Monday, 30 June 2014

The antinomies of the “Berlin-state”

(Review essay of Chinua Achebe, A Man of the People [London: Heinemann, 1966], 167pp., £7.10, pb, £4.35, kindle ed/US$11.63, pb)

Arrow of God

This is the year of Arrow of God. 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Chinua Achebe’s tome. I have been rereading it lately to write a paper for a conference on this jubilee commemoration later on in the year. I decided, earlier on in the year, to first reread A Man of the People, Achebe’s fourth and later novel after Arrow of God, and then approach the latter – in other words, alternate the sequencing of the epochs of the groundings of the two texts by appearing to reread Arrow of God backwards! For now, I would like to keep the important discovery I think I may have encountered in this fascinating rereading format until my conference paper delivery. It will be published subsequently.

One by-product that has of course emerged in the exercise has been the opportunity to review A Man of the People even if this invariably anticipates its own jubilee two years away. Such a review has a pressing relevance for the present, though, as this year marks the centenary of the British conquest regime’s construction of the unmitigated catastrophe that goes by the name Nigeria, in these lands of southwestcentral Africa, to which A Man of the People interrogates most profoundly. The very gasping irony of this construction, as Osita Ebiem has shown in his recent excellent book, Nigeria, Biafra & Boko Haram (Page Publishing, 2014), is that the British were aware, right from the outset, of its cataclysmic outcome: Frederick Lugard, its chief conquest state operative at the time had indeed observed, “south and north [Nigeria] are like oil and water that do not mix” (Ebiem, 2014: 47) and Hugh Clifford, another conquest overseer, agreed, quite panoramically, in the context of both history and geography, “Nigeria is a collection of independent states, separated from one another by great distances, by differences of history and traditions and by racial, political, social and religious barriers” (Ebiem, 2014: 11). Despite the misgivings, the conquest regime “cobbled together” (12) these disparate peoples and worldviews for the express interests of British politicoeconomic and strategic expropriatory goals (12, 26-27).

(Oliver Nelson Quintet, “Six and Four” – personnel: Nelson, alto saxophone; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; Richard Wyands, piano; George Duvivier, bass; Roy Haynes, drums [recorded Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 1 March 1961])

A Man of the People (hereinafter, AMP) is published in early January 1966. This is a few days before the military coup d’état that overthrows the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa civilian government which the supposedly outgoing British occupation-governor had imposed on the country in 1959, following a fractious election that the British rigged in favour of its north regional sociopolitical clients. The latter would, in turn, safeguard those vast expropriatory interests of Britain’s in the country subsequently (Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “Elections in Africa – the voter, the court, the outcome”, 29 June 2014).

 A striking feature in the resolution of the grave crisis of this state that Achebe wrestles with in AMP is its degeneration into a military coup and rampaging violence (“But the Army obliged us by staging a coup at that point and locking up every member of the Government” – Achebe, A Man of the People, 1966: 165), an extraordinary predictive insight, if ever there was one, that confronts the reader, considering the gruesome trajectory of politics in Nigeria, in 1966, the year this same state launches the Igbo genocide, the foundational genocide of post(European)conquest Africa, in which 3.1 million Igbo are murdered. Indeed on the receipt of an advance copy of AMP, poet and playwright John Pepper Clarke-Bekederemo observes, “Chinua, I know you are a prophet. Everything in this book has happened except a military coup” (emphasis in the original). Ken Post, a British academic working in west Africa at the time, recalls: “Chinua Achebe proved to be a better prophet than any of the political scientists”. Once again, “Prophet”! Is Chinua Achebe, the Father of African Literature, also a prophet?

