By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Stemming from what he called slavery, inhuman, degrading treatment, and exploitation of Africans and African resources, a member of Nigerian Parliament, Senator Ned Munir Nwoko, has asked the United Kingdom and other colonial masters to pay the sum of $5 trillion as reparations.
Nigeria prior to its independence in 1960 was under the rule of British colonial masters, who were accused of degrading treatment and exploitation against Nigeria and other African countries they colonised.
Nwoko, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Delta North senatorial district of the oil-rich Delta State, also demanded an apology to African people by the British authorities.
The former member of the House of Representatives and billionaire businessman stated, “I call for reparations of at least $5 trillion dollars, not as an act of vengeance, but a pathway to healing and restoration. We must establish a comprehensive framework for reparations to assess the damages inflicted by centuries of injustice.
“I call upon former colonial masters and the International Community to acknowledge the grave consequences of these historical injustices on African nations, especially Nigeria, and expressly apologize to the countries and peoples of the continent.
“Britain and other colonial powers must eventually address the specific wrongdoings and blatant rape of Africa’s peoples and exploitation of their resources.
“It is not enough to issue blanket statements as tokens to assuage their conscience (s). It would entail addressing the specific atrocities visited on the diverse peoples of the continent and implementing the regimes of reparations commensurate with the damage done to each African territory and its people.
“It would be imperative for the colonial powers to rethink and adjust the dynamics of their relationship with African territories that still struggle with the aftereffects of their atrocities.
“I beseech former colonial masters to invest in education, healthcare, infrastructure, and economic empowerment within African nations, especially those that have endured exploitation.
“I also urge the reparation of culturally significant artifacts taken from the African continent during the colonial period. In recent years, there have been a few instances of selective return of stolen artifacts to the Benin Kingdom. However, what justice demands is a wholesome restoration of these items to the peoples and places from which they forcefully and illegally removed them.
“I also challenge the terminology that simplifies the rich tapestry of Africa into a simple label ‘blacks’. Especially when used in a derogatory and abusive manner. If they refer to people from the Asia continent as Asians, Europe–Europeans, America- Americans, then they should refer to people from Africa as Africans, not blacks,” he added.