By Vincent Ikuomola
President Goodluck Jonathan has challenged the people of Trinidad and Tobago especially the blacks to drop the slave mentality and play critical roles in the world of commerce, economics, science and technology, even as he said that past experience should produce leaders.
The president in his message at the Lidj Omowale Emancipation Village, Queens Park Savannah for the Emancipation Day Culture Programme, regretted that Nigeria has not been following religiously the celebration of the day with citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, despite moving for the day to be recognized in 2006 at the African Union.
Jonathan, who noted that both countries share strong ancient’s links, said his visit was to reassure them that the country identifies with their struggle.
He said that blacks all over the world has passed through several challenges from slavery, colonialism and apartheid in South Africa, adding that the balkanization and partitioning which has led to people of the same culture being placed in different countries, is responsible for the continued struggle by some African states today.
Citing the case of the Israelites, Jonathan said they were enslaved but did get to the Promised Land and led by a great leader, Moses.
He told the people of Trinidad and Tobago that it was time to move to the Promised Land not in terms of geographical location but in internationally recognized achievements in the areas of science and technology, industry, commerce, and economics.
“I”m here not to make a speech today but I”m here to bring our good will message from your brothers and sisters from the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am here to tell you clearly that your brother country Nigeria fully identifies with you on this emancipation struggle.
“In 2006 when President Olusegun Obasanjo was the head of state of our country, he moved during one of casino the African Union meetings, that the whole of Africa should celebrate the emancipation day with the people of Trinidad and Tobago and it was adopted by the AU.
“Somehow, we have not been following it religiously but I can tell you that, that is one of the reason I”m here today as promised in Australia when the Prime Minister and I met, to identify clearly with our brothers and sisters from Trinidad and Tobago.
“It is only proper for us to note that the black man all over the world has passed through several challenges from slavery, colonialism and apartheid in South Africa. Even for those of us still living in the continent of Africa, we are so partitioned and bulkanised without our interest and in some cases people of the same culture are placed in two, three different countries. That is even still a challenge to us today which is why we are still struggling to govern our states in Africa,” the president said.
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