Contrary to what most people here think, slavery and the slave trade didn’t end in Africa. The rape and forceful destruction of the people by a more superior power never stopped at any moment in time. Even after the colonialists left, destruction continued. Even after the physical structures of the colonialists were dismantled, slavery was going on. What only changed was the slave masters and their methods. In the first slavery, it was the foreigners forcefully and, in some cases, translating and negotiating, the life of a black man with a black man. Men sold their kids to men who gave them gifts in return. Young boys considered menace to the society were sold out to give the society some peace. Men kidnapped people and worked with other evil men for an exchange. That was the first slavery involving evil factions of white and black people. The second slavery built on the legacy of the first slavery. The slave master in the first slavery left some imprints for the new slave master to work with. The new slave master is a good student in the art of evil and has a mentor in the old slave master.
The second category of slavery is not directly physical. Right now, it is being carried out all over the continent. It involves the violation and destruction of the lives of peoples of the African continent, by destroying the psyche of the people of the African continent by people of the African continent. It involves the direct and indirect murder of the minds of the people of the continent. It is a familial destruction by brothers and sisters who knew how much help is needed but busy eating the destiny of everyone. It is not directly physical and have a clothe of civilization on its rotten body. In some quarters, it is even called civilization. It pretends democracy when it is despotism. It pretends to have a system of Parliament when the parliamentarians are simply criminals. Even these criminals are not called criminals but honorables. They are legitimate thieves. In my country, Nigeria, they pass their salaries and allowance into law and calling them thieves appear unconstitutional. The child who needs an education is denied. The adult who needs jobs is denied. The old persons who need protection die while on the queue to receive pension. Externally enslaved, at the polls, they throw money around and the slaves bow down. That’s the result of slavery of the mind.
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It is this second slavery that made the slavery in Libya possible today. The simple reason their is slavery and trade of Nigerians in Libya today is because Nigerian leaders have failed the people woefully. They have mentally, physically, financially and psychologically enslaved the people for so long that trading oneself for a possibility of a better future isn’t a problem to the traders anymore. The victim is already down and he doesn’t think their could be a worse scenario. He has seen Hell and passing through mere crucibles of fire to get salvation isn’t a big deal to him. He lived in rags and mosquitoes shared the same room with him. He is not asking for electricity anymore but just good food and a meaningful life. He has seen every form of injustice around. His mind has been destroyed by the torture of leaders in government, religious leaders, leaders in education and he is…a slave with swag. And because countrymen do not understand the meaning of life or the meaning of slavery, they only protest, even if pretentiously, against slavery, when they see physical chains on the person. But slavery is more than that.
How did this began? What could make a people’s leaders become so numb to their pains, so crude in understanding and without empathy? What is it that destroyed the minds of the leaders and made any faith in them a form of slavery? The answer is slavery itself. They are enslaved themselves. In Africa, almost everyone is enslaved. No. I am not talking about physical chains. Slavery of the body was replaced by slavery of the mind and as the mind crashed, the body couldn’t exist on its own. Value was lost on a large scale and so was meaning for being. It will be unfair not to mention the footprints of the first slavers here. While the physical bodies and structures were dismantled, the mental ones were left behind and men with poor thinking ability were given the keys to save the people. We are largely enslaved mentally and it is from this form of slavery that every trading of human beings take root. The mind of many African leaders is a mental asylum and this results in the projection of the self over the projection of his people. It is like asking a mentally sick human being to help a mentally sick human being. It is like asking a blind man to give another blind man direction. It is like waiting for a ship in the desert.
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It is good we are talking about it on Social Media. It is good that our celebrities and others giants of social media are on it. It is a very good thing. The photos, though not confirmed, showed the worst form of dehumanization. A man was burnt to death and hung on a sling to the entertainment of his torturer. Another was tongue-tied, half nude and sweating under the fangs of pain. Dead bodies were packed like sardines into a small room and blood oozed out of their black bodies. Anguish, pain, blood, death and tears have been the story. The bodies of young Nigerians and other Africans who were looking for greener pastures are traded, burnt, tortured by fellow Africans and it seems the world doesn’t care. We have accepted and allowed too much bad treatment that even when we are dying, our neighbors respond with defiance. What is the African Union doing about this? The world is pretentious and have learned to treat people how they want to be treated. Africans are at the lowest point in the respect scale because we projected that image. The image of an inferior entity with dependency and leadership issues. We projected the identity of a slave. That doesn’t justify the silence from any angle.
The same Nigerians mourning for Libya hailed the military massacre of Shi’a Muslims in Nigeria. The same hypocrites mourning the Nigerians killed in Libya supported the murder of fellow Nigerians simply because they were of a different tribe and religion. The same persons preaching against the selling of human beings watched and applauded the murder of other Nigerians. I’ve seen hypocrisy walking on two feet more often to know that this has all the attributes of one. The same persons asking us to share this man’s inhumanity to man had no humanity when the military men invaded eastern Nigeria in the name of Operation Python Dance, killing many innocent people in the name of peace. This is the slavery of the mind at play. It is these same persons that have made the situation in Libya possible. It is these same Nigerians who rejoiced when fellow Nigerians were been slaughtered. I could recall you’d have to hate the President then to condemn the massacre of those Shi’a Muslims. You’d have to be a member of the Indigenous People Of Biafra to condemn to senseless killings that happened in Abia State. You’d have to hate the President to condemn the evil his government did. So where is this humanity coming from? Is it real?
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I have seen these scenes too many times, I have seen the structures around and the status quo to see that the end of slavery is not near. We have so many structures and leaders who are the very embodiments of slavery. Before Nigerians and other Africans stop the slavery and slave trade going on in Libya their has to first be a removal of slavery from the scene of African governance. Without this, these protests about slavery will just end like every other protest. Do we really want to end slavery? Do we really want to put an end to the slave trade happening in Libya? Do we really want to stop Africans and Nigerians from thinking of leaving the continent? If we really do, social media protests is just a start. The campaign for good governance is the first thing to look at. If their is no good governance the people will keep sneaking out to see something better. If their is no good governance, educating and telling the Nigerian people that Libya and the desert journey is not worth it, will not work. For all they know, they are in hell and nothing can be worse. They have been tortured and lost all hope for existence around here. They’ve reached a conclusion that anywhere is better than home. They’ve seen that you must know someone in government, be in government or rich to have a reasonable life here. And our leaders, who should be showing and acting otherwise, endorse their beliefs.