Yoruba Nation: Akintoye apologises to black Americans over 18th Century slavery committed by invaders and local collaborators

Yoruba Nation: Akintoye apologises to black Americans over 18th Century slavery committed by invaders and local collaborators

By Saliu Tajudeen

Leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof Banji Akintoye, has apologised for the role played by local chiefs and collaborators in the 18th century trans Atlantic human trade.

In an addressed to millions of black people in America, Asia and the Caribbean Akintoye said he was acting on the instruction if God.

He said the apology was necessary to appease millions of souls lost during the vicious traffick of millions of black people from Africa to a strange land against their wish.

In a statement on Sunday, Akintoye said he received a divine instruction to offer the apology to those our Forefathers sold to Portuguese, Dutch as Slaves in 18th Century.

He said are many of the captives plunged into the Atlantic Ocean in honour killings to keep their dignity instead of being Slaves.

He said their spirit is Hurting the Yoruba People and many African countries and may be behind the lack of growth, progress and i
Unity” associated with many black societies.

Millions of Yoruba people and many in today-s Nigeria were taken captives by Portuguese and Dutch human hunters in unholy collaboration between the then leaders of the local leaders and the Portuguese and Dutch Business Men who came to Africa for the business of slave trade in 18th century.

The invaders exchanged the captives with salt and peanuts.

Akintoye, a renowned Historian and Scholar, said the curses placed on the society by the victims needed to be cleansed.

Akintoye wrote “Dear Yoruba people. This is not an ordinary letter; it is an epistle borne out of deep revelation and shared by many children of God of Yoruba extraction all over the universe.

“Predating colonialism and slavery in Africa in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Yoruba race had engaged in internal conflicts, resulting in marauding, intra-tribal and internecine warfare. Historians mostly agree that such civil unrests did not result in commercialization of human captives until the era of colonialism and slave trade on the African soil. Yet, we have to agree that foreigners did not do this without the cooperation of some of the indigenous people, the Yoruba.

He said according to the revelation referenced above, a segment of the captive Yoruba sons and daughters hauled into slavery looked back and placed a curse on the land and the people that violated their humanities by selling them into slavery.”

Akintoye said God revealed that some among the Yoruba captives committed suicide by jumping off the captive ships into their deaths deep into the Atlantic Ocean, while others simply placed the curse and endured the shame by continuing the captive’s journey. For this, the need for reconciliation and unreserved apologies is real and past due.

“Against this backdrop of atrocity of historical proportions unleashed against the peoples of Black Africa, which escalated into the full-blown slavery, the current generation of the Yoruba seeks to tender an unreserved, heart-felt apology on behalf of our past generations of forefathers, monarchs and chiefs who participated in slavery, those who folded their hands in helplessness and hopelessness, those who looked the other way when they could have spoken or stood against the perpetrators of this heinous crime against humanity, and those who cooperated and/or benefitted from the sales of their brothers and sisters, children, parents, friends and neighbors.

“Words alone cannot atone for the immeasurable amount of suffering endured by our brothers and sisters during the forceful passages into the New World as they entered the narrow passage that ushered them into the journey of no return. Yet, words have to be offered to express remorse, regret and above all, to ask for forgiveness that could only come from the heart, and straight from the throne of grace.

“In all reality, a crime half a millennium old may seem forgotten and forgettable, perhaps it may even be misconstrued as negligible and perceived as having outlived the statute of limitation; yet, as the Yoruba often say in the context of their indigenous rhetoric, “The one who passed feces to mess up the path may forget, but the one who had to clean up the mess will never forget.” Even if the smell is gone, the thought of the blemish and inner violation may linger.

“Having said all that, we say it from the bottom of our hearts that we sincerely understand if you still nurse the hurt and feel the pain; after all, years may heal the wound, but the scar may always remain. All we can say is to appeal that you please forgive our forefathers on whose behalf we tender these apologies; and to forgive us as offspring of our erring progenitors.

“May God bless you, lighten your burdens, redeem time for you and generations to come after you and heal our land. Above all, may the Lord of the Universe forgive the Yoruba race and move it into a new dispensation in its onward march towards the attainment of redemption and enjoyment of its potential, Amen!”

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