Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

IGBO TENACITY, resilience,  and relentless optimism to pursue and terminate the British conquest and occupation of their homeland and embark on a societal reconstruction and transformational aftermath are acutely an affront to both the sardauna of Sokoto (northwest Nigeria) and British occupation sensibilities in Nigeria. This is particularly evident during the 1930s-1960s epoch when Igbo people spearhead the termination of the British occupation of the states and peoples of southwest central Africa.

The sardauna interview (video linked) must have been recorded in the late 1950s/early 1960s – definitely after both the 1945 and 1953 north Nigeria-organised pogroms against Igbo immigrant populations in Jos and Kano respectively. Hundreds of Igbo were murdered during the pogroms and tens of thousands of pounds sterling worth of their property were looted/destroyed at the time. Each pogrom was carried out because of the Igbo vanguard role in the restoration-of-independence movement to free Nigeria from the British conquest and occupation, begun in the mid-1930s. North Nigeria’s socio-political leaderships, effectively British regional clients, were opposed to the restoration of African freedom. No other leadership across the entire Southern World (Africa, Asia, the Caribbean/South America) has such an unenviable record during this unprecedented epoch of transglobal freedom charge.

Invading Fulani and British armies and aftermaths

North Nigeria leaderships, indeed, were disposed to the continuing British occupation of Nigeria. These Fulani Islamist-Arabo-“Africans”, originating from the Fouta Djallon highlands in northwest central Africa, had, at the turn of the 19th century, embarked on the grand-scale invasion of the stretches of states and peoples to the east of this Sahelian African region (largely contemporary north/north central Nigeria) with its conquering army ultimately “converging” with Britain’s own, separate invading force at the time (and France’s to the Fulani’s west and north/northeast operational flanks on the ground). It is the meeting of these two invading armies – the British, from Europe, and the Fulani, from northwest central Africa – and the rationalisation of their dual long-term strategic goals of the conquest and occupation of these prized African states and peoples (what emerged as conquered Nigeria) that is key, central, in our understanding of the inner workings of the British-Hausa Fulani Islamist/Arabo north Nigeria relations today, 2017, 200 years after.

SOME SCHOLARS in the past have tended to ignore the epochal catastrophic consequences of this Fulani invasion on Africa subsequently as if the cataclysmic outcome wrought by an invader “originating from Africa” rather than from outside the continent (Europe, Asia, the Americas…) is somehow “more tolerable”, less of historical ruinous significance. On the contrary. Following this Anglo-Fulani 19th century accord, the sardauna, Ahmadu Bello, himself the great-grandson of Usman dan Fodio, the head of Fulani invasion force, is adamant, less than a forthnight after Britain’s presumed departure from Nigeria of precisely what “post”-(British)conquest Nigeria presents for the Fulani: “Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather, Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the North [region] as willing tools, and the South [region] as conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future” (The Parrot, 12 October 1960, quoted in Remi Oyeyemi, “The Northern Agenda”, NigeriaWorld, 24 October 2002). This is the context, not unpredictable as the video below demonstrates, that the sardauna is again adamant that as leader of north Nigeria he would rather offer his British interviewer an appointment in his region (“an expatriate like yourself”, as the sardauna puts it in the interview), than to an Igbo or any other (Nigerian) nationals from south Nigeria.

It is therefore not in the least surprising that, in year 2015, 55 years after the essentially bogus sovereignty that Nigeria exercises, this “country”’s current head of regime, a genocidist and putschist operative, is imposed on the peoples, thanks to a raft of machinations in which Britain (this time under the premiership of David Cameron), in keeping with its Anglo-Fulani early 19th century accord/pact, plays a critical role.

Enslaved spaces and 20th/21st centuries replicas
Earlier, we must stress, it was as result of this Anglo/Fulani accord that the British occupation regime did not apprehend or prosecute anyone in north Nigeria for either the 1945 or 1953 north leadership-planned Igbo pogroms and the outrages became the “dress rehearsals” for the 29 May 1966-12 January 1970 Igbo genocide when the Nigeria state (as a wholeinvolving other constituent nations including the Yoruba, the Edo and Urhobo of the west region) with full Britain involvement, and others, murdered 3.1 million Igbo or 25 per cent of this nation’s population domiciled in Nigeria and in their Biafra homeland. Britain, nor in fact any of the other pan-European conquerors of Africa (France, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Germany), did not create a Nigeria, or whatever bogus names these “Berlin states” in Africa are called, as precursor for African emancipation. On the contrary, the Nigerias of Africa are more of replicas of the enslaved plantations of the Americas (in the previous epoch of nearly 400 years) to perpetuate European World control and exploitation of Africa and Africans in perpetuity.
The enslaved Igbo encountered this with unrelenting courage and defiance in the enslaved estates in the Americas (north, south and the Caribbean), as history shows, and wouldn’t have it either at home! Evidently, the sardauna interview should be part of History/Politics 101 course on Africa because it does tell one, in a nutshell, the “fate” of the Igbo in Nigeria that north Nigeria, with the firm support of Britain, had, carefully, contrived right back in the 1950s. Except the Igbo people had signed up for a concerted suicide, they definitely couldn’t see their destiny emplaced in this space of certain death and immiseration.
Neither race nor geography is “primary”

This has been the cardinal lesson of the Igbo genocide. Thankfully, some Igbo who was still not sure of the long-term implications of the continuing Nigerian occupation of their homeland (since 13 January 1970) have had a baptism of enlightenment since the video of the sardauna interview was released! Suddenly, historical records become opportunities for rare streams of conscientization… Alas, neither the British nor the Fulani invasions should ever have been categorized tactically as  “primary” and the other  “secondary” by the Igbo resistance or any of the other African nations and states attacked during the course of this devastating history. Each invasion aftermath, Fulani, British,  has been equally gruesome and calamitous; surely, the aftermath of the invasion and occupation of a people is not necessarily dictated by the geographical nor racial origin of the invading agency.


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