Posted by By Ihuoma Chiedozie, Abuja on
President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday, called on Africans at home and abroad to fight against the ills plaguing the black race......
President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday, called on Africans at home and abroad to fight against the ills plaguing the black race.
This, he said, would ensure their total liberation from slavery.
The President made the call in a broadcast to mark the first edition of the Emancipation Day in Abuja.
He said despite the freedom of Africans from slavery, the race continued to suffer afflictions related to it.
He listed these afflictions to include poverty, hunger, corruption, diseases and conflicts.
Obasanjo said, ”We must not forget that although the struggle for emancipation from slavery had been won, the struggle for emancipation from other strangleholds on the black person, including the stranglehold of hunger, disease, chronic poverty, and gender-based discriminations, corruption and avoidable conflicts, persist.
”We must continue to fight against these conditions which militate against our well-being and retard our progress.”
Obasanjo explained that the decision to mark the Emancipation Day on every August 1 was taken in January at the eighth ordinary session of the Summit of the African Union in Khartoum, Sudan.
He added that it was a sign of solidarity with Africans in the Diaspora in commemoration of their freedom from slavery.
The President said the scars of slavery were still manifest in African societies, and in the lives of Africans in the Diaspora.
He added that they had contributed to the continents underdevelopment.
Obasanjo said, ”Today, almost 200 years after the abolition, the scars of slavery can still be seen on both our continent and the Diaspora.
“It cannot be denied that the exploitation that slavery constituted has direct linkages with Africa‘s present economic conditions, given the massive export of strong and virile human capital that the process entailed and the attendant human resource drain implied.
”The distortions, disarticulations and underdevelopment that slavery, slave trade and colonialism entailed continue to complicate and compound the processes of growth and development today on our continent.”
However, Obasanjo urged the Diasporans to take full advantage of the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
He said the Act recognised their role in the development of the continent by according them the status of the ”sixth region” of Africa, in line with a ”people driven African Community.”
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