The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu I, has tendered unreserved apology, on behalf of ancient kings, to the past and existing victims of slave trade in Sub-Saharan Africa and across the atlantic oceans.
A first class and natural Yoruba traditional ruler said now is the time to apologize because of the participation of the crowns in the bizarre and inhuman enterperise.
In a statement by its Press Secretary, Alli Ibraheem, the Oluwo regretted involvement of traditional institution in selling the blacks to slavery for minute gifts like hot drinks, cigarettes, gun bullets among others.
Describing slave trade on African soil as very costly mistakes on the part of the ancient monarchs on whom the people looked up to for their security and decent living, Oba Akanbi said apologizing for wrong of the past is an affirmation of readiness to make progress and move away from the evils and things that still tie us to the bizarre past.”
According to him, tendering apologies on behalf of the ancient kings and the traditional telling “our children about our roles during slave trade era” would go a long way in assuaging the pains and remove the low esteem of the victims.
In the statement, Oba Akanbi said: “I regret the involvement of traditional institution in slave trade. Monarchs were one of the stakeholders that promoted the ignoble trade. We sold our children for wall clocks, tobacco, alcohol, guns, glass cup, wine, necklace, food plate, sweet among others for which today many black Africans are permanently suffering stigmatization and unfair treatment till date.
“So, I am taking the bull by the horn to apologize for the role kingship played in slave trade because of material objects. Many black Americans are yet to recover from the wound of slavery. I am apologizing to the accidental blacks in Cuba, Brazil, Caribeans, America and other parts of the world. I want the victims to accept our apologies and regret for the past deeds and collaboration of the ancient kings so that we move forward as a race.
“White men never forced us to sell our children as slaves. Our fathers voluntarily released their children on excitement to receive peanut. Then, there was no means of payment. Human were offered in exchange for glittering material gifts. Such ignorance shouldn’t have survived without monarchs consent, who by then were the heads. So, as a paramount and natural ruler I am taking the lead to tender our apologies.
The Oluwo, who took a cue from President Mohammadu Buhari’s apology to Nigerians and the family of the winner of the annuled June 12, 1993 presidential election, late Chief M.K.O Abiola, pointed out that admittance of past ills of the office is one of the qualities of a good leader.
The foremost Yoruba monarch called for a collaborative efforrs among key stakeholders in curtailing the evil and survival of modern slavery in Nigeria.