UNTIL A FORTNIGHT ago, 43 years to the day since the beginning of the Igbo genocide perpetrated by Nigeria and its allies, no head of regime in power in Nigeria had ever admitted, albeit unwittingly, the utter worthlessness of Nigeria in the pecking order of the countries of the world. On Nigeria’s non-invitation to the April 2009 G-20 London economic summit, regime head Umaru Yar’Adua notes mournfully: “Today is a sad day for Nigeria as a country. This is because we are not invited to a meeting of the 20 world leaders. We have the population, we have the resources and we have the potential”. Predictably, Yar’Adua refers to those hackneyed, bogus indices (“population”, “resources”, “potential”) that everyone knows obfuscate the immanent fragility, infamy and hopelessness that chart the Nigeria quagmire. In response to Yar’Adua’s pain, Kevin Ani, a commentator from the Nsibidi Press civil rights group, notes: “Even if one extends (sic) this list to G-1000, Nigeria still will not make it”.
It cannot be overstated that the Igbo genocide put paid to any Nigeria pretensions to transform itself to a serious state of global contention. Nigeria, which the Igbo had strategically led to liberate from 60 years of British occupation, collapsed, irremediably, in May 1966. This was when its troops, police, students, teachers, civil servants, community leaders, clergy, alimajiri and the like in north Nigeria planned and descended on Igbo children, women and men domiciled in the region – killing, raping, maiming, looting, destroying … A total of 100,000 Igbo were murdered between May and October (1966) in this first phase of the worst genocide in Africa since the 1900s. The Nigerians later expanded their murdering zones of operation to liquidate the Igbo by attacking the entire stretch of Igboland (from Issele-Ukwu, Agbo, Anioma, Ugwuta and Onicha in the west to Ehuugbo, Aba and Umuahia to the east; from Nsukka and Eha Amuufu in the north to Igwe Ocha/Port Harcourt, Umu Ubani/Bonny and Igwe Nga/Opobo to the south) between July 1967-January 1970. A total of 3 million Igbo were murdered during this third phase. Altogether, the Igbo lost one-quarter of their population as a result of the genocide.
On the morrow of this pulverising season of murdering, the only tangible capability that the murderers had acquired was one to commit even more murders – nothing else … definitely, not the more challenging capacity to develop and transform an economy to, in turn, attract and merit the accolades and recognitions from peers elsewhere. The tragedy of the otherwise farcical so-called “rebranding” of the Nigeria state, this Malebolge, is that the current “quest” is supposedly overseen by an Igbo academic (Dora Akunyili) who presumably is unaware of the catastrophic history of her people in Nigeria or is probably biding her time to tell her employers the blunt truth of Nigeria’s inexorable cascade into irrelevance.
Yet contrary to Yar’Adua’s angst over Nigeria’s non-membership of the G-20, Nigeria actually belongs to a “G-” grouping. It is called Group-G and Yar’Adua must know that not only does his country belong to this outfit but it also heads it as its undisputed supremo presently.
IN THIS club, the “G” stands for the beginning of that dreadful word which Nigeria has at once operationalised and institutionalised as the legacy of its vicious existence and has since exported across contemporary Africa – Genocide.
(New York Art Quartet, “Mohawk” [personnel: John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Roswell Rudd, trombone; Reggie Workman, bass; Milford Graves, drums; recorded: Nippon Phonogram, New York, US, 16 July 1965])