AMP focuses on two main protagonists: Nanga, or to refer to his official designation, Chief the Honourable M. A. Nanga, M.P., Minister of Culture, and Odili, the narrator. In case anyone is inclined to think that Nanga’s depiction is much of a parody, given the thrust of the novel, they need to be reassured that a Nanga actively walking the corridors of regime power in contemporary Nigeria, 50 years later, is more likely to wear the following even more bombastic tag: Chief (Prof) Dr Alhaji Sir (Gen, ret.) Mallam The Honourable M. A. Ph.D. Nanga, M.P., mni, Minister of Higher Priesthood & Culture, such is Achebe’s exceptional descriptive and imaginative insights so registered avidly throughout the novel. Nanga epitomises what public service entails for the typical politician in Nigeria, since 1960: corrupt and corrupting operative who fleeces the public treasury, “bloated by the flatulence of ill-gotten wealth, living in the big mansion built with public money” (Achebe, 1966: 85).

Odili, the school teacher, the reflective intellectual, and authorial voice, argues that the Chief (Prof) Dr Alhaji Sir (Gen, ret.) The Honourable Nangas of the times are so stubbornly confident that, “as long as [peoples in society] are swayed by their hearts and stomachs and not their heads the … Nangas of this world will continue to get away with anything” (73). The Nangas here, and in fact elsewhere, Odili continues, have “taken away enough for the owner to notice … It was not just a simple question of a [person’s] cup being full. A [person’s] cup might be full and none the wiser. But here the owner knew, and the owner … is the will of the people” (97). Besides the billions of US dollars which Britain and its allied interests have wrenched from its Nigeria creation over the years, what empirically constitutes that which has been “taken away enough for the owner to notice” by these fleecing brigands of African overseeing truckers between the 1960s and presently is US$700 billion.

Brigand & monster

Here, Franz Schurmann’s observation that these brigands are not “traditional but rather a phenomenon of modernity. They are fighting for power in a Western-type state” is hugely significant. What has been definitive in the past 48 years of this “fighting for power” in the restricted, calibrated spaces of just overseeing these African redoubts created by and for European World/overseas’ interests is that it is a fight to the death – genocides (Igbo, Tutsi, Darfuri, Blue Nile/South Kordofan/Nuba Mountains, Democratic Republic of the Congo), wars, immiseration, genocides, wars, immiseration... Between 29 May 1966 and today, 30 June 2014, the “Berlin-states” of Africa have been responsible for the murder of 15 million Africans. Its worst offender, its most notorious, its principal killer, remains Nigeria. This Nigeria. This haematophagous monster. This Nigeria, this killing machine which continues its murder of Africans most ruthlessly, most flagrantly, most unconscionably, even as these lines are written…

Africans now no longer need any reminders that the “Berlin-state” in their midst is not there for their interests, their wellbeing. Enough of this reminder! Enough! There couldn’t be any more eloquent interlocutors on this subject, in the case of Nigeria, for instance, than Messrs Lugard & Clifford, the very creators of this contraption, as was highlighted earlier. It is now an overriding imperative that each and every constituent people or nation in Africa embarks on the construction of a state that suits its wellbeing. This crisis, currently, is undoubtedly existential.


Just as an empirical value has been offered to underscore the urgency of Odili’s philosophical musings on the pulverising economic legacy of the local overseer brigands of the still-occupied Africa, another empirical reference is available, thankfully, to address Odili’s own liberatory conclusion that “the owner knew”, “the will of the people”, at last, does know what is at stake in this human-made imbroglio. It also requires a human intervention to right this wrong of history. Osita Ebiem’s Nigeria, Biafra & Boko Haram, which I cited earlier, is at once positioned to operationalise Odili’s optimism with regards to the resolution of the case of Nigeria, at least, and, 100 years to the day, offers a historic reply to conquest operatives Lugard & Clifford:
No generation of human beings should live as if the world comes to an end after them ... [T]he people in this generation must work at freeing all the entrapped sovereign nations and their people from the traumatic union of one Nigeria … this generation cannot afford to depart this stage without dissolving the Nigerian union in the interest of the next ones. (added emphasis) (Ebiem: 184-185)

