The House of Representatives has learned its voice to racial discrimination around the world by passing a motion to review the country’s foreign policy towards liberating the black man from racial oppression and discrimination.
Sponsor of the motion, Hon. Garba Dati Muhammad, in his debate, recalled the era of colonialism and its negative effects on blacks as well as the struggles for liberation by Nigerians and other Africans.
Datri noted that “the dehumanisation to which the Nigerian people were subjugated left an indelible yearning to confront denial, discrimination and oppression of any form but particularly on account of the colour of your skin, adding that for the aforementioned reasons, on attajmnent of independence, Africa became the centerpiece of Nigeria’s foreign policy;
He noted that the apartheid policy in South Africa was the most compelling instance of racism of its time and in spite of her “infancy” as a sovereign State, Prime Minister, Alh. (Sir) Abubakar Tafawa Balewa directed that a letter Ref. PPS. 27 dated 4th April, 1961 be written to the African National Congress ANC) assuring it .“that on his part, the battle against apartheid had just begun” and so began the dismantling of apartheid after more than one fhundred (100) years of its reign in South Africa;
He further noted that, true to his word, Nigeria lobbied for the expulsion of South Africa from the Commonwealth of Nations in 1961;
“Nostalgic that back those days on account of our corporate and collective integrity” that culminated in cross-border dignity, Nigeria did not slumber; Nigeria did not speak from both sides of her mouth; Nigeria roared and never whimpered in the
community of sovereign states where the inalienable rights of her racial kind were in issue;
“Bearing in mind that Nigeria rushed to sign every human rights treaty of the time like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 that espoused equality and prohibited discrimination on account of race;
“Cognizant that, as an attestation to these long held values of human rights, racial justice, equity and equality as well as African unity, our Constitution proclaims our “dedicated to the promotion of inter-African solidarity” as the 1979 Constitution did as well as to the “promotion of Ahican integration and support for African unity” and to “mutual respect among all nations and elimination of discrimination in all its manifestations” as the 1979 Constitution also did;
The lawmaker further lamented the continuous and increasing dehumanisation of Nigerians, Africans and black people across the world particularly in the United States, Europe and Asia and that political independence and civil rights legislation do not mean uhuruyet for black people who corfltinue to live in bondage;
“Distressed that daily reports are coming in of the endless dehumanisation of black people across the world including being indiscriminately shot, dismembered and maimed in places like the United States by none other than agents of the State; being mauled, maimed and lynched by dogs being set upon them by private individuals ‘and agents of the state in Asia particularly Chitta; being subjected to monkey chants in stadia and other arena around Europe, etc., humiliations, dehumanisations and killings that neither time, money nor material can erase;
“Further distressed that this incessant dehumanisation of black people across the world has compelled helpless black communities to start looking inwards towards resolving their challenges and that this has led to the groundbreaking movement “Black Lives Matter” in the United States and that with the recent police killing of the black man, Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the resultant protests, the “Black Lives Matter” protests are slowly spreading, even if hindered by the Covid-l9 pandemic, across continents;
He worried that if this trend of discrimination; annihilation, genocide and “racial cleansing” being perpetrated against Nigerians; Africans and black people all over the world is not halted, ‘there will cease to be a black population on earth in due course of time.
“Conscious that foreign policy is dynamic an}d that the time has come to focus Nigeria’s foreign policy towards its original goals of Afro centrism as well as justice for all people particularly all black people;
“Equally conscious of our foretasted history of intense agitation against apartheid and injustice in which ours and our parents, uneles and brothers’ massive resources were invested;
“Determined that the time has come to put an end to the culture of discrimination, annihilation, genocide and “racial cleansing” Being perpetrated against Nigerians, Africans and black people all over the world; that the Black race must secure the same level of protection of which the Jewish precedent is an example; and that Nigeria must once again take the lead towards this objective if eternal shame is to be avoided;
To this end, the House mandated its Committees on ‘Foreign Affairs and Diaspora to collaborate to organise a conference of local and international stakeholders towards fashioning comprehensive approaches to the festering challenge of discrimination, annihilation, genbcide and “racial cleansing being perpetrated against Nigerians, Africans and black people all over the world.