Saturday, 29 November 2014

108th birthday of Akanu Ibiam

(Born 29 November 1906, Unwana, Igboland)
Affable physician, erudite theologian, principled statesperson, works for 30 years in the Church of Scotland/Presbyterian Church rural medical programme in central Igboland and west of the Ibibio country and who, in 1967, returns to Queen Elizabeth II of England the three insignias of knighthood (OBE, KBE, KCMG) conferred on him by both her and her father (King George VI) in protest against the central role being played by Britain in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, when Nigeria murders 3.1 million Igbo people, one-quarter of this nation’s population, between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Thursday, 27 November 2014

72nd birthday of Jimi Hendrix

(Born 27 November 1942, Seattle, US)
Arguably the most creative and accomplished guitarist of all time, collaborates with fellow artist Joan Baez in a historic concert at Steve Paul’s Scene, Manhattan, New York, 29 August 1968, where they both perform free in a concert of solidarity with the people of Biafra, being subjected to the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa by Nigeria and close ally Britain and others, with Hendrix additionally offering a personal donation of US$500.00 to Biafra
(Jimi Hendrix and Joan Baez in hearty conversation during intermission at the special Biafra concert, New York, 29 August 1968)

(The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Purple haze” [personnel: Hendrix, guitar; Noel Redding, bass; Mitch Mitchell, drums; recorded: De Lane Lea Studios, London, 11 January 1967/Olympic Studios, London 3-5 February 1967])

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

FWD: Call for papers – 4th annual international Igbo conference 2015, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Theme: Igbo Womanhood, Womanbeing and Personhood, 17-18 April 2015 (paper submission deadline: 16 January 2015)
Igbo womanhood has been central in the conceptualisation of several African feminist theories. African Womanism is influenced by ‘the Igbo concept of Odozi ani, the “rehabilitator”: the person who wants to make amends to ensure that the country supports its people from an environmental, ethical, and judicial viewpoint’. Nego-feminism or a ‘negotiated feminism’ is inspired by the Igbo/African woman’s experience as it is argued that ‘the theology of nearness grounded in the indigenous installs feminism in Africa as a performance and an altruistic act. African women do feminism; feminism is what they do for themselves and for others.’ In this sense Igbo womanhood which has developed within the milieu of Igbo tradition and culture, has been important in the exploration of African women’s experiences, located within local and global discourses.

 One Igbo scholar pronounced that ‘several concepts among the Igbo are identified with woman, for instance, freedom, stability, morality and justice’, yet suggests that there is an inherent paradox of womanbeing. This paradox, it is argued, centres on the differing treatment of wives and mothers by their male counterparts in which mothers are extolled whilst wives are not. Scholars have documented the economic empowerment of Igbo women in pre-colonial and colonial Nigeria, in part facilitated by flexible gender systems within Igbo culture.

 This conference seeks to create a platform through which to engage with various conceptions of Igbo womanhood, vis-à-vis the changing position of Igbo women and the changing practices in Igbo culture. It seeks to explore Igbo traditions in relation to the role and status of women and examine the numerous social and political contributions made by Igbo women.

 This conference invites papers that examine a variety of aspects of Igbo womanhood which include, but are not limited to:

• Igbo Women’s Writing

• Ritual and Female Participation

g mnwany or The Igbo Women’s War of 1929

• Igbo Womanbeing and Personhood

• Mammy Water, Female Deities and Masquerades

• ‘Male Daughters’ and ‘Female Husbands’

• Women and Igbo Cosmology

• Male and Female Principles

• Igbo Women and the Ancestors

• Gendered Spaces

• Igbo Women’s Titles

• Widow Practices

• Igbo Women in the Arts and Sciences

• Representations and Participation of Igbo Women in Nollywood

• Historicising the Changing Position of Igbo Women

• Igbo Women and the Family; mada (Lineage Daughters) and Nwunyedi (Lineage Wives)

• The Politics of Inheritance

• Igbo Women’s Aesthetics

• Motherhood vis-à-vis Womanhood

• Igbo Women in the Diaspora

• Political Participation of Women in the Pre-colonial, Colonial and Post-independence Eras

• Igbo Women in Digital Spaces

• Feminism, Womanism and the Igbo World
Please email abstracts of up to 200 words including the paper title, your name (first name followed by surname), current position, institutional affiliation, email address, mailing address and phone number to Dr Louisa Uchum Egbunike: no later than 16th January 2015

