Saturday, 29 August 2015

Great weekend puzzle

Which of the following 51 states listed below has the following inscription etched brazenly on its coat-of-arms:
Our lead regime cadres of genocidist and putschist sergeants and “generals” and privates and corporals are indeed recycled routinely as immanent crucibles of statecraft

1. Kiribati

2. Solomon Islands

3. Britain

4. Turkmenistan

5. Sénégal

6. São Tomé & Principe

7. Hungary

8. Estonia

9. Surinam

10. The Netherlands

11. Congo Democratic Republic

12. Kosovo

13. Canada

14. Myanmar

15. New Zealand

16. Columbia

17. Russia

18. Kenya

19. Thailand 

20. Togo

21. Venezuela

22. Saudi Arabia

23. Peru

24. St Lucia

25. Libya

26. Vanuatu

27. Brazil

28. Yemen

29. Finland

30. Laos

31. Argentina 

32. Somalia

33. Nigeria

34. Guinea-Bissau 

35. Pakistan

36. Jamaica

37. Ghana

38. Chad

39. Poland

40. Honduras

41. Australia

42. Kenya

43. Kazakhstan

44. Papua New Guinea

45. Kyrgyzstan

46. Côte d’Ivoire

47. Ukraine

48. Ecuador

49. North Korea

50. East Timor

51. Austria
(New York Art Quartet plays Charlie Parkers composition, “Mohawk” [personnel:  John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Roswell Rudd, trombone; Reggie Workman, bass; Milford Graves, drums; recorded: Nippon Phonogram, New York, 16 July 1965]) 

95th birthday of Charlie Parker

(Born 29 August 1920, Kansas City, US)
Alto saxophonist genius and composer who plays an instrumental role in inaugurating the bebop revolution in jazz, African American classical music, in the 1940s/early 1950s, channelling its creativity and outcomes crucially to this epoch of African American freedom quest
(Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, “Hot house” [personnel: Parker, alto saxophone; Gillespie, trumpet; Dick Hyman, piano; Sandy Block, bass; Charlie Smith, drums; recorded: DuMont television network, New York, US, 24 February 1952])

Friday, 28 August 2015

77th birthday of Alexander Obiefoka Animalu

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


Thursday, 27 August 2015

Minimalist 5-year task for the state in Africa: 28 August 2015 – 28 August 2020

Many would probably adjudge as “too modest” the following 12 tasks* that states in contemporary Africa are called upon to accomplish for their peoples in the next five years starting tomorrow, Friday 28 August 2015. Despite such reservation, the tasks are available here for the challenge. Can any of these states achieve the set goals? Which? Which cannot? Why not? Each of the current 54 so-called sovereign African states has the capacity to accomplish these tasks during the the set timeframe including, particularly, those disarticulated entities where regime cadres of genocidist and putschist sergeants and “generals” and privates and corporals are ritually recycled as immanent crucibles of statecraft.

Freedom vs Not-fit-for-purpose

If any of the states can’t, then such a state should be deemed dissolved – not fit for purpose. This is now the opportunity for constituent nations or peoples to seize the historic initiative of freedom, since February 1885, and march along focused with a sense of mission to embark on this reconstruction/redevelopment themselves, underscoring that lucid insight since proffered by Walter Rodney – “development means a capacity for self-sustaining growth . In other words, the engine of societal development is located internally, in the peoples, themselves, not the prevailing and pervasive fraudulent developmentalism beamed to Africa whose mission has the etched signature of some external agency and the latter’s central interests.

Goals for states/new states

1. Cut by 50 per cent prevalence of communicable ailment in the population

2. One hundred quality primary health care centres with excellent facilities, equipment and medicine

3. One hundred quality primary and secondary schools with excellent world-standard 
curriculum content, equipment, staff and study environment

4. One university of worldwide standard, attracting staff and students from across the region and world

5. One thousand apprenticeship opportunities to study at excellent technical schools, producing skilled workforce of electricians, builders, welders, plumbers, mechanics

6. Fifty per cent of young people, 18-25, have access to small-scale loans to start business ventures

7. Fifty per cent of women have access to small-scale loans to start business ventures

8. Pave 1000 kilometres of well-constructed road linking towns and cities and country

9. Engage 1000 new farmers in agricultural work, providing technical and financial support 

10. Fifty per cent of population have access to clean pipe-borne water supply

11. Fifty per cent of population have access to power 24 hours a day, seven days a week

12. Fifty per cent of homes connected to the internet
(John Coltrane & Don Cherry, “Focus on sanity” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Cherry, cornet; Percy Heath, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums; recorded: Atlantic Studios, New York, 28 June/8 July 1960]) 
*I wish to thank Dr Okwuonicha Nzegwu for her contribution to this commentary