83rd birthday of Andrew Hill

(Born 30 June 1931, Chicago, US)
Seminally innovative pianist and composer, including the critically acclaimed Point of Departure, Compulsion!!!!! and Eternal Spirit, academic


Friday, 27 June 2014

On the morrow: 13 January 1970

On the morrow of this pulverising season of slaughtering, this genocide, the only tangible capability that the murderers have acquired is one to commit even more murders –  nothing else … definitely, not the more challenging capacity to develop and transform their human potential and economy and, in turn, attract and merit the accolades and recognition from peers elsewhere. Alas, murders, murdering, murders constitute their easily decipherable DNA signature.

(Bobby Hutcherson Sextet, “Dialogue” – personnel: Hutcherson, vibraphone; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Sam Rivers, bass clarinet; Andrew Hill, piano; Richard Davis, bass; Joe Chambers, drums [recorded:  Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, Cliffs, NJ, US, 3 April 1965])

142nd birthday of Paul Laurence Dunbar

(Born 27 June 1872, Dayton, Ohio, US)
Prolific poet, novelist, playwright, songwriter (writes lyrics for In Dahomey, the very successful 1903 musical which appears in Broadway and elsewhere), essayist, whose critically acclaimed output foreshadows the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s-1930s


Thursday, 26 June 2014

77th birthday of Reggie Workman

(Born 26 June 1937, Philadelphia, US)
Versatile and celebrated bassist with an expansive collaborative recording register that includes ensembles led by John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Max Roach, Art Blakey,  Lee Morgan, Mal Waldron, Wayne Shorter, Archie Shepp, John Tchicai, Freddie Hubbard and David Murray, band leader, composer, academic whose outstanding music education initiatives stretch beyond the confines of the academy to address varying community needs and aspirations particularly those involving the youth


101st birthday of Aimé Césaire

(Born 26 June 1913, Basse-Pointe, Martinique)
Poet, playwright, essayist, cofounder (with Léopold Sédar Senghor and Léon-Gontram Damas) of the “negritude” movement in Paris in the 1930s-1940s, one of the preeminent intellectuals of African World affirmation in the wake of 500 years of pan-European enslavement of African peoples, conquest and occupation of Africa, author of classics Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (1939; English: Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, 1956) Discours sur le colonialisme (1950; English: Discourse on Colonialism, 1953), Toussaint Louverture: La Révolution française et le problème colonial (1960, study on the Haitian restoration-of-independence revolutionary), Une Saison au Congo (1966; English: A Season in the Congo, 1968 – play on life and times of Patrice Lumumba, which actor Chiwetel Ejiofor demonstrates a stellar performance on the London stage, 2013) and Une Tempête (1969, English: A Tempest, 1986 – a play, an African-centred rereading of Shakespeare’s The Tempest), teacher and major influence on Frantz Fanon, fellow Martinican and celebrated liberatory scholar and author of The Wretched of the Earth  


Monday, 23 June 2014

91st birthday of George Russell

(Born 23 June 1923, Cincinnati, US)
Pianist, bandleader, conductor, versatile composer (including, especially, The Jazz Workshop, Jazz in the Space Age, Statusphunk, Ezz-thetics, The Outer View, The Essence of George Russell, Listen to the SilenceLive in an American Time Spiral, The African Game)  and very influential music theorist, author of the classic, The Lydian Chromatic Concept of  Tonal Organization (1953)


Sunday, 22 June 2014

51st birthday of Emma Okocha

(Born 22 June 1963, Asaba, Igboland)
Footballer, sports administrator, journalist, human rights activist, onye amuma ndiigbo, the courageous 4-year-old who, at the early stages of phase-III of the Igbo genocide, survives the Saturday 7 October 1967 mass execution of  700 Igbo male, boys and men, by a genocidist Nigeria military brigade (commanded by Murtala Muhammed and Ibrahim Haruna and Ibrahim Taiwo) in Asaba, twin Oshimili/Niger River port, during which most of his family and other relatives are murdered, author of Blood on the Niger (TriAtlantic Books, 2006), compulsory reference in the study of the Igbo genocide, which meticulously catalogues the savagery and aftermath of this massacre


