Friday, January 15, 2010
HAITI APOCALYPSE, AFRICA YET TO SHOW SUPPORT TO A BROTHER IN DISTRESS!
Three long days after the catastrophic 7.3 magnitude earthquake incapacitated Haiti, no African country or the African Union has yet expressed or shown real support for the ongoing global effort at finding answers to those questions posed by the disaster. Practically every continent in the world from Asia to Europe to North America and South America, is already participating in the Haiti's effort except for motherland Africa! Africa, whose sons and daughters populate the Hispaniola Island nation of Haiti, is still a no show in Haiti, despite the able leadership so far provided in managing the crisis by President Barack Obama of America. Continental Africa that should be the first to report to duty in a ravaged Haiti is still dragging its feet behind, yoked down by rudderless leaders and rulers who do not really understand what leadership means and fail or could not provide one. From Nigeria to South Africa to Egypt to Ghana, each is waiting for the other to decide if their assistance is needed in Haiti or whether they should leave the effort for the more well positioned bigger powers or to some extent, lacking the sense of direction as to what should be done in the circumstance? At least, there is something known as a widow's mite, and in as much as the world is not expecting Africa to bleed more than their blood content; at least they should do something in acknowledgment of the disaster effort. No matter how little, it did not bring itself and that is the only thing expected of a poor and afflicted Africa, yet they are not showing any understanding? Haitians that were sold into slavery and dumped in the strange Island of Hispaniola by the French in 1667? Haitians who were subjugated, dehumanized and used as common slave laborers until they stood up to the French in 1791 and said, 'enough of the servitude!' The once proud and mighty Haitians, who humiliated the then fearsome Napoleon Bonaparte's army into a crest-fallen retreat back to Paris; securing their independence as the first black slaves emancipated country in 1805? Proud Africans of the Caribbean, who could no long stomach the arrogance of the French who took them away from their kindred in Africa, conscripted them into slavery as indentured farmers and tillers of plantations which supplied their excesses?The first black African slave colony to declare their independence, shortly following after America? A humiliated French with a superior navy, who in order to save face, conspired with other "white-men" Americans to levy a suffocating economic blockade on the nation of Haiti and extorted reparation from them for their lost slavery estates and holdings, and for 100 long years? Icheoku says, may be the land of Napoleon should be called upon now to reciprocate in kind, and bear the cost of fixing the today's broken Haiti in a reverse reparation of some sort? Imagine a 100 year king's ransom, converted to today's money with added interest, will be more than sufficient to rebuild Haiti from grounds up? It will be recalled that Haiti was once the pride of the western hemisphere and the Caribbean and was also then prosperous? It is also instructive that when they forced the French out of the Hispaniola Island; the French fearful of also losing their then Louisiana territory to another revolution, hurriedly sold it off to America for $15million dollars at 3cents per acre? Just the facts, ma'am! It will also be recalled that the French had then sort and received America's support and help in blockading Haiti between 1820 to 1940; and that it was just in 1960 that America finally recognised Haiti as an independent neighboring country? So it is understandable when America says to Haiti, in its greatest hour of need that "you will not be forsaken or forgotten again"! Icheoku says, what a well thought-out and made, good statement, geared towards redressing the ills of the past in order to make things whole and straigthen the crooked roads? Now that we have had a little relation back excursion, journeying back into history's memory lane to trace the origin of present day Haiti, we must pivot back to the referenced subject, - 'Haiti's earthquake and attendant world help', without the Africans? Africans, whose Caribbean African brothers were just hammered by an unforgiving mother nature. There is one country in black Africa which claims to be the giant of Africa; this country is notorious for its 419 operatives, drug-trafficking, kidnapping, corruption and most recently was branded a 'terrorist country of interest?" Nigeria, Icheoku asks you, where is your African brotherly support for fellow Africans in the Caribbean, trapped in the ruins of Haiti, three long days after the earth underneath them shook, trembled and quaked like a yo-yo? The rest of the world are already on the ground in Port-au-Prince trying to salvage all they can salvage and assisting Haiti pick up their pieces and also bury their dead? Africans are a no-show! Of all the countries already sweltering their butts out in Haiti, no black country is among them; and we are talking about a fellow black-country, going through one of the worst disaster in recorded history? Icheoku calls on Nigeria to lead the African-charge and proceed immediately to contribute their own quota to the effort - a necessary step towards becoming a world-citizen country! It does not just lie in the mouth to proclaim oneself a giant, but shies away whenever some heavy-lifting or tasks needing a giant's strength comes up. Moreover Nigeria was recently rumoured to be interested in a United Nations security council seat, a step which sounds ok; and her contributions to a Haiti-paralysed, will go a long way in smooching itself back into the hearts of the voting members of the United Nations who will consider such move in a positive light. Moreso, after the ugly incident of December 25 involving Northern Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a strong presence and participation in the Haiti search and rescue/recover operation will definitely be a good step towards rehabilitating its forever damaged image. So where is Abuja in this Haiti hour of great need; and where are the Abuja henchmen or are they still occupied with succession fight for the office of the previously missing President Umaru Yar'Adua who recently appeared and spoke to a foreign media from his foreign hospital bed, a few days ago? In conclusion, Icheoku says if African Union does not know what is expected of them regarding the tragedy of Haiti, that is very unfortunate; but their somewhat strong representation will go a long way in bridging the waters of the Atlantic? Also the quest by Libya's strongman 'King' Moummar Ghaddafi to unite Caribbean Africans with their motherland Africans will find merit in halls of Port-au-Prince as well as other prospective unifying countries? A brother in need is a brother indeed, so Haiti shall never forget those who helped it recover from its worst natural disaster. If however African Union is saddled with so much responsibility already within the continent in turmoil that they have nothing to spare in aid of Haiti, Nigeria should as matter of urgency and self-esteem, break free of the union and render some assistant to Haiti. Our recommendation, Nigeria should ship some 500 soldiers over to Port-au-Prince to join a one-world effort at rendering a brotherly help to a nation that could use all the help it could get under the circumstance. If Icheoku recalls correctly, Nigeria gave Myanmar (Burma) $500 million dollars the last time they were in a financial ditch; so a check this time, made out to Haiti in the amount of at least $500 million dollars to assist a brother country, will be a fair-sized widow's mite? Considering the short and long term needs of this devastated Island country of just 9million people, 50,000 of who have now perished in the earthquake, that amount might as well be just an instalment down payment. Nigeria, do it on behalf of all black people all over the world, the motherland and as a thing of pride for continental African! Icheoku calls on the acting Nigerian president and vice president, Jonathan Goodluck to summon the Federal Executive Council and table the need for Nigeria to send immediate assistance to suffering Haiti. Let that Rush Limbaugh or Pat Robertson of Nigeria stand up to oppose such a fine idea in international diplomacy and let the world laugh him or her off the cliff. It is our firm belief that only a parochial, dumb and short-sighted member, if any, will object to or oppose this move, which is capable of erasing the 'sins of Nigeria' or at least some of them; especially the latest dishonor of becoming "a terrorist country of interest"? Icheoku says, sending assistance to Haiti is a good cause, Nigeria; so do it and now!