When Adolf Hitler wrote his famous book, “Mein Kampf”, prior to the Second World War, basically detailing his atrocious intents, which then finally culminated to the so called final solution, the world bodies took him for granted. Today we know better. And only after the damages have been done, could the world bodies find the suitable word “Holocaust” for the systematic atrocities the then German NS committed against humanity, with over 6 million innocent souls created by Mother Nature, wasted in the most brutal and painful way anybody could ever imagine.
Interestingly; even as we remain ever grateful to the allied forces and others that made immeasurable sacrifices to finally put that carnage to an end, It is important to note that most of the nations that formed the allied forces against Hitler’s war machines were drawn into the war not necessarily because of the atrocities being committed by Hitler and his German NS against humanity, but because of Hitler’s infringement on their National interests.
This seems to have been the basic problems till date concerning the sacrosanct and advancement of human rights, even after the United Nations universal declaration of human rights and the establishment of the International Criminal court.
And just as the world bodies unanimously resolved then that never again should Genocide occur under their watch, as unfortunate as it may be, it happened again and again. In Bosnia, in Sarajevo, in Biafra , in Cambodia, in Rwanda, in Darfur, in Bangladesh, in East Timor, in Burundi, in Somalia, in Ba´athist Iraq ,in Guatemala, in Northern Iraq and Syria etc. and is today looming in the Nigerian Enclave again against the Biafrans – the ethnic Igbo ancestral lineage.
The United Nations’ Genocide Convention defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”.
Taking out the Rwandan Genocide for example, where even a group of none organized army of Hutu ethnic extraction were involved in hacking down their fellow compatriots of ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutus as a vendetta action to the purported shooting down of their Hutu president by Tutsi militia, and happening just as a protracted debate was ongoing in the United Nations general assembly then, over the right choice of words to describe the situation, presumably in order not to commit the member states to act promptly as supposed in cases of genocide. These debates were on-going as defenseless men, women, and children of ethnic Tutsi extraction were crying for help in churches, streets, and even had to run to places of shelter in Rwanda run by the United Nations peacekeepers thinking they were save. The desperation as we all now know even got to a point that some have to plead to the United Nations peacekeepers to allow them a humane death by shooting them instead of allowing them to be hacked down by machetes, stones, stocks etc. of fellow countrymen who were just on nothing but a mission of ethnic cleansing, but all to no avail.
When one considers today that a strong statement from the United Nations at that point in time could have made the difference, it becomes even more pertinent to ask the simple question why such a disastrous failure from the very body that should be the natural guarantors against such crimes?
But behold it took the intervention of the RPF, under the command of Paul Kagame, to finally stop the genocide even without the assistance of the United Nations. Thus leaving one to wonder if the United Nations would ever have adopted the word Genocide at all, had the Hutu militia, after the Genocide succeeded in forming the new government of Rwanda.
This is not meant in any form to blame or discredit the United Nations, if we take into cognizance the fact that the actions and inactions of the United Nations are simply a reflection of the actions and inactions of its member states especially the most influential ones with permanent seats at the Security Council.
Drawing parallel to the holocaust, where most of the nation states that formed the allied forces and others that joined hands to bring the German NS regime to an end, were drawn into the war as a result of Hitler’s infringement on their National interest and not necessarily the crime against humanity perpetrated by the then German NS, it then becomes comprehensible why such a disaster as the Rwandan Genocide could be allowed to occur under the watch of the United Nations who then preferred to debate over the right choice of words as Genocide was being perpetrated.
One would easily presume as in the case of the Rwandan Genocide that none of the influential member states of the Security Council felt its national interest being threatened by the situation in Rwanda then. So, one could afford to spend more time on debating the right choice of words to avoid unwarranted commitments.
Bringing this closer to then carpeted Biafran genocide, where denial had even become more convenient till date, even after the perpetrators themselves proudly give the number of Igbo ancestral ethnicity they wasted in that Genocide as over 3 million, using not only arsenals but also mankind’s greatest weapon of mass destruction of all times (starvation of the entire Biafran civilian populace through a world food blockade program to Biafra), to the utter silence and shocking total compliance of the United Nations, long before Saddam Hussein had been accused of possessing weapons of mass destruction. According to the New York Times, on 10th January, 1968, “Federal troops… killed, or stood by while mobs killed more than 5000 Ibos in Warri, Sapele, Agbor…”.
