Thursday, 31 March 2016

271st birthday of Olaudah Equiano


(Born c1745, Essaka, Biafra; dies 31 March 1797, LondonEngland)

One of the African World’s most celebrated intellectuals – sailor, explorer, expeditionist, entrepreneur, orator, versatile campaigner and active exponent of African freedom (during the 1780s in Britain) from enslavement and other spheres of subjugation by an assemblage of European states and interests and their “successor states” in the Americas/Caribbean, begun in the 15th century, visionary of eventual African liberation, author of the classic, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African (1789)

(Ornette Coleman Quartet, “Ecars” [personnel: Coleman, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums; recorded: Atlantic Studios, New York, US, 27 March 1961])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

“African American son”, US foreign policy and Africa: A statement


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

This piece is indeed part of work in progress and is only presented here because of the recent interview of US President Barack Obama in The Atlantic magazine (Jeffery Goldberg, “The Obama Doctrine”, The Atlantic, April 2016 Issue, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/, accessed 11 March 2016). It is therefore going to be skeletal but its essence is not provisional as the final outcome of the study next year will demonstrate.

In 2001, I called on the leaders of the world’s principal arms-manufacturing states to ban all arms sales/transfers to Africa (Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, African Literature in Defence of History: An Essay on Chinua Achebe, 2001: 134-138). This was in response to the rampaging post-(European)conquest genocide and other wars in Africa, begun catastrophically by Nigeria and its British ally when they both perpetrated the Igbo genocide in May 1966-Janaury 1970 with the  murder of 3.1 million Igbo people or one-quarter of this nation’s population. Since the Igbo genocide, 12 million additional Africans have been murdered in follow-up genocides in Rwanda, Darfur and in other regions in the Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in multiple wars across virtually all regions of the continent. Besides being co-perpetrator of the Igbo genocide, Britain has also emerged as the lead arms supplier to Africa including its genocide-states, especially Nigeria.

In June 2009, six months after the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the US, I updated the appeal to the globe’s lead arms-manufacturing countries and noted, as follows: 
US President Obama, his country’s first African-descent head of state, can be assured of a lasting legacy of his presidency by imposing a comprehensive US arms embargo on this continent of his fathers at the cusp of constructing new states of organic sensibilities – away from the terror of the genocide state. Obama should expand this initiative to involve other arms-exporters-to-Africa especially on such forums as the UN security council and the G-8. Arms ban to Africa should be internationally mandatory and enforceable (Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, Readings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature, 2011: 193).

Seven years and three months into his 2-term presidency which ends nine months away in January 2017, Obama gives the interview to The Atlantic. It is on his foreign policy during the period. This is a wide-ranging survey but one that hardly focuses on any subject on Africa except the 2011 US-British-French invasion of Libya, itself discussed, instead, within the overarching parameters of Middle East/Arab/islamic affairs. Muammar Gaddafi’s regime is overthrown during the course of the invasion, Gaddafi is murdered as well as some members of his family in addition to some influential officials of his regime, most Libyan cities and infrastructure (irrefutable landmark achievements of the Gaddafi years in office) are spectacularly smashed up, and Libya is subsequently, today, an “ISIS haven” (as The Atlantic interviewer Jeffery Goldberg terms it), largely controlled by groupings within the islamist jihadist international conglomeration – part of who Gaddafi was at war with prior to the West Trio invasion and murder.

In the interview, Obama describes the aftermath of the Libya invasion as a “mess”, a “s*** show”, blames the British and French leaders (David Cameron and Nicholas Sarkozy respectively) who he co-led the invasion for this resultant “ISIS haven – that he [Obama] has [latterly] targeted with air strikes” but, curiously, absolves himself from the débâcle. For Obama, Cameron’s and Sarkozy’s roles in the campaign are those of “free riders” who obviously cherish the perceived political capital that such invasions bring from enthusiastic sectors of domestic political opinion but are often less thoughtful of the consequences that such devastating acts of violence have on the ground or region of the world of perpetration, as they await eagerly for the invasion next time!

So, on Libya, after the troika-invasion, Obama recalls with barely disguised criticism, Cameron and Sarkozy just moved on… Cameron loses interest on this phase of the crisis/emergency, the “follow-up”, as he is “distracted by other things” whilst Sarkozy appears more interested to “trumpet the flights he [is] taking in the [invasion’s] air campaign” even though, Obama is keen to emphasise, “we [the US] had wiped out all [Libyan] air defenses and essentially set up the entire infrastructure [for the invasion]”.

Raft of ironies

What is at the crux of the politics of this post-Libya invasion apparent dilemma is the operationalisation of Obama’s so-called leading-from-behind strategy in the pursuit and promulgation of foreign policy projects with his allies, especially those in Europe, on the crucial task of role assignment/rationalisation. On this accord, ironically, Sarkozy’s exaggerated claims of France’s role in the invasion is a boon to Obama’s “leading-from-behind” positioning as it enabled the US to “purchase France’s involvement in a way that made it less expensive for us and less risky for us”. The key phrase is of course “less risky” and the Africa continent, in focus, where the French already had the notorious record of having carried out forty-nine (49) invasions of most of the 22 “francophonie” countries here in the previous 51 years with hardly any international repercussions, couldn’t be better placed than anywhere else in the world, particularly the South World, as the geographical site to mount such an aggression involving the US with minimal risks. It should also be noted that “leading-from-behind” is a cardinal feature of the  overall presumed “retrenchment” thrust or dynamics of Obama’s foreign policy based on his readings of US’s international relations in the past: “We have history … We have history with Iran, we have history with Indonesia and Central America. So we have to understand our history when we start talking about intervening, and understand the source of other people’s suspicions”. Yet the 2011 US co-led invasion of Libya fits in more appropriately with this “we have history”-heritage than a candidacy for some envisaged “retrenchment” of interventionist/expansionist programmes overseas.

In yet another startling irony, not covered in The Atlantic interview, Obama had, in 2010, one year in office, reinstated the trail of France’s invasion history in Africa (mentioned above) which President Bush, his predecessor, had frozen for seven years as “punishment” for the French 2003 refusal to join the US-led coalition invasion of Iraq. Soon after the embargo was lifted, Sarkozy ordered the French military, true to type, to attack Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (French invasion no. 49 of an African state since 1960), a presage to the following year’s Sarkozy-Cameron-Obama Libya invasion (again for the French, Africa invasion no. 50 since 1960), overthrew state president Laurent Gbagbo, arrested him and his wife and dragged them to an international court in The Hague for “trial” on trumped-up charges, installed a local puppet as a Gbagbo replacement, murdered 2300 Africans during the course of the assault, and significantly destroyed several business and residential districts of Abidjan. In 2012, following his loss in the French presidential elections, Sarkozy passes his country’s invasion-baton-for-Africa to successor François Hollande, who, in turn, has since dispatched the French military to invade Mali (2013) and Central African Republic (2013).

Not-“retrenchment” and ongoing Igbo genocide in Biafra

It should now be evident that Africa does not figure distinctly in the frame of Obama’s assumed policy of “retrenchment” of spheres of US interventionism abroad. On the contrary, Africa very much represents the territorial zone of US’s not-“retrenchment”. Despite Obama’s criticism of the British and French leaderships on post-Libya invasion intra-coalition relations, he has in fact privileged the role of these dual lead-conqueror states of Africa in the pursuit of other goals of US interventionism on the continent more under the contemptuous tactical rubric of “Africa is direct responsibility of London and Paris”, a throwback particularly to the 1950s-1970 era of the Dwight Eisenhower-Lynden Johnson presidencies, which also manifests itself in that working slogan already cited, “leading-from-behind”. We will refer to one other goal as an example and this has profound consequences across the African World and history. Considering this importance, it requires a bit of background for elucidation.

In March 2015, the US, in close collaboration with Britain, imposed Muhammadu Buhari as head of Nigeria regime (echoes of “we have a history with Iran”?/“we have a history with Indonesia”?). Buhari has been known to the British for 50 years – since the outbreak of the May 1966 Igbo genocide, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, launched by its client state Nigeria. As already noted, 3.1 million Igbo or 25 per cent of the Igbo population were murdered during the genocide. Britain, which until six years earlier was the conqueror-occupying power in Nigeria for sixty-years, supported the genocide politically, diplomatically and militarily – right from its launch date, Sunday 29 May 1966, and throughout its gruesome and devastating three phases during the course of 44 months ending 12 January 1970 ( http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/herbert-ekwe-ekwe-conquerors-concord-in.html). Nigeria launched phase-IV of the genocide on 13 January 1970. This has continued unabated with tens of thousands of Igbo murdered and their Biafra homeland effectively occupied by Nigeria. Britain has maintained support for the genocide wholeheartedly and steadfastly during this latter phase (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/herbert-ekwe-ekwe-conquerors-concord-in.html).

