Saturday, 30 July 2016

Back to the primer: How genocidist Nigeria enhances Igbo freedom drive

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

One of the obvious features any student of genocide picks up quite quickly about the perpetrator of this heinous crime is how open, less subtle, and often brazenly defiant they are with respect to their programme/policy towards a prescribed or targeted people. 

Nigeria, indeed, typifies this prototype but even more. Nigeria’s is crude, loathsome, vindictive, remorseless: read or listen to or examine the deeds of any genocidist Nigerian on this subject – from an Obafemi Awolowo to an Ibrahim Haruna or a Rilwan Akiolu or a Muhammadu Buhari, an Olusegun Obusonjo, a Yakubu Gowon... If anything, these attributes should and do alert the people so targeted – the Igbo, in this case. In effect, in its very words and deeds, the Nigeria genocidist agency aids Igbo freedom markedly despite itself.
(Wayne Shorter Octet, “Mephistopheles” [personnel: Shorter, tenor saxophone,  Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Alan Shorter, fluegelhorn; Grachan Moncur III, trombone;  James Spaulding, alto saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano;  Ron Carter, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 15 October 1965])
Who resolves burden of history?
If one goes through the copious analyses and papers by the Biafran leadership on the mindset of Nigerian génocidaires during 1966-1970 (phases I-III of the genocide), it is fascinating to note how the former’s very advanced thinking at the time has impacted contemporary genocide studies and the mode of pronouncement by many in international relations, scholars and statespersons alike, on the nature of the increasingly “global emergency”, especially since 9 September 2001

Fifty years ago, to the day, the Igbo, particularly their intellectuals, clearly articulated the existential threat they faced (and still face) and responded accordingly. The Igbo today, including their intellectuals, therefore do have a historic precedent to sustain their round-the-clock scholarship on the varying spheres and facets of arguably the most long-drawn-out and savagely pursued genocide of  contemporary history.

No one else, howsoever their altruistic credentials, resolves someone’s burden of history except themself. Surely, the Igbo couldn’t think otherwise!
(Andrew Hill Septet, “Compulsion” [personnel: Hill, piano; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; John Gilmore, tenor saxophone; Cecil McBee, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; Renaud Simmons, conga, percussion; Nadi Qamar, percussion, African drums, thumb piano; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 8 October 1965])

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