Monday, 23 September 2019

93rd birthday of John Coltrane

(Born 23 September 1926, Hamlet, NC, United States)
ICONOCLASTIC tenor (and soprano) saxophonist and composer who, arguably, has had the most profound impact on the development of jazz in the past 50 years
(Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe)
(John Coltrane Quartet“Slow blues” from Both directions at once – the lost album [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; technical personnelRavi Coltrane, compiler, Ken Druker, compiler, Rudy Van Gelder, mixing, Sonny Rollins, liner notes; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 6 March 1963; released 55 years later, 29 June 2018!])
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Glasgow University to pay £20 million for “reparations” for this institution’s own role in 400 years of the pan-European enslavement of African peoples in the Americas (Daily Mail, London, 23 August 2019). Robert Cunninghame Graham, the university’s rector (principal/vice-chancellor/president) during the period, 1785-1787, had indeed lived 20 years earlier in Jamaica as an enslaver of the African humanity where he made his “fortune” (The Guardian, London, 23 August 2019) which he later invested handsomely back home in Scotland. Observers expect numerous British universities including, especially, colleges in Oxford and Cambridge, who received colossal wealth lodged in their treasuries generated from the African enslavement of these centuries to embark on their “reparations” decisions as Glasgow University has demonstrated. The following essay, entitled, “Britain is the lead-beneficiary of 400 years of the pan-European enslavement of African peoples”, puts this Glasgow University’s “reparations” presentation into an historical context

(Glasgow University ... announces “reparations” on its deep-rooted involvement in centuries of the enslavement of African peoples in the Americas)

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe 

Britain is lead-beneficiary of 400 years of the pan-European enslavement of African peoples

IN A December 2006 article for the New Nation (the London-based weekly newspaper that appeals to a wide African people’s readership), former British Prime Minister Tony Blair writes that he feels “deep sorrow” for Britain’s central role in the European World’s enslavement of African peoples. This declaration is surely not good enough as Britain is the leading beneficiary of this crime. Blair should have apologised unreservedly to Africans across the world for Britain’s role in this crime that remains humanity’s most gruesome, most expansive, and most enduring (Herbert Ekwe-EkweAfrican Literature in Defence of History: An essay on Chinua Achebe, 2001: especially, chapter 1, 1-54). Blair should have announced a comprehensive programme of reparations paid to surviving Africans in Africa, Europe, the Americas and elsewhere in the world for the crime.

It must be emphasised that within 300 years of achieving the strategic control of Africa’s human and material resources, namely at the apogee of the African enslavement, Europe lays the foundation for the West’s political and economic hegemony of the world as we know it presently, in the 21st century. This is a fact – “though largely erased and ignored in Western thought”, as Michel Beaud, the influential French economist, is keen to remind the European World (Michel BeaudA History of Capitalism: 1500-1980, 1983: 44). Britain, the first truly effective Western global power, uses the gargantuan wealth it acquires during the course of its late 17th century/early 18th century pre-eminent role in the enslavement and mass exportation of millions of Africans to the Americas to consolidate its conquest of the Americas (especially the north/the Caribbean basin), embark on its conquest of India and other regions of Asia, embark on the subsequent pan-European (Britain, France, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Italy) conquest and occupation of a (subsequently) weakened Africa, and lastly, but surely not least in importance, finance its 19th century industrial revolution which is the turning point in the development of Western capitalism.

Backwater

BRITAIN’s success on this score cannot be over-stressed. This was a country which, prior to the mid-17th century, was still a “cultural and scientific backwater”, to quote the graphic description made by Christopher Hill, the eminent British historian who is an authority on this period of British history (Christopher Hill, “Lies about crimes”, The Guardian, London, 29 May 1989). By the beginning of the 18th century, Britain had established virtual world monopoly in the seizure and transportation of millions of Africans from their homelands to the Americas after displacing the Iberian states of Portugal and Spain. It used the enormous resources that accrued to it as a result to finance its burgeoning scientific and technological enterprises. Soon, as Hill further notes, Britain became the “centre of world science” (Hill, “Lies about crimes”, The Guardian, London, 29 May 1989). And to underline the sheer size of the wealth Britain was accumulating during the period, Charles Davenant, a late 17th century economist who studied the comparative worth of an enslaved African in the Caribbean and a worker in England, concludes: “[The labour of this enslaved African] is worth six times as much as the labour of an Englishman at home” (Christopher Hill, “Lies about crimes”, The Guardian, London, 29 May 1989).

