Black Lives don’t Matter and slavery is alive and well
(A glimpse into the harrowing fate of a group of people on whose backs nations have risen and continue to rise)
By Eze Uche

When the word slavery is mentioned, what comes to mind is ostensibly the horrific and inhuman treatment of Africans by Europeans. The kidnap and capture from their homelands of unsuspecting and innocent Africans sometimes on their way to the stream or farm, imprisonment, deathly journey across the oceans, auctioneering, torture and eventual servitude to various European masters wherever they are found on the globe is a well-known history which has been taught in schools all over the world. In as much as all of these are true events which are extensively documented, unknown to many, slavery in all of its horrors, agonies and pains is very much taking place today. And the numbers are staggering.

The UN and various global bodies continuously remind us that slavery continues to thrive by releasing figures based on statistics that they believe are the numbers of people currently living in various forms of slavery around the world. These statistics vary from organisation to organisation- [i]some say 45 million while [ii]others say 21 million, but within their various differences is an underlining factor and that is there are today tens of millions of people who are held under severe inhumane conditions solely for the benefit of others. In other words, in this 21st century, there are millions of people currently living in bondage. And the conditions are as ugly as they have ever been.

The master, his commodities and his subjects
As thought-provoking as modern day slavery is, these statistics barely scratch the surface of what is actually going on especially in Africa, case in point Nigeria. The case of Nigeria and similarly various countries in Africa is a bigger problem that is barely looked at or simply glossed over and which ultimately feeds the millions of cases of slavery under review by global organisations. To understand the nature and extent of the human suffering taking place in Nigeria and the wider Africa, you need a history lesson, albeit a brief one on why the place called Nigeria exists in the first place.
Since the year 1914 when a British mercenary officer of Scottish descent by name[iii] Frederick Lugard working for his British Royal Majesty King George V declared the creation of Nigeria, lumping together with immediate effect various peoples with distinct cultural, economic, social, political and religious ways of life without any consultations with them, Nigeria has only gone from one calamitous failure unto the next.
You see, Nigeria is a making of Great Britain who owned some of the largest trading conglomerates in the then British empire.  One of such behemoths was the Royal Niger Company. So for Britain’s sole interests, the lives of the various peoples were totally destroyed with the creation of Nigeria which was merely an act to consolidate Britain’s grip on her territories in that region of Africa. And to prove that the lives of the indigenous peoples did not matter, the name given to the country as you might have already guessed is a derivative of the aforementioned British company.

160,000 0000 - One hundred and Sixty Million Slaves in one place in the 21st Century
In a nutshell, this is the story of Nigeria. A country created by Britain solely for British interests. And the discovery of crude oil decades after the creation has only piled on the pains and suffering of the masses as Britain’s crude windfall soared.
Nigeria is notoriously corrupt, universally ridiculed and systematically repudiated. It does not help matters that European leaders for all their rhetoric about African corruption remain active participants in Africa’s state of affairs and by implication the failure of the continent. Funds meant for building of hospitals, schools, roads, bridges etc have been looted by Nigeria’s leaders who are by the way,[iv] selected or approved by Britain irrespective of how woefully under-qualified they may seem. Britain like other European counterparts in turn grants access for stashing of these funds into her financial institutions.
As other Western countries joined the fray,  upon seeing Britain’s wanton plunder of her prize possession, the poor peoples of Biafra, Yorubaland, and Arewa who make up the place called Nigeria, continue to wallow in misery, rejection and abject poverty.
Nigeria is a place that works for various governments through multinational companies or in the case of Germany through government agencies like Julius Berger – an outfit that camouflages as a construction company but gets paid in crude oil barrels. The massive oil and gas fields are owned or operated almost exclusively by international companies who decide how much crude oil production is reported to the mostly uninspiring, unconcerned and unperturbed leaders of Nigeria.  
Her coastal waters are criss-crossed by Chinese and European fishing vessels who understand that they can do as they please without much disturbance. Her crude oil and gas resources are a thoroughfare to criminal syndicates from the West who have perfected the business of [v]oil bunkering and sale of stolen crude. Since the inhabitants of Nigeria lay no claim to the enterprise called Nigeria, there is thus no willingness on the part of her leaders or the people to sacrifice anything for it. It is an entity that is completely detached from the people it rules over. And in such a state of affairs chaos and injustice reigns supreme.
The government actively works against the people through various means chief of them being extortion and harassment using the security forces. The place is rampant with police extortions and wanton arrests, customs and immigrations extortions at the various ports of entry, etc. A look at the treatment Nigerians receive at the hands of these organisations while Europeans, middle – Easterners and other Asians walk through is a sight to behold.
Nigeria has not worked from inception and does not show the possibility of ever working based on the fact that no one believes in it apart from those who created the place.
Do black lives matter?
That brings us to the question; do black lives really matter? From all indications the answer is a resounding no.
As the name Nigeria connotes everything unwanted, the country itself is one of the most difficult and tumultuous places on the planet to live in. From the lack of basic necessities like pipe-borne water, electricity, roads, schools, hospitals, etc which the country has woefully failed to provide throughout her history, to the more serious cases of human rights abuses which includes illegal detentions, government sanctioned rape and extortion of the populace by security forces and ultimately[vi] [vii]mass killings[viii] of innocent inhabitants.
In order to have a glimpse of the burden of being a Nigerian, you are welcome to undertake this challenge to live 24 hours as an African especially as a person branded a Nigerian by Britain. At the end of the challenge, imagine having your entire life defined by those experiences and parameters.
This ultimately begs the question why must Africans live confined within the boarders of territories created for them by European masters? Everywhere there have been disturbances or mass murders which have the potential of setting the progress of Europeans back; immediate attention has been given to them. And in some cases based on perceived irreconcilable differences in culture, religion, etc., the boarders confining those peoples within such tumultuous territories have been adjusted and in many cases, new nation states created for the enablement of peace and progress for those Caucasians.  Why therefore is the case for Africa and Nigeria different? Are Africans not worthy to live or have a semblance of human decency which is accorded to others? 

