Friday, 30 August 2013

Did Igbo people “lose a war”?

No, Igbo did not “lose a war”. The Igbo did not “lose a war” between 29 May 1966-12 January 1970. No such “war” was waged in Igboland during this period. And this is not a case of semantics. On the contrary, what went on during those 44 months was a campaign of genocide against Igbo people by Nigeria and its allies, particularly Britain. 3.1 million Igbo, a quarter of this nation’s population, were murdered. This figure is about the total fatality of the Vietnam War (both sides – including all civilians, US combat troops, the Vietcong, North Vietnam troops, South Vietnam troops) between 1959 and 1975. 

The clearly stated goal of the Nigeria campaign is (note tense of operative verb) to annihilate the Igbo, as a people: see anthem of the campaign in Hausa, broadcast throughout the duration of the slaughter on Kaduna radio (shortwave) and television (; see also key statements made on radio and/or tv broadcasts, interviews/press conference, essays, memoirs, etc., etc, by leading figures involved in the campaign – Awolowo, Harold Wilson, Gowon, Danjuma, Useni, Muhammed, Adekunle, Rotimi, Katsina, Obasanjo, Haruna, Taiwo... 

To embark on a research of the genocide, it is indeed staggering to discover what a treasure trove for the researcher just watching or reading a clipping of statements/commentaries on this crime against humanity by an Obasanjo or an Adekunle or an Useni or an Awolowo or a Wilson or a Haruna or a Rotimi… This genocide is ongoing. Those who carried out the genocide do not, at all, deny their involvement in the crime... It is astonishing.


The Igbo survived the genocide. At the apogee of the genocide, 1968/69, few expected the Igbo to survive. Igbo survival is one of the most extraordinary human developments of recent history. Some people don’t often appreciate the resilient spirit and drive that ensured this survival outcome. This capacity cannot be exaggerated. Provided they survive, no peoples targeted for genocide lose except, of course, they are obliterated. Those who survive genocide such as the Herero or Armenians or Jews or Igbo or Tutsi or Darfuri, for instance, are indeed victors – because they survived. I am pleased to share the following link where I elaborate on this subject in a presentation at the historic conference (in the US) on Christopher Okigbo, Africa’s leading poet:

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

75th birthday of Alexander Obiefoka Animalu

(Born 28 August 1938, Oba, Igboland)
 Distinguished theoretical physicist (discoverer of Animalu’s Isosuperconductivity), expert on solar energy, professor emeritus, and prolific multidisciplinary author including a set of biographical studies, one of which is on mathematician Chike Obi aptly subtitled: The foremost African mathematical genius of the 20th century

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

76th birthday of Alice Coltrane

(Born 27 August 1937, Detroit, United States)
 Perspicuous harpist, pianist, organist, bandleader and versatile composer which includes the ethereal work, Ptah, the El Daoud, featuring tenor saxophonists Pharoah Sanders and Joe Henderson

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 25 August 2013

80th birthday of Wayne Shorter

(Born 25 August 1933, Newark, New Jersey, United States) 
 Jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist, member of the seminal mid-1960s Miles Davis Quintet and arguably the most prolific living composer in the repertoire – compositions include standards “Footprints”, “Nefertiti” and “ESP” and  Schizophrenia, Speak No Evil  and the classic, The All Seeing Eye

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 24 August 2013

The world goes to Enuugwu... Ethiopian airlines’ scheduled flight lands successfully...

Ethiopian airlines’ scheduled flight lands successfully in Enuugwu on Saturday 24 August 2013 at 1215 hours local time, 1115 Dakar Time, 1115 Accra Time, 1415 Addis Ababa Time, 1415 Johannesburg Time, 1115 GMT, 1215 British Summer Time, 0715 EST, 0415 PST, 0615 Kingston (Jamaica) Time, 0715 Georgetown Time, 0815 Brazilia Time, 1315 Stockholm Time, 1315 Berlin Time, 1415 Helsinki Time, 1515 Riga Time, 1615 Moscow Time, 1645 New Dehli Time, 1915 Beijing Time, 2115 Canberra Time, 2315 Wellington Time... Nnoo nu

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Friday, 16 August 2013

From what other source are you still waiting for this news of the age?

