Monday, 30 November 2015

This mission of Biafra

The future for Biafra couldn’t be more reassuring. Biafrans really have their work cut out. Their mission is not to begin to construct a state that is merely post-genocide or post post-conquest/post post-“colonial” state – in other words, cancelling out here and there, in some mechanical venture, that which was Nigeria, arguably “Berlin-state” Africa’s most notorious state.  Instead, Biafra is a realisation, a profound reclamation of that which makes us all human and part of humanity

Babies and children-survivors’ leadership

Biafrans have an opportunity to begin to build a new civilisation where human life, fundamentally, is sacrosanct. This salient feature cannot be overstressed. Nigeria has been, for the Igbo, a haematophagous quagmire throughout its history. In June 1945 and May 1953, right there under the very watch of the British occupation, the Hausa-Fulani north region allies of the conquest, opposed to the Igbo-led African restoration-of-independence campaign,  carried out carefully planned pogroms against Igbo migrant populations in Jos and Kano, respectively. Hundreds of Igbo were murdered in these outrages. The occupation charged no one for these crimes and the pogroms became dress-rehearsals for the the May 1966-January 1970 genocide.

It should be stressed that those who lead the current phase of resistance to the Igbo genocide, launched by Nigeria and ally Britain on 29 May 1966, were the babies and children-survivors of the July 1967-January 1970 refugee death camps of Biafra who have now come of age. A total of 3.1 million Igbo people, overwhelmingly children/younger people and older members of the population, were murdered in the genocide.

Biafra is an inclusive state where women and men live as co-operators and co-creators in fundamentally transforming their society. This is a state that accepts and accords full rights to all its people. This is a state where people enjoy the rights to differ and to dream dreams and dream different sets of dreams as they choose.

Essay

Biafra is a state dedicated to furthering and nurturing the resilience of its people and to enabling them pursue their highest creative endeavours. This state continuously strives to remove all limitations in the paths of its people and committed to making life better and better and better. 

This is a state that primes its people to flourish.  Already, 50 years since the first murders of the genocide were committed in north Nigeria on 29 May 1966, the Biafrans have written an extraordinary essay on human survival and fortitude, a beacon of the tenacity of the spirit of human overcoming of the most desperate, unimaginable brutish forces.

This long drawn out catastrophe that was Britain’s Nigeria hotchpotch is over and truly Africans do stand poised on the eve of a new beginning.
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Wise One” [Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 27 April 1964])
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Sunday, 29 November 2015

100th birthday of Billy Strayhorn

(Born 29 November 1915, Dayton, Ohio, US)
Renowned composer, pianist and arranger whose near 30 years (1938-1967) of collaborative work with composer, pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington has been the focus of expansive recordings, research and publications
(Charles Mingus Sextet, featuring Eric Dolphy, plays the Billy Strayhorn classic composition, “Take the ‘A’ train” [Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Dolphy, bass clarinet; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Jaki Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: live, University Aula, Oslo, 12 April 1964])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

109th birthday of Akanu Ibiam

(Born 29 November 1906, Unwana, Biafra)
Affable physician, erudite theologian, principled statesperson, works for 30 years in the Church of Scotland/Presbyterian Church rural medical programme in central and east regions of Biafra 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 it and its client state Nigeria murder 3.1 million Igbo people, one-quarter of this nation’s population, between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Friday, 27 November 2015

73rd 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, 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 concertNew 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])
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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Fasting for Biafra

Calling on all Biafrans to join together in 3 days of fasting and prayer from Monday 30 November 2015-Wednesday 2 December 2015 to liberate our land:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face … then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land … (2 Chronicles 7: 14)

Dr Okwuonicha Nzegwu

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

218th birthday of Sojourner Truth

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

Celebrated African American freedom activist 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 anthologised copiously ever since

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

46th anniversary of John Lennon’s decision to return MBE knighthood medal to Queen Elizabeth II over British instrumental role in the Igbo genocide

(Medal is sent back to Buckingham Palace, London, 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 instrumental role in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide with its client state 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 in this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Genocide mantra, Genocidist mantra

