Thursday, 30 June 2016

85th birthday of Andrew Hill

(Born 30 June 1931, Chicago, US)
Seminally innovative pianist and composer, including the critically acclaimed Point of DepartureCompulsion!!!!! and Eternal Spirit, academic
(Andrew Hill Sextet, “New monastry” [personnel: Hill, piano; Kenny Dorham, trumpet; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; John Henderson, tenor saxophone;  Richard Davis, bass; Tony Williams, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 21 March 1964])
(Bobby Hutcherson Sextet, “Dialogue” [personnel: Hutcherson, vibraphone; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Sam Rivers, bass clarinet; Andrew Hill, piano; Richard Davis, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; recorded:  Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, Cliffs, NJ, US, 3 April 1965])

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

144th birthday of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Born 27 June 1872, Dayton, Ohio, US)
Prolific poet, novelist, playwright, songwriter (writes lyrics for In Dahomey, the very successful 1903 musical which appears in Broadway and elsewhere), essayist, whose critically acclaimed output foreshadows the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s-1930s

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Genocidist Nigeria, 29 May 1966-29 May 2016: What is the scoreboard?

(Nigeria state proclivity: genocide)
(Obusonjo: easily decipherable DNA signature...)
Throughout the stretch of these pulverising five decades of slaughtering 3.1 million and more Igbo people in this genocide, this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, the only tangible capability that the murderers have acquired is one to commit even more murders –  nothing else … definitely, not the more challenging capacity to develop and transform their human potential and economy and, in turn, attract and merit the accolades and recognition from peers and others elsewhere in the world. Alas, murders and murdering and murders constitute their easily decipherable DNA signature.
(George Russell Sextet here plays “Nardis”, a Miles Davis’s composition [personnel: Russell, piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, bass clarinet; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 8 May 1961])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 26 June 2016

79th birthday of Reggie Workman

(Born 26 June 1937, Philadelphia, US)
Versatile and celebrated bassist with an expansive collaborative recording register that includes ensembles led by John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Max Roach, Art Blakey,  Lee Morgan, Mal Waldron, Wayne Shorter, Archie Shepp, John Tchicai, Freddie Hubbard and David Murray, band leader, composer, academic whose outstanding music education initiatives stretch beyond the confines of the academy to address varying community needs and aspirations particularly those involving the youth
(Reggie Workman Quintet, “Summit conference” [personnel: Workman, bass; Julian Priester, trombone; Sam Rivers, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Andrew Hill, piano; Pheroan AkLaff, drums; recorded: live, Yoshi’s, Oakland, California, US, 2 August 1995])

103rd birthday of Aimé Césaire

(Born 26 June 1913, Basse-Pointe, Martinique)
Poet, playwright, essayist, cofounder (with Léopold Sédar Senghor and Léon-Gontram Damas) of the “negritude” movement in Paris in the 1930s-1940s, one of the preeminent intellectuals of African World affirmation in the wake of 500 years of pan-European enslavement of African peoples, conquest and occupation of Africa, author of classics Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (1939; English: Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, 1956) Discours sur le colonialisme (1950; English: Discourse on Colonialism, 1953), Toussaint Louverture: La Révolution française et le problème colonial (1960, study on the Haitian restoration-of-independence revolutionary), Une Saison au Congo (1966; English: A Season in the Congo, 1968 – play on life and times of Patrice Lumumba) and Une Tempête (1969, English: A Tempest, 1986 – a play, an African-centred rereading of Shakespeare’s The Tempest), teacher and major influence on Frantz Fanon, fellow Martinican and celebrated liberatory scholar and author of The Wretched of the Earth
(Sonny Rollins Quartet, “St Thomas” [personnel: Rollins, tenor saxophone, Tommy Flanagan, piano; Doug Watkins, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 22 June 1956])

Friday, 24 June 2016

This British vote to leave the European Union!

Surely a timely reminder to those genocidist sloganeers in some parts of the world, particularly in a Nigeria, who troll along with that infamous murder chant signature: [this state] is indivisible, indissoluble, indestructible”. On the contrary, the state, any state form, is transient; people endures...


Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Britain votes to leave the European Union in a historic referendum conducted on Thursday 23 June 2016: 52% of the electorate vote to leave as against 48% remain (Prime Minister David Cameron to resign consequently); Biafrans, 3,134 miles away in southwestcentral Africa, currently look forward to organising their own referendum on restoration-of-independence from genocidist Nigeria – a state concocted by, ironically, Britain a century ago to serve British strategic and economic interests in perpetuity

(Britain: population 65 million)
(Biafra: population 50 million)
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

53rd birthday of Emma Okocha

(Born 22 June 1963, Asaba, Biafra: onye amuma ndiigbo)
Footballer, sports administrator, journalist, freedom activist, onye amuma ndiigbo, the courageous 4-year-old who, at the early stages of phase-III of the Igbo genocide, survives the Saturday 7 October 1967 mass execution of  700 Igbo boys and men, by a genocidist Nigeria military brigade commanded by Murtala Muhammed and Ibrahim Haruna and Ibrahim Taiwo in Asaba, twin Oshimili River port, during which most of his family and other relatives are murdered; author of Blood on the Niger (TriAtlantic Books, 2006), compulsory reference in the study of the Igbo genocide, carried out by Nigeria and strategic ally Britain, which meticulously catalogues the savagery and aftermath of this massacre.
Hundreds of other Igbo boys and men are also slaughtered by the Muhammed-Haruna-Taiwo brigade in several other towns and villages in this Anioma region of Biafra, west of the Oshimili, as  Okafor Udoka has shown (Okafor Udoka, “Lest we forget the genocide of Asaba”, Skytrend News, 6 October 2014). Ifeanyi Uriah, now 62, another survivor of the Asaba execution, recalls, in an interview with Udoka, the haunting memory of 7 October 1967:
I cannot tell this story without tears in my eyes … They [genocidist brigade] ordered everyone to come out to the [Asaba] town square … They were honest with us. They told us they were going to kill us. They took us to the mounted machine guns. Then it dawned on us that it was true. I was standing with my older brother at the edge of the crowd. He was holding my hand. He had always taken care of me. We shared the same bed. He was the first to be dragged away by the soldiers. He let go of my hand and pushed me into the crowd. He was shot in the back. I could see the blood gushing from his back. He was the first victim of the massacre. Then all hell let loose. I lost count of time. To this day, I live with the smell of the blood of my brethren that night. Even the heavens wept for the victims of this holocaust. Finally the bullets stopped (Udoka: 2014).
*****Nigeria and Britain murdered 3.1 million Igbo people or one-quarter of this nation’s population during the three phases of the genocide – 29 May 1966-12 January 1970. This genocide, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, inaugurated Africa’s current age of pestilence, and its phase-IV, launched on 13 January 1970, continues as these lines are written...  

The world could have stopped this genocide; the world should have stopped this genocide. The world can stop this ongoing genocide. To understand the politics of the Igbo genocide and the politics of the “post”-Igbo genocide is to have an invaluable insight into the salient features and constitutive indices of politics across Africa in the past 50 years.
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Alabama” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone, McCoy Tyner, piano; Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Jazz Casual [Ralph Gleason], National Educational Television, KQED Studios, San Francisco, US, 1 November 1963])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Nine human rights organisations issue joint report on Muhammadu Buhari’s regime after one year in office: 4,500 people in Nigeria and Nigeria-occupied Biafra have been murdered by regime and pro-regime forces during the period

The following nine human rights organisations, which constitute the Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs), have published a report on the Muhammadu Buhari regime one year after coming to power. The organisations are :

1. Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO)

2. Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy (CHRPA)

3. Human Rights Club (a project of LRRDC)(HRC)

4. Forum for Justice, Equity & Defense of Human Rights (FJEDHR)

5. Society Advocacy Watch Project (SPAW)

6. Anambra Human Rights Forum (AHRF)

7. Southeast Good Governance Forum (SGGF)

8. International Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative (INTERSOLIDARITY)

9. Igbo Ekunie Initiative (pan Igbo rights advocacy group)

and their report is as follows:

President Muhammadu Buhari’s one year old presidency has been marked by turbulence grounded in presidential violence and dictatorship of alarming proportion. 

Borrowing from Intersociety’s updated grounded  statistics, over 4500 innocent and unarmed citizens have been killed since June 2015 following the swearing in of President Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s sixth civil President on 29th of May 2015; out of which over 1300  were killed by the security forces under conditions and manners unknown to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, relevant regional and international rights and humanitarian treaties entered into by Nigeria as well as other  key provisions of international law including the basic standards of the international law and the principles and purposes of the United Nations.

Over 3200 others were killed by violent non State actors whose violent activities are condoned, aided and abetted by the Buhari’s Presidency (i.e. Fulani Janjaweed). In all these, the Presidency of Gen Muhammadu Buhari is personally and vicariously culpable, following its refusal, till date, to fish out the perpetrators including its serving security chiefs and bring them to justice. Others who died untimely following harsh economic, governance and security policies of the Buhari administration in the past one year are in their thousands.
(Muhammadu Buhari: in the past year, June 2015-20 June 2016, according to this report, the Buhari regime and non state violent forces  
abetted by the [regime] i.e. Fulani Janjaweed” have murdered 4500 innocent and unarmed citizens” in Nigeria and Nigeria-occupied Biafra)
Apart from the presidential violence of alarming proportion unleashed on Nigerians, the lives, liberties and self determination endowments of all Nigerians are violently dictated and eroded by the Presidency of Gen Muhammadu Buhari. Over 98% policies of the Buhari administration are utterly vindictive, primordial, selective, discriminatory, sectional and enemy prone. The list of such harsh policies is in-exhaustive; from anti corruption to security policies; federal office appointment and promotion to distribution of federal resources policies; and from citizens protection and welfare (if any) to general governance of the country policies. The Buhari administration is also an arch ethnic hater, hate speech promoter and ethnic cleanser.

In the area of citizens’ liberties and rule of law, the Buhari administration has completely abandoned the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and brought  back through the back door the infamous Decree 2 of 1984 and its sister Decree 4 of 1984 with which enemy-citizens and others labeled corrupt, are arrested and detained for long periods frowned at and disallowed by the 1999 Constitution and the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights, which Nigeria signed, ratified and domesticated in 1983 and judicially cemented per Supreme Court in 2000. The Buhari administration is also gravely guilty of criminal stigmatization and bastardization of criminal justice and its procedures in Nigeria.

Under the above infamy, the Presidency of Gen Muhammadu Buhari has created and sustained an unwritten death code for Nigerian security forces, under which citizens of Nigeria exercising nonviolently and peacefully their natural rights to self determination, existence, identity and development are shot at sight and massacred particularly when they embark on nonviolent and constitutional assemblies. Under the code of infamy, not less than 200 members of the Igbo Ethnic Nationality exercising the natural rights above mentioned, which Nigeria willingly negotiated and entered into regionally and internationally; have been massacred since August 2015, with over 300 others inflicted with various degrees of deadly gunshot injuries. Over 700 members of the Shiite Muslim sect were also massacred in Zaria in December 2015 by Nigerian soldiers.

There also exists in the Buhari’s violent Presidency criminal pretrial detention policy, with which enemy-citizens and others labeled corrupt are hounded in detention periods far above constitutionally stipulated period. Through the re-introduction via back door of Decree 2 of 1984 and its sister Decree 4 of 1984the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution such as Section 35 (right to personal liberty) and Sections 293, 294 and 296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 are brazenly corrupted and bastardized. The clear and unambiguous definition and categorization of crimes by Nigeria’s Criminal Code Act of 2004 and the Penal Code of 2004 has also been corrupted and bastardized by the Buhari administration.

The above Codes clearly categorized crimes in Nigeria into felonies, misdemeanors and simple offenses. While felonies such as treason, terrorism, murder, armed robbery, abduction, rape, arson, burglary and aggravated assault, etc, attract on conviction three years to life imprisonment or death; misdemeanors such as fraud, embezzlement of public funds, money laundering, assault, etc, attract on conviction one year to three years imprisonment. Simple offenses such as statutory and strict liability offenses (i.e. traffic and sanitary offenses) attract on conviction less than one year imprisonment.

Procedurally, Section 35 (4) of the 1999 Constitution clearly sets constitutional limits within which citizens can be legally held before being charged to court or tried. The Constitution even leniently gives the criminal investigators long periods of detention of their suspects accused of committing capital offenses (i.e. offenses carrying death penalty or life jail on conviction) such as terrorism, armed robbery, abduction, murder and treason by providing them with up to three months detention before charge or trial, to be strictly terminated after three months if such detained citizens are not granted and released on bail or tried in courts of competent jurisdictions. (Section 35[7a] deals with detention for a capital offence: In Nigeria, today, five offences are punishable by death. These include: murder, treason, treachery, directing and controlling or presiding at an unlawful trial by ordeal from which death results, and conviction for armed robbery.)

 Those detained over corruption or bureaucratic crimes charges, which are strictly misdemeanor in nature; are not supposed to be detained beyond 48 hours without charge. This is on account of the fact that no much mental interrogation and mental evidence sourcing is required. Pieces of evidence required to charge and prosecute bureaucratic or corruption accused citizens are paper or bureaucratic based. It is on account of the foregoing that Sections 293,294 and 296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015 are provided; setting legal limits within which citizens can be detained without charge; situated in the minimum of 28 days and maximum of 42 days, strictly under a magistrate court remand. Section 296 specifically assumed that failure to bring detained citizens to trial after 28 days or 42 days of pretrial detention; unambiguously means that such detained citizens have no case to answer, which is why the same Section expressly directs for discharge and acquittal of such unlawfully detained citizens if their captors failed to charge them within the stipulated periods and that no such charges shall be brought against such citizens again in any court in Nigeria.

Sadly, these sacred and unambiguous constitutional and legal provisions have been observed in grave and gross breach by the dictatorial presidency of Gen Muhammadu Buhari. While the sacred provisions above mentioned see penalties for crimes in Nigeria as reformative, transformative and rehabilitative, the Buhari administration sees it as crude punishment and pursuit of vendetta and enmity. Dozens of Nigerians have been arrested and detained far beyond constitutionally stipulated periods over charges mostly bordering on crimes of misdemeanor (corruption), which on conviction, attract maximum of three years imprisonment. Such crimes are also easily and administratively bailable.

Shockingly, the Presidency of Gen Muhamadu Buhari has observed these in gross breach by obtaining kangaroo magistrate court detention orders from compromised magistrates, detaining the detained citizens as much as 90 days or more, contrary to the 1999 Constitution and its ACJ Act of 2015, Criminal Code Act of 2004 and Penal Code of 2004. Detained citizens with phantom accusation of treason and terrorism, etc, have also been held in detention for over six months since their arrest. Strong evidence abounds showing gross presidential interference in their bail applications and proceedings. Those of them granted bail by courts have never been released from detention and the Federal Government has kept on trampling on their fundamental human rights with reckless abandon till date.

Instances abound. Mr. Azibaola Roberts and his wife, Stella, were arrested by EFCC on 23rd of March 2016. While his wife was granted administrative bail by the EFCC, Mr. Azibaola Roberts was detained for over 80days before being charged on 7th of June 2016. They are accused of a $40million money laundering fraud and were given harsh bail conditions of N500million each, which are yet to be met till date. Col Nicholas Achinze is a former ADC to Col Sambo Dasuki. He was arrested by the Nigerian Army and the EFCC on 23rd of December 2015 and detained for 13 weeks or 3 months and seven days without charge or under any specified criminal allegation. He spent five weeks in army custody from where he was transferred to the EFCC custody where he was further detained for eight weeks or two months without charge before he was released under duress by his captors in late March 2016. Barr Femi Fani-Kayode has been in criminal detention of the EFCC for 41 days or a month and eleven days over an allegation of monetary fraud. He was arrested on 9th of May 2016. He is one of the leading critics of the Buhari administration.

Retired Col Sambo Dasuki has been in detention since 1st of December 2015; a period of over seven months. He was arrested in connection with an allegation of $2.1 billion military equipment procurement scandal. Despite several court bails and orders for his release on bail and despite meeting the bail conditions, the Buhari administration has adamantly refused to obey or comply with such judicial pronouncements till date and he has remained in perpetual confinement. Citizen Nnamdi Kanu (POC) has been in unjust detention since 14th of October 2015; a period of over eight months or over 240 days. Till date, his trial over phantom treasonable felony allegation is yet to be fully commenced and all the bails granted to him by courts have been disobeyed by the administration of Gen Muhammadu Buhari. The President, himself, has publicly vowed to “rot the duo of Sambo Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu in jail” at all costs, using brazen executive interference in their court processes and proceedings.

The worst and inexplicable of it all is continuing solitary and incommunicado detention of the leader of the Shiite Muslim sect in Nigeria; Malam Ibrahim Zaky el-Zaky since December 2015; a period of over seven months. Till date, Malam   Zaky el-Zaky is not facing any trial known to the 1999 Constitution and its criminal laws. Despite having body shattered and lacerated by soldiers in the violent entourage of COAS, Lt Gen Turkur Buratai, with live bullets during the last December massacre of over 700 of his followers, the Buhari administration has continued to detain him dead or alive, outside any known and written law in Nigeria and without any form of criminal charge.

Pieces of strong evidence also abound, showing and exposing the Buhari administration’s contempt to dissent voices, free speeches and political tolerance and pluralism. Selective arrest, detention and prosecution of citizens accused of committing the so called “corruption crimes”, is a clear case in point. While Nigeria’s mainstream CSOs and their leaders, dominant in Lagos State and the Southwest region of Nigeria, have been bottled or coerced by the Buhari administration into “pro-establishment activists”; those who are still courageous enough to challenge and speak against the excesses  of the administration, are threatened and marked out as enemy-citizens. In this category includes Deputy Senate President, Barr Ike Ekweremadu, Citizen Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer, Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor,  and Barr Nnamdi Nwokocha, who is in court, seeking to compel President Muhammadu Buhari and WAEC to clear controversies surrounding the former’s West African Senior Secondary School Certificate or WAEC.

Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, on his part, is facing persecution of the Buhari administration from right, left and center over his conscientious insistence not to compromise and betray the trust and confidence of his client; Citizen Nnamdi Kanu, which the Buhari administration is forcing him to do. Petitions from the Federal Government to his professional constituency and other quarters are flying from right, left and center. Apart from government sponsored hostile media onslaughts against Barr Nnamdi Nwokocha, over his suit against the existence or otherwise of President Muhammadu Buhari’s WAEC Certificate, he has also been presidentially threatened with a law suit, for “declaring Mr. President guilty on the pages of the newspaper”. Some activist lawyers of yesterday now bottled by the Buhari administration, have abandoned the masses and taken up professional briefs in defense of the President in his WAEC controversies.

The Deputy Senate President, on his part, is also not spared. While there are mountainous cases of uninvestigated and un-prosecuted individual and group homicides and other high profile regime atrocities in Nigeria, the Nigeria Police Force and the Office of the Attorney of the Federation are busy wasting public resources and energies on mere legislative rules and regulations (National Assembly rules), which are largely unknown to Nigeria’s criminal justice administration and the Constitution. Till date, most, if not all the culprits in the Nimbo and Agatu massacres are still on the prowl; likewise the perpetrators of the Zaria Shiites Massacre and the pro Biafran massacres of 2015 and 2016 in Onitsha, Aba and Asaba. Yet, the like of Deputy Senate President, who has strongly condemned the massacres, is being targeted for political humiliation and persecution, using the so called “Senate Rules Forgery”, which adds little or no value to the growth and advancement of Nigeria’s criminal justice administration.

It is therefore our position that the divine recovery from recent ill-health by President Muhammadu Buhari is a divine and possibly the last opportunity of the President to make amends and end his presidential violence and dictatorship in Nigeria. The President is hereby called upon to truly dedicate his speedy recovery to God and people of Nigeria and change from his administration’s violent and dictatorial approaches to democratic governance. It will be too dicey for President Muhammadu Buhari to continue in his old and crude governance way and he may most likely not have this type of opportunity again. One way to achieve these is for the Buhari administration to embark on holistic policy reversal and take a total recourse to citizen-governance and sovereignty as a responsibilityThe sanctity of the pluralistic and secular composition of Nigeria must be respected and upheld at all times.

For: Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs)

Emeka Umeagbalasi, Leader SBCHROs & Board Chair, Intersociety
Mobile Line: +2348174090052

Aloysius Attah, Chair, Anambra CLO & Head, Publicity, SBCHROs
Mobile Line: +2348035090548

Jerry Chukwuokoro, Head, Research & Strategy, SBCHROs
Mobile Line: +2348035372962
(Onitsha, Nigeria, 20th of June 2016)
(Duke Ellington and his Orchestra play “Blood count”, a composition by Billy Strayhorn [personnel: Ellington, piano; Cootie Williams, trumpet; Cat Anderson, trumpet; Herbie Jones, trumpet; Clark Terry, fluegelhorn; Lawrence Brown, trombone; Buster Cooper, trombone; Chuck Connors, bass trombone; Johnny Hodges, alto saxophone; Russell Procope, alto saxophone; Paul Gonsalves, tenor saxophone; Harry Carney, baritone saxophone; Aaron Bell, bass; Steve Little, drums; recorded: RCA Studio A, New York, US, 28 August 1967/15 November 1967])

Monday, 20 June 2016

What is “civil war”? Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe reflects on a concept whose meaning is not as obvious as it appears… (video: 5.28 mins)

Reflections on an oxymoron
(Rather than try to obfuscate or sanitise a human-made catastrophe, call it by its instantly, recognisable name!)
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Resplendence! Nnamdi Kanu in an Abuja Nigeria court house, Monday 20 June 2016

(RESOLUTE: Nnamdi Kanu, leader of Indigenous People of Biafra and freedom broadcaster at Radio Biafra who is currently detained illegally by the Nigeria regimewears a BIAFRA wristband during an Abuja Nigeria court house appearance, Monday 20 June 2016)
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Impressions” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone, McCoy Tyner, piano; Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Jazz Casual [Ralph Gleason], National Educational Television, KQED Studios, San Francisco, US, 1 November 1963])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

88th birthday of Eric Dolphy

(Born 20 June 1928, Los Angeles, US)
Multiinstrumentalist genius – alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, bassoon, oboe… – whose compositions, recordings and evocative soloing with any chosen instrument in his own multicombo-led settings and across a range of collaborative ensembles (especially those led by drummers Chico Hamilton and Max Roach, alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman, pianists George Russell and Andrew Hill, tenor and soprano saxophonist John Coltrane and bassist Charles Mingus) have a distinctly recognisable Dolphyian signature and impacted the jazz repertoire most profoundly
(Eric Dolphy Quartet, “Softly as in a morning sunrise” [personnel: Dolphy, bass clarinet; Herbie Hancock, piano; Eddie Khan, bass; JC Moses, drums; recorded: live, University of Illinoi, Champaign, Illinoi, 10 March 1963])

Thursday, 16 June 2016

FWD: Bolivia rejects “offensive” chicken donation from Bill Gates (James Vincent, The Verge)

US billionaire Bill Gates’s recent offer to donate 100,000 chickens to some “impoverished countries” in Africa as well as Bolivia has been rejected by the government of Bolivia.

César Cocarico, the countrys minister of land and rural development, describes Gates’s gift as “offensive”. César Cocarico notes: “[Gates] does not know Bolivia’s reality to think we are living 500 years ago, in the middle of the jungle not knowing how to produce ... Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia, and once he knows more, apologize to us ... Bolivians have a lot of production and do not need any gifted chicks in order to live ... [W]e have dignity ... [I]t’s rude coming from a magnate that does not know Bolivia’s reality”.

According to current Bolivian government statistics, the country “produces 197 million chickens annually and has the capacity to export 36 million”.
It will be keenly followed how the African countries in Gates’s “impoverished” list would respond to the Bill Gates offer of “chickens”. (HE-E)


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

FWD: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) UPDATED report on the Biafran Heroes Day/Day of Independence massacres (published: Tuesday 14 June 2016)

International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), Biafran Heroes Day massacre: The murdered buried in pieces must be exhumed and rested in peace

The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) wishes to inform all Nigerians and international watchers that we have totally been vindicated concerning our special publication of June 6, 2016; titled: How Over 90 Biafran Heroes Day Activists Were Massacred By Security Forces & Buried In Military Cemetery Inside Onitsha Army Barracks. The link to the special publication under reference is: (

Our vindication follows the failure of the trio of the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force and the government of Anambra State, which played leading murderous roles in the genocidal massacre to statistically and correctly deny or contradict findings of ours contained in the special publication.

Today marks 8 days after the release of the special publication, yet the three killer establishment including the Buhari’s administration, have maintained “a conspiracy of silence” or silence of the graveyard, till date. The special publication has commendably received a very wide publicity in leading local and international media, particularly the online and social media.

Biafran Heroes Day massacre: The facts

The findings of ours under reference have not only rattled and unsettled the three killer establishments including the federal government of Nigeria, but have also shamed them locally and internationally by exposing and rubbishing their cooked up basket-load of lies. The government of Anambra State, on its part, has embarked on failed damage control and shedding of crocodile tears. Another aspect of our research findings following our special publication under reference is that the named killer authorities decided to run riot on Nigeria’s traditional media with a basket-load of lies over their genocidal acts in the genocide; the moment they realized that their butchery acts have led to the death of over 120 innocent and unarmed citizens and injuring of dozens of others in less than eight hours.

Following this, a basket-load of lies was let loose; stigmatizing and criminalizing the event organizers and their supporters as well as mangling and suppressing casualty figures with reckless abandon. The government of Anambra State, for instance, on its part, lied unpardonably by claiming that no single activist was killed and that the unarmed and innocent Biafran Heroes Day celebrants were armed with guns with which they opened fire at the security forces and that other arms recovered from them included dynamites, machetes, and Biafran flags.

The army and the police also corroborated the false claims of the government of Anambra State, leading to issuance of another violent order by retiring IGP Solomon Arase, ordering for disarming of armed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as well as the Nigerian Army, which claimed it acted within the ambit of the rules of engagement, self-defense and use of force.

In all these, lies of unpardonable and alarming proportions were cooked up with intents to pollute the public minds and cover-up their genocidal acts. But for our effective application of investigative analytical method and microscopic evidencing, leading to exposition of the genocidal atrocities under reference particularly the high casualty figures and their secret mass burial; the government of Anambra State, the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force and the federal government of Nigeria would have succeeded in contaminating the minds of Nigerian public and the international watchers with their lies using a gagged section of the Nigerian media.

The most heinous of the genocidal atrocities committed by the three killer establishments was the brazen denial to the effect that no innocent citizen lost his or her life in the genocidal massacre; whereas above 120 deaths were recorded and above 130 deadly injured citizens were affected. The second heinous part of it all was the coordinated unlawful evacuation of dozens of corpses of the murdered activists and their secret mass burial inside Onitsha Military Barracks cemetery. Totality of these is geared towards cover-up or erasing of traces of criminal culpability of the perpetrators.

Governor Willie Obiano’s crocodile tears

It is therefore shocking and saddening that the same Governor Willie Obiano that went gaga in feeding the whole world with the above named basket-load of lies and labeling of Biafran Heroes Day celebrants as “miscreants and hoodlums”; leading to their mass murder, has suddenly turned around to shed crocodile tears and pretentiously apologetic. He had during his visit at Nkpor, following the special report of ours under reference, promised to “offset the hospital bills of the wounded”.

This is after soldiers and SARS under his security watch, had invaded a number of hospitals including the Nnewi Teaching Hospital and abducted the wounded in their hospital beds; forcing most of the 130 citizens with gunshot wounds in other hospitals in Anambra State as well as Asaba in Delta State to flee their hospital beds and escaped to neighboring States.

It further saddens our heart that the governor who was laboriously elected by the People of Anambra State in November 2013 to protect them and ensure their welfare in accordance with Section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution, has turned against his people and even worsened their security and welfare. Rather than rising to the occasion to protect his people against the rampaging dictatorial administration of Gen Muhammadu Buhari and its murderous uniformed men, Governor Willie Obiano has joined forces with sworn enemies of his own people.

Today, he is a “king governor” and governor of the elites, while the masses who got him elected are abandoned with their lives, liberties and social values including ethnic identities and rights to bury their murdered loved ones turned to shreds and given away to rampaging ethnic cleansers.

It is on record that out of over 200 innocent and unarmed citizens; mostly in their 20s and 30s, killed in the Southeast and the South-south parts of Nigeria by the Army, the Police and other security forces between August 30, 2015 and May 30, 2016; a period of nine months, following nonviolent and peaceful assemblies organized by self determination activists and campaigners; 160 of them were killed in Onitsha under the violent security watch of Governor Willie Obiano. The 160 dead activists include four citizens killed in Awka on August 30, 2015, over 13 killed in Onitsha on December 2, 2015, over nine killed in Onitsha on December 17, 2015 and over 120 massacred in Onitsha and Asaba on May 30, 2016 as well as 10 others or more found dumped in the mortuary by soldiers and those that died later in hospitals including four that died at the Multicare Hospital at Nkpor. Over 36 of those killed were killed in Aba, Abia State on January 18 and 29, 2016 and February 9, 2016.

We, therefore, consider Governor Willie Obiano’s promise to “offset the hospital bills of the wounded” in the genocidal massacre of May 30, 2016 as a fraud, ill-conceived and grave insult to those himself and others violently departed as well as those who were terminally wounded. This is because the same governor under whose security watch and authorization soldiers went on rampage, invading hospitals and abducting the wounded in their emergency beds, leading to desertion of all but few whose relations are yet to ascertain their whereabouts or afraid to do same; is the same governor “pledging to offset their hospital bills”. At Nkpor Crown Hospital where he reportedly visited, all the gunshot victims on admission, except two dead activists yet to be identified by their families, have long been hurriedly discharged by their families. Mere pledge to offset the hospital bills of the wounded is nothing but “medicine after death” and desperate moves to panel-beat a second term gubernatorial ambition; which is why we regarded the governor’s grossly belated assuaging moves as “failed damage control and shedding of crocodile tears”.


Now that our special publication and its thoroughly investigated contents have forced the government of Anambra State through Governor Willie Obiano to probate and reprobate, there are two frontal ways to remedy the genocidal massacre under reference; local and international ways. Locally, on account of our expository publication, which has forced the killer establishments to the point of dumbness and apologies of the graveyard; the Government of Anambra State must formally and boldly come out publicly to admit and explain fully its roles in the genocidal massacre. These include how much it spent in funding the genocidal operation through its JTF, the total number of innocent and unarmed citizens that were killed, why they were killed, which provisions of the 1999 Constitution and regional and international conventions empower their killers to kill them, how and why their remains were unlawfully gathered from genocidal scenes by the State Government funded JTF and under what condition they were kept before their secret mass burial in Onitsha Army Cemetery, and why and how they were given secret mass burial inside the Onitsha Army Barracks in the noon of Wednesday, June 1, 2016.

The government of Anambra State must also tell the whole world the constitutional basis or otherwise upon which its JTF operatives including soldiers and SARS invaded hospitals where the wounded are receiving emergency medical attentions and got them abducted and taken to undisclosed locations. Nigerians and international watchers must be informed too, of the number of them that were shot dead or forced to die on the process and where they were buried. There are reports of abduction by soldiers and SARS operatives of innocent and unarmed citizens in their homes in late night raids and invasions with some, if not many not seen till date. The general public must be told where they were buried? Was it only automatic weapons with live bullets that were deadly used by soldiers, SARS operatives and police personnel in the genocidal massacre or were raw acid substances and machetes used against innocent and unarmed Biafran Heroes Day celebrants by soldiers, SARS and other security forces?

The government of Anambra State must also recant all the lies it told against the organizers and supporters of the Biafran Heroes Day Anniversary to the effect that “they were armed with guns, shot at security forces, killed two police officers, found armed with dynamites and machetes and that nobody died on the side of the celebrants”. Totality of these constitutes “true gubernatorial repentance, confession and apology”. Shedding of crocodile tears is never good enough and roundly rejected!

Further, all the over 90 corpses of murdered Biafran Heroes Day celebrants secretly buried in a military cemetery inside Onitsha Army Barracks in the noon of Wednesday, June 1, 2016, must be publicly exhumed by the government of Anambra State, demographically and pathologically identified and medically investigated. This should be followed up by placement of government radio and television announcements on government owned stations like ABS TV & Radio, local, national and international NTA as well as privately owned TVs and Radios including Channels TV, AIT, Silver Bird, Galaxy and Minaj TVs, as well as Blaze, Purity and Odenigbo Radios, etc. Such adverts should also be placed on leading newspapers and leading online media as well as government written announcements to be announced in churches, markets and town unions.

The government announcement will contain a call to members of the public and interest groups to send the names and pictures and bio-data of their missing dead relations, recovered dead bodies as well as those shot and wounded by soldiers and other security forces in the genocidal massacre that took place in Nkpor, Onitsha and Asaba between the early morning and late night of May 30, 2016. The government of Anambra State must also designate easily accessible and secured points of contact for collection and verification of such names and pictures as well as ensuring hurdle and threats-free atmosphere for their family members and friends so as to ensure maximum cooperation and responses.

The remains of those murdered by the government of Anambra State and its JTF must be released to their families and in the case of those beyond scientific or pathological identifications; their families must be allowed to go home with sands or earth mud extracted from the secret mass burial sites inside Onitsha Army Barracks.

Each of the families of the 120 murdered activists must paid an initial compensation of N5 million; while each of the families of the 130 wounded citizens must be paid an initial compensation of N2 million cheque. After all these, the government of Anambra State through Governor Willie Obiano must tender unreserved written apology to the Igbo race, the people of Niger Delta, members of the deceased and the wounded families, the IPOB, MASSOB, the BIM, etc and all Nigerians and international watchers. The written apology must be placed on leading government and private media outfits: audio, audio visual, paper and online media.

It is our further recommendation to federal government of Nigeria and the Government of Anambra State to put plans in place to relocate the Onitsha Army Barracks and conversion of the land or space to “Freedom Square” for democratic free speeches and peaceful assemblies to be dedicated to all those innocent and unarmed citizens murdered since August 30th 2015 as well as to the peoples of Southeast and South-south Nigeria.

As for those who played leading murderous roles in the genocidal massacre particularly Col Issah M. Abdullahi (Commander, Onitsha Military Cantonment), Major C.O. Ibrahim (operational commander of the genocidal massacre), CP Hosea Karma (CP, Anambra State Command), DCP Makama (2i/c, Anambra State Police Command), DCP J.M. Kokomo (DC, OPS, Anambra State Police Command) and the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Tony Nnacheta, etc, they should be administratively dismissed from their duties and charged to court for murder, conspiracy for murder, attempted murder and related others.

If the Federal Government continues to refuse to make the named heads of security forces to account for their heinous crimes as it did in the case of other perpetrators, we shall be left with no other choice than to conclude that “the Federal Government has again, failed woefully under the international law’s “Principle of Complimentarity”; by being unwilling and unable to bring its perpetrators to justice; thereby providing sufficient grounds for international criminal justice including ICC interventions or sufficient resort to other regional and international remedies under the ECOWAS, AU or UN Systems.

The manifest unwillingness and inability of the Federal Government of Nigeria under reference has already made the likes of President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (COAS), Mr. Solomon Arase (Retiring IGP), CP Hosea Habila (CP, Abia State), Lt Col Sidi Kazim Umar Sidi (Commander, 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Abia State) and ACP Peter Nwagbara (Aba Area Commander) the ICC bound and international criminal justice fugitives; with the test case of them all being retiring IGP Solomon Arase, who leaves the NPF on 21st of June 2016. We deeply pity him and his post retirement life. This is because there is no longer impunity and immunity for regime atrocities and no hiding place for their perpetrators.

For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052

Barr Obianuju Igboeli, Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348034186332

Barr Chinwe Umeche, Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
Mobile Line: +2347013238673
(Duke Ellington and his Orchestra plays “Blood count”, a composition by Billy Strayhorn [personnel: Ellington, piano; Cootie Williams, trumpet; Cat Anderson, trumpet; Herbie Jones, trumpet; Clark Terry, fluegelhorn; Lawrence Brown, trombone; Buster Cooper, trombone; Chuck Connors, bass trombone; Johnny Hodges, alto saxophone; Russell Procope, alto saxophone; Paul Gonsalves, tenor saxophone; Harry Carney, baritone saxophone; Aaron Bell, bass; Steve Little, drums; recorded: RCA Studio A, New York, US, 28 August 1967/15 November 1967])