Slavery’s Bitter Roots: US Marks 400th Anniversary Of Arrival Of First African Slaves |The Republican News

By Chris Simkins, Carol Guensburg

HAMPTON, VIRGINIA – In late August 1619, an English pirate ship named the White Lion sailed into the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and anchored at Point Comfort. It deposited, according to handwritten records, “20 and odd” Africans seized from a Portuguese slave ship headed to what is now Mexico. 

Those captives from Angola — sold in exchange for food and other supplies — were the first known Africans to set foot in colonial Virginia. Their arrival 400 years ago marked the beginning of slavery in English-speaking America, an institution that persisted for more than two centuries.   

“This is ground zero. This is the beginning of the African imprint on America,” said Calvin Pearson, head of the local history group Project 1619, as he surveyed the former Point Comfort waterfront on a breezy spring day. 

From 1525 to 1866, some 12.5 million captive Africans were put on ships bound for the Americas and Caribbean, according to Emory University’s Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.  Of those, 10.7 million men, women and children survived the treacherous voyages, chained and crowded below decks with little water or food. The great majority were taken to Brazil or the Caribbean but close to 400,000 arrived in what is now the United States. 

“Those first Africans who landed here were destined for a life of servitude,” Pearson said, noting they were sold or traded to wealthy plantation owners in Hampton or sent to a settlement on the James River. “They had to work the crops — the corn fields, the tobacco fields. It was a life they had to endure knowing they would probably never be free.”

Africans had no official status in the American colonies — not as indentured servants nor as slaves — until Massachusetts became the first to legalize slavery in 1641. Virginia made it a hereditary condition, passing a law in 1662 saying any child born to an enslaved black woman faced the prospect of servitude for life.  Eventually, the number of American slaves swelled to almost 4 million. 

The Triangular Trade 

Slavery came to the Americas as part of the Triangular Trade.

Ships from Europe carried manufactured goods such as cloth, guns and metal pans to Africa, selling or exchanging these items for captives picked up at ports along the continent’s western coast. These people would be delivered into bondage in the Caribbean and Americas. Many were forced into backbreaking work growing sugar, rice, cotton and tobacco — raw materials that were shipped back to Europe on the third leg of the triangle.

Though most slaves from the African continent were taken from Ghana and Senegal, more than 5 million who landed in the Western Hemisphere came from Angola. Colonized by the Portuguese, who dominated the slave trade for centuries, Angola accounted for roughly a quarter of the nearly 400,000 Africans sent to the North American mainland. 

While some tribal chiefs sold captives to European slavers, other leaders tried to protect their people. One was Njinga Mbande, queen of the Ndongo and Mataba kingdoms in the 17th century. A warrior and diplomat, she fended off Portuguese and Dutch slavers throughout her 40-year reign. 

“She was the greatest protector of Angolan sovereignty, and it was 40 years of fighting,” historian Isilda Hurst said from a boat cruising the Kwanza River. Njinga, she said, would hide in the river’s floating islands of tall grass, so her adversaries “could never tell where she was. … She always resisted, and she always won.”

A statue of warrior queen Njinga Mbande stands outside Angola’s National Museum of Military History in Luanda. (B. Ayoub/VOA)
A statue of warrior queen Njinga Mbande stands outside Angola’s National Museum of Military History in Luanda. (B. Ayoub/VOA)

But the Portuguese slavers ultimately prevailed. 

The Kwanza, which empties into the Atlantic just south of the capital city of Luanda, was an important trade route. People who lived near its banks got swept up in the slave trade.

“It was by the river where most of the slaves were captured,” with Africans serving as middle men in the sordid deals, Hurst said.   

The captives were taken to port communities, locked in holding areas, or barracoons, until they could be sold and shipped off.

Bracing the U.S. economy

Slave labor helped build the American colonies and, after they won independence from the British in 1783, the new nation.

“Slavery was so big and so important to the American economy that it was valued at more than all of America’s (other) industries combined,” said Cassandra Newby Alexander, a historian and dean of Norfolk State University’s College of Liberal Arts. “It really is symptomatic of the importance that people had to preserving and expanding slavery.”

By 1860, just before the Civil War, “the nearly 4 million American slaves were worth some $3.5 billion, making them the largest single financial asset in the entire U.S. economy, worth more than all manufacturing and railroads combined,” the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates quoted historian James McPherson in a 2014 essay in The Atlantic.  

Individual states could determine whether to permit slavery. While those in the South held more slaves to tend labor-intensive crops, many whites in the more industrialized, urban North kept slaves as domestic servants or skilled laborers. And though Northern states abolished slavery — some of them gradually — they still profited from the institution. 

For example, merchants in the tiny northeastern state of Rhode Island paid for ships to bring more than 100,000 captives to the New World, said Keith Stokes of Newport, who lectures on the history of Africans in America.

