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SHARPEVILLE MASSACRE AND THE QUEST FOR HUMAN LIBERATION BY IFEANYI OKALI

My heart goes the entire Black race, particularly South Africans as she marks the 58th anniversary of the mindless massacre of over 60 people in Sharpeville today. Though a very sad reminder of how the black’s life has been a pawn in the chessboard of the white, it is a very remarkable signal of how dogged and resilient the fight for freedom and the concomitant losses and casualties it births has been.

The supremacy of the whites in white’s land and the inferiority of the blacks in the black’s land was a grave injustice that was not ab inito suppose to happen. The mindless enslavement and servitude the black suffered for being a black, a situation he has no control over is to say the least heart rending. It paved way for callous looting and undue exploitation of our precious resources for the development of the whites and their land, while penury, lack and debasing standard of living pervaded our own land.

Lessons have been learnt mistakes have been corrected. The real heroes are the over sixty compatriots who we are today remembering. The Black race never saw it as a South African struggle. The entire African race came together and in unison said “enough is enough” which later led to the 1994 victory of South African Independence. Nigeria was key and instrumental and indeed played an active role in the entire struggle.

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Though the struggle may have lingered, blood shed and indelible scars stamped in our minds, our consolation is anchored on the fact that freedom was achieved and our people can now live like freeborns and not like outcasts, as kings and not as slaves. This should have indeed cemented the bond of brotherhood among us. Sadly, this has not been achieved. That blacks are still being killed by blacks is a sad reminder that we are a continent where love has taken a flight. In what has been dubbed xenophobic attack, so many Nigerians and other nationals have been killed. Guess where! South Africa. This is sad and unacceptable.

In Nigeria, there are still grey areas where clamour for liberation have gained momentum because of perceived injustice. Some sections of the country are still openly disfavoured over others. Igbos particularly have not had a fair share of power equation since Independence. The wound has been viciously opened under this administration. This has led to a loud agitation that gave rise to the activities of IPOB.

While I am a strong believer in world peace, peace of the graveyard is a subtle postponement of the evil days. The people of South Africa said no to subjugation and ill treatment. They said their lives to life and freedom matters. They refused to be cowed and bow to intimidation. Nigeria has a lot of lessons to learn from Sharpeville massacre. So much massacre have taken place in various parts of our country. The poor and the downtrodden are being economically massacred. Their sense of human dignity disappearing. Their standard of living on a steady sloppy drop to the earth.

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As the world remembers those heroes today, it will do the entire globe a whole lot of good to address several inadequacies that have continued to threatened the world peace. We all have the right to live and in freedom irrespective of the colour of our skin. Nigeria must take a cue from this and desist from medieval discrimination among the religious and ethnic divides.

May the souls of the Sharpeville massacre victims rest in peace.

#UHURU

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