Friday, 14 July 2017

On this eve of the Biafra referendum

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

Imprimatur of freedom

AS I OBSERVED recently
 (, the preemptive return of the Biafra freedom movement (to Biafra) has not only confronted and overridden the “conventional wisdom” that underscores the key trajectory of comparable liberation projects, the movement’s return is indeed its historic stamp of the imprimatur of the Biafra restoration-of-independence in Biafra for the first time since 13 January 1970 – genocidist Nigeria’s launch date of phase-IV of the Igbo genocide and the accompanying occupation of Biafra.

Appropriately to confront the pressing emergency of the times, the movement has at once planned a referendum throughout Biafra to democratically reestablish five decades of the loss of sovereign rights of the people and withdrawn from participating in any future “elections” organised in Biafra by the occupation. The latter exercises have in the past been distinctively fraudulent and immensely contradictory as the feudal Hausa-Fulani/islamist-led genocidist and occupying regime with no democratic heritage in its culture or history, not to mention genocidist Nigeria itself which has had no credible election throughout its history, would bizarrely posit to organise elections in (occupied) Igboland that has enjoyed an advanced republican democratic tradition for over a thousand years. For the occupation, regimes in the Biafra administrative regions (Abia, Anambra, Delta, Enuugwu, Rivers, etc., etc) that emerge from these “elections” exist solely to contribute to police the occupation. Nothing more. The operationalisation of this envisaged role was demonstrated most tragically, just recently, when not one head of regime in any of these administrative regions condemned the slaughter of their very own citizens by the genocidist military/Fulani militia in the already mentioned pogroms across Biafra since October 2015 in which a total of 2000 Igbo were murdered.

In July 2010, a high profile grouping of Igbo human rights intellectuals met in a conference in Enuugwu to discuss the state of this occupation of Biafra which the Biafra freedom movement, seven years later, must now terminate. In its concluding communiqué, the conference captures most profoundly what it aptly categorises as the “siege and occupation” of Igboland (
[Igboland] has become militarized with a vast deployment of expeditionary and predatory police and army personnel who are from outside the region. For instance, there are 61 Police check-points between Abakal[e]k[e] … to Nsukka … (a distance of about 130km). In [contrast] between Obolo-Afo [Igboland] and Lokoja [Nigeria] (a distance of nearly 400 km) no checkpoints exist. This state of siege is exemplified by the current [situation] of … [Igbo] cities [including] Aba, [Enuugwu, Abakaleke, Onicha, Owere] and Nnewi – hitherto the fastest growing and thriving industrial cum commercial cities in the African continent now being turned into refuse dumps and ghettos. Businesses that would have provided jobs to engage our youths have been strangulated by incompetent and criminal leadership.
THERE CAN BE no other solution to this longest genocide of the contemporary era but the freedom of the Igbo people from Nigerian subjugation and occupation. The return of the Biafra freedom movement, shattering all known “conventions”, is the most strategic development in 47 years of the course of this journey. 

Freedom is inalienable. One does not ask for it; one takes it! The 50 million Igbo know they have to take their freedom as they head to the referendum to pronounce this liberatory choice as the world awaits so eagerly.
(George Russell Sextet, “Honesty” [personnel: Russell. Piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt,
drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 8 May 1961])

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