Muhammadu Buhari himself has been a genocidist operative in the Nigeria military – straight ahead from the launch date of the Igbo genocide and during the Nigerian expansive trail of the mass slaughter of Igbo military and civilians alike in north and west Nigeria regions from 29 July 1966-July 1967 to encapsulate phases I-II of the genocide timeframe. During phase-III of the genocide, the invasion of Biafra, July 1967-January 1970, Buhari was commander of a genocidist corps in north and northcentral Biafra, slaughtering to the hilt. As from 13 January 1970, beginning of phase-IV of the genocide, Buhari has adhered rigidly to or overseen the Nigeria regime’s blanket policy of non-development of occupied Biafra, the regime’s aggressive degradation of socioeconomic life in Biafra, and the regime’s exponential expropriation of the rich oil reserves of Biafra. Biafran assets looted by the occupation stand at US$1000 billion. Over time, since 13 January 1970, Buhari has exhibited a calculated, deafening silence over the course of the murder of those tens of thousands of Igbo people across Nigeria but especially in his north Nigeria homeland by regime forces/allied forces including those massacred by the Boko Haram terrorist organisation in the past six years.

So since Buhari came to power in May 2015 as a result of that US-British intervention and imposition, hundreds of Igbo people demanding the restoration of their independence and the release of several members of the freedom leadership including Nnamdi Kanu, head of the Indigenous People of Biafra and broadcaster at Biafra freedom radio, have been murdered – usually shot at sight during peaceful freedom marches by the Nigerian genocidist military and police equipped mostly with British weapons. Beginning at the Oshimili River twin city of Onicha on 2 December 2015, this orgy of massacres by the Nigerian military has spread to other Biafran cities including Asaba, Enuugwu, Igwe Ocha, Umuahia and Aba through the remaining of December and into January-March 2016. The massacres have been meticulously documented by several news organisations and individuals and human rights groups (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/onitsha-nigeria-4-th-march2016.html). The 9 February 2016 Aba massacre of 22 Biafrans attending a morning prayer session in a local high school by the genocidists (International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, Onicha, 21 February 2016) was particularly gruesome and shocking and very disturbing images from the scene have since gone viral on the internet. In a sentence, genocidist Nigeria military contingents are literally at loose in Biafra massacring and maiming defenceless people who express their inalienable right to freedom and beginning in early February (2016), they have  been joined by Fulani militia terrorists rampaging swathes of villages in north, northcentral and southwest of Biafra.  On a comparative note, the Nigerian genocidist troopers have attacked chosen or pre-targeted Biafran population centres with the same spontaneity, precision and virulence that a Boko Haram terrorist cell would employ in attacking fishing communities in Baga, north Nigeria, or a church in Yola (north Nigeria) or an ISIS terrorist unit would effect whilst attacking the Charlie Hebdo editorial board meeting in Paris, France, or attacking a Jewish supermarket in Paris or a rock concert in Paris or attacking an airport terminal in Brussels, Belgium, or attacking a metro train in Brussels…

Noticeably, there has been no condemnation of any of the stretch of Nigerian genocidist military attacks on the Biafran public during these past three months (launched 2 December 2015) from David Cameron’s British government. The same haunting silence pervades from the Obama administration. Not a word. In sharp contrast, when on 12 December (2015) a Nigeria military brigade operating in Zaria, northcentral Nigeria, attacked and murdered several shiite muslim protesters in a procession, there was a robust response from the US government: “The United States calls on the government of Nigeria to quickly, credibly, and transparently investigate these events in Zaria and hold to account any individuals found to have committed crimes”. This same US government wouldn’t, didn’t follow up with similar or any other statements of concern in the following acts of Nigerian genocidist attacks on Igbo population in Biafra: Onicha (17 December), where eight Biafrans were murdered and scores wounded; Aba (19 January 2016), where 10 Biafrans were murdered and scores wounded; Aba (9 February), where 22 were murdered and scores wounded.
(Aba massacre:genocidist Nigeria military gun down 22 peaceful Biafrans involved in an early morning open air prayer session for freedom, National High School Aba, Biafra, Thursday 9 February 2016)

“African American son”

In introducing the section of The Atlantic interview with Obama that focuses on Israel, Jeffery Goldberg recalls a conversation between Obama and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu which perhaps captures the “frosty” characterisation that many an observer has used in describing the latter’s relationship in the past seven years. “Obama felt that Netanyahu was behaving in a condescending fashion,” Goldberg writes, as the Israeli leader had “launched into something of a lecture about the brutal region in which he lives…” Obama retorts: “Bibi, you have to understand something … I’m the African American son of a single mother, and I live here, in this house. I live in the White House. I managed to get elected president of the United States. You think I don’t understand what you’re talking about, but I do.”

As I indicated at the beginning of these reflections, Africa, the African World, hardly features anywhere as a subject of focus or discussion  in this interview covering Obama’s foreign policy during seven years in office as US president. The reader may therefore wonder what relevance Obama’s reference to “African American son” or indeed his “White House” home address during the exchange with Netanyahu has to the entire thrust of the interview beyond the record reminder, an important one that must be stressed, given the pivotal role played by the African humanity in this history, of the first person of African descent to occupy the position of president of the United States 233 years after the founding of the republic. But the focus, surely, cannot begin and just end with an African “entry” in the “White House”! What does the occupier do whilst there in residence? How do they embody and respond to the weight of the African history antecedent? What is this African history? What has the occupier done whilst there in residence?

African Atlantic discourses

Soon after Obama’s inauguration as president in January 2009, quite a few African World scholars envisaged the reactivation, in some formats, of those democratic forums and spaces where African Atlantic discourses involving a range of outstanding intellectuals were so instrumental in launching and implementing transformative initiatives that have been of profound benefits across the African World especially in the past 300 years. Unfortunately, this reactivation hasn’t occurred and, interestingly ironical, that Netanyahu’s “lecture”-designation Goldberg referred to in the interview hasn’t been totally dissimilar to what some African continental heads of regime feel has been Obama’s own approach to them in their relations.

Still on the African Atlantic discourses, it is extraordinary to wish to contemplate how the intellectuals engaged in this circle would deliberate over the historic tragedy of an African-descent occupier in the “White House” residence who has watched in deafening silence since 2 December 2015 as the head of the ruthless genocidist regime in Nigeria, whom he had earlier on installed in office in collaboration with the British prime minister, murders peaceful and defenceless Africans in Biafra so ghastly for a reason not any more complicated than that 7-letter word that has come to define the strategic quest of the African World for 400 years: freedom

So, what would the following from some of the brightest minds of this assemblage think of the tragedy – Olaudah Equiano, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Frederick Douglass, WEB Du Bois,  James Baldwin, Léopold Sédar Senghor, CLR James, Eric Williams, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Chinua Achebe, Cheikh Anta Diop, John Henrik Clarke, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, George Lamming, John Coltrane, Julius Nyerere, Alain Locke, Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Ivan Van Sertima, Aimé Césaire, Nicolás Guillén, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Mariam Makeba, Ossie Davis, Marcus Garvey, Ruby Dee, Louis Armstrong, George James, Walter Rodney, Jacob Carruthers, Toni Morrison, Théophile Obenga, King Jaja of Opobo, Duke Ellington, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Christopher Okigbo, Kwame Nkrumah, Martin Delaney, Adu Boahen, Nwafor Orizu, Mbonu Ojike, Bethuel Ogot, Amilcar Cabral, Max Roach, Bob Marley, Robert Sobukwe, George Russell, Okot p’Bitek, W Arthur Lewis, Chancellor Williams, Patrice Lumumba, Kenneth Onwuka Dike, David Diop, Adiele Afigbo, Peter Tosh, Kofi Awoonor, Molefi Kete Asante,  Charles Mingus, Uche Okeke, Wangari Maathai, Ifeanyi Menkiti, Esiaba Irobi, Maurice Bishop, Dedan Kimathi, Michael Echeruo, Maulana Karenga, Alioune Diop, Eni Njoku, Ama Ata Aidoo, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Eric Dolphy, Ousmane Sembéne, Mariama Bâ, Léon-Gontram Damas, Agwuncha Arthur Nwankwo, Sydney Poitier, Abbey Lincoln, Uzo Egonu, Langston Hughes, Emmanuel Obiechina, Mariamba Ani, Thomas Sankara, Hilary Beckles.
(George Russell Sextet here plays “Nardis”, a composition by Miles Davis [personnel: Russell, piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, bass clarinet; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, 8 May 1961])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 28 March 2016

104th birthday of Léon-Gontram Damas

(Born 28 March 1912, Cayenne, French-occupied Guiana)
Poet, editor, philosopher, academic, co-founder, with Léopold Sédar Senghor and Aimé Césaire, of the 1930s-1940s “negritude” intellectual movement of African affirmation in Paris, France, and whose demonstrable volume of poetry, Pigments (1937), gives notice of the engaging trajectory of the movement:
… my hatred thrived on the margins of culture
the margin of theories the margin of idle talk
with which they stuffed me since birth
even though all in me aspired to be [African]
while they ransacked my Africa

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Friday, 25 March 2016

74th birthday of Aretha Franklin

(Born 25 March 1942, Memphis, US)
Renowned singer, pianist, freedom movement exponent
(Aretha Franklin and Band, “Respect” [personnel: Franklin, vocals; Caroline Franklin, background vocals; Erma Franklin, background vocals; Cornell Dupree, guitar; Willie Bridges, saxophone; Charles Chalmers, saxophone; Curtis Ousley {“King Curtis”}, saxophone; Dewey “Spooner” Oldham, keyboards, Tommy Cogbill, bass; Roger Hawkins, drums; recorded: Atlantic Records Studios, 14 February 1967])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

87th birthday of Cecil Taylor

(Born 25 March 1929, New York, US)
Virtuoso pianist and one of the preeminent leaders of the free-jazz movement, beginning in the mid-1950s, prolific composer, poet, academic
(Cecil Taylor Quartet, “Charge ’em blues” [personnel: Taylor, piano; Steve Lacy, soprano saxophone; Buel Neidlinger, bass; Dennis Charles, drums; recorded: Transition Records, Cambridge, Mass, US, 14 September 1956])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

74th birthday of Walter Rodney

(Born 23 March 1942, Georgetown, Guyana)
One of Africa’s preeminent historians whose A History of the Upper Guinea Coast, 1545-1800 (1970) and How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972) are compulsory references in the study of Africa and African peoples worldwide of the past 500 years
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

76th birthday of Ama Ata Aidoo

(Born 23 March 1940, Saltpond, Ghana)
 Distinguished poet, novelist, playwright, academic
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

69th birthday of Pete Edochie

(Born 7 March 1947, Enuugwu, Biafra)
Eloquent and iconic news presenter on Biafran resistance radio broadcasting corporation during the Igbo genocide, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970, and versatile actor whose play of the Okonkwo character in a 1987 television adaptation of the classic Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe) remains critically acclaimed

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 20 March 2016

59th anniversary of Spike Lee

(Born 20 March 1957, Atlanta, US)
One of the most prolific and distinguished film directors of his generation (releasing over 30 movies in a career begun 1983, including the classic Malcolm X [1992]), actor, producer, writer, academic

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Friday, 18 March 2016

Biafra freedom movement marches in solidarity with Irish people worldwide on St Patrick Day’s parade in the ancient city of Waterford, Ireland, Thursday 17 March 2016

(Biafrans marching in the Waterford parade, Thursday 17 March 2016 [24:01 mins]... the Biafrans join the parade at 7.23 mins into the video clip: … hearty, resolute, focussed)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Thursday, 17 March 2016

NEW PUBLICATION: Yvonne Chioma Mbanefo, Okowaokwu Igbo Umuaka: Igbo Dictionary for Children

(Yvonne Chioma MbanefoOkowaokwu Igbo Umuaka: Igbo Dictionary for Children [L0ndon: Learn Igbo Now, 2016], 308pp, £10.00pb, £6.99 kindle/Euro 13.72pb, Euro 7.73 kindle/US$14.00pb, US$8.62 kindle)
(Yvonne Chioma Mbanefo: Okowaokwu Igbo Umuaka: Igbo Dictionary for Children)
Yvonne Chioma Mbanefo has won numerous awards for her contributions to Igbo language learning. She is one of the organisers of the Annual International Igbo conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Mbanefo is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, United Kingdom. She is a digital strategist and director at a London based IT firm. She is trained in digital media, information design, and elearning. She has done extensive research in the use of both digital and traditional media in modern language learning. In her spare time she uses her digital and information design skills to create Igbo language learning materials at www.LearnIgboNow.com.

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe


Igbo Question


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

The “Igbo Question” is intrinsically linked to the Igbo strategic goal, presently, which is to end the occupation of their Biafran homeland by genocidist Nigeria – imposed since 13 January 1970. 

This is a structural facet of phase-IV of the genocide, launched by Nigeria on 29 May 1966. 3.1 million Igbo people or one-quarter of this nation were murdered by Nigeria and Britain. Britain 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. Pointedly, no single nation or people in Africa has suffered this extent of 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])
The genocide continues unabated (as several essays and other recent entries in re-thinking.blogspot.co.uk demonstrate) and Britain’s support continues unflinchingly crucial. For Britain, contrary to the often clanking histrionics of prevailing international politics rhetoric, its strategic alliance here, in this African region, has always been with the islamist north region Hausa-Fulani leadership which vociferously opposed the restoration of African independence from the British occupation. It is Britain’s alliance with this leadership situated atop the Nigeria constellation-equation that makes up the Anglo-Nigerian amalgam that executed the Igbo genocide. It is also from groupings with this same leadership that both Boko Haram (currently the world’s most ruthless terrorist organisation, according to the Institute for Economics & Peace, http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/institute-for-economics-peace-global.html) and the Fulani militia (see also the IE&P’s study on this militia) were created and unleashed to murder tens of thousands of Africans and others in these times.   

So, given the critical links between the salient features of the politics of the Nigerian occupation of Biafra and the overarching architecture of the genocidal campaign, it is the case that the Igbo termination of the occupation is at once the beginning of their freedom march from Nigeria and the implementation of an unprecedentedly expansive socioeconomic programme of reconstruction. The route remains Igbo freedom from Nigeria, 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”, http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/rights-for-scots-rights-for-igbo.html), the Igbo, surely, don’t require any agonisingly turgid historical and sociological treatise to wish to leave Nigeria.

Rarefication

Contrary to the amazingly ahistorical discourses on the nature of the state and its survivability in some circles, particularly in Africa where the prevailing eurocentric conquest social sciences curriculum essentially rarefies the “state”, 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”, Portuguese “empire”, Spanish “empire”, British “empire”, French Indo-China, Malaya Federation, Anglo-Egyptian-Sudan, Central African Federation, United Arab Republic, Mali Federation, Senegambia Confederation, West & East Pakistan, Soviet UnionYugoslavia, CzechoslovakiaEthiopia, the Sudan... What has indeed been the grounding feature of the state in world history on this accord, thankfully, has rather been “divisibility”, “dissolubility”, “destructibility”, each the antonym of that 3-headed genocidist mantra mouthed off at random by quite a few spokespersons of especially the genocide-state in Africa.

It is therefore not surprising that 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, Europeans presently have more states per capita than peoples of Africa! And as history shows, the catastrophe is not the collapse of the state; the catastrophe is the attempt to destroy constituent peoples within the state as the Anglo-Nigeria amalgam has sought in Biafra since 29 May 1966.  Here lies the Igbo Question.

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe



Wednesday, 16 March 2016

189th anniversary of the founding of Freedom’s Journal

(First published 16 March 1827, New York, US)
First African American-owned and edited newspaper is founded by Rev Peter Williams and a group of influential African Americans in New York, and aptly named Freedom’s Journal
(Jackie McLean QuartetMelody for Melonae [personnel: McLean, alto saxophone; Walter Davis, Jr., piano; Herbie Lewis, bass; Billy Higgins, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 19 March 1962])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

81st birthday of Kofi Awoonor

(Born 13 March 1935, Wheta, Ghana)
Poet, linguist, academic, diplomat

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Nigeria genocidist occupation military in Aba, Biafra, now extends its campaign to tearing up newspapers that carry news on the Biafra freedom movement… (reports from Aba City Blog, Tuesday 15 March 2016)

FWD: “Soldiers banned newspaper vendors in Aba bearing Biafra reports”, Aba City Blog, Tuesday 15 March 2016

“Newspaper vendors in Aba, are now living fear, as soldiers from 144 Battalion, which is under Ohafia 14 Brigade, stormed St. Michael’s Road at about 7am, in two Hilux vans and seized their papers bearing Biafra reports.

“One of the vendors who spoke to The Nation, said, ‘At about some minutes past seven, soldiers in two Hilux vans arrived with one of the vendors that they picked along the Mosque, asking him to point at the person who gave him the paper. But the vendor could not, because the person who gave him the paper had gone … They asked to know the publishers or suppliers but got no response. Then they confiscated New Republic, Vesym, Freedom Journal and some copies of The Authority which carried Biafra stories. We are yet to be told the reason for the confiscation, but the truth is that we have lost money as many readers were disappointed.’

“A publisher, who pleaded for anonymity, condemned the action of the soldiers. He said they were overstepping their bounds and vowed that ‘attempts by the military to gag the press will fail. We are publishing reports about Biafra like other national dailies do. Let them close down all the media houses because they are carrying Biafra stories, after all, we are not the only ones publishing stories on Biafra.’”

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 14 March 2016

83rd birthday of Quincy Jones

(Born 14 March 1933, Chicago, US)
Multifaceted talent – celebrated record and film producer, conductor, arranger, multiinstrumentalist, publisher

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

79th birthday of Michael Echeruo

(Born 14 March 1937, Umunumo, Biafra)
Poet, literary critic, academic, university president (vice-chancellor),  offers selfless and distinguished service as head of the crucial Biafran resistance government communication directorate during the Igbo genocide, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970, carried out by Nigeria and Britain with the total of 3.1 million Igbo people or one-quarter of this nation’s population murdered

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Scotland plans for a new referendum for restoration-of-independence

(Nicola Sturgeon: Our dream is for Scotland to become independent … To be in the driving seat of our own destiny)
Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party and first minister of Scotland has announced that Scotland will try again to vote in a new referendum for the restoration of independence, 309 years after union with England in the state called United Kingdom. In the last referendum exercise in October 2014, the “Yes-for-independence” vote scored 45 per cent against the “No” campaigners who won by receiving 55 per cent. 

Speaking yesterday (Saturday 12 March 2016) at the SNP’s spring conference in Glasgow, Sturgeon quoted Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of a former US president, who memorably stressed that the “future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. For Sturgeon,
Our dream is for Scotland to become independent … To be in the driving seat of our own destiny, to shape our own future. And on the basis of equality with our family across the British Isles and our friends across the globe, to play our part in building a better world. That is a beautiful dream. And we believe in it.
No peoples are exempt

Roosevelt’s vision and Sturgeon’s studied inspiration from it is indeed shared not only by Scots but by a stretch of peoples and nations across the globe. The Igbo people of Biafra in southwestcentral Africa, 3475 miles southeast of Scotland, are proud to belong to this illustrious heritage. For 50 years, beginning on 29 May 1966, the Igbo have sought to be in the “driving seat of their destiny … and shape [their] own future” but have been subjected to a devastating genocide by Nigeria and Britain, the very country that Scotland has been part of since 1707. In fact, quite a few prominent Scottish politicians, most of whom were in the (British) Labour party at the time, were active agents in the perpetration of this genocide.  In phases I-III of the genocide (29 May 1966-12 January 1970), the Anglo-Nigerian genocidist amalgam murdered 3.1 million Igbo people or one-quarter of this nation’s population.

This genocide is still continuing. Since Muhammadu Buhari (current head of regime in Nigeria who the British played a key role to install and wholeheartedly supports) came to power in May 2015, hundreds of Igbo people demanding the restoration of their independence have been murdered – usually shot at sight during peaceful freedom marches by the Nigerian military equipped mostly with British weapons.

Unlike the Igbo, Scotland is not seeking freedom from the United Kingdom because it has been assailed by genocide or any other crimes from the union. Of course not. On the contrary, Scotland has been a distinct beneficiary from the union including access to the gargantuan wealth seized by the union across the globe during its centuries of conquests and occupations which included Biafra and other regions of the African World (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/rights-for-scots-rights-for-igbo.html).

What Scotland seeks from the UK is freedom to be in the “driving seat of their destiny”, the right of self-determination which is inalienable, which is for all peoples, which is recognised by the United Nations. No peoples are therefore exempt from this right whatever may be their status, experience or circumstance in the state from which they wish to exit.

Appropriately it couldn’t

Britain, a signatory to the relevant articles of the UN convention that recognises this right to self-determination prefers, understandably, that Scotland continues its constituent relationship with the UK-union but respects Scotland’s right to seek to be “in the driving seat of [its] own destiny”. Appropriately, the British military or police couldn’t, conceivably, disrupt yesterday’s SNP conference in Glasgow nor stop Nicola Sturgeon from making her speech for renewed referendum for the restoration of independence. 

As in the 2014 Scottish voting process (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/rights-for-scots-rights-for-igbo.html), no Scottish voter, for or against restoration-of-independence at the Forth Bridge, outside Edinburgh, or in Glasgow or Inverness or Aye or Aberdeen or Stranraer or Edinburgh or Arbroath or Wick or indeed anywhere in Scotland would ever be shot at or harmed in any way by the British police/military/MI5/whatever in exercising this inalienable right, guaranteed by the United Nations, to decide on this crucial testament of freedom.

Britain’s Nigeria

Astonishingly, in sharp contrast, Britain’s Nigeria, also a signatory to the UN declaration on the rights of peoples to self-determination, would have sent its genocidist military to drown a Glasgow-style Biafran freedom party conference held in any of the Biafran cities of Enuugwu, Onicha, Oka, Igwe Ocha, Aba or Asaba, for instance, in an orgy of massacres of the attending delegates and leaders. Nnamdi Kanu and several leaders and officials of the Biafran freedom movement are currently incarcerated in illegal detentions by the Nigeria regime. Given the antecedent of Britain’s stony silence on not only these arrests but also on the string of recent massacres of Biafrans, beginning November 2015, Britain would very unlikely condemn any such expanded murder outrage by its Nigeria client-state and leadership.

The link below shows the crux of Nicola Sturgeon’s yesterday’s important address to the Scottish people on plans for a new referendum to decide Scotland's future. Many observers, including those sympathetic to the course of the Nigeria genocidist regime, have shown repeatedly that if a referendum were held in Biafra today to determine the wishes of the people, the overwhelming majority of the population would vote for restoration-of-independence” (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/how-anti-biafran-freedom-columnist.html). Inevitably, Britain will surely explain to the wider world much sooner than later why it accepts the rights of 5 million Scots to exercise this freedom which could cause the collapse of a union of 309 years but is unrelentingly instrumental in waging/supporting a 50-year-old genocide campaign against 50 million Igbo people who equally want their own freedom.

Statute of limitations

It is absolutely crucial to remind all those involved in the prosecution of the Igbo genocide, wherever they are domiciled, that there is no statute of limitations in international law in the apprehension, prosecution and punishment of persons or institutions involved in the crime of genocide. Igbo seek and will achieve justice for the perpetration of this crime against its people, a crime against humanity. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Igbo seek and will achieve the restoration of Biafra.
(Nicola Sturgeon: “... This summer we will embark on a new initiative to build support for Scottish independence...)
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

54th birthday of Terence Blanchard

(Born 13 March 1962, New Orleans, US)
Award-winning trumpeter, bandleader, educator and versatile composer whose output includes a range of film scores especially the critically-acclaimed music for director Spike Lee’s 2006 documentary, When the Leeves Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts on the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina
Terence Blanchard Sextet & Orchestra, “Levees” [personnel: Blanchard, trumpet; Brice Winston, tenor and soprano saxophones; Aaron Parks, piano; Derrick Hodge, acoustic and electric basses; Kendrick Scott, drums, percussion; Zack Harmon, tabla drums; Northwest Sinofia {40-member string orchestra, conducted by Blanchard}; recorded: Blue Note, New York, 14 August 2007])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 12 March 2016

London’s Chatham House dramatic encounter: Biafra freedom movement insists… (London, Wednesday 9 March 2016)


Visiting head-of-regime of Imo administrative region: Who are you? … Do you know who I am?

Dignified flag-carrying exponent of the Biafra freedom movement: I am a Biafran … Why are you here [in London]? What are you talking about while our people are being murdered [sic] ... in the region you administer? … You must tell the world what is happening … Tell the truth … 
(Chatham House exchange, London, Wednesday 9 March 2016)
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe