Thursday, 27 February 2014

The state is transient; peoples endure

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

WHATEVER HAPPENED to Sweden-Norway, Czarist Russia, Austro-Hungarian empire, the Ottoman empire, the British empire, British India, French Indo-China, Portuguese empire, Spanish empire and, more latterly, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Malaysian Federation, West Indian Federation,  Central African Federation, British Cameroons, United Arab Republic, Senegambia Confederation, the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Treaty states, Czechoslavakia, Josip Broz Tito’s Yugoslavia, etc., etc? Each and everyone of these no longer exists. Gone! Each of them collapsed, somewhere, along their march in history… 

What happened to the constituent peoples in these states that no longer exist? The constituent peoples exist in innumerable new states with names beginning with and from “A” to “Z”. 

Kosovo vs Fegge, Onicha

WHY did the Polish state disappear from the world map for 123 years (yes, one hundred and twenty-three years!) until its reappearance in 1918? Answer: Gobbled up by predator states, chiefly Czarist Russia. What happened to the Polish people during this century and twenty-three years of varying conquest and occupation? The Poles survived, bidding their time for the restoration of their independence. What could happen to the United Kingdom as from September 2014? The United Kingdom could cease to exist as the world has known it as a “union” incorporating Scotland since 1707, if a simple majority of the 5 million Scottish people votes “yes” in a restoration-of-independence referendum to be held in the country then.  If the Scots leave the UK later on in the year, their state will be the 25th new state that would emerge in Europe since 1991. The last one, in 2008, is Kosovo, with a population of 1.8 million which is less than that of the Fegge district of Onicha, the great market town on the Oshimili River of southwest Biafra. In history, therefore, states have actually been transient formations. It is to human beings that survival belongs, provided no genocidist amalgam plans to wipe out a targeted group of them…
(John Coltrane Quartet, “The promise” [personnel: Coltrane, soprano saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: live radio broadcast, Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany, 4 November 1963])
Inalienable, 1001 states
The right to self-determination is for every people. It is inalienable and is guaranteed by the United Nations. No people is exempt from exercising this right. This is why the slogan that proclaims such gibberish as “indivisibility”/indissolubility”/“indestructibility” of a state, any state, is not really worth the paper it is written on except of course it is an embedded code by a slaughtering-horde for the plot of the next pogrom or the reinforcement of the terror of an ongoing genocide. As everyone knows, the states that Europe created in Africa, in the aftermath of its 1884-1885 Berlin conqueror-conference, cannot provide the fundamental needs of Africans.  This “Berlin-state”, with its bumbling ahistorical name (Nigeria, Niger, Guinea, the SudanChad, whatever!), cannot lead Africans to the reconstructive changes they deeply yearn for after the tragic history of centuries of occupation. Such change was and never is the mission of this state but instruments to expropriate and despoil Africa by the conquest. Essentially, the “Berlin-state” still serves the interests of its creators and those of the ruthless cabal of African-overseers which polices the dire straits of existence that is the lot of Africans currently.

AS IN BERLIN, the state is not a gift from the gods. On the contrary, the state is a relationship painstakingly formulated and constructed by groups of human beings on our planet earth to pursue aspirations and interests envisioned by these same human beings within a shared historical and geographical articulation. The African humanity is presently gripped in a grave crisis for survival. It is now time that it abandoned the contrived “Berlin-state” in order to survive. This state is a bane of African existence. African nations, namely the Igbo, Ijo, Wolof, Ibibio, Asante, Baganda, Bakongo, Gĩkũyũ, Bambara, Luo, etc., etc, remain the basis for the regeneration of Africa’s development. These nations are the sites of the continent’s intellectual and other cultural creativity. 

What is being stressed here is that African peoples, themselves, must each decide on the issue of sovereignty in the post-“Berlin-state” epoch even if the outcome were to lead to the creation of 1001 states in Africa– or more. 

IN THIS epoch of freedom, any African peoples who, for instance, wishes to chart a future based on the precepts of their forebears in the 12th century Contemporary Era (CE) or even way back to say, 8th century Before Contemporary Era (BCE), has the right to pursue this goal. Equally any African peoples who believes that their aspirations lie in working through challenges of the 21st century CE and projecting targets of creativity and transformations subsequently, must exercise this right.  

To achieve the goal(s) of any of the stipulated paths does not require anyone embarking on murdering someone else or having themselves murdered.  For the future survival of the African humanity, let no more die for the path to the civilisation, howsoever this civilisation a people chooses is construed. It surely can be attained and sustained without committing a crime, particularly genocide – a crime against humanity.  

