Monday, March 28, 2011

2nd Letter to Dutch Deputy Minister of Justice

From the archives: The second letter I wrote to Dutch Deputy Minister of Justice in 1992

Dear Mr. Kosto,

I thank you for the letter sent in your behalf (ref. DV-001) as a reply to my letter of 17-11-92. I also thank you for the copies of the speeches you sent.

I think that the differences between us arise because of my emphatic disagreement with your analysis of the immigration problems your country, and the rest of Europe, is facing. I could see from your article that you see the problem as a legal cum charity case. I do not.

I see it as a direct result of European\American policies over the years vis-a-vis Africa. Rational philosophers have long postulated that there are no causes without effects - as there can be no effects without causes. Everyday the bucket goes into the well, one day the bottom will fall out. To put it in scatological terms, one day the shit is going to hit the fan.

For years Europeans have treated Africa like a play-ground that belongs to them to do as they wished. Millions of Africans were carted away into slavery. The continent was carved up to suit the whims and caprices of European colonizers and empire-builders. European settlers took over the choicest part of the continent. Untold billions of dollars of wealth have been looted brazenly to build up Europe. Euro-American Multi-National Corporations continue to unto this day to exploit African minerals as though there is no tomorrow.

To all intent and purposes, Africa has been recolonized. Instead of colonial administrators, we now have missionaries, aid-workers, IMF strategists and World Bank Consultants. As anyone who have been to the continent will tell you, these Europeans are still behaving like the Lords of the lands. They propound and forced policies on African governments. These policies were designed to suit the interests of Euro-America. No thought was given to the interests of the Africans.

As I see it, African immigrants flocking into Europe are the monsters the Frankenstein of Euro-America's slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism engendered.

European governments continue to see the migration of Africans as something that could be countered by more stringent immigration laws, or by granting the police powers to break bones and heads. Nothing could be more profoundly wrong. The gene has been let out of the bottle. As long as there are planes and ships plying the route between Europe and Africa, so long shall the immigrants keep coming. Africans can no longer afford the luxury of looking, with child-like helplessness, while Euro-Americans gorge themselves with loot from their land. They are no longer appeased by the crumbs from the masters table. They can no longer depend on the charity of Euro-America.

The simple truth, Mr. Minister is, as I mentioned in my first letter, that the would-be immigrant would not allowed him\-herself to dissuaded by discriminatory immigration laws. Africans are going to keep on coming to Europe simply because their wealth is in Europe.

I have written elsewhere that, the problems of immigration of Africans into Europe, can only be solved, when European governments stop fooling themselves into the delusion, that Africans are here to enjoy their paradise. This problem cannot be solved by appealing to European conscience, as had been done in the past. It can, and will be solved when the pressures of African immigrants become unbearable on the European governments, that they will be moved to seriously tackled the economic problems facing the continent of Africa. Problems which, as I mentioned in my earlier letter, were largely created by Euro-American interventions and exploitation. The sad truth is that Africa today is simply unlivable due, in no small measure, to the neo-colonial policies foisted on the continent by Western institutions like the IMF. Migrating to Europe, in very large numbers, is among the weapons the Africans can employ to bring about this pressure, and make European governments start to take them serious.

The price of hating other human beings, Eldridge Cleaver wrote, is loving oneself less. The price Europeans are going to pay, for their continuing exploitation of Africa, is the total destruction of their own societies as they know and define it. Should this immigration trend continue, not only would the demography of Europe be radically altered, the vaunted European culture and the European identity would be irredeemably lost. I am no apostle of doom, but anyone with eyes could see that there will be intolerable racial, political and social upheavals, unless European governments change their exploitative attitude towards Africa to make Africa livable for Africans.

For centuries Africans have played the role of hewers of woods and drawers of water to feed Europe. Throughout the centuries, Euro-Americans have treated the continent of Africa like just another plantation to be exploited without giving something back in return. As a Yoruba proverb puts it: 'If you pushed goat to the wall, it will bite back.'

The problems facing Africa is enormous. It is too simplistic to blame everything on bad and corrupt dictators - this is not to excuse them. The masters must share in the blame. The Euro-American ideas of treating Africa like a charity case demands a re-appraisal. What did jamborees like 'Een Voor Afrika' and 'We are The World,' achieved in concrete terms? New perspectives have to be found to make it worthwhile for Africans to stay and develop their own countries. There must be something fundamentally wrong, in the system whereby a resources-rich continent like Africa, becomes the world's basket case. The 'New World Order' that makes this possible ought to be discarded.

Instead of organizing charities, I suggest the following practical ways European governments can make Africa livable for Africans, so that people will stop dreaming about migrating to Euro-America. So that those foul-mouthed racists will stop scape-goating Africans for the ineptitude of their own governments.

1.) Allow Africa to develop its own political and economic system, without interference and lectures from Euro-America: Over the years, European governments have treated Africa as they did during the period of colonialism. Stooges were installed whose sole purpose was to protect European interests. These vassals are prepared to brutalize their own people in the interests of Euro-America. Recently, French President Mitterand said that France has stopped organizing coups in Africa. Welcome as this was, he didn't tell us the untold hardship French and European interventions have caused the continent. The agonies suffered by Africans at the hands of these European-installed dictators went unmentioned, un-atoned for. I don't know if Mitterand expect Africans to start vibrating with gratitude. If France got out of the coup-organizing business, has the American CIA or the British M16 or your own BVD stopped with their covert activities in Africa?

Apparently still suffering from colonial hangover, European politicians still keep preaching to African governments on the political and economic path to trod. Even when all empirical evidence pointed to the simple fact that over a quarter of century of European prescription, the economies of Africa still remain in the doldrums. The sad truth is that almost all African countries have long lost their sovereign rights to determine their economic future. IMF and World Banks have taken over the management of several African economies. There is hardly an African country that has not been pursuing a punishing IMF-imposed 'Structural Adjustment Policies,' for over five years. Africans, sadly, continue to get the blame when these neo-colonial policies doesn't result in any appreciable growth to the local economy.

As long as Euro-America, through its agencies like the IMF continue to bleed Africa through their surrogates, in order to save jobs and prosperity , so long shall they plagued with 'illegal immigrants.'

Euro-Americans would like to bury their heads in sand like ostriches, and pretend that African woes are caused by incompetent and corrupt leaders. This just doesn't wash anymore. For over six years my own country, Nigeria, has been pursuing an economic program prescribed by the IMF. The only 'benefits' that have been reaped by the faithful adherence to this policy are armies of unemployed youth; a grossly devalued and, virtually inutile currency; a plummeted standard of living; hyper-inflation; and crumbling social infrastructure. Students have stopped going to school, either because their parents are too poor to pay their fees, or because their teachers have not been paid for upward of five months. Health care are collapsing because of lack of funds. In the month of January, the whole country was paralysed by a civil-servants strike over wages. A decade ago, a graduate in Nigeria can afford a decent home and a car, today, such dreams are gone.

Euro-America 'experts' have long being prescribing 'solutions' to Africa's myriad of problems. Africa has been turned into a huge laboratory where every idea by a Westerner, however idiotic, is tried out. While IMF and World Bank 'experts' are prescribing economic solutions, Western politicians and Political Scientist are shouting themselves hoarse on the best political track for Africa. These 'solutions' are divined by people totally unaware of the realities of Africa. Western-style democracy was promoted to the level of praxis, touted as the cure-all solution to Africa's ailment. The West is never short of mixture when one fails. Just one case should suffice: since the inception of democracy, Zambia has gone from bad to worse.

Production of cash crops was promoted over food crops, with the twisted logic that heavily-subsidized Euro-American foods are cheaper. Euro-American farmers continue to enjoy export boom and higher living standards at the expense of the Africans, who must use their meager resources to import Western foods. In the meantime, the prices of the so-called cash-crops are falling on the 'World-Market' - heavily dominated by Euro-American dealers. So once self-sufficient countries like Zimbabwe have to go into debt to by Euro-American foods.

Fairy-tales economics were imposed on Africa with the promise of a better life tomorrow. I need not remind you that nowhere in Africa has the people enjoyed the befits of the Structural Adjustment Policies, forcibly foisted on them, by institutions in which your country is a leading member. Nowhere in Africa are people enjoying the paradise promised by the prophets of SAP.

I am no economist, but common-sense tells me that when a mono-crop economy, like Nigeria's, is forced to devalue its currency. The only side that could benefit are the buyers of the crop. Nigeria's primary product is petroleum oil which is priced in Dollars. When Nigeria was forced to devalue her currency, it follows that it will receive less for her oil and pay more for her imports - mostly from Euro-America. Almost all African countries are in the same quandary.

Again while African countries have faithfully complied with their part of the bargain, the West's end of the deal remains to be fulfilled. The promised Western investment, the magic wand that would transform Africa into a paradise, remains an illusion. The only thing Euro-America is doing was to continue what it has being doing for ages: extracting African minerals to feed its industries. Setting up Coca Cola bottling companies and McCDonalds' outlets.

2.) Debt Reduction. While it is morally obligatory to honor debt commitments, it's morally indefensible to expect someone to starve to death in order to pay off debt. This is exactly what Euro-America has been demanding of Africa. Africa is said to be owing US$250 billion - close to the total GDP of the entire continent. Most African countries are paying in excess of 50% of their earnings to service debt. Mr. Minister, how much did Africa borrowed? How much have been paid back in ever-increasing interests alone? When will the bleeding of Africa stopped?

Let me illustrate again with the case of Nigeria. The entire budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for fiscal 1993 was 112.1 billion naira ( about ? 7.4 billion). Out of this amount, 58.4 naira ( about ? 3.9 billion) was earmarked for servicing external debt. That's a whopping 52.1 percent! Nigerians, there are about 90 million of them, have to make do with about three point five billion guilders, while close to four billion guilders will be sent to Euro-American governments and banks. That was why I said, in my first letter, that Africans migrating to Europe are just following their money. I wasn't joking.

Nigeria is not unique; the story is the same all over Africa. Last year, Africa transferred close to US$10 billion to Western banks in loan servicing alone. Little wonder then that someone said Africa is giving 'Marshall-Aid' to Euro-America. You and I know that for the past decade or so, there has been a net transfer of money from Africa to Europe and America. Although the only thing we hear are the obscene claims that Euro-America is giving aid to Africa.

The debt problems have to be tackled with more vigor. A lot of African lives are being wasted in paying off these debts. Money that the poor countries could use to create jobs, so that people will have less incentive to 'invade' Europe, are being transfer to the rich countries of Euro-America. The price Europe will pay for her Shylockian debt policies are increasing numbers of desperate immigrants flocking to her shores.

And while Africa has been bleeding itself to pay off her debt, Euro-America continue to ignore their own debt obligation to Africa. Africans have been demanding reparations for the centuries of slavery and colonization at the hands of the Europeans. Even if we take the low estimate of 20 million slaves, we can do some simple arithmetic to find out who is owing whom.

Let's assume that the 20 millions are paid US$10 per hour for their labor, and they work for ten hours a day, we get: 20,000,000 * 10 dollars per hour = US$200,000,000 per hour 200,000,000 * 10 hours per day = US$2,000,000,000 per day 2,000,000,000 * 360 = US$720,000,000,000 per year 720,000,000,000 * 500 = US$360,000,000,000,000 We have a sum of three-hundred and sixty trillion dollars, excluding accruing interests!

This is a debt Euro-America owed to Africa. And although the plea has been largely ignored to date, the cry is bound to become too deafening. Africans are starving themselves to honor their debt burden to Europe, while Europeans continue to ignore their own obligations. By what moral right are Euro-Americans asking Africa to pay back US$250 billion, when they make no attempt to pay bach their whopping debt of US$360 trillion?

3.) Better Prices for African Products. As anyone who drinks coffee in Holland can attest, the prices are remarkably stable - that's when they are not 'goedkoop.' African farmers are slaving more and more to get less and less for their products, the prices of which, determined in London, Chicago, Paris and New York, keep tumbling down! Production of coffee is back-braking job, as anyone who has been to a coffee farm can tell you.

"In the Cote d'Ivoire revenue from cocoa exports dropped from CFA393 billion to just CFA200 bn between 1986 and 1988; but during the same period cocoa bean production rose from 664,000 to 740,000 tonnes. The situation looks set to continue. Already, private companies, which entered the product buying business as a consequence of IMF-inspired market reforms, are paying considerably less than the government-recommended producer prices (CFA200 per kilo for cocoa and CFA85 for coffee). Farmers say the firms are offering to pay them as low as CFA50 for cocoa and CFA20 for coffee." (NEW AFRICA, February 1993. pp 28-29).

The truth of the matter, Mr. Minister, is that Euro-Americans continue to feed fat on African products, as they have done for ages. People in Europe consume chocolates until their teeth fall off, the peasant farmer in Africa slaving upward of sixteen hours a day to tend his cocoa farm, cannot afford even a bar of candy.

Each time the price of coffee or cocoa drop by a single cent, African farmers feel it immediately, how many Europeans will starve if coffee cost a cent more per pack?

Instead of pretending to be sending 'development-aid,' European government can do better by imposing a tax on the products Europeans are practically plundering from Africa. This could be called 'Africa-tax' or whatever. It shouldn't be beyond the competence of Eurocrats to set up the appropriate machinery for its implementation. This could also be done under the auspices of the United Nations. If Africans are getting reasonable prices or their products, that would be a great incentive for them to stay in their own countries instead of 'swarming' Europe.

As you probably know, the EEC slaps a 20% tariff on partially-processed coffee, cocoa and other products from Africa to guarantee the jobs in the coffee and cocoa processing industries in Europe. Africans will gladly stay in their countries if they could work their farms, process their products in their own industries, and find market for them in the consuming countries without being penalized by Eurocracy.

What Africa need is trade not aid. A lot have been written on this so-called aid that I needn't belabor it here. Anyone with eyes can see that the policy of giving aid has failed, miserably, in Africa. About the only thing Western-aid is developing are the bank accounts of the aid-workers.

I cannot understand the magic by which a country (sic) like Belgium will be giving aid to Zaire. Zaire has abundant mineral resources which Belgium is 'buying.' There certainly must be some hanky-panky if a resources-rich country like Zaire could be needing aid from Belgium.

4.)Stolen Money and Capital Flight. There is no denying, or running away from the fact that most of the moronic dictators imposed on Africa by the Western Secret-Services are corrupt beyond redemption. According to the US magazine, National Enquirer (February 2 edition), African dictators are estimated to have stolen US$100 billion over 20 years! Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire is said to be worth about US$8 billion! Nigerians are said to have US$33 billion in Swiss banks.

Of course, this huge theft is known to Euro-American governments. But since the monies are lodged in their banks, they made no attempt to expose it. This money rightly belongs to Africa. US$100 billion is a huge sum by anyone's standard. That is money could be utilize to ameliorate some of the problems that are forcing Africans to flee their countries. It's this monies that Euro-American banks are lending back to Africa at usurious rates. It is the interests on the loans, on monies that rightly belong to them, that Africans are starving themselves to pay.

Your government could act in concert with its Euro-American partners to help repatriate the monies back to their rightful owners. With US$100 billion, millions of jobs could be created, social amenities provided to make it attractive for people to want to stay in their countries.

The austerity measures imposed on African countries by the IMF has made several currencies inutile. Inflation is spiralling daily. This is resulting in huge capital flight from the poor to the rich countries.

5.) MNC's Social Responsibility. This was one of the ideas I suggested in my first letter on how European governments can help make Africa livable for its inhabitants. A situation where Western MNCs continue to pursue a policy of slash-grab-and-run cannot but result in African 'economic-refugees' escaping to Europe.

Your government, in concert with its Euro-American partners, can help in this regard by making it mandatory for Western MNCs to spend a certain percentage of their profits in the localities where such profits are derived. This money could be used to set up small-scale industries, build schools and hospitals. Once again, I illustrate with the case of Nigeria.

Royal SHELL, the giant oil company, called SHELL Petroleum Development Company in Nigeria, is the biggest exploiter of Nigeria's oil. Much of Nigerian oil is located in Ogoni land which spans three local government area in Rivers State. As one commentator put it: "For the Ogoni man whose homeland sits atop a vast expanse of crude oil deposit, life has become synonymous with washing with spittle while living by the riverside."

Not only has oil exploration devastated the Ogonis land, SHELL hasn't deemed it fit to cite any social amenity there. A basic thing like electricity is unknown in this place which has produced billions of dollars in profits to SHELL. Needless to say that there are no industry of any description. The Ogonis are confronted with high pressure oil pipelines flagrantly laid without any consideration for the inhabitants - the people are not even consulted before the pipes are laid. SHELL understands only the language of exploitation, exploitation, exploitation. Of course, I am aware that MNCs are no charity organizations, but the price Europe is going to pay for the inhuman activities of its MNCs are ever-increasing Africans running to Europe. I wondered what your reaction would be if the people of Ogoniland 'swarm' your country, asking for 'economic-asylum' from SHELL activities on their lands.

6.) Stop Throwing Cultural Bombs at Africa. You may be unaware, but the simple truth is that many Africans still look towards Europe as a sort of paradise on earth. They believe that the streets of Europe are paved with gold and diamonds. One can hardly blame them. They are victims of colonial education and powerful Western propaganda still promoting the fantasies of Europe full of roses, with no thorns.

If many of the Africans dreaming about migrating to Europe are told sad realities of your country, many will be shocked. Most will simply not believe them. It is sad irony, your country is projecting the image of Holland as a tolerant, civilized, caring, Christian society, when those who are swayed by your propaganda rushed to paradise, you're asking what they are doing here! It is like asking the Conquistadors what they are doing in the fabled ELDORADO - searching for gold, of course.

Perhaps it time for your government and its Euro-American partners to start sending the correct propaganda materials to Africa. Instead of showing movies where young men, with no apparent means of livelihood, are partying the whole day - frolicking with beauties, driving one-kilometer long limousines, consuming inordinate amount of delicacies and liquor, and keep drawing money from walls with a plastic card, you can send material showing the other side where people are working hard to make ends meet.

I hope that you will take time to study these suggestions and introduce them to your European colleagues. It is stupid to pretend not to know why Africans are migrating to Europe. It's naive and over-simplistic to blame the problem of immigrants on mafia trading in human cargoes. Africa, today, is a living description of hell on earth. Dutch visitors can tell you that lives are being destroyed by the 'New Economic Order,' Africans are forced to adopt.

I sincerely hope that you will act in concert with your colleagues to help find solutions to the problems of Africa, so that Africans can have reason to stay in their countries.

On integration, which you believe is the cure-all panacea to the problem of the immigrants in Holland. I will say that this is fallacy. I do not share your believe that the racism will disappear with integration. Integration is premised on the assumption that one culture is superior to another. It is used by one group to impose its values on another. It is used by racist societies to justified their racism. It is a subterfuge for white supremacy. Integration, in all its assumptions, is a form of cultural racism. Why is it that it is only black people who are compelled to integrate into white societies? How many of the ten-thousand plus Dutch people living in Nigeria are integrated into Nigerian society? For that matter, how many of the millions of Europeans living in Africa are integrated? How many of them could utter a single world in an African language? Why should they, when all the ideological institutions in their countries have imbibed it in their heads that theirs is a great and superior civilization!

I do not believe in integrating into the Dutch society, simply because I do not believe the Dutch culture superior to mine. It is sheer nonsense to maintain that an immigrant's life would be materially uplifted by integrating into the Dutch society. How many of the integrated Africans are better off by their integration? They are still facing the same discrimination like any other black man. In the parlance of African-Americans, the integrated Africans are still catching the same hell.

The Dutch people in South Africa not only refused to integrate, they are forcing the black majority to accept their Afrikaner culture. Thousands of black people have been killed for refusing to speak the language of their oppressor. It was the same all over Africa. The French launched and viciously pursued their policy of ASSIMILATION. The Portuguese brutally enforced their ASSIMILADO policies. The goal is the same: make the African aspire to become a European. I do not intend to commit such cultural HARAKIRI.

On racism, which you so glibly dismissed, I can only hope that the Dutch government policy on racism is not informed by your rather parochial view. As a white person and a top-notch politician to boot, you are never likely to become a victim of racism. That doesn't mean that it should be so flippantly rejected. Racism is as Dutch as Tulip flower. Who feels it, knows it.

1st Letter to Dutch Minister Kosto

From the archives: This was the first of two letters I wrote to the then Dutch Deputy Minister Kosto in 1992

Dear Minister,

I am writing this letter in reaction to your recent pronouncements on 'illegal immigrants' in your country. But for the office you are holding, I would have dismissed your speeches as the myopic ranting of a schizophrenic ignoramus.

In this hate-filled period, when the embers of racism, fascism and intolerance are cracking all over Europe, one would expect people in political office to be doubly careful about their public statements. Alas! popularity-contest for cheap electoral vote is rated well above racial sensitivity. Black people feelings are to be sacrificed to appease unrefined fascists.

It is no less disheartening when such asinine outbursts are made by a member of a party which call itself socialist, an ideology which professes the universality of man. And it is the mother of all ironies that a man who holds such uppish opinion is a Minister of Justice in a, supposedly, civilized, tolerant, Christian country. What principle, may I ask, motivated your wishing all immigrants to leave Holland?

Now that misguided youths, taking their cue from politicians like you, are beginning to bash the heads of black people in Rotterdam, and black footballers are tormented with racial slurs, I guess that you are happy at the impact your statements are having! Your expectations are, undoubtedly, being fulfilled.

I am a Nigerian who reside in Holland. Contrary to what you, or others in your mold, might think, I do not enjoy living here. Every day I drew breath in this country, I am reminded of my violations as a human being. I am daily confronted with the crude arrogance of racists tormentors. I constantly have to struggle to remain sane, in a society in which people of my hue are deemed sub-humans, and are treated as such.

I deduced from your pronouncements and forbidden demeanor that it has not yet entered your ministerial consciousness as to why people will abandon their family to come and live in Holland. It is quiet simple.

The choice facing the would-be-immigrant is Hobbesian: Stay in your country and die of starvation, or emigrate to Holland - Europe, and raise your chances of survival. To the immigrant, the choice is reduced to obeying your country's formidable array of anti- immigration laws and starved to death, or obey the natural law which enjoins every human being to strive for personal survival. Quiet naturally, a lot choose to survive. There are precedents.

When Europe faced a similar situation Africa is experiencing today, Europeans didn't wait to die. They emigrated in their millions to go and 'discover' the Americas, South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. These European 'pioneers of civilization' didn't allow the laws, customs, and traditions of the native people to stand in their way. The natives were extensively massacred. Today, these countries are overwhelmingly European in outlook.

About five million Europeans who migrated to South Africa in search of greener pasture are today lording over the native black population. Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, the man who launched the heinous policy of apartheid was born in the city of Amsterdam! African immigrants in this country do not aspire to such 'lofty' goals. We do not aspire to colonize, enslave or kill anyone. Our aspirations do not go beyond the right to clean toilets, pick tomatoes and flowers for slave-wages. We are neither stupid nor intellectually- handicapped, we are simply aware of the fact that we never going to be allowed, to do any work, that even remotely begin to challenge our intelligence.

Of the five million Europeans in South Africa, over 750,00 are of Dutch extract. And to this number, over 160,000 still retain their Dutch citizenship. About 35,000 of them are serving members of the South African Defence Forces. They are part and parcel of the military machine that wreaked havoc on the countries of Southern Africa.

Europeans in South Africa have the choicest real estate in the country. They owned the mines and the farms. They live in big mansions. They drive the best cars. Why do you think the white people in our countries are entitled to all the good things of life, while you will not grant us even the most elementary of rights in your own country? Are you prepared to bring back to Holland the over 700,000 Dutch people in South Africa, plus the several thousands living opulent lives in other African countries?

About 200,000 immigrants are said to be living in Holland. They slave upward of sixteen hours daily doing the hardest and the oddest jobs. They live in the squalid ghettoes of Bijlmer where they are exploited by Shylock landlords, or in Zolder kamer when they can find one in the city. They have no health insurance. They have no entitlement. They contributed to the social-security benefits, but are denied access to their contributions. They have no access to any credit facility, without which life in this country, is hard to live. They are exploited by callous employers who take advantage of their illegal status to pay them starvation wages. They are exploited by absentee landlords who make them pay triple for their rat-holes, than what is paid in central Amsterdam. They live the lives of prisoners in a supposedly civilized and tolerant society. They are in constant fear of 'foreign police,' 'BVD' agents' and the dreaded Marechaussee. I cannot but be galled whenever I see someone like you, babbling about how much immigrants are taking from Holland. It is people of your ilk who are contributing to the misleading general assumption that the Dutch government is taking care of immigrants. As anyone who knows how hard it is to collect 'social-security' cheque will tell you, it is simply impossible for any illegal immigrant to be on the dole. Yet, foul-mouthed racists are proclaiming loudly how Africans are here to enjoy Dutch 'liberal' social policies.

Malawi is a tiny and dirt-poor country in Southern Africa. In this country of six million people with a GNP of about US$200 are over one million refugees. Holland with a population of about sixteen million people with a GNP of over US$10,000 said it is asphyxiating under the influx of 200,000 immigrants!

I don't know which is more distressing to your ministerial mind, the presence of the immigrants or the fact that most of them are blacks. This is a question, I believe, you alone could answer.

I offer no apologies for living in Holland. Thousands of Dutch people are living colonial lives in my country. Most of them command salaries and emoluments big enough to feed a medium-sized army. Their needs are catered for by a legion of domestic servants. No one is accusing them of 'swarming' Nigeria.

Thousands of Dutch people are migrating yearly to look for better opportunities in other countries, they are simply obeying the natural law of survival. The only difference is that while these Dutch and European emigrants are termed 'discoverer,' 'explorers,' 'missionaries,' 'consultants' and 'aid-workers,' African immigrants are refer to only in zoological and scatological terms. We are called 'parasites,' economic-migrants,' 'illegals,' 'asylum-seekers.' Even the sign at the foreign police office in Amsterdam refer to us as 'aliens,' as though we do not belong in this world.

I felt neither joy nor gratitude for living in Holland. As I mentioned above, I am constantly reminded of our enslavement, colonization and neo-colonization - manifested in the policies of the IMF and the sadly-misnamed 'World-Bank.'

Any student of history ought to know that it was slavery that arrested the economic development of the continent of Africa. Before then, the notion of a Euro-centric world was simply laughable. It was the subsequent colonization of our continent that put the final nail in our economic self-determination. It was the barbarous policy of colonization that retarded our development, when the economies of Africa was tied to the apron-string of the exploitative Western capitalist system. It was colonialism that guaranteed that Africa will forever continue to wallow in poverty, while her wealth are carted away by Western Multi-national corporations to feed the industries of Euro-America. The neo-colonial 'Structural-Adjustment Policies' foisted on Africa is ensuring that our economies receded further into the doldrums. These odious policies were designed by Western institutions. The African immigrant 'swarming' your country are victims of your neo-colonial policies.

'You reap what you sow,' enjoins the Bible. Over the centuries, Europeans go around the world sowing discord, hatred, violence, devastation, death and destruction. Africa was carved up at a conference in Berlin. When European empire-builders were stealing whole countries, the rightful owners of those lands didn't enjoy it one bit. Now the children of the dispossessed are coming to Europe, Europeans are making obstreperous noises. They didn't like it. That is understandable. The bad shoe is on the European foot, and it's pinching hard, exactly the way it pinched the Africans who had their lands brazenly stolen. Europeans are just going to get use to it, the way they forced our fathers to get used to their piracy, subjugation and oppression.

The time of the boomerang has arrived. As Paul Satre said, Europe, in the past made history, now it is being made on it.

Mr. Minister, no other race have contributed as much as Africans, in blood and sweat, to the building of the economies of Europe. Not even the white race can challenge this. Twenty-five million Africans - a very low estimate, were enslaved to build up the Industrial Revolution in Europe. Millions of Africans perished in the Trans-Atlantic shipments of human cargoes. To this day, this iniquity remain largely unremitted. No apology has ever been rendered for this mind-boggling villainous act. No reparation has ever been paid. It was as though it never happened. The Dutch, like their European brethren generally suffer collective amnesia whenever this crime is mentioned.

"The Dutch share in the slave-trade was large: in fact, in the seventeenth century, it was the largest. The Dutch West India Company had various settlements on the African coast, and millions of slaves were ferried from there, especially during the time of Dutch occupation of Brazil. In the twelve years (1637-48) they transported no less than 23,163 slaves from Elmina and Loanda, for an amount of 6, 714, 423 guilders and 60 cents, (the Dutch were very precise!) They bought slaves from the Congo for 40 to 50 guilders and sold them in Brazil for 200 to 800 guilders. Certainly a worthwhile business." (J.W. Schulte Nordholt, 'The People that Walk in Darkness'. Ballantine Books, New York. p.10).

Below is how the above-quoted author described the scene from a slave-trade:

'I stopped the carriage at the water-side, to behold a group of human beings, who had strongly attracted my attention... They were a drove of newly imported Negroes, men and women, with a few children, who were just landed from on board a Guinea ship that lay at anchor in the roads, to be sold for slaves. The whole party was such a set of scarcely animated automatons, such a resurrection of skin and bones, as forcibly reminded me of the last trumpet. These objects appeared at that moment to be risen from the grave, or escaped from Surgeons' Hall; and I confess I can give no better description of them, than by comparing them to a walking skeletons covered with a piece of tanned leather.' (J.W. Schulte Nordholt, op. cit. p.8).

Those Dutch with no sense of history, now shouting about illegal immigrants, should remember that their fore-fathers were among the most brutal of the slave-raiders. "The Dutch had established themselves in Berbice in 1624. During the years 1624 to 1763 they were the cruelest of slave masters. The Dutch slave code was much harsher than the Spanish code (the savagery of the Dutch code is shown by one provision of calculated cruelty: the burning alive of mutinous slaves over a slow fire). The Dutch had no institution comparable to the Spanish audiencia, a tribunal which included four judges. The ruthlessness of the Dutch created the situation that came to a climax in the Berbice slave rebellion." ( 'Marcus Garvey and the vision of Africa,' edited by John Henrik Clarke. Vintage Books, New York. p.19).

When our labor was required to build the industries of Holland, no passport was required of us. No visa was given. The Dutch didn't call us illegal immigrants, or aliens, to be hounded by fascist thugs in police uniforms. When they needed our manpower in their plantations, they didn't refer to us as 'economic-refugees.' When Africans were needed as canon-fodder in the war against nazism, we were not accused of 'invasion'. Now that we are here to partake in the fruit of our labor, we became the focus of racist demonology.

"I and I pick the cabbage I and I plant the corn Didn't my people before me Slave for this country? And now you look me with a scorn ... Build your penitentiary We build your school You brainwash our education To make us the fools Hate your reward for our love Telling us about your God above ... (Bob Marley). Ghanaians, like other black people in this country, are being derided, scorned, mocked and rejected by your society. Yet, it'd be interesting to calculate how much of Ghanaian gold were looted by your progenitors, to build the infrastructure the Dutch are so proud of today. Just because you Dutch forget that heinous chapter of your history does not mean that we too are going to forget. Our brutal exploitation by Europeans still remain vivid in our memories. We are no longer going to give you the pleasure of treating us like objects, to be used and discarded at will.

As Walter Rodney informed us, "Central and South America gold and silver - mined by Africans - played a crucial role in meeting the need of coin in the expanding capitalist money economy of Western Europe, while African gold was also significant in that respect. AFRICAN GOLD helped the Portuguese to finance further navigation around the Cape of Good Hope and also into Asia ever since the 15th century. AFRICAN GOLD was also the main source for the mintage of Dutch gold coin in the 17th century; HELPING AMSTERDAM TO BECOME THE FINANCIAL CAPITAL OF EUROPE IN THAT PERIOD." (Walter Rodney, 'How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.' Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications, London 1972. p.94) - caps are for emphasis.

Mr. Minister, the Dutch are regarded as good keepers of records, you should tell us how many Ghanaians and other Africans were shipped by Dutch slave-traders, like 'sardines in a tin', as slaves to be brutally exploited in your 'New World.' You should inform us how many African lives were wasted on the way to your plantations. Tell us, Mr. Minister, how much of Ghanaian gold was looted to build the industries of Holland. Inform us how many Africans labored in Dutch plantations. You should tell us how much they are owed in salaries plus the accumulated interests over the years. Are you prepared to pay us? We are talking about millions of human beings forcibly enslaved for centuries. You should try and be informed about this aspect of your history before you go on the television to denounce anyone.

When the Dutch joked that Bijlmer is the capital of Surinam, I found nothing amusing. Surinam was a creation of Holland - pure and simple. It is fool-hardy to believe that the people of Surinam will continue to wallow in poverty, in the jungle you consigned them, and watch you enjoy the fruit of their hard labor. With its bauxite deposit all but exhausted, your country deemed Surinam ready for 'independence.' Meanwhile Aruba and Curacao are still not ready. Those countries still have resource- petroleum- desired by Dutch Multi- nations. Should the oil stop flowing tomorrow, you and I know that the Dutch colonial administrators will discover how badly those countries needed independence. This is no longer the 16th century! We are not as ignorant as our fore-fathers were, when they allowed Europeans to sweet-tongued and enslaved them.

It never cease to amaze me how you Europeans could think that by exchanging a piece of cloth you call flag, all the crimes you committed in the colonies are remitted.

"Colonialism and imperialism have not paid their score when they withdraw their flags and their police forces from our territories. For centuries the capitalists have behaved in the underdeveloped world like nothing more than war criminals. Deportations, massacres, forced labor and slavery have been the main methods used by capitalism to increase its wealth, its gold or diamond reserves, and to establish its power." (Frantz Fanon, 'The Wretched of The Earth.' Grove Press, Inc. New York. p. 101).

It is quite simple Mr. Minister. If you want the Surinamers to get out of your country, send them back to their original homes in Africa, after paying them back their deserved reparation for their labor earned in toiling in your plantations. Records should exist to show from where your fore-parents stole them. When you say that Surinam is now independent and should fend for itself, I ask, independent from what? And with what should it fend for itself. Those guys were independent before you stole them from their ancestral land, and transported them across the oceans into another continent. The notion of an 'illegal-Surinam' in Holland is an oxymoron. Surinam was a baby of the Dutch, and you guys are morally responsible until the end of time. Surinam is the beast sired by your colonial Frankenstein!

Were it not ultra-vulgar, the spectacle of Dutch youth raising the Hitler salute would be amusing indeed. These miscreants, taking their hue from self-seeking politicians, who cannot even think straight, forget that thousands of Africans paid the supreme sacrifice in the liberation of their country from nazi oppression. African soldiers were used as canon fodder in the war against nazism, although Africa was, as usual, not given any credit. In their frenzied orgy of Negrophobia and racial hatred, these cretins forget how shrill the cries of their fathers were to be delivered from the oppression of the man they are now saluting.

While the Dutch fondly remember how Canadian, British and American soldiers fought to liberate their country, their racist minds will not allow them to credit the blackman with their liberation. No mention is made, in the history books, of Africans who perished in the European wars grandiosely termed 'World Wars'. No credit is given to the black soldiers who gave their lives fighting for a ruthless 'mother country.' Africa was never mentioned as having played any part in the elimination of nazism from Europe. Yet, our contribution was large, even decisive in some cases, like in the liberation of Belgium.

"France was the colonial power that secured the greatest number of soldiers from Africa. In 1912, conscription of African soldiers into the French army was pursued on a large scale. During the 1914-18 war, 200,000 soldiers were recruited in French West Africa, through the use of methods reminiscent of slave hunting. These 'French' soldiers served against German in Togo and Cameroon, as well as in Europe itself. On the European battlefields, an estimated 20,000 'French' Africans lost their lives, and many more returned mutilated, for they were used as cannon fodder in the European capitalist war.


Naturally, France also made the maximum use of African troops in the last World War. Indeed, Africans saved France after the initial losses when France and most of French Africa fell under the Germans and the fascist (Vichy) French. In French Equatorial Africa, it was a black man, Felix Eboue, who proved loyal to the forces led by General de Gaulle, and who mobilized manpower against the French and German fascists. Africa provided the base and much of the manpower for launching counter-attack which helped General de Gaulle and the 'Free French' to return to power." (Walter Rodney, op.cit. p. 206).

Africa contribution to the European wars was not limited to manpower alone. Without their African colonies, the colonial powers would have had no prayer against the Germans. War levies were imposed on Africans to finance the war campaigns. African mineral resources were exploited to the full to keep the war industries in Europe going. It was African Chrome, Columbite, Iron ore and Copper that build the war materiele that enable Europe to free itself. Little remembered today is the fact that the Belgian government-in-exile was entirely financed by the loot from Congo. It was also from the Congo, that the Americans mined the Uranium, with which they build the Atomic Bomb which they dropped on Japanese cities which, effectively, ended the war. All these were aside from the huge financial contribution the exploitation of African mineral wealth made to the treasuries of France, Belgium and England. I hope that you will remember that your own government-in- exile was hosted by imperial Britain.

