When Libya demanded compensation from Italy for its colonization, the whole world thought it was a joker. How would a third world request to be compensated for invasion of its territory, humiliation of its peoples through slavery and torture and stealing of its natural resources and heritage? Before our very eyes, Libya got Italy to its knees and forced it into accepting the fact that Italy owed compensation to the Libyan people.
Italy signed an agreement with Libya, which was adopted by both the Italian and Libyan parliaments. Italy admitted that its colonization was wrong and will never be repeated, and it promised not to attack the Libyan territory by land, air or sea. Italy also agreed to provide Libya with $250 million a year in compensation over a duration of 20 years and to build hospitals for the Libyan people. Italy apologized and promised that it would never again occupy the territory of another country. Italy which was a kingdom during the Fascist regime and made rich contributions to civilsation, should be commended for this achievement.
More than 50 years have passed, since Great Britain willingly returned sovereignty to the people of Nigeria and gave us independence. Yet, the Federal Government of Nigeria have not deemed it fit to demand compensation, from a country which invaded our territory without our consent, stole about 90 percents of our artifacts, usurp a significant part of our mineral resources, forced our men and women into labour and slavery, humiliated us by subjecting and reducing us into mere second class citizens, in our own lands and polluting and relegating our cultural values to the background.
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The time is ripe, for Nigeria to take advantage of Libya’s achievement and as a matter of utmost national importance, seek compensation duly from the British government. Why would a third world demand compensation? So that there will be no more colonization, so that large and powerful countries will not colonize, knowing that they will have to pay compensation. Colonization should be punished, the countries that harmed other peoples, during the colonial era should pay compensation for the damages and sufferings inflicted under the colonial rule. Hence, there is urgent need for compensations to be paid to countries which was colonized, so as to prevent the colonization of a continent, the usurpation of its rights and the pillaging of its wealth from happening again.
What Africa needs is compensation, not aids. We should not be seen as poor and beggars, the “super powers” should stop giving us aids, instead they should compensate us for all the atrocities they have committed against our peoples. The unlawful encroachments into our lands, desecration of our shrines, and our true African values. The “Super powers” came to Africa to steal our heritage; they stole our values and our freedom. They subjected us to mental and physical slavery and torture, they stole our gold and other mineral resources and now they call us poor? No we aren’t poor, they are the ones who made us poor in the first place. Now is time for us to ask and demand that all that was stolen and unlawfully taken from us be returned without further delay. Nigeria do not need aids from Britain or any other “Super power”, what we need is due compensation.
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