(Olaudah Equiano: Distinguished Igbo-British intellectual of the 1780s-1790s England ... leading exponent of African freedom) 
WHILST studying the work of African labour force in the Guyanese sugar industry in the 1870s, it does not come as a shock to Joseph Beaumont, the British chief justice of Guyana, that it takes two to three days of work by the “best English laborer” (in England) of the day to complete a day’s work done by a typically enslaved African plantation worker (Alan AdamsonSugar without Slaves, 1972: 112): “We have [in England] no excavating work so heavy as trench digging in Demerara [Guyana]”, Beaumont recalls, “and if the reader were to see a stalwart n[****] ... sweltering under the blazing sun throughout the day ... standing up to his knees and often to his hips in water, not only lifting (or more properly wrenching) 4000 to 5000 spits of dense clay ... throwing these twelve or sixteen feet clear on each side – not with a pleasant hammer throwing swing, but delivered straight from the loins at the end of a seven foot shovel ... I venture to think he would not only wonder at but admire ... the ‘lazy n[*****]’” (emphasis in the original) (Sidney Mintz, “Descrying the Peasantry”, 1982: 210).

During the 300 years of Britain’s ascendancy as the world’s principal enslaver-power in Africa and the Americas, leading members of its state establishment (especially in royalty, clergy, parliament, industry, academia, science and the arts) personally and collectively profited enormously from this unprecedented holocaust in human history. Cities such as London, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, Blackpool, Portsmouth, Edinburgh, Manchester and Glasgow became extremely rich, showcasing the spectacular transformation that each had undergone from being key destinations of prime investment of profits accruing to the British treasury from the enslavement of the African humanity. 

THEREAFTER, Britain became the epicentre of the intellectual activity of an ever-expanding collective of European World genocidist scholars, scientists and writers who offered the “requisite” cultural/scientific/literary rationalisation for the African enslavement and genocide. Influential members of this collective would include Spencer, Petty, Darwin, Lyell, Prichard, Reade, Locke, White, Knox, Marx, Hume, Lee, Farrar, Coupland, Egerton, Trevor-Roper, Conrad, Kipling, Carey, Haggard, Burroughs, Buchan, Mitford, Monsarrat, Ballantyne, Huxley and Blixen (Ekwe-Ekwe, African Literature in Defence of Historypassim).

These practitioners, in a sentence, turned Britain into the creator, cardinal codifier, and pivotal publicist of pan-European racism as an ideology – to effectuate that strategic goal of erasure that Michel Beaud so cogently refers to.

The stupendous fortune Britain earned from this holocaust and the accompanying gullies of socio-economic devastation it unleashed across Africa and African survivors in Africa itself, the Americas and elsewhere in the world, ensured that a triumphant Prime Minister Salisbury confidently insisted, in a speech in London in 1898, that “One can roughly divide the nations of the world into the living and the dying ... [T]he living nations will fraudulently encroach on the territory of the dying” (Sven LindqvistExterminate All the Brutes, 1997: 140). Less than 50 years after these remarks, the dire consequences of pogroms and holocausts would be felt much closer home to the heart of Europe rather than just the targeted lands further afield in Africa and elsewhere. On this, Sven Lindqvist has observed solemnly:
I am fairly sure the nine-year-old Hitler was not at Albert Hall when Lord Salisbury was speaking. He had no need to. He knew it already. The air he and all other Western people in his childhood breathed was soaked in the conviction that imperialism is a biologically necessary process, which, according to the laws of nature, leads to the inevitable destruction of the lower races. It was a conviction which already cost millions of human lives before Hitler provided his highly personal application (Lindqvist, “Exterminate All the Brutes”, 1997: 141).
AS should be expected, the effects on Africans and their homeland of this earlier holocaust, have been grave indeed: the active human power of millions of future African generations were uprooted and shipped off to the Americas by European enslavers to work the cotton, sugar and tobacco plantations, excavate the gold and silver mines, and build new towns and cities in territories being conquered by expansionist European conqueror forces. In the process, as Cheikh Anta Diop has shown, Africa lost about 150 million of its peoples as enslaved, including those who died during the overland journey, crisscrossing west Africa and elsewhere, to conveyor-ships and the voyage to the Americas (Cheikh Anta DiopPrecolonial Africa, 1987: 142).

