Oratory, Resources

LIBYA SLAVE TRADE: THE LABOUR OF OUR HEROES PAST NOW IN VAIN? By Ayeni Otito-Jesu Joshua

LIBYA SLAVE TRADE: THE LABOUR OF OUR HEROES PAST NOW IN VAIN?

Delivered at Jaw War 2017 Finals; Won Rookie of the year Award 

Just three weeks ago, according to the New York Times, a twelve-year-old girl, Asha Larai, was unfortunate to be taken to a foreign land to work and suffer for no reason. Just five years ago, her parents were taken to become some of the first slaves, and now it is her turn. If I gave her a voice and let her speak with my knowledge, she would bleed through the paper and that has led to today’s topic, ‘Libya’s slave trade, the labour of our heroes past now in vain’. And of relevance to this is a Korean proverb that says it is better to be in the grave than be a slave. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Alexander Facon, an anti-slavery agent in an article titled An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa defined slave trade, a phenomenon which started about 11,000 years ago, as the business or process of procuring, transporting, and selling slaves, especially black Africans to the New World.

Distinguished audience, on one hand, a thing is said not to be in vain when the main purpose for its cause is achieved. The labour of our heroes past was targeted specifically at ending colonialism and slavery in Africa. Their labour was not in vain because they won in this fight. However, on the other hand, a thing is said to be in vain when the effect or the result cannot stand the test of time. It is only logical to conclude that the labour of our heroes’ past from this perspective is now in vain because the success of freeing us did not last even a century before what we were freed from was revived. And whether we will succeed in this fight or not depends on our approach to it now.

We live in a world of pretence where, until pointed out, everything is okay. Libya, a country with no borders, but Slave Markets has now become a base where life has become a living hell, where slaves get little or no opportunity to move, poor food, disease and even death. This is done by Africans. This is done by 21st century Africans who in no way has added value to the legacy laid down by our past heroes. So I put it to you, will it be right to consider a leader as a failure when a few out of many of his followers seek to destroy his legacy, the legacy of having equality in the whole of Africa?

Finally, according to the vanguard in November 2017, a victim who had the opportunity to place a call from where they were being held captive narrated to a relation back in Nigeria his unimaginable experience and about 10 minutes later, the phone of his relation rang and the next thing heard was from a thickened voice saying, “your brother has just been beaten to death and we would harvest his organs and sell to willing buyers”. Oh Africa, this is pathetic. Hope no one loses his life to slavery anymore. Hope no one will be sold peanuts just to make them work and suffer. Hope no one will suffer the same fate this generation suffers. Africa! Pursue global help and let this nuisance stop! For this was not what our leaders fought for.