We could work together to set a new agenda to restore the stolen pride and peace of Africa continent.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on July 4, 2014 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
Dialogue or Civil War
With; US-support, a selfish leader sacrifices the whole country for his fame
By Wangüi Munyi - Vanselow
For more than a decade, one man has taken hostage a whole country. Sometimes he strangles it more sometimes less. Now the time has come again and the whole country stares at Raila Odinga like the rabbit at the snake. Meanwhile the Kenyan people begin to understand who supports him in the background.
This photo was taken in 2007 post election violence which left many dead and thousands displaced
„No Raila, No Peace“, that is how his supporters shouted after the 2007-election in the streets of Nairobi. At that time it was a political demand, but looking back now at the last decade it was rather a political analysis. It is nothing but the truth: Without Raila in an extraordinary government position ( either Prime Minister or President) there is really no peace in Kenya! Why? Because he believes that he has a kind of inborn right to be such a leader. For this right he mobilises the masses for any reason. And the masses like to follow him regardless what it is all about. Rallies, rallies, rallies at any time.
Lets look back at the year 2005. At that time Kenya was busy in making a new constitution, the so called Wako-Bill. Kenya had to decide in a referendum on it. That bill wanted a prime minister who had basically no powers. What happened? Raila mobilised the masses on the streets for weeks, until the bill was rejected in that referendum. A strong prime minister in the new constitution was the most important thing that Kenya needed.
Five years later, the same issue was not important anymore. The Constitution of 2010 had even no more place for a prime minister at all within the Kenyan political system. Raila and ODM agreed. Five years earlier they had created an impression that the country will not survive without a prime minister.
With the election of 2007 it also became very clear who Railas supporters are. The assistance came from the United States. It was the former US-Presidential advisor Dick Morris who made the same plan for Kenya that he had made for Ukraine before. The advice was: Make exit polls, doubt the election results, mobilize the masses and create chaos in the whole country. It worked very well. The result was more the thousand dead people and half a million displaced. The plan went on: The international community demanded a national dialogue and as a result Raila became prime minister of Kenya.
After that Kenya had a good and peaceful time. Not because anything improved for the people. The new government did not fight insecurity, corruption or the high costs of living.
But Raila was the leader he always wanted to be. He travelled and met presidents abroad. With the exception of the above mentioned referendum, there was no need for mass action.
Raila was satisfied and the US as well. Prime Minister was a good steppingstone for the next presidential elections. For these elections there was also an early support by the international community. It was the ICC that interfered. The ICC did not accuse Raila, who brought the country to a civil war. Instead, it accused Railas election rival Uhuru Kenyatta, whose Kikuyu people had suffered most in the post-election violence.
During the election campaign he was marked with the label “Accused for crimes against humanity”. In the western world he was considered as an outlaw.
Before and during the election the United States supported Raila. The American Ambassador Ranneberger even made something like his own campaign in the whole country, giving out money and mobilising his “Youth for Kenya”. On top of that, the Assistant US Foreign Minister Jonny Carson threatened the Kenyan people that “choices have consequences”. That was a diplomatic interference in the internal affairs of a country on the highest level. With all this support, Railas dream to become president was about to become true.
But then two things happened, which neither Raila nor the US had foreseen: 1. Raila lost the elections. 2. The international and the African observers said the elections were transparent and credible. After that, there was no chance to go to the streets and mobiles the masses.
Then it became very quiet about Raila. Only the ODM Party-elections brought him back to the news. “Men in black” destroyed the ballot papers and the ballot boxes. It exposed that the high democratic standards he had always claimed for Kenya do not exist in his party.
Somehow there was a feeling that Raila is preparing to retire. But then came a spurpise. It was a big PR-strategy and it became the final countdown. It started in the United States – where else. Raila was invited by the University of Boston to join its “African Presidential Centre”. That was definitely the place where he belongs. Then he started to comment from far about the events in Kenya. It continued with „Baba, while you were away“. Finally there was only one solution: Raila had to come back and save the country. It became the return of a hero, a modern time entry into Jerusalem.
Now he started doing astonishing things: He declares public holidays and calls for a general strike on Saba Saba day. He demands form government to hold a national dialogue with him and gives an ultimatum. He threatens with consequences if that ultimatum is not met. And he declares that not him but the government will be responsible for these consequences.
It is quite interesting how Raila uses and interprets the new Constitution for his plan. He says he is acting on behalf of the people, who according to the Constitution, hold the sovereign power. He also says it was the same power of the people that he was using to call for national dialogue. That means, according to his understanding, the power of the people must have already shifted to him though some kind of miracle. That is probably why he feels he has the right to demand all kind of things.
Of course in Kenya – like in all other democracies – the people hold the sovereign power. And last year the people have elected a president in accordance with the new Constitution. But it was not Raila who was elected. CORD was given the important task of opposition in parliament. And that is their platform to raise issues. Like any other group in the country, the opposition is allowed to hold peaceful demonstrations in order to address an issue.
But there are things that the opposition can not do according to the new Constitution: It can not declare public holidays and it can not call for a general strike. Above all, the opposition has no right to demand a national dialogue by ultimatum and it has no right to threaten with any consequences, if this dialogue does not happen. All that has nothing to do with the new Constitution!
Anyway, the idea behind this “national dialogue” the following: The country is in such a deep crisis that only a national dialogue is able to save it. Of course, such a dialogue will directly lead to a “Government of National Unity” in a next step.
But what is this specific crisis today? There are many problems, of course, but they have been there ever since because nobody is approaching them. There has been always insecurity, there has been always corruption and life has been never cheap. Even big terror attacks happened long time ago. When Raila was Prime Minister he never highlighted these issues and never tried to change all that.
A national dialogue and a government of national unity is meant to save a country that in a serious crisis or is about to break down. Countries that need such a dialogue at the moment are Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and South Sudan, to name just a few. Kenya is not among them.
The only crisis in Kenya at the moment is Railas threat to create a crisis on Monday. The consequences that he is talking about, if there is no dialogue might soon create a real crisis in Kenya. People have already started to leave their homes because of fear. It has the potential to become more terrible than the 2007 post-election violence.
If Kenya burns again, if thousands are killed and hundreds of thousands have to leave their homes, then the western world led by the United States will interfere in order to end this “tribal bloodshed”. They will demand and enforce yet another “National Dialogue” and a second “Government of National Unity”.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on July 4, 2014 at 4:00 AM||comments (3)|
Frederick Douglass' 4th of July Speech:
“What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”
July 5, 1852 Rochester, New York *[See full text] ....Fellow Citizens: Pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?
Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions. Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold that a nation's sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame man leap like as an hart."
But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary. Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you, that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin. I can today take up the lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people.
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yes! We wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive, required of us a song and they who wasted us, required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."
Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilant shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, "may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!" To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world.
My subject, then, fellow citizens, is "American Slavery." I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave's point of view. Standing here, identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July. Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity, which is outraged, in the name of liberty, which is fettered, in the name of the Constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery-the great sin and shame of America "I will not equivocate; I will not excuse"; I will use the severest language I can command, and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slave-holder, shall not confess to be right and just.
But I fancy I hear some of my audience say it is just in this circumstance that you and your brother Abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more and denounce less, would you persuade more and rebuke less, your cause would be much more likely to succeed. But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slave-holders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of these same crimes will subject a white man to like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being?
The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute-books are covered with enactments, forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read and write. When you can point to any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then I will argue with you that the slave is a man!
For the present it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are plowing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver, and gold; that while we are reading, writing, and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants, and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators, and teachers; that while we are engaged in all the enterprises common to other men-digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hillside, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives, and children, and above all, confessing and worshiping the Christian God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave-we are called upon to prove that we are men?
Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? That he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to understand? How should I look today in the presence of Americans, dividing and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom, speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively? To do so would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer and insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven who does not know that slavery is wrong for him.
What! Am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the last, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood and stained with pollution is wrong? No; I will not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would imply.
What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman cannot be divine. Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such argument is past.
At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation's ear, I would today pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be denounced.
What to the American slave is your Fourth of July I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy's thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.
Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the every-day practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on July 3, 2014 at 2:30 PM||comments (0)|
MUGABE ORDERS WHITE FARMERS OFF OF LAND
Yesterday, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe told the remaining White landowners in his country to get out:
Speaking to farmers in Mhangura, a small mining town about 120 miles north of the capital Harare, Mr. Mugabe, said all remaining white farmers should leave .
“I have been given a list of 35 White farmers in Mashonaland West alone and in just a few districts that have been audited. We say no to Whites owning our land and they should go.”
President Mugabe then went on to clarify what Whites could actually own in his homeland, “They can own companies and apartments in our towns and cities but not the soil. It is ours and that message should ring loud and clear in Britain and the United States.”
Clearly just warming up, President Mugabe then turned his sights on Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, calling him a “boy from the streets.”
“We had an agreement with the Margaret Thatcher government and when Tony Blair came he reneged on that agreement. I pleaded with him to review his decision but he was a boy from the street with no experience so he stuck to his guns,” said the veteran leader.
“I was not amused and told him to keep his England and we would keep our Zimbabwe. We will not pay for our land and we will not ask our people to pay for it because they never paid for it in the first place.
“They were selling to each other among themselves, and we will not recognise any of that nonsense. They were living like kings and queens on our land and we chucked them out. Now we want all of it.”
Whites came from Europe and South Africa in the 1890s. The Land Apportionment Act of 1930 divided the lands by tribes: Whites, Shona, and Ndebele. And while traditionally, Africans shared the lands communally, the new laws that favored Whites made it nearly impossible for Africans to get financing, equipment, and training to farm large plots of land.
But Whites, who obviously already had a mastery of Western land ideology, understood title deeds to land and were consequently able to buy and develop large areas of land for commercial farming businesses.
Their Western and White advantage led to other advantages, such as prime land in the fertile upland region, and not surprisingly, the White population flourished.
Meanwhile, Africans were regulated to low rainfall areas, forcing 99 percent of the population on to 25 percent of the land.
By 1979, Whites consisted of only 5 percent of the population, with only 4,500 farmers, but owned 70 percent of the fertile land.
Mugabe came to power on the heels of the Lancaster House Agreement in 1980, which stated that Mugabe couldn’t make any land reform changes for 10 years.
After decades of stops and starts in attempting to redistribute land back to Africans, by 2000, Zimbabwe government instituted the Fast-Track Land Reform Program, violently forcing mostly White farmers off their lands without compensation — earlier iterations of land reform ensured that Whites would be compensated for the lands they occupied.
The government reportedly seized 110,000 square kilometers of land and millions of Black farmers were said to have become unemployed.
By 2005, the Parliament agreed to nationalizing all farmland, silencing farmers who wanted to contest the land grab in court.
Today, the benefits of redistributing land among Africans cannot be comprehensively considered for two prime reasons: many of the beneficiaries of land that was formerly “owned” by Whites have reportedly had little experience in managing commercial farmland properly; this fact has supposedly caused crop production to plummet in the country. In addition, the United States froze the nation’s credit once the Fast Track Land Reform was passed, almost immediately cutting Zimbabwe’s trade surplus deficit of $322 million in 2001 to a deficit of $18 million by 2002.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on July 2, 2014 at 2:35 PM||comments (0)|
Thomas Fuller, African "slave" and mathematician.
Thomas Fuller was an African, shipped to America as a slave in 1724. He had remarkable powers of calculation, and late in his life was discovered by antislavery campaigners who used him as a demonstration that blacks are not mentally inferior to whites.
The place of his birth appears to have been between present day Liberia and Benin. Known as Negro Tom, we know that he was described as a very black man and also we know that he lived in Virginia after being brought to the United States as a slave. Certainly late in his life he was the property of Elixabeth Coxe of Alexandria.
Thomas Fuller, known as the Virginia Calculator, was stolen from his native Africa at the age of fourteen and sold to a planter. When he was about seventy years old, two gentlemen, natives of Pennsylvania, viz., William Hartshorne and Samuel Coates, men of probity and respectable characters, having heard, in travelling through the neighbourhood in which the slave lived, of his extraordinary powers in arithmetic, sent for him and had their curiosity sufficiently gratified by the answers which he gave to the following questions: First, Upon being asked how many seconds there were in a year and a half, he answered in about two minutes, 47 304 000. Second: On being asked how many seconds a man has lived who is 70 years, 17 days and 12 hours old, he answered in a minute and a half 2 210 500 800. One of the gentlemen who employed himself with his pen in making these calculations told him he was wrong, and the sum was not so great as he had said - upon which the old man hastily replied: stop, master, you forget the leap year. On adding the amount of the seconds of the leap years the amount of the whole in both their sums agreed exactly.
Another question was asked and satisfactorily answered. Before two other gentlemen he gave the amount of nine figures multiplied by nine. … In 1790 he died at the age of 80 years, having never learned to read or write, in spite of his extraordinary power of calculation.
Present day thinking is that Fuller learnt to calculate in Africa before he was brought to the United States as a slave. Supporting evidence for this comes from a passage written by Thomas Clarkson in 1788 describing the purchase of African slaves:
It is astonishing with what facility the African brokers reckon up the exchange of European goods for slaves. One of these brokers has ten slaves to sell , and for each of these he demands ten different articles. He reduces them immediately by the head to bars, coppers, ounces… and immediately strikes the balance. The European, on the other hand, takes his pen, and with great deliberation, and with all the advantage of arithmetic and letters, begin to estimate also. He is so unfortunate, as to make a mistake: but he no sooner errs, than he is detected by this man of inferior capacity, whom he can neither deceive in the name or quality of his goods, nor in the balance of his account.
Despite Fuller’s calculating abilities he was never taught to read or write and again this is evidence that he did not learn to calculate while in the United States. When someone who had witnessed his calculating abilities remarked that it was a pity he had not been educated, Fuller replied: ‘It is best I got no learning; for many learned men be great fools.'
He died on 1790 in Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Thomas Fuller (1710–1790) était un Africain, emmené comme esclave en Amérique en 1724. Il avait des capacités remarquables en calcul mental, et tard dans sa vie il a été découvert par des militants anti-esclavage, qui l'utilisaient pour démonstrer que l'homme noir n'est pas mentalement inférieur par rapport à l'homme blanc. Cet article décrit ce que nous savons de Fuller, discute les différents usages de son histoire, faites après sa mort, et lance un appel à plus d'études sur le contexte africain ethnomathématique du XVIIIème siècle.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on June 28, 2014 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
I Speak of Freedom 1961
For centuries, Europeans dominated the African continent. The white man arrogated to himself the right to rule and to be obeyed by the non-white; his mission, he claimed, was to "civilise"Africa. Under this cloak, the Europeans robbed the continent of vast riches and inflicted unimaginable suffering on the African people.