The right to self-determination is for every people. It is inalienable and is guaranteed by the United Nations. No people, any peoples, is exempt from exercising this right. This is why the mantra that proclaims such gibberish or ahistoricism as “indivisibility”/indissolubility”/“indestructibility” of a state, any state, is not really worth the time expended in its vocalisation nor the paper it is written on except, of course, it is an embedded code by a slaughtering-horde for the plot of the next pogrom or the reinforcement of the terror of an ongoing genocide as a Nigeria, for instance, objectifies. The state, including the one that calls itself Nigeria, is therefore transient; the peoples indeed endure.
(The New York Contemporary Five plays John Tchicai’s composition, “Trio” – [personnel: Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet;  Tchicai, alto saxophone; Don Moore, bass; JC Moses, drums [recorded: live, Jazzhus Montmarte, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 November 1963])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

81st birthday of Zeal Onyia

(Born 24 November 1934, Asaba, Biafra)
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

Monday, 23 November 2015

Chinua Achebe’s twin-portals of engaging historic witness

(Father of African Literature: visiting Umeå, Sweden, in the autumn of 1988 [19 October 1988] to launch the Swedish translation of his Anthills of the Savannah, 1987)

Portal-I: Aftermath of pan-European conquest and occupation of the African World
[The European conquest of Africa] may indeed be a complex affair, but one thing is certain: You do not walk in, seize the land, the person, the history of another, and then sit back and compose hymns of praise in his honour. To do that would amount to calling yourself a bandit; and you won’t to do that. So what do you do? You construct very elaborate excuses for your action. You say, for instance, that the man in question is worthless and quite unfit to manage himself or his affairs. If there are valuable things like gold and diamonds which you are carting away from his territory, you proceed to prove that he doesn’t own them in the right sense of the word – that he and they had just happened to be lying around the same place when you arrived. Finally if the worse comes to the worse, you may even be prepared to question whether such as he can be, like you, fully human. From denying the presence of a man standing there before you, you end up questioning his very humanity …[I]n the [European conquest] situation presence was the critical question, the crucial word. Its denial was the keynote of [this conquest’s] ideology. (Chinua Achebe, “African Literature as Restoration of Celebration”, Kunapipi, 12, 2, 1990: 4; emphasis added) 
Portal-II: Aftermath of Igbo genocide, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970 
[Nigeria’s] wartime cabinet, it should also be remembered, was full of intellectuals like Obafemi Awolowo and Anthony Enaharo and super-permanent secretaries such as Allison Akene Ayida among others who came up with a boatload of infamous and regrettable policies. A statement credited to … Obafemi Awolowo and echoed by his cohorts is the most callous and unfortunate: All is fair in war, and starvation is one of the weapons of war. I don’t see why we should feed our enemies fat in order for them to fight harder’. It is my impression that … Obafemi Awolowo was driven by an overriding ambition of power, for himself in particular and for the advancement of his Yoruba people in general. And let it be said that there is, on the surface, at least, nothing wrong with those aspirations. However, Awolowo saw the dominant Igbo … at the time as the obstacles to that goal, and when the opportunity arose – the Nigeria-Biafra War – his ambition drove him into a frenzy to go to any length to achieve his dreams. In the Biafran case it meant hatching up a diabolical policy to reduce the numbers of his enemies significantly through starvation – eliminating over two million people, mainly members of future generations. (Chinua AchebeThere was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra [New York: The Penguin, 2012], p. 233; emphasis added)
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86th anniversary of ogu umu nwanyi Igbo or Igbo Women’s War

(Resistance begins 23 November 1929, Aba, Biafra)
With the initial mobilisation of 10,000 women which soon expands to 25,000 and joined by women from Ibibioland, Igbo women in Aba 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 Biafra consequently and losing 55 members of the freedom movement during the campaign, shot by the occupation police

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

210th birthday of Mary Seacole

(Born 23 November 1805, Kingston, Jamaica)
Nurse extraordinaire, pioneering international humanitarian care practitioner in the Caribbean/central America and during the 1854-1856 war in the Crimea, Czarist Russia, author of the classic, The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands (1857)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 22 November 2015

78th birthday of Adiele Afigbo

(Born 22 November 1937, Ihube, Biafra)
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 

How an anti-Biafra freedom columnist acknowledges the restoration of Biafran sovereignty empirically in spite of themself


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

The anti-Biafra freedom columnist, writing recently in saharareporters.com, notes:
If a referendum were held today, there is no doubt that over 70% of people in the five south-east states would vote YES for separation. A little over 50% in Rivers State would also vote YES. Between 40% and 50% would vote YES in other south-south states: Bayelsa, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Edo. A similar result might be reproduced if the people of the south-west were to be subjected to a referendum to determine whether Oduduwa republic should come into being. Therefore, the Federal Government should not agree to a referendum. (upper case designations above as well as snippets of the Nigerian-occupation bogus geopolitical lexicon referencing Biafra are in the original HE-E)
Extraordinary! In a swoop, just in four sentences, this columnist is informing the world precisely as follows:  “[i]f a referendum were held today”, not only would the people in occupied Biafra (since 13 January 1970) vote for the restoration of their country’s sovereignty but the majority of the peoples in south Nigeria, including the Yoruba and Edo nations, would also vote for independence from Nigeria.

Peoples in south Nigeria constitute the majority of peoples in Nigeria and going by the reading of the columnist a majority of the population in Nigeria would vote for independence from this state that calls itself Nigeria if given the democratic opportunity to determine their choice. So, what’s the fuss of “one Nigeria”? Whose “one Nigeria” is it? Britain’s, its creator, and the indolent religio-regional retrograde client overseers infamously opposed to African liberation from the British occupation (created by Britain in the 1940s/1950s) etched on the illusory hierarchy of this grotesquely subjugating edifice? Who?

Redefining dynamics

As most observers know, including indeed the hapless columnist, the majority of peoples in Nigeria want an early exit from arguably the most notorious of Africa’s “Berlin states” – the state that carried out the Igbo genocide, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest state, murdering 3.1 million Igbo or one-quarter of this nation’s population and inaugurating Africa’s current age of pestilence, and the state that harbours the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world presently

Surely, the Biafrans will have the opportunity for a referendum very soon and they will vote overwhelmingly to restore their independence. As these lines are written, hundreds of thousands of peaceful Biafrans have turned their cities and towns and villages into panoramic freedom park marches, begun at 12 noon on Friday 6 November 2015, unprecedented in Africa, demanding their beloved Biafra and insisting on the release of freedom broadcaster Nnamdi Kanu, illegally detained by the Nigeria regime. 

Biafrans are redefining the dynamics of the march for freedom in Africa. Biafra will be free.  The columnist must start getting used to this development. Nigeria, this essentially anti-African imperium is, in fact, in freefall with its epitaph already signposting its dreadful history: Haematophagous Monster.

Indictment

Back to referendum, finally, and a quick comment on that historic vote in Scotland last year. The columnist, who is conceivably domiciled somewhere in Europe or north America, is probably aware of that Scottish exercise. If the Scots had voted the 70 per cent score the columnist had assigned to a possible Biafra referendum-run (see quote above), Scotland would have been independent of Britain today! David Cameron, British prime minister, wouldn’t have dared oppose this outcome. This is because David Cameron is a democrat and respects the rights of 5 million Scots to freedom. This is an inalienable right for all peoples (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/rights-for-scots-rights-for-igbo.html, accessed 22 November 2015).

It is therefore a telling indictment on this columnist’s brand of education and worldview not to appear to be aware that 50 million Biafrans in southwestcentral Africa as well as every people elsewhere on planet earth have this right.
(Sonny Rollins Trio, “The freedom suite” [personnel: Rollins, tenor saxophone; Oscar Pettiford, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 7 March 1958])
 Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

79th 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, “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

66th anniversary of the Enuugwu colliery massacre

(In memory of the 21 massacred coal miners, Enuugwu, Biafra, 18 November 1949...)
On 18 November 1949, 21 coal miners at the Iva Valley colliery, Enuugwu, Biafra, are shot dead by the British occupation police in response to the miners’ peaceful, popular protest for a pay increase, improvement in working and safety mine provisions, and support for the ongoing freedom movement, begun in the 1930s and spearheaded by the Igbo, to terminate 64 years of Britain’s conquest of Nigeria. This massacre in addition to the organised pogroms against Igbo people in June 1945 (Jos, northcentral Nigeria) and May 1953 (Kano, north Nigeria) by the Hausa-Fulani religiopolitical leadership of north Nigeria, strategic clients of the occupation, are dreadful precursors to the Igbo genocide of 29 May 1966-12 January 1970 – in which Nigeria and Britain murder 3.1 million Igbo, one-quarter of this nation’s population, in the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa.

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Institute for Economics & Peace, “Global Terror Index 2015”, New York, November 2015

Research highlights (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-17/global-terrorism-index-increase/6947200, accessed 17 November 2015):

1. The vast majority of terrorist attacks occur in five countries: Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria

2. Although there are more terrorist attacks in Iraq, there are more deaths in Nigeria where Boko Haram operates

3. Boko Haram in Nigeria is the deadliest terrorist group in the world – surpassing the killing of the Islamic State in the Middle East

4. In largest increases in death worldwide from 2013 to 2014, Nigeria’s increase in death, 5662, is the highest ever recorded

5. The yearly increase of number of people in Nigeria murdered by Boko Haram is more than the number of people killed by terrorism around the world in 2005

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Igbo legacy for the freedom clergy

The Igbo clergy, during these times of existential threat to the people, does have its work cut out. The role of the church in freedom movements has been invaluable as the world has seen in recent history – particularly in places such as Poland, the United States (the African American church, for example), several countries in Central/South America and, of course, in Biafra as occurred, beginning 49 years ago to the day… 

Surely in the next sermon in the churches and cathedrals and assembly halls of the land, the congregation will be interested to learn of the legacies of the venerables Akanu Ibiam, Godfery Okoye, Benjamin Nwankiti and others who gave their unalloyed support to the inalienable right of the people to freedom during phases I-III of the genocide by Nigeria, launched on 29 May 1966. 3.1 million Igbo or one-quarter of this nations population were murdered in this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa.
(Bishop Godfrey Okoye)
(Dr Akanu Ibiam)
(Cardinal Francis Arinze)
The Igbo are therefore entitled to carefully evaluate the comments, any comments, of contemporary clerics in Biafra as the people resist this phase-IV of the genocide. The question at stake couldn’t be clearer: in their own words or deed, does cleric “A”, “B”, “C” … “Z” support the people’s right to freedom?

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 16 November 2015

85th birthday of Chinua Achebe

(Born 16 November 1930, Ogidi, Biafra: visiting Umeå, Sweden, in the autumn of 1988 [19 October 1988] to launch the Swedish translation of his Anthills of the Savannah, 1987) 
Father of African Literature
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 15 November 2015

What role did the then Sweden-Norway kingdom play in the conquest and occupation of Africa? What did it derive from this catastrophic conquest? On this day of the 131st anniversary of the start of the infamous pan-European conference in Berlin, Germany, we publish here David Nilsson’s 2013 groundbreaking study on the subject

David Nilsson, “Sweden-Norway at the Berlin conference, 1884-1885”, 54pp., Current African Issues 53, Nordiska Afrikaanstitutet, Uppsalla, 2013 (http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Publications/Detail/?lang=en&id=175724, accessed 12 May 2014)
“What [i]s ... presented in this paper is arguably incongruent with the common perception that Sweden lacks a colonial history. Sweden did not acquire territories in Africa after the Berlin conference, but through the Berlin and Brussels agreements of 1885, King Oscar II and Baron Gillis Bildt enabled Sweden-Norway to get ‘a piece of the African cake’ (as King Leopold once put it) even without de facto colonisation.” – David Nilsson, “Sweden-Norway at the Berlin conference, 1884-1885”, p. 32 (added emphasis).

131st anniversary of start of Berlin conference on Africa subjugation

(1. infamous gathering in session)
Today marks the 131st anniversary of the beginning of the infamous 15 November 1884-26 February 1885 European leaders’ Berlin conference on Africa. The gathering was chaired by German Chancellor von Bismarck to formalise the pan-European seizure, planned occupation, and irrepressible exploitation of the gargantuan riches of the African World. The following countries attended the meeting: Britain, France, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Ottoman “empire”, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria-Hungary, Denmark, Czarist Russia, Sweden-Norway, United States. The catastrophic aftermath of this Berlin-assembly still prevails which peoples in contemporary Africans must rectify if they have to survive.
(2. infamous gathering in sessionto formalise the pan-European seizure, planned occupation, and irrepressible exploitation of the gargantuan riches of the African World)
(Max Roach Sextet, “All Africa” [personnel: Roach, drums; Abbey Lincoln, vocals; Booker Little, trumpet; Michael Olatunji, congas, vocals; Raymond Mantilla, percussion; Tomas du Vall, percussion; recorded: Nola Penthouse Sound Studio, New York, US, 31 August/6 September 1960)
 Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Nnamdi Kanu’s parents speak to the media in exclusive interview with Okey Sampson, Saturday Sun, Lagos, at parents’ home in Isiama Afara, Biafra (The Sun, Lagos, Saturday 14 November 2015)


Nnamdi’s early life and trait of activism
Nnamdi’s father said the director of Radio Biafra was born in the 70s; he was not specific, at Isiama Afara. He attended Library Avenue Primary School (now part of Government House), Umuahia and went to Government College, Umuahia for his sec­ondary education. After that, he gained admission to the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), where he could not finish due to incessant strikes before he left for London to complete his university education.
(Nnamdi Kanu’s parents: Eze Israel Okwu Kanu and Ugoeze Nnenne Kanu)
Did Nnamdi show any sign of activism when he was growing up?
“Yes”, the royal father answered. “He showed signs of activism when he was grow­ing up. I remember when he was in secondary school at Government College, Umuahia, he was the school prefect and he did well in leading other students. After that, when he gained admission to the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), they will be in school for one month, and in the next three months, they will be at home due to strike. One day, he called me and said because of this thing, he would no longer go to school in Nigeria and when I demanded to know why, he said he was tired of the everyday strike. What he was then doing at UNN when school was in session was to boycott class­es and stayed on his own to study privately. After a time, he told me again that he was wasting his time in Nigeria in his quest to have education and that he was going abroad to study. I weighed the possibility and I felt it was not there. He insisted and came in contact with somebody from my place who said I had helped him sometime ago and that he would help my son to travel to London and he did that. That was how Nnamdi went to London to study”.

Another thing the traditional ruler said made him believe his son could do what he is doing today was that while in school, Nnamdi was very intelligent and his teachers respected him for that and they kept telling him that his son would be somebody in fu­ture.
(Nnamdi Kanu: freedom broadcaster, Radio Biafra)
Nnamdi and Biafra struggle
HRM (Eze) Kanu stated that his son was with Ralph Uwazuruike in the early years of the forma­tion of MASSOB but later left and started the strug­gle his own way and people started following him because of his uprightness, which he said created a lot problems for Nnamdi. According to him, “My son’s problem started with Ralph Uwazuruike, the MASSOB leader. After my son left him, there was a time he (Nnamdi) went for a function at Oboro, Ikwuano, Umuahia, Uwazuruike gathered his men and scattered the whole place. The people of Ob­oro arrested some of the people that came to disrupt the event and took them to the police headquarters in Umuahia. The following morning, I went to see them and admonished them to stop that type of behaviour, that all of them are fighting the same cause of Biafra freedom. That if my son wronged Uwazuruike, they should tell me and I will go and beg him. At the end, I found out that Nnamdi did not do anything but was opposed to the way MASSOB was collecting money from the poor and they go into the pocket of one man”.

Making of Radio Biafra
After the Oboro incident, as Nnamdi was going back to London, he was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. “When I was informed about his arrest, I rushed down to Port Harcourt, from there, I went to Abuja. At Abuja, the men at the DSS office treated me with respect and after explaining things to them, they asked me to take Nnamdi home. It was when we came back that my son told me he was going to appear in his true colour, to make sure that Biafra was realised”. To start with, Nnamdi left his job in Britain where he is a citizen, to be fully involved in the struggle and built the Radio Biafra/TV which has taken the country like a storm.

Arrest and detention
When asked how he feels about Nnamdi’s arrest and detention, he has this to say: “Nnamdi is my first son. His arrest pains me a lot; it is not when I start crying like a child before people will know that his arrest is paining me to the marrow. That chap has no problem, he is not a noisemaker, rather he abhors injustice. Since he was born, he had not exchanged words with we, the parents or even the siblings, always sitting quietly when we are having family meetings, but he always made quality inputs”.

Radio Biafra and Nnamdi’s arrest
Nnamdi’s father said he listens to his son’s voice on radio and feels happy because he believes his son always says the truth and does not say such for his selfish interest, but for the interest of the people. He gave thumbs down to the Federal Government for his son’s arrest stating: “It was not justified at all be­cause he is fighting for the freedom of the Igbo with his mouth and without a machete or gun. It is only that mouth Nnamdi is using to demand the freedom of the Igbo and whether the Federal Government likes it or not, he will continue to speak just as I used to do which made me to represent my people three times as a local government councillor. Talking runs in our blood stream and it will be difficult for Nnam­di to stop talking”.

Family support
Nnamdi, despite his present travail, enjoys the full support of his family members in the pro-Biafra agitation. The father notwithstanding the fact that he had visited Nnamdi in Abuja since his present problem which he attributed to ill-health, but he was quick to add that he and Nnamdi’s younger ones were in Abuja to give him words of encourage­ment and seek his release. Driving further home the family’s support for Nnamdi, Eze Kanu has this to say: “Even the younger ones are in support of what he is doing and that is why the immediate younger brother and the mother are in Abuja because of his arrest. This shows that they have interest in what he is doing and we are fighting for his release.

“As for my people of Isiama Afaraukwu, they are not silent over the matter, but the only thing is that during the [Biafra] war, Biafran army headquarters was in our place including the famous (Ojukwu Bunker) which shares boundaries with my palace, in fact, soldiers were living in my house and it could be that what the people saw during the war made them to be a little docile over this matter”.

Appeal to Nigeria and Igbo people
“I will first of all start with the Federal Govern­ment, I’m appealing to them to release my son, he has not come to wage war against the country and the Nigerian constitution made provision for free­dom of speech and nothing will debar him from speaking. President Muhammadu Buhari should understand that the agitation for Biafra did not start with Nnamdi. If Buhari has any bad plans against Nnamdi, he should hands off because all of us want that freedom.

As for Ndiigbo, they should join Nnamdi in seeing to the actualization of Biafra. I’m not always happy that my son is putting his all in the struggle, the other man, Uwazuruike will be some­where behaving as if Nnamdi is his enemy. I’m also not happy that since Nnamdi was arrested, no gov­ernor from this zone or a known politician for that matter has ever asked for his release, it is not good. I don’t know whether they are afraid to speak out”, he stated.

Standing behind his son like the Rock of Gibral­tar, Eze Kanu said if his son was released today, there is no way he would advise him to forget about Biafra, stating that Nnamdi had told him it will be better for him to die than abandon the cause of Bi­afra.

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe



Saturday, 14 November 2015

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “Review essay: A required reference for understanding contemporary Africa”

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “Review essay: A required reference for understanding contemporary Africa”, Journal of West African History, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Fall 2015), pp. 147-154 (http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.14321/jwestafrihist.1.2.0147?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents, accessed 14 November 2014)

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Egechukwu Obetta, lawyer of Nnamdi Kanu, freedom broadcaster, Radio Biafra, issues important statement on client (Saturday 14 November 2015)

The full text of recently released statement by Egechukwu Obetta, lawyer representing Nnamdi Kanu, freedom journalist who supports Biafran independence, currently detained illegally by Nigeria (saharareporters.com, Saturday 14 November 2015)
(Nnamdi Kanu: freedom broadcaster, Radio Biafra)

IN THE MATTER OF STATE SECURITY SERVICE (SSS) AND MAZI NNAMDI KANU: PROGRESS REPORT

Preamble

We are Solicitors to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the Leader/Director of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), and Radio Biafra, respectively. He has retained our services and it is on this basis that we act. He shall hereinafter be referred to as “our client”.

According to our client, he was, on 14th October, 2015, arrested by the agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the State Security Service (SSS) in his hotel room i.e. Golden Tulip Essential Hotel Ikeja, Lagos State.

Between 14th and 17th October, 2015 his where about were unknown until 18th of October, 2015, when the Press Media broke the news of his arrest and detention by the SSS in Abuja.

He was subsequently arraigned on three count charges of Criminal Conspiracy, Managing and Belonging to an Unlawful Society; Criminal Conspiracy and Intimidation – these offences are in the category of simple offences (misdemeanor) hence bailable.

The following are highlights of our stewardship in the last two weeks:-

Our client was arrested by the agents of the State Security Services in his hotel room at Ikeja, Lagos state on Wednesday the 14th day of October, 2015 on suspicion of belonging to an unlawful society, criminal conspiracy and intimidation which are all bail able misdemeanor offences. Please find attached copy of the charge sheet, marked as exhibit.

He has been held incommunicado by the SSS ever since his arrest on the 14thday of October, 2015, and has been denied access to his physician and legal representatives even though the SSS has been fully apprised of the fact that he suffers from severe peptic ulcer and requires constant medication.

Due to the public outcry and the effort by our firm, the SSS on 19th of October, 2015 hurriedly arraigned our client on the aforementioned charges i.e. belonging to an unlawful society, criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation which are bailable misdemeanor offences.

The Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Wuse II, Abuja, on 19th of October, 2015 granted our client bail in the most stringent condition of N10, 000,000 (ten million naira only) with one surety of grade level 16 in like sum and must be an owner of a landed property with an original, Certificate of Occupancy, within the Federal Capital Territory and for such landed property to be verified by the Prosecution from the State Security Service.

On 20th of October 2015 our Firm managed to meet with the bail conditions and duly informed the Prosecutor from the State Security Service as was ordered by the court.

Since 20th of October, 2015, the Prosecutor stoutly refused to conduct the said search and verification in a grand ploy to indefinitely detain our client extra-judicially and in flagrant violation of the Order of a Court of competent jurisdiction despite the fact that the bail conditions set by the court have been met and irrespective of the fact that the liberty of a citizen is in issue.

Miffed by the refusal by the Prosecutor to verify the property, our firm Egechukwu Obetta&Co. brought an application to the trial Magistrate on the 23rd of October, 2015, praying the court to make an order that our client should be produced from prison.

The Presiding Magistrate in response to our prayers issued an unambiguous and compelling Production Order for the SSS to produce Mazi Nnamdi Kanu before the Magistrate Court on the same date and explain why it failed to release him upon meeting the imposed bail conditions. Find the attached copy of the Order.

The Production Order was communicated to the SSS by the court bailiff and the Police Orderly attached to the court immediately on the same 23rd October 2015. Regrettably the court bailiff together with the Police Orderly detailed by the court was sent back by the SSS and the Order was fragrantly disobeyed with impurity.

As it stands, our client has fulfilled the bail condition set by the court whereat he was charged with the aforementioned criminal offences.

The continued and unlawful incarceration of our client by the SSS defies all known democratic and constitutional provisions of the law, standards and rules set to safeguard the fundamental rights of citizens.

The SSS has no legal basis for the continued incarceration of our client whose health is severely deteriorating under the harsh and inhumane conditions that he is been held.

During this period, we have had intervening meetings/interviews with foreign government representatives such as representatives of the British Consulate, the U.S. Foreign Office, Amnesty International as well as Inter-society. We have also had series of press briefings/conferences with both the Nigeria Press Media and foreign-based media outfit such as Sahara Reporters and the Associated Press of South Africa. These were meant to add color of publicity in our tireless pursuit of our client assertion of his right to bail.

Our next moves

In view of the contemptuous attitude of the Federal Government’s (SSS) and their flagrant disobedience to Court Orders in this case, and the concomitant ridicule it has brought to the Judiciary, our firm intends to explore the following avenues :-

Host a meeting of representatives of all the non-governmental organizations in Nigeria.
Petition the Chief Justice of Nigeria, National Human Rights Commission, the National Assembly and the Nigeria Bar Association.

We are also preparing our brief to drag the Federal Government of Nigeria nay the SSS to the ECOWAS COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS to ventilate our clients’ right to personal liberty, freedom of expression, dignity of human person and equality before the law.

For emphasis

It should be noted that within the interval of eight days we have applied and gotten three Orders of Court against the SSS compelling them to release, produce or transfer our client to the prisons. It is heartrending to say that despite all the Court Orders emanating from a court of competent jurisdiction, the Department of State Security Service have wilfully refused to obey these order(s).

This is our stewardship in the last two weeks in respect of this matter.

Many Thanks,

Vincent Egechukwu Obetta,

Egechukwu Obetta & Co.
No. 44 Chime Avenue,
New Haven,
Enugu

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe