Thursday, 30 October 2014

Igbo and Nigeria’s “election” season

“Election” time in Nigeria is time-of-death. It is also time-of-destruction, time-of-desolation, time-of-waste, time-to-waste...

Obasanjo: Prelude

Olusegun Obasanjo captures the characterisation of this season most vividly, if not horridly, in a February 2007 proclamation at Abeokuta, west Nigeria: “it’s do or die” (, 11 February 2007). And Olusegun Obasanjo should know. Olusegun Obasanjo knows exactly what he is talking about: he has been head of regime in Nigeria for 11 years and had been schooled for this role whilst commander of Nigeria’s death squad in south Biafra during the Igbo genocide, murdering tens of thousands of Igbo people in towns and villages in the region in addition to personally ordering the shooting down of a clearly-marked international Red Cross aircraft flying in urgently needed relief supplies to the besieged and bombarded Igbo in June 1969 (Olusegun Obasanjo, My Command: 1981: 79 ). Nigeria murdered 3.1 million Igbo or one-quarter of this nation’s population between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970. Arguably, among his colleagues, Olusegun Obasanjo most espouses the haematophagous signature of this genocide-state he has served so assiduously since 29 May 1966.


Already  the strains of  “it’s do or die” anthem shrill ominously in Nigeria 3-4 months before “elections”, if indeed these are eventually held, heralded this time round by that “dog-and-the-baboon-would-all-be-soaked-in-blood” prologue scripted by Muhammadu Buhari (The Vanguard, Lagos, 15 May 2012), another Igbo genocide commander, and prospective candidate for head of regime in the “polls”. Junaid Mohammed, a public official from Kano, north region, had lately, at last, worked through a chorus for this anthem with the predictable, recognisable, hate-filled line to incite the next Igbo murder trail: “Igbo [are] devoid of any shame to show their greed, selfishness and contempt” (, 26 October 2014). The Igbo and the world, surely, have not failed to take note of this evident trigger, in October 2014, to expand, even further, the Igbo genocide.

Position paper

The Igbo response to this Nigerian time-of-death can’t be any clearer and more focused. Igbo must resolutely and totally safeguard Igbo life and property in Igboland forthwith. “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”, as Wendell Phillips’s aphorism invokes, aptly becomes the overarching banner of reference to work with.  Igbo in the Nigeria diaspora must similarly take great care of their lives and interests during these times. Inevitably, Igbo will respond to the political platforms of the contending parties and coalitions for the “polls”. For any of these parties/coalitions or whosoever interested in seeking the Igbo vote at any level in any constituency in Igboland or in Nigeria, the following position paper is squarely on the table, articulating Igbo demands for their vote:

1. Publicly acknowledge the Igbo genocide carried out by Nigeria from 29 May 1966 to 12 January 1970. Nigeria murdered 3.1 million Igbo people or one-quarter of this nation’s population in this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa.

2. Pay comprehensive reparations to all Igbo survivors and families of this genocide since 13 January 1970.

3. Support Igbo current efforts to prosecute all persons and interests involved in the Igbo genocide. Genocide is a crime against humanity. There is no statute of limitations in international law for the apprehension and punishment of those responsible for this crime.

4. Return in full, including interests since 13 January 1970, the sum of Igbo savings and other bank accounts sequestrated by Nigeria soon after the end of that phase of the genocide when a surviving “male-head” of an Igbo family was doled out £20.00.

5. Return in full Igbo property assets sequestrated by Nigeria since 13 January 1970 and pay full compensation for the non-use/loss of earnings on these assets since.

6. Comprehensively account for the pillaging of the oil and gas reserves in the Igbo oil and gas fields in Rivers, Imo, Abia and Delta administrative regions since 13 January 1970. Return in full, in addition to accruing interests, the billions of dollars worth of oil and gas sales from these reserves since.

7. Comprehensively pay compensation for blanket policy of Nigeria’s non-development of Igboland after the latter’s destruction/degradation of the Igbo economy in the wake of the phase of the genocide, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970.

8. Comprehensively pay compensation for Nigeria’s deliberate policy to ignore ever-expanding soil erosion/landslides and other pressing ecological emergencies particularly in northwest Igboland since the mid-1970s.

9. Comprehensively pay reparations to tens of thousands of Igbo people who Nigeria state/quasi-state operatives have murdered since 1980. There have been 21 cases of premeditated pogroms against the Igbo, particularly in north Nigeria, between 1980 and 2014, in which tens of thousands of Igbo have been murdered. 90 per cent of the 54,000 people murdered in Nigeria by the state/quasi-state operatives and agents since 1999 are Igbo people. At least 80 per cent of people murdered by the Boko Haram across swathes of lands in north/northcentral Nigeria since the outbreak of the insurgency are Igbo. Hundreds of thousands of Igbo families have abandoned homes and businesses in the affected region and returned to Igboland.

10. Igbo will not vote APC or any parties/fractions/tendencies affiliated to this party. This party’s Lagos region regime deported Igbo people from Lagos to Igboland twice in the past 24 months (
These deportations are clear violations of the human rights of the Igbo deportees, rights guaranteed by the United Nations relevant conventions and articles to which Nigeria, a UN member state, is a signatory. No APC functionary, at any level, has unambiguously condemned this outrage.

11. Completely dismantle Nigeria’s military and administrative occupation of Igboland, enforced since 13 January 1970. Comprehensively pay reparations for this occupation.

12. Support current Igbo efforts for an internationally organised referendum in Igboland to determine Igbo goal for the restoration of sovereignty. The right of a people to self-determination is inalienable, guaranteed by the UN relevant conventions and articles to which Nigeria, a UN member state, is a signatory.

(Booker Little Sextet, “Moods in free time” [personnel: Little, trumpet; Julian Priester, trombone; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; Don Friedman, piano; Art Davis, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Nola’s Penthouse Studios, New York, 17 March 1961])
Igbo are arguably the world’s most brutally targeted and most viciously murdered of peoples presently. Not since 29 May 1966-12 January 1970 has Igbo life under Nigerian occupation acquired such a gripping existential emergency.

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

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