Wednesday, 30 January 2019

The catastrophe that is genocidist Nigeria


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

THE Fulani islamist/jihadist-led genocidist Nigerianot Europe, not the United States, not “the white man”, not any extracontinental aggressor state, constitutes, currently, the principal retrograde agent of  genocide and underdevelopment and immiseration and wretchedness across Africa:

1. It has murdered more Africans in Biafra, southwestcentral Africa, since 1945 than the total number of Africans murdered in Africa since 1900 by all of Europe’s conqueror-powers in Africa: Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain – including the number of Africans the Germans murdered in the genocide of the Herero, Nama and Berg Damara peoples of southwest Africa (1904-1907). It is still murdering, murdering, murdering...

2. It now rates a not-too-distant second to Belgian King Leopold II’s notorious position as lead génocidaire of African peoples since the 19th century in the Leopold II/Belgian state’s genocide against Africans in the central regions of the Congo River basin (1878-1908).
(Wayne Shorter Octet, “Mephistopheles” [personnel: Shorter, tenor saxophone,  Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Alan Shorter, fluegelhorn; Grachan Moncur III, trombone;  James Spaulding, alto saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano;  Ron Carter, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 15 October 1965])

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is author of the recently published The longest genocide  since 29 May 1966 (2019)  
(http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.com/2019/01/blog-post_25.html)
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Defining registers of Biafra affirmation


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

BIAFRANS have an historic opportunity to embark on the construction of a new civilisation where human life, African life, fundamentally, is sacrosanct. This salient feature cannot be overstressed.

For Igbo people, Nigeria has for long been a haematophagous quagmire in their history, beginning in the 1945 Igbo pogrom in Jos (northcentral region) carried out by the Fulani islamist/jihadists, duly overseen by the British conqueror-occupying regime. A “next time” Igbo pogrom was executed in Kano (north region), in 1953, by the same Fulani islamist/jihadists and again overseen by the British occupation – “dress rehearsals” for the Igbo genocide which the dual-genocidists and the expanded league of pan-African perpetrators (particularly, Yoruba, Kanuri, Edo, Tiv, Gwari, Nupe, Jukun) would embark upon on 29 May 1966, slaughtering 3.1 million Igbo or 25 per cent of the Igbo population in the subsequent 44 months of sheer savagery, phases I-III of the genocide. Phase-IV of the genocide has continued since, with the murder of additional tens of thousands Igbo people.

Mission

THE Biafra freedom mission is therefore not to begin to construct a state that is merely post-genocide or post post-conquest (post post-“colonial”) state of Africa; in other words, cancelling out here and there, in some mechanical venture, that which was Nigeria, “Berlin-state” Africa’s most notoriously anti-human.

Instead, Biafra is a realisation, a profound reclamation of that which makes us all human and part of humanity. Biafra is a beacon of the tenacity of the spirit of human overcoming of the most desperate, unimaginable brutish forces. 

THE restoration-of-independence of Biafra at once signals to the rest of the constituent peoples and nations enveloped in the European-created “Berlin-states” of death, immiseration, desolation and hopelessness that freedom and transformation, right there in Africa, are achievable goals – that African peoples can build, reconstruct, embark on all possibilities of working for themselves and appropriating the fruits of their labour from their land and on their own terms...
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Attaining” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone, McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass;  Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Impulse!, New York, US,  26 August 1965])

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is author of the recently published The longest genocide  since 29 May 1966 (2019)  
(http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.com/2019/01/blog-post_25.html)
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe
                                                                                                                                 

Friday, 25 January 2019

Kindle edition of The longest genocide – since 29 May 1966 by Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe. Copies available now at amazon: Britain, US, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Holland, Japan, Australia, Brazil, India

Herbert Ekwe-EkweThe longest genocide – since 29 May 1966 (Dakar & Reading: African Renaissance, 2019), ISBN 0955205034/ISBN 9780955205033, paperback, 283pp., £7.76/US$10.14/CDN$9.99/EUR 8,79/1,097/Aust$11.99/R$24,99/₹449.00
THE Igbo genocide is the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa. This genocide has been executed by Nigeria and its suzerain-state Britain since 29 May 1966. It inaugurated Africa’s current age of pestilence. It is the longest and one of the bloodiest genocides of contemporary history. The genocidists murdered 3.1 million Igbo (25 per cent of the Igbo population) during phases I-III of the genocide, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970. They have murdered tens of thousands of additional Igbo in phase-IV, 13 January 1970-present day. 

No single nation or people in Africa has suffered such an extensive and gruesome genocide and incalculable impoverishment in a century as the Igbo. As Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe demonstrates in this authoritative study, Britain is the principal agent in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide. Britain had sought to “punish” Igbo people for their vanguard role in the campaign to terminate the British conquest and occupation of this southwestcentral region of Africa from the 1930s-October 1960. 


NOWHERE else in Africa nor indeed the South World, during the 1950s-1970s, does any of the seemingly departing European occupying-powers in a conquered country effectuate the crime of genocide on a constituent people as a means of safeguarding its strategic interests. Britain’s sordid record in Nigeria is exceptional. In fact at the apogee of phase-III of the genocide in 1968-1969, Prime Minister Harold Wilson reminded the world, on record, of the end game of this dreadful mission he chiefly directed from the comfort of his residence and office at 10 Downing Street, London, 3000 miles from Biafra. Wilson informed Clyde Ferguson, the US State Department special coordinator for relief to Biafra, that he, Harold Wilson, “would accept a half million dead Biafrans if that was what it took” Nigeria to destroy the Igbo resistance to the genocide. As the final tally of the murder of the Igbo shows, Harold Wilson probably had the perverse satisfaction that his Nigerian on the ground allies did perform far in excess of his grim target. The longest genocide – since 29 May 1966 concludes that Britain and its client genocide-prosecuting state Nigeria will surely account for this crime as both states are fully aware, being signatories to the relevant international treaties, that there are no statutes of limitation in international law in the pursuit, apprehension, prosecution and sentencing of individuals and institutions involved in committing genocide. Genocide is a crime against humanity. And this is indeed a heinous crime against the Igbo humanity.

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is a specialist on the state and genocide and wars in Africa. He is the author of several books including African Literature in Defence of History: An essay on Chinua Achebe (2001), Biafra Revisited (2006), Readings from Reading: Essays on African History, Genocide, Literature (2011) and author, with Lakeson Okwuonicha, of Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)


Publication date: 22 January 2019

Key subjects book covers: Igbo genocideBiafraBritish complicityHarold Wilsonconquest of Africapost-conquest Africaself-determinationrestoration-of-independencefreedom, future of Africa

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE
africanrenaissance1@gmail.com

Cover Design
Mr Leroy Cristof

The longest genocide – since 29 May 1966 is available from

1. amazon.co.uk 

2. amazon.com

3. amazon.ca

4. amazon.de

5. amazon.fr

6. amazon.es

7. amazon.it

8. amazon.co.jp

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Published! The longest genocide – since 29 May 1966 by Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe. Copies available today at amazon: Britain (free delivery service within country), US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan

Herbert Ekwe-EkweThe longest genocide – since 29 May 1966 (Dakar & Reading: African Renaissance, 2019), ISBN 0955205034/ISBN 9780955205033, paperback, 189pp., £19.41/US$24.99/CDN$33.37/EUR 23,53/2,962
THE Igbo genocide is the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa. This genocide has been executed by Nigeria and its suzerain-state Britain since 29 May 1966. It inaugurated Africa’s current age of pestilence. It is the longest and one of the bloodiest genocides of contemporary history. The genocidists murdered 3.1 million Igbo (25 per cent of the Igbo population) during phases I-III of the genocide, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970. They have murdered tens of thousands of additional Igbo in phase-IV, 13 January 1970-present day. 

No single nation or people in Africa has suffered such an extensive and gruesome genocide and incalculable impoverishment in a century as the Igbo. As Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe demonstrates in this authoritative study, Britain is the principal agent in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide. Britain had sought to “punish” Igbo people for their vanguard role in the campaign to terminate the British conquest and occupation of this southwestcentral region of Africa from the 1930s-October 1960. 


NOWHERE else in Africa nor indeed the South World, during the 1950s-1970s, does any of the seemingly departing European occupying-powers in a conquered country effectuate the crime of genocide on a constituent people as a means of safeguarding its strategic interests. Britain’s sordid record in Nigeria is exceptional. In fact at the apogee of phase-III of the genocide in 1968-1969, Prime Minister Harold Wilson reminded the world, on record, of the end game of this dreadful mission he chiefly directed from the comfort of his residence and office at 10 Downing Street, London, 3000 miles from Biafra. Wilson informed Clyde Ferguson, the US State Department special coordinator for relief to Biafra, that he, Harold Wilson, “would accept a half million dead Biafrans if that was what it took” Nigeria to destroy the Igbo resistance to the genocide. As the final tally of the murder of the Igbo shows, Harold Wilson probably had the perverse satisfaction that his Nigerian on the ground allies did perform far in excess of his grim target. 

The longest genocide – since 29 May 1966 concludes that Britain and its client genocide-prosecuting state Nigeria will surely account for this crime as both states are fully aware, being signatories to the relevant international treaties, that there are no statutes of limitation in international law in the pursuit, apprehension, prosecution and sentencing of individuals and institutions involved in committing genocide. Genocide is a crime against humanity. And this is indeed a heinous crime against the Igbo humanity.

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is a specialist on the state and genocide and wars in Africa. He is the author of several books including African Literature in Defence of History: An essay on Chinua Achebe (2001), Biafra Revisited (2006), Readings from Reading: Essays on African History, Genocide, Literature (2011) and author, with Lakeson Okwuonicha, of Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)


Publication date: 22 January 2019

Key subjects book covers: Igbo genocideBiafraBritish complicityHarold Wilson, conquest of Africapost-conquest Africaself-determination, restoration-of-independencefreedom, future of Africa

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE
africanrenaissance1@gmail.com

Cover Design
Mr Leroy Cristof

The longest genocide – since 29 May 1966 is available from

1. amazon.co.uk 

2. amazon.com

3. amazon.ca

4. amazon.de

5. amazon.fr

6. amazon.es

7. amazon.it

8. amazon.co.jp

Kindle edition of book:
(https://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.com/2019/01/blog-post_25.html)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

In a stunningly rare exposition, Italy openly reminds fellow EU member state France that its current wealth and prestige lie in the French continuing occupation and expropriation of “francophonie” Africa

 (Luigi Di Maio: ... stunningly rare exposition on France from Italian ally)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

LUIGI DI MAIO, the Italian deputy prime minister, couldn’t be franker in raising the subject of France’s continuing occupation and expropriation of the peoples and states of so-called francophonie Africa. 

In a speech in central Italy last weekend (John Irish and Gavin Jones, “France summons Italian envoy after Di Maio’s comments on Africa”, Reuters, Paris, 21 January 2019), Di Maio pinpoints one of the key empirical embodiments of contemporary France that is derived directly from its Africa conquest: 
If France didn’t have its African colonies, because that’s what they should be called, it would be the 15th largest world economy. Instead, it is among the first, exactly because of what it is doing in Africa … If we have people who are leaving Africa now its because some European countries, and France in particular, have never stopped colonizing Africa … I have stopped being a hypocrite talking about the effects of immigration and it’s time to talk about the causes … The EU should sanction all those countries like France that are impoverishing African countries and are causing those people to leave.
(For an expansive essay that focuses on this French occupation, expropriation and immiseration of Africa, see Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “‘Francophonie Africa’ works!”,
https://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.com/2015/10/herbert-ekwe-ekwe-since-the1960s-there.html)
(John Coltrane Sextet, “Out of this world” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Donald Garrett, clarinet, bass; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jonesdrums; recorded: live at Penthouse Jazz Club, Seattle, US, 30 September 1965])

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author, with Lakeson Okwuonichaof Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)


Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Laurent Gbagbo is free!

(Laurent Gbagbo: ... freed of all charges at the International Criminal Court, The Hague, Holland)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

CÔTE D’IVOIRE’s former head of regime Laurent Gbagbo has been freed by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Holland, where he has been detained since 2011, accused of “crimes against humanity”. He is found “not guilty” to all the charges brought against him.
Gbagbo’s detention and charge in the ICC, at the very instance of France, were obviously suspect, right from the outset.

Sarkozy & Obama

France, under the staggeringly racist President Nicolas Sarkozy, had earlier on invaded Côte d’Ivoire with full support of the new US President Barack Obama 
(https://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.com/2018/07/herbert-ekwe-ekwe-main-thrust-of-ex-us.html), overthrew Laurent Gbagbo, and installed Allassane Ouatarra, its francophonie acolyte, to power. The French murdered 2300 Ivoriens during the course of the invasion and destroyed significant residential and industrial districts of Abidjan in its stride.

FRANCE’s decision to hand over Gbagbo to the ICC was a cynical ploy to cover up this glaring crime of invasion and also allow its Ouatarra stooge to consolidate the imposition. France and Britain, particularly, have ensured that the stretch of genocidists from a Nigeria, for instance, are shielded from appearing at the ICC, whilst they cooperate readily and send critical African leaders to the court. The ICC, consequently, has been rendered utterly redundant.