Today as we can all see the only argument left for the Autocrats of the Nigerian Enclave for declaring war against the Biafrans then was purely an official state sponsored vendetta action to overtake the already ongoing pogrom against the Biafrans in other parts of the Nigerian enclave at that time which they in no way had any interest in bringing to an end to the heartland of the Biafrans, in retaliation for their even till date purported Igbo coup plot of January 1966. This even becomes more glaring if we realize that the same Autocrats had to recklessly abandon the Aburi peace accord they were signatory to without offering any credible alternative other than resort to war. Also to the best of my knowledge there was no issue of secession brought up in that accord which they could have claimed to be the reason for them abandoning it outrightly.
Now coming to think about it the population of the then Nigerian Army as at January 1966-1970 was put to be about 18000-126000. Comparing this to the population of citizens of ethnic Igbo extraction as at that time which stood at about 15, 0000000, it simply becomes mathematically impossible, even if the whole of the 18000-126000 Nigerian Army population as at that time (1966-1970) were of ethnic Igbo extraction and everybody participated in the coup, that the totality of the 15000000 populace of ethnic Igbo extraction could have done a coup, if we simply factor in that coup plot is a military act.
Besides ever since January 1966 till date the military of the Nigerian Enclave had metamorphosed from one coup plot to another. From the Gowon’s counter coup plot of July 1966, to Murtala Mohammed’s coup plot of 1975, the Dimka’s coup of 1976, The Mohammad Buhari‘s coup of 1983, the Ibrahim Babangida’s coup of 1985, the Gideon Orka’s coup of 1990, the Sani Abacha’s coup of 1993 with subsequent replacement with Abdulsalam Abubakar after his death etc.
Interestingly none of these subsequent coup plots till date, successful or botched, had been linked to the ethnicity of the coup plotters to warrant a reprisal vendetta action talk less of declaration of war or stigmatization and ethnic cleansing of the entire civilian populace of the coup plotters ethnic extraction, except for the January 1966 coup that till date is still officially being regarded as an Igbo coup with persistent stigmatization of the Igbos in the Nigerian Enclave even years after the pogrom and the Biafran genocide.
It then seems clearer that genocide could not only be allowed to occur or even repeated while the world prefer to look the other way, when the National interest of one or the other of the influential Member State of the United Nations security council is not threatened, or rather can even be totally carpeted and denied when through the act of the genocide the interest of one or the other of its influential member states in the security council is actually being protected.
Today once again in the Nigerian enclave and in Biafra land the same perpetrators of the first Biafran Genocide are out again to repeat it the second time just to crush the civic request of the Citizens of their inalienable right to self-determination as inscribed in the United Nations charter.
It is no gain saying that Muhammadu Buhari, the present Nigerian leader, was quoted to have said that he will kill more Igbos (in repeat of the first Biafran genocide in which he and his fellow autocrats wasted over 2 million innocent lives of majorly Igbo ethnic extraction) should the need arise again (now the quest for self-determination) to keep his state Tyranny called “One Nigeria” which according to him and his fellow Autocrats is none Negotiable. “I don’t have any regret, and at such do not owe any apology to them, Infact if there is a repeat of the civil war again, I will kill more Igbos to save the country”. (Naira land 02.07.2015)
In recent times, even after the United Nations, in its report presented at Awka, on Nigeria’s Common Country Analysis, CCA, has revealed a deeply divided society on the basis of the plurality of ethnic, religious and regional identities that had tended to define the country’s political existence. According to Vanguard of 05.09.2016, that division has further degenerated to outright ethnic intolerance.
Quit notice had been issued from Citizens of Northern extraction through their Arewa youth Group for the Citizens of Igbo ethnic extraction to leave northern Nigeria by first of October or risk being killed in their hands.
Audio recordings in original ethnic Hausa language had outrightly called for the extermination of the Igbos. Thus copying the famous Adolf Hitler’s idea of “Final Solution”! Also concerns and counter threats had been issue from different quarters.
And even after the United Nations Human rights experts had called for reprimand of the originators of this incitement, they had reiterated their stand. According to the Republican News of 01.09.2017 one Yusuf Musa, a member of the Arewa youth group, was quoted to have said:
“We still insist that the Igbos will leave our Land or risk being killed as done in the 1967-1970 Biafra war, we don’t care what our leaders say in the media, leave our Land or we will soak their blood in our land, this time nothing will stop it not even the UN”.
And to the shocking dismay of the entire populace and the UN, none of these fellows had even been invited for interrogations talk less of being arrested.
But behold under the pretense of a military operation to curb crime, of which the most troubling of all crimes to him was the Quest for self-determination, Muhammadu Buhari and his present day ethnic Fulani formatted and loyal Army command of the Nigerian Enclave, declared open their Operation Python Dance 11 in the south east Nigeria (A military combat operation in none combatant, civilian populated environment). Simply stated declaring war on the civilian populace of Igbo extraction in their heartland of the south east Nigeria, for daring to quest for their inalienable right to self-determination as inscribed in the United Nations charter with quite a number of deaths and carnage to the civilian populace as a result.
Thus officially igniting the preamble to the looming Genocide against the citizens of Igbo extraction of the Nigeria Enclave, in concurrence with the quit notice issued by his Arewa youth group and the incitement audio recording openly calling for the extermination of the Igbos, which originally surfaced in his ethnic Hausa language in the internet even before the said October 1st deadline, stipulated in that quit notice for the Citizens of Igbo extraction to leave northern Nigeria.
I have always asked if the views expressed in that quit notice or that expressed in that audio recording had in any form ever differed from that of Muhammadu Buhari and his Islamic Sokoto Caliphate against the Igbos.
Why then should anybody wonder that no attempt was made to reprimand the originators of such incitement act of Genocide by the Buhari led authorities?
Reflecting on former statements of Muhammadu Buhari even prior to being elected president of the Nigerian Enclave, I have always found this one very captivating.
“God willing, by 2015, something will happen. They either conduct a free and fair election or
they go a very disgraceful way. “If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again
happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon (Citizens of the Nigerian Enclave) would all be soaked in blood.’’ Muhammadu Buhari. (Vanguard 15.05.2012)
Following this inciting statement was a wind of violence in the northern part of the Nigerian Enclave which claimed lives of over 800 innocent citizens including youth corpers serving their fatherland after graduation, with subsequent explosion of Boko Haram Terrorism. And behold till date Muhammadu Buhari had never even apologized for this statement and the subsequent loss of innocent lives of fellow citizen. But rather he and his complots are today using the same incident as a convenient excuse for the invasion and ransacking of southern Kaduna communities by the rampaging herdsmen of his larger ethnic Fulani Nation, spread in Mali, Niger, Senegal, Chad etc. and who according to them were cut up in that violence of 2011 whereby they are now on a revenge mission for their losses then.
Now that the sheep has been handed over to the wolves and Mohamadu Buhari has taken over the mantle of leadership of the same Citizens he see nothing wrong in soaking with blood if they fail to elect him; and having the state security forces which he has long done everything to reform its command to conform with his ethnic loyalty under his control, it would be very naive thinking for the world bodies to assume that he will hesitate a second in soaking anybody, whose view is standing on his way to totalitarianism, in blood just as we are presently witnessing in the Nigerian Enclave under him.
To this effect I humbly ask, whose National interest among the influential and powerful member States of the United Nation security council is being protected by the previous Biafran Genocide, the present Tyranny in the Nigerian Enclave represented by the leadership of Muhammadu Buhari, and the looming Genocide in the Nigerian Enclave against the Citizens of Igbo ethnic extraction once again, that the world could afford to look the other way, since with all certainty such is in no way protecting the interest of the citizens of Nigeria Enclave?
Presuming that there is none, I passionately appeal to the United Nations human right commission, the European Union High commission on Human right, and all concerned world civil rights organizations to please weigh in now in strongest terms to stop this looming genocide before it happens.
It is now still more cost effective, less disastrous and live saving and more dignifying than sending food aid and distributing refugees among your member nations in Europe and elsewhere later when it happens.
The Citizens of the Nigerian Enclave are just asking for one thing, namely to be allowed to live in dignity and justice in a society free of Tyranny.
As this year’s United Nations General Assembly Debate is due next week with the perfect matching theme (“Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.”), and as Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to be in attendance, It would be interesting to accord him optimal time and full audience to explain to the leaders of other member states of the United Nations and the world in general why he and his fellow autocrats fanatically sees that as asking for too much from the citizens of the Nigerian Enclave? The precursor for Genocide in the Nigerian enclave has long fermented.
Dr. Benneth Onoh writes from Germany. He can be reached by email HERE.