I have a small theory, which I’ve been trying to experiment upon with myself as much as I could, without confusing bias with value- isn’t that what Max Weber took most of his time to tell us? My theory is that, the best time to write a critical political article is when you’ve not had breakfast (and lunch together), for the hunger in your stomach brings the right anger you need to write. Hunger + intellectual anger equals to genius, a great piece of artistic creation! Note that the kind of anger I’m working with, not a violent one but the type that stresses your intellectual reservoir and makes you study & work on things you’d normally let slide. This I’ve further proven this morning as I write this article which started as a little chit-chat on the phone with my sister who’s in faraway Abuja. I hope you all feel my pain as you read. Enjoy.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Sir Edmund Burke
The West assassinated our brightest intellectuals and left us with despots, kleptocrats, thieves and rogues. Christopher Okigbo died in the war-front while trying to defend his region during the Biafran war (Nigerian Civil war 1967-1970). He was killed in Nsukka, the university town where he first started out as a poet, and which he had vowed to defend with his life. Chrisopher Okigbo is widely regarded as one of the most important African poets to write in English. What was he doing at the war-front? What changed his mindset? These are the questions that baffles the mind. Okigbo rejected the first prize in African poetry awarded to him at the 1965 Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, declaring that there is no such thing as a Negro or black poet. A step some other African poets like Dennis Brutus followed later by also rejecting awards that they felt degraded the idea of pan-africanism and encroached the dignity of mankind.
Dennis Brutus’s book, Sirens, Knuckles and Boots, published in Nigeria while he was in jail received the Mbari Poetry Prize, awarded to a black poet of distinction, but Brutus turned it down on the grounds of its racial exclusivity – similar to what Okigbo had done. What did these intellectuals see that most Africans don’t get to see? They had seen the truth behind the international establishments. In December 2007, Brutus was to be inducted into the South African Sports Hall of Fame. At the induction ceremony, he publicly turned down his nomination and said; “It is incompatible to have those who championed racist sport alongside its genuine victims. It’s time—indeed long past time—for sports truth, apologies and reconciliation.” Why would Brutus reject South Africa’s biggest honour in sports? It is because he knew he would have sold his birthright by receiving that award. The initiators were trying to, mildly and latently, lure him to their side. Brutus was aware of this and immediately rejected the Honors, something most people would jump at. Miss such an opportunity to be more famous and decorated? No way! Those who offered the award too probably underestimated him & thought he would fall for such miniature temptation of vainglory.
Patrice Émery Lumumba (2 July 1925 – 17 January 1961) wasn’t so lucky to laugh last over his European enemies. He was murdered in cold blood, he alongside two of his closest allies were gunned down at night by British and Belgian firing squad and his body dissolved with sulphuric acid so his corpse wouldn’t be found! Patrice, a Congolese independence leader, was the first ever democratically elected leader of the country. He was the leader of the mainstream Mouvement National Congolais (MNC) party, Lumumba played a pivotal role in campaigning for independence from Belgium. What was the crime of this very young and bright Congolese politician? He was an unrepentant pan-Africanist and wanted to unite Congo. You will feel nothing but contempt due to the brutality of the Belgians policemen and UK forces, including the American CIA who also wanted Lumumba dead. It was alleged that the ‘almighty’ President Dwight D. Eisenhower of USA had ordered Lumumba’s death. In an interview on Belgian television in a program on the assassination of Lumumba in 1999, Belgian police commissioner Gerard Soete displayed a bullet and two teeth that he boasted he had saved from Lumumba’s body. The question I keep asking myself is, ‘what were Belgian, British and American forces still doing in Congo, a year after the latter’s independence?’ Was the independence real or was it just a ploy to throw the country into chaos and stay around to kill the greatest citizens of the country? I need answers. Patrice is a national hero. He’s to Congo what Awolowo and Nkrumah are to Nigeria and Ghana!
Same thing happened in Burkina Faso with the young military captain, Thomas Sankara who was murdered at 37 years old in a coup led by the dictator, Blaise Compaoré. Look at the similarity in character with Patrice Lumumba, Sankara was a Pan-Africanist, young and vibrant, revolutionary and charismatic. He renamed Upper Volta to what is now known as Burkina Faso (which means ‘Land of Upright Man’) today. Sankara seized power in a 1983 popularly supported coup at the age of 33, with the goal of totally eliminating corruption and the dominance of the former French colonial power. What a vision Sankara had for his nation. He had begun achieving profound results in agriculture, health sector, economy, education, corruption, political stability and security when his life was cut short in a French-backed coup led by Compaoré. Sankara led by example, not as a dictator would compel you normally. Sankara outlawed female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy, while appointing women to high governmental positions( when last did you see a military dictator who respected women?).
What happened after France backed Blaise Compaoré to assassinate and shatter Sankara’s body with bullets during the coup? Compaoré immediately reversed the nationalization policy of Sankara, overturned nearly all of Sankara’s policies, rejoined the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to bring in “desperately needed” funds to restore the “shattered” economy. Compaoré’s dictatorship then remained in power, until it was overthrown by popular protests in 2014 when he attempted to amend the constitution to further extend his 27-year term! As I pointed out from the start, these powerful western powers always spearhead the assassination of every intellectual, visionary African leader then, place an empty-headed imbecile in their stead. Look at the conspiracy and Africans keep playing into their hands. Even today, most youths don’t care to know what happened before their time. If you don’t know, how do you prevent being manipulated further? We cannot afford to make the mistakes our parents made. In Congo, Belgium replaced Lumumba with the Congolese politician they paid to hold the coup, Mobutu Sese Seko who reigned for 32 years of corruption and absurdity! As Edmund Obilo rightfully posits on one of his radio talks on Splash FM 105.5, “sadly, corruption continues to be a state policy in Africa.”
To win the Caine Prize or get well-known international publishers like Bloomsbury to publish your work, one must write slanderous things about his own people, major bad themes about Africa such as maternal mortality, the slave trade e.t.c. Then make sure you look haggard in the book cover picture. In this way, you get published real fast, maybe even get nominated for an international award or two. A little background check on the book cover pictures of Chimamanda Adichie and Buchi Emecheta proves me right. Its the same for any other writer who wants to sell on those international platforms. To win the Booker prize or Caine prize you more or less have to sell-out in some ways to the organizers. Want to know what I mean by selling-out? Go find out whether past winners who are of African origin actually continue to stay in their fatherland. They always leave. Background check on Chimamanda Adichie, Tope Folarin, Ben Okri, Buchi Emecheta, Okey Ndibe & co. proves me right.
What led to the sudden irritation? Chinua Achebe kept talking about the ills in the political and economic scene in Nigeria, but he refused to stay here. He eventually died overseas. The tragedy of post-imperialism and neo-colonialism is when Africans begin to refer to the hardships in their lives as a result of them being Africans. Humankind face hardships generally, be you Canadian, Asian or African. I see Africans playing to the hands of the imperialists if they feel nothing good can come out of themselves because of their origin. Merely reading Chimamanda’s Americanah brings to fore the racism which still exist in our world today. Who has seen Donald Trump’s comments on Barack Obama lately? We all thought racism died with Martin Luther King Jnr. And Malcolm X but the joke’s on us all because racism didn’t died, it still exist in our world today.
We have to bring the reading culture back quickly. Its direly needed. How do we question these forces if we don’t study our history books? There are still thousands of African heroes like Patrice Lumumba and we rarely hear anything about them because they were killed and buried secretly, even the records and legacies of them are near-dead due to the efforts of subsequent shenanigan governments and these powerful Western forces. Now, if the West killed all of Africa’s best minds, do they have the moral or actual right to turn-around & say Africans are monkeys who can’t think, who can’t rule themselves? What did the West leave Africa after centuries of slavery? The truth is, the West killed our best brains & left us with despots like Mugabe, Charles Taylor, Mobutu Sese Seko e.t.c. Now they’ve established all these ineffective charity organisations to bring aid to Africa, such as USAID, IMF, WHO, UNESCO, ICJ… It’s only because they want us to be in eternal servitude to them. Their plan has always been to subjugate Africa. United Nations officials were present in Congo when Patrice Lumumba was being brutalized, the knew about it but did nothing. Lumumba had personally sent for them at the beginning of the crisis. They never cared. They ruined Africa & now they’re giving us a ‘helping hand?’ UN are currently donating food to war-torn South Sudan. Ask, the war-fares were supplied by who? Who backed the rebel opposition? The same countries with the largest stakes at the UN!!! The aids United Nations claim to be giving Africa now, visionary African leaders like Thomas Sankara made more progress at local generation of these same things before being murdered in coups backed by France, Belgium, USA, Britain & co.
France backed up Blaise Compraore to plan his coup & assassinate Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso. Thomas Sankara was a soldier like no other, he wrote three solid books. He was an intellectual par excellence. The Nigerian civil war was made possible by western powers, USA, Spain, Belgium, France, Russia, Czech, Germany to name a few e.t.c. France was a major supporter of the Biafran secessionists, supplying arms and ammunitions. Funny enough, these same France later sent aid to starving children of the war-torn region. They even came down to train General Ojukwu’s lieutenants. Now, the same countries can’t send their soldiers to help Nigeria fight Boko Haram! Do you smell foul? These powerful western countries could back a region to secede from the rest of Nigeria but won’t send troops to Nigeria to help terminate minor Boko Haram in just about five states in Nigeria. Even South African mercenaries fought for Biafra, where are they now? The West can’t wait to see Africa explode from the gun-powder keg they’ve set and all true Africans must rise up!
Priebe, Richard K. “Christopher Okigbo” Microsoft Encarta 2009. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation.
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