“[Hope] is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart … Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out” – Válclav Havel, playwright, poet, former president, Czechoslovakia, former president, Czech Republic, “Válclav Havel on hope and power”, http://entersection.com/posts/761-vaclav-havel-on-hope-and-power (accessed 18 May 2012)
“Good men and women are even better when they challenge safe zones of human thinking” – Ubaldo Rafiki to Herb Hirsch, communication, firstname.lastname@example.org, 26 May 2012
Today, Tuesday 29 May 2012, marks the 46th anniversary of the start of the Igbo genocide. Beginning at mid-morning on 29 May 1966 to 12 January 1970, the composite aggregation of the Nigeria state – military officers, the police, Hausa-Fulani emirs, muslim clerics and intellectuals, students, civil servants, alimajiri, journalists, politicians, other public figures – planned and carried out the Igbo genocide. This is the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa. It is also Africa’s most expansive and devastating genocide of the 20th century and the inaugurator of contemporary Africa’s age of pestilence. A total of 3.1 million Igbo people, a quarter of this nation’s population at the time, were murdered during those harrowing 44 months.
The Igbo nation ha[s] attributes most other Nigerian nationalities can only dream of and are what most other nations [are] not. The Igbo made Nigeria better. Any wonder then that the Igbo can do without Nigeria; but Nigeria and her myriad nationalities cannot do without the Igbo? Take the Igbo out of the Nigeria equation … and Nigeria will be gasping for air.
Genocide is the name
Yet this 29th day of May 1966 is also the Igbo Day of Affirmation. The Igbo people resolved on this day, the day that marked the beginning of the genocide, to survive the catastrophe when only few in the world thought that they would accomplish such an improbable feat. 29th day of May 1966 is the day the Igbo people ceased to be Nigerians forever – right there on the grounds of those death camps in the sabon gari residential districts and offices and rail stations and coach stations and airports and churches and schools and markets and hospitals across north Nigeria. They created the state of Biafra in its place and tasked it to provide security to the Igbo and prevent Nigeria, a genocide state, from accomplishing its dreadful mission. The heuristic symbolism defined hitherto by 1 October shattered in the wake of this historic Igbo declaration. For the Igbo, the renouncement of Nigerian citizenship is the permanent Igbo indictment of a state that had risen thunderously to murder one of its constituent peoples.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)
(accessed 30 September 2010).