The Oluwo of Iwo, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Dr) Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has tendered an unreserved apology on behalf of ancient monarchs, to past and existing victims of slave trade, for their participation in the ignoble trade.
Oluwo regretted involvement of the traditional institution in selling the blacks to slavery for minute gifts, displaying remorse on behalf of his colleagues for the costly mistakes and stigmatisation incurred on victims till date.
He stated that establishing and apologising for a weakness is an acknowledgement of readiness to progression, saying his remorse is to establish the damage incurred by slavery for us to move forward, adding that it’s time to tell our children about our roles during slavery, when innocent blacks were sold by Africans for peanuts.
In a statement made available by the monarch’s press secretary, Mr Alli Ibraheem, the Oluwo related the prosperity of slavery to the ignorance of stakeholders, majority of who were kings.
He said, “I regret the involvement of the traditional institution in slavery. Monarchs are one of the stakeholders that promoted slavery.
We sold our children for wall clocks, tobacco, alcohols, guns, glass cup, wine, necklaces, food plates, sweet and other unmerited peanuts such that, today, many Africans are permanently at loss to suffer the stigmatisation and unfair treatment.
“I take the bull by the horn to apologise for the role kingship played in slave trading because of material life. Many black Americans are yet to recover from the wound of slavery. I’m apologising to the accidental blacks in Cuba, Brazil, the Carribeans, America and other parts of the world. I want the victims to acknowledge our regret for the past so that we can move forward.
“White men never forced us to sell our children as slaves. Our fathers voluntarily released their children on excitement for peanuts. Then, there was no means of payment. Humans were offered in exchange for glittering material gifts. Such ignorance shouldn’t have survived
without the monarchs’ consent, who by then, were the heads.
“We owe past and current victims of slavery an apology. I’m leading in tendering that.”
In the past, Oba Akanbi had vowed repeatedly to arrest the corruption in the traditional institution without disrespect to tradition, just as President Muhammed Buhari is fighting corruption in the government circle.
Just early this week, Buhari, on behalf of the federal government, apologised to the family of MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of and victims of the annulled June 12, 1993 election and its attendant violence.
Oba Akanbi pointed out that admittance of past ills of the office is one of the qualities of a good father, praying for a collaborative synergy with major stakeholders to curtail the survival of modern slavery in Nigeria.
He also condemned the frequent reported cases of loss of lives to the Mediterranean Sea, in Libya, warning slave traders to be holistic in their engagement with intending travellers.
Oba Akanbi called for the cooperation of the blacks to decimate rampancy of slavery, tasking the federal government to enact strict penalty against whomever is found culpable.
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