All this makes a sad story, but now we must be prepared to bury the past with its unpleasant memories and look to the future. All we ask of the former colonial powers is their goodwill and cooperation to remedy past mistakes and injustices and to grant independence to the colonies in Africa….
It is clear that we must find an African solution to our problems,and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world.
Although most Africans are poor, our continent is potentially extremely rich. Our mineral resources, which are being exploited with foreign capital only to enrich foreign investors, range from gold and diamonds to uranium and petroleum. Our forests contain some of the finest woods to be grown any where. Our cash crops include cocoa, coffee, rubber, tobacco and cotton. As for power, which is an important factor in any economic development, Africa contains over 40% of the potential water power of the world, as compared with about 10% in Europe and 13% in North America. Yet so far, less than 1% has been developed. This is one of the reasons why we have in Africa the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty, and scarcity in the midst of abundance.
Never before have a people had within their grasp so great an opportunity for developing a continent endowed with so much wealth. Individually, the independent states of Africa, some of them potentially rich, others poor, can do little for their people. Together, by mutual help, they can achieve much. But the economic development of the continent must be planned and pursued as a whole. A loose confederation designed only for economic co-operation would not provide the necessary unity of purpose. Only a strong political union can bring about full and effective development of our natural resources for the benefit of our people.
The political situation in Africa today is heartening and at the same time disturbing. It is heartening to see so many new flags hoisted in place of the old; it is disturbing to see so many countries of varying sizes and at different levels of development, weak and, in some cases, almost helpless. If this terrible state of fragmentation is allowed to continue it may well be disastrous for us all.
There are at present some 28 states in Africa, excluding the Union of South Africa, and those countries not yet free. No less than nine of these states have a population of less than three million. Can we seriously believe that the colonial powers meant these countries to be independent, viable states? The example of South America, which has as much wealth, if not more than North America, and yet remains weak and dependent on outside interests, is one which every African would do well to study.
Critics of African unity often refer to the wide differences in culture, language and ideas in various parts of Africa. This is true, but the essential fact remains that we are all Africans,and have a common interest in the independence of Africa. The difficulties presented by questions of language, culture and different political systems are not insuperable. If the need for political union is agreed by us all, then the will to create it is born;and where there's a will there's a way.
The present leaders of Africa have already shown a remarkable willingness to consult and seek advice among themselves. Africans have, indeed, begun to think continentally. They realise that they have much in common, both in their past history, in their present problems and in their future hopes. To suggest that the time is not yet ripe for considering a political union of Africa is to evade the facts and ignore realities in Africa today.
The greatest contribution that Africa can make to the peace of the world is to avoid all the dangers inherent in disunity, by creating a political union which will also by its success, stand as an example to a divided world. A Union of African states will project more effectively the African personality. It will command respect from a world that has regard only for size and influence. The scant attention paid to African opposition to the French atomic tests in the Sahara, and the ignominious spectacle of the U.N. in the Congo quibbling about constitutional niceties while the Republic was tottering into anarchy, are evidence of the callous disregard of African Independence by the Great Powers.
We have to prove that greatness is not to be measured in stockpiles of atom bombs. I believe strongly and sincerely that with the deep-rooted wisdom and dignity, the innate respect for human lives, the intense humanity that is our heritage, the African race, united under one federal government, will emerge not as just another world bloc to flaunt its wealth and strength, but as a Great Power whose greatness is indestructible because it is built not on fear,envy and suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind.
The emergence of such a mighty stabilising force in this strife-worn world should be regarded not as the shadowy dream of a visionary, but as a practical proposition, which the peoples of Africa can, and should, translate into reality. There is a tide in the affairs of every people when the moment strikes for political action. Such was the moment in the history of the United States of America when the Founding Fathers saw beyond the petty wranglings of the separate states and created a Union. This is our chance. We must act now. Tomorrow may be too late and the opportunity will have passed, and with it the hope of free Africa's survival.
From Kwame Nkrumah, I Speak of Freedom: A Statement of African Ideology (London: William Heinemann Ltd., 1961)
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on June 28, 2014 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
Almost every single leader who has stood up for Africa's right to economic self-determination has been eliminated -- either physically or politically!!!!!!!
The question still being asked by Africans, decades after they gained a nominal political independence, is: 'How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?'
This question was memorably put forward by the iconic Bob Marley so many years ago, but our prophets continue to be killed.
One by one, our most steadfast leaders have been eliminated, to the point where Africa is hard-pressed to point out more than three people who are advancing the continental agenda for economic freedom.
Almost every single leader who has stood up for Africa's right to economic self-determination has been eliminated – either physically or politically.
It started with the very first successful anti-colonial movement in Ghana where Kwame Nkrumah was the victim of a concerted propaganda campaign that saw him pushed out of power through a coup.
Today, the average Ghanaian admits that an error was made in not recognizing Nkrumah's value, and elections in that country are now premised on being pro-Nkrumah or not. Patrice Lumumba's story is one of the saddest in Africa's quest for economic freedom, and his brutal murder still rankles today.
The same happened to Thomas Isdore Sankara, Steve Biko and many others who stood up for African dignity.
And it was not just in Africa.
Malcolm X died young because of what he believed was the rightful place of the black person in the United States of America – 'the land of the free'.
Fortunately, while these icons may have been physically and/or politically eliminated, their ideas live on.
The problem is: how many in Africa and the African Diaspora have the courage to stand up and take these ideas forward? Perhaps a little relook at some of these icons will re-energize the struggle to reclaim our dignity as a people.
In October of 1960 Lumumba said, 'Dead, living, free, or in prison on the orders of the colonialists, it is not I who counts.'
'It is the Congo, it is our people for whom independence has been transformed into a cage where we are regarded from the outside.'
'History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that Brussels, Paris, Washington, or the United Nations will teach, but that which they will teach in the countries emancipated from colonialism and its puppets... a history of glory and dignity.'
His faithfulness to the idea of a united Congo was as real a threat then as it is today.
A solid Congo state, with its great natural and human resources, would be a global economic power that the West would not take as lightly as they do the fractured state that exists at present.
Perhaps Lumumba's biggest mistake was a lack of tact in exposing his grand plans for his country.
It was probably in that memorable Independence Day speech in which he challenged the core of imperialism that he sealed his fate and the decision was made to murder him.
After all, the former colonial powers have always been content to let Africa hold political power at home but will not brook any interference in how the economy is run and resources are allocated.
In a meeting held with security advisers in August 1960, two months after Congo achieved its formal independence from Belgium, US President Dwight Eisenhower ordered the CIA to 'eliminate' Lumumba, according to an account by Robert Johnson.
'There was a stunned silence for about 15 seconds and the meeting continued,' Johnson recalled.
CIA director Allen Dulles referred to Lumumba as a 'mad dog', and on January 17, 1961 the Congolese leader drew his last breath.
In the last weeks of his life, when he was being dragged around with a rope around his neck, Lumumba still carried himself with great dignity as well as courage.
Even when he faced torture he did not plead for mercy.
It is this that contributes to Lumumba's martyrdom - a powerful martyrdom that should make him more influential in death than in life. This is why Lumumba is still celebrated as the 'best son of Africa', the 'Lincoln of the Congo', the 'Black Messiah' whose life and death were all about the fight for justice.
'If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her.
'And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country,' said the late Malcolm X.
Born in poverty in a land that is regarded as the land of the free, Malcolm X grew up in a violent environment.
His father was killed by the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan and this event had a profound effect on his views.
Through his 'any means necessary' slogan, Malcolm X influenced and continues to shape the political landscape so many decades after his death.
In his book 'Dreams From My Father', US President Barack Obama says he was inspired by Malcolm X.
'Only Malcolm X's autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will...'
'Malcolm himself seemed to have safely abandoned toward the end of his life. He spoke of a wish he'd once had, the wish that the white blood that tan through him, there by an act of violence, might somehow be expunged,' says Obama.
Just like Stephen Bantu Biko, Malcolm X radicalized black youth and showed them that we can be so much more than our oppressors say we are.
On February 21, 1965 Malcolm X was shot 16 times by suspected FBI agents while going to address a meeting on African unity.
Thomas Isdore Sankara
Thomas Sankara ('The Lion King') was killed on October 15, 1987 after leading Burkina Faso for four years at the orders of a 'friend', Blaise Compaoré.
This is the same Compaoré who in 2008 supported the United States, France and Britain in trying to get the UN Security Council to begin proceedings to invade Zimbabwe only to be stopped by Russia, China, South Africa, Vietnam and others.
The revolution Sankara led between 1983 and 1987 was one of the most creative and radical that Africa produced in the decades after independence.
Sankara wanted African countries to follow a genuine alternative to Western-style modernization; something in which he was influenced by Patrice Lumumba.
It was thus not surprising that Sankara met the same fate as his mentor.
Why they were killed
Some of the people who are now most vocal in their praise of our dead African heroes include many who in the past criticized some of their actions and speeches most savagely while they were still alive.
Lumumba and Sankara were taken away from Africa through the connivance of Africans working with outside forces.
The reason for killing these icons is the same reason why today the West cannot stomach Robert Mugabe: we should not control our own resources and must remain chattel of the West.
Lumumba, Malcolm X and Sankara were true sons of Africa, and in their short unhappy lifetimes, they showed us that we have it in us to excel
Confessions of a CIA agent: ... how the imperial powers control Africa by remote control.(Chief of Station, Congo: Fighting the Cold War in a Hot Zone by Larry Devlin)(Book review)..
Larry Devlin was the CIA chief of station in DRCongo in 1960 when the American president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorised the assassination of the Congolese prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, by lethal poisoning. Devlin was given the job to kill Lumumba, but his conscience so smote him that he kept the poisons for so long that the job was taken from him and given to someone else. In his memoirs published this month, Devlin unwittingly exposes how the imperial powers run Africa by remote control. This is one book every African must read. Osei Boateng reports.
The evil that men do lives after them ... But for Larry Devlin, the CIA's chief of station in DRCongo for much of the first two decades of independence, "the evil" that he and his colleagues and superiors at the CIA headquarters and in various American governments wrought on Congo appears to live not after him but with him right now.
Devlin now lives in France, and from his own account (recounted in his new book, Chief of Station, Congo--Fighting the Cold War in a Hot Zone published this month), he appears to carry a load of guilt for what the Americans did in the early 1960s in truncating the progress of what is arguably Africa's richest country (natural resource wise).
But, not surprisingly, Devlin tries to expiate the guilt by finding refuge in the Cold War. "We removed [Prime Minister Patrice] Lumumba from power because the Soviet Union wanted to use him and Congo as a bridge to other African countries" is his favourite refrain throughout the book. But this excuse does him no credit as anybody with the most tenuous grasp of history knows that Congo was not the first African country to gain independence, or the first to be ruled by a "radical" prime minister friendly to Moscow.
Ghana gained its independence in 1957, Guinea in 1958 and several others in 1960, and some of their leaders were far more radical and friendlier to Moscow than Lumumba was. Moreover, Lumumba was new on the scene and given no chance at all to consolidate his government, let alone rule the country. If the Soviets did not use Kwame Nkrumah's Ghana or Sekou Toure's Guinea as a bridgehead to other parts of Africa, why would they use Lumumba's Congo? But this logic is lost on Devlin.
Writing in 2006 (for publication in 2007), and after all that has happened to DRCongo since 1960 largely because of the elimination of Lumumba, Devlin insists that the American and Western action in Congo was to prevent the Soviet Union--their Cold War enemy--from achieving their objective of influencing and eventually controlling Lumumba and, thus, Congo and the nine countries it shares borders with, namely: Congo Brazzaville, Central African Republic, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Angola.
But he gives the game terribly away in his very next paragraph: "Had the Soviets gained a position of control or influence in the nine countries and colonies," Devlin claims, "they would have had an extraordinary power base in Africa. In addition to gaining control or influence over the minerals, raw materials, and oil produced in Africa, it would also have greatly increased their influence in the Third World, as well as extending their influence within the UN" [emphasis added].
Translated into simple English, Devlin is saying natural resource control was the real motivation for the American and Western machinations in Congo. Fighting communism was just a smokescreen. After all, Devlin insists that "Lumumba was not a communist".
He writes: "Control of the Congo, moreover, would give the Soviet Union a near monopoly on the production of cobalt, a critical mineral used in missiles and many other weapons systems, since the Congo and the USSR were the world's main suppliers of the mineral. Such a scenario would put the US's own weapons and space programmes at a severe disadvantage."
What he doesn't add is that the uranium used for the atomic bombs that Washington dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the last months of the Second World War, came from DRCongo. And without Congo's diamonds, the British and their American allies could not have defeated Hitler. So Congo's natural resources were, and still are, vital for American and Western survival (including today's magic mineral, coltan, of which Congo has 80% of Africa's reserves).
Perhaps the most stunning revelation Devlin makes--albeit unwittingly--is the confirmation that the metropolitan powers run Africa by remote control. In telling about how the Americans ran Congo from 1960 and throughout the Mobutu years, Devlin unwittingly provides graphic details of the rule by remote control through which the imperial powers tell supposedly "independent" African leaders what to do and how to do it.
In a major interview with New African in May 2002, Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, hinted about the rule by remote control without being specific. Talking about the British attitude to his government's land reform programme, President Mugabe said: "The sad thing is that they [the British] don't want to examine and analyse what has gone wrong. They want to go inexorably on this path of hard attitude, but we say to them, 'OK, they are in Britain and we are in Zimbabwe; they may do this or that, but our people can never, ever allow themselves to come once again under British control--remote control or direct control never!" As our long-time readers will remember, our May 2002 front cover headline was: Mugabe: No Remote Control Ever Again! But what Mugabe said didn't actually hit home until Devlin's book came out this month.
He describes in great detail how the Americans run the show in Kinshasa (Leopoldville at the time). He himself was the linchpin, running 22 agents and collaborators, and telling Mobutu and his friends, including the ceremonial president, Joseph Kasavubu, who had crossed over from Lumumba's side to Mobutu's, what to do, how to do it and when to do it. The so-called "Congolese leaders" were mere pawns in the American and Western chess game. Even the decision by Lumumba to invite UN troops to Congo--a disastrous decision it turned out in the end--came from the then American ambassador in Kinshasa, Clare H. Timberlake (or Tim, for short).
From Devlin's account, the Americans had a field day running the then Colonel Joseph Mobutu, President Kasavubu, Justin Bomboko, Cyrille Adoula, Victor Nendeka and their other pro-Western friends for the benefit of America's national interest. On one such occasion, Devlin recounts how Mobutu, Bomboko and Nendeka consulted him over the problems they were having with the pro-Lumumba Ghanaian ambassador in Kinshasa.