“Between 1705 and 1805, there are at least 900 documented slave ships that begin their voyage in Rhode Island and eventually go from West Africa through the West Indies and back to Rhode Island,” he said.

James DeWolf, who represented Rhode Island in the U.S. Senate in the 1820s, was among those who made a fortune at slaves’ expense. He invested in slave ships, in banks and insurance firms that did business with slaveholders, and in textile mills that turned cotton into garments, fueling America’s industrial revolution. After Rhode Island outlawed the shipment of slaves to North America in 1787 — and the U.S. Congress followed suit in 1807 — DeWolf’s nephew continued the slave trade illegally.
DeWolf and his extended family “engaged in slave trading on such an epic level,” said great-grandson James DeWolf Perry. He estimates they brought more than 12,000 enslaved Africans to the New World and are “probably responsible for about half a million people (who) are alive today in the Americas.”

Perry and his cousin, filmmaker Katrina Browne, are confronting the family history that shames them. They collaborated on an Emmy-nominated documentary, “Traces of the Trade” (2008), about slavery and its lingering effects. Then they co-founded the Tracing Center, a Boston-area nonprofit promoting awareness of the slave trade and its legacies affecting all Americans.   

“It’s incumbent upon me to speak out about what our family did and to help other people draw the connections to the ways in which their families are connected to slavery,” Perry said. “If we bury the dark parts of a family history, we will start to assume things like that didn’t happen, and that will greatly distort our understanding of how we got here today.”

Roles of religion 

Faith groups were not without sin.

The Episcopal Church, particularly in Rhode Island during the late 1600s and early 1700s, “profited directly … because donations from our members were proceeds of the slave trade,” said Nicholas Knisely, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.

Even the clergy enslaved people.

“We had slaves who were owned by the missionary organizations that were creating the Anglican churches here in the United States,” Knisely added. “We have records of slaves who were branded with the letters SPG — Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.”

Unitarian minister William Ellery Channing had an enslaved cook for his household in Newport and praised her industriousness, said Stokes, the Newport historian. Born in 1753 in West Africa, Charity “Duchess” Quamino became known as “the pastry queen of Rhode Island,” using the proceeds from her cake sales to buy freedom for herself and her children.
Quamino had a better outcome than many other African-born slaves. 

While awaiting slave ships in Angola, African captives were forced by their Portuguese handlers to convert to Catholicism. Baptisms, conducted in big groups, stripped the captives of their African identity. Those who were detained in Angola would be given Christian names. Those herded onto ships often would be renamed if and when they reached a distant shore.

Religious conversion helped the Africans “embrace the gospel,” said the Rev. Paulino Koteka, a parish priest in the coastal city of Benguela. But, he acknowledged, “it destroyed their identity and their culture. Many of them suffered because of this evangelization.”

In 1985, Pope John Paul II asked Africans to forgive white Christians for their involvement in the slave trade. 

Slavery’s legacy 

 At Angola’s National Museum of Slavery in Luanda, director Vlademiro Fortuna said nearly four centuries of involvement in the slave trade have taken a lasting toll on the country. Today, though Angola has the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, at least a third of its 30 million people live in poverty.

“This country was harmed in every single aspect. The social fabric was destroyed,” he said, pointing out that Angola wasn’t the only affected place.

“The slave trade destabilized African societies. … It wasn’t possible during the times of slavery and colonization for African societies to reorganize their political and labor systems. … Sometimes, people try to forget this part of the country’s history.”

That’s why the museum exists, he added.  

In the United States, a bill backed by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives proposes setting up a committee to examine and remedy the “lingering negative effects” of slavery and discrimination.  

At a June 19 hearing, proponents brought up the possibility of reparations or an apology, or both, for slavery and subsequent laws and policies that discriminated against blacks. They say those measures — affecting civil rights, education, housing, finance and more — contribute to ongoing disadvantages, including a racial wealth gap. 

The average black family’s net worth is less than 15% of a white family’s, the Federal Reserve reported in 2017. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposes compensation.

“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago, for whom none of us currently living are responsible, is a good idea,” he said the day before the hearing.

Hampton’s historic perspective 

Slavery in Britain’s American colonies began in Virginia. It was also in Hampton, at the former Port Comfort site, where the system began to unravel. 

In May 1861, a month after the start of the U.S. Civil War pitting 11 slave-dependent Southern states against the North, three Virginia slaves working for the Confederate Army fled to Fort Monroe. The federal stronghold had been built decades earlier near the site where the first Africans landed two centuries earlier.

The slaves sought refuge with Union troops who’d volunteered to suppress what was characterized as the Southern rebellion. Their commander, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler, declared the slaves “contraband of war,” a seemingly dehumanizing decision but one that meant they could legally be allowed to remain and support the Union cause. 