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe


217th birthday of Sojourner Truth

(B ?1797, Rifton, NY, US; dies 26 Nov 1883, Battle Creek, Mich, US)

Leading abolitionist of African American enslavement and campaigner for gender rights and equality whose historic address at the December 1851 Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, entitled “Ain’t I a Woman?”, has been copiously anthologised ever since

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

45th anniversary of John Lennon’s decision to return MBE knighthood medal to Queen Elizabeth II over British role in Igbo genocide

(Medal is sent back to Buckingham Palace, 25 November 1969)

Iconic Beetle’s John Lennon sends back the 1965 MBE knighthood medal bestowed on him by Queen Elizabeth II of England over Britain’s role in the Igbo genocide by Nigeria in which 3.1 million Igbo people, one-quarter of this nation’s population, are murdered between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 24 November 2014

80th birthday of Zeal Onyia

(Born 24 November 1934, Asaba, Igboland)
Masterly trumpeter, composer and public intellectual whose 1958 composition, the effervescent “Egwu jazz bu egwu Igbo” (“Jazz is Igbo music”), leads him to research Igbo contribution to the development of jazz, African American classical music, and who receives the highest accolade of his career when none other than Satchmo himself, Louis Armstrong, visiting Lagos, Nigeria, in 1961, and listening to Onyia play at Surulere stadium, inquires in that unmistakeably popsian voice, “Who is that hip cat?”

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 23 November 2014

85th anniversary of Ogu umu nwanyi Igbo or Igbo Women’s War

(Resistance begins 23 November 1929, Aba, Igboland)

With the initial mobilisation of 10,000 women which soon expands to 25,000 and joined by women from the neighbouring Ibibio country, Igbo women in Aba (east Igboland) embark on a 2-month historic resistance against the oppressively expansive stretch of 50 years of the British conquest, paralysing the occupation regime and its institutions in much of the east, central and southern regions of Igboland consequently and losing 50 members of the freedom movement during the campaign, shot by the occupation police

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 22 November 2014

77th birthday of Adiele Afigbo

(Born 22 November 1937, Ihube, Igboland)
Dean of Igbo Historical Studies whose seminal books and papers, particularly Warrant Chiefs (1972)Ropes of Sand (1981)Ikenga (1986), The Igbo and their Neighbours (1987) and Groundwork of Igbo History (1991) are foundational texts and references for the study of Igbo history and civilisation

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

FWD New book – Conflict in the Nuba Mountains: From Genocide by Attrition to the Contemporary Crisis in Sudan

(Samuel Totten and Amanda F Grzyb, eds., Conflict in the Nuba Mountains: From Genocide by Attrition to the Contemporary Crisis in Sudan [New York & London: Routledge, 2014, 314pp, US$125.29/£92.58, hb; US$41.84/£22.52, pb])
This is the first book to focus on the two different but very similar campaigns of state-sponsored violence that have engulfed the people of the Nuba Mountains in Sudan. First, between late 1989 and the mid 1990s, the Government of Sudan, under President Omar al Bashir, carried out what some have deemed genocide by attrition against the people of the Nuba Mountains. The second crisis in the Nuba Mountains has been unfolding since July 2011 as the result of continued strife after the civil war in Sudan and the secession of South Sudan.
Conflict in the Nuba Mountains: From Genocide by Attrition to the Contemporary Crisis in Sudan examines the two crises in detail and provides a comparative analysis of the conditions and government tactics in both cases. Contributing authors address the issue of impunity, the relation to subsequent genocidal actions in Darfur, and renewed violence in the Nuba Mountains today. Contributors also examine the issues of humanitarian aid, the relatively new mandate of Responsibility to Protect, and the various factors influencing international attention to the current Nuba Mountains crisis.
This much-needed volume brings attention to two under-researched conflicts and raises questions of what it means when a government is allowed complete impunity in attacking its own peoples. This book is a significant contribution to our understanding of the prevention and intervention of genocide and ethnic conflict.