You will do well to remember that it was statements such as yours by German Ministers who, unable to solve their economic problems, blamed everything on foreigners, that directly led to the conflagration of the WWII. Mixing primitive jingoism with crass racism and boorish xenophobic, they found a scapegoat in the person of the Jews. The result of what started as 'foreigner-bashing' was the nightmlare of the holocaust, which is still haunting the memories of every man of conscience. Those who have ears, let them hear!

Mr. Minister, we are not as naive as you might imagine. We may not have access to your mass-media, but we clearly remember how much Africans have contributed to the Dutch and European industrial and financial infrastructure. If we are 'swarming' your country as you said, we are just following our money - no pun intended.

"In the same way we may say that the imperialist states would make a great mistake and commit an unspeakable injustice if they contended themselves with withdrawing from our soil the military cohorts, and the administrative and managerial services whose function was to discover the wealth of the country, to extract it and send it off to the mother countries. We are not blinded by the moral reparation of national independence; nor are we fed by it. THE WEALTH OF THE IMPERIAL COUNTRIES ARE OUR WEALTH TOO. On the universal plane this affirmation, you may be sure, should on no account be taken to signify that we feel ourselves affected by the creations of Western arts and techniques. For in every concrete way Europe has stuffed herself inordinately with the gold and raw materials of the colonial countries; Latin America, China, and Africa. From all these continents, under whose eyes Europe today raises up her tower of opulence, there has flowed out for centuries toward that same Europe diamonds and oil, silk and cotton, wood and exotic products. EUROPE IS LITERALLY THE CREATION OF THE THIRD WORLD. THE WEALTH WHICH SMOTHERS HER IS THAT WHICH WAS STOLEN FROM THE UNDERDEVELOPED PEOPLES. THE PORTS OF HOLLAND, THE DOCKS OF BORDEAUX AND LIVERPOOL WERE SPECIALIZED IN THE NEGRO SLAVE TRADE, AND OWE THEIR RENOWN TO MILLIONS OF DEPORTED SLAVES. SO WHEN WE HEAR THE HEAD OF A EUROPEAN STATE DECLARED WITH HIS HAND ON HIS HEART THAT HE MUST COME TO THE AID OF THE POOR UNDERDEVELOPED PEOPLES, WE DO NOT TREMBLE WITH GRATITUDE. QUITE THE CONTRARY; WE SAY TO OURSELVES: 'IT'S A JUST REPARATION WHICH WILL BE PAID TO US.'" ( Frantz Fanon, op. cit. p.102) - all caps for emphasis.

"The well-being and the progress of Europe have been built up with the sweat and the dead bodies of Negroes, Arabs, Indians, and the yellow races. We have decided not to overlook this any longer. "(ibid, p.96).

It doesn't require a degree in economics to know that the wealth and the opulence of your country and indeed of Europe was derived from the exploitation of Africa resources. Europeans are living fat on Africa's poverty.

Royal Dutch Shell, the giant oil company is a net contributor to the Dutch economy. Thousands of Dutch people are gainfully employed in its refineries. For your information, SHELL is the biggest exploiter of my country's premier resources - petroleum. I cannot help but contrast the opulence in their installations in this country to the wretchedness of their oil fields in the Delta part of Nigeria. The uncaring, inhuman activities of SHELL in Nigeria once prompted a Nigerian Minister to ask the pungent question: 'Is Shell a noun or a verb?' Shell, like most Dutch Multi-nationals, are literally SHELLing the poor countries. If your government will encourage Dutch MNCs to discover some sense of social responsibilities, and spend part of their huge profits to develop the areas they are exploiting, the need for people from those areas to migrate to your country would be greatly diminished.

Mr. Minister, I am old enough to remember that when my country was enjoying an oil- boom, thousands of Dutch people came to partake in the good times. I personally know a few of them who were housed in five-star hotels, all expenses paid, for upward of five years. Nigerians were welcome guests in this country in those happy times. Now that our fortunes have nose-dived, we are treated like scum.

You can argue that your government is giving 'aids'. My reply would be that I am not at all excited by your so-called aid. I am not thrilled by the pyrotechnics of your charities. Your 'Een Voor Afrika' was a useless junket. If only your country and the rest of Europe would be paying fair prices for the products you are literally looting from Africa, no one will require your 'aid,' and we will be happy to stay in our country. Each time I go into supermarket in this country, the prices of coffee are falling. The same goes for the other products coming from Africa, they are always 'goedkoop.' There is, of course, no correspondence decrease in the prices of the goods that Holland and Europe is shipping to Africa, or in the usurious interest rates Western banks are charging on the debt Africa is said to be owing.

It has been said that the production of these products, which Africans are forced to produce for Western markets, is largely responsible for the general impoverishment in Africa. These so-called 'cash-crops' do not produce money for the producers. The commodities markets are controlled by Western dealers. They are traded in Amsterdam, London, Chicago, New York and Paris. The prices are determined by Western speculators. The peasant cocoa farmer, who worked the farm from dawn to dusk under intense sun, gets only 8% return. The African government receives about 17% in taxes and duties. The rest, a massive 75%, is appropriated by Western dealers. The same goes for other agricultural commodities, like coffee, whose production the poor African farmers are wasting their labor producing for Euro-America markets.

If your 'aid-projects' help in salving your conscience and makes you sleep better, they do not help Africa one bit. We left our countries because of chronic unemployment, what do we have in return? The Dutch government, through its aid-agencies, is sending over- compensated aid-workers to impart some obscure knowledge. More of these 'miracle- workers' are trampling around today than even at the height of colonial rule. You are condemning Africans for coming to live in your country, Mr. Minister, we are running away from our countries simply because the policies of your government, and its Euro-American partners, are making it impossible for us to live meaningful lives in our countries. Take the case of Angola.

We have Stockwell's book, In Search of Enemies,' to tell us the real causes of the war in Angola, where a beaten guerrilla leader was turned into a CIA agent of destabilisation to decimate Angola. For over a century, Angolans suffered bestial Portuguese colonial oppression, the Americans were contented to watch and cheer from the sidelines. No sooner have the Angolans liberated themselves that the Yankees discovered how badly Angolans needed 'democracy' and 'human-rights,' and foisted on them a very expensive war from which that unfortunate country is still reeling. Most galling, the Americans did this in collaboration with their accursed cousins in South Africa. Imagine the irony of joining forces with the perpetrators of the evil system of apartheid to impose democracy on another country. For years to come, the major chunk of Angola's income will go into paying the military debt, incurred to prosecute the Yankee-inspired 'civil war.'

Mr. Minister, these are points you should consider before making silly pronouncements about people swarming our country. Your country belong in the Western Alliance which to a large extent is responsible for the current woes in Africa.

Western aid-agencies are now making a song-and-dance about helping Angolan famine victims. Where, I ask, were these bleeding hearts when their governments were sponsoring the murderous wars raging in Africa? Opinion polls in the West were in support of these naked aggressions. As long as jobs are guaranteed and profits assured, what does the average Westerner care about an African life? No one in the West lost any sleep while their governments went around the world destroying human lives. As long as the wars are fought to keep the world safe for capitalism, and the profits repatriated to create jobs at home, that is okay and acceptable to the generality of the Western public.

What happened in Angola was a mirror of what transpired in the Horn of Africa, where Ethiopia was encouraged to lock horn with Somalia over foreign ideologies. The rulers of those countries were prodded into a war of death and destruction, from which their citizens would continue to suffer for the foreseeable future. We see the results of these devastations on television. The legacy of the West's policies are dying children and starving Somalis. The West response, as usual, was to organize charities. If you guys will just pause to examine the consequences of your wretched interventions, you will not need to send 'aids,' and we will be happy to live peaceful lives in our countries.

These wars, incorrectly termed 'civil-wars,' were anything but that. They were externally fomented by Western agents of destruction and destabilisation. As Bob Marley put it, 'When you gonna get some food, your brother got to be your enemy.' They are part of the classical 'divide-and-conquer' game all over. Ancient animosities are dusted off from the archives and promoted to ensure that the Somalis will not want to live in peace with the Ethiopians; to ensure that the tribal groups in Angola are forever at odds with each other. Meanwhile, while the Africans are engaged in murdering each other, the Westerners are gladly making neat profits. They are busy supplying weapons to both sides, and milking the mineral resources which the combatants are too pre-occupied to exploit.

We have Americans officials on record boasting in an August 1989 issue of TIME magazine as saying that these wars were not to ensure that one side triumph over the other, but just to turn brothers against brothers, so that people will continue to live wretched lives: "The objective of the war is not to make UNITA win a war, but to devastate Angola and make the people lead wretched lives." (TIME, August 10, 1987. p.33)

When the victims of your oppression and aggressions and greediness came to your shore, you started shouting, 'Oh, what a tribulations!'

When Western leaders and commentators in their truimphalistic euphoria opined that the cold war was bloodless, I guess they do not reckon with the millions of African lives wasted in its pursuit. Perhaps they still do not rate Africans as humans. Just as Africa was not given any credit for the victory over nazism, they are not mentioned as having played any role in the victory over communism. Whereas the cold war remained cold in Europe and the United States, it was hot, bloody hot in Africa, as millions of Ethiopians, Mozambicans, Somalis, Angolans, whose lives were devastated, can testify.

Somali hasn't got any arms industry. There are is no tangible arm industry in either Angola or Ethiopia. The arms that toddlers are cradling in Somalia today are Western arms supplied to fight communism in Ethiopia. It was Western military strategists and arms merchants, in connivance with Western governments, that turned Somalia into the hell it's today. It was the West which considered the Horn of Africa a strategic place to play out its cold-war, and poured enough arms there to ensure that the people have enough to annihilate each other many times over. These were called military aid which these countries must pay back with usurious interests.

Mr. Minister, since your country was an enthusiastic member of the Western Alliance that pursued these depraved policies, it must share part of the blame. You are getting your share of the blame by the numbers of immigrants fleeing to your shores.

Mr. Minister, I took the long route in order to let you know some facts which, I believe, you should consider next time you are invited to speak about immigrants on the television. We are not here for the love of it. We will gladly stay in our country if your government and its partners will stop pursuing policies that make it impossible to live a decent life in our country. We love our own countries dearly, as much as you do yours. We will be very happy to stay if your government and its partners will stop messing up our affairs.

As long as you and your government assume that donating food surplus is the answer to the general impoverishment in Africa, you are asking the wrong questions. As long as you believe that you are helping people by going on television to make appeal for food donation, you are being clever by half. You're mis-focusing attention from the true causes of famine and destitution. Charities are not the answer to the problems of Africa. The Western bankers taking money from poor Africans do not do so on the television screen. The policies of the World Bank and the IMF which have wrought so much devastations in Africa are drafted and implemented without fanfare. They are conceived insmoke-filledd rooms by champagne drinking bureaucrats. Until your do-gooders recognize the connection between the opulence of the West and the poverty of Africa, so long shall they continue with their charity appeals. Until Western banks can be persuaded to cut or cancel their usurious interest rates, so long shall people continue to die of famine in Africa. As long as the prices of African primary products continue to fall, so long shall we have Ethiopia and Somalia and Sudan. As long as the rich people of the West continue to rob the poor people of Africa, so long shall the sickening images of starving children continue to haunt them. As long as the people in the West refuse to realize that more money is flowing from poor Africa to rich Europe and America, than the other way round, and persuade their government to do something about it, so long shall the ghost of Africans continue to torment their dreams.

Mr. Minister, your government can pass as many anti-immigration laws as it likes. It may deport as many 'aliens' as it can catch. That, however, will not stop your country from being 'swamped' by desperate immigrants from poor countries. Until your government and its Euro-American partners recognized and begin to address, seriously, the fundamental problems besetting the poor countries of Africa - problems, I should repeat, largely created by the West's neo-colonial policies, no amount of anti-immigration legislation will keep the immigrants away. The immigrants are not going to allow you to define their borders. They are not going to be bond by your government blatantly racist anti-immigration laws.

To paraphrase John Kennedy: 'Those who make living in the Third World impossible, make migration to the First World inevitable.'

I do not wish you evil.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

We don’t need a god as president

‎"The God of Hell should be held in loathing, contempt and scorn. A God who threatens eternal pain should be hated, not loved — cursed, not worshiped. A heaven presided over by such a God must be below the lowest hell. I want no part in any heaven in which the saved, the ransomed and redeemed will drown with shouts of joy the cries and sobs of hell." - Robert Ingersoll

President John Atta Mills was recently quoted as remarking that “As a nation, we should know that it is God who is the president of this nation and indeed I owe nobody an apology for giving Him His due.”

Professor Mills is a man I respect a great deal. But his utterances in matters of religion are often far off the mark.

No one quarrel with any president for harboring religious beliefs. Problem arises when they appear to shove their own brand of piety on the rest of us.

No, Mr. President your god is not the president of this country; we didn’t vote for him\her.

The constitution which you swore to uphold made Ghana a secular state. Secularism means that religion has no role to play in the affairs of state. If the framers of the constitution had wanted us to elect gods, they would have declared our republic a Theocracy. The president of Ghana is the president of one and all, atheists included.

This should not be too difficult to grasp. We have enough trouble in the land than to add religious palaver to them.

It is wrong for Mr. President to tell us that: “Ghanaian needed to be grateful for all the mercies granted them by the Almighty.”

Mr. President is undoubtedly an honourable man, so he should tell us what we should be grateful to any almighty for.

Is it the shocking poverty in which many of our people remain trapped? Is it lack of even the basic of infrastructures and services for our people? Is it our lack of ability to provide water, electricity and ICT services to the vast majority of our people? Or does our president expect us to dance with joy of gratitude to god when we see our people die of cholera? Or that the sight of many of our children selling or begging on the streets should make us vibrate with gratitude to our heavenly father?

Mr. President should please give us a break!

In the article “We didn’t vote for god," I wrote, inter alia, “It is barely bearable for me when I hear religious leaders say that we in Africa need divine and spiritual interventions to solve our myriads of socio-economic and developmental challenges, but it galls me to no end when I hear our elected representatives pantomiming the same nonsense.

I am neither thrilled nor amused by the spectacle of African leaders holding prayer breakfast and other useless spiritual jamborees. The sight, in fact, makes me very angry.

I find the sight of African leaders kneeling in supplication insulting, as it portrayed us as mindless simpletons incapable of solving any of our problems without external interventions - be it from NGOs, IMF or some desert gods.

If we are praying to the gods of our ancestors, that would be fine, but the spectacle of our elected leaders praying to the gods of the Jews and the Arabs is nauseating, to say the least.

Religion, any religion, is essentially the worship of ancestors. Are we Africans so screwed up in our heads that we do not recognize the irony in our supplicating to other people’s ancestors, whilst neglecting ours?

What sights daily confront us in Africa except incapable and visionless leaders jumping from one Western capital to another in search of solutions to their country’s problems?

And whenever their feet manage to touch local terra firma, they are busy scurrying around churches and mosques, beseeching the almighties to come down to earth to lead them out of the morass their crass ineptitude, personal selfishness and total lack of vision has led their nations.

We voted for people who told us that they have the answers to our economic and social woes, thus fulfilling our part of what I considered to be a contract. For an elected official to turn around and tell us that only the gods can save us is dishonest to say the least. He has broken his part of the bargain!

And why is that African leaders needed divine intervention only when they have to provide amenities and services for the ordinary people. No one sees them praying or supplicating before awarding themselves fantastic salaries and other emoluments!

It look like a serious scam to me when an elected politician turned around to tell me that he requires divine support in order to do what he claimed he could easily do when he was canvassing for my vote. The sight of African presidents on bended knees supplicating to a god to come and solve their nations’ problems is repulsive to me.

Do we need the involvement of any almighty god to grow the food that we eat? Do we need the angelic intercessions of any goblin of the sky to solve our erratic water and electricity supply problems? Do we need to bend knees and pray before we can provide adequate telecommunication services? Do we need any god to tell us to desilt our choked gutters and clean our dirty streets?

Let anyone come forward and cite for me an example of a nation that has attained economic development through divine intervention. This is a challenge. Is it by any co-incidence that the only country in the so-called holy land that has attained a high level of economic development is secular Israel?

When Jehovah was purportedly leading them in useless nomadic trek across the Palestinian and Arabia deserts, the Jews were starving. And they did not stop starving until they took to science and technology. It was not their knowledge of the Torah but their embracing modern sciences that enable the Jews to turn their desert into blossoming oasis and become net exporter of food!

Our leaders will do well to tell us the simple truth that we are deluding ourselves if we believe that some gods are coming down from the sky to solve our problems for us. What have we gained, as a people or as a nation, from all the endless spirituals pyrotechnics that are daily deluging us? What have we benefited, tangibly, from all the charade being perpetrated by shameless charlatans pretending to stand between us and alujanah?

I have lived in societies where human beings are decently feeding, clothing and housing themselves without appealing for divine intervention! I have lived in lands where human beings live in comfort with absolutely no spiritual intercession whatever. And, if anything, history tells us that it is only those lands that banished ignorance and set the gods strictly aside that have improved their physical environment and material well-being. Correct me if I am wrong, please!

Methinks that it is time we give the gods a break. By endowing us with immeasurable mineral resources the gods have certainly done their best for us. As a great African writer once put it, “The gods are not to blame.” We have no one but ourselves to blame if we continue to wallow in poverty because we refused to employ our intellects to solve purely temporal problems as others have done and continue to do.

While the rest of humanity is making giant strides creating the things to make life more comfortable, our lives continue to be ruled by ignorance and superstitions. We still belief the fiction that bad lucks are caused by witches and wizards and could be banished by olive oil. In this age and time, spiritual leaders still have the audacity to tell us the ignoble lie that a god created a devil to torment our lives, and that that devil could be expelled by bathing in sea water! We must certainly be the last species of humanity that still belief that barrenness could be cured by reciting some psalms and the tying of a talisman around a waist!

What is particularly galling is that our rulers continue to live far and above the poverty line they set for the rest of us. Or do our dear presidents go to bed on empty stomachs? Do they and their families lack the facilities to cater for their health? Or when was the last time our dear leaders slept in darkness or failed to make an emergency telephone call?

If our dear leaders enjoy all these comforts without divine intervention, they have no business pulling wool over eyes by asking us to beg a god in order to enjoy what is considered basic in most of other countries.”

See: We didn't vote for gods

I have no problem with anybody spending all is time supplicating to a god, what I have issue with is for my elected president to tell me that he has given the governance of my country to a god. I have big problem with a president that has turned the governance of my country to a phantom in the sky.

Our president is a full professor and we expect more critical appraisals of things from those who have benefitted from a higher education. Should our lives continue to be guided by faith in spite of historical facts?

One of the galling things I see whenever I visit any of our universities is the way and manner the places have been turned into prayer camps. Our tertiary institutions have been turned into glorified Retreat Camps.

It is all good and jolly to have faith and believe in god, but the question remains: how do we get people to do critical thinking when they believe that they have a god who is answer to all things? How do we get people to think at all when they have decided to put all their faith in Jesus? How do we expect people to look for solution when they have been bathed in the blood of Jesus? How on earth do our graduates expect to compete when they lack the ability to think outside the box?

Rather than our leaders to waste time in useless parleys with the robed rogues we call ‘men of god,” they should rather hold conference with our scientists, engineers, technologies and technicians.

It is sad that in this age and time, our president still think of nothing to insult with call for prayers. I challenge the president to tell us where a people’s problems have been solved by a god. He should tell us what single thing we have benefited from all the prayers we have sent to almighty. He should tell us a single problem that could be demonstrably solved by prayer.

Practical problems call for practical solutions. It is time that our leaders stop insulting us by their constant adjurations to the goblins of the sky.

I have always point out in this column that I have lived in societies where human beings, using their brains and brawns, have solved earthly problems without beseeching any god.

I often cite the example of The Netherlands which is a much smaller country than Ghana – in both size and population. The Dutch reclaimed much of their land from the sea and they have built awe-inspiring technologies to protect it. If the Dutch are anything like us, the sea would have long swept them away. The Dutch are among the people who are said to support our budget. The question we ought to start asking ourselves is what exactly is wrong with us?

What is stopping us from using our brains to solve our own problems instead of waiting on gods and donors? Are we not endowed with the same brain like those on whom we are depending?

Let me give two examples where we do not need the intervention of any god before we help ourselves.

First, we can solve the problem of filth in our cities if we make our children do general cleaning on Sundays, rather than waste their time listening to fabled stories of a desert god in churches.

We should feel ashamed of ourselves that our people are still dying of cholera.
Cholera is a simple sickness that is cause only by un-hygiene conditions. Many parts of our cities and towns are simply eyesores. The only thing lacking is the will to tackle the problem head on and solve it once and for all. And I don’t think that this should be too daunting to require any god or donor support.

Our children should simply be mobilise to do the cleaning. They are already learning all the theories of environment science and all that, they need only practice what they are being taught. The syllabus should be changed to make practical works count for more that the theoretical part. In no time, we will begin to reap the benefits.

Secondly, there is no nation on earth that has solved its electricity problem by appeal to any god.

Luckily for us, we don’t have to invent any wheel; the science of electricity generation and distribution is already well known and they are widely available. We can solve our electricity problem if our president challenges our engineers to come up with ideas that will utilize solar, thermal, wave and other types of energies.

There are even Do It Yourself manuals on the internet on how we could build solar panels and wind mills.,

So, rather than our president wasting time telling us about putting any god in charge, he should assemble those with the capabilities to get together and look for solutions to our energy problem.

Our president should visit our universities and laboratories rather than waste precious presidential time in churches.

We need our African Renaissance and the time is NOW!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Reflections On The Tunisian Revolution And Other Arising Matters

"If you push a goat to the wall, it will bite you." - African proverb

"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by those whom they oppress." - Frederick Douglass

(Swans - March 14, 2011) These are definitely among the most exciting times we have had on the continent of Africa for a long while. Even for a continent that likes to spin surprises now and then, the happenings across Africa in recent weeks are enough to make one's head reel!

First, it was the people of Southern Sudan who had the opportunity of a lifetime to determine their own future. An internationally-brokered agreement they signed with the leadership of the Khartoum government gave them the right to choose whether to separate or to remain in a United Sudan. Wow!

Many tribal and national groups across the continent would kill to be given such opportunity.

When the colonialists sat in Berlin in 1884-5 and carved the thousands of tribal and national groups of Africa into fifty or so states to satisfy their colonial ambitions, they gave no thought to history, or geography or even common sense. Whole "nations" like Gambia, for example, were completely sandwiched between another (Senegal) and given the appurtenances of a national entity.

When the wind of change blew across Africa in the 1960s, and the former colonies were given at least their nominal independence, the leaders of the new countries, in their collective wisdom, thought it best to leave the colonial inventions alone, lest they will be courting serious wahala.

So the fictitious entities were maintained and the leaders were saddled with the ponderous task of building viable nations from the amorphous conglomerations cobbled together by European colonialists.

It didn't take long for tears to begin to emerge from the seams of these hotchpotch and patchworks of nation-states. Not only were the new countries geographical absurdities, many were simply economically unviable. Competition to share scarce resources among tribes and nations with deep tribal antagonisms (ruthlessly suppressed by the colonialists) soon led to civil and uncivil wars.

The Cold War rivalries among the superpowers, coupled with the shenanigans of erstwhile colonial masters, to continue to dictate tunes, also contributed to create the mayhem that has now become associated with the continent Conrad prefered to call the "Dark Continent."

South Sudan was not actually the first country to break free; that honor goes to Eritrea. But unlike the Eritreans whose independence was negotiated peacefully with Ethiopia, South Sudanese were the first to be given the power to choose their own destiny in popular plebiscites. Given the bitterness with which the war was fought, it was not surprising that the overwhelming majority of the people of South Sudan elected to govern themselves.

Meanwhile, in Nigeria the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) held its congress to choose its presidential candidate for the April 2011 elections. And the party did what it knew best: announcing logic-defying and dubious election results. No big surprises emerged as the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan emerged the winner amidst claims and counter-claims of corruption and bribery with cows and cash!

In the meantime, in La Côte d'Ivoire (CIV) the imperialists are also doing what they know best: doing all within their power to impose their preferred candidate, Alassane Ouattara, as president by all means necessary.

As in everything they do, the imperialists have muddled the water and released enough disinformation to sell their perfidious lies. A local election, in a region not known for sterling election performance, was transformed into a major global production. The imperialists' script neatly reduced a contested election into a titanic battle between forces of evil versus good. Of course, their preferred candidate, Ouattara, was made to smell like roses.


Sunday, March 13, 2011



Ladies and gentlemen of the media, I welcome you on behalf of the gallant people of the Great Socialist People of Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to this very crucial press conference where I am seeking to tell through your medium, the unfortunate political situation in my country, Libya.

It is known to all of us that there is a political whirlwind that is ferociously blowing across the Northern part of the continent of Africa and the Arab world. The violent protests which have characterised the demands of the people in Tunisia and Egypt have been largely viewed by detractors as a revolution by people who are asserting their rights as enshrined in the universal Human Right Declaration of the United Nation. In less than six weeks, the world has witnessed the fall of two powerful governments in Africa. Surprising in its swiftness and scope, it was not unexpected though; the twin-principle of conquest and domination maintains itself by any means necessary. The crises stem from the necessity for enlarging and deepening the control of the West over the resources of our world. This has been the thread that ties the colonial and the neo colonial eras into one undifferentiated fabric.


The unfortunate political crisis in Libya began in the middle of last month (15/2/2011) when a known anti-revolutionary and secessionist Fathi Tabril incited families of prisoners to storm Abu Sulaim Prison because the Prison had been set ablaze. The natural reaction by the families of the convicts was obvious; panic, fear, anxiety and hostility against the prison authorities. Ladies and gentlemen of the media, Fathi Tarbil’s claim was furthest from the truth. It was naked deceit intended to incite animosity and rancour against the authorities.

As you all know, the natural consequence of such a misguided and reckless act is for the law to take its course. Fathi was invited by the Security in Benghazi where he and his relatives met with the Benghazi Security authorities. He was let go after the family had apologised on his behalf and had sworn to the authorities in the presence of his family not to misconduct himself any more.

In spite of this, Fathi Tarbil took to the street with a group of hooligans who attacked passers-by with clubs, machetes and stones amidst the burning of car tires across major roads disrupting activities of law abiding peaceful citizens. The following day saw a demonstration by youth pledging support for the revolution and its leader-Brother Muamar Gadhafi. Upon reaching the precinct of the State Electricity Corporation the pro-revolutionary demonstrators were greeted with a hail of gun fire from assault automatic rifles and sub-machine guns stolen from the military garrisons which had been broken into. Thirteen people lost their lives.

As if that was not enough, ladies and gentlemen, these hooligans acting as terrorists invaded and ransacked not less than four military bases and installations within and around Benghazi. On all occasions they made away with guns and heavy ammunition. Ladies and gentlemen, you would by now be asking how well-equipped is the national army of Libya if civilians could pick weapons as if they were in a candy shop? In the face of theses provocations and attacks at the initial stages, the leader of the revolution said the arms were for the people and no one should harm them. My fellow Africans, which government in Africa or on the planet earth would look on unconcerned when civilians attack military bases and ransack its armories? You may consider the Libyan situation as an absurdity but we believe that our socialist principles enjoin us to respect the people at all times. After all, all resources embedded in the soil of Libya belong to them.

