Long before Europeans arrived around Africa, a prosperous culture with colorful subsets flourished in the Panhandle of Africa, the region whose southern waters lap the shores of the Bight of Biafra on the Atlantic Ocean. Rich cultural artifacts discovered in the present times, drawn from Industrialization, Art, Music, Language (including written forms), Lore and Politics, speak to the dynamism and success of this Culture. This is a culture which came to be most aptly symbolized by, unarguably, the most majestic of African trees which, incidentally, is native to the region, the Iroko—tall (up to 160 feet), running very deep, tough, durable and resilient.
Such resiliency was severely challenged by the Slave Trade which had as its African epicenter this same region. Having survived Slavery, the region and its culture were faced with yet another formidable force in the form of European colonization of Africa. The culture still managed to survive and flourish after the Europeans relinquished colonial power over the territory. It is a great irony that a culture that survived so much in the past is now, like a tree to which a chainsaw is taken, almost felled by the pernicious and destructive pathological post-colonial socio-politics which infests Africa today, much as an epidemic.
Today, all the usual elements of Culture, including sensitive sentinels such as language and attire, are at risk for the people of Anang, Efik, Ibibio, Ijaw, Igbo, Ogoja, Ogoni and others who make up this Biafra region. The Culture and its subsets are unable to withstand the malicious and malevolent onslaught of forces resulting from forced, non-consenting, non-mutual political structure of incompatibilities foisted on them. The consequence of this social cancer is the disintegration of personal and collective identity, the loss of natural moorings, and psychological isolation occurring at both individual and societal levels. The region is now faced with the possibility of what we call the syndrome of “Lost Culture, lost People,” because, we believe that people without their culture are just hanging, lacking any manner of support.
It is this real, as well as stark, picture which, staring us in the face, leaves us not a moment’s peace or rest until we choose to act to reverse our Culture’s (mis)fortunes and restore the overall health of our people and that of its individuals.
Support, strengthen, promote and sustain any institutions, individuals, principalities, dispensations or processes which focus on restoring the Culture of the people of the Biafran region.