For Barack Obama, first African-descent US president in 233 years of the US republic, his support of this French invasion of an African state was the deadly first salvo fired in his aggressive foreign policy to Africa during his eight years in office which also included the tripartite US-British-French invasion of Libya and murder of head of regime Muammar Gadaffi, and, most catastrophically, Obamas support of the raging Igbo genocide. An abhorrent presidential legacy indeed.

CÔTE D’IVOIRE heartily awaits the return of Laurent Gbagbo home.
(Max Roach Quartet, “A variation-part I” [personnel: Roach, drums; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Mal Waldron, piano; Eddie Khan, bass; recorded live, The Jazz Workshop, San Francisco, US, 27 October 1962])

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author, with Lakeson Okwuonichaof Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)
                                                                                                                                 

Sunday, 13 January 2019

88th birthday of Flora Nwapa

(Born 13 January 1931, Ugwuta, Biafra)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

OKEE NWANYI MMADU, first African (continental) woman published novelist – Efuru, 1966, and, soon after, Idu, which she begins to work on at the onset of the Igbo genocide (mid-1966) and later publishes in 1970.

Nwapa’s landmark works as well as those of sociologist Kamene Okonjo’s project the legacy of the historic complementarity of Igbo gender relations, not the fractious/antagonistic/conflictive relations which define/defined the experiences and inheritance in some other histories, some other geographies… Thus, Nwapa and Okonjo’s foundational works open up the expanse of possibilities in Igbo Women/African peoples-centred studies in which the scholarship, artistry and writings of subsequent generations of intellectuals, working worldwide, have flourished immensely.

(Jaki Byard Trio, “Trendsition zildjian” [personnel: Byard, piano; David Izenzon, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Prestige, New York, US, 31 October 1967])


*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author, with Lakeson Okwuonichaof Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe



49th anniversary of Nigeria’s launch of phase-IV of the Igbo genocide

(resplendent Biafra flag: ... on the ascent...)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

WHAT IS NIGERIA? This is Africa’s most notorious genocidist and kakistocratic state, currently led by Fulani islamist/jihadists whose homeland is in the Futa Djallon highlands of northwest Africa, 1500 miles away.

Nigeria was created by Britain in the early 1900s after the latter’s conquest and occupation of  the constellation of states of nations and peoples in the southwestcentral region of Africa including the republican Igbo states to the east, stretching to the Atlantic coast, the west monarchical Edo and Yoruba state configurations and the expansionary militarist Arabo-islamist Fulani feudal principalities to the north. A hundred years on, genocidist Nigeria remains a British client-state, run on its behalf  by its Fulani confederate. It exists principally to serve Britain and this local overseer conglomerate and continues to offer Britain outlandishly excellent returns, if one uses any conceivable socioeconomic/geostrategic variable, year in, year out.

Igbo genocide: Africa’s age of pestilence

Nigeria inaugurated Africa’s current age of pestilence – starting from that dreadful mid-morning of Sunday 29 May 1966 when it embarked on the studiously-organised mass murder of its Igbo population domiciled in north Nigeria and later elsewhere in the country and subsequently expanded to Biafra. Britain, under the premiership of Harold Wilson, coordinated the genocide to “punish” the Igbo for this nation’s vanguard role in leading the campaign to terminate the British occupation during the course of the mid 1930s-October 1960. 

IN THIS foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, Anglo-Nigeria murdered 3.1 million Igbo people or 25 per cent of the Igbo population in 44 months, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970. Africa had not witnessed the unspeakable barbarity and range of such slaughtering of a people for 60 years; definitely, not since the German-organised genocide against the Herero, Nama and Berg Damara peoples of southwest Africa between 1904-1907.

BESIDES Britain, Nigeria was supported in the execution of the Igbo genocide by a range of (now) collapsed states and failed/failing states which provided it with critical military, financial, political and diplomatic resources: principally the Soviet Union, German Democratic Republic, Egypt, 
Syria, the Sudan, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Chad, Niger, Guinea-Conakry. Since 12 January 1970, 12 million additional Africans have been murdered in further genocides and other wars in Africa carried out by similarly ruthless African regimes (especially in Rwanda, the Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo) and their foreign allies, including France.

Phase-IV ... and abhorrent legacy of US’s first African-descent president

On 13 January 1970, 49 years ago to the day, evidently not content with the appalling magnitude and consequences of its death campaign, Nigeria launched phase-IV of the genocide which now focused on degrading/dismantling the surviving frames of the (pre-genocide robust) Biafran economy, pulverised during phases-I-III of the previous 44 months, a programme intertwined gruesomely by spates and stretches of pogroms in which thousands of additional Igbo have been murdered. These murders have continued, unabated, to this day, as catalogued in the following link, especially from sub-title phase-IV
(http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/phase-i-sunday-29-may-1966-30-march.html)

SINCE imposing jihadist-genocidist trooper Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s head of regime in March 2015 in a collaborative deal with David Cameron, former British prime minister, ex-US President Barack Hussein Obama actively supported this phase of the Igbo genocide (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/herbert-ekwe-ekwe-this-piece-is.html) particularly in his last two years in office. Being the first African-descent president in the US of 233 years of history and given the scourging dehumnisation of the African humanity in the US and elsewhere in the Americas during the stretch of this period, Obama’s support of this raging genocide against the Igbo, an African people in this continent of his fathers, is an incalculable tragedy, this presidential legacy of catastrophic proportions. Since Buhari was installed in power, 3000 Igbo have been murdered by his genocidist military and his two other adjunct forces, Boko Haram and Fulani militia – two of the world’s five deadliest terrorist organisations

Neither Obama’s White House nor his state department nor his embassy in Nigeria ever condemned any of these murders. It had been left to the audacious outreach of the London-based Amnesty International to shatter the deafening silence emanating from the Obama presidency on this ongoing genocide (https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/11/peaceful-pro-biafra-activists-killed-in-chilling-crackdown/, accessed 23 November 2016). 

Breakthrough

THE IGBO will overcome this genocide, despite the horrendous assault and its evidently hydra-headed drive. They possess the resilience to survive and triumph over this ordeal. They surely will. This Igbo resistance to the genocide is arguably the most defining struggle underway in Africa currently. The breakthrough of the Biafra freedom movement, very much on the cards, is of immense epochal consequence for Biafrans and the future direction of Africa. One cannot exaggerate the import of this development.
(Alice Coltrane Quartet, “Lord, help me to be” [personnel: Coltrane, piano; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Rashied Ali, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 6 June 1968]) 

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author, with Lakeson Okwuonichaof Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe






Saturday, 5 January 2019

Ghana, Aburi accords, Igbo genocide: 52 years to the day of unprecedented African diplomatic initiative to halt gruesome genocide in southwestcentral Africa


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

I HAVE argued variously  that without the ferociously pursued British military, diplomatic and political support to its client Fulani islamist/jihadist-controlled Nigeria state in southwestcentral Africa, right from the outset, the Igbo genocide, this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, would probably not have occurred (see, for instance, Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “Rights for Scots, Rights for the Igbo”,
http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.com.br/2012/01/rights-for-scots-rights-for-igbo.html). 

Definitely, the Nigerians would not have embarked on the third phase of the genocide, the direct invasion of Biafra, beginning on 6 July 1967, without receiving firm support for the operation from Britain. Colonel Robert Scott, who was a British military advisor on the invasion, later broke ranks with his employer, to acknowledge, gravely, that as the Nigerians unleashed their attacks on Biafran towns and villages, they were the “best defoliant agent known” (Daily Telegraph, London, 11 January 1970). 3 million Igbo people were slaughtered during the course of the 30-month stretch of invasion, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970, phase-III of the gnocide

Resilience despite catastrophe

Earlier on, 100,000 Igbo had been murdered by the genocidists in waves after waves of meticulously-coordinated savage campaigns across the entire north region of Nigeria as well as in parts of the country’s Yoruba/west, Lagos and midwest regions during phases I and II of the slaughter – 29 May 1966-5 July 1967. Two million Igbo survived and escaped from these killing fields and returned to the east. Such a sudden influx of displaced people was a major task that confronted the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu government in Enuugwu. The resources of the east had been stretched extensively between 29 May 1966 and December 1966 after it allocated £3 million in emergency funding for the expansion of housing units, office space, schools, and recreation facilities to cope with the returnees. Thanks to the region’s booming economy and the remarkable intervention of its esteemed extended-family system in “absorbing” a high proportion of the welfare needs of the returnees, the east was able to avert what was potentially a major humanitarian catastrophe. Unlike the distressful imagery often associated with comparable emergencies in contemporary Africa, there was no outside aid involved in this extraordinarily resourceful and successful resettlement programme – not from the Organisation of African Unity, not from the United Nations, and not least from the Yakubu Gowon military junta in Lagos that had itself coordinated the genocide on the ground from the end of July 1966. Biafrans and the rest of the African World must be proud of this thrust of resilience.

IT WAS against this background of the brazen brutalisation of Igbo people by fellow compatriots that the head of neighbouring Ghana’s military administration, General Joseph Ankrah, invited Ojukwu, Gowon and the rest of the members of Nigeria’s pre-Igbo genocide governing military council to Aburi, Ghana, in January 1967 to discuss the Nigerian débâcle. 

Just prior to the Aburi invitation (the previous month, December 1966), Ojukwu had turned down a British-sponsored “conference of mediation” that would involve all the members of the same council on board a British naval frigate anchored off Lagos in which the British would chair. The east governor could not accept the presumption of “neutrality” or “even-handedness” inherent in London’s invitation to host such a summit, considering Britain’s activist role in the Igbo genocide since the weeks and months leading to the outbreak in May 1966, especially its work with the Gowon-Muhammed-Danjuma genocidist cells in the military and the north emirs, as well as with staff and students at the Ahmadu Bello University, the epicentre of the planning and execution of the genocide. Furthermore, Ojukwu, the historian, could not have ignored the lessons of a similar event in the 19th century, 1887. Then, King Jaja of Igwe Nga (Opobo), an Igbo nationalist monarch opposed to British territorial aggression and expansionism along the Atlantic coast of Igboland, was kidnapped by the British navy and exiled to St Vincent, the Caribbean (where he eventually died), after accepting, in good faith, a British offer of “peace talks” on board a British vessel berthed off the Igwe Nga shores, the Bight of Biafra.

Extraordinary

The Aburi African-led and controlled diplomatic initiative and resultant summit are indeed extraordinary, the likes of which we haven’t seen on the African political scene since. After two days of talks, 4-5 January 1967, the delegates achieved an exceptional degree of agreement, in spite of the genocide of the previous seven months. A brief examination of the key points of the agreement underscores our conclusion. Two areas require comment. First, the resolution that focuses on the renouncement of force and the importation of arms: (1) “renounce the use of force as a means of settling the present crisis in Nigeria” (2) “agree that there should be no more importation of arms and ammunition until normalcy [is] restored”. Second, the provisions that deal with the ruling military council of which Gowon had declared himself “supreme commander” since he seized power (29 July 1966) during the course of the genocide and the reorganisation of the army. Four articles are relevant here: (1) “military is to be governed by the Supreme Military Council” (2) “creation of area command corresponding with the existing region and under the charge of an area commander” (3) “during the period of the military government, military governors will have control over their area commands on matters of internal security” (4) “agree that any decision affecting the whole country must be determined by the Supreme Military Council and where a meeting is not possible such a matter must be referred to military governors for comment and concurrence”.
Jackie McLean Sextet, “Appointment in Ghana” [personnel: McLean, alto saxophone; Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Tina Brooks, tenor saxophone; Kenny Drew, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Art Taylor, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 1 September 1960])  

Peer-review: “cleverest”, “compulsive-logic”

IN EFFECT, the Aburi decision to transfer the constitutional responsibility of the Nigeria military from the position of the supreme commander to the supreme military council extensively limited the executive (and “legislature) powers of the position of “supreme commander and head of state” which Gowon had exercised in the previous seven months of the genocide (these powers were originally contained in General Aguyi-Ironsi’s January 1966 decree no.1 which had made the occupant of that office, and not the SMC, the principal person in charge of decision making in the country). In future, following the Aburi accord, “any decision affecting the whole country must be decided by the Supreme Military Council” (added emphasis) – namely, the eight members that made up the body gathered in Ghana including, pointedly, the military governors of the regions of which Ojukwu, the only member that had refused to recognise genocidist Gowon in that position, was one.

It is of immense significance that this provision on the new powers of the SMC also states that “where a meeting [of the SMC] is not possible such a matter must be referred to military governors for comment and concurrence” (added emphasis). This referral procedure was aimed evidently at meeting Ojukwu’s contention, repeatedly stated throughout the meeting, that he would not attend any meetings in Nigeria where the Nigerian military, which had played the central role in the prosecution of the Igbo genocide, was positioned and operating. Ojukwu had in fact converted the Aburi gathering into a peer-review session, unprecedented in recent African history. Here at Aburi, an African leader bluntly told his colleagues, who only 18 months earlier would have all shared the conviviality of an officers’ mess or one of the other’s residence to wine and dine, that he had no confidence in them and the troops they commanded because they had been involved in the perpetration of a genocide that claimed the lives of 100,000 Africans within nine months. This was indeed an historic rendezvous. It would take another 40 years for the world at large to increasingly begin to lecture African leaders to openly condemn crimes committed by one of their own (Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “Nigeria does not deserve UN Security Council”,
http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.com.br/2010/10/nigeria-does-not-deserve-un-security.html)