106th birthday of Lester Young

(Born 27 August 1909, Woodville, Mississippi, US)
“Pres”/“Prez” of the tenor, influential tenor saxophonist whose unique, more introverted tone has had an immense impact on several successive lead players of the instrument including, especially, Gordon, Getz, Mulligan, Cohn, Sims, Quinichette and Stitt
(Billie holiday & Her All Stars, featuring Lester Young, play “Fine and mellow” [full personnel: Holiday, vocals; Roy Eldridge, trumpet; Doc Cheatham, trumpet; Vic Dickenson, trombone; Gerry Mulligan, baritone saxophone; Lester Young, tenor saxophone; Ben Webster, tenor saxophone; Coleman Hawkins, tenor saxophone; Danny Baker, guitar; Mal Waldron, piano; Milt Hinton, bass; Osie Johnson, drums; recorded: CBS, “Sound of Jazz”, New York, US,  8 December 1957])

78th birthday of Alice Coltrane

(Born 27 August 1937, Detroit, United States)
Perspicuous harpist, pianist, organist, bandleader and versatile composer which includes the ethereal masterpiece, Ptah, the El Daoud (personnel: Coltrane, piano, harp; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone; Ron Carter, bass; Ben Riley, drums [recorded: Impuse! Records, New York, 26 January 1970])

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

97th birthday of Katherine Johnson

(Born 26 August 1918, White Sulphur Springs, W Virginia, US)

Iconic mathematician, physicist, computer scientist and space scientist, with expansive work in the US space programme


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Igbo Question – 25 August 2015

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

The “Igbo Question” is intrinsically linked to the Igbo strategic goal, presently, which is to end the occupation of their homeland, Biafra, by genocidist Nigeria – imposed since 13 January 1970. This is phase-IV of the genocide, launched by Nigeria on Sunday 29 May 1966. 3.1 million Igbo people or 25 per cent of this nation’s population 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 such a gruesome and devastating 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, US, 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, most agree 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 southwestcenral 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, but quite uncritically. 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”,, accessed 18 July 2015), 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 UnionYugoslaviaCzechoslovakiaEthiopia, 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 to destroy/attempt to destroy constituent peoples within the state as the Igbo, for instance, have faced in a Nigeria since 29 May 1966. Here lies the Igbo Question.


82nd birthday of Wayne Shorter

(Born 25 August 1933, Newark, New Jersey, US)
Cerebral tenor and soprano saxophonist, member of the Miles Davis Second Great Quintet (1964-1968; personnel: Davis, trumpet; Shorter, tenor saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums)) and arguably the most prolific living composer in the repertoire – compositions include standards “Lester left town”, “Footprints”, “Nefertiti” and “ESP” and  Schizophrenia, Speak No Evil  and the classic, The All Seeing Eye
(Wayne Shorter Septet, “Chaos” [personnel: Shorter, tenor saxophone; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Grachan Moncur III, trombone, James Spaulding, alto saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood CliffNJ,US, 15 October 1965)

Saturday, 22 August 2015

FWD: Teresa R Kemp, African American historian, traces her origin to Oka, Igboland

BY Biafra Diboh (slightly edited from the original)
(Teresa Kemp)
Teresa R Kemp, one of African Americans involved in the free medical care trip to the Anambra region, northwest Igboland, has traced the ancestral home of her father to Oka, Igboland.
Kemp, a military historian, who recently organised an Igbo arts and cultural festival in South Carolina, United States, said that her great grandfather, named Osinachi, was enslaved and trafficked over 187 years ago as a metalsmith from Oka to the United States, as confirmed by DNA.
With an interest in the works of African peoples, Kemp told The Nation that she had written a book, Keeper of the Fire, of an Igbo metalsmith from Awka, detailing the story of her ancestor. She describes Igbo people as hardworking, intelligent, unassuming, and entrepreneurial in nature: “I am proud to be linked to Ndiigbo, the world has prospered because of Ndiigbo”.
Kemp went to Anambra with an organisation called ASA-World (which has membership in 27 countries), made up of the region’s indigenes resident overseas whose mission is to provide free medical care for the people, costing US$ 800,000.
The team brought diagnostic equipment and medicine to be left behind for resident doctors and other health officials to continue using in Oko, in Orumba north local government, Abagana, Njikoka local government, Obosi, Idemili north local government, Ihembosi and Ozubulu, both Ekwusigo local government, and Oba, Idemili south local government district.
The medical mission treated and provided medicine to people suffering from different ailments. Total treated are: 1,100 in Oko, 8,500 in Abagana, 1,200 in Ihembosi, 1,300 in Obosi, and 1,200 in Ozubulu.


