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By Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe
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Straight from the horse's mouth: “[Nigeria] is jinxed and cursed; we should all go to hell”! This declaration is from none other but Matthew Olusegun Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, speaking recently in Ibadan, west Nigeria. In the speech, not surprisingly (saharareporters.com, 13 August 2013), Obasanjo, who had been head of regime for 11 years, totally absolves himself of being a key agency in facilitating the status of his “jinxed and cursed” Nigeria as can be shown clearly in the following (Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “'Cargo cult mentality', Nigeria and the illusions of NEPAD”, rethinking africa, 16 March 2011).

“[J]inxed and cursed” Nigeria has the unenviable accolade of having carried out the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa against Igbo people. During the course of 44 months, beginning from 29 May 1966, Nigeria murdered 3.1 million Igbo, or one-quarter of this nation's population. And Olusegun Obasanjo is one of the most notorious Nigerian military commanders of this genocidal campaign. At its apogee, 1968/1969, the Obasanjo-led brigade, operating in the outstretched south Igboland, had converted this panhandle into a veritable killing field in which it slaughtered “… everything that moves … we shoot at everything, even at things that don't move”, as its previous commander, the equally notorious Benjamin Adekunle, had so grimly proffered. The skies of Igboland were neither spared from these “shoot-at-everything” monstrosity. In June 1969 Obasanjo ordered his air force to shoot down an international Red Cross aircraft bringing urgent relief to the encircled and blockaded Igbo and he later boasts fiendishly of this crime in his memoirs, aptly entitled My Command. Not since the German genocide against the Herero in Namibia in the early 1900s had Africa witnessed such brazen act of savagery on expansive display. As I have argued, severally, Nigeria collapsed as a state with few prospects on that Sunday it launched the Igbo genocide (See, for instance, Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, “29 May 1966”, rethinking africa, 29 May 2010).

Given Obasanjo's imprimatur on this catastrophe and recalling that it is, after all, not just unbridled opportunism that the London Financial Times not too long ago dubbed the same Obasanjo “godfather of modern Nigeria” (Financial Times, London, 14 April 2012), the genocidists Nigeria-is-“jinxed-and-cursed” acknowledgement, albeit belated, is testimony that the offspring indeed carries the unmistakeably doomed DNA signature of its paternity.

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