Soon, Britain and the rest of the European powers (France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Spain), who eventually occupied Africa, turned the continent into a reservoir of cheap labour for intensive and extensive agricultural and mineralogical exploitation. The African farmer was converted overnight into a “cash crop farmer”, a term that at face value has a dubious meaning as it is aimed to describe a farmer who cultivates assorted crops such as cotton, cocoa, palm produce, groundnut, cloves and sisal solely for export to European markets. The farmer who cultivates other crops, but for the home market, which he or she still sells for cash, is not a “cash crop farmer”! Instead, goes the conquest-economics jargon, the latter farmer is involved in “subsistent farming”. Considering that the overwhelming majority of Africans were, and are still farmers, these millions of people were, as a result of the European conquest and occupation, being culturally alienated at the crucial site of their economic activity with obvious far-reaching implications, which are still at the core of Africa’s current tragedy. If the African labour was not bound for agricultural activity, “cash crop”, or not, he or she was instead deployed by the occupation-state to the European mining corporations dotted all over the continent to extract various types of minerals including diamonds, gold, tin, bauxite, coal, copper, iron ore and petroleum products – again for export to the European World. All forms of taxes were imposed to expedite this European take-over of Africa, and the strategic spheres of the continent’s independent pre-conquest cultural, industrial and other forms of technological creativity therein were curtailed or suppressed.

IN EFFECT, African land and property relations were abolished by the occupation to make way for the seizure of land for both plantation agriculture and mining enterprises already referred to, or for the construction of new communication infrastructure, or for the direct population settlement by European immigrants as exemplified in east Africa (Kenya), southern Africa (Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Angola, Namibia), west Africa (São Tomé and Principé, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde) and north Africa (Algeria). Again, Britain was the leading conqueror-state beneficiary during this phase of the direct occupation of Africa, having particularly seized lands with major population centres and vast and multiple natural resource emplacements: South Africa, Namibia (proxy control, post-1918 – after the defeat of Germany in 1914-1918 war), Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania (post-1918, after the defeat of Germany in 1914-1918 war), the Sudan, Nigeria, south Cameroons (post-1918, after the defeat of Germany in 1914-1918 war), Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia. In each of these conquered lands as well as others, now arbitrarily carved out from hitherto existing African states, the European regime imposed its monetary system on society and also ensured that the terms for the exchange of goods and services, fundamental for the logical development of any socio-economic activity or relation, was inextricably tailored to the needs and expectations of the home market back home (in Europe). No doubt, the economies that emerged subsequently in Africa, particularly on the eve of the so-called re-establishment of the peoples’ independence from the mid-1950s, were structurally bereft of local needs and priorities. Instead, these were mineralogical and agricultural redoubts to service a European home market, and, at the same time, conduits for European emigration to occupy even more swathes of Africa lands especially in east/southern regions.

In summary, three distinct consequences on the African humanity can be discerned from the British-led (i.e. post-mid 17th century) enslavement of Africans or the African holocaust. First, the seizure and exportation of 150 million Africans from Africa to the Americas and elsewhere. Second, the destruction/near destruction of local populations and the dispatch of survivors/others into labour reserves/“townships” to make way for direct European occupation (particularly east/southern Africa) as from the 19th century, and, finally, the overall control of subjugated populations and the conversion of human and material resources to serve pan-European interests (rest of Africa), which has continued virtually uninterrupted to this day.

Kakistocracy and genocide

THE CONCERTED African drive, beginning soon after the 1939-1945 war, to free the continent of European control has yet to achieve its strategic objective: unfettered restoration-of-independence. Britain and France and Belgium and Portugal and Spain just won’t let go of Africa; for these countries, the phenomenal bounties of the African conquest are yet to be fully expropriated, despite the enslavement and genocide, despite the hundreds of years of occupation, and, more importantly, despite the insistence of the post-1945 African restoration of independence mission. Starting from 1956 in Sudan, Britain (once again!) embarked on the construction of a constellation of kakistocratic states across the continent to precisely neutralise the emergence of this new, free Africa. Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia and others, as well as the Belgian and French derivatives of these monstrous constructs (Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo Republic, Chad, Central African Republic, Cameroon, etc., etc.) soon followed suit. In Nigeria, in 1966, Britain perfected, even further, the catastrophic tentacles of kakistocracy in Africa (Herbert Ekwe-EkweBiafra Revisited, 2006).

IN CONCERT with the Nigeria state (religious, military, police, academic, bureaucracy, media) and the leaderships of key constituent nations in the country (especially, Fulani, Yoruba, Tiv, Nupe, Bachama, Urhobo, Edo, Hausa, Kanuri, Jarawa) Britain inaugurated the quintessential genocidal state in Africa: Nigeria. Britain and its Fulani islamist/jihadist-led pan-African nations allies (as just enumerated above) murdered 3.1 million Igbo people during the course of 20 May 1966-12 January 1970 (phase-I of genocide) in the most horrendous genocide of Africans not seen on the continent since the mid-19th century genocide of Africans in the Congo basin of central Africa carried out by King Leopold II of the the Belgians/Belgium state. 