Friday, 21 August 2015

111th birthday of Count Basie

(Born 21 August 1904, Red Bank, New Jersey, US)
Pianist, organist, composer, arranger, his salutary majesty of the big band and swing whose orchestra for 50 years, beginning in 1935, becomes a conservatoire for the distinguished graduating array of instrumentalists and singers of the age including, particularly, tenor saxophonist Lester Young, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry Edison and singers Billie Holiday, Helen Humes, Big Joe Turner, Joe Williams and Jimmy Rushing
(Count Basie and Orchestra, “One O’clock jump” [Reveille with Beverley film, 1943])

87th birthday of Art Farmer

(Born 21 August 1928, Council Bluffs, Iowa, US)
Very distinguished lyrical flugelhorn player and trumpeter with grace and sensitive tonality, composer and bandleader
(Art Farmer Quintet, “Johnny come lately” [personnel: Farmer, fluguelhorn, Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; James Williams, piano; Rufus Reid, bass; Marvin “Smitty” Smith, drums; recorded: Contemporary, New York, 14 and 15 January 1987])

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Weapons of genocide – British arms to Nigeria to wage genocide against Igbo people: An overview

The world turns and the world changes,
But one thing does not change.
In all my years, one thing does not change,
However you disguise it, this thing does not change:
The perpetual struggle between Good and Evil.
(TS Eliot, “Choruses from the Rock”, 1934)


Britain, under the primeministership of Harold Wilson, plays an instrumental role in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide – politically, diplomatically and militarily. Without this entrenched British role, there probably would not have been the Igbo genocide… In this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, Nigeria and its British principal ally murder 3.1 million Igbo or one-quarter of this nation’s population during the course of 44 months…
(Harold Wilson: central role)
1.*****  Early December 1967: Britain supplies  six Saladin armoured personnel carriers (APCs), 30 Saracen APCs along with 2,000 machine guns for them, anti-tank guns and 9 million rounds of ammunition to Nigeria genocidist military…

2. By the end of December 1967:  Britain approves export of 1,050 bayonets, 700 grenades, 1,950 rifles with grenade launchers, 15,000 lbs of explosives and two helicopters to Nigeria genocidist military…

3. In the first half of 1968: Britain approves export of 15 million rounds of ammunition, 21,000 mortar bombs, 42,500 Howitzer rounds, 12 Oerlikon guns, 3 Bofors guns, 500 submachine guns, 12 Saladins with guns and spare parts, 30 Saracens and spare parts, 800 bayonets, 4,000 rifles and two other helicopters to Nigeria genocidist military…

4. November 1968: Britain agrees that 5 million more rounds of ammunition, 40,000 more mortar bombs and 2,000 rifles, six Saladins and 20,000 rounds of ammunition for them, and stepped up monthly supplies of ammunition, amounting to a total of 15 million rounds additional to those already agreed, should be sent to Nigeria genocidist military…

5. 1968: The recent deal meant that Britain had supplied 36 million rounds of ammunition in the last few months alone

6. By the end of 1968:  Britain had sold £9 million worth of arms, £6 million of which was spent on small arms, to genocidist Nigeria military …

7. March 1969: Britain approves export of 19 million rounds of ammunition, 10,000 grenades and 39,000 mortar bombs to Nigeria genocidist military…

8. August 1969: Britain dispatches two senior RAF officers to Nigeria to advise the genocidists on their air terror campaign…

9. December 1969: Even as the Nigeria genocidist military is about to overrun the Igbo resistance, Michael Stewart, British foreign secretary, is calling for more British military supplies to the campaign, especially armoured cars…

(*****Reference to compendium [1-9] of British arms dispatch to genocidist Nigeria: Mark Curtis, “Nigeria’s war over Biafra, 1967-70”,

Annhilative score

As the slaughter of the Igbo intensifies, particularly in the catastrophic months of 1968-1969, Harold Wilson is totally unfazed as he informs Clyde Ferguson, the United States state department special coordinator for relief to Biafra, that he, Harold Wilson, “would accept a half million dead Biafrans if that was what it took” Nigeria to destroy the Igbo resistance to the genocide (Roger Morris, Uncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy, 1977: 122).

