Showing posts from March, 2009

Biafra: The Tragedy of Misplaced Priorities

By Emeka Eze “At present, we are enveloped in darkness…. Providence has done much for us in this contest, but we must do something for ourselves” (Gen. Washington to James Mchenry) Article 2 of the Vienna Declaration and programme of Action States, “ All peoples have the right of self determination, by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status, and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” The Article went further to say, “taking into account the particular situation of peoples under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation, the world conference on Human Rights recognises the right of peoples to take any legitimate action… to realize their inalienable right of self determination” The excesses of this article are for meaningful development. All human rights instruments are for a common good. Where the common good is not forthcoming, the prevailing situation would be that of “violation” amounting to confusions and th

Breakthrough, Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe For 43 years, African peoples have waited patiently, sometimes in understandable despair, for this laudable news report from The Hague: the issuance of an arrest warrant, by the International Criminal Court, to apprehend the head of an African regime to stand trial for “war crimes and crimes against humanity”. Thanks to the work of Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the court’s indefatigable chief prosecutor, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan has the unenviable accolade as the first “head of state” in office to be so indicted. In the past six years, his regime has murdered 300,000 Darfuri (in west Sudan) and forced 2.5 million survivors into refugee camps in neighbouring Chad. Since 29 May 1966, when the north Nigerian political, religious and military establishment ordered its own janjaweed to attack Igbo population centres across the entire stretch of north Nigeria – killing, raping, looting, wasting and heralding the first phase of the Igbo genocide, the gruesome total of 15 million Afric

More than a rag-tag controversy

By Akeem Soboyede Published: Thursday, 5 Mar 2009 “It will be a long, long, long time, possibly generations, before passions die out over the Nigerian Civil War.” — Prof. Wole Soyinka, The Man Died (1972) The ferocious conflict that pitched the Nigerian federation against the break-away Republic of Biafra ended in January 1970. But you wouldn’t know this if you followed the controversy ignited by statements recently credited to outgoing Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, retired Brigadier-General Oluwole Rotimi. First, a background. For some weeks, rumours had floated among Nigerians in the Washington, DC area that the relationship between Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Ojo Maduekwe, and the man who heads the “crown jewel” of Nigerian missions abroad, the ambassador to the United States, was far from cordial. Rotimi had assumed his post only in April 2008; his boss, the Foreign Minister, was said to have a fondness for visiting the Washington, DC area. Protocol demanded that during