Monday, 27 March 2017

Why Biafra will unlock several Biafras across Africa within a generation...


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe


NEITHER Britain nor Nigeria can stop the current Biafra freedom train. No one else can.


This Igbo march to freedom, an inalienable right for all peoples, is unstoppable. In the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, Britain in alliance with its ruthless client-state it calls Nigeria, 2960 miles away in southwestcentral Africa, have spent the past 51 years, beginning on Sunday 29 May 1966, waging a most gruesome and devastating murder campaign on Igbo people to destroy this freedom movement.

 

Historically embedded 


Contrary to the often generalised, predictable characterisation evident in international relations discourses, especially currently, the Anglo-Nigeria alliance, particularly London’s historically embedded relationship with that very apex retrograde religio-ideational-regional grouping in genocidist Nigeria is not really as unlikely as some may wish to think 

(https://www.pambazuka.org/democracy-governance/igbo-question-biafra-mission, accessed 26 March 2017). 

Indeed during phases I-III of the Igbo genocide (29 May 1966-12 January 1970), Britain and Nigeria murdered 3.1 million Igbo, 25 per cent of this nation’s population. Since then, the genocidists have murdered tens of thousands of additional Igbo. According to human rights organisations in Biafra, 2000 Igbo have been murdered between October 2015 and presently by the Nigeria regime, currently headed by Muhammadu Buhari, a notoriously fiendish genocidist operative who has been centrally involved in the genocide since 1966. The Igbo genocide is the longest and one of the bloodiest genocides of contemporary history. On the record, no single nation or people in Africa has suffered this extent of a catastrophic state(s)’-premeditated and organised genocide in history as the Igbo.

 

IGBO SURVIVAL from this catastrophe has therefore been one of the preeminently celebratory outcomes of recent history. The Igbo are primed to deploy their phenomenal resilience from this history as it embarks on the expansive reconstructionary endeavour to transform their Biafra homeland into a haven of creativity, humanism and progress, in the wake of the genocide. 


Despite the genocide and occupation, the Igbo control one of Africa’s best-developed multidisciplinary humanpower conglomeration of assets which will be invaluable in the mission ahead. Additionally, they will be tapping into an epoch of immense possibilities in Africa – an Africa that, since 1981, has been a net-exporter of capital to the West World and elsewhere, gargantuan resources that should never leave this continent but retained therein solely for the peoples who have created this wealth, and an Africa whose millions of émigirés in the West World and elsewhere are now net-exporters of capital back to Africa through the latter’s remittances year in, year out 

(http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/rethinking-state-in-africa-whose-state.html).

 

Biafra flowers of rebirth


Biafran reconstruction 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 on their land and on their own terms... The world must now know that Biafra flowers innumerable Biafras of rebirth not seen in Africa for 500 years.

(Jackie McLean Quartet, “Melody for Melonae” [personnel: McLean, alto saxophone; Walter Davis, Jr, piano; Herbie Lewis, bass; Billy Higgins, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 19 March 1962])

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 25 March 2017

88th birthday of Cecil Taylor

(Born 25 March 1929, New York, US)
Virtuoso pianist and one of the preeminent leaders of the free-jazz movement beginning in the mid-1950s, prolific composer, poet, academic
(Two masters’ rare and perhaps only known recording session together: John Coltrane and Cecil Taylor play Coltrane Time, featuring the following four compositions: “Shifting down”, “Just friends”, “Like someone in love”, “Double clutching” [full personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Kenny Dorham, trumpet; Taylor, piano; Chuck Israelsbass; Louis Hayes, drums; recorded: United Artists Records, New York, US, 13 October 1958])
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Friday, 24 March 2017

Igbo don’t have to justify their current freedom mission; no one ever does


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

Affirmation vs retrograde formation

EVEN IF THE Igbo were not subjected to the cataclysmic genocide of 29 May 1966-12 January 1970, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa in which suzerain Britain and its Nigeria client state murdered 3.1 million Igbo or one-quarter of this nation’s population, and the current phase of the genocide that the Muhammadu Buhari regime and its adjunct duo Boko Haram and Fulani militia (erroneously tagged  “Fulani herdspeople” in the media in Nigeria) forces are waging in occupied Biafra, they, the Igbo,  just like any other peoples, have a right to declare themselves free from Nigeria or indeed any other state in Africa they find themselves domiciled if they so wish.

