Saturday, 30 December 2017

That Olusegun Obasanjo Liberia “appointment”: Most irresponsible of the United Nations

(Olusegun Obasanjo)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

IT IS INDEED a sickening and cruel joke by UN Secretary General António Guteress to have “appointed” genocidist Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo as UN envoy to Liberia to “support the transfer of power peacefully to a democratically-elected government”. Unbelievably dreadful! Does Guteress really believe that Olusegun Obasanjo would recognise peace if he sees it?

What “peace envoy”?

Guteress may have just taken the cue from his predecessor in making this irresponsible appointment of Obasanjo as “peace envoy” to Liberia. In 2008, Ban Ki-moon, then UN secretary-general, did not find it outrageous to appoint Obasanjo UN “peace envoy” to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This was despite Obasanjo’s rigging of three previous head-of-regime elections in Nigeria (including, particularly, the April 2007 “poll” which Obasanjo codenamed “Operation Do-or-Die”  [Vanguard, Lagos, 11 February 2007] and had, on its eve, imported the following range of weaponry fit to equip a small army to effectuate his vicious “electoral” coup d’état: 40,000 AK-47 rifles with 20 million rounds of 7.62 x 39 mm ammunition, 30,000 K2 rifles with 10 million rounds of 5.5 x 45 ammunition, 10,000 Beretta pistols with four million rounds of .9mm ammunition [, 7 March 2007, accessed 29 December 2017]), despite Obasanjo’s egregious moral turpitude, despite Obasanjo’s desperately-engineered attempt to extend his own second-term tenure as Nigeria’s head of regime before the April 2007 “election”, despite Obasanjo’s appalling human rights record and corruption during 11 years as Nigeria’s head of regime, and, most gravely of all, despite Obasanjo’s role as one of the most notorious genocidist officers in the Nigeria military whilst the latter waged the genocide (phases I-III) against Igbo people of Biafra in the 1960s. Obasanjo commanded a monstrous brigade in south Biafra that murdered tens of thousands of Igbo people during the period. Between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970, Nigeria murdered 3.1 million Igbo or 25 per cent of the Igbo population in this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa. The Igbo genocide is the continent’s most gruesome genocide since Belgian King Leopold II/Belgian state-perpetrated genocide against African peoples in the Congo Basin, central Africa, 1878-1908.

OLUSEGUN OBASANJO shows no remorse, whatsoever, in his principal role in the perpetration of this heinous crime against humanity, so categorised, definitively, by the United Nations itself in 1948 (see UN, Convention on the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide, 9 December 1948,, accessed 29 December 2017). On the contrary, Obasanjo boasts of his involvement in the Igbo genocide as he reminds the world in My Command (London and Ibadan: Heinemann Educational Books, 1981: 79), his memoirs of the time, of ordering the shooting down of a clearly-marked, relief-bearing International Committee of the Red Cross DC-7 aircraft bound for the Igbo whose country was then being blockaded and bombarded by the genocidists. The 3-person crew in this plane perished as a result of this crime.
(DC-7 aircraft:... similar to the ICRC relief-carrying plane shot down over south Biafra by genocidist Nigeria military on the orders of commander Olusegun Obasanjo)
WHAT in fact is at stake here is that the UN has been quite prepared to “receive” and “fraternise” with personages such as Olusegun Obasanjo, in spite of their past, in ways and means that would have been unthinkable if they were a European or Asian or Arab people, for instance, or if the target of their despicable mission on Igbo people and Biafra in 1966-1970, and subsequently, was directed at some European or Asian or Arab people, for example. Would Guteress, conceivably, appoint a Serb genocidist commander as his peace envoy to say, Chechnya?, or a Cambodian genocidist commander to say, the Philippines or Myanmar? (It is significant to cite Myanmar here given that this is the country that U Thant, the UN secretary general that had laid the foundation of UN complicity in the Igbo genocide, right from the outset, came from. It is fascinating to speculate what U Thant’s position would be today on the raging crisis of the Rohingya people in Myanmar...)

UN: facilitating agency

How does anyone realistically expect an Olusegun Obasanjo to recognise what peace is if he sees one?! In the same breadth, in 2007, Andrew Young, an African American who once served his country as ambassador to the UN and later made a huge, personal fortune in his business interests in Nigeria, thanks to Obasanjo’s patronage during the latter’s first tenure as head of regime, campaigned for Obasanjo to be “awarded” the Nobel Peace Prize. One can’t but recall that as Young marched across the United States with the venerable Martin Luther King and others, defending and demanding universal societal recognition of African American freedom quest, the genocidist brigades of his latter-day unlikely pal and business partner were engrossed in the orgy of firebombing Igbo towns and villages east of the Atlantic. 

THIS GROTESQUE Wilsonic-dimunition of African life and wellbeing (from British Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s infamous, “would accept half a million dead Biafrans if that was what it took” Nigeria to destroy the Igbo resistance to the genocide – proclaimed at the 1968/69 apogee of the Igbo genocide [see Roger Morris, Uncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy, 1977: 122]) which has undoubtedly given the impetus to the UN “receptibility” and “fraternisation” that the Olusegun Obasanjos of Africa have “enjoyed”, so uncritically, is a major contributing factor to the glaring tragedy of contemporary Africa. That the very leadership of the United Nations, since the launch of the Igbo genocide in May 1966, is a facilitating agency to this tragedy is indeed a troubling fact that African peoples and the rest of the world can no longer ignore.
(Mal Waldron Quartet, “Hymn from the inferno” [personnel: Waldron, piano; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Cecil McBee, bass; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: Vanguard Studios, New York, US, 15 August 1981])

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