Thursday 6 November 2008

Nigeria: Living on the Slave Coast

The need for civilisation

I have been unable to allude any of the historic events about the election of the first African-American to the highest office in America to any parallel or pending event in Africa.

Many have written about scenarios where an Obama might rise up amongst the people especially in Nigeria and I have come to the conclusion that we are too far off the mark for that kind of expectation.

Some are clamouring for a civil rights kind of movement, but we are yet to attain the level of civilisation that allows for the core of society to be persuaded of the higher ideals of the protection of rights and the enforcement of rights.

We live in the Slave Coast

In fact, the country might be Nigeria but it has yet to have a state of affairs apart from its original name – Slave Coast [1].

The Slave Coast is where people in power so reminiscent of slave owners can own the citizenry like slaves, deny them their rights, hold the whip hand and herd them as cattle whilst committing heinous crimes with impunity.

Fairness is alien, justice is an aberration, legal recourse is out of reach and none of the other slaves can raise their hands in protest without being whipped down, shot down and probably lynched by a cabal of other slave owners and their dogs.

At independence we had our emancipation proclamation [2] that attempted to reveal and assert our claims to responsible government but it is still like the wild West, a jungle where life and property has little value and the slave owner class are oblivious of how they lay waste human life and humanity for pleasure as they hold sway in power and abuse of privilege.

Slave owners rights of impunity

In Nigeria we assume that all men are created equal [3], but some are more equal than others, in fact, some portend to own the rest and seek to dominate the citizenry with the retribution of hard labour, poverty, sickness, corruption, nepotism, graft and every single activity that takes humanity into a dark rabid animal kingdom of dog-eat-dog, dog-eat-vomit and worse, because it is the Slave Coast.

This does not begin to depict the realities of the Slave Coast today, but the cry is going out loud and soon and very soon, maybe a Moses shall rise out of the slave owner class to deliver the slaves from this outrageous bondage.

Make way for the slave owner

The regression of Nigeria back to the Slave Coast is depicted in a most disturbing story that has been in the news for about a week.

A Rear Admiral in a convoy with a Bantustan-mentality complex tried to evade traffic by escort for whatever business he had to conduct when inadvertently a driver seemed to block their way [4].

The navy ratings in the convoy got out and accosted the driver who happened to be a lady, she was beaten with horsewhips, gun-butted, stripped naked and left for dead as the convoy went on their way – See the iReport recording [5] and weep.

I think I have made my case for the fact that a country where that can happen is far off from civilisation to even consider civil rights.

Inequalities and impunity

Now, I do not know what business the very important slave owner Rear Admiral was going to conduct that required that traffic be cleared off the road for him – if we had a decent transport policy, there would be no need to these big-man convoys which are a clear abuse of privilege.

We all urgently need to conduct our business; but it makes one wonder why because a person is a senior military officer, that person automatically has a greater right of way than other Nigerians except of course if we live in the Slave Coast.

The story says one of the navy ratings came out with a horsewhip – this was not a race course full of horses but a main road in the Slave Coast – I am amazed that military personnel are so readily primed for unnecessary aggression in service of their masters.

Apparently, the lady made a grab for the horsewhip and in the process, 6 men of the Slave Coast naval service beat her to a pulp, left her for dead, in the middle of the road and went on their way.

Between the law and lawlessness

In Nigeria, one would expect if someone obstructed an officer in their lawful access and duty, that person would be arrested, charged and arraigned before a court with a jury of peers to determine the case, but this is the Slave Coast where jungle justice is rife and barbarians in uniform run riot in seemingly civil society.

Meanwhile, where an officer and a gentleman who holds the exalted position of Rear Admiral would have prevented his underlings from indiscipline in a civilised society, this slave owner enjoyed the spectacle of meting out punishment to a helpless slave and could not have a care in the world for who she might be or if she survives the episode with her life intact.

Slaves do not have a right to life, if they live, they do not have a right to dignity, if they protest, the slave owner overrules and sets his dogs after the slave to be mauled to bits – it is the way of the Slave Coast – that is life.

The colour bar

The “colour bar” signs that segregate the slaves from the slave owners abound around the country – Officers Only, No right of way, Oil Money for the leaders, Free Speech at your peril, Hospitals closed to the poor, Power never available, Merit counts for nothing etc. etc.

We need a civilised country for us to get a Martin Luther King to lead civil rights marches before we can have a Barack Obama that inspires the people of one nation rather than discord of tribal savages to the greater goal of nation building.

Sadly, the Slave Coast is more than a haunting ghost in Nigeria; we are lead by uncivilised, uncultured and uncouth brigands whose slave owner mentality leaves Nigeria deeper in the Dark Continent than we thought we were.


[1] Slave Coast - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[2] Emancipation Proclamation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[3] All men are created equal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[4] The Punch: A Rear Admiral and his boys’ shameless conduct

[5] Is this Democracy??? -

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