This was precisely why the Igbo didn’t have to offer some justification for its 30 year-old vanguard role (1930s-October 1960) in formally terminating 76 years of the British conquest and occupation of Nigeria, not even to the north region Hausa-Fulani Arabised-islamist political establishment, strategic ally of the occupation opposed to African liberation and progenitor of the prevailing dominant regime forces in Nigeria. It must be continuously stressed, if need be, that no comparable political forces anywhere else in the South World (Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Americas), during this epoch, wanted their lands occupied indefinitely by any of the rampaging conqueror pan-European states (Britain, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain) as this north Nigeria formation. This was why the British aptly “rewarded” the formation with the responsibility of “overseer”, beginning 1 October 1960, to protect Britain’s vast expropriatory economic interests in Nigeria in perpetuity as well as wage a 50-year-old genocide against one of the most enterprising and progressive nations in Africa. The catastrophe that is Nigeria becomes hugely intelligible in the context of this history.

Besides, the compositional aftermath of the (European)conqueror/conquered/conquest-state of Africa (Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, the Sudan, the Congo-B, the Congo-K, Guinea-B, Guinea-C, Guinea-E, whatever!) cannot be the basis of the restoration-of-independence for the peoples as this historic right to freedom affirmation rests incontrovertibly on the hitherto conquered constituent African nation or people – Igbo, Bakongo, Wolof, Luo, Ibibio, Darfuri, Gĩkũyũ, Herero, Efik, Akan, Bakongo, Gur, Ijo, Punu, Ovambo, Bamileke...

Freedom train, not “agitators”

This right to freedom for a people, for all peoples, is inalienable. As I have demonstrated severally elsewhere, it is the state, any state, that is transient; definitely, not the people(s) except, of course, they, such as the Igbo, are a target or programmed for genocide by some state(s) (Britain and Nigeria in this specific case) or some other agency. No one, no people, therefore, has to offer a reason for being free, for freedom

So, the rather perfunctory remarks, “agitating for Biafra”, “Biafra agitators”, often made by some commentators to highlight the current historic drive of the Biafra freedom movement is ironically an assault on the very essence of this freedom. One doesn’t “agitate” for freedom; they, instead, proclaim it: “I am because I am free; I am free because I am”.
(Sonny Rollins Trio, “The freedom suite” [personnel: Rollins, tenor saxophone; Oscar Pettiford, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 7 March 1958])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe



Thursday, 23 March 2017

75th birthday of Walter Rodney

(Born 23 March 1942, Georgetown, Guyana)
One of Africa’s preeminent historians whose A History of the Upper Guinea Coast, 1545-1800 (1970) and How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972) are compulsory references in the study of Africa and African peoples worldwide of the past 500 years
(Lee Morgan Quartet, “Gary’s notebook” [personnel: Morgan, trumpet; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone; Barry Harris, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Billy Higgins, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 21 December 1963])

Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

77th birthday of Ama Ata Aidoo

(Born 23 March 1940, Saltpond, Ghana)
 Distinguished poet, novelist, playwright, academic
(Alice Coltrane Trio, “Lovely sky boat” [personnel: Coltrane, harp;  Jimmy Garrison, bass; Rashied Ali, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 6 June 1968]) 
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

City of Westminster London’s (Britain) Olaudah Equiano commemorative plaque

(City of Westminster London’s (Britain) commemorative plaque for Olaudah Equiano, the outstanding 18th century Igbo intellectual and irrepressible exponent of freedom, at 73 Riding House Street, Paddington, London, where Equiano lived and worked and published his classic, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African in 1789. This building is now owned by the University College London.)
(Ornette Coleman Quartet, “Ecars” [personnel: Coleman, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums; recorded: Atlantic Studios, New York, US, 27 March 1961])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 20 March 2017

Igbo question, Biafra mission


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

THE “Igbo question” is intrinsically linked to the Igbo strategic goal, presently, which is to end the occupation of their Biafra homeland by genocidist Nigeria – imposed since 13 January 1970. This is a structural facet of phase-IV of the genocide, launched by Nigeria and its suzerain state Britain on 29 May 1966. 3.1 million Igbo people or 25 per cent of this nation were murdered by Nigeria and Britain. 