As the final tally of the murder of the Igbo demonstrates, Harold Wilson probably has the perverted satisfaction of having his Nigerian subalterns perform far in excess of the prime minister’s grim target, a subject coldly stated in Wilson’s own memoirs where he notes that the Nigerian military, equipped zealously by Britain as highlighted above, expends more small arms ammunition in its campaign to achieve its annhilative mission in Igboland than the amount used by the British armed forces  “during the whole” of  the Second World War (Harold Wilson, Labour Government, 1964-1970: A Personal Record, 1971: 630, added emphasis).

And on this very annhilative feature, Colonel Robert Scott, military advisor in the British diplomatic mission in Nigeria, during the period, acknowledges, equally gravely, that as Nigerian genocidist military forces unleash their attacks on Igbo cities, towns and villages, they are the “best defoliant agent known” (Daily Telegraph, London, 11 January 1970).
(Wayne Shorter Septet, “The all seeing eye” [personnel: Shorter, tenor saxophone; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Grachan Moncur III, trombone, James Spaulding, alto saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood CliffNJ,US, 15 October 1965)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

What Igbo did for Nigeria

Where is the life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
(TS Eliot, “Choruses from the Rock”, 1934)

FOR THE Igbo, prior to 29 May 1966, three important holidays were high up on their annual calendar: the Igbo National Day, the iri ji, or the New Yam Festival, and 1 October. The latter was the day of celebration for the restoration of independence for peoples in Nigeria after 60 years of the British conquest and occupation. Or, so were the thoughts predicated on this date’s designation...


The Igbo were one of the very few constituent nations in what was Nigeria, again prior to 29 May 1966, who understood, fully, the immense liberatory possibilities ushered in by 1 October and the interlocking challenges of the vast reconstructionary work required for state and societal transformation in the aftermath of foreign occupation. The Igbo had the most robust economy in the country in their east region homeland, supplied the country with its leading writers, artists and scholars, supplied the country’s top universities with vice-chancellors (or presidents) and leading professors and scientists, supplied the country with its first indigenous university (the prestigious university at Nsukka), supplied the country with its leading and most spirited pan-Africanists, supplied the country with its top diplomats, supplied the country’s leading high schools with head teachers and administrators, supplied the country with its top bureaucrats, supplied the country with its leading businesspeople, supplied the country with an educated, top-rated professional officers-corps for its military and police forces, supplied the country with its leading sportspersons, essentially and effectively worked the country’s rail, postal, telegraphic, power, shipping and aviation services to quality standards not seen since in Nigeria…

And they were surely aware of the vicissitudes engendered by this historic age precisely because the Igbo nation played the vanguard role in the freeing of Nigeria from Britain, beginning from the mid-1930s. The commentator, Sabella Ogbobode Abidde, couldn’t have been more emphatic in summarising the thrust of the Igbo mission during the period:
The Igbo nation ha[s] attributes most other Nigerian nationalities can only dream of and are what most other nations [are] not. The Igbo made Nigeria better. Any wonder then that the Igbo can do without Nigeria; but Nigeria and her myriad nationalities cannot do without the Igbo? Take the Igbo out of the Nigeria equation … and Nigeria will be gasping for air (, 28 July 2004).
THE IGBO’s break with Nigeria occurred catastrophically on Sunday 29 May 1966. On this day, leaders of the Fulani islamist/jihadist north region (feudal overlords, muslim clergy, military, police, businesspeople, academics, civic servants, other public officials and patrons, alimajiri), who were long opposed to the liberation of Nigeria (there were no comparable clusters of political, cultural, ideational, religious, national or racial groupings anywhere else in the Southern World, during the era, which had a similar, unenviable disposition of hostility to emancipation from the European occupation of their lands as the Fulani leadership), launched waves of premeditated genocidal attacks on Igbo migrant populations resident in the north. These attacks were later expanded to Igboland itself, Biafra, during the third phase which began on 6 July 1967, boosted particularly by the robust participation in the slaughter by the Yoruba, Urhobo, and Edo nations of west Nigeria as well as others elsewhere in the country. 3.1 million Igbo or one-quarter of this nation’s population were murdered during those 44 dreadful months.