Samuel Totten is a scholar of genocide studies at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He is the author and editor of multiple books about genocide, including Genocide by Attrition:The Nuba Mountains, Sudan and Centuries of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts

Amanda F Grzyb is associate professor of information and media studies at Western University (Canada) where her teaching and research focus on Holocaust and genocide studies, social movements, and media and the public interest
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe 

FWD – Book release announcement: Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America

(Andrew Woolford, Jeff Benvenuto, Alexander Laban Hinton, eds., Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America [Durham, NC: Duke University, 2014, 392pp, US$75.55/£64.00, hb; US$22.21/£17.81, pb])


This important collection of essays expands the geographic, demographic, and analytic scope of the term genocide to encompass the effects of colonialism and settler colonialism in North America. Colonists made multiple and interconnected attempts to destroy Indigenous peoples as groups. The contributors examine these efforts through the lens of genocide. Considering some of the most destructive aspects of the colonization and subsequent settlement of North America, several essays address Indigenous boarding school systems imposed by both the Canadian and U.S. governments in attempts to “civilize” or “assimilate” Indigenous children. Contributors examine some of the most egregious assaults on Indigenous peoples and the natural environment, including massacres, land appropriation, the spread of disease, the near-extinction of the buffalo, and forced political restructuring of Indigenous communities. Assessing the record of these appalling events, the contributors maintain that North Americans must reckon with colonial and settler colonial attempts to annihilate Indigenous peoples.


Jeff Benvenuto, Robbie Ethridge, Theodore Fontaine, Joseph P. Gone, Alexander Laban Hinton, Tasha Hubbard, Kiera L. Ladner, Tricia E. Logan, David B. MacDonald, Benjamin Madley, Jeremy Patzer, Julia Peristerakis, Christopher Powell, Colin Samson, Gray H. Whaley, Andrew Woolford


Andrew Woolford is professor of sociology and criminology and social justice research coordinator at the University of Manitoba

Jeff Benvenuto is a PhD student in the division of global affairs at Rutgers University, Newark

Alexander Laban Hinton is the director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights; professor of anthropology and global affairs; and the UNESCO chair on genocide prevention at Rutgers University, Newark

Theordore Fontaine is the author of Broken Circle: The dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Africa’s population in global context

Africa’s population is currently one billion covering an incredible vast landmass of 30,221,533 sq km. This size is about four times the landmass of Brazil or more than the combined landmass of the following countries: the United States, China, India, Argentina and the whole of Western Europe, including the British Isle  (all the statistics here on countries’ population, landmass and the like are derived from The World Bank, World Development Report 2013 and United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2013). 

Attenborough: Whose population control?

Ethiopia’s landmass is 1,221,892 sq km, five times the size of Britain’s at 244,044 sq km. Yet Britain’s population of 62 million is three-quarters that of Ethiopia’s 83 million. Focusing on these Ethiopia statistics, particularly, the basis and conclusions of naturalist David Attenborough’s September 2013 discussion on this subject could not, indeed, have been so comprehensively disingenuous (see Hanna Furness, “Sir David Attenborough: If we do not control population, the natural world will”, The Daily Telegraph, London,  18 September 2013,, accessed 16 November 2014)

As for Somalia, it is 2.6 times the size of Britain but has a population of only 9 million. Sudan and South Sudan provide an even more fascinating comparison. Whilst both countries are 10 times the size of Britain, they support a population of 45 million – about 70 per cent the size of Britain. In fact the Sudans have a landmass equal to that of India which is populated by 1.22 billion people – i.e., more than the population of all of AfricaBritain is one-tenth the size of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which has a landmass of 2,345,395 sq km, similar to the Sudans and India. In other words, the DRC is about ten times the size of Britain but with a population of 71 million, nine million more than the population of the latter. Even though the DRC landmass is about twice that of all of BritainFrance and Germany (1,275,986 sq km), it has just about one-third of these three west European countries’ total population of 208 million. Inevitably, the evidence does beg the question as to where this population really is! Where are these overpopulated Africans?! Where are they?

Second, let us examine similarly sized countries. France has a landmass of 547,021 sq km close to Somalia’s. However, France’s population of 65 million is about seven times the population of Somalia. Similarly, Botswana is slightly larger than France at 660,364 sq km but with a population of 2 million, a minuscule proportion of France’s. Uganda’s landmass at 236,039 sq km is about the size of Britain’s 244,044 sq km. Yet with a population of only 33 million, Uganda is about half that of Britain’s. Similarly, Ghana’s landmass of 238,535 sq km makes it approximately equal to the size of BritainGhana is however populated by only 25 million people, far less than one-half Britain’s population.