Britain, which sought to “punish” the Igbo for leading the freedom movement to terminate 100 years of the British conquest and occupation of the states and peoples of this southwestcental region of Africa, supported the genocide right from from the outset, from conceptualisation to execution – politically, diplomatically, militarily. As a result, Britain and Nigeria subjected the Igbo to 44 months of uninterrupted, unimaginable carnage and barbarity perpetrated on a people. Pointedly, no single nation or people in Africa has suffered this extent of gruesome and devastating state(s)-premeditated and organised genocide in history.
(George Russell Sextet, “Thoughts” [personnel: Russell, piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, bass clarinet; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt, drums; recorded Riverside Record, New York, US, 28 May 1961])
THE GENOCIDE CONTINUES unabated and Britain’s support continues unflinchingly crucial. For Britain, contrary to the often clanking histrionics of prevailing international politics rhetoric, its strategic alliance here, in this African region, has always been with the islamist, Arabist, north region Hausa-Fulani leadership which vociferously opposed the restoration of African independence from the British occupation throughout the 1930s-1960s epoch. The Igbo steadfastly led this liberation mission. 

It is Britain’s alliance with the Hausa-Fulani leadership, situated atop the prevailing congenital anti-African constellation-equation emplaced in its Nigeria, that makes up the Anglo-Nigerian amalgam that executes the Igbo genocide. It is also from groupings with this same leadership that both Boko Haram (currently the world’s most ruthless terrorist organisation, according to the Institute for Economics & Peace, http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/institute-for-economics-peace-global.html) and the Fulani militia (see also the IE&P’s study on this militia) were created and unleashed to murder tens of thousands of Africans and others in these times.   

Saliency

So, given the critical links between the salient features of the politics of the Nigerian occupation of Biafra and the overarching architecture of the genocidal campaign, it is the case that the Igbo termination of the occupation is at once the beginning of their freedom march from Nigeria and the implementation of an unprecedentedly expansive socioeconomic programme of reconstruction. The route remains Igbo freedom from Nigeria, an inalienable Igbo right with or without the genocide as I have argued severally. If the Scots, for instance, one-tenth of the Igbo population and without a genocide antecedent would wish to leave a union they have largely been exponential beneficiaries for 300 years (“Rights for Scots, Rights for the Igbo”, http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/rights-for-scots-rights-for-igbo.html), the Igbo, surely, don’t require any agonisingly turgid historical and sociological treatise to wish to leave Nigeria.

Reification

Contrary to the amazingly ahistorical discourses on the nature of the state and its survivability in some circles, particularly in Africa where the extant eurocentric conquest social sciences curriculum essentially reifies the “state”, the state is very much a transient relationship in human history: Kemet, Roman “empire”, Ghana “empire”, Mali “empire”, Czarist “empire”, Austro-Hungarian “empire”, Ottoman “empire”, Portuguese “empire”, Spanish “empire”, British “empire”, French Indo-China, Malaya Federation, Anglo-Egyptian-Sudan, Central African Federation, United Arab Republic, Mali Federation, Senegambia Confederation, West & East Pakistan, Soviet UnionYugoslaviaCzechoslovakiaEthiopia, the Sudan... What has indeed been the enduring feature of the state in world history on this accord, thankfully, has rather been “divisibility”, “dissolubility”, “destructibility”, each the antonym of that 3-headed genocidist mantra mouthed off at random by quite a few spokespersons of especially the genocide-state in Africa.

IT IS THEREFORE not surprising that twenty-three (23) new states have, for example, emerged in Europe since the end of the 1980s. Even though a population of about 350 million, one-third of Africa’s, Europeans presently have more states per capita than peoples of Africa! And as history shows, the catastrophe is not the collapse of the state; the catastrophe is the attempt to destroy constituent peoples within the state as the Anglo-Nigeria amalgam has sought in Biafra since 29 May 1966.  Here lies the Igbo question and the historically grounded response of the Biafra mission.

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe