Why It’s Time For Former Colonies To Hold Colonial Masters Accountable

Or they leave the oil and stay out

Ezinne Ukoha
Nov 14, 2018 · 9 min read

It’s amazing how a simple shopping excursion can trigger the demons to circle with vengeance as the unreconciled emotions of an era that was dramatized before your existence, becomes the inheritance that you’re forced to translate without the blueprint of success.

It’s unpleasantly ironic picking out cosmetics that specifically cater to my template, in a store that’s managed by Asians, who aren’t interested in award-winning customer service; as much as they’re invested in providing the tools that service a community that continues to be blindsided by the negligence of allowing detractors to sell us back the dignity they profit from.

The aisles are filled with everything we need and while you survey the decorative wigs and neatly hung textures of hair, the opposite rack is stacked with body creams that profess to make your skin as good as new.

The options are plenty, and just when I spot the brand that I’m committed to, my attention is deviated to the top shelf that hosts an array of products that promise to make everything brighter; once you layer up on the concoctions that are formulated to erase the richly defined hues that we’ve been taught to loathe.

White supremacy is a mutha!

For former colonial hotspots like Nigeria, Ghana, and India to name a few, the ties that bind lies in the unfortunate historical mayhem that permitted the entry of weaponed White men with toxic motives, and the cursed sketches that wrecked irrevocable havoc on already secured primal instincts.

I will never fully grasp the ancestral meditations that were practiced before my time.

The British arrived on behalf of the empire, and the authority of how Whiteness had to be distributed in ways that demeaned the brutishness of dark skin, and how our unruly features only amplified the uncouth makeup. In order to emphasize the messaging of our worthlessness, it was necessary to hit at the epicenter of vulnerability.

The revolting picture of British imperialism

The only way to conquer and divide is to destabilize.

And so the masters who had mastered every route to unearned opulence from the River Niger to River Benue, began the quest of unwarranted dominion that involved shredding away our long-held customs and instituting the mandate of English as the primary and preferred mode of communication.

This would make it a lot easier for the English to seamlessly avoid the road blocks stemming from the inconvenience of not being able to accumulate the knowledge required to acquire protectorates at rapid speed. There was already a rough draft that linked the resource-filled regions to the ships that were positioned for the long journey back to civilization — carrying the loot of riches.

Aside from the traitorous methods of invasion that woefully divided Nigeria, by assigning more land to the Northerners as a way to solidify loyalty, based on the less combative rapport, there’s also the destructive disregard for a culture that was structured for impeccable living; before the White man was overcome with greed and utter disdain for the station of Black people being allowed to manage wealth — unchecked.

It wasn’t enough to cowardly hide under the umbrella of Christianity by delivering the betrayal of bible verses with the dissolvable lifestyle that sealed the hierarchal mess of traditionalized elitism. Nigerians also had to perfect the role of righteously deploring the characteristics that we were born to gorgeously foster with unapologetic pride and duty.

When independence from British rule happened in 1960, it was a natural decision for the colonial masters to leave the mess they created, and knowingly allow the natives to scramble for the remote that would return us to recovery mode.

The partnership with the Northern region remained strong, as the British continued to foster relations with the section of Nigeria that was less critical of English influence, that was posed as the gateway to civilization, but was really a charade to secure the direct line to the never-ending supply of oil.

Britain’s conveniently timed exit also exacerbated the tension amongst the main tribes (Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa) as the friction developed from the callousness of being converted into a road map by colonial folly, that carved us into passwords that unlocked the entrance into the path of supreme greed.

The Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970) was an inevitable catastrophe that began with the spearheading of the military governor of the Eastern region, Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu, the self-professed messiah of the Igbo people, who overruled Britain’s support of Northerner Yakubu Gowon as head of state.

Col. Ojukwu surveying the troops for war

Ojukwu’s primary directive was to establish a separate territory, known as Biafra, where Igbo people could flourish without the debilitating influence of outside forces; coupled with the burdensome alliance with the other tribes. Our industrial savviness made us exceptional entrepreneurs, and it made perfect sense to reserve the wins for our own consumption and functionality.

It was an ambitious undertaking that had zero prospects of working out, when you consider that the Republic of Biafra was at war with the Federal Government of Nigeria, as well as Britain, and the Soviet Union. France offered some assistance to Biafra, and the United States remained neutral.

The bitter end to the Biafran War in 1970, was the defining moment that set the maddening stage for provocative mayhem that erupted from the ruins of a failed secession — that had to assimilate back into the boiling pot of military coups and legacy of bribery and corruption.

The elaborate production was erected by the English persuasion that recruited the U.S. to partake in the criminality of raking in the oil at the expense of a country that had been torn asunder by White supremacists. These criminalized heathens had exceeded expectations by rendering former colonies as bereaved relics with no hope of complete restoration from the permanent residue of imperialism.

The only solace is the fact that the Igbo tribe had at least tried to escape the entrapment of detractors, that manipulated the system to work in conjunction with the invasion that not only schemed us out of our wealth, but also resulted in the loss of priceless artifacts that are currently being stored in glass cases — in the fanciest art houses in the world.