"I naively suggested that all they had to do was declare the ambassador persona non grata, and he would leave the country," Devlin recalls. "I've already done that," Bomboko, the foreign minister on Mobutu's side, replied. "And what happened?" Devlin asked. "The Ghanaian … http://business.highbeam.com/165610/article-1G1-162299176/confessions-cia-agent-imperial-powers-control-africa.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on June 28, 2014 at 11:05 AM||comments (0)|
Our Afrikan Ancestors are very deep. We are the ancestors sleeping... There are levels of thought that we are reaching that some try to replace with wicked spell magic/ fantasy and lies.
The Etruscans, for the little we know, followed a similar religion. Should we see here a true astrological religion based on sixteen signs instead of twelve? In any case, it is certainly a memory of Atlantis, homeland of the Etruscans and the Yorubas.
On the compass always appear sixteen directions whose names are listed here in initials.Here is another track: wouldn't the sixteen divisions of the sky show that the Yoruba gods came from the sea? If there is a place where it is important to divide the horizon into sixteen directions, it is definitely the wide ocean. From time immemorial, sailors have included wind rose on their marine maps, which is their strongest ally in the liquid desert, the compass rose. The sixteen directions of the sky mean that Yoruba gods were high seas' sailors, to whom the direction was very important.
Most probably these high sea sailors were coming from the other side of the Atlantic, some 9,000 years ago. This could explain many cultural similarities that can be found between the two shores of the South Atlantic. Other authors have highlighted the existence of a maritime tradition in West Africa during the early history, these include Harry Bourne, who also quotes Paul Johnstone (Seacraft Prehistory, 1980) and McGrail (ib . & The Boats of Ancient Northwest Europe, 1987).
Brass head of a Yoruba king from Ife 20,000 old, discoverd in 13th century
A film about the bronze cast Head of an Ife King, currently on display at the British Museum in London.These sculptures are sculptures of black people Ile Ife Nigeria the cradle of Yoruba's
Europeans underestimating the utter genius of ancient Africans. Literacy originated in Africa (in Egypt) Kemet and they wanna proclaim that Egyptians weren't blacks, now it's that they didn't even make their own sculptures!. The arrogance of these people is astounding, what sense does it even make that the Portuguese made these? All they Ports cared about was money, not pleasing the natives.
Head of an Ife King is more than 20,000 years old
There are much older ones in private collections and the ulm museum in germany
|Posted by sjaugu on June 27, 2014 at 6:45 AM||comments (0)|
African history month is dedicated to the African communities history, which is 24 by 7, constituting every day, week and month in the year. Every month will have a different theme.
This tribute honors Elombe Brath for his half a century of relentless dedication fighting for justice and humanity on behalf of the Global African Communities. There were hundreds of people in attendance, to mourn his memory, at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem New York on May 31, 2014. Among them were dignitaries, activist, government officials, plus a plethora of individuals who came to give their condolence to his family.
Concluding the historic rites of passage ceremony, Elombe’s dear wife Nomsa said she was happy that she married her husband and that “he struggled all his life to uplift Africa.” Brath is also survived by his seven children, grandchildren, brothers and other relatives.
Below are condolences, tributes and article's from the Internet. That describe Elombe Brath life of activism.
Elombe Brath was a “foot soldier and a general of the Pan African Movement” declared former South African President Thako Mbeki in a letter of condolence read to the hundreds gathered in Harlem with foreign emissaries from afar as the African Union to Cuba.
The letter from President Mbeki was read by Malcolm Omowale X Shabazz’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz. The letter also called for a new movement similar to Brath’s work for a “Titanic struggle… to pursue the renaissance of Africa.” Elombe Brath played a key role in the liberation of South Africa and was the host for President Nelson Mandela in Harlem during his first visit to the United States.
In the opening celebration of the life of Elombe Brath at the packed historic Abyssinian Baptist Church, Reverend Calvin Butts quoted the 68 Psalm proclaiming “Ethiopia shall soon stretch out its hands unto God”.
This Psalm is one of the premier scriptural verses of the early African Diaspora Church tradition and is especially most promoted by African nationalist and early Pan African leaders starting in the 18th century to remind Africans in the Diaspora of their profound spiritual and enduring bond with their Motherland, Africa. This Psalm was a beacon of hope for the longing of returning to Africa and the search of African dignity, humanity and redemption, during the worse of chattel slavery. The African liberation theologian and activist Reverend Dr. Herbert Daughtry followed with the opening remarks stressing that no one “can talk about African freedom without thinking of Elombe Brath.”
From Harlem, Minister Haseez read a letter from Minister Louis Farrankan that gave condolence from the Nation of Islam to the Brath family.
Ambassador Tete Antonio, United Nations Representative from Angola spoke on behalf of the African Union Chair Dr. Madame N.D. Zuma stating that Elombe Brath was a consistent key advisor on the Organization of African Unity and then to the African Union affairs. In announcing the African Diaspora as the 6th region of Africa, Tete urged that the significant contributions of Elombe Brath to the liberation of Africa must be now translated in the “making of the vision of the African Diaspora 6th region a reality, for the future, and the renaissance of the African Continent.” Tete is also a representative of the African Union to the African Diaspora.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba and former President His Excellency Sam Nujoma of Namibia sent a special delegation with His Excellency H. P. Asheke to participate in the funeral service of Brath. The condolence letter from the former SWAPO leaders announced that the “Namibian nation honors an unwavering freedom fighter and tireless Pan African”. It further declared that Brath was a great “Pan Africanist who was shaped by Marcus Garvey to fight for the freedom, independence and nation-building is deserving recognition for his contribution, and steadfast work for the dignity of African people.” Brath was the primary advisor for SWAPO representatives and other freedom fighters at the United Nations during the height of African liberation struggles from the 1960’s through the 1990s.
Former Councilman Charles Barron pointed that Elombe Brath legacy and work must not falter and that all Africans must continue struggling to “stop imperialism and neo-colonialism in Africa.” Also former Black Panther Party leader and student of Brath, Bin Wahad Dhoruba brought condolences from the political prisoners for whom Brath fought with and for. Dhoruba called for actions to stop the recolonization of Africa and urged the community to establish an Elombe Brath institute to continue his legacy.
Dr. Leonard Jeffries, President of WADU reminded those in attendance that they are part of the 6th Diaspora region of which Baba Elombe Brath worked to create when he helped to establish WADU in Jamaica in 2007 as his final mission for African people. He emphasized that Brath creation of WADU was due to his relentless pursuit of victory by all means.
A Tribute to Elombe Brath,
Pan-African Revolutionary Teacher
Among the assembled was a delegation from Namibia. Elombe Brath fought for decades in supporting SWAPO’s [the South West Africa People’s Organization] armed struggle to win Namibia’s freedom from apartheid slavery. Elombe did everything he could to support SWAPO leader Sam Nujomo. Like Amilcar Cabral — the leader of the liberation struggle in Guinea-Bissau — Elombe Brath told no lies and claimed no easy victories.
He was the loving father of seven children and beloved companion of Nomsa Brath, who survives him. It was ironic that Elombe Brath died on May 19, the birthday of Malcolm X. On May 19, 1990, Elombe Brath came to a Workers World Party meeting that was being held to honor the birthdays of both Malcolm X and another former resident of Harlem — Vietnamese communist hero Ho Chi Minh.
Like Malcolm X, Elombe Brath was a truth teller. His weekly radio show on WBAI — Afrikaleidoscope — was an educational weapon that reached thousands weekly with the latest news of struggles in Africa and the Diaspora. Afrikaleidoscope was also filled with beautiful music by African and African-American artists. Elombe Brath was a lover and collector of music, particularly of jazz. Led the Patrice Lumumba Coalition.
Along with his beloved friend and comrade, the late Samori Marksman, Elombe Brath formed the Patrice Lumumba Coalition, which fought against apartheid and every form of colonialism. Elombe and Samori were the vanguard in fighting not only for South Africa’s freedom, but also for the MPLA [the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola] in Angola and FRELIMO [the Mozambique Liberation Front] in Mozambique. Elombe Brath also supported revolutionary Ethiopia. The overthrow of Ethiopia’s revolution was a tragic consequence of the Soviet Union’s destruction.
As one of the founders of the December 12th Movement, Elombe popularized the slogan “Africa called, Cuba answered.” Two thousand Cuban soldiers are buried in Africa, where they died defeating the Nazi armies of apartheid South Africa. Elombe always defended Cuba. In 1992, he was an endorser of the “Peace for Cuba” rally that packed New York City’s Javits Center while 15,000 counter revolutionaries were forced to freeze outside.
Elombe Brath was invited to Cuba to listen to Comrade Fidel Castro describe how the Angolan and Cuban soldiers, along with fighters from SWAPO and the ANC [the African National Congress], destroyed the apartheid army at Cuito Cuanavale in Southern Angola. Nineteen months after South Africa retreated across the Angolan border, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison.
Elombe Brath was also a firm supporter of Zimbabwe, where the land has been given to its rightful owners, the African people. He hailed the overthrow of Africa’s shame, Mobutu Sese Seko, the U.S. puppet dictator in Congo who had helped to murder the great African independence fighter, Patrice Lumumba.
Elombe went to Congo in 1997 to interview Laurent Kabila and presented the hour-long interview to over 200 people at the Victoria 5 Theatre in Harlem. As a youth, Elombe was a follower of Carlos Cooks, the leader of the African Nationalist Pioneer Movement. Cooks was an associate of the Honorable Marcus Garvey.
In 1995, Elombe Brath emphasized that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge wanted Mumia Abu-Jamal executed on August 17, the 107th anniversary of Marcus Garvey’s birth. Elombe worked tirelessly to save Mumia’s life. Workers World Party along with many other organizations and individuals — above all sisters Pam Africa and Ramona Africa — stopped the executioners and helped get this revolutionary off death row.
Now, we must fight to free Mumia, the MOVE 9 and all political prisoners. We need to tear down the walls brick by brick and bring home hundreds of thousands of prisoners to their families. Elombe worked tirelessly to free political prisoners, including Dhoruba bin Wahad. Brath also fought to free the Central Park 5.
There, in Harlem, Elombe passed a message to Winnie Mandela that she was standing next to Betty Shabazz. The two sisters embraced. Long live the memory and example of Elombe Brath! Taken from a talk given at a June 6 Workers World Party forum in New York City.
Elombe Brath helped lead the struggle to preserve the African Burial Grounds in lower Manhattan.
He fought for Africans and oppressed people everywhere. Kwame Ture — who, as leader of SNCC [the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee], was known as Stokely Carmichael — called him “the dean of Harlem nationalists.”
If you wanted to struggle, you respected Elombe and wanted to know what he had to say. For last year’s tribute to Elombe, world renowned political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal recorded a message from his prison cell, telling of his “admiration and affection” for him. Workers World Party comrades also admired Elombe Brath. Our party’s first secretary, Larry Holmes, was part of a delegation that attended Brath’s memorial on May 31 at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.
But how come the name Elombe Brath? It was the result of a suggestion of Thomas Kanza, the top diplomat of the Congo, appointed by Patrice Lumumba, head of the government of the former Belgian Congo around 1960s.
Kanza had exchanged ideas with Cecil Brathwaite Jr and found him an articulate pan-African advocate, jazz enthusiast, radio producer and historian of African culture and politics and suggested the Bajan change his Christian name to Elombe which he said meant “all knowing.”. The rest is history. Most people whose surname is Brathwaite are routinely called “Brath” as a term of endearment. Hence, the new name Elombe Brath.”
Brath, as a graphic artist and consultant on "Like It Is", helped attract African scholars of renown on the show and also shared his knowledge of the continent with Gil Noble. Viewers became accustomed to watching interviews with the likes of: Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan; Professor John Henrik Clarke; Professor Leonard Jeffries; Dr. Ivan van Sertima; Joy DeGruy; and many others. Visitors to Gil Noble's office would have also been impressed with the books that lined his shelves: on African history, politics, arts, and culture.
“He lived his life doing what he loved,” said his son Cinque Brath. “He wanted global fairness for people around the world.” He was one of the top organizers when Harlem welcomed Nelson Mandela, in 1990, and a strong advocate for the Central Park 5. Brath, the Brooklyn-born pioneer who grew up in Harlem and Hunts Point, founded the Patrice Lumumba Coalition in 1975. The Harlem-based group spread word of the ongoing struggle against oppression in Africa. “
Brath suffered several strokes, and had been living in the nursing home since 2009.
Four of his seven children and his wife, Helene Nomsa Brath, were at his side when he died. Among the thinkers whom Brath counted as influences: Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Carlos Cooks and his cousin, Clenell Wickham, who waged a political battle on behalf of working class blacks in colonial Barbados as an editor of The Herald, a Barbadian newspaper.
“Renowned poet George Edward Tait has often expressed his love
and appreciation for Brath, and did so elegantly at the tribute.
“Brooklyn & Bronx brainchild answering the be-bop beat of a Barbados Birdcall;
Hip strutting to Harlem home base and headquarters;
Student of street speaker seminars and stepladder symposiums;
Becoming soldier star of study and struggle;
Becoming revolutionary renaissance revivalist,
Is the opening stanza of the poem in honor of his fallen friend and associate
It was truly “Elombe Time,” and as Tait concluded in his poem:
“A freedom fighting man; a family man;
Freedom fighting day after day;
freedom fighting decade after decade;
With family foundation, family fixture, family framework, family fulfillment;
Behold the Brath of most persistence;
behold the Brath of most resistance;
It’s Elombe Time: to be continued & continued & continued & continued.”
Source: Poet George Edward Tait
It is only fitting to conclude with an article from his brother Kwame.
Elombe was one of the founders, and the lifetime president of the African Jazz-Arts Society & Studios, (AJASS) a cultural group which had been founded during the summer of 1956 in the South Bronx but moved to Harlem in 1961. The group was a collective of Black artists, photographers, performers, and students (including Kwame Brathwaite, Robert Gumbs, Chris Acemendeces Hall, Frank Adu, Jimmy Abu and others) who gathered to promote Black Arts and Culture. This was the beginning of what became “The Black Arts Movement” which many believe started in 1965, nine years later.
Install pride and confidence in Black women, who at the time were looked upon as less than beautiful by the mass media, the fashion world and by Black people themselves. After the 1961 contest, AJASS formed the nucleus of a group of models to explicitly promote the African standard of beauty, The Grandassa Models under the direction of Elombe. The image of darker women had been long overlooked by such magazines as Ebony, Jet, Tan, contradicting their very names.
Thus the “Naturally” series of “cultural extravaganzas designed to restore our racial pride and standards” was born, beginning with the production of “Naturally ‘62” on January, of that year.
Source: A Legend: Elombe Brath
By Kwame Brathwaite
Here are my final personal thoughts on a fellow African Nationalist, as well as a friend.
I first met the Brath brothers (Elombe and Kwame) in 1960. When we were members of the ANPM (African Nationalist Pioneer Movement). I am truly blessed to have been able to watch Elombe grow from a student fifty years ago into a a highly respected leader in the global African communities.
Moreover, was especially, impressed by Elombe (together with his brother Kwame) creation of AJASS (African Jazz-Art Society Studios), that was formed in 1956 in New York. It was the pure genius on their part to use entertainment as a means to teach African culture and pride.
It was done with the “Black is Beautiful " series of shows. And it grew and became popular for over a decade. It began in 1962 and lasted until 1979. During that period, a gradual change of culture occurred to women hair styles. Resulting in the natural hair look became acceptable to black women until this current day.
Even more astounding, is his life time of dedication, is best explained by his brother and also, portions of an article below.
"His life has been a marathon of causes here and around the world on behalf of our brothers and sisters who needed their struggles to be voiced and recognized, whether in South Africa, Namibia, Congo, Ethiopia, Grenada, Burkina Faso or in the United States."
Africa’s Great Freedom Fighter Makes Passage into the Ancestral World
"Elombe Brath was raised from birth under the influence of the Honorable Marcus Garvey in the African Nationalist Pioneer Movement (ANPM) led by Carlos Cooke of the Dominican Republic. He then spent his full life fighting for the decolonization of Africa and other oppressed nations of the world. He stood firmly for Black empowerment in the USA and beyond, and was a champion for human rights and justice.
His main role as a freedom fighter was coordinating, promoting and providing direct support and assistance to the leaders of the liberation struggles across Africa, especially in southern Africa.
Also, from his Harlem headquarters of the Pan African movement, he worked directly with revolutionary leaders and ambassadors at the United Nations to mobilize support and assistance for Pan African resistance to imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism, and for the building of Garvey’s vision for a united states of Africa.
In addition to organizing and spearheading African liberation support committees, the tireless Brath helped to co-found several key organizations including the Patrice Lumumba Coalition PLC), the December the 12th Movement (D-12) and the World African Diaspora Union (WADU)."
In line with Elombe activism, he popularized the slogan “Africa called, Cuba answered.” As well as, in 1992, was an endorser of the “Peace for Cuba” rally that packed New York City’s Javits Center.
Consequently, Elombe Brath was invited to Cuba by Fidel Castro, who described how the Angolan and Cuban soldiers, along with fighters from SWAPO and the ANC [the African National Congress], destroyed the apartheid army at Cuito Cuanavale in Southern Angola in March 1988, the army of apartheid South Africa was defeated by a Pan-Africanist alliance that included tens of thousands of Cuban volunteers. Their victory forced South Africa's racist rulers to enter negotiations that led to the dismantling of anti-apartheid organizations, the release of Nelson Mandela, the independence of Namibia, and ultimately freedom for South Africa.
All aspects of the global African communities were represented at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem New York on May 31, 2014. Although, there were hundreds in attendance and thousands or perhaps millions mourn his passing. However, those are also millions who is unaware of Elombe's existence. Above all, his life of activism should be known throughout the global African communities.
Most certainly, his life of activism is worthy of a BOOK along with a DOCUMENTARY.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on June 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM||comments (0)|
Our heritage of mathmatics:Traditionnal African method of the fractal system,binary codes,are used today in computers,and other systems but origin is African.Even part of the ancient Bamana sand Divination system.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on June 19, 2014 at 3:00 AM||comments (0)|
Blackout: How Argentina ‘Eliminated’ Africans From Its History And Conscience.
Tens of millions of black Africans were forcibly removed from their homelands from the 16th century to the 19th century to toil on the plantations and farms of the New World. This so-called “Middle Passage” accounted for one of the greatest forced migrations of people in human history, as well as one of the greatest tragedies the world has ever witnessed.
Millions of these helpless Africans washed ashore in Brazil -- indeed, in the present-day, roughly one-half of the Brazilian population trace their lineage directly to Africa. African culture has imbued Brazil permanently and profoundly, in terms of music, dance, food and in many other tangible ways.
But what about Brazil's neighbor, Argentina? Hundreds of thousands of Africans were brought there as well – yet, the black presence in Argentina has virtually vanished from the country’s records and consciousness.
According to historical accounts, Africans first arrived in Argentina in the late 16th century in the region now called the Rio de la Plata, which includes Buenos Aires, primarily to work in agriculture and as domestic servants. By the late 18th century and early 19th century, black Africans were numerous in parts of Argentina, accounting for up to half the population in some provinces, including Santiago del Estero, Catamarca, Salta and Córdoba.
In Buenos Aires, neighborhoods like Monserrat and San Telmo housed many black slaves, some of whom were engaged in craft-making for their masters. Indeed, blacks accounted for an estimated one-third of the city’s population, according to surveys taken in the early 1800s.
Slavery was officially abolished in 1813, but the practice remained in place until about 1853. Ironically, at about this time, the black population of Argentina began to plunge.
Historians generally attribute two major factors to this sudden “mass disappearance” of black Africans from the country – the deadly war against Paraguay from 1865-1870 (in which thousands of blacks fought on the frontlines for the Argentine military) as well as various other wars; and the onset of yellow fever in Buenos Aires in 1871.
The heavy casualties suffered by black Argentines in military combat created a huge gender gap among the African population – a circumstance that appears to have led black women to mate with whites, further diluting the black population. Many other black Argentines fled to neighboring Brazil and Uruguay, which were viewed as somewhat more hospitable to them.
Others claim something more nefarious at work.
It has been alleged that the president of Argentina from 1868 to 1874, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, sought to wipe out blacks from the country in a policy of covert genocide through extremely repressive policies (including possibly the forced recruitment of Africans into the army and by forcing blacks to remain in neighborhoods where disease would decimate them in the absence of adequate health care).
Tellingly, Sarmiento wrote in his diary in 1848: “In the United States… 4 million are black, and within 20 years will be 8 [million]…. What is [to be] done with such blacks, hated by the white race? Slavery is a parasite that the vegetation of English colonization has left attached to leafy tree of freedom.”
By 1895, there were reportedly so few blacks left in Argentina that the government did not even bother registering African-descended people in the national census.
The CIA World Factbook currently notes that Argentina is 97 percent white (primarily comprising people descended from Spanish and Italian immigrants), thereby making it the “whitest” nation in Latin America.
But blacks did not really vanish from Argentina – despite attempts by the government to eliminate them (partially by encouraging large-scale immigration in the late 19th and 20th century from Europe and the Near East). Rather, they remain a hidden and forgotten part of Argentine society.
Hisham Aidi, a lecturer at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, wrote on Planete Afrique that in the 1950s, when the black American entertainer Josephine Baker arrived in Argentina, she asked the mixed-race minister of public health, Ramon Carilio: “Where are the Negroes?” In response, Carilio joked: “There are only two -- you and I.”
As in virtually all Latin American societies where blacks mixed with whites and with local Indians, the question of race is extremely complex and contentious.
“People of mixed ancestry are often not considered ‘black’ in Argentina, historically, because having black ancestry was not considered proper,” said Alejandro Frigerio, an anthropologist at the Universidad Catolica de Buenos Aires, according to Planete Afrique.
“Today the term ‘negro’ is used loosely on anyone with slightly darker skin, but they can be descendants of indigenous Indians [or] Middle Eastern immigrants.”
AfricaVive, a black empowerment group founded in Buenos Aires in the late 1990s, claimed that there are 1 million Argentines of black African descent in the country (out of a total population of about 41 million). A report in the Washington Post even suggested that 10 percent of Buenos Aires’ population may have African blood (even if they are classified as “whites” by the census).
"People for years have accepted the idea that there are no black people in Argentina," Miriam Gomes, a professor of literature at the University of Buenos Aires, who is part black herself, told the Post.
"Even the schoolbooks here accepted this as a fact. But where did that leave me?"
She also explained that almost no one in Argentina with black blood in their veins will admit to it.
"Without a doubt, racial prejudice is great in this society, and people want to believe that they are white," she said. "Here, if someone has one drop of white blood, they call themselves white."
Gomes also told the San Francisco Chronicle that after many decades of white immigration into Argentina, people with African blood have been able to blend in and conceal their origins.
"Argentina's history books have been partly responsible for misinformation regarding Africans in Argentine society," she said. "Argentines say there are no blacks here. If you're looking for traditional African people with very black skin, you won't find it. African people in Argentina are of mixed heritage."
Ironically, Argentina’s most famous cultural gift to the world – the tango – came from the African influence.
"The first paintings of people dancing the tango are of people of African descent," Gomes added.
On a broader scale, the “elimination” of blacks from the country’s history and consciousness reflected the long-cherished desire of successive Argentine governments to imagine the country as an “all-white” extension of Western Europe in Latin America.
“There is a silence about the participation of Afro-Argentines in the history and building of Argentina, a silence about the enslavement and poverty,” said Paula Brufman, an Argentine law student and researcher, according to Planete Afrique.
“The denial and disdain for the Afro community shows the racism of an elite that sees Africans as undeveloped and uncivilized.”
By Palash Ghosh http://www.ibtimes.com/blackout-how-argentina-eliminated-africans-its-history-conscience-1289381#.U6AOUSZq1hI.facebook
Statue of "The Slave", by Francisco Cafferata in Buenos Aires, Argentina http://usslave.blogspot.com
Many Argentines have been quoted as saying, no hay negros en Argentina (there are no blacks in Argentina). I, like so many others, not only believed this to be true, but are clueless to the fact that the famous Argentine Tango music and dance had its beginnings in Afro-Argentine barrios (ghettos).
It has been well over a century since Argentina reflected the African racial ancestry in its census count, but according to the organization Africa Vive (Africa Lives), it's been calculated that there are about 1,000,000 African descendents in Argentina. The 2010 census introduced the African ancestry survey.
Guitarist and Tango composer Enrique Maciel
A Brief History of the Black Roots of Argentine Tango
In the 19th century, the African population began its sharp decline for the following reasons:
Heavy casualties caused by the constant civil wars, war for independence, and other foreign wars of which blacks made up a disproportionate part of the Argentine army. Also, like the Bufffalo Soldiers in the U.S., Afro Argentine soldiers fought against the native population whom the white Argentines despised as well as the blacks. It has been said that the government has purposely sent many blacks into dangerous front line battles.
Yellow fever epidemic of 1871.
Migration from Argentina to Uruguay and Brazil, where there were more blacks and a more favorable political climate.
Massive immigration of Europeans between 1880 and 1950 when European immigrants were heavily welcomed and while non-Europeans unwelcome.
By the late 19th century, black women, not having enough available black men, married European immigrants and white Argentines producing racially mixed children who also married non-black mates upon coming of age.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on June 8, 2014 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
Africa and Europe: Before The Next Holocaust (Part 1)
One hopes that Europe and in fact the entire world is reflecting upon the rise of the far right political parties in recent European and country (national) elections. The trend is growing and the discussions about it are not getting the full attention.
Europe today moves precariously near those points and factors that led to the Second World War. There are serious and significant traces of similar circumstances today as what led to the eventual holocaust that characterised the war. The Jews were the biggest casualties of the Second World War. We know that the previous holocaust through the slave trade that took place in Africa tore the continent apart and this sad historical occurrence has been largely undermined and underreported. No repatriations have been officially paid. The plights of Africans in the hands of the Nazis were also covered up.
In recent years several governments in Europe have come under fire. There are so many reasons for these developments. It is not very clear however how the introduction of the EURO as a common currency and the continuous expansion of the continent have contributed to this dilemma. In some countries the economic fortunes have declined to the extent that they’ve needed huge financial bailouts. Still in other countries the citizens have emigrated en-mass.
Flexible migrations in/within Europe are made possible by the enlargement or admission of new member countries into the EU. There is also no doubt that the cost of labour or hiring labour has had significant impact on the employment pattern. Economic migration and asylum-based migrations are worldwide today.
Meanwhile there has been a lot of funfair and pomp around the 70th anniversary of the D-Day that saw the allied forces landed in Normandy and the aftermath of this was what led to the defeat of the Germans-effectively marking the end of the Second World War. One man’s will to conquer the world was put to rest. Hitler and his Nazi party madly convinced their likes that people of other races are inferior and needed to be exterminated or subdued.
When the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day (which sadly excludes the role of our African soldiers) is weighed vis-à-vis the recent rise of far right political parties one wonders if the celebrations have not beclouded the reasoning of the various governments in Europe and the US. It appears that the gains of the D-day are suffering from serious erosions and will be wiped away in the future.
If the political trends and the so called nationalism or nativity going on in Europe keeps their momentum, it is not unlikely that the some of the conditions that led to the Second World War will be totally met in a couple of years. It may be 5 years, it may be 10 years, or it may even be 50 years. What is obvious is that if the pattern is not checked, the point will be reached sooner or later.
There are a lot of assertions that may be wrongly placed.
For example, some people cannot imagine that barbaric killings or holocaust of the 1930s can take place in the year 2014 or in the future say, 2020. But the signs tell us otherwise. Some people also cannot admit that the rise in the far right politics is partially or totally racially driven depending on the country. But it is, because even if one ignores the other reasons or factors, it is very difficult to separate (only) the politics of migration from racial discrimination and intolerance.
Others argue that people are engaging in “protest” votes against their governments because of lack of jobs, lack of social justice and downturns in the economic fortunes. One thing that was very easy to do in the 1930s was to preach similar arguments at rallies that eventually led to the rise of the Nazis. What is happening today in Europe is not different from what happened more than 70 years ago.
Therefore, it appears that Europe is returning to her past, very quickly.
In some countries in Europe, there are open campaigns against certain races of people. More specifically in Sweden the advert below sponsored by the Swedish Democrats targeted street beggars mainly from Eastern Europe. It states that it is time to stop organised begging on our streets. This type of advert was a very common method adopted by the Nazis.
[A campaign advert in the metro styled according to the Nazi advert of the 1930s. It reads "it is time to stop organised begging on our streets"]
Many people condemned the advert and it was as if hell was let loose. But what happened after the EU parliamentary election in May 2014? Well, it is either the people who protested about the posters/advert went to sleep when they were supposed to vote, or they were hypocrites. What is probable is that some of the people who protested against this advert online may have voted for the racist party. If not, how can one explain the (victory) of the far right party despite the condemnation that greeted their adverts and letters which they sent to people’s homes?
