Wednesday, 29 November 2017

111th birthday of the venerable Akanu Ibiam

(Born 29 November 1906, Unwana, Biafra)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

AFFABLE physician, erudite theologian, principled statesperson, works for 30 years in the Church of Scotland/Presbyterian Church rural medical programme in central and east regions of Biafra and who, in August 1967, returns to Queen Elizabeth II of England the three insignias of knighthood (OBEKBEKCMG) conferred on him by both her and her father, King George VI,  in protest against the central role being played by Britain in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, when it and its Hausa-Fulani/islamist-led client state Nigeria murder 3.1 million Igbo people, 25 per cent of this nation’s population, between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970 (phases I-III of the genocide).
Dr Ibiam’s towering position against the Igbo genocide is a challenge particularly to those clusters of the Igbo intelligentsia, especially in the diaspora, who have exercised a mortifying silence over the existential emergency that the Igbo face, currently, as the genocidists pursue phase-IV of the slaughtering … It is also a reminder of how deeply embedded British involvement in the execution of the genocide is as shown in that historic August 1967 letter of Dr Ibiam’s to Queen Elizabeth II in which he renounces the awarded 3-set knighthood from the English crown (see excerpts of letter below) and illustrated further by the calculated indifference of the Church of England to the genocide. 

Church of England

SINCE NOVEMBER 2015, during the course of the génocidaire Muhammadu Buhari regime in Nigeria (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/herbert-ekwe-ekwe-it-is-indeed.html), over 2000 Igbo have been murdered in expanded scorched earth campaigns by its military/adjunct Fulani militia across Biafra. Sixty per cent of these murders have occurred in Onicha and neighbouring towns and villages, southwest Biafra, which are all located in the Onicha diocese of the Anglican communion, part of the Church of England, one of this denomination’s largest population districts in the world. Neither the Church of England nor its head, Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, who has known Muhammadu Buhari personally since the former worked in the petroleum oil industry in Nigeria in the early 1980s, has condemned any of these Igbo slaughters of the past two years or offered public condolences to the aggrieved and traumatised Anglican communion congregants...

(Paragraphs 14-20 of Dr Ibiam’s letter to Queen Elizabeth II of England, August 1967)

...

YOUR MAJESTY, the British officials in Nigeria are fully aware of all these. They know that we are injured and deeply grieved people and had been cruelly treated by our erstwhile fellow citizens of Federal Republic of Nigeria. The British officials not only knew the crux of the matter, but they also encouraged Northern Nigeria to carry out and execute their nefarious plan against us. They are angry with Biafra because Biafra categorically refused to remain as part of the Nigeria federation and political unit only to be trampled upon, discriminated against and hated, ruthlessly exploited and denied her rights and privileges, and slaughtered whenever it suited the whims and caprices of the favoured people of Northern Nigeria. To add insult to injury, Your Majesty’s Britannic Government, instead of being neutral in our quarrels or finding ways and means to mediate and bring peace to the two countries, has now taken it upon herself to supply military aid to Nigeria to help them defeat and subjugate Biafra.

It is simply staggering for a Christian country like Britain to help a Moslem country militarily to crush another Christian country like Biafra. This is just too much for me, Your Gracious Majesty, this act of unfriendliness and treachery by the British Government towards the people of Republic of Biafra who, as Eastern Nigerians, had so much regard for Britain and British people.

In the circumstance, Your Majesty, I no longer wish to wear the garb of the British Knighthood. British fair play, British justice, and the Englishman’s word of honour which Biafra loved so much and cherished have become meaningless to Biafrans in general and to me in particular. Christian Britain has shamelessly let down Christian Biafra.

I love the Republic of Biafra very dearly and pray that, by grace of God, she may remain and continue to grow and live and always act like a truly Christian country for all times.

I am, your Majesty

Yours Most Respectfully

(AKANU IBIAM)
(John Coltrane Quintet, “The believer” {composer: McCoy Tyner} [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Donald Bryd, trumpet; Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Louis Hayes, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 10 January 1958)
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

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