(Professor Nwanoku is here interviewed by Sergio Mims, Arise News, 12 May 2015)
Rethinking Africa is a forward looking blog dedicated to the exchange of innovative thinking on issues affecting the advancement of African peoples wherever they are. We provide rigorous and insightful analyses on the issues affecting Africans and their vision of the world.
(Professor Nwanoku is here interviewed by Sergio Mims, Arise News, 12 May 2015)
(Born 15 October 1938, Abeokuta, Nigeria)
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe(Fela Ransome-Kuti and the Africa 70, “Everything Scatter” [recorded: LP Nigeria, Coconut PMLP1000, 1975])
(Nnamdi Kanu and his loving parents)
(The New York Contemporary Five, “Consequences” [personnel: Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Don Moore, bass; JC Moses, drums; recorded: live, Jazzhus Montmarte, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 November 1963])
(Born 13 October 1909, Toledo, Ohio, US)
Piano virtuoso, arguably the most influential jazz pianist in history
(Art Tatum Trio, “Blues in C” [personnel: Tatum, piano; Benny Carter, alto saxophone; Louie Bellson, drums; recorded: Pablo Group, New York, US, 25 June 1954])
(Born 13 October 1902, Alexandria, Louisiana, US)
I have seen a few video clips and posts regarding the so called charitable immunisation exercise allegedly being carried out by soldiers in Anambra. I have also heard that children are being immunised without parental consent.
To me this is criminal. It can only happen in a primitive country. For starters you cannot immunise a child without parental or guardian consent. It’s child abuse and assault. Secondly you must know a child’s immunisation history before you administer a vaccine to avoid repeating those that the child has already developed immunity against, unless a serological test confirmed that the immunity is absent or partial. Also some children may have allergies which could lead to fatal outcomes if they are vaccinated. You cannot also vaccinate an ill child and some vaccines contain live organisms which can cause fever and even febrile convulsion if unchecked, so the parents need to be properly counselled prior to vaccinating their wards. Pls this barbaric and unsolicited nonsense must stop pronto.
A constrictor cannot be a lifesaver. So it is reasonable to reject anything medical from a python.
One of the numerous problems of Nigeria is the systematic assigning of the wrong job to the wrong people. A trained engineer is encouraged to do the job of a medical doctor or a lawyer. In the same vein, someone without a vocational training at all is assigned the job of an automobile mechanic or a carpenter. Thus, the military who ordinarily should mark the external enemy have found themselves with no job of substance to do, hence, they find their way into national politics, producing misleaders, such as Buhari. Because the army and other segments of the armed forces are idle, they are programmed to kill and brutalize hapless citizens as we've seen in the ill-fated Oppression Python Dance II in the South East.
As if they were not satisfied with the scale of damage and destruction inflicted on the Igbo civilian population, the army started forcing their way into schools in the region, claiming that they were there for a free medical mission to pupils. The most irritating of this uncouth imposture is forcing little kids at gun point to be vaccinated. The question has been why the forced vaccination? When did the job of the Ministry of Health become that of the army, especially an army with a notoriety for killing Igbo youths under the flimsiest guise? Flashback to my childhood days. The Health authorities announced a periodic inoculation exercise for kids. Parents would willingly take their wards to the designated centres. This was done devoid of any force, coercion, threat or bullish intrusion into the private lives of families. Every parent realised it was in the child's interest to be inoculated. So, we all got the jab on the upper arm. The scar remains till date. Contrary to today's Ministry of Health doing the job, the army who are in a killing field in Biafraland have suddenly extended their obnoxious services to inoculating our children without our consent; whether we like it or not.
What sort of repressive society is this? Whose idea was it?Interestingly, the Imo State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association has risen to the occasion by faulting the so-called army inoculation, and advised parents and schools not to submit to that. Very succinct to the letter. Embarrassed by the pandemonium it has caused as pupils and their parents were running helter skelter to avoid it in Anambra State, the unusual voice of the State governor, Willie Obiano was heard asking the army to suspend the exercise, pending enough sensitization. One begins to imagine that an Igbo governor could now advise the army to stop! But when our youth were being mauled to death by army bullets in Asaba, Nkpor and Abia State, no Igbo governor could raise a finger of protestation. No Igbo politician advised the ruthless army to hold back. The good news though is that the Igbo populace have zero-trust where the Nigerian Army are concerned. Any politician who thinks that a sensitization exercise would be a fore-runner of an army inoculation exercise on our children should please get real. An Igbo adage says, “the lizard marks the footsteps of those who would pelt it”. In this era of unconscionable terror of Fulani herdsmen, and 97% versus 5% voting pattern, monkeypox and army rampage in the East, everyone should concentrate on their vocational training. Army's vaccination in the East is ill-willed!
Only a lunatic would suggest that Nd’Igbo should go for any form of vaccination from a hateful regime that only weeks ago murdered our sons in broad daylight. Only a monumental idiot would advise onye Igbo obuna to accept possibly poisoned chemicals when only recently our children were suffocated in mud water while many others were brutally shot dead… Any clown of a priest that tells parents to go for any vaccination at this stage deserves the combined visitation of Amadioha, Udo and Ogwugwu... And even more: the visitation of angry Igbo mob. Ndi aruru ana kagbulu onwe fa n’uka!!!!
(The New York Contemporary Five plays Don Cherry’s composition, “Consequences” [personnel: Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; Cherry, pocket trumpet; John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Don Moore, bass; JC Moses, drums; recorded: live, Jazzhus Montmarte, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 November 1963])
Pharmacist, award-wining influential novelist and journalist – publications include the classic, The Street (1946), Country Place (1947), The Narrows (1953), Tituba of Salem Village (1955, novel for children), Harriet Tubman: Conductor of the Underground Railroad (1960, non-fiction)(Born 12 October 1908, Old Saybrook, Connecticut, US)
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe(Alice Coltrane Sextet featuring Pharoah Sanders, “Isis and Osiris” [personnel: Coltrane, harp, piano; Sanders, soprano saxophone, percussion; Charlie Haden, bass; Vishnu Wood, oud; Rashied Ali, drums; recorded: live, Village Gate, New York, US, 4 July 1970])
(New York Art Quartet, “Mohawk” [personnel: John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Roswell Rudd, trombone; Reggie Workman, bass; Milford Graves, drums; recorded: Nippon Phonogram, New York, US, 16 July 1965])
PRODIGIOUS DRUMMER and bandleader whose band, The Jazz Messengers, cofounded with multifaceted pianist and composer Horace Silver in 1954, becomes a conservatoire for over 30 years, developing the careers of scores of graduates who would subsequently contribute immensely to the landscape of improvisation and composition in the jazz repertoire – Messengers’ alumni include the following, grouped by their key performing instrument: trumpet (Clifford Brown, Donald Bryd, Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard), trombone (Curtis Fuller, Julian Priester, Slide Hampton, Steve Turre, Robin Eubanks), alto saxophone (Lou Donaldson, Jackie McLean, Bobby Watson, Donald Harrison), tenor saxophone (Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin, Hank Mobley, Wayne Shorter, John Gilmore, Billy Harper, Bill Pierce, Javon Jackson, Jean Toussaint, Branford Marsalis), piano (Kenny Drew, Walter Davis, Jr., Benny Green, Wynton Kelly, Bobby Timmons, Jaki Byard, Keith Garrett, Cedar Walton, John Hicks, Mulgrew Miller, James Williams), and bass (Doug Watkins, Wilbur Ware, Spanky DeBrest, Jymie Merritt, Reggie Workman, Charles Fambrough, Lonnie Plaxico, Essiet Okon Essiet)(Born 11 October 1919, Pittsburgh, US)
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe(Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, “Mosaic” [personnel: Blakey, drums; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Curtis Fuller, trombone; Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone; Cedar Walton, piano; Jymie Merritt, bass; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 2 October 1961])
(A 2001 news account quoted Haruna’s testimony to the Nigerian Human Rights Violations Investigations Commission [HRVIC], the “Oputa Panel,” which was formed in 2000):
“As the commanding officer and leader of the troops that massacred 500 men in Asaba, I have no apology . . . I acted as a soldier maintaining the peace and unity of Nigeria.”
This quote has been widely circulated online, and Haruna has often been named as the perpetrator of the massacre. However, Haruna was nowhere near Asaba at the time and could not have been involved. In 2016, Haruna wrote to us that his words were taken out of context and used to bolster the Igbo case for genocide. Furthermore, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, he maintained his position that there never was a massacre: “The so-called Asaba massacre is a figment of propaganda!” Essentially, Haruna’s statements on Asaba are contradictory and self-serving, and are not useful in establishing what happened.
“Twenty of our men were selected and lined up in front of us and told as follows, ‘Today, I be your God. Me first, God second. God give you life, me I go takem. Two minute time you go die.’ ... Two minutes afterwards these 20 men were shot. Another 20 were picked up and the same ritual followed.”
Apparently tiring of killing individuals with rifles, the soldiers then readied machine guns, both mounted on trucks and freestanding, and mass shooting began. Fifteen-year-old Ify Uraih had joined the parade with his father and three older brothers, Paul, Emmanuel (Emma), and Medua; he described what happened:
“Some people broke loose and tried to run away. My brother was holding me by the hand; he released me and pushed me further into the crowd . . . They shot my brother in the back, he fell down, and I saw blood coming out of his body. And then the rest of us … just fell down on top of each other. And they continued shooting, and shooting, and shooting ... I lost count of time, I don’t know how long it took … After some time there was silence. I stood up … my body was covered in blood, but I knew that I was safe. My father was lying not far away; his eyes were open but he was dead.”
Exactly how many died in this single incident is unclear; around 700–800 seems likely, in addition to many who had died in the previous days. Sporadic shooting continued for hours until darkness caused the soldiers to disperse…
“My cousin said we should wait till it was dark so that we could go together, and I agreed. You could hear the sound of the injured crying. One man, who heard us talking, he was as old as my father. He had his hand almost severed from the rest of his body. And he told me that he had a knife, that I should please help him amputate the hand ... I told him I could not do it. He died later. I knew his children.”
Ify Uraih and his cousin ran to their grandmother’s house, where they found his sisters and three younger brothers. He told them their father and three older brothers were dead; later he learned that Medua had survived, gravely wounded, and had been carried to the bush by his friend.
Community elders Michael Ugoh and Leo Okogwu were among large numbers of the leading age grades to die. With all the men in hiding, it was left to women and children to attempt to retrieve the bodies of their fathers, brothers, husbands, and other relatives and then drag them back to their compounds for burial. Joseph Nwajei, the boy who had returned with family from Ibadan, had escaped into the bush from the family compound after watching the earlier execution of his uncle George, a prominent civil servant. When he returned a few days later, he learned of the death of his two brothers, aged 12 and 17, in the mass shooting:
“Mum told me that in the evening hours of the 7th, she had to go and look for their corpses at the mass place where they were shot . . . Mum, in the evening, was able to identify their corpses, took them in a wheelbarrow, pushed them to the family house, where they were buried. So, I never saw their corpses, I never saw their bodies.”
Most victims, however, were dumped in mass graves or thrown into the Niger. Few people had any opportunity to conduct requisite burial practices – an affront that is deeply resented to this day. When it was safe to move about, Frank Ijeh, a local Red Cross worker, enlisted surviving men to dig hurried, shallow graves wherever they found bodies around the town: “There are so many, I cannot remember. So many, so many, so many.” In spite of these efforts, many lay unburied for several days. Interviewed in 1977, a Mrs. Mordi reported that “for nearly two days . . . the soldiers wouldn’t let us come near . . . without opening fire. It was only when the stench of decaying corpses was all over the place that the soldiers relented . . . ” She retrieved her husband’s body, but not that of a Catholic lay brother, Ignatius Barmah, who had died beside him. She was able to put tinyele’a, a white cloth, over him – an important ceremonial act usually done by close relatives. Esther Nwanze recalled how wives went searching for their husbands, dragging them home if they could find them: “Some dragged two days before they reached home.” (pp. 47-49)
“... Harold Wilson is totally unfazed as he informs Clyde Ferguson, the United States 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 ...” (Roger Morris, Uncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy, London & New York: Quartet Books, 1977, p. 122 – quoted from Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “Igbo genocide, Britain and the United States”, re-thinkingafrica, 4 October 2015, http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/herbert-ekwe-ekwe-conquerors-concord-in.html)
PERSPICACIOUS pianist and composer whose seminal works include a range of contributions to the jazz repertory standards with his “Round Midnight” being the most recorded standard of all time(Born 10 October 1917, Rocky Mount, NC, US)
(The master at work! Thelonious Monk’s solo here on the classic “Blue Monk” begins at 3.10 minutes into this performance [Thelonious Monk Quartet] for 3 minutes after tenorist Charlie Rouse’s own majestic offering [personnel: Monk, piano; Rouse, tenor saxophone; Larry Gales, bass; Ben Riley, drums; recorded: University Aula, Oslo, 15 April 1966])
ONE OF THE most outstanding poets of the African World, academic, and race and cultural theorist, statesperson, first African president of Sénégal, September 1960, following the termination of 300 years of the French conquest, occupation and immisiration(Born 9 October 1906, Joal, Sénégal)
(John Coltrane Sextet, Dakar [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone, Cecil Payne, baritone saxophone; Pepper Adams, baritone saxophone; Mal Waldron, piano; Doug Watkins, bass; Art Taylor, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 20 April 1957])
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe(Charles Mingus Sextet, “Passions of a man” [personnel: Mingus, piano, vocals; Jimmy Knepper, trombone; Rahssan Roland Kirk, flute, siren, tenor saxophone, manzello, strich; Booker Ervin, tenor saxophone; Doug Watkins, bass; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: Atlantic Studios, New York, US, 6 November 1961])