UNDOUBTEDLY, the underlying problem of this Enuugwu conference (Vanguard, “Handshake across the Niger”, Lagos, 9 January 2018) is that Igbo-Yoruba relation is predicated, essentially, on these two nations in this state that calls itself Nigeria. But Nigeria is a genocide state that has focused on the slaughter of Igbo people, one of Africa’s leading entrepreneurial and academically endowed nations, as an enduring programme of state policy in the past 52 years – since 29 May 1966, in which the Yoruba have been a key participatory perpetrator among other constituent nations of Nigeria.
3.1 million Igbo, 25 per cent of the Igbo population then, were murdered in phases I-III of the genocide (29 May 1966-12 January 1970) and tens of thousands more Igbo have been murdered during the course of phase-IV of the genocide which began on 13 January 1970. The genocide goes on as these lines are written… History shows that a genocide state is abandoned, dismantled. There can be no other solution to this outcome. For the Igbo, Biafra brings this tragedy to a screeching halt.
Those who commit genocide on a people, as Germans have demonstrated since 1945, particularly their intellectuals (See, for instance, A Dirk Moses, German Intellectuals and the Nazi Past [Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2007]), must carry out a thorough introspective interrogation subsequently as the beginning of a journey to achieve some form of absolution for having committed this horrific crime against humanity.
AS IT should now be obvious, this crucial process cannot occur within the space of the genocide state but in “successor” state(s). Consequently, Igbo-Yoruba relations would have acquired the possibility of a conducive platform for a more dispassionate discourse.
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe(John Coltrane Quartet, “Dusk-Dawn” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, NJ, US, 16 June 1965])