At the apogee of the Igbo genocide, Harold Wilson, the British prime minister who oversaw the perpetration of this crime from his office and home at 10 Downing Street London was completely unperturbed to inform Clyde Ferguson (United States state department special coordinator for relief to Biafra), on record, that he, Harold Wilson, “would accept half a million dead Biafrans if that was what it took” the Nigerian génocidaires to destroy the Igbo resistance to the genocide (Roger MorrisUncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy, 1977: 122). 


AND TO ensure that the the génocidaires achieved whatever annihilative threshold on the destruction of Igbo people they had set for this mission in Biafra, Wilson duly reinforced and saturated the Nigeria armoury with assorted British military resources. Wilson was gravely effusive on the range and impact of Nigerian use of British arms in the genocide as he recalled in his memoirs: Nigerian military expended more small arms ammunition in its campaign in Biafra than the amount used by the British armed forces “during the whole” of the 1939-1945 war (Harold WilsonLabour Government, 1964-1970: A Personal Record, 1971: 630; added emphasis). Wilson’s government’s diplomatic mission military advisor in genocidist Nigeria at the time, Robert Scott, acknowledged his employer’s empirical evidence, albeit linguistically (at the height of the genocide, mid 1968- January 1970), that as the Nigerian genocidists unleashed their campaigns across Biafran cities, towns and villages, they were the “best defoliant agent known” (Sunday Telegraph, London, 11 January 1970).  Whilst Wilsons own preferred and projected death tally for the Igbo was 500,000, which represented 4.2 per cent of the Igbo population at the time, his co-Nigerian genocidists on the ground instead murdered 3.1 million Igbo people – 2.6 million more or 25 per cent of the total Igbo population; definitely, the Nigerians had bountifully obliged their “massa” Harold Wilson’s extermination edict...
(Harold Wilson: ... “would accept half a million dead Biafrans if that was what it took..)
INDEED, the mass murder of the Igbo, centrally organised by Britain, sets the grotesque precedence that would chart and characterise the defining features of African politics during the subsequent 30 years: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo Republic, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, Rwanda, Sudan. A total of 12 million Africans have been murdered in these countries since the Igbo genocide.

As Britain (and France and Belgium particularly) would surely attest, the kakistocratic state of Africa, especially its genocidal variety in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Sudan for instance, pays handsomely. An examination of any index of statistical data on Anglo-Nigeria relations, or indeed Anglo-Sudan interactions, won’t shock for the very obvious.

As the Africans in a Nigeria or a Sudan languish in perpetuity in these perditions of “homeland” of British creation, the British continue to enjoy unprecedented levels of profits from these “countries”, day in, day out, receive net capital inflows from these territories, including those looted by thieving “leaderships” and officials, and appropriate critical resources from there at will ... Britain, and the rest of the European World, couldn’t ask for a more enabling environment to expropriate and expropriate the vast riches of Africa indefinitely.

FOR AFRICAN PEOPLES, the next move in the much-sought-after liberation couldn’t be clearer: 

1. dismantle the extant genocide state or quickly abandon their membership therein  

2. create new state forms of civilisation that expressly serve their own interests and aspirations – not those of others, including, especially, the notorious overlords of persons, groups and the “ascribed” African constituent nations or nationalities on the ground who carry out the day-to-day policing of this retrograde, hierarchical architecture of doom on behalf of Britain.


(Nnamdi Kanu: ... leader of the Indigenous People oBiafra ... Biafrans are poised to free themselves from genocidist & kakistocratic Nigeria ... Igbo freedom will inaugurate the age of freedom for African peoples with inestimable transformative possibilities...)
(Chris McGregor and Brotherhood of Breadth, “Davashe’s dream” [personnel: McGregor, piano, African xylophone; Mongezi Feza, pocket trumpet; Harry Beckett, trumpet; Mark Chaig, cornet; Nick Evans, trombone; Malcolm Griffiths, trombone; Dudu Pukwana, alto saxophone; Mike Osborne, alto saxophone, clarinet; John Surman, baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone; Ronnie Beer, tenor saxophone, Indian flute; Alan Skidmore, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Harry Miller, bass; Louis Moholo, drums, percussion; recorded: UK Neon Label, London, 1971]) (alto saxophone and trumpet solos: Dudu Pukwana and Mongezi Feza respectively) 

References

Adamson, Alan. Sugar without Slaves. New Haven: Yale University, 1972.