It’s only recently that the British have had to answer to the gems that still need to be returned to the rightful owners; not on loan, but for good. The fact that there is push back from former colonial powers to do what’s right after centuries of nefarious activities to keep their interests intact — is the very definition of the legitimacy of White supremacy.

The atrocities of the British empire are deep, and wounded with the casual recklessness that guaranteed a failed state, even as Europe swells with the riches that former colonies are bleeding out without bandages.

But the worst of it has to be the mind fuck, that will never be reversed, as the statistics prove the very worst. It’s no surprise that Nigeria, Ghana and India, lead the charge in the skin bleaching epidemic, that’s tragically enriching the economies of European countries, who happen to be the main suppliers.

So not only were we robbed of our basic amenities, but we also have to contend with the symptoms of self-hate, that inspires the need to completely erase the only thing that identifies us. We’ve been cursed with the ignorance that leaves us susceptible to the mindset that our self-worth has to be regulated to the currency of Whiteness — in order for us to attain global viability.

Growing up in a Nigerian household, the messaging from contacts within and around seemed to verify the value of fair skin, and how it plays a major role in the beautification process. The preferred default was and always will be lighter skin, and if you weren’t born with it — there’s always the bleaching creams to compensate for your shortcomings.

The shock of being faced with skin bleaching products, exported from Paris, puts a damper on things, as you recall how that was simply a way of life back in the day, and now the reality of the intense harm being done to victims of colonialism and slavery, is much harder to take as an adult with bags of bitterness.

It also doesn’t help that the much touted trip of Britain’s Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, which has been designed as the West African tour extravaganza — complete with vibrant images and praise-worship captions — seems to encourage the falsehood of a blessed union between the colonized and colonizers.

Prince Charles admiring the legacy of colonialism in Nigeria’s State capital of Abuja

The truth is that there is no love lost between the British and Nigerians; as the dire consequences of that ill-fated invasion that was mandated by an empire that only wanted what was needed to keep power and prosperity in the loins of White supremacy — continues to permeate through the wasteland of desperation and systemized slavery.

Nigeria has paid the ultimate price for being rich enough to exist in circumstances that are beyond repair and way below the standards of humanity. The meek and the very poor are fleeing in droves to find respite in places that end up rewarding them with an even more devastating reception.

Britain has refused to release the hostility that is shown to Nigerians that feel entitled to a settlement in the foreign country that is still stealing from their country with no consideration for the environmental damage that’s eating villages alive; without any financial and structural assistance from world powers that are cruelly unaffected by the wrecking ball that’s sinking Black natives in diseased pools of floating matter.

The Ogoni people of Niger Delta have no access to clean water

It’s more than time for former colonies to start holding former colonial masters accountable for the crimes against humanity, and the illegal activities that are still taking place with the tentacles of authoritative prowess, that was never dissolved when “independence” was granted.

It’s absolutely appalling that members of the royal family can shamelessly remove the blemishes of the immense role they played in the dysfunctional tendencies of a nation that has now surpassed India’s ranking as the world’s poorest country — per capita.

How is it that the most populous country in Africa, with the blessing of tangible resources that should be sustainable enough to provide above average living or at the very least, access to consistent supply of basic amenities — is currently ravaged by the effects of a virus that forces natives to endure the very worst of what can be amassed from the expensive betrayal of Westerners?

It’s all entangled in the violence that overtook a once picturesque landscape, filled with a bright future and the glory of a Wakanda-replica, that was unfiltered and untainted, until the White men descended and decided that Blackness wasn’t nearly good enough for the bountiful goodness that they deserved.

Former colonies should no longer host silly and unnecessary visits from the Princes and Princesses of our discontent, until there is an understanding that centers the narrative of how payback will be handled with interest.

Infrastructures need to be repaired; environmental scientists need to be hired to begin the healing process; displaced residents need to be compensated for oil-soaked land; the deadly applications of Boko Haram needs to be defeated without delay — and the long-standing practice of bribing leaders who support the exportation of oil at the high cost of Nigerian lives needs to cease.

It’s time for the British Empire to atone for its sins, and begin the work of returning the treasures that were looted from vanquished kingdoms; and it starts with the lengthy shipments of trunk loads of displaced artifacts that are being housed in the wrong buildings.

We don’t want loans, we want all our shit back!

The British invasion explains why I speak the colonizer’s language better than my own, and that’s an attack that I will never forgive. We can’t continue to welcome descendants of our infamy with gratitude and the hearty welcome that doesn’t match the evils levied with the weightiness of imminent extinction.

The United Nations should play an active role in halting oil extraction by the Western world, until further notice.

Whiteness can no longer be allowed to devour Blackness without the punishment that has to empower former colonies into the realm of equal footing — or close to the point of avid retribution that holds Britain accountable with the proof of beginning stages.

Give us our shit back or no more oil. Period.

Ezinne Ukoha

Written by

Juggling Wordsmith. I have a lot to say, so bear with me. https://medium.com/membership

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