In general far right political parties now flourish in Europe. Again, some people will argue that there will be no more holocausts. But I am convinced that the people who lived in Europe in the 1930s had the same feeling---they may have reacted this way,
"oh shut up, that is not going to happen! We are civilised now!"
But when the laws were passed declaring some humans are lesser beings, what followed was unimaginable.
It appears once again that evil is on the rise in Europe and people are becoming passive again. People who are not passive are engaging in hypocrisy.
We have seen cases of Africans or people of African descents being targeted for several years across many countries in Europe. In recent months, there are so many unpalatable incidents where extremists have gone unpunished for crimes against ordinary citizens. The signals one gets from such injustices leaves more to be desired from Europe in general.
[Fidel Ogu, a Nigerian visiting Sweden in 2013. He became one of the victims of the Nazi attacks. He was stabbed in the lower abdomen and spent many months in the hospital. There is a tendency that the sustenance of far right politics will increase the occurences of these atacks]
Government policies may have failed in many European countries. There are unexpected outcomes from the flow of people across the world and across Europe in particular. France’s Front National (FN) is leading the Eurosceptic revolution in Europe and they have succeeded so far. The National Party in the UK can claim that all the UK jobs are going to the Eastern blocks and use that as a dashboard to get to Strasbourg and Brussels.
The Swedish Democratic Party can win more sympathy saying that all the social benefits are going to foreigners rather than Swedish pensioners. The Greeks can develop sympathy for a party they think will bring them prosperity. For some people when they cry, they don’t see. That is sad.
A smiling Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, seen to the right, happily poses before cameras and a "Swedish 'N*gger Cake."
It is easy to forget the innumerable benefits that accrued from intercultural societies. It is easy to forget that the world is now a global village. So many of these far right parties have undermined the importance of the roles of immigrants in providing or filling the gaps in the essential service industries and thereby helping to prevent a total collapse of the European economy in general. It is too easy to ignore that in some countries more than 25% of the population is over 60 years!
It is inappropriate to target certain races of people while trying to argue for methods or ways to improve the economic situation of a country. For some racists, the issue is beyond politics or the economy. Some people are just uncomfortable with people of other races because in their minds they think they are superior to the others and therefore they should never meet or mix. I don’t know if there is a cure for such mental deficiency or orientation but it must be suppressed to stop this gradual build up to the next holocaust. The threat is real. It happened before because people didn’t think it would.
If people keep talking about the rise of the far rights groups as an exciting phenomenon, while doing nothing positive to stop it once and for all, it may take another D-Day to halt the consequences. There are so many global distractions nowadays that it is pretty hard to keep a tab on key issues that will shape the world in the next generation or in the coming years.
Many people will remain disillusioned about the issue of race supremacy and one of the toughest arguments that will be used to drive home the points of view that are evil will be the issue of anti-migration. Migration is almost as old as mankind but it continues to have great influences on humans in the areas of jobs, housing and population distributions that are related to pressure on infrastructure and the quality of life.
The shape of things to come in Europe will be well defined during the next rounds of elections that will take place in various countries. Europeans and European migrants will confirm fears and agitations from all corners by the outcomes of those elections. It will be clearer if the recent EU parliamentary elections were a fluke or the reality of the future of the world.
The worst case scenario is that the far right political parties will consolidate grounds on their home soils and will become influential and decisive on the issues relating to jobs and migration. At that time, nativity and nationalism will be redefined and migrations laws will be rewritten.
If Africans and African-Europeans are retargeted as during the days of slavery (and during the Second World War when they were castrated and kept in isolation or were summarily executed), what are our options? Is Africa ready to welcome our brothers and sisters in what may be the biggest mass deportation in human history? Is Africa ready to receive us, our children or our grand and great-grandchildren back home?
(to be continued)
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on June 7, 2014 at 12:50 PM||comments (0)|
MY DREAM PILGRIMAGE
If the Federal government wants to sponsor me for Tourism (pilgrimage) in Israel or Saudi Arabia, I will turn it down because I will be using my government/tax payer’s money to better the life of Saudi and Israeli citizens and to boost their tourism ministry. I will rather opt to visit the Pyramids in Egypt to see our ancient and noble civilization yet to be rivaled anywhere in the world; A mystery created in Africa by Africans which the perplexed Europeans call “The Wonder of the World”.
I will also want to visit the museum in Egypt to see artefacts of the first form of writing (Cuneiform) – this will boost my ego to always remember that civilization started in Africa.
I will also like to visit Ethiopia to learn how they were able to resist the White man from colonizing them. I will move swiftly to Mali at Timbuktu to see the oldest manuscript of modern writing in Africa and to learn about Mansa Musa’s conquest, then to Fez, Morocco to see the oldest University in the World,
King Ezana's stele is the main obelisk still standing in Northern Stelae Park in the ancient city of Aksum. The obelisk was carved and erected during the 4th century by builders of the kingdom of Aksum, an ancient Ethiopian civilization, and is named after King Ezana, the first monarch of Aksum .
Then I will go to South Africa to visit the Zulu people and learn the Zulu dance and also ask about the modern military tactics initiated by Shaka d’ Zulu.
Then I will like to visit Haiti during their voodoo festival to see the powers that led my Ancestors to fight and defeat the White man who forcefully took them from Africa and enslaved them.
Then I will like to stop over at Brazil, Cuba and other Black nations in the Caribbean to see the offspring of my ancestors who were taken into captivity.The Haitian Revolution was the only slave revolt which led to the founding of a state. Furthermore, it is generally considered the most successful slave rebellion ever to have occurred and as a defining moment in the histories of both Europe and the Americas. The rebellion began with a revolt of black African slaves in August 1791. It ended in November 1803 with the French defeat at the battle of Vertières. Haiti became an independent country on January 1, 1804.
Then I will like to stop over at Brazil, Cuba and other Black nations in the Caribbean to see the offspring of my ancestors who were taken into captivity.Oduduwa Temple, Sao Paulo, Brasil.
Then I will like to visit ,Oyo Empire was established by Yoruba people for more tha Twenty thousand years and was one of the Largest Empire in West African state. The empire succeeded lle-lfe as the dominant kingdom in the area after 1700. They were also most politically important state in the region from the mid 17th to late 18th century, holding sway not only over most of the other kingdoms in Yoruba land but also in some other nearby African states like Fon kingdom of Dahomey in republic of Benin.
Oba Ladigbolu the Alafin of Oyo from 1911-1944
I will then head back home to visit the Osun River to discover the powers that led an Australian woman to move from Germany to become the river princess (called yeye Oshun in Nigeria, Oxum in Brazil, Ochun in Cuba, and Erzulie-Freda-Dahomey in Haiti).
Believers in the Osun – Osogbo deity hold on to the conviction that since they have been using the river Osun water, their women have been more fertile and that they get healed by the Osun – Osogbo goddess.The river goddess in turn grants her wisdom and power. The Arugba commands the respect for that role of the entire community. A family that produces the Arugba is well respected and seen as a favored family in Osogbo.
Then I will visit Jato-aka in Kwanda LGA of Benue state and experience the spirituality of the Swem deity, then I will move to Oju to find out the reason why Akpam (the Igede deity) prohibits the Igede people from marring the Tiv people, then I will rest at Otukpa to seek an explanation from the Aleku High Priest on why Aleku (the Idoma deity) is only concerned about exposing adulterous women while allowing adulterous men to move about like He-goats. As I wait on the High Priest to consult Aleku, I will sit and lubricate my throat with a horn full of fresh Igumale palm wine.
Tiv people are an ethno-linguistic group or ethnic nation in West Africa. They constitute approximately 2.5% of Nigeria's total population, and number over 6 million individuals throughout Nigeria and Cameroon.The Tiv are one of the largest ethnic group in Nigeria. Tiv language is spoken by about 6 million people in Nigeria, with a few speakers in Cameroon.
Then I will head East to Abia State to the people of Aro, to ask about the powers Arochukwu (the most powerful Igbo deity) bestowed on Jaja of Opobo that led him to defeat the White men and take over the waterways of the Bight of Biafra.At the 1884 Berlin Conference, however, the other European powers designated Opobo as British territory, and the British soon moved to claim it. When Jaja refused to cease taxing British traders, Henry Hamilton Johnston, a British vice consul, invited Jaja to negotiations in 1887. When Jaja arrived, the British arrested him and tried him in Accra in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) then took him to London for some time, where he met Queen Victoria and was her guest in Buckingham Palace.
Then I will move to Benin Kingdom at the Oba’s palace to study how Oba Esigie was able to produce and flood Europe market with “Made in Benin soap” in 1506, which almost collapse the soap making industry in Europe.The Portuguese first reached Benin which they called Beny or Benin (although the Binis called themselves, their language, capital city and their kingdom, EDO), during the reign of Ozolua between 1472 and 1486 AD. The Portuguese found a highly developed kingdom with unique and very sophisticated political, artistic, linguistic, economic, cultural and military traditions in the process of territorial conquests.
Then I will head to the North to Kebbi to watch the Argungu fishing festival and probably have a word with the river prince,
then to see the old Kano walls in Kano municipal and to attend the annual Durbar festival in Kano and thereafter seek some words of wisdom from the Dan Masani Kano, Alhaji Maitama Sule.
The Hausa Kingdom of Kano was based on an ancient settlement of Dala Hill. While small chiefdoms were previously present in the area, according to the Kano Chronicle, Bagauda, a grandson of the mythical hero Bayajidda, became the first king of Kano.
Then Move North East to the headquarters of one of the oldest empire in Africa, the Kanem-Bornu Empire to find out the reason why the Arabs have a strong interest in the area; a hidden interest that has lasted for over 1000 years.
I will finally end my journey at the Shrine in Kalakuta to pay homage to Fela and to listen to good afrobeat music from the Egypt 80 band, Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti and Dede Mabiaku.
Fela was sent to London in 1958 to study medicine but decided to study music instead at the Trinity College of Music. While there, he formed the band Koola Lobitos, playing a fusion of jazz and highlife. In 1960, Fela married his first wife, Remilekun (Remi) Taylor, with whom he would have three children (Femi, Yeni, and Sola). In 1963, Fela moved back to Nigeria, re-formed Koola Lobitos and trained as a radio producer for the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation. He played for some time with Victor Olaiya and his All Stars. In 1967, he went to Ghana to think up a new musical direction.
That was when Kuti first called his music Afrobeat. In 1969, Fela took the band to the United States. While there, Fela discovered the Black Power movement through Sandra Smith (now Izsadore)—a partisan of the Black Panther Party—which would heavily influence his music and political views and renamed the band Nigeria '70. Soon, the Immigration and Naturalization Service was tipped off by a promoter that Fela and his band were in the U.S. without work permits. The band then performed a quick recording session in Los Angeles that would later be released as The '69 Los Angeles Sessions.
After Fela and his band returned to Nigeria, the band was renamed The Africa '70, as lyrical themes changed from love to social issues. He then formed the Kalakuta Republic, a commune, a recording studio, and a home for many connected to the band that he later declared independent from the Nigerian state. Fela set up a nightclub in the Empire Hotel, named the Afro-Spot and then the Afrika Shrine, where he performed regularly. Fela also changed his middle name to Anikulapo (meaning "he who carries death in his pouch"), stating that his original middle name of Ransome was a slave name. The recordings continued, and the music became more politically motivated. Fela's music became very popular among the Nigerian public and Africans in general. In fact, he made the decision to sing in Pidgin English so that his music could be enjoyed by individuals all over Africa, where the local languages spoken are very diverse and numerous. As popular as Fela's music had become in Nigeria and elsewhere, it was also very unpopular with the ruling government, and raids on the Kalakuta Republic were frequent. During 1972 Ginger Baker recorded Stratavarious with Fela appearing alongside Bobby Gass. Around this time, Kuti was becoming more involved in Yoruba religion. In 1977 Fela and the Afrika '70 released the hit album Zombie, a scathing attack on Nigerian soldiers using the zombie metaphor to describe the methods of the Nigerian military. The album was a smash hit with the people and infuriated the government, setting off a vicious attack against the Kalakuta Republic, during which one thousand soldiers attacked the commune. Fela was severely beaten, and his elderly mother was thrown from a window, causing fatal injuries. The Kalakuta Republic was burned, and Fela's studio, instruments, and master tapes were destroyed. Fela claimed that he would have been killed had it not been for the intervention of a commanding officer as he was being beaten. Fela's response to the attack was to deliver his mother's coffin to the Dodan Barracks in Lagos, General Olusegun Obasanjo's residence, and to write two songs, "Coffin for Head of State" and "Unknown Soldier", referencing the official inquiry that claimed the commune had been destroyed by an unknown soldier.
Fela and his band then took residence in Crossroads Hotel as the Shrine had been destroyed along with his commune. In 1978 Fela married twenty-seven women, many of whom were his dancers, composers, and singers to mark the anniversary of the attack on the Kalakuta Republic. Later, he was to adopt a rotation system of keeping only twelve simultaneous wives. The year was also marked by two notorious concerts, the first in Accra in which riots broke out during the song "Zombie", which led to Fela being banned from entering Ghana. The second was at the Berlin Jazz Festival after which most of Fela's musicians deserted him, due to rumors that Fela was planning to use the entire proceeds to fund his presidential campaign.
Despite the massive setbacks, Fela was determined to come back. He formed his own political party, which he called Movement of the People. In 1979 he put himself forward for President in Nigeria's first elections for more than a decade but his candidature was refused. At this time, Fela created a new band called Egypt '80 and continued to record albums and tour the country. He further infuriated the political establishment by dropping the names of ITT vice-president Moshood Abiola and then General Olusegun Obasanjo at the end of a hot-selling 25-minute political screed titled "I.T.T. (International Thief-Thief)".
In 1984, he was again attacked by the military government, who jailed him on a dubious charge of currency smuggling. His case was taken up by several human-rights groups, and after 20 months, he was released from prison by General Ibrahim Babangida. On his release he divorced his twelve remaining wives, saying that "marriage brings jealousy and selfishness.
Once again, Fela continued to release albums with Egypt '80, made a number of successful tours of the United States and Europe and also continued to be politically active. In 1986, Fela performed in Giants Stadium in New Jersey as part of the Amnesty International Conspiracy of Hope concert, sharing the bill with Bono, Carlos Santana, and The Neville Brothers. In 1989, Fela and Egypt '80 released the anti-apartheid Beasts of No Nation album that depicts on its cover U.S. President Ronald Reagan, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and South African Prime Minister Pieter Willem Botha.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on June 7, 2014 at 7:45 AM||comments (0)|
Revolution protects its well-being
TODAY, Zimbabwe can easily be identified as a hotbed of the post-independence emancipation struggle, and one can easily see this through the impugned twin policies — land reform and indigenous economic empowerment, otherwise known as the 51 percent local ownership policy.
