Please with your indulgence, kindly allocate me space in your interesting newspaper to write on the American independence and throw light on the significance of this day.
It was on July the 4th 1776 when the nation was granted independence by former colonial power, Britain. It was a historic moment for Americans and the world. It was a moment when the British colonial officers were legally obliged to pack their files and vacate a land they do not own. It was a moment when great minds and souls were rejuvenated and awakened once more to stand up for freedom and independence. It was a moment when the former colony won the right to determine its own destiny. It was a moment when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation which has served as a light of hope for the American citizenry who were initially subjected to the bondage of colonialism. But the victory never came easy as independence was fought through war.
Today astonishingly, this country has become the super-power and even her former colonial power has to follow its dictates. America’s wish is Britain’s command. This shows that colonialism was nothing but an idiocy that cannot be tolerated.
The celebration of this day is a living testimony of America’s might and strength in proving to the whole world that despite her colossal population and geographical size, the country is unique and exceptional for the bonds that hold it together as the most diverse nation on earth. The country has equally proven its democratic credentials to the world by being the champion of the ideology. As President Obama commented, “democracy in a nation of 300 million people can be noisy, messy and complicated”.
However, as the world joins in wishing you a happy 4th July, we expect you to reflect on the sufferings so many people in the world are going through all due to the catastrophe you have committed on some innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and a host of other places. You must remember that these countries are equally independent just as you are. But fighting for your hegemony should not warrant you to violate the rights of innocent people, women and children in particular who have today become the veterans of creative suffering. This is not what independence means. You must also work in accordance with the ideals you were founded on “freedom and equality” as your president once said. This you must always give meanings to.
As you continue to preach the gospel of freedom, equality, individual rights and liberties, democracy and good governance, it should be your fundamental duty and responsibility to lead by example by respecting the rights and liberties of others. This is the bedrock of a just and peaceful society and it is only then that the world can respect your position as a global hegemon.
Let justice reign in Iraq
Let justice reign in Afghanistan
Let justice reign in Syria
Let justice reign in Libya, in Egypt and the entire maghrib region
Let justice reign even in America
And finally, let justice reign in the ‘Guantanamo’ where rights and liberties of people are been truncated. When this happen, then American independence shall be a joyous moment for all and sundry.
Ba Foday Jabbi
Children as sacrificial lambs
It is the practice in most African states for school children to be lined up along the roadside to await the arrival of a visiting head of state. More often, they are used to provide colours and background to the presidential convoy as the motorcade makes its tour of the towns and cities during official visits. These school children, in their infancy, are kept in the burning sun for hours on end waiting for the presidential motorcade to arrive.
While in the blazing heat, they are not provided with any form of refreshment and are expected to keep their places in an orderly manner. The teachers who accompany them on such occasions are always eager to maintain order and discipline in order to present a picture of conformity and allegiance to the ruling party as such situations are now given a political interpretation.
In this way, school children are used as pawns and are made to languish in the sun on empty stomachs while waiting for the arrival of the visiting dignitary.
Isn’t it paradoxical that African governments who have been shouting about the Convention on the Rights of the Child could afford to subject school children to such cruelty and suffering? Isn’t it hypocritical that children could be so abused with impunity while African governments are condemning child abuse and proclaiming youth empowering and enlightenment?
It is my contention that if children are the hope for the future, as they have been purported to be, then they deserve better treatment and certainly should be provided with a more conducive and enabling environment where talents would be nurtured and potentials developed to the fullest.
I would like all those in whose care and protection children are entrusted to realise that children are precious gifts from God. They should be loved, protected and directed for they are the basis for the establishment of a society’s future.