THE FLOURISHING age of organically articulated African-own states to really transform depressing African fortunes in the contemporary world has already begun.
(Lee Morgan Quintet, “Gary’s notebook” [personnel: Morgan, trumpet; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone; Barry Harris, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Billy Higgins, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 21 December 1963])


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Nigeria: Fate of the genocide state

Nigeria is arguably the most notorious of the “Berlin-states” of Africa. Presently, it is perversely celebrating the infamy of its conquest and occupation by Britain and “awarding” officially designated accolades to some of the latter’s lead conqueror-personages as part of this “celebration”. Nigeria is a genocide state. It is also a kakistocratic state. Nigeria is the first genocide state in post-(European)conquest Africa. Between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970, Nigeria embarked on the genocide of Igbo people, a hardworking constituent people who played a vanguard role (beginning in the 1930s) in the freeing of Nigeria from the British occupation. Nigeria murdered 3.1 million Igbo, one-quarter of this nation’s population within those gruesome 44 months. This genocide is still ongoing as these notes are written. Igbo and any other peoples subjected to genocide have no other choice but abandon this state and create alternative states of freedom and security. Surely, a genocide state is no candidate for “reforms”, “structuring”, “re-structuring”, “negotiating”, “re-negotiating”, “claiming”, “re-claiming” nor any such inanities. A genocide state is dismantled. This is its fate in history.

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Sunday, 23 February 2014

146th birthday of WEB Du Bois

(Born 23 February 1868, Great Barrington, Mass, US)
Sociologist, historian, African-centred scholar and activist, towering public intellectual – decades before “public intellectual” becomes in vogue

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Saturday, 22 February 2014

76th birthday of Ishmael Reed

(Born 22 February 1938, Chattanooga, Tenn, US)
 Prolific poet, essayist, novelist, composer, and academic
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

58th birthday of Leo Stan Nnamdi Ekeh

(Born 21 February 1956, Ubomiri, Igboland)
Versatile entrepreneur and manufacturer, head of Zinox Technologies which specialises in computers/information technology systems and innovations

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Friday, 21 February 2014

Thoughts for the weekend

The Igbo and all others who have lived through the terror of the post-(European)conquest state must abandon it at once to survive and advance towards the construction of higher levels of civilisation. They have no other choice. Each and every constituent African people or nation can build this civilisation outside the existing genocide state of enthralled and degenerative union. Let Africa’s constituent peoples or nations unleash a dazzling contest of creativity and progress, a continuing mutual bombardment and sharing of ideas and streams of possibilities, akin to what the world has seen in Asia, Latin America and elsewhere in the past 40 years – not mass murdering … mass murdering … mass murdering … pillaging … pillaging … pillaging … nihilism … nihilism … nihilism ... Most surely, now is the time to embark on this beginning.

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FWD: Right to “self-determination” is for every people, all peoples, irrespective of history or geography

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81st birthday of Nina Simone

(Born 21 February 1933, Tryon, NC, US)
Pianist, composer, singer, human rights activist
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Thursday, 20 February 2014

87th birthday of Sidney Poitier

(Born 20 February 1927, Miami, US)
Celebrated actor, director, diplomat
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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

83rd birthday of Toni Morrison

(Born 18 February 1931, Lorain, Ohio, US)
One of the United States’s preeminent writers – novelist, academic, essayist, editor, commentator, winner of 1992 Nobel prize for literature

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Monday, 17 February 2014

What census is not in a Nigeria

Writing in his memoirs, Harold Smith, the Oxford educated official in the British conquest and occupation regime in Lagos, Nigeria, during the 1950s/1960, recalls:
The British loved the North and had arranged for 50% of the
votes to be controlled by the Northern People’s Congress …
Because of this, independence was to some extent a sham
because the results were a foregone conclusion. The North
and the British would continue to rule … [this poll was a]
mockery because the outcome – Northern domination of
Nigeria after independence – was assured before a single
vote was cast.
Fifty-three years later, Festus Odimegwu, brilliant chemist and entrepreneur and head of the so-called census commission in Nigeria, reminds the world of this historic British fraudulence and, in response, head-of-regime Jonathan relieves Odimegwu of his position. This genocide and kakistocratic state has also within its retrogressive recesses the ambition to abolish the truth that every hardworking school child knows. O di egwu!