The event which led to 22 people losing their lives occurred when the terrorists launched a surprise attack on al-fudail Bu Omar Base. The base came under heavy bombardment from the terrorists even though there were several military personnel trapped in the base waiting to be freed by Special Forces. On the night of the same day of the Bu Omar Base incident, the terrorists marched onto two other military establishments including Banina Airport. Some foreigners from Algeria joined forces with the terrorists in the attacks. Ex-Guatanamo convicts and personal driver of the notorious international terrorist Bin Laden were neck deep in the armed insurrection against Libyans and their African brothers and sisters.

Ladies and gentlemen, these despicable acts fly in the face of democratic principles. How on earth does one conclude that brigands wielding guns in the street corners and killing innocent people are pro-democracy activists? Can the hoisting of a strange piece of cloth for a flag be considered an expression of democratic rights as we are being asked to accept by the servile Western media?

Under which government in the world would a sitting president allow a group of disgruntled citizens substitute the national flag with another of their choice? You would be surprised to know that five out of the seven reported dead at the Misrata Hospital had hoisted the flag of Zionist Israel. My brothers and sisters of the media, do you think that it is possible for a head of state to sit down unconcerned for a region of this beautiful country to take up arms and secede? Remember that every leader, be it Western or African has sworn to protect the territorial integrity of his or her country. It is on that basis that Brother Leader Muamar Gadhafi decided to use the security forces to restore the territorial integrity of Libya.


Ladies and gentlemen, it is unfortunate and heart rendering that the fifty-two nations of Africa cannot have their own media network to project their perspectives and promote their interests both national and international. I am very sad about this situation we found ourselves as a people where outside forces would be telling us our own story from their perspective. The West has, once again, deployed their media propaganda weapons against Africa and Libya in particular. The irony is that they keep contradicting themselves each and every day because they always fake out the stories they tell you about the Libyan situation.

The records of casualties have been fabricated just because they want to give the leader of the revolution a bad name so that they (West) can hang him. For every news bulletin a story is told about wholesale murder by nationalist forces as if the leader of the revolution is a sort of macabre person whose desire is to kill his own compatriots. I am sorry this is far from the truth. You may also wonder why the Western media is silent about killings by the rebels. As for them they have the legitimate right to kill and change the flag of the country. The unprincipled and hypocritical stance of the West portrayed in their media has undoubtedly exposed their conspiratorial and instigatory role in the situation in Libya.

It smacks of double standard for Western leaders to project rebels and their terrorist allies as pro-democracy and freedom fighters. What action has the rebels taken that is congruous with the principles of Western style democracy. Is it the stolen arms, killing of defenseless civilians or the changing of the national flag of Libya? Not long ago, about a week, the British High Commissioner to Libya was caught discussing military support for the “rebels”. Guess who he was talking to; the former Minister of Justice who has succumbed to Western manipulation and joined the secessionists in Benghazi.

The mounting media warfare and collaborationist actions and statements of support such as asking for the imposition of a no-flight zone clearly confirm the suspicion that the so-called “uprising” in Libya is not devoid of foreign interference in the internal affairs of the North African nation. Why would any body with a clear conscience and goodwill support a terrorists group fighting to dismember a peaceful developing nation?

The West is not a neutral arbiter in the Libyan situation. They have clearly taken position and therefore cannot be fair in any thing they would do regarding the political conflagration in the eastern part of Libya. Now that the West has openly identified with the terrorists the whole world has come to understand that the rebellion is their project of “regime change”.


There are many who are still in limbo about what has actually caused the crisis. It is an undisputable fact that Brother Qadhafi over the years has pushed further the frontiers of African unity. His efforts achieving a true union of Africa have been making some success to the chagrin of the imperialists and internal detractors. The path that Brother Qadhafi has followed was not his but that of the great Pan Africanist revolutionary leader, Osagyfo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah whose inspirational activities and vision Brother Qadhafi is pursuing towards the eventual unification of the good people of Africa. Obviously, his involvement in continental affairs has been very much significant; as a result, the parent body Organisation of African Unity (OAU) has been transformed to the African Union (AU) just to give impetus to the struggle for continental unity.

The very imperialists who thwarted the genuine efforts of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah are at it again. This time when they miserably failed to effect regime change by covert action they have resorted to crude antiquated violent method inciting miscreants, terrorists and rogues to topple the revolution. Ladies and gentlemen, Dr Kwame Nkrumah admonished us to “unite or perish” as a continent. He was prophetic in his independent declaration that “the independent of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with total liberation of Africa”.

Now we can all comfortably say that we are out of the colonial confines and for that matter a free people. But that is not what the great Pan Africanist revolutionary leader meant. He had foreseen the threat of another form of colonialism which he called neocolonialism. He warned us that the latter is more devious, dangerous and debilitating because it operates latently. According to Osagyefo, neocolonialism uses Africans to achieve the same effect as classical colonialism did about 100 years ago.

Seeing Africa unite is what the West cannot stomach simply because our unity would automatically stop the process of resource drain both natural and human. The Western world which depends on Africa to feed its industrial machines and people are paranoid and would have to act either by covert or overt means to prevent the realisation of the dream of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Brother Qadhafi is being targeted because he is on the same track with Osagyefo.

Ladies and gentlemen, apart from Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah you would bear with me that no leader has been able to hold aloft the vision of African unity except Brother Muamar Qadhafi. Various attempts have been made to stop him from continuing with the unfinished mandate of Dr. Kwamen Nkrumah. You are all aware that Brother Qadhafi has been accused of habouring the desire to rule Africa. It was the same allegation against the visionary leader, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Yet, Europe has succeeded in bringing to fruition political union. What hypocrisy.


We the people of Libya can confidently say that we have successfully escaped the machinations of the neocolonial forces whose preoccupation is to plunder the resources of the people for the betterment of the West. The socio-economic development under the leadership of Brother Qadhafi is one of the best. The poverty experienced in the Third world as a result of the rapacious pillaging of resources and economic exploitation by capital around the world has being kept out of the Great Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The oil resource is not left in the hands of the greedy multinationals as is being done all over the world. We in Libya determine what share we want to take from the revenue of the oil.

Ladies and gentlemen, whereas others are given between ten (10%) to eighteen (18%) percent as share of the oil revenue in Africa and the Gulf we under the leadership of Brother Qathafi are raking a whooping eighty (80%) to ninety (90%) percent of the oil revenue. This is the crux of the problem we have with America and its colonial allies. We have refused to accept the imposition of neocolonial policies under the tutelage of World Bank and IMF who are the financial arms of Western capitalism. Libya is rich. We have all social and economic amenities for free; a system that never exists in the West. From crèche to university, medicare, accommodation, water and electricity are all virtually free for all citizens of Libya.

What is happening in Libya has nothing to do with democracy or human rights as is being portrayed by the West. It is essentially a tribalist separatist and Al-Qaeda terrorist organisation to destabilise the country. This is being remote controlled by the imperialist forces who are supervising the terrorists to stage the so-called “uprising” to oust the progressive and the revolutionary government of the people and eventually replaces it with a puppet regime that would be dancing to the tune of Western capitalism.

The people of Libya are not afraid to fight in the defense of the revolution. We are on this occasion calling for Africans to speak out in support of their kith and kin and most importantly to defend the sovereignty of the continent from rapacious and fiendish capitalist.

Events on our Continent, particularly Libya, more than ever, point to the need for African unity. The dismemberment of the continent at Berlin in 1884-85 was intended to persist in various forms through time with the object of keeping us powerless. Let us rise up, close our ranks and march on to Continental Union.

May Alah bless us all.
Long live Great Socialist People of Libya Arab Jamahiriya!
Long live Pan Afrikan Council!
Long live Africa Unity!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ghana MPs Clamor For Higher Pay!

That there is even a debate about increasing the pay and allowances of our members of parliament (MPs) shows how totally unserious we are as a people. It also betrays a total disconnect between those ruling us and hoi poloi. We face so many challenges as a people and as a nation that any visitor to our shore, when confronted with the zeal with which we are busy debating non-issues like MPs' pay and allowances, will only shake her head in amazement.

Last year's unusually heavy rains brought vividly into our cozy living rooms the abject poverty most of our compatriots still live in this dear republic of ours. We all saw our own people, women, men, and children -- old and young -- struggling against the elements as flood washed away their mud houses. Many of them perished in the acts of rescuing their loved ones and their belongings. Many of our communities were cut off from the rest of the civilized world when the rickety bridges linking them got washed away.

From the north to the south, east to west, many Ghanaians still exist (forget live for now) in primitive conditions that are unfit for pets in many countries. And today we sit in our gleaming capital, in the comfort of our homes and offices, and all we do is talk about how to improve the lots of our fat cats in parliament!

The rains have abated awhile and like the little children that we are, the agonies our people experienced just last year have disappeared from our radar. The images are no longer on our giant made-in-Korea LCD or plasma TVs, so they no longer register on our consciousness. Until next time, that is.

Like grasshoppers, we refuse to take thought for the morrow. We no longer ask or care what happened to the thousands of our people who were victims of the flood just a few months ago. Have they been properly relocated? Are they getting enough to eat? Are the children back in school? No, that's no longer our concern. Our primary concern has shifted to how we can make our politicians more comfortable!

Where is our priority as a people? Where is our sense of fairness? Where is our common human decency?

If we have the money to increase the salaries of our elected officials, our debates will begin to make sense. We don't have the money, yet we are energetically busy debating how we are going to disburse that which we do not have.

Oh, sorry, there is always the "donor support," those much beloved words we cannot do without.


Wise saying:

" Never use both feet to test the depth of the sea." - African proverb