Felabration: Gbajabiamila, others urge Nigerians against mental slavery
Nigerians have been urged to liberate themselves from mental slavery in other to gain economic freedom.
This was the position of Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiala, Adebola Williams and Executive Director, Moyo Pan-Afrikan Solidarity Centre, Sister Affiong L. Affiong yesterday at the eighth Fela Debate Series held in Ikeja, Lagos.
The debate was moderated by Executive Director, Centre for African Culture and Development, Prof. Sophie Oluwole.
They declared that the first slavery was worse than the second slavery, which they referred to as mental slavery. They spoke on the topic ‘Movement Against Second Slavery’, a title of one of Fela’s songs, noting that the movement seems to have lost steam, as the black man has been enslaved by his own choices.
Gbajabiamila argued that with that song, Fela was referring to the military government. According to him, “Perhaps, he meant religious, social and economic slavery. Nigeria imports virtually everything today, including food, despite our agricultural endowments. The consequences of this are seen in the scarcity of food we are facing.”
Gbajabiamila lamented the negative influence of foreign movies and music on the younger generation, adding, “some of our children don’t even speak our languages. The dress sense and supposed high fashion copied from the West leaves nothing to desire.”
He said although the battle might have been lost, Nigeria could still win the war by retaining her values.
On his part, Williams said it was sad that instead of the black man uniting with his kind, he is rather doing the opposite. He also argued that those in government constantly steal from the nation’s treasury and consequently impoverish the citizenry. He urged the Nigerian media to be credible in stimulating and educating the public on the works of the black man, adding, “The media needs to drive agenda and shape conversation.”
Williams emphasised that history needs to be included in the country’s school curriculum, saying, “The people who do not know their past cannot comprehend the future.”
He said the battle for freedom was more spiritual than physical and urged Nigerians to shun mediocrity and give their best to the country.
Affiong argued that Nigeria is a neo-colonial country still enslaved by the colonial masters. According to her, “the so-called developed countries are so because of our labour; we elevate our oppressors because of inferiority complex. We need to have a revolution to loosen the chains of slavery.”
She further described second slavery as advance colonialism with implications for the state of the mind. She also said the removal of history in the school curriculum is a total disaster Nigeria has unleashed on herself, adding that “there has to be a 21st-century historical movement on our part against second slavery”.