By Favour A. Adewoyin
Recently, George Floyd, a black young man’s gruesome killing by some white cops has topped the front-page of many print and electronic media. Up till now, the blacks are rising up in protests and riots against such inhumanity to man.
This occurrence has whipped up the sentiments of people with black pigmentation all over the world including Nigeria as if the incident happened in their countries.
I think such solidarity for the blackman is not a bad idea. We should not hesitate to rise up and defend our own whenever we sense, see or experience any kind of oppression.
Going down the history lane, we are going to see terrible occurrences of racial domination and discrimination all over the world. Beginning with slave trade that involved the Whites and Arabs who came to buy the blacks as commodities from Africa to colonialism that divided Africa into administrative compartments, racism was the thread that has bound all those experiences together.
In all of this, the blacks suffering in the hands of other races cannot be explained or described.
Historical narratives and literary compositions were not enough to capture the dehumanising experiences of the blacks in the hands of their oppressors.
Also, I should not forget to mention the reactions of the blacks against the white dominations and discriminations in the heat of the terrible wickedness of the white domination, discrimination and dehumanisation. It was the activities of great men and women like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, Rosa Park, Jesse Jackson, etc that made the black man to be able to raise up his head among the homo sapiens today.
The blacks rose up against such inhuman and segregative policies that divided the use of public facilities like toilets, restaurants, banks, hospitals, buses, etc and public school along racial lines; and, they made a point that later nosedived into making a blackman to occupy the White House.
Come home to Nigeria, the black elites rose up against the domination and discrimination of the white colonial masters and independence was granted to Nigeria in October 1st, 1960.
Now, one would have thought independence was the beginning of good life for Nigeria and Nigerians, but that was the beginning of pain, sorrow, hunger, starvation, sickness, disease, lack, want, poverty and all sorts of things. The hardship inflicted on the citizens since independence by the black post-colonial leaders has been more than what the colonial masters inflicted on the people.
From one regime to another, civilian and military, things are going from bad to worse. The Yoruba proverb that said: ‘kaka ko san lara iya aje, gbogbo omo lo fi b’obinrin’ is not suitable enough to describe the difference between the colonial hardship and the post-colonial hardship being inflicted on Nigerians.
And, the hardship has come to the topmost top to reach it’s apogee under this present administration. The current hardship is so much that people are leaving the country in hundeds and thousands. Those who are not leaving are not staying because they love their country, they are staying because they have no option.
Now, many have started to clamour for re-colonisation because they have come to one conclusion that the colonial rule was better than what they have experienced and and are still expecting in the hands of their black leaders.
It is not an exaggeration to say that we have not seen this type of hardship done with impunity like the one we are experiencing now and the worst is that they are telling us to our faces that we should go and do whatever we like about it.
Coming back to racial domination and discrimination, how are we going to describe what is happening in our country where one race is winner take all when it comes to appointments and nobody can do anything? For a very long time, I thought I was the only one who noticed the lopsidedness in appointments that has been going on in this country until I read from OBJ, Col. Abubakar Umar and, only this morning, the 93 years old man from the Niger Delta, Pa. Edwin Clark has added his septugenarian golden voice.
My people, this is getting too much and something must done to change this unpleasant narrative.
Yes, June 12 has been recognised as our Democracy Day, but is that all there is to what June 12 stands for? Is that the only thing MKO Abiola and others died for?
Now, think of it, those who are enjoying the sacrifices made to bring democracy on board are those who kicked against June 12 and killed MKO! What injustice can be compared to this?
It took the north many years that MKO made a sacrifice for democracy with June 12 before it can accept that that mysterious date was a turning-point for Nigeria and Nigerians when we all spoke with one voice through our votes to make an unkillable and indestructible statement across the length and breath of Nigeria that enough was enough for military dictatorship.
But, what I’m saying is that we deserve more than just recognising a date and naming a stadium after our hero. We are asking for all that June 12 stood and still stand for like restructuring that will demonstrate the principles of true federalism/regional autonomy, resource control, community policing, etc. We need a new constitution that will be all-inclusive, not this one that promotes the theory of George Orwell’s Animal Farm that ‘all animals are equal, but some are more equal than another’.
Permit me to say, as I end this piece, that anything short of what June 12 represents must be resisted.
Yes, you heard me well, we should not allow this racial domination and discrimination in the name of nepotism and favouritism to continue.
Nothing can be as corrupt as this!
Pastor Favour Adewoyin is the Convener of Destiny Moulders College of Transformative Education