Straight from the horse’s mouth: “[Nigeria] is jinxed and cursed; we should all go to hell”! This declaration is from none other but Matthew Olusegun Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, speaking recently in Ibadan, west Nigeria. In the speech, not surprisingly (, 13 August 2013), Obasanjo, who had been head of regime for 11 years,  totally absolves himself of being a key agency in facilitating the status of his “jinxed and cursed” Nigeria as can be shown clearly in the following (“‘Cargo cult mentality’, Nigeria and the illusions of NEPAD”, 

“[J]inxed and cursed” Nigeria has the unenviable accolade of having carried out the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa against Igbo people. During the course of 44 months, beginning from 29 May 1966, Nigeria murdered 3.1 million Igbo, or one-quarter of this nation’s population. And Olusegun Obasanjo is one of the most notorious Nigerian military commanders of this genocidal campaign. At its apogee, 1968/1969, the Obasanjo-led brigade, operating in the outstretched south Igboland, had converted this panhandle into a veritable killing field in which it slaughtered “…
everything that moves … we shoot at everything, even at things that don’t move”, as its previous commander, the equally notorious Benjamin Adekunle, had  so grimly proffered. The skies of Igboland were neither spared from this “shoot-at-everything” monstrosity. In June 1969 Obasanjo ordered his air force to shoot down an international Red Cross aircraft bringing urgent relief to the encircled and blockaded Igbo and he later boasts fiendishly of this crime in his memoirs, aptly entitled My Command. Not since the German genocide against the Herero in Namibia in the early 1900s had Africa witnessed such brazen act of savagery on expansive display. As I have argued, severally, Nigeria collapsed as a state with few prospects on that Sunday it launched the Igbo genocide (See, for instance, Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “29 May 1966”,

Given Obasanjo’s imprimatur on this catastrophe and recalling that it is, after all, not just unbridled opportunism that the London Financial Times not too long ago dubbed the same Obasanjo “godfather of modern Nigeria” (Financial Times, London, 14 April 2012), the genocidist’s Nigeria-is-“jinxed-and-cursed” acknowledgement, albeit belated, is testimony that the offspring indeed carries the unmistakeably doomed DNA signature of its paternity.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Igbo deportation from Lagos

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

On Wednesday 24 July 2013, Nigeria’s Lagos region regime, headed by Raji Fashola, deported 72 Igbo people from Lagos to Onicha, the Igbo Oshimili delta city, 230 miles away. This is the second such deportation that Fashola has embarked upon within a year. On 18 September 2012, Fashola deported “hundreds” of Igbo people from Lagos to Onicha. The deportees had all been earlier detained in “warehouses” in Lagos and some in the neighbouring Ogun region for months before their deportation to Igboland, Biafra. Many of the deportees are children and older people and some have disabilities.
(Raji Fashola)
Raji Fashola is a lawyer, a member of the Nigerian bar and he is in fact categorised as “senior advocate”. The world will note that these deportations contravene articles 2 (b) and (c) of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to which Nigeria is a signatory. The deportations do indeed fit into the overarching architecture of phase-IV of the Igbo genocide, initiated principally by Obafemi Awolowo, another lawyer, another “senior advocate” of the Nigerian bar, who was then deputy to the genocide prosecuting junta (prime minister) as well as head of the finance ministry and “chief theorist” of the campaign.

(Obafemi Awolowo)
This phase’s strategic objective is to dismantle/degrade the pre-genocide Igbo economy, Africa’s most resourceful and dynamic, in perpetuity. The Awolowoist/Awolowoid expectation is that millions of Igbo would be “forced” out of a “stagnant” homeland-economy with an ever-deteriorating infrastructure to be domiciled elsewhere in the world, with Nigeria envisaged as “main destination” where they would primarily labour in the local industry and services – quite clearly, a form of deportation and this one is straight out of a nazification textbook. What Fashola has tried his hands on twice, within the past 10 months, is the beginning of the reverse trend in deportation. And this can only become more virulently pursued subsequently – again, out of a nazification textbook.

None of the usually visible and shrilling human rights practitioners (individuals or institutions) in and around Lagos has condemned this outrage. If the governor of the state of New York, the US “equivalent” to Raji Fashola, were, for instance, to have deported 72 African Americans to, say, Georgia or Louisiana last week’s Wednesday, the Lagos practitioners would have since been working their phones and pounding their keyboards on calls to the BBC and other broadcasters and website outlets denouncing (rightly) such an act for the record! The hapless New Yorker would probably have lost their job by now, due to the predictable outcry against such repugnant behaviour from both domestic and international audiences. This outrage is another reminder which often affronts the sensibilities of the African democrat in the African World, outside Africa, that continental African heads of regime currently murder and/or inflict greater levels of damage on the African public than any other agency in the world and more often than not walk away free.

It is instructive to note that as the nondescript but ubiquitous Boko Haram cells murder Igbo people (and some others) in their north region homes, businesses, places of worship and recreation and force survivors and the maimed and the bereaved racing back to Igboland with the remains of loved ones, Raji Fashola-operatives, traceable and in uniform, abduct the Igbo from the streets and highways of Lagos, dump them in secured “warehouses” for disorientation for months and then “upload” them on trailers for the journey east to be “offloaded” at Onicha at dawn – usually between 2 and 3. The latter is no doubt a variation on the ultimate goal of the former as both play out in sync to Nigeria’s current thinking on waging this protracted genocide: intensify the murder of the Igbo in the north and begin to challenge Igbo businesses elsewhere, especially in the Lagos district, despite or rather because of the well-known fact that Igbo capital and industriousness have played a key role in building up Lagos for about a century now. These dual vectors of genocide do clearly point the Igbo to one direction only: the east, the Igbo homeland.

It should now be evident to all that Igbo deportation is at the crux of Nigeria’s sustenance of the Igbo genocide, the engine that fires it on. The deportation at stake here is of course the Awolowo-original, not the Raji Fashola-modulation even though the latter has brought this savagery to a head. The Igbo have no greater opportunity since January 1970 than today, now, to begin to deal with and overcome this evil permanently. To confront this deportation with dispatch is to begin the termination of this longest genocide of the contemporary epoch. No one else will accomplish this feat for them.

Disinvestment and boycott

For the Igbo, the long march to re-take Igboland, re-claim Igboland, Biafra, their homeland, for themselves, and consequently end the deportation of 43 years and phase-IV of the genocide begins now. Aimé Césaire would deftly put it this way: “quest to reconquer something, our name (sic), our country … 
ourselves”. And Lagos, pivotally, where Igbo investments and assets are worth billions of US dollars, is where this march begins. Here lies the key to Igbo freedom. Igbo should now embark to disinvest in Lagos and transfer their gargantuan assets to Biafra – move your companies and stocks and shares out of Lagos to Biafra. Business cannot strive in a fascist stockade. Or would it? The contrast of the democratic redoubts of Biafra couldn’t be more welcoming.

Begin anew and invest and invest and invest in Biafra. The specifics, vitality and range abound for the choices of the investor, inventor, scientist, plumber, innovator, thinker, carpenter, analyst, surgeon, builder, artist, composer, mechanic, estate developer, researcher, chef, sportsperson, manufacturer, trader, architect, nurse, entertainer, banker, distributor, painter, teacher, insurer, lawyer, fisherperson, musician, engineer, trucker, producer, sculptor, hotelier, physician, draughtsperson, director, writer, decorator, academic … All conceivable cutting-edge  fields in ideas, science and technology are here to be worked at – researched on, understood, adapted, reworked, invented, manufactured, distributed… Biafra will resume the quest towards establishing the high-powered global-oriented economic enterprise interrupted catastrophically by the genocide.

Igbo entrepreneurs are therefore thrust with the challenge to turn Biafra into the workshop that serves its people and competes actively with the rest of the world. The world will surely respond accordingly by establishing crisscrossing routes of communication to Igboland to enhance cooperation and exchange. The investment and transformational opportunities emplaced within the population of 50 million throughout the 200-mile north-south stretch of highlands and escarpments and forestlands and grasslands and valleys and waterfalls and lakes and assorted reserves of mineralogical and agricultural resources from the Nsukka plateau (north) to Azumini, Igwe Nga/Opobo, Igwe Ocha/Port Harcourt, Umu Ubani/Bonny, Umuebelengwu and Ahoada of the Igbo Atlantic (south) and the 100 mile-panhandle from Ugwuta, Onicha and Anioma west to the Abakaleke/Ehugbo/Bende/Arochukwu east are breathtakingly immense for the imaginative and industrious investor.

To complement Igbo disinvestment of Lagos over the deportation, Igbo must also begin to boycott all goods and services made in and for Lagos. The Lagos brand is henceforth toxic: “Don’t buy ‘Made in Lagos’”. The frequently commuting Igbo should cancel all ticket reservations on flights in and out of Lagos and bookings in Lagos hotels. They should use other airports en route to Biafra such as Enuugwu, Owere, Asaba, Igwe Ocha and those in Calabar and Uyo. New airports should be built to cope with the fast changing situation. A Lagos boycott will only soon force airlines to route directly to hitherto un-used facilities (with the necessary upgrades of course!) such as Enuugwu and Owere, for instance, as ultimately, as everyone knows, successful business orients to the client’s preferences. There is no reason why the overwhelming majority of Igbo travellers should not fly straight to their Biafran destinations in a few months as the boycott of Lagos intensifies. No more Lagos business conferences: don’t plan one there; don’t attend one there – just skip it as “unimportant”! Finally, the Igbo importers and exporters who command a dominant space in the Lagos district ports’ activities should move their businesses elsewhere: Igwe Ocha, Calabar, Warri, Sapele, Burutu and, soon, Igbo entrepreneurs and engineers will add to these capacities new outlays in Azumini, Onicha and elsewhere and the bridging up of the Aba-Igwe Ocha conurbation to further diversify enterprise and opportunities.  

The return of the Igbo has indeed begun.

(Ornette Coleman Quartet, “Turnaround” [personnel: Coleman, alto saxophone; Don Cherry, trumpet; Red Mitchell, bass; Shelly Manne, drums; recorded: Contemporary’s Studio, Los Angeles, US, 23 February 1959])
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