Beaud, Michel. A History of Capitalism: 1500-1980. New York: Monthly Review, 1983

Chris McGregor and Brotherhood of Breadth, “Davashe’s dream”.  UK Neon Label, London, 1971.

Diop, Cheikh Anta. Precolonial Africa. New York: Lawrence Hill, 1987.

Ekwe-Ekwe, Herbert. Readings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature. Dakar and Reading: African Renaissance, 2011.

Ekwe-Ekwe, Herbert. Biafra Revisited. Dakar and Reading: African Renaissance, 2006.

Ekwe-Ekwe, Herbert. African Literature in Defence of History: An essay on Chinua Achebe. Dakar and Reading: African Renaissance, 2001.

Hill, Christopher. “Lies about crimes”. The Guardian, London, 29 May 1989.)

Lindqvist, Sven. “Exterminate All the Brutes”. London: Granta Books, 1997.

Mintz, Sidney. “Descrying the Peasantry”. Review (Fernand Braudel Center), VI, 2, Fall 1982, pp. 209-225.

Morris, Roger. Uncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy. London and New York: Quartet Books, 1977.

Sunday Telegraph. London, 11 January 1970.

Wilson, Harold. Labour Government, 1964-1970: A Personal Record. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1971. 




*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe’s latest books on the Igbo genocide and Biafra are The longest genocide – since 29 May 1966 (2019) and co-author, with Lakeson OkwuonichaWhy #DonaldTrump is #great for #Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe


Ike Ekweremadu in Nuremberg, Germany

(Ike Ekweremadu)
EC Ejiogu

IF YOU are travelling from Enuugwu towards Nsukka on the more recently built roadway that goes northwards of the Nike clan, when you get to Ogbeke Nike, on the right side of the road there begins a sprawling vibrated cement blocks perimeter fence that runs parallel to the road all the way for an extensive distance before it meanders endlessly uphill and deep into the forest indicating what is obviously a mindless land-grab bordering on speculation. There’s nothing about this endless undeveloped land-grab that reveals who it actually belongs to. Not even the road-side signage on it that deceptively announces that the sprawling “PARCEL OF LAND BELONGING TO LEGAL PROTECTION COUNCIL” is truly revealing of the individual to whom it actually belongs.
IT was by coincidental happenstance that this writer got to know that the actual owner of this sprawling endless acreage of land is indeed, Ike Ekweremadu, who is also a member of the Nigerian Senate in Abuja. Mr. Ekweremadu who is from the Ogwu (Agwu) clan, which is located far away from Nike, on the dilapidated Enuugwu-Umuahia-Port Harcourt expressway, has been in the Nigerian Senate since 2003. He was for the four-year duration that ended just this year, the deputy president of Nigeria’s Senate. On the occasion when Ekweremadu’s ownership of the said sprawl was disclosed to this writer, the latter had offered a ride to three middle-age local ladies en route Nsukka. It was during the course of the chit-chat that they held between them during the journey’s course, which this writer eaves-dropped on, that suddenly veered onto the subject matter of land-grab when the car got to and began to speed past the said endless sprawl that those female free riders revealed that indeed, the said stupendous land-grab belongs to Ekweremadu.

EKWEREMADU’s encounter Saturday, August 17 with angry Igbo youth in the city of Nuremberg in faraway Germany brings to context his politics and his avaricious penchant for using same in the main, to exclusively feather his personal nest all the way at the expense of his Igbo race and its destiny in unitary Nigeria. Mouths have wagged and continue to wag in the bid to cast aspersions on the Igbo youth involved without regard for the more pertinent issues that are involved as they tie into the Igbo Question in the Nigeria project vis-a-viz what got Ekweremadu and the youth, together in that infamous dustup.

For full disclosure, the intention here by this writer is neither to condone, nor justify what may have transpired there, indeed happened to Ekweremadu in Nuremberg during that encounter. Instead, the essence here is to contextualize the encounter, and possibly proffer an explainer.

SOME OF THE immediate assertions above tie quite deeply into the raging perception out there amongst many Igbo regarding Ekweremadu and the claims he makes to Igbo identity and his selfish exploitation of same in his politics and avaricious pursuit of his narrow self-interests. The widely held perception out there, which should not be dismissed as invalid is that he parasites off Igbo identity in his politics at a time when the anger over the Igbo condition in unitary Nigeria project is palpable amongst the youth at home and in the diaspora. Anyone who is oblivious of the truism that most, if not all that constitute today’s Igbo Diaspora were
compelled to emigrate abroad in search economic sustainance by the dire situation of affairs with regard to the Igbo in the Nigeria project.