The emancipation struggle is between those who have for many years been exploiting Africa’s natural resources and using the people of this continent as their tools and slaves; and those who, after realising their weakness and exploitation, have decided to overturn imperial economic hegemony in order to liberate, not only this generation, but all future generations of the country.
It is strategically sad that our liberation struggle heroes front the modern day emancipation struggle.
It needs no explanation that an ageing leadership is not the best to entrust with the custodianship of a contemporary revolution, especially in matters to do with active leadership.
Our liberation war heroes waged a bitter liberation struggle, and today we have most of the same actors precariously fronting a continuing struggle towards total empowerment of the black Zimbabwean.
It is a revolution that continues to take many forms; at times it is a silent struggle, occasionally it explodes like gunpowder, as we saw with the land reclamation revolution, or as we see today with the indigenisation policy, and at times the successes and gains achieved by the people slip away.
However, the resolve must be a matter of principle and should never slip away.
This is not only the situation of Zimbabwe, but also that of Africa since 1956 when African states began to obtain flag independence.
Since that time, many legitimate African governments have been forcefully toppled and new governments established, popular leaders have been assassinated in broad day light and replaced by pliant puppets of the West — from the rise of Joseph Mobutu in Congo at the expense of the murdered revolutionary, Patrice Lumumba, the rise of puppet–turned rebel (against British masters) Idi Amin in Uganda at the expense of the deposed socialist Milton Obote, all the way to the treacherous rise of Blaise Compaore in Burkina Faso at the expense of the brutally murdered yet morally upright revolutionary Thomas Sankara.
Lately, it has been the callous demise of Gaddafi in Libya, and the overthrowing of the democratically-elected Morsi in Egypt.
Today Zimbabwe stands politically divided between supporters of the revolutionary gains of independence and those who support a new generation of politicians who embrace the neo-liberal agenda in partnership with the countries that authored and executed slavery and colonialism in Africa.
In Zimbabwe, the broader perception of the political spectrum is that of sovereignty, independent nationalism and patriotism on the part of Zanu-PF, and neo-liberal democracy on the part of the MDC, or whatever is left of the demising party.
ZANU-PF has assumed the role of spelling out the goals of the country’s revolution, setting up policies and strategies that will ensure that the revolution is safeguarded and consolidated.
We have Zim-Asset as the latest of such policies.
This is no mean role, and the call to defend this revolution is no child’s play.
At the fruition of any revolution, the majority must always have an opportunity to promote their own well-being.
A successful revolution does not end in economic misery, and the arbiter of the politicking lips of populist politicians does not measure its glory.
Zanu-PF has not fared too badly in wrestling power from colonial minorities, but the party cannot honestly boast of having succeeded as much in handing over that power to the majority.
The opposite of a revolution is a counter-revolution: that is, quick and sudden changes which wrest power from the majority and hand it over to a minority with the aim of attaining the selfish goals of a few.
It makes no difference that the skin colour of this minority is identical to that of the marginalised majority.
The greatest aim of our revolution is to liberate the Zimbabwean.
This kind of liberation is not sent from heaven, it is achieved by combating exploitation, corruption, patronage and treachery. Specialists or experts do not bring about liberation.
It is only the majority of the masses that is being humiliated, robbed, exploited and oppressed who are the experts and specialists for their own liberation.
This is why land reclamation was best executed by the masses of Zimbabwe, and not by some land specialists and experts from the world’s renowned universities.
Our independence was a result of a mass uprising, not some sophisticated work of highly learned specialist.
There is no nation in the world that can teach Africans how to liberate themselves, and this is why those among us that believe re-engaging the IMF will bring life-saving economic prescriptions for the country must be exposed for the perfect fools they are.
The duty of liberating ourselves as black Africans lies with us, and the necessary expertise will always emerge during the course of the struggle itself.
After losing elections in Britain in 2010, Gordon Brown intimated his desire to see Africa play a central role in shaping the economic affairs of the world, and he also said Britain and other Western countries must help Africa realise its central role as a vastly resourced continent.
Much as this kind of neo-liberal rhetoric impresses a great number of African leaders today, it is perilous for Africans to expect or hope that the West will help our continent move into a central role in the running of world economic affairs.
We have diamonds in Africa and the diamond industry is estimated at over US$30 billion, US$8 billion of which lies in the extraction of the gems.
The rest lies in processed diamonds.
The West will assist Africa to be experts at extracting its diamonds, while it retains the monopoly of cutting and processing the same.
And we Zimbabweans have euphorically celebrated the kindness of the West in finally accepting us to the Belgian Antwerp Diamond Auction floors, and the whole nation is hoping for an economic overhaul from the proceeds of extracted rough diamonds.
But how then does Africa become central to the diamond industry while controlling only 14 percent of that industry — regardless of having an undisputed monopoly over the diamond resource itself?
Africa is still a continent of people suffering greatly from the weakness inherent in being exploited and humiliated, and we perpetually embrace the hand of our exploiters as the alternative hand of salvation.
The land question is still burning in South Africa, control of mineral wealth is still a burning issue among South Africans, and the role of the black South African in the national economy is a hot issue among the people of that country.
The emerging voice of emancipation gave Julius Malema’s six months old EFF party a sound one million votes in the 2014 election, translating to a decent 25 parliamentary seats.
ZANU-PF may be celebrating the irreversibility of the land reform programme, but the mining sector is yet to meaningfully benefit the national economy, the repossessed farmlands are yet to be fully utilised to capacity. The party is grudgingly courting Western funding for the revival of the country’s faltering economy, a move that makes comical mockery of the anti-treachery rhetoric against the MDC.
Swapo still has to regain Namibia’s mining industry and Frelimo in Mozambique has been opening up to capitalist expansionism on very lenient terms.
We are told Mozambique has “a booming economy,” but there is no evidence of that boom among the country’s vulnerable poor masses.
The African revolution, whose aim is the true liberation of the African, is in conflict with the politics of imperialism, neo-colonisation and capitalist expansionism.
The irony is that Africa has no other formula for running its economies apart from relying on Western capital — the very direct source of most of the woes the continent so much mourns about.
The object of neo-colonialism and imperialism is to ensure that Africa’s wealth is used for the benefit of the capitalists of Europe and America, instead of benefiting the African countries themselves.
Therefore, participating in the African emancipation revolution is participating in the struggle against imperialism, and this is what revolutionary movements like Zanu-PF must be doing.
We cannot keep bragging shamelessly about our revolutionary bravery when only a minority continues to enjoy post-colonial emancipation on our collective behalf.
This is why the guidelines to being a vanguard party must be a matter of public information. ZANU-PF’s accountability machinery must be a matter of public acknowledgement.
Taking power from an oppressive minority is not in and of itself a revolutionary move, not until such power is successfully handed over to the oppressed majority.
It is only such transfer of power that can make the liberation legacy left by our departed heroes a worthy cause.
ZANU-PF must not only preoccupy itself with winning political competition against opposition politics.
Rather the party must make good its election promises as contained in ZimAsset; promises like infrastructural development — the promised road development, 700km new, 500km rehabilitated, 200km widened, and grading 4 000km of rural gravel roads.
Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!
REASON WAFAWAROVA is a political writer based in SYDNEY, Australia.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on May 30, 2014 at 2:00 AM||comments (1)|
BOKO HARAM: A BLESSING FOR IMPERIALISM IN AFRICA: U.S. TRAINING DEATH SQUADS by Glen Ford
Militarily, Africa is fast becoming an American continent. Barack Obama, who has been president for all but the first year of AFRICOM’s existence, has succeeded in integrating U.S. fighting units, bases, training regimens, equipment and financing into the military structures of all but a handful of African nations.
The great pan-Africanist and former Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah’s dream of a militarily united Africa has been all but realized – with Americans and Europeans in charge.
Under the guise of “humanitarian” intervention, Obama has vastly expanded Bill Clinton and George Bush’s African footprints, so that only a few patches on the continental map lie outside Washington’s sphere of operations. Eritrea and Zimbabwe are the notable exceptions – and, therefore, future targets.
Africa is occupied territory.
The African Union doesn’t even pretend to be in charge of its own nominal peace-keeping missions, which are little more than opportunities for African militaries to get paid for doing the West’s bidding.
China and Brazil may be garnering the lion’s share of trade with Africa, but the men with the guns are loyal to AFRICOM – the sugar daddy to the continent’s military class. U.S. troops now sleep in African barracks, brothers in arms with African officers who can determine who will sleep next week in the presidential mansion.
The pace of U.S. penetration of West Africa has quickened dramatically since 2011, when Obama bombed Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan government out of existence, setting a flood of jihadists and weapons streaming east to Syria and south to destabilize the nations of the Sahel. Chaos ensued – beautiful chaos, if you are a U.S. military planner seeking justification for ever-larger missions.
NATO’s aggression against Libya begat the sub-Saharan chaos that justified the French and U.S. occupation of Mali and Niger. Hyperactive North African jihadists, empowered by American bombs, weapons and money, trained and outfitted their brethren on the continent, including elements of Nigeria’s Boko Haram.
The hausa-speaking Islamic warriors then bequeathed AFRICOM a priceless gift: nearly 300 schoolgirls in need of rescuing, perfect fodder for “humanitarian” intervention.Nobody had to ask twice that Obama “Do something!”
The heads of Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Benin and Cameroon were summoned to Paris (pretending it was their idea) where they declared “total war” on Boko Haram, as “observers” from the U.S., France, Britain and the European Union (Africa’s past and future stakeholders) looked on. French President Francois
Hollande said “a global and regional action plan” would come out of the conference.
Of course, the five African states have neither the money, training, equipment nor intelligence gathering capacity for such a plan. It will be a Euro-American plan for the defense and security of West Africa – against other Africans.
Immediately, the U.S. sent 80 troops to Chad (whose military has long been a mercenary asset of France) to open up a new drone base, joining previously existing U.S. drone fields in Niger, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Somalia, the Seychelles Islands, Djibouti (home to a huge French and American base), and CIA sites that need not be disclosed.
The new West African security grouping became an instant imprint of NATO, an appendage to be shaped by imperial military planners to confront enemies chosen by Washington and Paris.
What a miracle of humanitarian military momentum! The girls had only been missing for a month, and might not be rescued alive, but five neighboring African countries – one of them the biggest economy on the continent – had already been dragooned into a NATO-dominated military alliance with other subordinate African states.
It soon turned out that AFRICOM already had a special relationship with the Nigerian military that was not announced until after the schoolgirls’ abduction. AFRICOM will train a battalion of Nigerian Rangers in counterinsurgency warfare, the first time that the Command has provided “full spectrum” training to Africans on such a scale.
With the American public in a “Save our girls” interventionist frame of mind, operations that were secret suddenly became public. The New York Times reveals that the U.S. has been running a secret program to train counterterrorism battalions for Niger and Mauritania. Elite Green Berets and Delta Force killers are instructing handpicked commandos in counterinsurgency in Mali, as well.
The identity of one Times source leaves little doubt that the previously secret operations are designed to blanket the region with U.S. trained death squads. Michael Sheehan was until last year in charge of Special Operations at the Pentagon – Death Squads Central – where he pushed for more Special Ops trainers for African armies. Sheehan now holds the “distinguished chair” at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center.
In the 1980s, he was a Special Forces commander in Latin America – which can only mean death squads. “AFRICOM will train a battalion of Nigerian Rangers in counterinsurgency warfare.”
U.S. Army Special Forces have always been political killers, most often operating with the CIA. The Phoenix Program, in Vietnam, which murdered between 26,000 and 41,000 people and tortured many more, was a CIA-Special Forces war crime.
From 1975 to deep into the 80s, the CIA and its Special Forces muscle provided technical support and weapons to killers for Operation Condor, the death squads run by a consortium of military governments in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil, believed responsible for 60,000 murders.
Sheehan was probably involved in Operation Condor and its Central American component, Operation Charly, and has perfected the art of political murder, ever since.
If he is happy and feeling vindicated by events in Africa, then U.S.-trained death squads are about to proliferate in that part of the world. There is no question that Obama is enamored of Special Ops, since small unit murders by professional killers at midnight look less like war – and can, if convenient, be blamed on (other) “terrorists.”
However, history – recent history – proves the U.S. can get away with almost limitless carnage in Africa. Ethiopia’s 2006 invasion of Somalia, backed by U.S. forces on land, air and sea, resulted in “the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa” at the time, “worse than Darfur,” according to UN observers, with hundreds of thousands dead.
The U.S. then withheld food aid to starve out Somali Shabaab fighters, leading to even more catastrophic loss of life. But, most Americans are oblivious to such crimes against Black humanity.
U.S. ally Ethiopia commits genocide against ethnic Somalis in its Ogaden region with absolute impunity, and bars the international media from the region. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama – each of them with help from Susan Rice – have collectively killed six million Congolese since 1996.
The greatest genocide since World War Two was the premeditated result of the chaos deliberately imposed on mineral-rich Congo by the U.S. and its henchmen in neighboring Rwanda and Uganda. Paul Kagame, the current leader of Rwanda, shot down a plane with two presidents aboard in 1994, sparking the mass killings that brought Kagame to power and started neighboring Congo on the road to hell.
America celebrates Kagame as a hero, although the Tutsi tribal dictator sends death squads all over the world to snuff out those who oppose him.
Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni, a friend of the U.S. since Ronald Reagan, committed genocidal acts against his rivals from the Acholi tribe, throwing them into concentration camps. Joseph Kony was one of these Acholis, who apparently went crazy.
Kony hasn’t been a threat to Uganda or any other country in the region for years, but President Obama used a supposed sighting of remnants of his Lords Resistance Army to send 100 Green Berets to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan.
Just last month, Obama sent 150 more troops and four aircraft to central Africa, again claiming that Kony was lurking, somewhere. Actually, the American troops were deployed near South Sudan, which the U.S, Britain and Israel had destabilized for decades in an effort to split it off from the larger nation of Sudan.
South Sudan became independent, but it remained unstable – not a nation, but a place with oil that the U.S. coveted. Many tens of thousands more are certain to die in fighting in South Sudan, but few Americans will blame their own country.
As the carnage in Congo demonstrates, whole populations can be made to disappear in Africa without most people in the West noticing.
The death squads the Americans are training in Nigeria, Niger, Mauretania and Mali, and those that will soon be stalking victims in Cameroon and Benin, will not be limited to hunting Boko Haram. Death squads are, by definition, destabilizing; they poison the political and social environment beyond repair, as Central Americans who lived through the 80s can attest.
Yet, that is U.S. imperialism’s preferred method of conquest in the non-white world. It’s what the Americans actually do, when folks demand that they “do something.”
(The author of this excellent write-up, BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford, is an American and he can be contacted at Glen.Ford Black Agenda Report)
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on May 24, 2014 at 3:45 AM||comments (1)|
SCHOOLGIRLS ABDUCTION: What Governor Shettima Told Presidential Fact Finding Committee
“In the last three years, we have witnessed the most turbulent of times as a people. I have seen very terrible incidents as a Governor. I have come across innocent citizens of Borno killed in thousands, some slaughtered by fellow human beings who think they earn rewards from God by their brutality. I have witnessed high scale of destructions inflicted on us as a people in Borno by fellow human beings who again think they earn reward from God by their intentional and planned devastations. I have in the last 36 days, also come across a situation where men abducted young, innocent schoolgirls, separated them from their education, from their parents, from their relations and friends and from their environment and more disturbing also, attempted to separate them from their own religion out of compulsion.
To every other Muslim, worldwide, these men that kill, destroy and abduct, insult Islam by calling themselves Muslims. They have contradicted every single tenet of the Islamic religion. They have in some cases, tried to change the ordained translation of verses in the Holy Quran. To every Muslim, a verse of the Holy Quran has clearly said that there is no compulsion in Religion. But to these men of violence, there is compulsion not only in religion but even in Islamic ideology. To these men, any human who doesn’t share their ideology deserves to be brutally killed. A Muslim that is of not of the Boko Haram sect is condemned to death and so is Christian. To them, the African/human race should go into extinction for their doctrine to thrive.
Borno has seen evil times. Our people have suffered. At times, when I lament this carnage in the midst of some associates, they remind me that I didn’t create Boko Haram, that in fact, I inherited it in 2011 when I was sworn-in amidst near complete breakdown of security in Maiduguri, the largest and most populated part of the State. But I normally say to them, that a leader is elected or appointed to solve problems, it doesn’t matter whether the leader created the problem or not. A leader is elected to find solution, this is governance. There is a whole difference between Politics and Governance. In politics, you tell the general public and victims about a problem, you tell them the gravity of the problem; and with emphasis, you tell them who to blame for it. But in Governance, you identify a problem and work hard to solve it. Unfortunately for us in this interesting country, we all appear to lay more emphasis on politics than on governance. The Chibok incident, for me, has grossly exposed our weighty weakness as leaders in terms of assuming our shared responsibilities.
In the last two or three months, the entire western world mobilized men and resources, contributed so much funds in the search for a Malaysian airline which is believed to have crashed into the ocean. Majority in the western world, suspect that the crew and passengers of that Malaysian airline are most probably dead. Despite that, massive investment was and still being deployed in the search for whatever can be found as remains of those in that plane and its wreckage.
Now, while that is going on, here is Nigeria, there was a report that over 200 human creatures, young Nigerian girls about completing their secondary school education, where attacked in their school at night and whisked away like slaves in ancient years. And some Nigerians, one of them a former Minister and one time member of the Federal Executive Council which is the highest decision making body of this country, worst of all, a woman and a mother, came out to cast doubt over the abduction of these girls. That woman completely disregarded the sensitivity of that issue, the pains of the agonizing parents and our pains as a Government, to whom, the parents of these girls, cry out in desperation, unimaginable confusion and anguish. Every other unreasonable Nigerian that came to adopt that view, only anchored the unfortunate position that was first expressed by Mrs Kema Chikwe. Doubt over that abduction pained me as much as the incident its self. Doubt over that abduction pained me far more than the childish theory, that as Government, we staged that abduction in order to create basis to stop the extension of emergency rule in Borno. By the way, that theory doesn’t make the slightest sense. In relation to that theory, if a Government doesn’t want extension of emergency and chooses to fake happenings, the Government should rather deny that the abduction ever took place, evil as that is, because the abduction is enough basis for the emergency extension given the fact that the incident puts a message across that there is new and big threat to students in schools hence the need for extension of emergency rule. Then, there was the issue of saying Chibok was not safe and we went ahead to open the school. Majority of these students are from Chibok axis, if the school was considered unsafe, I don’t think any right thinking parent would allow his or her child to study in an atmosphere of high risk. But I will reserve some of my comments for a closed door session with this respected committee.
It hurts me however, that there was no kind of politics that was not introduced into that unfortunate Chibok incident. Even religion was brought in, all for the purpose of blame trade.
The politics didn’t help anybody at the end of the day. Soon after that incident, we thought that our 53 daughters that either witnessed that attack or escaped from abduction be flown abroad for psychological counseling and some medical examinations. But then, with politics of doubt over the abduction, if the State Government had flown these 53 girls abroad, the doubting thermoses would have gotten what to fly about to claim that the 53 girls were none existent or they would have probably said, we were taking the girls away from the public, probably we had something to hide. While we do much, providing crucial support to security agencies and volunteers in order to prevent attacks, we have a policy in the State, that where attacks occur, we provide immediate material support as palliative to victims of insurgency. In this year alone, we had spent close to one billion naira on victims. In Gwoza, we spent two hundred million naira for reconstruction of destroyed houses, markets, places of worship and to provide cash to victims so they could have something to rely on in the immediate term to feed themselves and families or start small businesses in the interim. In Bama, we spent three hundred million for same purpose; in Konduga we spent two hundred million naira. Unfortunately, we had to hold what we should have done for Chibok because of the politics brought in. If we had released some material support earlier, some bad elements would have said we tried to buy the people of Chibok. Unlike other communities in which private houses and markets were destroyed, public institutions like the school, council secretariat, the residence of the council chairman and some few shops were destroyed in Chibok. Communities didn’t suffer material losses. But then, from our immediate thoughts when the attack took place and also based on our recent discoveries, most of the parents of these abducted girls have nothing to eat, they are so traumatized that they have abandoned their sources of livelihood. No true mother would easily concentrate on any line of business when her daughter is in the hands of violent abductors. The same it is for most fathers. I have a girl-child; I know the psychological connection between the girl-child and parents. One can hardly even pay the required attention in prayers due to the perpetual trauma of having one’s girl-child in dangerous hands. So, are we going to continue to ignore these suffering parents and the 53 girls just because we are afraid of political accusations and false interpretations? The answer is NO. Governance is beyond the fear of accusations, Governance entails making a decision with sincerity of purpose and for the good of the society.
The Borno State Government will set aside the sum of one hundred and fifty million naira to fund a rehabilitation programme for the 53 girls and to support parents in Chibok whose sources of livelihood have been truncated by their trauma, leaving them with little or nothing to feed while we continue to work immeasurably for the release of the girls being held. The State Government is already in touch with key international organizations and a plan of action has already been proposed by the Ministry of Health in the State on issues relating to the health well being of the 53 girls as well as their colleagues soon as they are freed insha Allah. We are very optimistic that they will be freed. We have a quiet committee headed by the State’s commissioner of health, she is a female medical doctor with specialty in reproductive health, she has experience in female advocacy with International contacts on the issues before us. We may need to enlarge the quiet committee to have all relevant stakeholders that include Chibok elders, PTA of the school, Security agencies in the State, the National Association of Nigerian Students, the association of Borno Students, the female wing of Christian Association of Nigeria, the Federation of Muslim Women of Nigeria, the district head of Chibok, some civil societies and specialists in psychological counseling etc, so that we move on while we must all work very hard in collaboration with the Federal Government to ensure the release of our daughters, given them medical care, counsel them, reintegrate them and ensure they are given the right to complete their exams.
Mr. Chairman, members of this important Committee, the Borno State Government is committed to sincere and active collaboration with the Federal Government and all other support groups in our collective fight against insurgency.
In continued collaboration, however, we must trust each other’s sincerity of purpose. I see misconception about those behind Boko Haram as one major hindrance to fighting the insurgency. So long we continue to look the wrong way on who is or are behind Boko Haram, there would be lack of focus on the part of most stakeholders and in which case, the victims would remain the accused.
I wish this committee of respected men and women of impeccable character, a successful endeavor and I am confident that this committee has integrity, enough to guide it towards finding the facts on the attack of April 14, 2014 at Government Secondary School, Chibok.
I thank you for listening as I look forward to meeting you for a closed door session.
May God free our daughters from captivity and May He grant us eternal peace in Borno and the entire Nigeria”
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on May 23, 2014 at 12:35 PM||comments (0)|
'Nigeria is Neither Christian nor Muslim'-Ifa Worshipers Blames Religious Groups for Boko Haram
On Thursday, when Ifa priests from all across Nigeria gathered to pray in Ibadan, the group blamed Christians and Muslims for the boko haram insurgency currently plaguing the nation.
Professor Idowu Odeyemi, President of the International Council for Ifa Religion,said, "Nigeria is neither a Christian nor a Muslim nation. Nigeria is a nation of Africa spirituality; before Arabs and European invaders..Islam and Christianity are the foreign colonialism imperialism religion lie. Now that this two religions have boxed Nigeria into a corner of confusion, violence, chaos and anomie, practitioners of African religion and spirituality have now stepped in to halt the rot".Go back to your roots...
Ifa The true Religion of Yorubas.Sixteen is the number of cosmos.
In the Beginning, Olodumare (God) gave the Orisa Orunmila a flawless method of communication between himself and the Orisa called Ifa. Ifa is linked to destiny through the Ifa the true religion of Yorubas . Sixteen is the number of cosmos; it represents the primal order that issued from the unity of Olodumare.
(Sixteen is also a significant number in the world of computers.) When the world was first created, it spread out from an original palm tree that stood at the center of the world at Ile-Ife. The palm tree had sixteen branches, which formed the four cardinal points and the sixteen original quarters of Ile-Ife. In political terms, Odudua, the first oni of Ife, fathered sixteen sons who founded the sixteen original kingdoms of the Yoruba. On a deeper level still, Orunmila taught the art of divination to his sixteen sons; they, in turn, passed it down to the Babalawos who practice it today.
Through the linked concepts of order, creation, and destiny, the number sixteen represents the variables of the human condition, the sixteen possible situations of human life. For the Yoruba, the sixteen principle signs are called Odu or Olodu, from each of which are drawn sixteen subordinate signs (omo-Odu, "children of the odu" or Odus).
These represent the sixteen essential life situations with sixteen possible variations each. This means 256 possible combinations (Odu's) or two to the eighth power. Each Odu is a recital of a set of poems called ese, that provide clues for the resolution of the problem during a divination session. There are at least, and by far not the most, 16 different ese's for each of the 256 Odu. This adds up to at least 4096 different scenarios. The goal of the Babalawo is to arrive at the appropiate Odu for the situation of his "querent".
For more info about Ifa Read more.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on May 23, 2014 at 12:05 PM||comments (2)|
Chibok Girls: Ugandan President Mocks Nigeria
“I have never called the United Nations to guard our security. Me, Yoweri Museveni to say that I have failed to protect my people and I call on the UN: I would rather hang myself. We prioritized national security by developing a strong Army, otherwise our Uganda would be like DRC, South Sudan, Somalia or Nigeria where militias have disappeared with school children.
“It would be a vote of no confidence in our country and citizens if we can’t guarantee our security? What kind of persons would we be?”
Museveni, a former guerrila fighter before he became president, mocked Jonathan while speaking at a grand final campaign rally for the NRM woman standard bearer Rebecca Nalwanga at Zirobwe Town Council grounds in his country.
He said he would rather commit suicide than ask the international community to help safeguard his country against militias, boasting that his country has a strong army to do the job.
In apparent reference to the support Nigeria has received from foreign powers to rescue the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram on 14 April, Museveni mocked: “I have never called the United Nations to guard us. Me, Yoweri Museveni to say that I have failed to protect my people and I call on the UN: I would rather hang myself. We prioritized national security by developing a strong Army, otherwise our Uganda would be like DRC, South Sudan, Somalia or Nigeria where militias have disappeared with school children.
“It would be a vote of no confidence in our country and citizens if we cannot guarantee our security? What kind of persons would we be?”
The failure of Nigeria to rein in the rampaging Boko Haram insurgents and protect school children from being kidnapped by the terrorists just like the Chibok girls, sparked a global outrage that has turned Nigeria into a laughingstock in the international community.
Museveni’s mockery comes on the heels of a recent attack on Nigeria by Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe. Mugabe said Nigeria was so corrupt that you have to bribe a pilot before he could fly his passenger plane at Nigeria’s airport.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on May 23, 2014 at 7:00 AM||comments (1)|
Nigerian Kidnapped Schoolgirl Caught Texting on Cell Phone.
The security at the Boko Haram compound, if there even is such a compound, is apparently exceedingly poor. During the phony prayer session the untenable is seen. A ‘kidnapping victim’ can be seen sending a text:
What is she doing in such a high security compound, so high in security and so well hidden that even the Israeli special forces can’t find them, texting or calling? She could easily call President Obama and give him an update. She could send a text to Michelle Obama and let her know their whereabouts. What about the local emergency line or, perhaps, the police? Moreover, what about her parents? Surely, she knows their number.
It is realized that she is intently fixed on that I-phone or whatever it is called. Her eyes are cast downward, focused on the screen. Yet, couldn’t she do something more constructive considering the nature of the circumstances? Couldn’t she call or text her granny, aunt, uncle, friends, neighbors, or anyone else in case her parents are indisposed?
Regardless, the capacity to use a cell phone in the midst of a kidnapping alone proves it a fraud, let alone the fact that she has one in her possession.
Who can, now, believe this is real?
Hold on; this is not being fare. They were in devout worship before this, reciting for them a brand new prayer, the Islaamic version of the Lord’s Prayer. They were taught this in captivity (sarcasm).
CHIBOK SCAM EXPOSED: Nigerian Kidnapped Schoolgirl Caught Texting on Cell Phone
The security at the Boko Haram compound, if there even is such a compound, is apparently exceedingly poor. During the phony prayer session the untenable is seen. A ‘kidnapping victim’ can be seen sending a text:
She can be seen holding up her cell phone, while concentrating on it intently, right screen. She is either texting or reading a text. Or, perhaps, she is taking a “selfie.” Or, he could be reading her messages.
What is she doing in such a high security compound, so high in security and so well hidden that even the Israeli special forces can’t find them, texting or calling? She could easily call President Obama and give him an update. She could send a text to Michelle Obama and let her know their whereabouts. What about the local emergency line or, perhaps, the police? Moreover, what about her parents? Surely, she knows their number.
It is realized that she is intently fixed on that I-phone or whatever it is called. Her eyes are cast downward, focused on the screen. Yet, couldn’t she do something more constructive considering the nature of the circumstances? Couldn’t she call or text her granny, aunt, uncle, friends, neighbors, or anyone else in case her parents are indisposed?
Regardless, the capacity to use a cell phone in the midst of a kidnapping alone proves it a fraud, let alone the fact that she has one in her possession.
Who can, now, believe this is real?
Hold on; this is not being fare. They were in devout worship before this, reciting for them a brand new prayer, the Islaamic version of the Lord’s Prayer. They were taught this in captivity (sarcasm).
What about this fraudster? She’s worshipping underneath her gown. She clearly appears to be an actor rather than an actual Muslim, convert or otherwise.
None of these women, upon close inspection, appear as if they are conducting devout worship. What this demonstrates, though, is the ones in the back are not as careful in their fakery.
These are not worshipping Muslim women. Nor are the, clearly, kidnapping victims. These women in the back are looking in every conceivable direction but not down in reverent prayer. Plus, incredibly, the woman, far left screen, appears to be hiding something, either a smirk or a smile. Two of these women (not girls) are looking directly towards the camera.
However, wait a minute, despite all the proof otherwise it must be real. They must be truly oppressed women. Arch-fraudster and New World Order mole, Zionist Jew Malala Yousafzai has lent her support, endorsing the phony cause. When she opens her mouth speaks the likes of a ‘prophet,’ the Zionist media claims.
Could there be any creature on the earth more hideous -more vile – than this murderous Zionist mole? Her very existence represents nothing other than treachery.
This is a hoax. These are not religious people. They are actors playing a role for paltry gains.
Moreover, it’s a minefield out there. Surely, in the videos and photographs additional anomalies – additional evidence of fraud – will be revealed. The key issue, though, is the lack of panic,, pandemonium, and despair. There is no adrenalin running in this crowd, and there surely is no shock. By the way where are the Boko Haram guards? Is it possible that the entity doesn’t even exist? .
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on May 22, 2014 at 8:30 AM||comments (1)|
Jonathan Government’s Stunning Callousness
The kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls in Chibok town some three weeks ago has drawn widespread global opprobrium. Instinctively, Nigerians and people globally, pricked by human feeling, have seen the latest barbaric onslaught on poor Nigerians by the murderous Boko Haram terrorists, as an assault on human dignity and safety. To most people, this terror sect has reached its crescendo with the abduction of innocent schoolgirls.
Ironically, the Nigerian government, led by Goodluck Jonathan did not see reason why it must be bothered about kidnap of schoolgirls. For it, the logic that this is not the first time justifies its lukewarm attitude. This explains government’s careless attitude to the plight of the pupils and their parents. Even at the peak of the outcry by the parents to the government, the Jonathan government did not issue a single statement, at least to console the parents. On the contrary, it exploited the issue for its political interests. For instance, while the government did not sanction senior security chiefs who misled the nation by claiming that most of the schoolgirls have been rescued, many protesters, especially in the north were illegally arrested.
Tragic-comically, the president’s wife, Patience Jonathan, whose husband could hardly lift a finger for two weeks, was quick to issue ‘order’ for the immediate release of the schoolgirls. She even arranged a tear-shedding session with journalists. Interestingly, the following day, two of the selfless and concerned parents, leading the campaign for the release of the girls were clamped into detention, because they ‘embarrassed’ the government of the madam’s husband.
The President, at a media chat, was busy asking journalists to help him find the missing girls, because they (the journalists) know more about security and defence of the country than the Commander-in-Chief does! The same president that budgeted close to a trillion naira for defence last year was asking journalists to guide him on national security! Prior to this time, the President, in a show of pure callousness attended a political rally in Kano dancing, while in the nation’s capital city, Abuja, more than seventy lives were burning to ashes in a terrorist bomb blast. Surely, Nigeria is in deep shit, when it comes to governance.
Imperialist Intervention: An Assured Failure
Consequent upon these official shenanigans, not a few people will be ready to accept any means possible to rescue these kids and reunite them with their parents. However, in our quest for immediate release of the girls and end to terrorism, we must spare thought for the kind of solutions on offer. The current messianic status being accorded western imperialist governments of the United States (US), Britain, France, etc as being expressed in major newspapers in the country and internationally, is misplaced and indeed dangerous. Of course, behind the latest imperialist intervention is Nigeria’s bankrupt, corrupt capitalist ruling class, through is rotten politics, which has failed Nigerians in all areas. While the western governments claim that only a few military and intelligence forces will be involved, the reality is that the country is in a protracted foreign military hostage.
The US and other western government’s military involvement in the Boko Haram issue will not guarantee peace in the northern Nigeria or elsewhere. In fact, it has the capacity to draw in stronger forces of global terrorist network into Nigeria, as the country will be seen as another outpost of western imperialism against terrorism (a seed capitalist imperialism sowed in the first instance). Whether the Chibok schoolgirls are found or not, the US and western imperialist militaries will use the opportunity to seek a permanent base in the country, and play more roles in the internal security policies. With this will be deeper involvement of western imperialism in the politics and economics of the country. He, who controls the defence, dictates the pace of the politics and by extension controls the economy. A review of western media editorials and reports suggests that there is a conclusion being drawn that Nigeria is a failed state, and the government is incapable of addressing not just security situation but also the problems confronting the polity. This is a background to placing western capitalist governments as savior of Nigeria.
Already, western militaries, with US African Command in the lead, are playing decisive roles in the Gulf of Guinea, with the possibility of building military bases in the coast of Nigeria around Lagos. This is being done under the guise of combating oil bunkering and piracy. The Nigerian government, under Goodluck Jonathan, has already surrendered Nigeria’s coastal defence to the western imperialist forces. With the latest involvement in northern Nigeria, in the name of fighting terrorism, the cycle may be complete. Moreover, the US drone bases have been situated in Niger, which borders Nigeria, while France has presence in Mali and other francophone African countries. There have also been previous attempts to set up a drone base in Nigeria without success. Just few years ago, Nigerians rejected citing of US African Military Command (AFRICOM) base in Nigeria; but today, western militaries may have achieved more than they dreamt. Nigerians must reject western military intervention.
This is in addition to gross human rights abuses this will engender. For instance, while one of the excuses of western imperialism in Afghanistan is the need for women liberation, the country, thirteen years after, has seen further degeneration of women’s conditions with abduction, rape, etc being the order of the day. In Nigeria, half of over 1500 deaths in the first quarter of this year alone in the terrorist campaign were attributed to Nigerian military’s indiscriminate killing, with many of those killed by the military suspected to be innocent people or detainees awaiting trials, according to Amnesty International report. Should we forget that the same Nigerian military razed a whole town sometimes last year, killing hundreds of people (the Baga massacre). Indeed, western intervention can only worsen these situations. The drone killings in Afghanistan and Pakistan are clear examples.
By helping to find the schoolgirls, western imperialisms will become an important factor in the counter-terrorism policy of the government, and the overall defence system of Nigeria. On the contrary, if the girls are not found, it will justify protracted involvement in Nigeria’s internal security. Already, according to the UK Guardian, the British foreign policy experts and politicians are discussing using the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle, a 2005 principle agreed to at the UN, which has been used by imperialism for predatory interventions in Darfur, Libya, Yemen, Mali, etc. Also, some sections of US security and diplomatic corps are considering the Yemen option. This means having unfettered right to locate and destroy enemies (potential and real), using lethal weapons including drones, without approval or oversight from local government. It will also involve control of a country’s intelligence network, which will mean direct profiling of citizens. Why these may not be on immediate agenda, they are open options depending on how far western imperialisms are allowed by Nigerians. For instance, without strong opposition from the working people, western imperialism will be mired in deeper engagement with terrorists, not only in Nigeria but throughout the continent, using Nigeria as a launch pad.
The #BringBackOurGirls Campaign
The current social media campaign, especially the #BringBackOurGirls twitter campaign, while playing vital role in drawing international attention to the terror campaign in Nigeria, without clear background to the underlining causes, may be feeding the imperialists’ interventions with confidence and authority. A one-line slogan hides a lot of information about the role of western governments in the germination and growth of terrorism itself. It, on the contrary, makes open-ended what kinds of solutions are needed to rout terrorism, thus leaving the initiative to the imperialist forces. A parallel can be drawn with the #Kony2012 campaign, which allowed imperialist forces to invade not just Uganda, but other countries like DR Congo, South Sudan, etc under the guise of finding Joseph Kony of the LRA (the Uganda rebel group, which has unleashed murderous terror on children and women).
While Kony has not been found, the US and other European military forces are still domiciled in the continent. With this, the US AFRICOM has been able to secure semi-permanent bases in many east African countries. In other parts of the continent, especially North Africa, US and European forces, under the guise of fighting terrorism and stopping genocide have secured bases in such countries as Mali, Djibouti, Niger, CAR, etc. While terrorism, genocide and piracy have not stopped, western forces are still present in Africa than ever. Therefore, the current social media campaigns, which may lose steam without clear mass mobilization campaign, need a class-conscious analysis to determine what solutions are needed and who should provide them. It is surprising that discredited capitalist politicians like David Cameron (who wanted to wage bloody war against Syria), Gordon Brown, Tony Blair (who, alongside George Bush, was the architect of the imperialist wars in Afghanistan and Iraq), Hillary Clinton, etc are now using the campaign to rescue the girls as a whitewashing and image laundering tool. Moreover, this campaign, without a clear-cut slogans as the tendency to gloss over worse atrocities being perpetrated. For instance, just few days ago, over 300 lives were again wasted in Gamboru Ngala, in Borno State. This definitely cannot be covered by a #BringBackOurGirls campaign.
What is the way forward?
Consequently, Nigerian working people must understand that the capitalist classes, whose policies provided the breeding ground for terrorism to thrive, cannot genuine end terrorism. At best, they can only replace one terror with another. In ending terrorism, capitalists have created more problems than solution. Therefore, the genuine solution can only come from the working people themselves. As immediate measure:
1. NLC and TUC must call a 48-hour general strike with mass protests across the country, to mobilize popular mass movement against terrorism, and the flippant manner the Jonathan government is handling it. Such mass movement must also reject imperialist intervention but mobilize for working class and community based defence committees. This strike and mass movements should be linked with all the other basic socio-economic demands of the people. By mobilizing mass movement across the country, Boko Haram will be isolated, and Jonathan government will need to justify its continued existence.
It is important to note that where mass of working and oppressed people are united in their collective struggle against anti-people policies, divisive tendencies of terrorism and fascism are easily subsumed. This is because, as stated earlier, divisive tendencies like terrorism are product of suffering wrought by globalised capitalism. Therefore, only mass movements of working and oppressed people can detach and erode the base of these divisive groups. Throughout the January 2012 protests and strike against hike in fuel price in Nigeria, no single bomb was thrown, neither was there any terror attack. However, a day after labour leaders botched the protests; a terror attack killing scores of people was carried out in the city of Kano. Indeed, the defeat of sit-tight regimes in the Arab world was not accomplished by bombs but by mass movements of workers, youth and the oppressed. Indeed, where mass movements develop, terror forces are isolated.
2. Democratic community and workplace defence committees should be set up across the country, especially in the north, as a counterweight to brutality of the terrorists and the Nigerian military. These defence committees should organize defence of communities, including intelligence gathering, searches, armed resistance, etc. The excuse that people will be killed does not suffice, as people are already being killed senselessly and without opportunity of self-defence. In fact, Chibok community people, including women organized a search and rescue team in the wake of the military’s pusillanimity. According to a Dr. Manaseh, whose sister was among the abducted, “after the incident, over 204 people including volunteers from Chibok mobilized a day after the attack and stormed Sambisa forest with many contributing N15, 000 each for fuel to be used in their motorcycles for the rescue…” (Vanguard, 11 May 2014). Who says working and poor people cannot organize?
Will such self-defence committees not be abused? This is why there is need to put such committees under democratic control of communities, with every household involved in the formation and control of such committees. These committees will be different from the so-called Civilian JTF currently existing in Borno State, which has become an appendage of the deadly military forces, aside not being under democratic control of communities. It is nevertheless important to emphasize that the spontaneous rise of the Civilian JTF (a form of community defence committee), though not on democratic basis, shows the potential for independent organization by working and community people, if there is a national lead. The leadership of the labour movement, youth movement and the Left, in such initiative can make such committee serve as revolutionary platform.
3. Working and oppressed people must organize to bring down this bankrupt Jonathan capitalist regime and the rotten, neo-colonial capitalist system it superintends over. This system is the root cause of terrorism. How do you convince a 20 year old that book is not haram when all he ever saw in the past 14 years of civil rule is poverty, hunger, joblessness, oppression, injustice and obscene display of wealth by a rich few? How will you convince a young Nigerian who has not seen the wonders of chemical reaction or the importance of electromagnetism that book is not haram? The last 14 years of civil rule has seen unprecedented wealth accumulation in the country, which can take Nigerians to the Space more than 20 times, yet it is a miracle for Nigerians to have safe transit from Lagos to Kano. A government that can commit a trillion naira to defence, but can hardly spend less than a quarter of this on education and healthcare is a government of social terror.
We must end capitalism before it ends us all. Build revolutionary workers’ party now! Workers should take over their unions and rebuild them on democratic, anti-capitalist and revolutionary basis! Build democratic revolutionary committees linked up from grassroots to the national level to replace this corrupt regime. Working people need a revolutionary socialist government that will put mainstay of the economy under democratic public ownership. With this, the enormous resources of the country, rather than being cornered by the rich few and multinational corporations, will be committed to developing infrastructures, creating decent and secure jobs, educating the youth, providing adequate healthcare, and industrializing the country. This is the only way divisive and deadly forces of religious fundamentalism, ethnic chauvinism and social annihilation can be ended.
With the economy of the country under democratic ownership, control and management of the working people, communities, professionals, etc, we can plan how the resources and wealth of the country will be best utilized, on an environmental sustainable basis, to secure decent and fulfilled lives for all Nigerians and incoming generations. This will also require the working people in Africa, and globally to rise to defeat globalised capitalism, and enthrone a democratic, revolutionary working peoples’ governments. For instance, with revolutionary working people’s governments in West Africa alone, enormous resources – human, material, natural, etc – can be harnessed to develop the region, as a prelude to forming a Socialist Federation (or Confederation) of Africa. That terrorism is fast spreading in Africa, and the world, underscores the fact that only an internationalised united working class struggles to end capitalism can permanently defeat terrorism. This is why the working people in Nigeria must build mass movements across borders to defeat both terrorism and globalised capitalism that is at the root of terrorism. The current wave of solidarity protests across continents shows that it is possible to build a trans-continental movement against capitalism.
Even if the Boko Haram sect is defeated, without working class revolutionary and socialist alternative, other divisive forces will tear society apart based on the present rotten arrangement. We need a working class political platform to lead the struggle for a socialist revolution.
Kola Ibrahim is a freelance writer, author and activist based on Osun State, Nigeria.