suzerain-state, then under the premiership of Harold Wilson, and the composite aggregation of its Nigeria client-state on the ground, 3000 miles away in southwestcentral Africa – military officers, the police, Fulani emirs, muslim clerics and intellectuals, students, civil servants, alimajiri, journalists, politicians, other public figures – planned and embarked on the Igbo genocide.
Thus, as far as African critical opinion is concerned, despite its wide geographical spread, Africa’s state-organised mass murderers who slaughter an African people in Africa, it would appear from this devastating history of five decades, can literally get away with murder. Shocking! Unpardonable!
YET the Igbo genocide by the Fulani & co and other Africa-based state/estate’s horrendous crimes against African peoples and nations are distinct empirical determinants of those distressing lines sketched in historian Chancellor Williams’s commanding insight of Africa’s devastating history as shown here:
Now the shadows lengthened. The Europeans had also been busily building up and training strong African armies. Africans trained to hate, kill and conquer Africans. Blood of Africans was to sprinkle and further darken the pages of their history … Indeed, Africa was conquered for the Europeans by the Africans [themselves], and thereafter kept under [conquest] control by African police and African soldiers. Very little European blood was ever spilled. (Chancellor Williams, The Destruction of Black Civilization, 1995: 218)
Neither Britain nor Nigeria can destroy the Igbo determination to be free. Igbo are irrepressible. Igbo will restore Biafra’s independence. No one can stop this outcome. Biafra’s restoration-of-independence signals to the rest of the constituent peoples or nations i.e., pre-conquest and occupation of Africa, 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...
(Andrew Hill Sextet, “Dedication” [personnel: Hill, piano; Kenny Dorham, trumpet; Eric Dolphy, bass clarinet; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone; Richard Davis, bass; Tony Williams, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 21 March 1964])
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is a specialist on the state and genocide and wars in Africa. He is the author of several books including The longest genocide – since 29 May 1966 (2019), Readings from Reading: Essays on African History, Genocide, Literature (2011), Biafra Revisited (2006), African Literature in Defence of History: An essay on Chinua Achebe (2001) and co-author, with Lakeson Okwuonicha, of Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)