Back to Aburi (1967), Ojukwu had laid bare, for the crucial reckoning of African history, the apposite moral and juridical dilemma surrounding the status of lead-genocidist commander Yakubu Gowon. Ojukwu had insisted at the talks that Gowon must neither be seen nor aided by his peers to appropriate the position and the powers invested in Nigeria’s top political and military leadership after his perpetration of the mass murder of tens of thousands of Igbo people and the murder of General Aguyi-Ironsi, the commander-in-chief, under whom Gowon served as chief of army staff.  Ojukwu’s reply to a question about Gowon’s status, posed by Mobalaji Johnson (governor of Lagos), was undoubtedly the turning point at Aburi. It led to the challenge and dramatic reconfiguration of Gowon’s acquired position and powers that he had exercised so ruthlessly since 29 July 1966. Astonishingly, this outcome was approved and signed by all the eight principal participants at the meeting, including Gowon himself! – Colonel* Adebayo, west region governor; Colonel Ejoor, midwest region governor; Colonel Gowon, head of the genocidist forces in control of Lagos/west/north regions; Major Johnson, Lagos region governor; Colonel Katsina, north region governor; Colonel Ojukwu, east governor; Mr Salem, head of police, and Commodore Wey, head of navy.

Following objections that Ojukwu had earlier made during the proceedings to one of the participants who referred to Gowon as “supreme commander”, Johnson had asked: “Is there a government in Nigeria today? Is there a central government in Nigeria today?” Ojukwu: “That question is such a simple one that anybody who has been listening to what I have been saying would know that I do not see a central government in Nigeria today.  [Following the genocide] Nigeria resolved itself into three areas – Lagos, West and North area; the Mid-West area; and the East area”. 

OJUKWU was in effect highlighting the territorial reach and distribution of the Gowon-controlled genocidist forces across the country – Lagos/west-north regions where they occupied, and the east and midwest regions, which were still free of their presence. In the light of Aburi, Gowon’s overall control of the Lagos/west/north regions had in fact come under question. With the newly acquired powers of individual governors on the supreme military council at the expense of those hitherto wielded by Gowon, it followed, for instance, that the governors of Lagos, west and north (where the Gowonist forces were entrenched) would in future be expected to exercise greater powers of control in their respective regions than Gowon.

IF AN audio-recorded transcript of the entire deliberations of the Aburi conference did not exist today** as a treasured historic document, it would have been extremely difficult to appreciate Ojukwu’s phenomenal success in persuading the rest of the participants to accept an extensively decentralised structural solution to Nigeria’s crisis after the devastating first and second phases of genocide, looting, and the displacement of 2 million Igbo people. That Gowon, himself, appended his signature to this Ojukwu prepared text at a gathering that had, as a result of these developments, clipped his powers so extensively, was not just because the east governor was the “cleverest … the only one who understood the real issues” (quoted in Olusegun ObasanjoMy Command [Ibadan and London: Heinemann, 1980] p. 10),  as writer Walter Schwarz has observed, or that the rest of the conferees were “too unserious[ly] minded to meet with Ojukwu’s compulsive logic” (ThisWeek, Lagos, 13 July 1987, p. 23),  as Joe Garba, a leading genocidist officer in the Gowonist forces and Nigeria’s foreign minister in the 1970s, has noted. On the contrary, Gowon and each of the other Nigerian leaders at Aburi (Adebayo, Ejoor, Johnson, Katsina, Salem, Wey – all of whom, bar Ojukwu, had recognised Gowon as “supreme commander and head of state” since end of July 1966) signed this remarkable document because they were each and collectively in awe of the frankness and rectitude of Ojukwu’s strictures of them for executing such a despicable act of genocide against Igbo people during the course of 1966.
(Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu: ... cleverest , compulsive logic)

Britain, Yoruba, and them all

OVERNIGHT, the outcome of the Aburi discourses radically altered the contours of the political landscape of Nigeria. The centralising features of Aguyi-Ironsi’s decree no. 34 dispensation of the previous year, since adopted by the Gowon junta, despite the irony, had been abandoned. More importantly, though, the powers of the regions vis-à-vis the centre had become more enhanced – much more than at any time in Nigeria’s history, even including the epoch of the feverishly-pursued British occupation’s “regionalisation drive” of the 1950s. Aburi had in effect inaugurated an extensively decentralised constitutional solution to the Nigerian impasse, to the consternation of the British, who had followed the talks with nervousness, the north, the military, and the central, essentially Yoruba(now)-run bureaucratic establishment in Lagos. Obafemi Awolowo, the Yoruba leader, would later join the opposition to Aburi when offered the princely position of deputy to Gowon’s genocide prosecution-cabinet, effectively regime prime-minister, and head of the powerful finance ministry and “chief theorist” of the genocide campaign.
(Obafemi Awolowo: ... genocidist “chief theorist” and head of finance ministry)

BRITAIN rejected the Aburi outcome out of hand and began to pressurise Gowon, who for two days during the Ghana conference was out of reach from his British intelligence minders for the first time in almost a year, to renege on it. Britain was therefore pleased when the north and other interest groups in Nigeria joined in the opposition against the accord. 
(Yakubu Gowon: ... head of genocidist forces who signed the Aburi accords thanks to Ojukwu’s “compulsive logic”)

Gowon’s ultimate renegation of an accord that he signed, willingly, in Ghana, in the presence of all the other seven members of the Nigerian governing military council, their five secretaries, and General Ankrah, their host, was a reminder, if ever such an evidence was sought, of who, eventually called the shots at the crucial junctures of the course of the Igbo genocide: Britain. Such was the British disappointment of Gowon’s performance in Aburi that they ensured that Gowon would in future no longer be “exposed” to Ojukwu or any of these Igbo with “compulsive logic”. Subsequently, the often more “coherent” spokespersons who tried to put across some “form of explanation” of the Anglo/Nigerian position on the Igbo genocide, especially in Britain where there was a groundswell popular opposition to the slaughter, were from a hired pool of consultants of ex-British conquest administrators who had worked in Nigeria.
(Harold Wilson: ... British prime minister furiously opposed to the Aburi accords and lead advocate of the final solution to the “Igbo Question ... Just 18 months after Aburi, Wilson would insist on record: “[I] would accept a half million dead Biafrans if that was what it took...” Nigeria to destroy the Igbo resistance to the genocide.)

SO, the Aburi critics launched a chorus of fierce opposition on the accord, forcing the Gowon junta to renege on the agreement a few days after returning to Nigeria from Ghana. The groups felt that Gowon and the rest of the non-east delegation at Aburi had capitulated to Ojukwu’s uncompromising censure of his former colleagues’ involvement in the Igbo genocide. As a consequence, notes the critics, Ojukwu had out-manoeuvred fellow conferees in accepting as de jure the increasingly autonomous political direction which the east had embarked upon in the wake of the genocide, in addition to according this same status to the other regions of Nigeria – a move that further eclipsed Gowon’s powers as “head of state”.  But for the east, the implementation of the Aburi agreement was the minimal condition for maintaining further political links with Nigeria: “It was Aburi or a clean break with Nigeria”. 

In a radio broadcast in Enuugwu in February 1967, Ojukwu gave notice that the east would begin to implement the Aburi agreement as from the end of March (1967) even if Gowon and the rest of the accord’s signatories did not do so. Gowon responded by threatening to attack the east if it went ahead to implement the agreement. Ironically, Gowon’s threat was itself a clear violation of one of the key articles of the accord, which pronounced unambiguously: “renounce[d] the use of force as a means of settling the Nigerian crisis”. Ojukwu nonetheless went ahead to implement the Aburi accord after 31 March. This move further enhanced the virtually autonomous position that the east had had in relation to the rest of the country since especially October 1966. For his part, Gowon imposed a total economic blockade of the east. Effectively, this was the prelude to his forces’ invasion, the expansion of the territorial reach of their yearlong genocidal campaign on the Igbo to Igboland, Biafra, itself.

Phase-III 

THIS “final solution” of the Igbo Question” had become the proffered one since sought by the British and their Nigerian genocidist allies  particularly Fulani, Yoruba, Hausa, Edo, Kanuri, Urhobo, Tiv, Nupe, Jukun and Bachama. And they soon unleashed a cataclysmic surge of violence in Biafra, the most gruesome and expansive in Africa, in which 3 million Igbo children, women and men or 25 per cent of this nation’s population were murdered by 12 January 1970.

++++++++++++++++++++++

*All military rank references here to the Aburi conference participants are statuses achieved and recognised prior to the outbreak of the Igbo genocide, 29 May 1966.

**There are persistent indications that the east conference staff may have additionally filmed the Aburi meetings and their tape(s) are lodged safely in some archives.


*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author, with Lakeson Okwuonichaof Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe