From Benjamin Babine
A Community-Based Organisation (CBO), the People’s Initiative for Development (PID) has called for the need and urgency for Africa to take a greater and stronger stance against racism in the world.
This call was made during the organisation’s courtesy visit to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at its headquarters in Abuja. The visit was part of the activities of the group to commemorate the 2021 Africa Liberation Day.
Africa Liberation Day is an annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, now known as the African Union -AU) on the 25th of May 1963. The commemoration also aims to promote unity and solidarity among African peoples and states.
Speaking during the visit, the Campaign Coordinator of PID, Ernest Iyagi noted that Africans have been at the worse receiving end of racism and racist attacks globally in all human endeavours.
He said this is why the PID is using this year’s Africa Liberation Day to call on Africa and Africans to continue to stand up and speak up and loud about racism and racist attacks against people everywhere, stressing that Africans and peoples of African descent must be treated and accorded equal rights and privileges like other races.
The group also noted that global sporting events should continue to be used as tools to grow tolerance, peace and the defeat of racism.
Similarly, the group pointed out that the current media attacks notably by the West against Qatar concerning her 2022 FIFA World Cup host is unnecessary and may be seen as racist attacks if the attacks persist.
According to Iyagi, this view is premised on the fact that Qatar as part of her commitment to hosting a fair and successful first “Arab World Cup” has successfully undertaken and continues to make remarkable human and labour rights reforms aimed at improving the lots of migrants.
He explained that for instance, in Qatar today, the Kafala system is a thing of the past.
He said: “We are excited that African migrants are happy about the growing spaces for rights enjoyment in this tiny Gulf country. Interestingly, Saudi Arabia is following the steps of Qatar to reform its Kafala labour migration sponsorship system.”
Also speaking, the spokesperson of PDI, Mr. Kolawole Bamidele decried racist attacks on Africans
He said: “it is seen as a crime and scorn to be black. Black and blackness, historically have continued to come under conscienceless, immoral and unacceptable attacks from the days of slavery, colonialism and in the age of globalization”.
He also opined that “Africa and Africans have made tangible and profound contributions to civilisation, global development and humanity, her land, people, descendants and persons of African descents have continued to be forced and confined to the lowest rung of the human ladder. The worse, growing and reoccurring situation that has continued to transcend generations and centuries is the violent and fatal attacks against blacks all over the world. The height of this led to the formation of the #BlackLivesMatter movement – representing a message for the cessation of violent attacks against blacks everywhere! The #EndSars protest by the Nigerian youth was also a visible attempt to accentuate this message”.
While responding, the Executive Secretary of Human Rights Commission, Tony Ujukwu who was represented by the Director, Economic and Social Rights, Musa Salihu, said the commission will support the group in it’s quest for the protection of the rights of Africans and the humans in general.