Quite a bit is being made of a trove of art work German authorities found in a Munich apartment recently. Reportedly the find consists of up to 1,500 works by such artists as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Emil Nolde. It appears the German government's initial idea was to shroud the matter in bureaucracy--that is, until the US, Israel, and other interested governments pressured the Germans to make the process transparent and, even more specifically, to take active steps to return the art work to their owners.
This makes me wonder about art work which Imperial Britain stole from Nigeria (to pick one random colony) during the colonial era. Case in point: the Benin Massacre of 1897, during which British soldiers sacked the kingdom of Benin, killing, pillaging, and making away with untold art work. Much of the art which the imperialists stole from their colonies reside in European museums and private collections today. Some are even being acquired by U.S. organizations such as Boston's Museum Of Fine Arts. This demand for that museum to return the stash of Benin art is tepid at best. And so is this one, which, to its credit, takes care to assign ownership of the stolen Benin art to the Benin royal family.
So, question: is there really a difference between the Nazi looting of Jewish art and Colonial Britain's looting of Benin art? If moral, ethical, or legal arguments can be made for returning the former, why aren't those arguments extensible to the latter?
I was born on October 16th in the year of our Lord 1960 and consequently I celebrated my 53rd birthday last week wednesday. It was a quiet low-key affair in which, as is customary with me, I spent most of the day in fasting, prayer and sober reflection, surrounded by my loved ones, thanking the Lord for granting me yet another year of life and for delivering me from the hands of my numerous detractors and enemies. I also took the time to thank my dear wife and soul mate Regina, for standing by me through thick and thin and for being such a blessing and my darling children who have had to put up with a father that is fast becoming one of the most controversial, misrepresented and misunderstood figures in Nigerian modern history- a title which I neither crave nor relish. May God bless them and all my numerous siblings, loved ones, friends, associates, collaborators, readers and well wishers for their encouraging words and constant love and support.
Nigerians, that is to say the people who inhabit the geopolitical space called Nigeria did not have a say in the matter of being bundled together into one country. One man, Frederick Lugard, under the authority of a distant crown, formed the country in 1914.
The right to self-determination requires that a people have a say in the geo-political boundaries that define their nationality. The denial of a people’s right to self-determination is a form of injustice and oppression. Injustices and oppression must in all cases be remedied immediately they are uncovered and without delay.
Therefore, the denial of the right to self-determination of the people who currently inhabit the Nigerian geo-political space must cease without any further delay. Nigerians must be allowed to convene and conduct a Sovereign National Conference to enable them exercise their right to self-determination.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I thank you all for coming. I want to use this medium to express my profound gratitude and appreciation to the entire Urhobo Nation for the massive support and love demonstrated towards me and my party APC in this collective responsibility of emancipating our people.
I hereby place it on record that NO bye-election took place in Delta Central on October 12th 2013. What took place was a sham calculated to select a senator, the first by any democracy in the world by the government and all its agencies including the INEC, the military and other security agencies working together to achieve this nefarious and predetermined outcome.
National Conference too Critical to be left to the Flip-Flopping Presidency of Goodluck Jonathan -- Bola Tinubu
Since I first made known my initial reaction to President Jonathan’s proposed National Dialogue/Conference, the daggers have been out against me. The paid public relations gangs of the administration and some sympathizers have gone into overdrive in the media and public fora to denounce me for the position I have taken. I thought I ought to enjoy the same right they have exercised by supporting Jonathan’s conference to also reject it and make my reaction known. Unfortunately it does not seem so.
But I have news for them. I will not take anything I have said back on the proposed National Dialougue by this present administration. I insist that the planned national dialogue is a ‘Greek’ gift and public deception. I say beware of the Greek gift; let us first of all, ask a series of questions.
Our position has been known for over twenty years. We produced the yoruba agenda in 1994, we produced another one again in 2004. We said then and we are saying now that the presidential system of government is not in the best interest of this country. We had tried parliamentary system and we’ve tried presidential and we are in position to make an informed choice. The choice we have made is Parliamentary system of government for a number of reasons. First, the Parliamentary system is far cheaper to run than the Presidential. For example, any Nigeria who wants to be president today must raise a minimum of N20billion to N50billion; which means no person, no matter how patriotic, brilliant and committed you may be, who is of modest means can become a president. It is only the super rich or the drug runners or those sponsored by special interest or the international corporations can become president.I’m sure that is not acceptable to most Nigerians. But in Parliamentary system, if you want to be the head of government, you only need to win your whole election in your constituency or villiage. Once you win and your party also has majority in the legislature and you are the leader of your party, you authomatically becomes the head of government.- Prime Minister or President. You have not spent one thousandth of what you will spend under the presidential system.
There is currently in circulation news that the Lagos State government is currently arresting, detaining, and deporting “non-indigenes” from the state. Setting aside the complication created by rounding up and “deporting” Nigerian citizens from one part of the country to another, a key important question that begs to be answered is: under what legal authority does the Lagos state government and Gov. Fashola arrest, detain, and deport otherwise law-abiding Nigerian citizens?
Where were the following "political pressure groups" during the Nigerian fuel subsidy removal debacle?
Academic Staff Union for Universities
Campaign for Democracy
Civil Liberties Organization
Committee for the Defense of Human Rights
Constitutional Right Project
Human Right Africa
National Association of Democratic Lawyers
National Association of Nigerian Students
Nigerian Bar Association
Nigerian Medical Association
Universal Defenders of Democracy
The press (well, never mind)
Point is: there are way more group interests in Nigerian than those of labor; we should never let just the Nigerian Labor Congress speak for us all, ever again.
_To what will you attribute Boko Haram’s terrorism?
Let me begin by reminding everyone that Boko Haram has a very long history, whether you describe Boko Haram as an army of the discontent, or even as some people grotesquely try to suggest, “revolutionaries,” or you describe them as, legitimately, this time, as marginalised or feeling marginalised. When I say that the phenomenon has a very long history, I am talking about a movement that relies on religion as a fuel for their operation, as a fuel for mobilisation, as the impetus, an augmentation of any other legitimate or illegitimate grievance that they might have against society. Because of that fuel, that irrational, very combustible fuel of religion of a particular strain, of a particular irredentist strain; because of the nature of that religious adherence, which involves the very lethal dimension of brain-washing from childhood, all a man needs to be told is that this is a religious cause. All they need to be told is that this is an enemy of religion and they are ready to kill. No matter the motivations, no mater the extra-motivations of those who send them out, they need only one motivation: that they are fighting the cause of that religion.