Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Haiti is more African than many “countries” in Africa; Haiti is definitely more African than a Nigeria


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

There are 120 million African Brazilians or 57 per cent of Brazil’s current total population of 210 million. As a result, there are more Africans who live in Brazil than any other (continental) African “country”, including Nigeria, despite the latter’s “187 million”-population claim which most people know is bogus.

Shenanigans

Since the early 1950s when the British occupation regime in Nigeria concocted that historic untruth that the north Nigeria region was “50 per cent of [Nigeria’s] population without any census” (added emphasis), to quote the startling acknowledgement of the infamous deed 50 years later by Harold Smith, a British conquest administrator who was then deployed in capital Lagos where he worked on the programme (see Harold Smith, “How the British undermined democracy in Africa”, Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, Biafra Revisited, 2006: 41), all subsequent countrywide organised censuses and outcomes in Nigeria have been grossly fraudulent.

Equally, according to Smith, the British rigged the all-important 1959 pre-restoration-of-independence Nigeria election in favour of the north region. This was to ensure that this obsequiously pro-British Hausa-Fulani islamist leadership of the “country”, opposed to the restoration of African freedom, was placed as overseers by the seemingly departing British occupation to safeguard Britain’s assumed strategic and economic interests in Nigeria in perpetuity – regardless of the quest of unfettered African independence which the Igbo constituent nation in the east had pursued with rigour since the 1930s. Even the north region’s essentially continue-British occupation-party, the so-called Northern People’s Congress, was conceptualised and inaugurated by the British themselves, as Harold Smith duly recalls. In effect, this north Nigeria region has the unenviable accolade across the entire Southern World (Africa, Asia, the Caribbean/Central America, South America) of being home to one of the few peoples who wanted the occupation of their lands indefinitely by Britain, a premier pan-European power of global conquest since the 15th century CE.

Genocide

Yet these shenanigans of cooked census figures and rigged election returns were not considered by the British to be conclusively an ironclad guarantee to continue its hegemonic control of Nigeria ad infinitum. They thought, additionally, that they had to guarantee this control through some “blood covenant” enacted with their north Nigeria region islamist clients (now in supreme leadership position in Nigeria, thanks to the British diktat!) in which the Igbo or the “talented people”, as Jeremy Paxman describes them in his Empire: What Ruling the World did to the British (London: Viking, 2011: 272), who led the 30-year-old campaign to terminate the British conquest, to the mutual discomfiture of Britain and north Nigeria, were subjected to a gruesome genocide. The Anglo-Nigeria dual perpetrators of the genocide murdered 3.1 million Igbo between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970 (phases I-III).

This is the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa and its horrendous slaughtering score represents 25 per cent of the Igbo population at the time. This genocide, phase-IV, continues presently. Earlier on in 1945 and 1953, under the very nose of the British occupation, the north Nigeria region carried out premeditated pogroms against Igbo people domiciled in the north cities of Jos and Kano (respectively), murdering hundreds of the immigrants and looting/destroying hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of their homes and other property. No perpetrator of these pogroms were ever prosecuted by the British. In retrospect, leading scholars of the Igbo genocide now designate the Jos and Kano pogroms as effectively “dress rehearsals” for the genocide itself.

DNA, raison d’être, interpellation

True to its haunting DNA signature, genocidist Nigeria emerges from these decades of the Igbo killing fields as arguably the most notorious Africa-emplaced anti-African peoples state in contemporary history. Two seemingly empirically contrasting foreign policy outreaches by this state are highly illustrative of the ways and means the driving kernel that constitutes its raison d’être are interpellated in the architectural ground zero of the Igbo pogroms-genocide, 1945-2016. First, in 1986, despite the numerical minority of muslims in Nigeria compared to its overwhelmingly majority populations of christians, indigenous African religions and others, not to mention that the state proclaims itself  “secular” in its constitution, the islamist head of regime got the “country” admitted, secretly, into the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. There were no public discussions or debates in Nigeria whatsoever on this application. The OIC 57-state membership stretches across four continents including Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

Second, in May 2016, Nigeria plays a central role in the working sessions of the African Union to block the application of Haiti to become a full member of the African Union on the grounds that, quoting an article in its constitution, membership to the organisation is only open to “African [continental] states”. Quite extraordinarily, or so it appears, the same Nigeria which smuggled itself into the transnational and transcontinental OIC 30 years ago, actively intervenes to deny Haiti AU membership because the latter is located in the Caribbean even though 95 per cent of its 10 million population are African. 

Not surprisingly, the north region islamist Nigeria leadership clearly prioritises and privileges its islamic antecedents and affinities over any African sensibilities or indeed correspondences. But even more profoundly challenging for this retrograde leadership, Haiti, which has retained the premier flagship of the African World resistance to 500 years of the pan-European tyranny of enslavement, conquest, occupation and immiseration, and quest for freedom, is precisely what islamist north Nigeria region is not and does not wish to be nor ever countenance as we have shown here. Most urgently, Haiti reminds Nigeria of Igbo people, Biafra, which it and suzerain state Britain have sought to destroy during the course of one-half century. Haiti is therefore more of an African state than a Nigeria and the following sketch underscores the saliency of this Haitian heritage.

Freedom Saint Domingue!

French-occupied Haiti, or Saint Domingue, was the wealthiest African-enslaved territory of the Americas – the “greatest individual market” at the apogee of the quadcontinental outlay (Africa, Europe, North America, South America) and the Caribbean 18th century pan-European enslavement of the African humanity. Haiti accounted for two-thirds of French foreign trade at the time. In 1791, the enslaved Africans of Saint Domingue, “The Black Jacobins”, as CLR James, the celebrated African Caribbean scholar would describe them in such searing irony and sardonicism in his 1938-published classic of the same title on the subject, embarked on an historic uprising to free themselves. They were led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, himself enslaved, who had begun the armed mobilisation of tens of thousands of Africans in 1789. After 13 years of campaign which included a range of epic battles, the Africans “defeated in turn the local whites and the soldiers of the French monarchy, a Spanish invasion, a British expedition of some 60,000 men, and a French expedition of similar size under [Napoleon] Bonaparte’s brother-in-law [General Charles Leclerc]”, CLR James, Black Jacobins, 1980: ix.

The transformation of enslaved Africans, as James notes perceptively in his study, “trembling in hundreds before a single white man … into a people able to organise themselves and defeat the most powerful European nations of their day … is one of the great epics of revolutionary struggle and achievement” (James, 1980: ix). Following the African victory in 1803, they proclaimed and established their republic of Haiti on 1 January 1804. France, in turn, 213 years later, has yet to recover from the catastrophic damage to its psyche elicited by its defeat in Saint Domingue. As a result, in its relationship with Africans, wherever this occurs in the world, France feels that it is still fighting Toussaint L’Ouverture and his formidable forces all over again and again… Furthermore, Saint Domingue is gravely etched indelibly in French consciousness as the precursor to the catalogue of crushing French military defeats in the subsequent 150 years of its history.

Reconfiguring the African World 

Haiti, with its illustrious history, will surely be playing a more prominent role in a future African World assemblage of peoples and states – not the currently constricted and contrived AU. It is indeed an inexcusable tragedy and an indictment of contemporary Africa that a Nigeria (strategically allied to extracontinental power Britain) that has spent the past 50 years trying to destroy Igbo people, an African people,  is a member of an organisation that goes by the name African Union. Nigeria should have been expelled, boycotted, ostracised from the councils of African public relations, including the AU/preceding body, since after its Sunday 29 May 1966 launch date of the Igbo genocide... Surely, the AU is not fit for purpose.

Consequently, the envisaged vastly peoples’-focused African World organisation will learn the lessons of this sordid history and will therefore energetically admit African peoples (and states) wherever they are emplaced in the world particularly those millions across the Americas. It will be instrumental in launching and implementing transformative societal wellbeing initiatives that will be of immense benefits to peoples across this crucial geography created by a cataclysmic history of centuries of conquest. Alas, a free Biafra, freed from genocidist Nigeria and suzerain Britain, is well placed to contribute its own richly resourced quota in the construction of this enterprising African World.
(John Coltrane Quintet, “Brasilia” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone, Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Reggie Workman, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: live, The Village Vanguard, New York, US, 1 November 1961])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe



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