Some of the Igbo who this writer elicited their views on the subject matter of this piece recalled how Ekweremadu cried out loud the other time when he was being throttled by minders of the unitary state in the Nigeria project with the dubious claim that the latter picked on him simply because he’s Igbo! That out-cry of dissemblance from him elicited solidarity response from many Igbo, and it probably compelled his supposed Hausa-Fulani traducers to let up on him at the time.

YET Ekweremadu consistently conducts himself in ways that convey the impression that he’s mindless of the existential threat that the Nigeria project and the configuration of its political economy represent for the Igbo and their destiny as a people since the end of the shooting phase of the Nigeria-Biafra war in January 1970 and the events that precipitated it.

Almost all those surveyed for their opinion by this writer about Ekweremadu voiced the view that his encounter with angry Igbo youth in Nuremberg, Germany is symbolic of expiatory trials of Nazi war criminals that took place in that city right after Nazi hostilities where suppressed in World War II. Some even argued that he encounter could qualify as an attempt by the former to put Ekweremadu and his politics of predation at the expense of the Igbo on popular trial.

Some of those who spoke to this writer went to great length to furnish pointers to buttress their views that Ekweremadu’s primary motivating focus has been the raw acquisition of wealth and aggrandizing fame at the expense of Igbo good. One of them pointed out the placement of giant billboards at strategic locations in the city of Enuugwu earlier this year to mark his birthday celebration. According to eye-witnesses, the said billboards touted banal claims that prefixed him as Professor Dr. Senator Ike Ekweremadu, a professor of law at a university in faraway Louisiana, in the US. One person who claims he knows Ekweremadu quite well swore that he’s aware that Ekweremadu hired and retains a special assistant who ghosted to enable him to acquire two advanced law degrees from a local university in Enuugwu. Another disclosed that he is always quick to deflate requests from his constituents who approach him with the pathetic excuse line that he is merely “in government and not in power in Abuja”. Indeed!

IN THE CONTEXT of Ekweremadu’s sympathizers who voiced strong views that German authorities in Nuremberg must identify, arrest and prosecute the youth involved in the encounter, there is one succinct explainer: Germany’s Nazi past notwithstanding, civil society and the rule of law are still well and alive in that country for all residents, citizens and non-citizens alike. Unlike in unitary Nigeria, in Germany, public protests by aggrieved citizens, and others are allowed and are used to speak truth to power and its public actor custodians. Leadership responsiveness is still an integral component of social authority patterns and the practice of authority in society in democratic Germany.

The implication of the Ekweremadu-Igbo youth encounter being that the former and his likes have been put on notice by the latter, and rightly so, that the tide has certainly shifted against selfish actors in the Igbo public space.

THE VIDEO clips of Ekweremadu in that encounter found online speak volumes. Clad in an outfit resplendent with the motif of unitary Nigerian state, he cuts a pathetic picture as he scampered away in the apparent attempt to seek refuge in a building with his fellow Igbo, angryand in hot pursuit. One of them can be heard repeatedly calling him a “useless man”. Then came the frames when he was quickly dragged out of the building through some distance towards a white sedan car into which he was pushed and driven away. The evident add up from the drama being the apparent message from his fellow Igbo that they have had enough of those who find cheap currency in their destiny as a people.


****Professor EC Ejiogu, formerly at the Centre for Africa Studies, University of the Free StateSouth Africa, is the author of The Roots of Political Instability in Nigeria: Political Evolution and Development in the Niger Basin (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2011) and guest editor of the  Journal of Asian and African Studies’s  Special Issue on Chinua Achebe: The Igbo Pogrom, Biafra War and Genocide in Nigeria (Vol 48, 6, December 2013)


Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Not “xenophobia”! Call the current murders of non-South African Africans in South Africa for what it is: African-run state in South Africa, headed by Cyril Ramaphosa, murders African peoples from elsewhere on the continent domiciled in South Africa so savagely


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

THE CYRIL RAMAPHOSA African-led South African regime and its clearly state propped up armed bands of South Africans have continued their unrelentingly mapped out murders of African peoples from elsewhere in Africa who live in South Africa. Twelve Africans have so far been “registered” murdered in the past few days but full casualty figures are sure to rise as more reports from gory crime scenes from particularly the Gauteng province that embraces both Pretoria and Johannesburg, the red cross, hospitals and other emergency services are published.
(1. African-led Cyril Ramaphosa regime in South Africa vs African  émigrés in South Africa, 14 February 2018-present)

IN THE past decade, the South Africans have murdered hundreds of African  émigrés in their country especially those from Biafra, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The murderers have looted and destroyed the émigrés’ homes and have forced hundreds of thousands of survivors sent into horrid South Africa refugee camps or forced to return to their various countries.

The near 26,000 Biafra émigrés in the country, who had themselves fled the ongoing 53 years of the Igbo genocide in occupied Biafra by Fulani-led islamist/jihadist genocidist in Nigeria, have borne the brunt of this savage campaign including the very latest. Since February 2016, over 120 Igbo in South Africa have been murdered as thousands of desperate survivors seek alternative countries for refuge. Observers have been shocked and outraged over the obnoxious obstacles placed recently by the South African immigration services at the main Johannesburg airport on the spirited effort made by Allen Onyeama, the Igbo businessperson, whose “Air Peace” airline services have provided free special evacuation flights for Igbo survivors out of South Africa (Vanguard, Lagos, 11 September 2019).
(Allen Onyeama’s “Air Peace” airline services evacauting Igbo survivors of raging murders of African émigrés domiciled in South Africa, carried out by the country’s African-led regime [saharareporters.com, New York, 16 September 2019]) 
What “xenophobia”?

ALL along, as this murder campaign rages, the South Africa state categorises this  heinous crime exclusively subjected at African  émigrés in its country so quaintly and outrageously with the essentially sanitising euphemism, “xenophobic attacks” – an outrage of a designation readily picked up, re-packaged, re-broadcast, often uncritically with relish, across the world by the usual expressly anti-African lives’ broadcasters and other news organisations and commentators.

Instead what the world is witnessing presently in South Africa is a carefully state-planned murdering campaign against targeted African émigrés in South Africa and executed by organised South African death-squads. It must be called by its name: murder. There must be no obfuscation in presenting this crime for what it is.

According to the latest UN statistics on “people from other countries” or “foreigners” domiciled in South Africa indicating clearly what countries they had been born, there are a total of 33 countries – from across the world, Americas to Australasia, with a population of approximately 4 million (moastarblog.wordpress.com, accessed 12 September 2019). Sixteen of the countries are from Africa and the rest are from Europe, Asia and the United States (moastarblog.wordpress.com).

Zimbabwe nationals constitute the highest number of “people from other countries” or “foreigners” in the data with approximately 650,000, followed by Mozambique, 380,000 (moastarblog.wordpress.com). There are 124,000 British nationals who live here and the figures from just a few of the other 33 countries that follow underscore the range of geographical diversity of “people from other countries” in South Africa: 94,000 Germans; 45,000 Portuguese; 40,000 Indians; 39,000 Italians; 33,000 Dutch; 20,000 Irish; 13,000 French; 13,000 Belgians; 12,000 Australians; 40,000 Indians; 39,000 Chinese; 17,000 Americans; 27,000 Kenyans; 17, 000 Pakistani; 11,000 Ghanaian (moastarblog.wordpress.com, accessed 12 September 2019)

THE WORD “xenophobia” in English means “dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries”.  From the definition, “against people from other countries” is the key principle applicable to any geography of reference in the world that this meaning is solicitated and this is crucial in our focus here. No English dictionary defines “xenophobia” in some restricted racialised/regionalised format as dislike of or prejudice against people from African countries”, for instance, or dislike of or prejudice against people from other African countries” or dislike of or prejudice against African peoples from other countries” as the sheer horror of the operationalisation of this South African state-sponsored murder of African émigrés, stepped up more aggressively during the African-led Jacob Zuma regime last decade, has been perversely portrayed to the world by state propagandists in Pretoria.
(2. African-led Jacob Zuma regime in South Africa vs African  émigrés in South Africa, 9 May 2009-14 February 2018)

POINTEDLY, Zuma’s and the present Ramaphosa regime have carved out and designated the residential districts of nationals from predominantly 16 African countries resident in South Africa for murderous assaults on them, as the regimes deem fit, out of the rest of the nationals of the remaining 17 countries of the world resident in the country, principally from the United States, Europe and Asia. These African-led regimes have turned the African émigrés’ populations in South Africa into “hostage” emplacements or South Africanised-adapted lebensraum (borrowed and adapted from the studies of a range of German racist geographers and other “theorists of the 19th century which were executed on the ground most catastrophically in Africa, firstly, and latterly in Europe by follow on German genocidist practitioners of the 20th century) to enable those groupings of its African South Africans, very pessimistic about their future prospects in the country, to commit regularly orchestrated murder and pillage as their own primary source for social existence.