Friday, 20 June 2014

94th birthday of Eduardo Mondlane

(Born 20 June 1920, Manjacaze, Mozambique)
Historian and sociologist, academic, UN research staff, cofounder and president, Frente de Libertação de Moçambique, FRELIMO, the liberation movement which frees Mozambique from nearly 500 years of Portuguese conquest and occupation


86th birthday of Eric Dolphy

(Born 20 June 1928, Los Angeles, US)
Multiinstrumentalist genius – alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, bassoon, oboe… – whose compositions, recordings and evocative soloing with any chosen instrument in his own multicombo-led settings and across a range of collaborative ensembles (especially those led by drummers Chico Hamilton and Max Roach, alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman, pianists George Russell and Andrew Hill, tenor and soprano saxophonist John Coltrane and bassist Charles Mingus) have a distinctly recognisable Dolphyian signature and impacted the jazz repertoire most profoundly


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Genocide in Africa – 1878-2014 timeline

(1)  1878-1908: King Leopold II-led Belgian monarchy/state-organised genocide of constituent peoples in the Congo basin of central Africa (2,442,240 sq km landmass, 80 times the size of Belgium) – 13 million African constituent peoples murdered (see, especially, multiple research by historian and linguist Isidore Ndaywel e Nziem)

(2)  1904-1907: German state-organised genocide of Herero people in Namibia65,000 out of 80,000 Herero murdered or 80 per cent of the total Herero population wiped out

(3)  1904-1907: German state-organised genocide of Nama people in Namibia10,000 Nama were murdered or 50 per cent of the Nama population destroyed

(The New York Contemporary Five, “Mick” – personnel: Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet;  John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Don Moore, bass; JC Moses, drums [recorded: live, Jazzhus Montmarte, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 November 1963])
(4)  29 May 1966-12 January 1970 (phases I-III): Nigeria state-organised genocide of Igbo people, foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, supported, centrally, by Britain (diplomatically, politically, militarily) – 3.1 million Igbo or one-quarter of this nation’s population murdered, highest number of genocide fatality of any single constituent nation or people on the continent

(5)  13 January 1970-Present Day (phase-IV): Nigeria state-organised genocide of Igbo people – tens of thousands of Igbo murdered

(6)  1994: Rwanda state-organised genocide of Tutsi people – 800,000 Tutsi murdered

(7)  Since mid-1990sDemocratic Republic of the Congo/contiguous states/proxy states-facilitated/organised genocide of African constituent peoples in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – 5 million constituent African peoples murdered

(8)  2003-2oo6: The Sudan state-organised genocide of Darfuri people – 300,000 Darfuri murdered

(9)  Since 2006: The Sudan state-organised genocide of African constituent peoples in the south of the country (Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, Blue Nile) – tens of thousands of African constituent peoples murdered


Sunday, 15 June 2014

92nd birthday of Jaki Byard

(Born 15 June 1922, Worcester, Mass, US)
Pianist, pianists’ pianist whose “encyclopaedic knowledge” (to quote the recurring phrase from many a critic) of the jazz piano repertoire ensures he ranges effortlessly in his solo take from the stride traditions of the 1920s-1930s (James Johnson, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Fats Waller) to the late 1940s/early 1950s revolutionary breakthroughs of Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols and the later flights of Cecil Taylor but still sounding Jaki Byard, academic, indelible footprints on the Charles Mingus jazz workshop – particularly the classic sextet: Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, flute; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Igbo Question

The “Igbo Question”, as I understand it, is intrinsically linked to the Igbo strategic goal, presently, which is to end the occupation of their homeland by genocidist Nigeria – imposed since 13 January 1970. This is phase-IV of the genocide, launched by Nigeria on 29 May 1966. 3.1 million Igbo people or one-quarter of this nation were murdered by Nigeria and its allies including, especially, Britain, which supported the genocide right from conceptualisation to execution – politically, diplomatically, militarily. These were 44 months of uninterrupted, unimaginable carnage and barbarity perpetrated on a people. No single nation or people in Africa has suffered this gruesome and devastating extent of state(s)-premeditated and organised genocide in history.
 (George Russell Sextet, “Thoughts” – personnel: Russell, piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, bass clarinet; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt, drums [recorded Riverside Record, New York, 28 May 1961])
Given the critical links between the salient features of the politics of the occupation and the overarching architecture of the genocidal campaign, everyone knows that the Igbo termination of the occupation is at once the beginning of their freedom march from Nigeria and the implementation of an expansive socioeconomic programme of reconstruction unprecedented in this region of Africa.  If this is the case, one does not need an Igbo “presidency” in Abuja to achieve this as some Igbo commentators as well as a few others have, at times, contended. Indeed no Igbo “presidency”, not even one reinforced with an all-Igbo personnel in the key cabinet military/police/“security”-positions can halt this genocide. This campaign has now acquired an inexorable logic to its being. What the emergence of Boko Haram and its other subalterns have demonstrated in Nigeria is that the prosecuting agency of the genocide has become very much decentred, very much motivated, very much engagingly virulent. The typical Boko Haram suicide-operating cell is a handful-strength, in single digits, and none in the group knows any of the others until they meet at the designated, targeted site of operation – in which they, invariably, are not expected to survive! If any survives, they of course become a member of new cell of hitherto unknown members and the cycle goes on...


Prior to Boko Haram, still on the Igbo “presidency”, we mustn’t forget that Nigeria was under the leadership of an Igbo general when the genocide began on 29 May 1966. Thus, Igbo “presidency”, however attractive the proposition, offers no route to the Igbo halting the genocide. None whatsoever. The route remains Igbo freedom from Nigeria. This is an inalienable Igbo right with or without the genocide as I have argued severally. If the Scots, for instance, one-tenth of the Igbo population and without a genocide antecedent would wish to leave a union they have largely been exponential beneficiaries for 300 years (“Rights for Scots, Rights for the Igbo”,, the Igbo, surely, don’t require any agonisingly turgid historical and sociological treatise to wish to leave Nigeria.

Contrary to the amazingly ahistorical discourses on the nature of the state and its survivability in some circles, particularly in Africa, the state is very much a transient relationship in human history: Kemet, Roman “empire”, Ghana “empire”, Mali “empire”, Czarist “empire”, Austro-Hungarian “empire”, Ottoman “empire”, British “empire”, Malaya Federation, West & East Pakistan, Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, the Sudan... Twenty-three (23) new states have, for example, emerged in Europe since the end of the 1980s. Even though a population of about 350 million, one-third of Africa’s population, Europeans presently have more states per capita than Africans! And as history shows, the catastrophe is not the collapse of the state; the catastrophe is the attempt to destroy or destroy constituent peoples within the state. Here lies the Igbo Question.


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

94th birthday of Hazel Scott

(Born 11 June 1920, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago)
Perspicacious pianist, singer, actress and human rights activist whose incomparable affirmation of her African American identity in Hollywood of the 1940s-1950s remains a towering legacy


Monday, 9 June 2014

57th birthday of TD Jakes

(Born 9 June 1957, South Charleston, W Virg, US)
Bishop of The Potter’s House, a 30,000-member church in Dallas, US, one of the leading contemporary inspirational preachers with global appeal as sermons are broadcast live on television and the internet, prolific author, film producer


215th birthday of Alexander Pushkin

(Born 6 June 1799, Moscow, Russia)
Moscow currently celebrates a week of activity of poetry recital and reading competition to commemorate the 215th birthday of Pushkin, arguably Russia’s most famous poet and father of modern Russian literature, whose matrilineal great-grandfather, Abram Gannibal, is an enslaved African who works himself through to become an engineer, regional governor and general in the czarist army and rises to the Russian aristocracy, and whose great-granddaughter Nadedja marries Prince George of Battenburg of the British royal family, uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II 


Saturday, 7 June 2014

71st birthday of Nikki Giovanni

(Born 7 June 1943, Knoxville, Tenn, US)
Versatile poet, commentator, human rights activist, academic


97th birthday of Gwendolyn Brooks

(Born 7 June 1917, Topeka, Kansas, US)
Celebrated poet, child prodigy who publishes her first poem at 13, first African American winner of the Pulitzer Prize (1950), Illinois state poet laureate (1968), academic


Friday, 6 June 2014

79th birthday of Grant Green

(Born 6 June 1935, St Louis, Missouri, US)
Guitarist, composer, prolific recorder including, especially, Solid, Idle Moments, Matador, Green Street


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

82nd birthday of Oliver Nelson

(Born 4 June 1932, St Louis, Missouri, US)
Bandleader, prolific arranger and producer, composer, especially the classic The Blues and the Abstract Truth (February 1961), featuring multiinstrumentalist Eric Dolphy, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist Bill Evans, baritone saxophonist George Barrow, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Roy Haynes


69th birthday of Anthony Braxton

(Born 4 June 1945, Chicago, US)
One of the most prolific composers of his generation with music stretching in multiform genres that he collectively captions “creative music”, multiinstrumentalist, philosopher, academic, chess player


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Igbo across the world march for freedom, Friday 30 May 2014 – 47th anniversary of the formal declaration of Biafran independence, in response to the Igbo genocide (phases I-II) launched by Nigeria, 29 May 1966

1. On this 30th day of May, Biafran flags irrepressibly guard the cenotaph atop the majestic hills overlooking Enuugwu, Biafran capital, dedicated to the 3.1 million Igbo children, women and men murdered in the genocide and the courageous fighters of the resistance who fell during the period. This is  shortly after the breathtaking memoralising ceremony organised by Nnamdi Kanu, director of Radio Biafra, and the team of indefatigable broadcasters.
 2. On this 30th day of May, Igbo freedom march for Biafra in Malmö, Sweden (follow on link) – as  in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Germany, Britain, Brazil, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Iviore, Ireland, Japan, Morocco, the Czech Republic, Italy, Australia, China, the US, Congo Republic, Congo Democratic Republic, Jamaica, Holland, Malaysia, Israel, Mexico, Pakistan, India, Qatar, Benin Republic, 
Sénégal, Igboland ... across the world ... this list goes on and on and on. The world can’t have failed to take notice. This march for freedom is unstoppable.
3. On this 30th day of May, Igbo freedom march in Rome, Italy ... This freedom march is unstoppable
4. On this 30th day of May, Igbo worldwide insist: Freedom march, Padova, Italy ...  (follow on link) … 44 years on, the Igbo are back ... What a future beckons ... Watch the Igbo child in the frame – energetic, full of life – yes,  in contrast to 1966...1967...1968...1969...1970... Igbo survival is surely a gift to the Igbo and the rest of humanity. No one should ever take it for granted. Defend it. Live it.
5. On this 30th day of May, Great Ghettoman, Great freedom artist, Great Biafran freedom artist, performs in concert
6. On this 3oth day of May, this ecstatic manifestation of freedom in Taiwan
7. On this 30th day of May, the Igbo marchers in Norway
8. On this 30th day of May, the march in Hamburg, Germany
9. On this 30th day of May, 54 seconds of reminiscences …
10. On this 30th day of May, Igbo march in Brussels, Belgium
11. On this day of 30 May, Igbo freedom marchers in Trafalgar Square, LondonEngland
12. On this 30th day of May, the Igbo march in India insistently … Destination: Biafra 
13. On this 3oth day of May, Biafran freedom rally in Dakar, Sénégal 
 14. On this 30th day of May, Igbo freedom marchers in Hounslow, near London’s Heathrow airport, England
15. On this 30th day of May, Igbo freedom marchers in Tokyo, Japan 
16. Finally, a snapshot on this historic day of 30 May 2014, Igbo march worldwide – for the restoration of Biafran sovereignty

110th birthday of Charles R Drew

(Born 3 June 1904, Washington, DC, US)
Physician, academic, distinguished researcher in medical sciences, directing, soon after his doctorate degree in Columbia University Medical School in 1940 (first African American, had earlier on in 1933 received his MD and Master of Surgery degrees at McGill University), the special New York-based blood transfusion service for Britain, set up in response to the acute blood supply shortages in the country, for both civilian and military, during these early months of the Second World War, named after the Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science, California

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 2 June 2014

Enduring shadows cast across Africa by the Igbo genocide, 29 May 1966-present day

(Three shadows project insistently across the African landscape, indelible reminder to the peoples of the world of the 3.1 million Igbo children, women and men, one-quarter this nation’s population, which dual-genocidist states Nigeria and Britain murdered during the Igbo genocide, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970 – the foundational genocide of post-{European}conquest Africa [illustration from paintings on the rock by San people, southern Africa, 1500-3000 years ago])
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

TO UNDERSTAND the politics of the Igbo genocide, 29 May 1966-present day, is to have an invaluable insight into the salient features and constitutive indices of politics across Africa in the past 50 years. 

Africans elsewhere, including those on the continent and in the diaspora, particularly in the Americas and Europe, remained largely silent on the gruesome events in Nigeria but did not foresee the grave consequences of such indifference as subsequent genocides in Rwanda, Darfur, Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan (latter three in the Sudan) and Zaïre/Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in other wars and conflicts in every geographical region of Africa during the epoch have demonstrated catastrophically, resulting in the additional murder of 12 million Africans:  Liberia, Mali, Libya, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, southern Guinea, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo (5 million murdered here since mid-1990s), Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Central African Republic, Nigeria – where the dual-genocidists have continued their campaign of the Igbo genocide most unrelentingly, most ruthlessly, as they have now have the Boko Haram terrorist organisation as additional asset in that ghastly assemblage of annihilative forces of theirs now 48 years old. The haunting killing fields have indeed stretched, almost inexorably, from Igboland, Biafra, to the rest of Africa

Igbo freedom

The Igbo will be free, their independence fully restored. There is no question about it. Neither Britain nor Nigeria can prevent this outcome, despite these 48 years of pulverising assault on Igbo people. Nigeria, for all intents and purposes, collapsed into inconsequence, irretrievably so, when it embarked on the Igbo genocide during that mid-morning of Sunday 29 May 1966. As for Britain, a British prime minister will, much sooner than most are prepared to contemplate presently, inevitably admit to an eagerly awaiting world audience that Britain has been living a lie as some “civilised” country since 29 May 1966. This is the same time frame of the past 48 years it has spent carrying out the gruesome genocide to destroy Igbo people, one of Africa’s most talented and enterprising peoples, which is its formulated pathway to control the lives and fortunes of African peoples indefinitely. 

GENOCIDE is a crime against humanity and both Britain and Nigeria surely know the consequences of their execution of the Igbo genocide.
(John Coltrane Sextet, “Out of this world” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Donald Garrett, clarinet, bass; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jonesdrums; recorded: live at Penthouse Jazz Club, Seattle, US, 30 September 1965])

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author of Readings from Reading: Essays on African History, Genocide, Literature (2011)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 1 June 2014

179th birthday of James Beale Africanus Horton

(Born 1 June 1835, Gloucester, Sierra Leone)
Physician, first Igbo and African graduate of University of Edinburgh Medical School (August 1859), prolific author of the sciences and history, visionary of the restoration of African independence and transformation of African fortunes in the world, distinguished officer of the British army medical corps, banker

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe