EVEN IF THE Igbo are not subjected to the cataclysmic genocide of 29 May 1966-present day, this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa in which suzerain Britain and its Fulani Nigeria client state have murdered 3.1 million Igbo or 25 per cent of Igbo population (phases I-III, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970) and the dual-genocidists’ additional murder of tens of thousands of Igbo during phase-IV of the genocide (13 January 1970-present day) which includes the current stretch’s blitzkriegesque offensive (since May 2015) that the Muhammadu Buhari regime (imposed in office by Barack Obama, the African-descent ex-US president, and David Cameron, ex-British prime minister) and its adjunct duo Boko Haram and Fulani militia (erroneously tagged “Fulani herdspeople” in the media in Nigeria) forces are waging in occupied Biafra, they, the Igbo, just like any other peoples, have the right to declare themselves free from Nigeria or indeed from any other state in Africa they find themselves domiciled if they so wish.
This was precisely why the Igbo didn’t have to offer some justification for its 30 year-old vanguard role (1930s-October 1960) in formally terminating 76 years of the British conquest and occupation of Nigeria, not even to the north region Fulani Arabised-islamist/jihadist political establishment, strategic ally of the occupation opposed to African peoples liberation and progenitor of the prevailing dominant retrogressive regime forces in Nigeria.
IT MUST be continuously stressed, if need be, that no comparable political forces anywhere else in the South World (Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Americas), during this epoch, wanted their lands occupied indefinitely by any of the rampaging conqueror pan-European states (Britain, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain) as the Fulani islamist/jihadists, this ferociously anti-African peoples assemblage. This was why the British aptly “rewarded” them with the responsibility of “overseer”, beginning 1 October 1960, to protect Britain’s vast expropriatory economic interests in Nigeria in perpetuity as well as wage a 52-year-old genocide against the Igbo, one of the most enterprising and progressive peoples in Africa. The glaring catastrophe that is Nigeria becomes hugely intelligible in the context of this history (see Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, Biafra Revisited, 2006).
Freedom train, not “agitators”
THIS RIGHT to freedom for a people, for all peoples, is inalienable. As I have demonstrated severally elsewhere, it is the state, any state, that is transient; definitely, not the people(s) except, of course, they, such as the Igbo, are a target or programmed for genocide by some state/s (Britain and Nigeria in this specific case) or some other agency. No one, no people, therefore, has to offer a reason for being free, for freedom.
So, the rather perfunctory remarks, “agitating for Biafra”, “Biafra agitators”, often made by some commentators to highlight the current historic drive of the Biafra freedom movement is, ironically, an assault on the very essence of this freedom. One doesn’t “agitate” for freedom; they, instead, proclaim it: “I am because I am free; I am free because I am”.
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe(Sonny Rollins Trio, “The freedom suite” [personnel: Rollins, tenor saxophone; Oscar Pettiford, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 7 March 1958])