This is a hardly disguised state diversionary preoccupation. The South Africa state engages in these murders as part of the explosively contentious contemporary politics in South Africa where it has exhibited singularly demonstrable failure to transform the country for its peoples after 342 years of the pan-European conquest, occupation, and subjugation – despite the “breakthrough” of 1994 which occurred, most importantly to stress here, with incomparable several decades’ of unflinching support and solidarity from particularly the African World, from Barbados to Biafra.

African World must now break with South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA has not murdered any non-African national during the course of its so-called xenophobic attacks” on “foreigners” in the country. Neither the Zuma regime nor indeed Ramaphosa’s would dare attack American citizens or any in the range of European citizens domiciled in South Africa (as the list above shows) with such gross callousness that has characterised these anti-African death campaigns and hope to survive in office in weeks. We mustn’t fail to note that the latter foreign national residents, especially from Europe (British, Dutch, German, French, Italian), come from the same countries which originally conquered and occupied South Africa and still exercise expansive interests and control of the economy of the country presently.

The African World faces a killer African-led regime in South Africa which murders African peoples from elsewhere on the continent living within its frontiers with impunity. The silence from the African World to this raging inhumanity at display from African-led South Africa is unconscionable. Africans, worldwide, must now break with South Africa in response to this unmitigated horror starting right away in the following arenas: political/diplomatic relations, businesses and trade, academic/intellectual exchanges, cultural ambassadorships/enterprises, social travels, sports engagements, etc., etc.

African peoples’ lives matter. Or don’t they? If these current Zuma, Ramaphosa et al African-led South African regimes who murder other African peoples in South Africa in the 21st century so flagrantly were led instead by a European in previous eras such as a Hendrik Verwoerd, B J Vorster, Marais Viljoen, PW Botha, Jan Heunis or a FW de Klerk, there would surely have been a thunderous outcry from across Africa and its diaspora to these executions. But it appears Africans appear to “tolerate” the agency of such catastrophic violence on African peoples if the band of perpetrators is African-led. It is precisely because of this morbid silence from African publics that African-led regimes, not from Europe, not from the United States, not “the white man”, not from any extracontinental African aggressor state, have murdered 15 million African peoples in genocides and wars across Africa (west, north, northcentral, northeast, eastcentral, southern regions) since that Nigeria-based Yakubu Gowon-Obafemi Awolowo bubonic genocidist dyarchy launched the Igbo genocide on 29 May 1966. The dyarchy murdered 3.1 million Igbo people, 25 per cent of this nation’s population, in this gruesome, foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa during phases I-III, 29 May 1966-12 May 1970. The genocide goes on, phase-IV, 53 years, and subsequent African-led regimes entrenched in Nigeria have murdered tens of thousands of additional Igbo since.

FOR PEOPLES who denounce anti-African violence and racism in all their forms, especially when directed against them from European peoples or from others (rightly so), Africans, wherever they are, must now know that they stand to forfeit any moral rectitude if they continue this deafening silence over the defiantly, openly waged march of gruesome, irrepressibly driven murders of African émigrés in South Africa. The murders are carried out by African-led regimes of Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa in the country. Zuma and Ramaphosa are no less enwrapped in this state’s cataclysmic laughter of African peoples as hitherto European-led liquidating South African regimes whose names, among others, are, on record, as Naudé, Fouché, Diederichs, Verwoerd, Vorster, Viljoen and Botha.
(Chris McGregor and Brotherhood of Breadth, “Davashe’s dream” [personnel: McGregor, piano, African xylophone; Mongezi Feza, pocket trumpet; Harry Beckett, trumpet; Mark Chaig, cornet; Nick Evans, trombone; Malcolm Griffiths, trombone; Dudu Pukwana, alto saxophone; Mike Osborne, alto saxophone, clarinet; John Surman, baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone; Ronnie Beer, tenor saxophone, Indian flute; Alan Skidmore, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Harry Miller, bass; Louis Moholo, drums, percussion; recorded: UK Neon Label, London, 1971]) (alto saxophone and trumpet solos: Dudu Pukwana and Mongezi Feza respectively) 

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe’s latest books on the Igbo genocide and Biafra are The longest genocide – since 29 May 1966 (2019) and co-author, with Lakeson OkwuonichaWhy #DonaldTrump is #great for #Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe