Asaba genocide is unforgivable — Emma Okocha

October 7, 2017

Emma Okocha, Author, Blood on the Niger and member of the Committee hosting the 50th Anniversary program of the Asaba Massacre was recently in Lagos and he talked to our Correspondent on the controversies and positions taken by some members following the pronouncements of the Chairman of that Committee.

You were absent at the Press Conference in the Palace, when you are a member of the Committee and also a veteran of the fourth estate?

Some of us in the Committee do not share the views of the Chairman and his band, especially his unwarranted outbursts and pronouncement on the Asaba Genocide. Without any mandate and lacking in the understanding of what our community went through, the gentleman said Asaba has forgiven the genocide. That was undermining our strenuous thirty years cliff mountain climb to establish Asaba as world recognized genocide victimized community.

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He said that Asaba had forgiven….and that was the new feeling and as Christians….?

Genocide is a crime against humanity. The crime, because of its savagery is unforgivable and unforgettable. What is  happening  today  in  the  Korean  peninsula  in  many  ways  can  be  traced  to  World War 11. Korea has not forgiven the Japanese atrocities including the rape of their women.

Christian Armenia is not contemplating forgiveness for the Turks that decimated their population. Ditto  for  the  Jews….the  Israeli  intelligence  would haunt you even if you are about to die until you answer for your holocaust extremities. In Africa, Rwanda will retain the Tutsi President forever as the Hutsi Genocide that took out thousands of people is never going to be forgotten or forgiven.

If  you  are  not  going  to  forgive  like  good  Christians  then  what’s  the  way  forward  and  what  do  you  gain  not  turning  the  other  cheek?

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As  interpreted  to you…. Asaba, if we go by that aberration would be registered as probably the first Genocide community in the world to wake up from a long slumber and without even the dropping of any crocodile tears or any apologies, from the perpetrators of the genocide say they have forgiven.

But some of the Committee members advance that South Africa under Mandela forgave the enemy, and there was peace?

The  South  African  par-allel  is  a  distortion  for  in  the first place, the South African  conflict  which sparked  unto  steep  level conflagration  in  the 80s with  the  bloody  and brutal  decapitation  of  the  Soweto  uprising  never  registered  any  case  of Genocide.   I  was  later    to do  my  field  work in  An-gola  on  arrival  of  the  Cu-b-ans. It was  a  liber-ation  war  with  visible  interventions  from  the  super  powers  and middle powers  like  Cuba  and  then  China.  There  was  no  proven  case  of  Genocide.

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What is the underlying  difference……?

Genocide as I said is a crime against humanity. The Prosecution  is  not  status  barred  and  the  dead  or  buried  perpetrators  are usually exhumed  and offered the same hemlock they visited on their hapless victims. It  is  usually  defined  as  a  cold  deliberate  plan  by  a  group  to  wipe  out  another  group.  Humanity,   after  the  holocaust  decreed  that  for  such  calamity  never  to happen anywhere again, victims must never forget or forgive the perpetrators.

The  Chairman  has  without any   authorization and with that pronouncement of forgiveness attempted to destroy     our   over thirty years struggle establishing Asaba as a genocide victimized community.

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