Southern World to Southern World comparisons can also prove useful in exposing the fallacy of either Africa’s “large population” or “potential explosive population”.  Iran’s size of 1,647,989 sq km is about two-thirds that of Sudan and South Sudan combined. Yet its population, unlike the Sudans’ 45 million, is at least one and one-half times as large at 75 million. Mexico’s landmass is 1,943,950 sq km. This is approximately the same size as the Sudans but with a population of 115 million, Mexico is two and one-half times the former. Pakistan´s landmass of 803,937 sq km is just about Namibia’s 864,284 sq km but Pakistan’s population is 174 million while Namibia’s is 2 million! Even though Bangladesh’s 143,998 sq km-landmass makes it roughly one-eight the size of Angola (1,246,691 sq km) as well as that of South Africa’s (1,221,029 sq km), Bangladeshi population at 159 million outstrips Angola’s 13 million and South Africa’s 50 million. If we were to return to our earlier comparisons, Angola and South Africa are about 4-5 times the size of Britain but with one-fifth and four-fifths respectively of the latter’s population. 

Where are they?

The total landmass of the United States, China, India, Argentina and the whole of Western Europe, including the British Isle, is 29, 843, 826 sq km less that Africa’s, as we stated earlier. But all these states  population is 3.47 billion in contrast to Africa’s 1 billion. We must, once again,  pose the two pertinent questions: Where are these overpopulated Africans?! Where are they? Africa constitutes a spacious, rich and arable landmass that can support its population, which is still one of the world’s least densely populated and distributed, into the indefinite future.

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

“Sub-Sahara Africa” is gratuitously racist; don’t use it; challenge it wherever you are, whenever you see it

(The paper “‘Sub-Sahara Africa’ is racist”, previously published on 28 August 2012, is reissued here with few changes in the original, preceded by Charles Mingus Sextet, featuring multiinstrumentalist Eric Dolphy,  playing Mingus’s composition,  “Fables of Faubus”, one of the most insistent essays on freedom ever – full personnel: Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Dolphy, bass clarinet; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Jaki Byard, piano; Danny Richmond, drums [recorded, live, Cornell University, 18 March 1964])

“Sub-Sahara Africa” is racist*****

It appears increasingly fashionable for a number of broadcasters (BBC, CNN, France24, etc., etc) websites (see, for instance, CNN, France24, BBC), news agencies (Reuters, AP, AFP, etc., etc), newspapers (The Times, Financial Times, Washington Post, Le Monde...) and magazines, the United Nations/allied agencies and some governments, writers and academics to use the term “sub-Sahara Africa” to refer to all of Africa (54 countries) except the 5 predominantly Arab states of north Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt) and the Sudan, a northcentral African country. Even though its territory is mostly located south of the Sahara Desert, the Sudan is excluded from the “sub-Sahara Africa” tagging by those who promote the use of the epithet because the regime in power in Khartoum describes the country as “Arab” despite its majority African population. 

Which science?

As we now demonstrate, the concept “sub-Sahara Africa” is absurd, misleading, if not a meaningless classificatory schema. Its use defies the science of the fundamentals of geography but prioritises hackneyed, stereotypical, racist labelling. It is not obvious, on the face of it, which of the four possible meanings of the prefix, “sub”, its users attach to the “sub-Sahara Africa” labelling. Is it “under” the Sahara Desert or “part of”/“partly” the Sahara Desert? Or, presumably, “partially”/“nearly” the Sahara Desert or even the very unlikely (hopefully?) application of “in the style of, but inferior to” the Sahara Desert, especially considering that there is an Arab people sandwiched between Morocco and Mauritania (northwest Africa) called Saharan? 

The example of South Africa is appropriate here. Crucially, this is a reference underlined in the relevant literature of the era especially those emanating from the West, the United Nations (principally UNDP, FAO, WHO, UNCTAD), the World Bank and IMF, the so-called NGOs/“aid” groups, and some in academia who all are variously responsible for initiating and sustaining the operationalisation of this “sub-Sahara Africa” dogma. The point is that prior to the formal restoration of African majority government in 1994, South Africa was never designated “sub-Sahara Africa” by anyone in this portrait, unlike the rest of the 13 African-led states in southern Africa, which were also often referred to, at the time, as the “frontline states” (reference to their strategic support for the historic African liberation movement across their borders in South Africa). South Africa then was either termed “white South Africa” or the “South Africa sub-continent” (as in the “India sub-continent” usage, for instance), meaning “almost”/“partially” a continent – quite clearly a usage of “admiration” or “compliment” employed by its subscribers to essentially project and valorise the perceived geostrategic potentials or capabilities of the erstwhile European-minority population’s occupation regime-led country. 

But soon after the triumph of the African freedom movement there, South Africa became “sub-Sahara Africa” in the quickly adjusted schema of this representation! What happened suddenly to South Africa’s geography to be so differently classified?! Is it African liberation/rule that renders an African state “sub-Sahara”?[1] Does this post-1994 West-inflected South Africa-changed classification make “sub-Sahara Africa” any more intelligible? Interestingly, just as in the South Africa “sub-continent” example, the application of the “almost”/“partially” or indeed “part of”/“partly” meaning of prefix “sub-” to “Sahara Africa” focuses unambiguously on the following countries of Africa: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, each of which has 25-75 per cent of its territory (especially to the south) covered by the Sahara Desert. It also focuses on Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and the Sudan, which variously have 25-75 per cent of their territories (to the north) covered by the same desert. In effect, these ten states would make up sub-Sahara Africa. 

Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, the five Arab north Africa countries, do not, correctly, describe themselves as Africans even though they unquestionably habituate African geography, the African continent, since the Arab conquest and occupation of this north one-third of African territory in the 7th century CE. The West governments, press and the transnational bodies we referred to earlier (which are led predominantly by West personnel and interests) have consistently “conceded” to this Arab cultural insistence on racial identity. Presumably, this accounts for the West’s non-designation of its “sub-Sahara Africa” dogma to these countries as well as the Sudan, whose successive Arab-minority regimes since January 1956 have claimed, but incorrectly, that the Sudan “belongs” to the Arab World. On this subject, the West does no doubt know that what it has been engaged in, all along, is blatant sophistry and not science. This, however, conveniently suits its current propaganda packaging on Africa, which we shall be elaborating on shortly. 

It would appear that we still don’t seem to be any closer at establishing, conclusively, what its users mean by “sub-Sahara Africa”. Could it, perhaps, just be a benign reference to all the countries “under” the Sahara, whatever their distances from this desert, to interrogate our final, fourth probability? Presently, there are 54 so-called sovereign states in Africa. If the 5 north Africa Arab states are said to be located “above” the Sahara, then 49 are positioned “under”. The latter would therefore include all the 5 countries mentioned above whose north frontiers incorporate the southern stretches of the desert (namely, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and the Sudan), countries in central Africa (the Congos, Rwanda, Burundi, etc., etc), for instance, despite being 2000-2500 miles away, and even the southern African states situated 3000-3500 miles away! In fact, all these 49 countries, except the Sudan (alas, not included for the plausible reason already cited!), which is clearly “under” the Sahara and situated within the same latitudes as Mali, Niger and Chad (i.e., between 10 and 20 degrees north of the equator), are all categorised by the “sub-Sahara Africa” users as “sub-Sahara Africa”. 

“Sub-”s of the world?

To replicate this obvious farce of a classification elsewhere in the world, the following random exercise is not such an indistinct scenario for universal, everyday, referencing: 

1. Australia hence becomes “sub-Great Sandy Australia” after the hot deserts that cover much of west and central Australia 

2. East Russia, east of the Urals, becomes “sub-Siberia Asia” 

3. China, Japan and Indonesia are reclassified “sub-Gobi Asia” 

4. Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam become “sub-Himalaya Asia” 

5. All of Europe is “sub-Arctic Europe” 

6. Most of England, central and southern counties, is renamed “sub-Pennines Europe” 

7. East/southeast France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia are “sub-Alps Europe” 

8. The Americas become “sub-Arctic Americas” 

9. All of South America south of the Amazon is proclaimed “sub-Amazon South America”; Chile could be “sub-Atacama South America” 

10. Most of New Zealand’s South Island is renamed “sub-Southern Alps New Zealand” 

11. Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama become “sub-Rocky North America” 

12. The entire Caribbean becomes “sub-Appalachian Americas”

African-centred scholarship

So, rather than some benign construct, “sub-Sahara Africa” is, in the end, an outlandish nomenclatural code that its users employ to depict an African-led “sovereign” state – anywhere in Africa, as distinct from an Arab-led one. It is the users’ non-inclusion of the Sudan in this grouping (despite its majority African population and geographical location) but its inclusion of South Africa only after the latter’s 1994 liberation that gives the game away! More seriously to the point, “sub-Sahara Africa” is employed to create the stunning effect of a supposedly shrinking African geographical landmass in the popular imagination, coupled with the continent’s supposedly attendant geostrategic global “irrelevance”. 

“Sub-Sahara Africa” is undoubtedly a racist geopolitical signature in which its users aim repeatedly to present the imagery of the desolation, aridity, and hopelessness of a desert environment. This is despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of 1 billion Africans do not live anywhere close to the Sahara, nor are their lives so affected by the implied impact of the very loaded meaning that this dogma intends to convey. Except this steadily pervasive use of “sub-Sahara Africa” is robustly challenged by rigorous African-centred scholarship and publicity work, its proponents will succeed, eventually, in substituting the name of the continent “Africa” with “sub-Sahara Africa” and the name of its peoples, “Africans”, with “sub-Sahara Africans” or, worse still, “sub-Saharans” in the realm of public memory and reckoning.

*****This essay is a slightly updated version of a paper, Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe,  “What is ‘sub-Sahara Africa’?”, read at the IDeoGRAMS Conference: Contemporary Media, University of Leicester, 14 September 2007.

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

[1]Roger Tangri, Politics in Sub-Sahara Africa (London and Portsmouth, NH:  James Currey, 1985), p. ix, passim.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

78th birthday of Don Cherry

(Born 18 November 1936, Oklahoma City, US)
Innovative pocket trumpeter and multi-brass instrument player, key exponent of the Ornette Coleman school in the free jazz revolution of the 1950s/1960s

(John Coltrane & Don Cherry, “Cherryco” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Cherry, pocket trumpet; Charlie Haden, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums; recorded: Atlantic Studios, New York, US, 28 June/8 July 1960])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 17 November 2014

Thinking the unthinkable? Can Boko Haram attack Igboland?

The Boko Haram insurgency in north Nigeria is principally an intra-regime conflict. Head of regime Jonathan is adamant that this is the case as his January 2012 statement shows (The Vanguard, Lagos, 12 January 2012).[1] The May 2012 international conference on the conflict at Howard University comes to the same conclusion. It is this evident character of the conflict that has led to the US military reticence to intervene more robustly on the ground (as the Jonathanistas fractions have sought all along) since its aerial surveillance over the region was launched, prompted by the insurgent’s reported school children’s abduction operations earlier on in the year.

If the conflict is intra-regime, then it follows that there are Boko Haram sympathisers/supporters/operatives in genocidist military formations elsewhere in Nigeria, and in Nigeria-occupied Igboland. In other words, Boko Haram, presently, has the capability to strike or open up new fronts anywhere else in Nigeria or indeed in Igboland. The reason why these latter attacks haven’t occurred yet is undoubtedly strategic rather than just tactical. These new fronts will be serious business indeed! Those in the genocidist military allied to the Haram are convinced that any Haram attacks in Lagos or Ibadan or Abeokuta or Benin, west Nigeria, for instance, or indeed in Igboland, will have unpredictable responses from local populations that will qualitatively transform this conflict to “unmanageable” levels and consequences unlike prevailing circumstances. This is one of the key considerations why this conflict is still restricted to the north/northcentral regions of Nigeria. Nothing more. 

[1]“Boko Haram is everywhere in the executive arm of [my] government, in the legislative arm of [my] government and even in the judiciary.  Some are also in the armed forces, the police and other security agencies … Some continue to dip their hands and eat with you and you won’t even know the person who will point a gun at you or plant a bomb behind your house.”

 (John Coltrane & Don Cherry, “Focus on sanity” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Cherry, pocket trumpet; Percy Heath, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums; recorded: Atlantic Studios, New York, US, 28 June/8 July 1960])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 16 November 2014

84th birthday of Chinua Achebe

(Born 16 November 1930, Ogidi, Igboland)
Father of African Literature
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 15 November 2014

130th anniversary of start of Berlin conference on Africa subjugation

Today marks the 130th anniversary of the beginning of the infamous 15 November 1884-26 February 1885 European leaders’ Berlin conference on Africa (chaired by German Chancellor von Bismarck and  attended by the following states: Britain, France, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Ottoman “empire”, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria-Hungary, Denmark, Czarist Russia, Sweden-Norway) to formalise the pan-European seizure, planned occupation, and irrepressible exploitation of the gargantuan riches of the African World, the catastrophic aftermath which prevails that contemporary Africans must rectify if they have to survive
(Max Roach Quintet, featuring Abbey Lincoln, “All Africa” [personnel: Roach, drums; Lincoln, vocals; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Coleridge Perkinson, piano; Eddie Khan, bass; recorded: Belgian television, {?} January 1964])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe