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Senator Ned Nwoko demands apology, reparations for Africa over slavery and colonial oppression

Senator Ned Nwoko has made a passionate demand for an apology and reparations for Africa over slavery and colonial oppression.

Reparations for Africa over slavery and colonialism has been a contentious subject.

Africa was raped and plundered by erstwhile colonial masters — some of whom still exert influence over the affairs of their former colonies.

Senator Nwoko, in a statement, demanded reparations for Africa over the crimes against humanity wrought on the continent by the colonial masters.

Below are his thoughts in full.


I am a humanist with passion for the survival of Africa,my roots.I am enamoured with fundamental human rights as enshrined in the charter of the United Nations.More profoundly,I defer to human equality,divinely preordained.

I write hence with a solemn duty that transcends racial connotations,political boundaries and historical narratives.It is with unwavering conviction that I convene this crucial conversation,addressing the weighty issues of age-old injustice and pangs of neocolonialism that had left an indelible scar on our beloved continent.

Three historical strands define centuries of man’s inhumanity to man against Africans-enslavement,colonization and apartheid.

Beginning with the horrors of enslavement of African people by Europeans,the burden of brutality had never been so bad in human experience.The year 1441, I found as the most savage year in human history.The first year that saw the theft of Africans from Africa by western imperialists.

As we reflect on the dark era of the transatlantic slave trade,Africa,particularly Nigeria,bore witness to an unimaginable saga of human suffering,exploitation and deprivation.The transatlantic slave trade tore families apart and scarred our collective memory,inflicting anguish and despair across generations.

Our own city of Lagos,now vibrant and thriving,once witnessed the heart-wrenching departure of enslaved natives,violently torn from their homes and subjected to unthinkable subjugation in foreign lands.The historic town of Badagry was the epicentre of African dehumanisation as it harbours till date relics of manacles of the enslaved,tragically shipped to Europe,through the infamous ‘Point of No Return’ route.This chapter,marred by pain and degradation,is etched in our history.

Even with the abolition act of 1833 by Britain and the 13th Amendment to the United States constitution in 1865,outlawing slavery,the cruelty had persisted under colonialism.

After hundred years of depletion of our human capital,through slave trade,colonialism followed with the mindless scramble and partition of African territories by European powers .The colonial experience marked an unforgettable phase of social and economic rape of Africa as European powers imposed dominion over vast African territories,reshaping borders,exploiting resources and disrupting our organic structures.Nigeria,a land of diverse cultures and kingdoms,fell under British rule,enduring foreign norms, governance systems and exploitative economic practices.

This colonialism was further heightened in apartheid,a monstrous oligarchy of white minority rule in South Africa even as modern day slavery remained till date with neo-colonialism.Though it took the mythic destiny of one brave man,the legendary Nelson Mandela to proclaim back to freedom as first black president of South Africa,the haunting aftermath of racial segregation had not abated.

I express deep concern that neocolonialism,characterized by economic dependency,unequal trade relations and political interference, still casts its shadow over us even after attaining political independence,since 1960.This impedes the realization of our sovereignty and self-determination, perpetuating exploitation and inequality.

I call upon former colonial powers and the international community to acknowledge the grave consequences of these historical injustices on African nations, particularly Nigeria and expressly apologize to the people and countries of the continent.Britain and other colonial masters must sooner than later,openly address the specific wrongdoings,blatant rape and exploitation of Africans and their resources. . . It is not enough to issue blanket statements as tokens to assuage their conscience(s).It would entail addressing the specific atrocities visited on the diverse peoples of the continent and the implementation of appropriate regimes of reparation commensurate with the damage done to each each African territory. It would be imperative for the colonial powers to rethink and adjust the dynamics of their relationships with African territories which still struggle with the after effects of the inhuman treatment. .. I urge for reparations of at least $5 trillion dollars, not as an act of vengeance,but as a path to healing and restoration.

Reparations are compensatory payments to victims of crimes against humanity given to the oppressed or their descendants.

Reparations are neither strange nor unrealistic compensatory mechanisms to assuage victims of gross human injustices.The Treaty of Versailles in 1919,first upheld payment of damages as indemnification the Allies imposed on Germany for instigating World War I.After World War II,Germany and Japan paid reparations for war crimes.Israel got reparations from Germany because of the Jewish Holocaust of 1945.

I demand reparations for the atrocities of transatlantic slave trade and potent means to mitigate neo-colonialism as pathways to key amends highlighted by scholars- Restitution,Compensation,Rehabilitation and Satisfaction.

A comprehensive reparations framework must be established,meticulously assessing the damages inflicted by centuries of injustice.

Furthermore, I beseech former colonial powers- Britain, France,Portugal,America and so on to invest in education,healthcare, infrastructure and economic empowerment within African nations, especially those that have borne the brunt of exploitation.I urge the repatriation of culturally significant artifacts that were taken from the African continent during the colonial era. In recent years,there have been instances of selective return of stolen artifacts to the Benin Kingdom ,but what justice demands is wholesome restoration of these items to the people and places they were forcefully and illegally removed.

I also challenge the terminology that simplifies the rich tapestry of Africa into a single label “blacks”. Especially when used in a derogatory and abusive manner. If people from the Asian continent can be referred to as Asians, Europe – Europeans, America – Americans, then people from African continent should be referred to as Africans not “blacks”. Who is white?

I demand justice for Africa on slavery and colonialism.

In concluding,let me note that this discussion is not the agitation of William Wilberforce,the famous 18th century British politician/abolitionist or “The Petition of Belinda” the iconic symbol of American negro resistance against colonial enslavement.

I speak as a Nigerian compatriot,African advocate and Global citizen.I am a Prince.I stand for dignity.The timeless liberty of every man.

Senator Prince Ned Munir Nwoko.

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