Butler’s decision lent protection to thousands of blacks who escaped to the fort during the four-year war, and, says Project 1619 co-founder Bill Wiggins, laid the groundwork for historic measures. 

Wiggins said the decision “forced” President Abraham Lincoln, in early 1863, to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared “that all persons held as slaves” in Confederate states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

That “led to the 13th Amendment, ending enslavement, and paved the way for the 14th Amendment, which provided citizenship (for the formerly enslaved) in 1866,” Wiggins said.

The fort was decommissioned as a military installation in September 2011. Two months later, President Barack Obama — son of a black African father and white American mother — designated Fort Monroe as a national monument.

At a small cemetery in Hampton, Brenda Tucker stood among graves where her forebears — including William Tucker, believed to be the first child born to Africans in the American colonies — have been laid to rest. 

Packed into slave ships from Angola, “so many did not survive. But the ones that did survive were the healthy ones, our ancestors,” Tucker said. Looking around the site, she added, “There is no way we can pass it or walk through it without thinking of an ancestor to whom we owe gratitude.”

Chris Simkins reported from Virginia and Rhode Island, with Mayra de Lasalette contributing from Angola and Carol Guensburg from Washington.To commemorate the first African landing at Point Comfort 400 years ago, a series of events, exhibits and tours are scheduled in and near Hampton, Virginia.

Source: Voice of America

Subscribe to The Republican News. Advertise with us. Call us for press release, enquiries. Email:, phone: +32497220468, +23481819650279, +32466100102,,

Continue reading

Biafrans Who Want To Remain In Slavery Should Vote On Feb 16 – Nnamdi Kanu |RN


IPOB Supreme Leader, Nnamdi Kanu

Kanu had on several fora urged the people of the South East to boycott the forthcoming elections in a bid to push for the actualisation of Biafra.

However, the IPOB leader declared that those who wish to renew their “slave status in Nigeria” are free to participate in the coming elections.

In a tweet, Kanu, however, reiterated his earlier call for sit-at-home order during the presidential election on February 16.

He wrote: “We in #IPOB recognise that freedom fighting is about philosophical purity and ideological consistency not pandering to political short-termism.

“Those that wish to renew their slave status in #Nigeria are free to vote.

“On February 16, 2019, #SitAtHome in Biafraland.”

(Native Reporters)

Continue reading


13-year-old Boy Stolen In Ebonyi, Sold In Imo For N300,000 |RN


On arrival at Owerri, 13-year-old Daniel was separated from his family and sold to one Madam Peppe from Mbaise community for N300,000.

Mother, 2 siblings still missing

Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki

Uncertainties are still surrounding the whereabouts of Mrs Ngozi Nweze and her two children: Elochukwu and Wisdom, who were taken away from their abode on June 15, 2015, by their neighbour who sold them in Imo State.

Until his recovery by the officials of the Ebonyi State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development recently, her first son, Daniel, was also part of the persons trafficked to the state and sold like a common commodity.

The family hails from Umuezeoka community in Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The four were lured to Imo State on a fateful day by their neighbour, whose name was simply given as Amaechi.

Before that fateful day, Sunday Sun gathered that life was hellish for the poor family of the Nwezes. The breadwinner of the family had kicked the bucket, leaving his young wife and three children, whose ages range from seven to 13, behind.

To feed, the widow worked herself to the bones in order to raise money. And in all she did, helps appeared not to be coming from anywhere. There were a series of bills to pay, ranging from school fees to clothing the children.

It was perhaps based on the obvious predicament of the family that their neighbour, Amaechi, allegedly lured them to Imo State with a promise to offer the widow a plum job through which she would be able to take care of her children.

Like the proverbial goat that goes to the slaughterhouse, Ngozi prepared the family for the journey. And on a fateful day, they bid their villagers goodbye not knowing that they had set out for a precarious journey which return was uncertain.

On arrival at Owerri, the Imo State capital, 13-year-old Daniel, was separated from his family as he was sold to one Madam Peppe who reportedly resides in Mbaise community in the same state for N300,000.

But the business went sour when the boy sneaked out of his buyer’s house during a renaming ceremony reportedly staged for him by his buyers and ran into a team of mobile policemen on patrol.

The Director, Child Development Department in the Ebonyi State Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development, Mr Godwin Igwe, who had been on the matter confirmed the incident.

He disclosed that the trafficker who also hails from the same Ebonyi community sold Daniel to the said Madam Peppe, noting that the whereabouts of the other family members remained unknown.

“What happened was that a human trafficker hoodwinked his mother and two other siblings to Imo State and probably sold or gave them out to different people.

