steadily unto 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 a quarter of the nation’s population at the time, were murdered in the genocide, the worst in Africa since the 19th century.
Quite auspiciously, the genocidists’ own record on the genocide makes no pretences whatsoever about the goal of their dreadful mission – such was the maniacal insouciance and rabid Igbophobia that propelled the project. 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 (translation: Let’s go kill the damned Igbo/Kill off their men and boys/Rape their wives and daughters/Cart off their property).
The Hausa word for war is yaki. Whilst Hausa speakers would employ this word to refer to the involvement/combat services of their grandfathers, fathers, uncles, sons, brothers, other relatives and friends in Boma (reference to World War II Burma [contemporary Myanmar] military campaigns/others in southeast Asia, fighting for the British against the Japanese) or even in the post-1960s Africa-based “peace-keeping” military engagements in Cameroon, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Sudan, they rarely use yaki to describe the May 1966-January 1970 mass murders of the Igbo people. In Hausaspeak, the latter is either referred to as lokochi mu kashe nyamiri (past tense: “when we murdered the damned Igbo”) or lokochi muna kashe nyamiri (past continuous tense: “when we were murdering the damned Igbo”). Pointedly, this lokochi (when, time) conflates the timeframes that encapsulate the three phases of the genocide (29 May 1966-3 January 967, 4 January 1967-5 July 1967, and 6 July 1967-12 January 1970 – for detailed analysis, see Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, Biafra Revisited, 2006), a reminder, if one is required, for those who bizarrely, if not mischievously, wish to break this organic link.
Elsewhere, 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 Adekunle, Danjuma, Gowon, Obasanjo, Katsina, Haruna, Rotimi, Awolowo, Enaharo and Ayida underscores the trend. A brief review of Obasanjo’s contribution (published in his My Command, 1980) that focuses on his May 1969 direct orders to his air force to destroy an international Red Cross aircraft carrying relief supplies to the encircled and blockaded Igbo is hugely illustrative.
Obasanjo had “challenged”, to quote his words, Gbadomosi King (Nigeria genocidist air force pilot), who he had known since 1966, to “produce results” in stopping further international relief flight deliveries to the blockaded Igbo. Within a week of his infamous challenge (5 June 1969), Obasanjo recalls nostalgically, Gbadomosi King “redeemed his promise”. Gbadomosi King had shot down a clearly marked, incoming relief-bearing International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) DC-7 plane near Eket, south Biafra, with the loss of its 3-person crew.
Obasanjo’s perverse satisfaction over the aftermath of this crime is fiendish, chillingly revolting. He writes: “The effect of [this] singular achievement of the Air Force especially on 3 Marine Commando Division [the notorious unit Obasanjo, who subsequently becomes head of regime for 11 years, commanded] was profound. It raised morale of all service personnel, especially of the Air Force detachment concerned and the troops they supported in [my] 3 Marine Commando Division”.
Yet despite the huffing and puffing, the raving commanding brute is essentially a coward who lacks the courage to face up to a world totally outraged by his gruesome crime. Instead, Obasanjo, the quintessential Caliban, cringes into a stupor and beacons to his Prospero, British Premier Harold Wilson, to “sort out” the raging international outcry generated by the destruction of the ICRC plane...