Wednesday 29 May 2013, a fortnight away, is the 47th anniversary of the beginning of the Igbo genocide. Starting from that fateful mid-morning of Sunday 29 May 1966 and through the course of 44 months of indescribable barbarity and carnage not seen in Africa for 60 years, the composite institutions of the Nigeria state, civilian and military, murdered 3.1 million Igbo people or one-quarter of this nation´s population. The Igbo genocide is the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa. It inaugurated Africa´s current age of pestilence.
This year´s commemoration will, as in the past, be a day of meditation and remembrance in every Igbo household in Igboland and the Igbo diaspora for the 3.1 million murdered, gratitude and thanksgiving for those who survived, and the collective Igbo rededication to achieve the urgent goal of the restoration of Igbo sovereignty. There will also be lectures, discussions and exhibitions on varying features and phases of the genocide organised by individuals, students, the youth, women, family unions, village, town, district, regional and professional associations.
The 50 million Igbo people heartily welcome all peoples of goodwill across the world to join them in commemorating the 47th anniversary of the launch of the genocide.
* Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author of Readings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature (Dakar and Reading: African Renaissance, 2011).