This week, I attended a conference on health and nutrition in Nigeria. I landed in Lagos and, from there, flew to Owerri, the capital city of a region once known as Biafra. At one time, Biafra tried to break from British/Muslim control, and they were brutally suppressed. Their attempted sovereignty was thwarted, and they were unable to gain their independence. Their population suffered significant hardship and mass starvation. While today there is peace, the memories of these hard times cast long shadows and contribute to the attitudes and actions of these people today, including an ongoing Christian/Muslim tension, in which 1,000 Christians have been killed by Muslims in 2010.
I spoke to 900 people at Imo State University and Medical School, where the Ibos are the predominate population. The talk was attended by a variety of people from many of the 36 states of Nigeria. Some travelled five hours to attend my talk. Eleven different tribal chieftains came and sat in honored places on the stage with me. It was important that they attended because each of these eleven leaders will reach approximately 10,000 people. They were open to my message, which was about sovereignty, diabetes, and a shift in diet, moving from imported junk food, white sugar, white flour, and soda pop to a green diet without sugar. Many leaders also stressed their focus on the importance of returning to growing their own food and going organic.
This renewed awareness complimented the other part of our program, in which PPEP nonprofit leader and social justice activist John Arnold presented his microloan business program to help people start their own farms in an effort to draw people away from cities and back into the rural areas, where they may become independent and diabetes free by eating natural, local foods.
A plant called the irguni (or bush mango, a.k.a. Irvingia Gabonensis) is commonly used to combat diabetes in Camaroon, a nearby state, close in proximity to Nigeria. Traditionally used by certain tribes, irguni has the power to reverse leptin resistance, (a primal cause of diabetes, which eventually evolves with insulin resistance to create Type 2 Diabetes).
The program took five hours, and many chiefs spoke. It was a powerful success. By controlling food through local and sustainable agriculture, and by keeping themselves healthy through nutritional education, they have a unique capacity for sovereignty. Since the Igbo have been under Muslim control, they have developed a very strong self-reliance and have created a good standard of living for themselves with minimal government assistance. The issues the Biafrans face now is pressure from Muslims to the North (the majority in the central government), who take their resources and give nothing in return. The language of sovereignty was incredibly relevant to their situation.
Our message of a return to the Garden of Eden diet and the Culture of Life was eagerly accepted by the Biafrans, and many of them are living with positive attitudes of cooperation, service, and charity. I’ve noticed in the cultural area of Owerri that there is a strong understanding of the values of the Tree of Life. The importance of sovereignty and the Culture of Life are already dear to this culture. While there isn’t a distinct interest in enlightenment, they value living holy lives.
Worldwide, people are shifting back to healthy diets and away from junkfood and dependence upon the international corporations that import these foods. May all the world move into peace and understanding and heal their communities naturally.