“The story has it that the person who bought this Daniel Nweze organized a renaming ceremony. But as they were entertaining themselves lavishly, the child sneaked out.

“In the course of running back home, he ran into policemen on patrol and they then took the child to an orphanage home in the state”, he said.

Daniel’s uncle, Ven. Silas Nweze said that he got the message about the family’s disappearance a month after the incident happened.

“It was in July 2015 that I got a message that some policemen from Imo State came to our place with Daniel. I rushed to Imo State to find out. So, when I got there, I discovered that the police kept him in their facility.

“On inquiry, I was told that somebody in a nearby compound sold Daniel out to one Mr Solo from Mbaise in Imo State on one Eke market day together with his two siblings and mother. Mr Solo later sold Daniel to one Madam Peppe for N300,000”, he narrated.

But a source who preferred anonymity gave a conflicting account. “It was Mr Solo that sold this boy to a woman called Madam Peppe. Then, they organized a party, as they said; to rename him, but the boy refused to answer the name and insisted on answering his real name.

“The woman was shocked by his spontaneous rejection of the new name and she immediately demanded her money back. She accused Mr Solo of selling an ‘old man’ to her. She told him to come and take the boy back.

“In the morning, Mr Solo came and an argument over the refund of N300,000 ensured between them. The boy, having eavesdropped on their argument, ran out of the house.

“Incidentally, he ran into a team of mobile policemen on patrol. He took the police to the scene of the incident after narrating his ordeal to them. On getting to the scene, the argument was still on.

“The police arrested them, but one week later, they were released. After they were released, Mr Solo ran away”, the source said.

Receiving the boy in her office, the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Women’s Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Rebecca Ogbuewu, said that it took the ministry three years of consistent efforts to recover him from a motherless babies’ home where the police had sent him to.


She said that when the mission to recover the boy became too tough for the officials of the ministry she had detailed to bring the boy back, she liaised with her counterpart in Imo State who assisted to ensure that the child was released to the Ebonyi State government.

She, however, promised to rehabilitate the child and ensure he is properly taken care of; even as she vowed that his siblings and mother must be discovered no matter what it would take. (The Sun)


Continue reading


How Edo Parents Push Their Children Into Sex Slavery |The Republican News

By Cajetan Mmuta with agency reports



The epistle of the horrendous journey by many Nigerians in search of greener pastures in climes other than what the immediate environment provides for the citizens is one full of uncertainties and riddles. There is no doubt that the failure of families, governments and institutional leadership, overwhelming greed, and the Nigerian mentality of ‘get rich quick’ have contributed to the rise in violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, corruption and other criminalities that stare the society in the face.

In Edo State, the snag of prostitution and illegal migration seems to have gone a step to sink deep into the psyche of many homes. Consequently, it is quite sad to know that parents have silently compromised their primary responsibilities as the breadwinners of their homes. Wives and daughters have taken the drivers’ seat and the centre seems not to hold in the families. The result today is the resurgence of an alarming boost of slave markets making waves in most African countries, Europe and other developed nations.
Investigations have shown Libya, Togo, Ghana, Spain, Netherland, Belgium, Italy and others have taken the lead in the promotion of these ugly trades in human slavery. Rituals usually take place at popular rivers and shrines where blood oaths that compromise destinies and life-threatening incantations are made.

This happens where the child or one about to travel is being sponsored by relations such as aunties, uncles and or benefactors who hide under the guise of looking for house helps or deploy deceitful tactics on unsuspecting parents to look for young ladies to be sent to school or training when indeed they are actually going for prostitution. In addition, some of these children are usually required to submit to either allowing their public hair to be shared or submits their underwear to guarantee to their loyalty to the madam or auntie taking them overseas.

Churches and other institutions have in recent times intensified campaigns to discourage various wards, families and societies from encouraging the practice. For instance, a promising young lady from Delta State, Miss Florence Abu, narrated how she was lured into prostitution by a Russian based woman through her pastor in Edo State.

“It all started in 2012 when a Pastor in my church, Endurance Ehioze (of the Heavenly Ambassadors Ministries Inc.) at Isihor, asked me to see him. He asked if I would like to travel out of the country and I said yes. I told him that I am constrained financially. So, he said money is not the problem but that he has a sister abroad that would finance my trip.

“He further told me that I can pay off the sister in less than two months, and that, I shouldn’t be afraid since I am a good singer and hairstylist. He also assured me that I might be lucky to come across a white man that will support me. After that day, he gave me the telephone number of his sister in Russia, her name was Vivian Ehioze.
“When I flashed her, she called me and introduced herself. She asked me if I am interested in leaving the country (Nigeria), and she said as long as I am interested I should get my passport which I did by borrowing N30, 000 from LAPO (Live Above Poverty Organisation), and I called her to tell her that my passport is ready,” Miss Abu said.

“She (Ms Ehioze) asked me to give the passport to Endurance (her brother) that he would handle everything. The sister often called me to give me words of encouragement that everything will be fine. A few days later, she called again that I should pack my belongings and move to her mother’s place en route to Lagos. So, when I got there, her mother said it was late to travel to Lagos that day. The next morning she woke me up and said there must be agreements between us because many girls when they get to Russia don’t often pay her daughter back money spent to take them abroad. So, she said that she must take something from me as an oath and that whenever I finish paying her daughter, I will have to pay her some amount of money as well. I was surprised that Endurance who is a pastor encouraged me to undertake such an oath. I had thought that as Christians we would do it in the Christian way.

“Finally, the mother took strands of hair from my head, armpit, private part and she also collected my pant for oath taking. By the time I arrived Lagos the next day, the elder brother to my Madam, Festus Ehioze, came to pick me from God is Good Motors park and took me to a hotel. He brought out a slip of paper from his pocket and said it is my visa and that everything was genuine. He asked me to relax and said that I should use what I have to get what I want. He said his sister is abroad and being molested by people, so, he wants to avenge for her. I was shocked. I even pleaded with him but he refused. He took my phone according to orders from Vivian so that nobody might discourage me.

“When I asked him how I would be able to communicate with my mother, he assured me that Endurance (Pastor) would be the link man if I want to speak to my mother. Immediately, he brought out a gold circle condom that I should pull off my clothes. I resisted him but he forcefully had his way. He said it should be a secret between the two of us and threatened that if I disclosed it to anyone something terrible would happen to me. He took me to his house and asked me to pretend about it.
For the two weeks period I waited for my visa it was hell for me in the house. He molested me regularly but thankfully my visa  came in February 2013.”

Continuing, Abu said: “When I arrived in Russia, Vivian came to pick me up at the airport and she took me to her place in Moscow. The first thing she did was to take my passport away from me. On the third day at about 9pm, she asked me to dress up for a walk. She took me on a road walk where I met a lot of Nigerian prostituting on the streets and that was how I was lured into prostitution. I started paying the money ($45,000). When I finished payment, I was deported to Nigeria.

“After I finish paying I was inflicted by a strange illness; life was so unbearable for me and I was placed under medication for almost one year. The doctors treating me couldn’t handle my case. When I couldn’t bear it, I had to tell my mother about it. It was my mother that used to send me black soap and cream from Nigeria through courier. At a time, it was my mother that sent money to me to pay my house rent. Life there became difficult so I had to go to Nigeria authority in Russia before I was deported.”

When asked if she was not aware she was going to be trafficked for prostitution, Abu said: “I was 18 years old then, my madam lied to me that life was far better over there and that if I don’t want to stay in Russia I can travel to another country. I made all my credits at the ordinary level (School Certificate) but there was no money to further my education. So, when the opportunity came I jumped at it. Besides, my mum owed a lot of debt so, I wanted to help her because of the embarrassment.

“But, what I experienced was completely different from her promises. I was molested to a point that I fell sick. I was using gas water because of the chest pain complications from the torture I received from my madam. Sometimes I would just collapse on the way to church. I was always on drugs. She abandoned me in Russian and came to Nigeria to look for other girls. I couldn’t cope with life so I was deported back with other girls who were going through the same situation with me. If it is possible, some of our girls in Russia would trek back home because the suffering there is much, some of them are beggars there.”

Sober and pained, she advised: “Young girls, all that glitters is not gold. Yes, abroad is beautiful but if you are going to be trafficked by someone you should cry out. Life there is not what they paint on you. Many girls have died; a lot of girls out there are dead and their parents might think they are alive. Out of 300 deported in the last one year about 100 of them are HIV positive. Our girls should learn a trade and empowerment skills by themselves.

In her own account, Florence’s mother, Josephine Abu, who fought back fears repeatedly said: “My daughter was assisted to travel through Endurance our church member; he is second in command to the Senior Pastor. The suffering was too much for me to bear. He said since I owe debts that he would help my daughter to travel abroad. After my daughter travelled, I was paying N1, 300 monthly to LAPO to offset the amount I borrowed to get an International passport for her. He (Endurance) assured me that since my daughter is a hairstylist, she will make money in Russia. For a long time, I didn’t hear from my daughter until recently when information came that my daughter has been deported.”

Similarly, another victim of the Russian prostitution ring to Russia, Miss Naomi Otoijuamu, aged 23, also narrated her ordeal saying she was also trafficked and lured into the red light business in Russia.
“I was living with my elder brother when someone introduced me to a lady called Pat who arranged my travelling.”

Otoijuamu added: “The humiliation was much in Russia; my mum used to call me often to find out how I was coping. I told my mum I wanted to come home but she insisted I must pay back the money used to traffick me to Russian before coming back. I paid about $23, 000 to the trafficker and I fell sick immediately. In a day, I slept with about 17 men on an average; we usually paid the money to who we call an ‘administrator’. I have been very sick since I came back. I stayed in Russia for four years.”

At the moment, both Pastor Endurance and his sister, Vivian, are not only guests of the Edo State Police Command where they are giving the account of their ugly deals to make quick money and luxury but also are in the dark rooms at the Oko Prisons after the court remanded them. While the state government in collaboration with security agencies spread wide their net to catch more promoters of the heinous crime of prostitution, the former is not also taking the matter lightly to improve the image of the state and protect its people.

Speaking on how parents help throw their children into slavery, Mr. Solomon Okoduwa, the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration said: “For me I will say that the role of mothers and fathers in this issue of trafficking or sending children abroad has been very unhelpful. Mothers have in times past promoted illegal migration and trafficking without knowing what their children are going over there to do. From experience, I have travelled with a lot of boys and girls on the journey and they said this is the prayer points their mothers led them into and this is how they asked them to move; they have their mothers accompany them to the shrines, solicit for their madams that their daughter is good enough, she can vouch for the daughter. How their mothers cried that she is selling pure water; that she cannot survive with the pure water.

“They should please ‘assist’, her daughter to cross; when she crosses, she will not betray you.” So, these are the roles of mothers. The mothers also engage in fetish activities to ensure their sons and daughters who are travelling through legal or illegal means, have a prosperous journey. Many of them have also gone the extra miles to borrow money from microfinance banks and the question is since you have the contact to borrow money why not use it to stabilise the life of this one who you really want to have a good future.”
More worrisome is the fact that about 2, 910 male and female citizens of the state have so far been deported and assisted home from Libya and other countries by the state government and are being rehabilitated to be meaningful citizens to both the state and their families. However, some of the returnees are still bent on travelling back to their former locations.

It was not surprising therefore when the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) last week vowed to go after pastors who are in the habit of promoting human trafficking with prayers and sales of unholy anointing oil and handkerchiefs to facilitate the illicit business. The body warned that the perpetrators would face the wrath of God if they fail to repent. Chairman of the CAN in the state, Bishop Oriname Oyonnude Kure, described human trafficking as a sin against God and man, pointing out that the activities of traffickers, which had led to deaths of thousands of youths of Edo State, is worrisome and declared that any pastor involved in the act either through prayers or directly is an enemy of the church.

“The Bible is the spiritual force that binds us all as Christians, therefore anyone involved in human trafficking in the name of a pastor is not of the Bible. CAN is, therefore, saying to such pastors to repent of such sins and stop this evil. God is against it, our culture is against it; our religion is against it and CAN condemn it in totality. We commend Governor Godwin Obaseki for his efforts so far in fighting the illicit trade and we are urging those involved in it to stop or face the wrath of God,” he declared.
However, the state government with the effort of the Benin monarch, His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare II, has taken far-reaching measures to tackle the menace of slavery of Edo citizens and also encourage them with productive ventures such as agriculture and other skill acquisition programmes to improve their wellbeing.

However, speaking to journalists recently in the capital, Benin City, the Secretary of the state Taskforce on Anti-Human Trafficking, Mrs Abieyuwa Onyemwense said that the state government has said that there are plans to construct permanent shelters for returnee Edo indigenes who were victims of human trafficking and irregular migration.
Onyemwense said that such a facility was necessary to fast-track short, medium and long-term objectives of rehabilitating and reintegrating the returnees.

She explained that the state government already has a robust plan on reintegrating and rehabilitating the returnees, who the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the federal and state governments, have facilitated their return to the state. Onyemwense noted that the approach to receiving the returnees by the state government are far-reaching, which includes medicals, payment of stipends, capacity building and provision of starter-packs, reunion with families and regular monitoring and follow-ups.
“The returnees need a lot of guidance. We have a security team that does background checks right from when we receive them at the airports. There was a recent video of a lady that was threatening to take to arms that went viral; we tracked her down and now she is working very closely with us. So, the system is so robust to spotlight issues and resolve them as quickly as possible.”
Speaking further she said: “We are looking at building permanent shelters for the returnees. It is one of the initiatives of the Edo State Government to see an end to this menace. With that, we can do so much.”

Noting that the centre will serve to harmonise several activities and campaigns against irregular migration and human trafficking, she added: “We intend to run short, medium and long-term programmes for the returnees. This will enable us to follow through with the resettlement programme and ensure that we achieve 100 percent success in resettling the returnees.”
Meanwhile, in a further effort to check the menace the realm has waded in with the monarch of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, forcing the native doctors in Edo State to revoke the curses and oaths placed on victims of human trafficking in the state, which is used to keep the victims under the control of the traffickers.
Following the revocation of the curses on March 9, 2018, Oba Ewuare II declared that trafficked persons are now free from their traffickers and whatever oaths they were placed on.

Going further, the monarch also placed a curse on human traffickers and those aiding and abetting human trafficking in the state.
The king also cursed the native doctors who subject victims to the oath of secrecies and banned the violators of the Community Development Associations and others whose business is to initiate the sons and daughters of the land into various cult groups.
Those who took part in the swearing exercise were priests from various shrines in the state such as the Ohen Okhuae, Ohen Ovia, Ohen noriyekeogba, Ohen Ake, Ohen Niwuo, Native Doctors, Ohen Sango, Odionwere, Iwueki and the Enigies.

Speaking at the event, the monarch said: “You native doctors whose business are to subject people to the oath of secrecies and encouraging this evil act on the land, you have to repent, stop doing it. This is not a joking matter and if you do not repent, you have to wait for the repercussion.
“The palace is not against those practising the act of native doctors but those who use it to perpetrate evil in the land through aiding and abetting human trafficking in the state.
“We want to use this medium to tell those who are under any oaths of secrecies that they are now free. We revoke the oath today.

“What the palace stands for is peace and the development of the state. I want to use this medium to tell you that the act of using charms to aid trafficking, the palace seriously frowns at it.
“We want us to join hands together to fight against human trafficking in the land.”
He added that the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, pleaded with him to help curtail the spate of human trafficking in the state.
According to the United Nations, nine in 10 of the Nigerian women trafficked to Europe come from Edo State, a predominantly Christian state with a population of about three million.  (New Telegraph)

Continue reading


Danjuma’s Self-defence Speech Has Vindicated Kanu, Says IPOB |RN



IPOB Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu


Aloysius Attah, Onitsha

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on Wednesday, said the recent statement credited to General Theophilus .Y. Danjuma, where he accused the army of collusion with some bandits on ethnic cleansing mission in Nigeria, was a vindication and confirmation of all the prophetic statements earlier made by the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

The IPOB, in a statement signed by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, said Nigerians and Africa at large, needed to celebrate Kanu because it has become  categorically clear to all that all his prophetic statements had come to pass in  three years despite the fact that he is still in the custody of Nigerian Army after the invasion of his hometown and compound in Afaraukwu Ibeku Umuahia Abia State on September 14 last year.

Recalling Kanu’s statements in the past, Powerful noted that Kanu said it that  prior to the 2015 election , the incumbent president today while campaigning  was not coming  to grow the economy, en­throne justice, breed unity and tol­erance and love for one another but   rather coming to enthrone Hausa/Fulani supremacy, to reposi­tion the security agencies by sacking all competent hands and replacing  them with their kinsmen in order to drive their ethnic domination of the Southern Nigeria.

He recalled that Kanu said that the Fulani herdsmen will be armed and encouraged to slaughter people with impunity while their masters will protect them. “They are coming to ensure that my people are enslaved.  The Fulani will take over the en­tire south as a continuation of their age-long agenda to Islamise Eastern Nigeria.

“They will brazenly seize our land in the pretence of creating grazing fields for the Fulani. Then the con­quest will be complete and we will be­come their serfs forever. This is the word of a prophet,” he noted.

IPOB described it as unfortunate that the APC Government led by Major General Muhammad Buhari arrested and jailed Kanu for two years without trial and later kidnapped him and kept him without traces since 14th September 2017 because he saw ahead and spoke out without fear or favour.

“He was hunted like an antelope for standing firm on the way to the truth that led and moved the Nigerian Authority and her security operatives including those unscrupulous politicians in Abuja planned to kidnapped him since last year without well-meaning Nigerians asking questions for his whereabouts because he looked the cabals and jihadists in the eyes and called them what they are.

“He was betrayed because he looked his brothers who have become slaves of the Hausa Fulani Caliphate in the eyes and told them they were nothing but slaves.

“He was hated by a few who are suffering from an identity crisis because he tried to liberate them from mental slavery which the cowards parading themselves as leaders and elders could not help to them but cheer the desecration of his father’s palace because they don’t even know where to start,” the statement noted.  (The Sun)

Continue reading


The Wealth Of Lagos And Pre-colonial Obas Were Built On Slavery |RN

by Demiji Ajibogunsoro

Yoruba-King                                 Lagos Monarch: Oba Akintoye:

The wealth of Lagos and its pre-colonial Obas was built on slavery. It rose to a commerce city in the 1700’s and positioned itself to benefit from the fall of Oyo empire in the early 1800’s and invasion of many Yoruba kingdoms for two sides, one from Ilorin by the Mohammedans (many of them ambitious Yoruba migrants under the new confederate kingdom of Ilorin) and from King Gezo of Dahomey who invaded from the west into Yoruba kingdoms( Sarah Forbes Bonita, an Egba princess and future wife of John Davies was captured as a slave when Dahomean armies raided Oke Adan in present day Ogun State) which led to the first mass enslavement of Yoruba people across the Atlantic.

Oba Akinsemoyin (1760 to 1775).
He was the fifth monarch of Lagos (counting from Ogunfunminire) and slave trade pioneer. He grew up in Badagry and was exposed to the profitable trade by the ports west of Lagos. After the death of his brother, he was invited to take the throne of Lagos. He brought with him Portuguese slave merchants and built the first slave port off the coast of Lagos. One of his Portuguese friends who opened the first trade ports was Joao de Oliveira. From then up until 1861 when the slave trade was abolished, Lagos remained a hub for slave trade and source of wealth for the majority of the blue blood of Lagos. Another important Irish trader to cash in on Lagos slave trade at the time was Richmond Brew, a notorious trader with controlling interest in slave trade on the West African ports. Akinsemoyin gave the Portuguese traders land at Isale Eko called ‘Portugese Town’ at the time. The Portuguese, in return for the special privileges from trade alliance, rebuilt his palace at Iga Idungaran with roofs of clay tiles and iron, (quite different from other palaces roofed with leaves. After the Portuguese, came the French and the British with their slave vessels.

Oba Osinlokun (the 1820’s)
Osinlokun was the father of another notorious future oba ( Kososko). He was introduced to the trade at a young age by his father ( Ologun Kuture ). He set up and prospered in the slave trading business so much that when his father died, he was reluctant to take the throne due to the conflict of interest that might arise with him being saddled with affairs of state at the expense of his thriving slave business. He stepped down for his younger brother (Oba Adele). As Oba, Adele also traded in slave and expanded the business to a near monopoly status using his powers as a monarch, so much that it threatened Osinlokun’s stake in the business. He planned a coup against his brother and drove him from the throne to protect his business interest in slave trading. Adele escaped into exile at Badagry and expanded his own slave trade from there, having as a partner, one of the most notorious Portuguese traders of the time called ‘Francisco Felix De Souza’. Osunlokun reigned at the time of the Mohammedan invasion of Oyo from Ilorin, providing a fresh source of slaves in large numbers. He placed a tax on all ships loading slaves from Lagos Ports and made a fortune from the large supply at the time. Both Samuel Ajayi Crowther and Joseph Wright were shipped into slavery at the Lagos ports but were lucky to have the ships intercepted, ensuring their freedom and migration to Sierra Leone. Osinlokun’s daughter ( and Kosoko’s sibling), princess Opo Olu bought many of the slaves for personal use and farm hands. She was said to have over 1,000 slaves.

Oba Akintoye. (1841 – 1845: 1851 – 1853)
Akintoye was also a part of the institution and had a thriving slave trading business. One very prominent Portuguese who made his fortune as a slave trade business associate of Akintoye was Domingo Fernadez Martinez. They would later grow to be lifelong friends. In the 50’s when some of the power-brokers including Akinpelu and Ajeniya who turned against him in favour of the ousted monarch stocked weapons at Ebute Metta and sent secret letters to Kosoko in preparation for another coup, he sent for help from Egba warriors and Domingo.

Oba Kosoko (1845 – 1851)
Kosokos was the son of Osinlokun, and like his ancestors was both a slave trader and an ambitious prince. Not only did he thrive in the slave business, he trusted slaves more than free men in all his campaigns and reign as a king, elevating them sometimes to positions of the title. As monarch, he took power from the prominent chiefs and appointed slaves who managed his trading business as chiefs in a clever attempt to consolidate power and absolute loyalty for himself. One of such privileged slaves was Oshodi Tapa. A warrior and shrewd businessman who grew up as a privileged slave boy in the household of Osinlokun. He showed promise from a young age and prospects of loyalty to the house of Osinlokun, so much that he was trusted with the welfare of the King’s wives. A strange paradox though, was that even though he himself was once a slave who managed to wiggle his way into class, even to a point where an Abagbon title was granted to him, he was totally unsympathetic to the institution and even traded in slaves after his return from Brazil on slave trading business. He was also a powerful war chief in Kosoko’s army. He played an active role in the coup that brought Kosoko to power in the coup against Akintoye and played a central role in the defence of the palace against British naval force determined to oust Kosoko and return Akintoye to power. he fled with him back to exile in Epe and was a part of the negotiation between the British and Kosoko for compensation in exchange for a promise by Kosoko never to invade Lagos again. Another war chief in his inner circle was a wealthy man called Dada Antonio. The Rift between Kosoko and the British was his defiance against the thriving slave trade business.

Continue reading