Tuesday, 8 December 2015

BBC: “nationalists” or “secessionists”?

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

THE BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION describes Scottish people in pursuit of independence from Britain or the United Kingdom as “Scottish nationalists”.

Any researcher can find this characterisation by examining the BBC’s well-stacked library of broadcasts and publications on the subject. This is why Alex Salmond, for instance, would be designated as “Scottish nationalist” or “former Scottish nationalist leader” and Nicola Sturgeon is described as “Scottish nationalist” or “Scottish nationalist leader”. 

Scots are 5 million in population and had in 1707 joined England out of their own choice (democratically) to form United Kingdom/British state. As the latter subsequently conquered most of the world to construct a “British empire”, Scots played a critical role in the enterprise that belied their much smaller population background. This ensured that they, now a constituent nation of the UK, became crucial beneficiaries of the stupendous harvest returns of global conquests and occupations. As a result, Scots indeed became the most unlikely candidates in 2014 who would wish to declare their independence from this 300-year-old immensely fruitful union
(http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/rights-for-scots-rights-for-igbo.html, accessed 7 December 2015).

THE BBC, on the other hand, categorises the 50 million people of Biafra, southwestcentral Africa, who, since the 29 May 1966 launch date of the Igbo genocide by Nigeria have sought their independence from Nigeria, as “secessionists”.

In tune, the BBC describes Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the founding leader of the Biafran independence movement, “secessionist leader” – a tag it wouldn’t dare use to refer to either Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon, not even Douglas Young! Similarly, whilst the BBC utilises “secessionist” to refer to hundreds of thousands of Biafran demonstrators across Biafra and elsewhere in the world currently involved in historic peaceful marches for independence, it wouldn’t dare employ such a term in describing those Scots who voted “Yes” during the September 2014 referendum on Scottish independence. The latter are cited as “nationalists” or “supporters of Scottish independence”.

Choice: “primary” vs “privilege”

Some would probably wonder what differences, if any, the BBC’s choice of terminologies makes: aren’t these terms broadly synonymous – indicating the desire of two peoples, Biafrans and Scots, to declare their rights for self-determination or independence from Nigeria and Britain, respectively? No, not totally, except to the cursory observer. In the Scottish example, the BBC is almost straining itself to the hilt to emphasise that the Scots are the primary, actuating agency in deciding to exercise this right for freedom from Britain. If one is unaware that the United Nations regards this right for all peoples as inalienable, the thrust of BBC’s coverage on the Scots has surely demonstrated this as such to its listeners, viewers and readers.

In contrast to the Scots, the BBC’s approach to Biafran independence or self-determination couldn’t be starker. Here, by harping on its worn “secessionist” signature, and the latter’s evidently overarching territorial “decoupling” overtones, the BBC privileges the Nigeria state, this state that conqueror Britain imposed arbitrarily on scores of subjugated African nations and peoples in the aftermath of the pan-European leaders’ infamous 1884-1885 Berlin-conquest conference on Africa. 

NIGERIA is arguably the most notorious of Africa’s “Berlin states”. This is 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 during which 12 million additional Africans have been murdered in further genocide in Rwanda (1994), Zaïre/Democratic Republic of the Congo (variously, since the late 1990s) and Darfur/Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan (all in Sudan since 2003) and in other wars in Africa. Besides known as a scary kakistocratic lair, the Nigeria state also harbours the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world presently ( http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/institute-for-economics-peace-global.html, accessed 7 December 2015).


So, why is the British Broadcasting Corporation, a state public broadcaster largely funded by the British taxpayer, trenchantly hostile to the independence of Biafran people in a homeland in southwestcentral Africa, 3140 miles away from Britain in Europe?

BRITAIN played a central role in the Igbo genocide – politically, diplomatically, militarily. Britain’s role covered the entire stretch of the genocide, phases I-III (May 1966-January 1970), namely from its conceptualisation in Lagos and Ibadan (west Nigeria) and Kaduna and Zaria and Sokoto (north Nigeria) to its catastrophic outcome. Without Britain, the Igbo genocide probably wouldn’t have occurred. It was therefore not surprising that, as the slaughter of the Igbo intensified, particularly in those horrendous months of 1968-1969, Harold Wilson, British prime minister, was totally unperturbed as he informed 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 MorrisUncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy, 1977: 122). 
(Harold Wilson: “would accept half a million dead Biafrans if that was what it took...”)
Such is the grotesquely expressed diminution of African life made by a supposedly leading politician of the world of the 1960s – barely 20 years after the deplorable perpetration of the Jewish genocide in Europe. 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, a subject coldly stated in Wilson’s own memoirs where he notes that the Nigerian military, equipped zealously by Britain, expended more small arms ammunition in its campaign to achieve its annihilative mission in Biafra 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). On this 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 unleashed their attacks on Biafran cities, towns and villages, they were the “best defoliant agent known” (Daily Telegraph, London, 11 January 1970).