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Saturday, 15 February 2014

FWD: The Poetry of Genocide

Call for submissions: The Poetry of Genocide
Dear friends
The Combat Genocide Association is pleased to introduce the first anthology of poetry about genocide. The anthology will include poetry written by survivors, witnesses, and relatives of genocide victims. We intend to collect about 100 poems from different genocides. The anthology will be published in several languages and countries.
 We seek your help in locating poems written during or after these events:
 *The genocide in Bangladesh (1971)
 *The genocide in Cambodia (1975-1979)
 *The genocide in Bosnia (1992-1995)
 *The Holocaust (1941-1945)
 *The mass murder of the Roma (1941-1945)
 *The Armenian genocide (1915-1918)
 *The genocide in Guatemala (1981-1983)
 *The genocide in Rwanda (1994)
 *The genocide in Biafra (1966-1970)
 *The genocide in Darfur (2003- today)
We, the members of the Combat Genocide Association, Jews and Arabs, women and men, cry out in pain for the murdered innocents. Our cry is a protest against the authorities who did not stop the terror. Our cry is an expression of anguish that a people can be defined as inferior and then inhuman, until their slaughter is not a crime but a duty.
We cry out, too, for the equality of every person, for the fight against evil, for freedom, and for peace. Our cry is an echo of the cries of those who were there. Our anthology will educate using their cries, from within the horror, the cries that were captured in poetry.
“For a poem is not timeless ... [it] can be a message in a bottle, sent out in the- not always hopeful- belief that somewhere and sometime it could wash up on land, on heartland perhaps” –  Paul Celan
 This anthology can become a powerful educational tool for students of all ages. Poems should be sent to the Combat Genocide Association by May 1st, 2014. Where possible, please include a brief biographical description of the author (up to 200 words).
With thanks for your assistance
Maya Valentine
Combat Genocide Association
 ©2014 Micr

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Friday, 14 February 2014

Father of African Literature on “The story”

“It is only the story ... that saves our progeny from blundering like blind beggars into the spikes of the cactus fence. The story is our escort; without it, we are blind. Does the blind man own his escort? No, neither do we the story; rather, it is the story that owns us” – Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah, New York: Anchor Books, 1997, p. 114.

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

196th birthday of Frederick Douglass

(Born c14 February 1818, Talbot county, MD, US)
One of the most outstanding intellectuals of his age – orator, expansive writer and traveller, activist of African American freedom

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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

201st birthday of Harriet Jacobs

(Born 11 February 1813, Edenton, NC, US)
Writer, author of the historic Incidents in the life of a slave girl (1861), influential activist of African American freedom movement

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Monday, 10 February 2014

Elections in Africa – the voter, the court, the outcome

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “Elections in Africa – the voter, the court, the outcome”, PENSAR-Revisita de Ciêcias Jurídicas, Vol. 18, Número 3, 2013, pp. 804-836.

Full paper in English available here, free, by clicking on following link:

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Friday, 7 February 2014

131st birthday of Eubie Blake

(Born 7 February 1883, Baltimore, MD, US)
Pianist and prolific composer, including celebrated musicals (especially Shuffle Along [co-written by Noble Sissle] and Eubie), enjoying a career that stretches for eight decades, beginning in 1898

Blake plays “Charleston Rag”, which he originally composed in 1899 as “Sounds of Africa”, in New York, 1980

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Thursday, 6 February 2014

90th birthday of Pius Okigbo

(Born 6 February 1924, Ojoto, Igboland)
Renowned economist, economic advisor to the Biafran resistance government during the Igbo genocide, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970

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69th birthday of Bob Marley

(Born 6 February 1945, Nine Mile, Jamaica)
Iconic musician who with fellow Jamaican artists Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailers and others, beginning in the 1960s, transform reggae into a driving global music genre of social justice and change
(Bob Marley & the Wailers, “Exodus” [musicians and performers: Marley, lead vocal, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, percussion; Aston “Family Man” Barrett, fender bass, guitar, percussion; Carlton Barrett,  drums, percussion; Tyrone Downie, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals; Alvin “Seeco” Paterson, percussion; Julian (Junior) Marvin, lead guitar; I Threes (Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt), backing vocals; recorded: Harry J studio, Kingston, Jamaica, 1976 & Island Studio, London, England, January-April 1977])
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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

101st birthday of Rosa Parks

(Born 4 February 1913, Tuskegee, Ala, US)
Eminent human rights activist – appositely reminds the world: “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right”

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FWD – Once again, Britain: Why the Igbo? Why?

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Sunday, 2 February 2014

100th birthday of William Ellisworth Artis

William Artis working on A Mother’s Love (1963)
(Born 2 February 1914, Washington, NC, US)
Celebrated versatile sculptor and academic
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