THE Yoruba support for the genocide, as from 6 July 1967, for instance, bears all the hallmark of a squelching cadence of opportunism. Influential Yoruba personages (especially Obasanjo, Adekunle, Gbadamosi King, Akinrinade, Rotimi, Are, Taiwo) under the operational gaze of chief genocidist “theorist” Obafemi Awolowo, plunged headlong, carrying out their own role in this gruesome foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa most fiendishly, particularly across their chosen south Igboland killing fields. The Yoruba appeared to have lost, quite spectacularly, the 1930s-1960s Igbo-Yoruba competitive “preparatory drive” to develop the high-level humanpower and ancillary resources required to run the prospective post-conquest state after the British departure. They therefore viewed the outbreak of the mid-1966 Igbo mass killings in the north region and elsewhere as welcome season to “avenge” their “loss” during the great sociocultural rivalry of those previous three decades, clutching onto any bomb or missile available, from July 1967, on their onward death-march east to lob, remorselessly, into besieged Biafra, into an Igbo home, Igbo school, Igbo shrine, Igbo church, Igbo hospital, Igbo office, Igbo market, Igbo farmland, Igbo factory/industrial enterprise, Igbo children’s playground, Igbo town hall, Igbo refugee centre…

(Ornette Coleman Quartet, “C&D” {or Civilisation and its Discontents – Freud} [personnel: Coleman, alto saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; Scott LaFaro, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums; recorded: Atlantic Studios, New York, US, 31 January 1961])

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Igbo march to freedom

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

THERE is presently a visionary and purposeful spirit felt by the Igbo as well as across Igboland, Biafra. This development is immensely uplifting. 

The Igbo appear poised to complete the march begun on 29 May 1966 – the reinforcement of their inalienable right to freedom, in the wake of the outbreak of the genocide. Surely, the sun is on its ascent. These are indeed extraordinary times the likes of which have not been seen since the 12 January 1970 end of phase-III of the genocide and the progression to phase-IV. During the previous, phases I-III-harrowing 44 months (29 May 1966-12 January 1970), the Nigeria state and its allies murdered 3.1 million Igbo people, or one-quarter of this nation’s population, in this foundational and most gruesome genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa.

20 years before…

AS THIS march to the restoration of freedom dawns, the Igbo should, as a matter of urgency, retrieve from the archives the plan for the reconstruction and transformation of the then east Nigeria drawn up in the 1950s by Mbonu Ojike, the cerebral Chicago University scholar and African peoples-centred economist, who was the minister of the region’s economic development and planning. The Ojike Plan had envisaged a 20-year timeframe, beginning in 1954, during which the east would be transformed into an advanced multifaceted industrial and agricultural economy. 

The main thrust of this plan is still valid and should be reworked and adapted to 21st century priorities and the advantage of new technologies. Such was the impressive pace of this programme that, by 1964, ten years later, the overall economic performance of the east had not only outstripped the rest of Nigeria but was in fact Africa’s fastest growing economy. The east had the best schools and the first independent university system in the country, the best humanpower development in the country across a range of fields including, crucially, engineering, medicine, the arts, and the middle-range technical cadre. 

THE REGION also had the most integrated infrastructural development in Nigeria and its manufacturing, distributive and extractive enterprises centred in the Enuugwu-Nkalagu-Emene conurbation to the north, Onicha (commercial capital and home to the future Oshimili stock exchange and index) to the west and Igwe Ocha/Port Harcourt-Aba-Calabar to the south were clearly the hubs of the making of this African industrial revolution of recent history. But for the Igbo genocide, the east was on course to construct the “Taiwan” or the “China” or the “South Korea” or the “India” in Africa – 20 years before these post-1939-1945 war much-vaunted “economic transformational miracles” of the era emerged!
(Alice Coltrane Sextet, “Something about John Coltrane” [Coltrane, piano; Pharoah Sanders, soprano saxophone, bells; Cecil McBee, bass; Tulsi, tambura; Rashied Ali, drums; Majid Shabazz, tambourine, bells; recorded: Impulse! Records, New York, US, 8 November 1970])
The Igbo should now resume this journey in earnest. Right from the outset, Igbo women, who, in the past (i.e. prior to the British conquest and occupation), controlled and exercised extensive rights and authority over their own affairs as well as those of the rest of society, must be repositioned at the epicentre of the shared dual-gender complementary spaces of responsibility, power and authority in this historic transformation of Biafra (for authoritative insights into pre-conquest Igbo gender relations, see, especially, the studies and writings of sociologist Kamene Okonjo and novelist Flora Nwapa). 

THE Igbo have one of Africa’s best-developed, multidisciplinary humanpower contingents to work this transformation. Given their well-known hardworking ethic and entrepreneurial drive, the Igbo should be able to achieve an annual 10 per cent growth rate in their economy to effectuate this transformation without difficulty. They should immediately set up a trust fund foundation to finance the enterprise in the next decade. The foundation should have a core membership of distinguished Igbo men and women of which the Igbo have unlimited number. An appeal should be sent out at once, calling on every adult Igbo woman and man at home and in the diaspora in Nigeria and elsewhere in the world to make an annual voluntary contribution of US$100 dollars to the fund with allowances made of course for those who wish to contribute more than this stipulated figure or indeed less. The foundation should set up actualising working/implementation committees made up of experts in their fields to focus on various sectors of the Biafran economy: power generation, town-city/urban revival/development, industrial manufacturing, agriculture, information technology, communication/infrastructure, healthcare, education, culture/history/heritage, recreation/leisure, rural embodiment, environment/regeneration – particularly focusing on the heightened erosion and landslide occurrence in the northwest region. 

Hubs of industrial and agricultural activities are already in place in their designated sites of operation in Igboland and these would form the foci of this transformation: the Onicha-Nnewi-Oka-Ihiala industrial conurbation for machine tools and heavy industry; the Enuugwu-Emene-Nsukka information technology valley; the Aba-Umuahia-Abiriba-Igwe Ocha precision equipment/light industry; the Uburu-Okposi-Egbema sodium carbonate deposits/other minerals for potential pharmaceutical and food-processing manufacturing; reactivation of Enuugwu-Udi coal fields for unlimited power generation to work this manufacturing enterprise and provide affordable lighting and other energy requirements for domestic and industrial requirements in addition to exports to countries across west Africa and elsewhere; work on renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, refuse – it is indeed incumbent on Biafran engineers to exponentially increase the country’s access to these renewables in this first vital phase of redevelopment; enhanced agricultural activities in the central and east Asu/Ebonyi valleys/Abakaleke corridor and the Onicha/upper Anambra farming belt... 
(Andrew Hill Trio, “Tripping” or “Naked spirit” [Hill, piano; Rufus Reid, bass; Ben Riley, drums; recorded: Barrigozi Studio, Milan, Italy, 3/4 July 1986])
Skills & talents
The involvement of Igbo expertise, especially that currently based abroad in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australasia, and elsewhere in the world is of utmost importance in this transformation project. The utilisation of this asset will understandably be managed with obvious flexibility in the drive and implementation of the enterprise. This will involve opportunities for visiting/adjunct professorships with appropriate colleges/schools/hospitals/laboratories/industrial facilities in Igboland to work in, summertime slots, and sabbatical emplacements.

RESTRUCTURING  the communication/infrastructure base of Biafra 
would appear to be the trigger to impact tremendously on other sectors of the economy. Igbo road, rail, waterway and air networks should now be rehabilitated and expanded radically. The entire length and breadth of Igboland from Igwe Nga/Opobo, Azumini, Umuebelengwu, Umu Ubani/Bonny, Ahoada, Igwe Ocha, Asaba, Onicha, Aboh, Ogwashi-Ukwu in the Oshimili Delta to Enuugwu, Nsukka, Eha-Amuufu and Abakeleke in the central, north and northeast should be comprehensively networked by these services. There should, for instance, be daily express rail services linking Igwe Nga, Azumini and Igwe Ocha in the south to Nsukka and Eha Amuufu in the north, via Aba and Enuugwu, and from Umu Ubani and Ahoada in the south to Olu, Okigwe, Ugwuta, Onicha, Asaba and Agbo in the west/northwest. Other trains should be crisscrossing on the east-west routes originating from Abakaleke, Aruchukwu, Ohafia, Umuahia, Abriba and Ehuugbo to Enuugwu, Oka, Onicha, Asaba, Ogwashi-Ukwu and Agbo and vice versa. This transformation should envisage dredging the Oshimili south of Onicha to the Atlantic coast and the construction of additional international ocean-bound port facility at Azumini and Onicha and a dry dock at Aba.

Another road and rail bridge should link the historic twin cities of Asaba and Onicha and a tunnel service under the Oshimili to carry these dual modes of transport should also be constructed. Both bridge and tunnel should be appropriately named Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. Asaba and Onicha should also have a modern hovercraft service in operation. Commuter bus, coach, tram and rail services in Igbo cities and towns should quickly replace the ill-suited and unsafe “okada” or motorcycle provisions of the present. The Igbo, a much travelled people worldwide, must now establish direct flight access entry to Igboland from the outside world that is not dependent on Nigeria via Lagos, Abuja and Kano or any of its other “entry points”. The Enuugwu and Owere airports should be transformed immediately to the full, operational status of international airports to ensure the uninterrupted movement of people, goods and services overseas flying directly into Biafra and vice versa. Direct flight routes from Igboland to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Principe, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Sénégal,  South Africa, United States, Canada, Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, China, Brazil, Jamaica, Barbados and Australia should be in operation here as of utmost priority in this first phase of the implementation, given the high number of Igbo people who live and work in the cited countries. Igbo émigrés in these countries should negotiate with their hosts for the latter to establish or augment existing consular/diplomatic presence in Igboland to ease travel plans and processing, especially for those starting their journeys from Igboland: Asaba, Onicha, Enuugwu, Oka, Owere, Umuahia, Igwe Nga, Aba, Abakaleke, Ugwuta and Igwe Ocha should enjoy these upgraded facilities. International airports should also be built at Onicha and Ugwuta to cater for the movement of people, goods and services in the west, and at Nsukka and Abakaleke to respond to demands in the north and east of the country respectively. 


The restructuring of city and local governments in Biafra is vital in this transformation project. Igbo cities and towns should enjoy extensive autonomous status in order to transform themselves into advanced modern spaces for living, working, recreating, and the growth and development of culture. Each Biafran city and town should have a municipal authority to raise its own taxes, power its own development including the establishment of educational institutions at all levels, transport systems, including buses, trams and rail services (underground and overground) and city airport facility, cultural institutions (including homes for orchestras and bands of varying musical genres and traditions) and recreational facilities such as parks, theatres, museums, galleries, concert halls, stadiums and the like. 

EVERY Igbo child must have access to a computer and every school in Igboland linked to the internet. Equally crucial, technical colleges should be set up in Igbo cities and towns to develop and expand on that sphere of humanpower resource upon which the advancement of society is largely predicated – growth of plumbers, electricians, draughtspeople, carpenters, builders, etc., etc. Cities and towns including Aba, Nnewi, Agbo, Nsukka, Eha Amuufu, Abakaleke, Ohafia, Mbano, Item, Umuahia, Onicha-Ugbo, Owere, Ogwashi-Ukwu, Aboh, Ozubulu, Agbaani, Akaeze, Abaa, Okigwe, Enuugwu, Asaba, Ogidi, Igwe Ocha, Olu, Isele-Ukwu, Igwe Nga, Onicha, Mbaise, Okpana, Oshiri, Ahoada, Ogwu, Ehuugbo, Ehuugbo Road, Uburu, Aguleri, Nnobi, Umu Ubani, Ahiara, Abiriba, should be sites for these colleges. These urban centres could also have their own city universities to cope with the continuously high demands from Igbo youths and others who have, since 1970, consistently maintained top position for the highest number of students seeking university places in Nigeria, despite the occupation. The existing universities in Igboland need to expand even further to respond to these needs. The trust fund will no doubt be looking into ways to increase funding to these institutions after 45 years of programmed neglect and degradation, which have, all along, been critical features of the overarching strategy of phase-IV of the genocide by the occupation regime.

THE 50 MILLION Igbo should now set to work as determindly as ever. The prospects are incredibly exciting. This resultant transformation of Biafra within a generation will at once be a time-honoured memorial to the 3.1 million and the additional tens of thousands murdered since (phase-IV) and the triumph of the nonnegotiable right to freedom by the survivors and their children and grandchildren and theirs...

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author of, among others, Biafra Revisited (2006) and Readings from Reading: Essays on African History, Genocide, Literature (2011)