The master who is indifferent to bloodshed
Africa has never been and is not yet free from European imperialism. And it says a lot about humanity that a class of human beings are subjected to such ordeal and carnage in the 21st century. That such appalling situations and conditions are ignored, paid lip service to or dismissed out rightly is a confirmation that Europe is not willing to release Africa and her peoples from the clutches of imperialism and slavery. The statements of European government as “The colonial boarders of Africa must be maintained” should be rejected and condemned by every well-meaning and right thinking human being. What it simply means is Africans must live within the massive prisons/territories created for them by their European masters.

No statement is as dominating as hearing that your master wishes to maintain the conditions which he or she has created for you, though those oppressive conditions have been detrimental to your very existence. These are boarders which have contributed to some of humanity’s worst dictatorships and horrors which include the regimes of Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, Idi Amin of Uganda and genocidal war criminal General Yakubu Gowon of Nigeria who continues to be protected by Britain.  The Rwandan genocide and the worst genocide in recent memory, the  

Nigerian / Biafran war of 1967-70 in which millions of lives were wasted, all lay claim to Europe’s insistence that her African subjects remain as they want them.
Since there is a consensus that colonialism and slavery is evil, it is time therefore for Africans to be allowed to emerge as free peoples without the yoke and burden of colonialism which includes sustaining the economies of their European masters at the detriment of the impoverished Africans. Europe must free Africa and allow the peoples to emerge same way as nation states have organically risen out of Europe and elsewhere on the planet.
This is the most important task facing humanity. The fate of Africa in a rapidly changing world is a 21st century question. Must Africans continue to be subjected to conditions set in the dark ages by their European masters? In this modern age of knowledge and advancement, Africans must be accorded the freedom they deserve in order to advance.  
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who were once very proud and respectable people in the land of Biafra have taken this task head-on. Having been forcefully merged into the place currently called Nigeria, these people are saying they are no longer going to be slaves in Britain’s and Europe’s experiment with human beings in Africa. They are asking those with conscience to join their cause to free themselves and perhaps the hundreds of millions of Africans whose lives have been wasted for far too long with the bondage of slavery.
Their lives should matter as well.
Human remains of the victims of Rwandan genocide

Slavery                                                                                                                                                      - the keeping of slaves as a practice or institution. (Replace institution with Nigeria)                          
- the condition of being subject to a specified influence. (Replace influence with Britain)                  
- a relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty and fortune 

[i] Modern slavery estimated to trap 45 million people worldwide
[ii] Forced labour, human trafficking and slavery
[iii] Frederick Lugard, 1st Baron Lugard,_1st_Baron_Lugard
[iv] Nigeria: What lies behind Buhari’s London visit?
[v] The Warri Crisis: Fueling violence: V. Illegal Oil Bunkering
[vi] Nigeria: Killing of unarmed Pro-Biafra supporters by military must be urgently investigated
[vii] Who cares About Biafra Anyway?
[viii] Mayer Returns Safe From Biafra, Reports Two Million Face Death

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