(1 February 1974: operation performed, Nsukka University Teaching Hospital, Enuugwu, Biafra)
FIRST OPEN heart-surgery in Biafra/southwestcentral Africa was performed at the Nsukka University Teaching Hospital, Enuugwu, Biafra, on 1 February 1974 – four years and just over a month to the day after the formal end of phase-III (beginning of phase-IV) of the 44-month long Igbo genocide, foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, perpetrated by Nigeria and its suzerain state Britain in which 3.1 million Igbo or 25 per cent of this nation’s population were murdered.
The surgeons who worked on the surgery included CH Anyanwu, DC Nwafor, FA Udekwu and M Yacoub. In the subsequent 26 years, i.e., by 2000, a total of 102 (one hundred and two) open heart-surgeries were carried out at the Enuugwu centre.
FORTY-FOUR YEARS since the first surgery, Africa and the rest of the world cannot wait for the triumph of the Biafra freedom movement to witness the exponential expansion of the stretch of such creative and transformational energy by Biafrans – an African people building and reconstructing on their land and on their own terms, a disposition which surely challenges those outrageous British presumptions on African peoples given Britain’s role as the principal architect and codifier of anti-African racism as an ideology (see Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, African Literature in Defence of History: An essay on Chinua Achebe, 2001, especially pp. 1-54) and whose involvement in the Igbo genocide is to “punish” the Igbo for the latter’s vanguard role in terminating the British conquest and occupation of the states and peoples of this southwestcentral Africa region.
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe(John Coltrane Quartet, “Untitled original 90314” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, NJ, US, 16 June 1965])