“Denial is the final stage that lasts throughout and always follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide … try to cover up the evidence … They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims. They block investigations of the crimes, and continue to govern … with impunity … unless they are captured and a tribunal is established to try them. The response to denial is punishment by an international tribunal or national courts...” (Gregory Stanton, president, Genocide Watch; professor in genocide studies and prevention, George Mason University, Virginia)
3.1 million Igbo or a quarter of this nation’s population were murdered in the genocide between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970 by Nigeria and its allies, principally Britain. This is the foundational and most gruesome genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa. As the slaughter of the Igbo intensified, particularly in the catastrophic months of 1968-1969, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson unabashedly informed Clyde Ferguson of the United States state department 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 had the perverted satisfaction of having his Nigerian subalterns perform far in excess of the prime minister’s grim target.
Despite the catastrophic stretch of slaughter in 44 months, it was business-as-usual, or so it appeared, for the genocidists after the conclusion of phase-III of the murder on 12 January 1970. Lest we forget, the new phase was pursued with utmost vengeance, with the added highly prized fiscal and capital assets sequestrated by the genocidists – namely, the pillaging of the multibillion(US)dollar-Igbo economy at home and those located in Nigeria, particularly in the Lagos/greater Lagos industrial-commercial region. Many operatives who worked as advisors, at varying layers of the genocidist command and control infrastructure, went to, or returned to universities and colleges as professors and researchers, some became university administrators, bureaucrats, media editors and executives, company chief executives and directors, ministers of state, ministers of religion, businesspeople; many of the commanders and commandants became “generals” and “admirals” and “marshals”, and state legislators, administrators and the like; some even sought the highest office of state – head of regime (Obafemi Awolowo, variously, without success; Olusegun Obasanjo, three times successful; Muhammadu Buhari, twice successful; Murtala Muhammed, once successful; Ibrahim Babangida, once successful; Sanni Abacha, once successful; Abdulsalami Abubakar, once successful).
The Igbo are probably the only people in the world who were convinced that they would survive. And when they did, the aftermath was electrifying. In spontaneous celebration, the Igbo prefaced their exchange of greetings with each other, for quite a while, with the exaltation, “Happy Survival”!
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Sun ship” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Impulse!, New York, US, 26 August 1965])
(John Coltrane Duo, “Jupiter” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone, bells; Rashied Ali, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliff, NJ, US, 22 February 1967])