Tuesday, 1 April 2014

On this first day of April – Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month: Genocidist generals, Genocidist “theorists”

Phase-I – Sunday 29 May 1966-30 March 1967: Igbo genocide killing fields of generalling and “theorising”…

The following north and west Nigerian cities and towns, where 100,000 Igbo are murdered so gruesomely between May 1966 and March 1967, bear the stamp of perpetual shame as dominant sites of the perpetration of this crime against humanity: Sokoto, Katsina, Zaria, Kaduna, Kano, Kaura-Namoda, Nguru, Bauchi, Gombe, Saminaka, Yola, Kafanchan, Damaturu, Ningi, Darazo, Gusau, Birnin-Kebbi, Bukuru, Numan, Jos, Yola, Keffi, Wase, Langtang, Takum, Mangu, Jebba, Shendam, Kantangora, Minna, Gudi, Mada, Mokwa, Ayaragu, Wukari, Makurdi, Ilorin, Zungeru, Otukpo, Gboko, Ilorin, Lafia, Tanglawaja, Lagos (especially Ikeja suburb), Ibadan, Abeokuta, Osogbo, Oyo, Auchi, Agenebode, Benin, Sapele, Warri…

Phase-II – 31 March 1967-5 July 1967: Igbo genocide killing fields of generalling and “theorising”…

The genocidist high command imposes a land, aerial and sea blockade of Igboland, Africa’s highest population density landmass outside the Nile Delta, as prelude to the invasion of Igboland, Biafra, which begins on 6 July 1967. To ensure that the 12 million Igbo people are indeed bottled-up in their homeland, the genocidists excise Biafra’s southeast peninsular of Bakassi, contiguous to Cameroon, and “award” this territory to the regime in Yaoundé, headed by Ahmadou Ahidjo. The conditions on the ground are now in place for chief genocidist “theorist” Obafemi Awolowo, a lawyer, a “senior advocate” of the Nigeria bar, who is also vice-chair of the genocide-prosecuting junta (prime minister) and head of finance ministry, to formulate his “starvation”-weapon strategy on Igbo people which begins to have its devastating direct effect and concomitant impact as from mid-1968. Unlike the experience of tens of thousands of Yoruba people who thronged across the west Nigeria-Benin Republic frontiers, seeking refuge in Benin and elsewhere in west Africa during the intra-Yoruba conflicts of 1963-1965, Awolowo “reckons” that the Igbo must be denied similar access to a destination of refuge (outside their homeland) through the only other contiguous land border they have besides Nigeria, namely Cameroon. This restricted space for Igbo domicility to negotiate, in the wake of the planned, soon to be launched total genocidist onslaught on Igboland, would guarantee the optimum range or outcome of the Igbo slaughter so envisaged in the Awolowoist projection…  

Phase-III – 6 July 1967-12 January 1970: Igbo genocide killing fields of generalling and “theorising”…

Nigeria expands the territorial range of the genocide, begun 14 months earlier, 29 May 1966, by launching a land and sea-borne attack on Igboland, Biafra, on 6 July 1967. Right from the outset of the invasion, the genocidists establish on the ground and employ rape of Igbo girls and women and public execution of Igbo boys and men as pivotal instruments in waging this campaign. Every Igbo town or village overrun by the Nigerians becomes a haunting milestone in an inexorable march of rape, death, and destruction: Obollo Afo ... Obollo Eke ... Enuugwu-Ezike ... Opi ... Ukehe ... Nkalagu ... Owgwu ... Abakaleke … Eha Amuufu ... Nsukka ... Enuugwu ... Agbaani ... Asaba ... Ogwashi-Ukwu ... Isele-Ukwu ... Onicha-Ugbo …Agbo …Umunede ... Onicha ... Oka ... Aba ... Udi ... Ehuugbo ... Ehuugbo Road ... Okigwe ... Umuahia ... Owere ... Abagana ... Igwe Ocha/Port Harcourt ... Ahaoda ... Obiigbo ... Azumini ... Umu Ubani/Bonny ... Igwe Nga/Opobo ... Ugwuta ... Amasiri ... Akaeze ... Uzuakoli ... Invoking Nazi-style “search through population-round off-isolate-and-destroy” tactics in overrun non-Igbo towns and cities such as Calabar, Oron, Ikot Ekpene, Uyo, Ogoja, Obubara, Obudu, Nkarasi and Eket, the genocidists meticulously profile Igbo nationals. Thousands of such profiled Igbo are shot at sight or marched off and later executed at city limits, forest firing-range sites, river banks, or at specifically dedicated genocidist-occupied barrack venues.

Nigerian genocidists have indeed become some haematophagous monster let loose in Igboland, slaughtering away to the hilt… And just in case anyone doubts the endgame of this mission, three shrilling, chilling proclamations, scripted with unmistakeable Stheno-precepts of obliterating intent, punctuate the scene as the following shows:

1. The ghoulish anthem of the genocide, broadcast uninterruptedly on state-owned Kaduna radio (shortwave transmission) and television and with editorial comments on the theme, regularly published in both state-owned New Nigerian (daily) newspaper and (Hausa) weekly Gaskiya Ta fi Kwabo during the period, has these lyrics in Hausa:

Mu je mu kashe nyamiri
Mu kashe maza su da yan maza su
Mu chi mata su da yan mata su
Mu kwashe kaya su 
(English translation: Let’s go kill the damned Igbo/Kill off their men and boys/Rape their wives and daughters/Cart off their property)

2. Benjamin Adekunle, one of the most notorious of the genocidist commanders in southern Igboland, makes the following statement to the media, including foreign representatives, in an August 1968 press conference: “I want to prevent even one I[g]bo having even one piece to eat before their capitulation. We shoot at everything that moves, and when our forces march into the centre of I[g]bo territory, we shoot at everything, even at things that don’t move” (The Economist [London], 24 August 1968)

3. Harold Wilson, prime minister of Britain, the key “centre”-world power that crucially supports the Igbo genocide militarily, diplomatically and politically right from conceptualisation to actualisation (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.com.br/2013/07/britain-and-igbo-genocide-now-for_19.html), is totally unfazed when he informs Clyde Ferguson (United States State Department special coordinator for relief to Biafra) that he, Harold Wilson, “would accept half a million dead Biafrans if that was what it took” the Nigeria genocidists to destroy the Igbo resistance to the genocide (Roger Morris, Uncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy [London and New York: Quartet Books, 1977]: 122).

These declarations to murder/destroy the Igbo people are brazenly made, without any ambiguity, by representatives of Nigeria and Britain and by a publicly-funded Nigeria broadcaster, barely 20 years after the deplorable perpetration of the Jewish genocide by Nazi Germany in which 6 million Jews were murdered. These two states, Nigeria and Britain, it should be stressed, are signatories to the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide. Importantly, Britain is one of the key victor-states of the anti-Nazi German war alliance that worked on the drafting of this convention. It therefore requires a brief examination of yet another proclamation made on the Igbo genocide – this time by Olusegun Obasanjo, the third Gorgon stalking Igboland as the slaughtering intensifies, to understand what accounts for this extraordinarily blatant Anglo-Nigerian propagation of the mass murder of the Igbo of southwestcentral Africa in the mid-1960s/early 1970s, despite the cataclysm of the Jewish experience in Europe just two decades earlier.

In May 1969, Obasanjo, who had recently taken over the command of the Benjamin Adekunle-death squad, orders his air force to shoot down any Red Cross planes flying in urgently-needed relief supplies to the millions of surviving but encircled, blockaded and bombarded Igbo. Within a week of his infamous order, 5 June 1969, Obasanjo recalls, nostalgically, in his memoirs, unambiguously titled My Command (London and Ibadan: Heinemann Educational Books, 1981), genocidist air force pilot Gbadomosi King “redeem[s] his promise”, as Obasanjo puts it (Obasanjo, 1981: 79). Gbadomosi King shoots down a clearly marked, incoming relief-bearing International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) DC-7 aircraft near Eket, south Biafra, with the loss of its 3-person crew.  Obasanjo’s perverse satisfaction over the aftermath of this crime is fiendish, grotesquely revolting. He writes: “The effect of [this] singular achievement of the Air Force especially on 3 Marine Commando Division [name of the death squad Obasanjo, who subsequently becomes head of Nigeria regime for 11 years, commands] was profound. It raised morale of all service personnel, especially of the Air Force detachment concerned and the troops they supported in [my] 3 Marine Commando Division” (Obasanjo, 1981: 79). The consequence of this act of terror across the world is, of course, the expression of revulsion. What does Obasanjo do in response? This is hugely revelatory. Olusegun Obasanjo appeals to Harold Wilson, the British prime minister (Obasanjo, 1981: 165), as Obasanjo, himself, scripts in his My Command, to “sort out” the raging international outcry generated by the destruction of the ICRC plane. For the Nigerian genocidists, the fact that, at the end, they have Britain’s back is critical in their pursuit of this gruesome campaign

There does not therefore appear to be any limits scored or placed on the nature of the outrage committed in the pursuit of the final mission and the publicity generated thereof, even if this is unabashedly reckless. After all, Harold Wilson says that he “would accept half a million dead Biafrans” or 4.2 per cent of the Igbo population for the set goal. But the genocidists on the ground end up murdering 3 million Igbo people – 2.5 million more... Added to the 100,000 already murdered, during phase-I of the genocide, the total number of Igbo murdered is 3.1 million. This represents 25 per cent of the Igbo population at the time – murdered within 44 dreadful months.

Phase-IV – 13 January 1970-Present day: Igbo genocide killing fields of generalling and “theorising”…

By 12 January 1970, genocidist Nigeria, aided principally by its British ally, overruns and occupies Igboland. What follows on the morrow, 13 January (1970), is hardly a truce. The genocide goes on... The genocidists embark on the implementation of the most dehumanising raft of socioeconomic package of deprivation in occupied Igboland, not seen anywhere else in Africa. Each and all the measures (see 1-9 below) constitute one of the five acts of genocide explicitly defined in article 2 of the December 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:  “deliberately inflicting upon the group conditions of life designed to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”
nocide.pdf). Chief genocidist “theorist” (and vice-chair of the genocide-prosecuting junta [prime minister] and head of finance ministry) Obafemi Awolowo and a team of Awolowoist/Awolowoid lawyers and economists and financiers and entrepreneurs from the Yoruba and Edo west Nigeria take full charge in the formulation of this package. This brigandage of terror includes the following nine distinct features to date:

1. Comprehensive sequestration of all Igbo liquid assets in Biafra and Nigeria (as of January 1970), bar the £20.00 (twenty pounds sterling) doled out only to the male surviving head of an Igbo family – in effect, hundreds of thousands of Igbo families whose “male heads” have been murdered in the genocide 
do not receive this dole payment

2. Seizure and looting of the multibillion-(US)dollar Igbo capital assets across Biafra including particularly those at Port Harcourt/Igwe Ocha conurbations and elsewhere and in Nigeria

3. Exponential expropriation of the rich Igbo oil resources from the Abia, Delta, Imo and Rivers administrative regions

4. Blanket policy of non-development of Igboland

5. Non-restoration of destroyed Igbo communication and power infrastructure, including, pointedly, those inflicted by the savage Adekunle-things-that-don’t-move firebombing

6. Aggressive degradation of socioeconomic life of Igboland as critical occupation policy

7. Ignoring ever-expanding soil erosion/landslides and other pressing ecological emergencies, especially in northwest Igboland

8. Continuing reinforcement of the overall state of siege of Igboland …

9. Deportations of resident Igbo people in Lagos to Igboland

What about the killings during this phase-IV of the genocide whose accent appears, as the nine measures above indicate, to be more economic/financial? One would perhaps be forgiven if they thought that, after such a frenzied indulgence in indescribable depravity in mass slaughtering and a trail of destruction for 44 uninterrupted months, and then capped by its current occupation of Biafra, Nigeria would tire out of its appetite to continue the murder of Igbo people. No, not really.  The murder goes on… The genocide, in its totality, goes on… This obligatory haematophagous creature continues its murder of the Igbo, unabated – almost routinely and ritualistically during the course of subsequent years, signposted here by the eerie columns that chart the contours of 21 fresh pogrom outrages with the murder of thousands of Igbo people and the destruction and/or looting of millions of US dollars worth of their property during the course of the last 34 years: 

1980 ... 1982 ... 1985 ... 1991 ... 1993 ... 1994 ... 1999 ... 2000 ... 2001 ... 2002 ... 2004 ... 2005 ... 2006 ... 
2007 ... 2008 ... 2009 ... 2010 ... 2011 ... 2012 ... 2013... 2014

According to the December 2011 research by the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, a human rights organisation based in Onicha, Igboland, 90 per cent of the 54,000 people murdered in Nigeria by the state/quasi-state operatives and agents since 1999 are Igbo people. Since Christmas Day, December 2011, the Boko Haram islamist insurgent group spearheads these murders. At least 80 per cent of people murdered by the Boko Haram across swathes of lands in north/northcentral Nigeria since then are Igbo. Hundreds of thousands of Igbo families have abandoned homes and businesses in the affected region and have returned to Igboland.

Arguably, the Igbo are the world’s most brutally targeted and most viciously murdered of peoples presently. Not since 29 May 1966-12 January 1970 has Igbo life in Nigeria acquired such a gripping existential emergency… Media coverage of Nigerian occupation police murdering-escapades within Igboland itself and Amnesty International’s wider canvass of investigation on the same police barbarities in Igboland and Nigeria (see links below) further underscore the grave characterisation of this ongoing genocide:

(John Coltrane Quartet, “Dusk Dawn” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, NJ, US, 16 June 1965])
There can be no other solution to this longest genocide of the contemporary era but the freedom of the Igbo people from Nigerian subjugation and occupation. Freedom is inalienable. One does not ask for it; one takes it! The 50 million Igbo know they have to take their freedom. The 5 million Scots are presently reminding the world, a stress on this inalienability, that a people don’t necessarily have to have a genocidal history as the Igbo, for instance, to wish to exercise their freedom
(http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.com.br/2012/01/rights-for-scots-rights-for-igbo.html). And reflecting, finally, on genocidal history, it is no coincidence, at all, that this genocide of the Igbo 
occurs in and by Nigeria, the epitome of the “Berlin-state” in Africathat congenital bane of African 
socioeconomic existence, with its befuddling, paradoxical functionality that I have discussed elsewhere

The freedom of the Igbo, one of the most peaceful and very hardworking of peoples, is therefore one of the eagerly awaited news from Africa currently. It will open up unlimited stretches and stream of possibilities for Igbo state and societal transformations, as well as enhanced Igbo contributions to global relations, attributes and opportunities currently entombed in the artificiality, arbitrariness, incoherence, disarticulated and exogenic architecture of the “Berlin-state”. Igbo freedom will surely herald the much sought after process across Africa for the dismantling of this state.

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

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