Forced migration goes round
After the Second World War the suffering in Europe orchestrated migration to Australia and it was highly selective and it was not different from the current seemingly malevolent migration seen in human trafficking and slave trade. It must have been the reason why Kanye West declared that slavery is a choice and some African Americans went hysteria and declared him insane. He was echoing what some of them also see as their saving grace as they couldn’t have imagined what their lives could have been as Africans die every day in the sea trying to cross to Europe. Though, like African elite know, Africa is the continent to be notwithstanding the foolishness of the same elite in not knowing that the alfa risk disturbing other continents makes Africa a risk free continent.
The current heat wave going on in the West and the draught ravaging the East are all issues that could necessitate migration which by Kanye’s assessment could either demand making choice between relocating or calling for the end time to happen. Even Brazil that was colonized by the Portuguese saw the king of Portugal relocating to Brazil in the heat of fellow European King’s oppression and was safe in the midst of blacks who were transported en masse as slaves to Brazil and one gets disturbed when the far right in Brazil go on campaign trail denouncing the quota system in favour of the blacks as instituted by Lula. Those called the Moors in Africa today as well as the Maghreb are once known as the in-betweens in the European space and were greatly maltreated that they found in Africa a safe relocation continent as against committing suicide.
So, forced or benevolent migrations are all human manageable problems and require human solution as the sun or the moon enable such solutions. Whether heat waves, draught or flooding, the moon or the sun are at work to assuage the effects if only human beings could do their part in knowing how to “take cover”. That is what I noticed on the 9th of August, the day Nigeria’s own giant among others in the world of auditing, Akintola Williams, unscathed in the light of Enron, Peat Marwick, Price Water, was celebrating his 99th anniversary. He lives on and observes very well the limits of what makes humans human notwithstanding their great cerebral endowment.
The moon at 6.30 am on the skies of Lagos seems to be soaking the high humidity content of the air that it turned reddened and about 2/3 full and shaded dark in crescent form on its western side. All one can imagine is that the eastern hemisphere is absorbing the excessive heat going on to liberate the West and people would say it is human population induced as Bill Gate fails to see reason that it does not call for depopulating the earth. According to him the world needs a depopulation plan and he wants to champion it as he championed the grain bank.
Somehow, power, whether economic or military, leads some people to arrogate monopoly of knowledge to themselves ignoring completely the heavens. It is also the reason people talk too much of stopping poverty driven migration when they have no knowledge of providing adequate alternatives like the recent clamours to stop the Arabian negotiated migration between some Nigerians and weakly populated rich Arabian peninsula. It is like the seasonal migration of the Mexicans to California which is being resented. The Arabian princes and princesses need house helps, escorts, cart pushers, bouncers, drivers, etc for their comfortability and they are more confident in having a very contrast complexion to do that for them instead of embarking on the depopulation of Africans. A black person in their midst has no hiding place and must comport themselves lawfully.
They come here and ask people to act as agents to get them honest Nigerians to accept their contract terms and the elite who are in comfortable positions claim it is human trafficking. Yes there are instances of human trafficking but not all the cases as some cases are quite beneficial to Nigeria. For example I have seen, and interacted, with two ladies who boarded a flight from Casablanca to Lagos with me and they recounted how valuable such venture was in their lives. They only grieved that for six months they were not allowed to communicate with anyone outside the space their mistresses operated as their duty was to follow their mistresses to any where they were going and to obey orders.
At the end of the six months they return to Nigeria and cash their money through transfer process and we have heard that last year Nigeria got about $30billion of such remittance no matter from where it was channeled to get to Nigeria and it was not seen as money laundering. The two I met planned to go back if their mistresses returned good report about them as they plan to use the money to make their parents and relatives happy in Nigeria. At least their own case does not require dying in the Mediterranean Sea; so why should it be seen as evil. Note also that in the past Africans were castrated to turn eunuchs so as to watch over the women and why won’t a responsible government see how to regulate it for the good of the poor instead of the depopulation gimmicks of Gate.
Like the Emir of Kano said, migration should not bother African governments as long as they have no viable alternatives to occupy their youths. It is entirely the problem of the great powers of the world as economic liberalism and globalization connect. People must always go to where there are abundance and abundance exist on planet earth if not for greed of the few.
In deed like migration like slavery, they connote choice making otherwise people like king Jaja of Opobo or the king of Portuguese couldn’t have earned greatness if not for validity of their choices to use slavery or migration to sustain themselves. As the Igbos say, egbe bere ugo bere nke si ibeya ebe kwa la, ya gosi ya ebe oge ebe (let eagle perch let hawk perch, as the earth is big enough to contain all, if one feels uncomfortable allowing the other to perch close to it let that uncomfortable one designate another space for the other one to perch). That was how Golda Meir, the lady prime minister of Israel, also interpreted the journey of the Israelites and the Arabs quite reminiscent of how Moses led them to where they are now. That also goes well with Charles Darwin’s ‘survival of the species that adapts better’ and not necessarily by human manipulations. Limitations abound in all human endeavours especially when the moon and the sun are not allowed to show the way for the choice making and you call it human induced climate change when the skies are bombarded by human made unadaptable machines degrading the ozone layer. Let the world learn from how Akintola Williams had stayed, unscathed, in the world of auditing, in the midst of all the disturbing climates that weathered that profession and burying some of the known brands.
Ariole, is Professor of French and Francophone Studies, wrote from University of Lagos
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