As for the BBC, the role of its BBC World Service channel during the Igbo genocide was nothing short of being the external radio station for the prosecuting Nigerian genocidist junta in Lagos. This service was much more robust in its “rationalisation” of the genocide (“one Nigeria”, “territorial integrity”, “inviolability of colonial-set frontiers”, “indissolubility of colonial-set borders”, “rebels”, “unacceptable precedence for rest of Africa”, “secessionist!”, “secessionist!”, “secessionist!”…) than the rambling, ramshackle Voice of Nigeria.

Fifty years on, the BBC is still at it – supporting genocide against Igbo people by Nigeria in its broadcasts, as this crime against humanity continues to play out in phase-IV currently. It should be noted that it is this very key BBC favourite “secessionist” tag on Biafran independence that the Nigerian regime invoked just last Wednesday, 2 December 2015, news item aptly carried by the BBC on its website, before ordering its forces to attack peaceful Biafran freedom demonstrators in Onicha, the river port of Biafra’s Oshimili Delta.

While the BBC has still not found it fit to broadcast the predictable outcome of this Onicha attack to the world, in other words inform the world of the aftermath of the Nigerian regime’s blatant militarist threat on the peaceful demonstrators which the BBC itself announced hitherto, the following excerpts from the detailed report on what has since turned out as the Onicha massacre from the respected Lagos-based Civil Liberties Organisation is of utmost urgency:
A contingent of the heavily armed joint task force, consisting of personnel from the Army, Navy, police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, last Wednesday [2 December 2015] attacked thousands of unarmed members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a group seeking a separate republic to be called Biafra … The joint task force stormed the head bridge at 1:30 a.m. last Wednesday and began shooting sporadically into the crowd, killing 11 protesters and injuring numerous more … This is a case of gross violation of human rights, use of excessive force and a crime against humanity … This barbaric act has no place in a modern society as it also gravely undermines all UN, AU and other international, regional and national human rights mechanisms. Nothing, whatsoever, can justify this flagrant infraction on the rights of the citizens.
Once again, if anyone needs reminding that Nigeria has been, for the Igbo, a haematophagous quagmire throughout its history, the saliency of this latest massacre cannot be overstressed. 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 May 1966-January 1970 genocide. Since the beginning of phase-IV of the genocide, 13 January 1970, tens of thousands of Igbo have been murdered across Nigeria but especially in the north region including those slaughtered by the Boko Haram terrorists.

Wednesday 2 December 2015 has now become a graphically unnerving day of tragedy across two continents. In north America, an islamist terrorist couple, husband and wife, embarked on the premeditated massacre of 14 peaceful citizens in San Bernardino, California, United States. In Africa, a terrorist Nigerian military brigade, assembled from specialised detachments of navy, army, police, secret police, other undisclosed units, embarked on the premeditated massacre of 11 peaceful citizens in Onicha, Biafra, a number of them college students. The BBC has carried out expansive and continuing coverage of the San Bernardino massacre; the BBC has yet to cover the Onicha massacre in its broadcasts. Few now doubt the BBC’s doggedly entrenched position as a principal motivational ally in Nigeria’s prosecution of the Igbo genocide, presently humanity’s longest stretched genocide.

Babies and children’s survivor-leadership

Biafrans will surely free their land. It is high time BBC editors got used to this eventuality. Since Friday 6 November 2015, 33 days, hundreds of thousands of peaceful Biafrans have turned their cities and towns and villages into panoramic freedom park marches, unprecedented in Africa, demanding the restoration of the sovereignty of 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.  Nigeria, this essentially anti-African imperium created to programmatically enrich British strategic interests in perpetuity is, in fact, in freefall with its epitaph already signposting its dreadful history: Haematophagous Monster.

Lest we forget: Those who lead this current phase of resistance to the Igbo genocide were the babies/children-survivors of the July 1967-January 1970 refugee death camps of Biafra, effectively survivors of that dreadful Harold Wilson-death wish. These great survivors, who have now come of age, will free Biafra.
(Biafra today: ...have turned their cities and towns and villages into panoramic freedom park marches, unprecedented in Africa...)
The crime of genocide, thankfully, has no statute of limitations in international law. No other African peoples have suffered such an extensive and gruesome genocide and incalculable impoverishment in a century as the Igbo. All individuals and institutions involved in committing this crime, wherever they are or emplaced, will one day account for their role in court. In the meantime, the British Broadcasting Corporation will much sooner than later begin to come to terms with the fact that “what’s good” in the universal right of self-determination for those who live between latitudes 55 and 65˚N of the globe, for instance the Scots, “is good” for those who live between latitudes 4 and 14˚N, for instance Biafrans.
(Ornette Coleman Quartet, “WRU” {or Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious – Freud}
[personnel: Coleman, alto saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; Scott LaFaro, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums; recorded: Atlantic Studios, New York, US, 31 January 1961])

1 comment:

  1. BBC propaganda, evil riding on the affairs of Nigeria