On the issue of dispossession
As an academic cum research organisation concerned with the praxis of a rejuvenated African state system, The Centre sees the current predicaments facing the continent as systematic destruction of the African nation occasioned by a series of dispossessions, exploitation, and marginalisation made possible through successive historical processes: the trans-Atlantic slave trade, missionary incursions, imperialist invasions, colonial occupation and domination, and continuing with democratic imposition (democratisation) and capitalist reorganization (or globalization).
Thus The Centre stands against the dispossession of land and resources of indigenous people anywhere. Accordingly, The Centre is committed to the reclamation of Africa’s land and natural resources, currently in the service of non-Africans, for the utilization and empowerment of Africans. In this regards, we are poised for Africa’s land and resources to be owned by, administered by, and for the uplift of Africans. We are equally committed to the protection of Africa’s environment from degradation and destruction by the activities of multinational and transnational corporations (MNCs/TNCs) in the form of deforestation, continuing gas flaring, and other environmentally-unfriendly practices with the consequent effect of climate change.
We stand against the dispossession of (means of) livelihoods in the postcolony. We are committed to truncating/ending the disarticulation of Africa’s economic and social base being enabled by the introduction and implementation of neoliberal economic and social policies with the effect of unprecedented growth of unemployment, accelerated decline in living standards, increase in ravaging poverty, and the consequent effect of youths’ preference of deadly voyages across deserts to Europe over the mismanaged richly-endowed and bountiful continent and the potentials if offer. To this end, we are committed to deliberations and engagements aimed at exploring, expanding and developing alternative means of livelihood to uplift Africans from the precariousness of neoliberalism and lopsided development of capitalism. We are equally concerned with economic and social programs aimed at promoting and advancing the economic independence of Africa and Africans, as a prerequisite for political independence.
Political (De-jure) Sovereignty
We are against political dispossession and alienation of Africans all over the world. We are committed to reclaiming the political state and reconfiguring it to cater for the interest and service of Africans, as against the trending phenomenon where African states are increasingly becoming accountable to foreign government and their socioeconomic outposts – transnational corporations, international financial institutions (IFIs) and banks – rather than Africans. We are concerned with reclaiming and re-orienting the political state to render it not only response-able, responsible and responsive to issues affecting Africans globally, but also accountable to citizens and prioritize African affairs far and above other considerations and or interests. To this end, we are committed to political engagements, collaborative efforts and innovative approaches aimed at exploring alternatives to empowering the political state system beyond the current neoliberal formations.
We are also suspicious of liberal democratic tradition and its political dispossession of participatory rights in the deliberation of issues affecting Africans. We understand that the will cannot be adequately represented without the active participation of the people purported to be represented, as such; we are committed to Afrocentric approaches aimed at consensus-building from below, in a pyramid-like fashion, as against top-bottom approach ensnared as representative government of the neoliberal democratic tradition. We frown at democratic traditions that democratise political rights but does not democratise economic rights. We are poised to move beyond the rhetoric of liberal democracy and its claims of representation – which largely empowers the representative and disempowers those represented – to creating spaces for dialogue; discussion, deliberation, and resolution of pertinent issues bordering on the live experience of the people, led by the people, and for themselves. To this end, we welcome ideas and engagements concerned with the promotion of Baraza, Ogbako, Umoja, Cyenantu, etc., as mechanisms of participatory democracy, where the will of the people can be expressed and policies fashioned accordingly to achieve them.
We are against human dispossession; the striping of the dignity of woman and division of Africans between ill-conceived eurocentic identities which seek to promote unequal relations between the sexes. We have read with, and witnessed in practice the, disgust the misrepresentation of patriarchy and its manifold violence against women as African and representative of the qualification of being ‘manly’. We are concerned that, through historical cum archaeological evidence on the continent, the domination of and violence against women by men is not only ahistorical but original to the invading forces of imperialism and colonialism. The oppression of women in its many guise is therefore part of the lasting legacies of colonial mentality on the part of a dispossessed people. To this end, We are committed to engagements that seek to restore the battered psyche and self-loathe of the Black man and woman.
We understand through careful reading of African history preserved by Africans themselves, not ones written by Euro-Arabian invaders, that matriarchy is to Africa what patriarchy is to Europe, and that matriarchy is not an absolute system like patriarchy. Unlike patriarchy that actuates the oppression of women by men at every turn, matriarchy is not a cynical triumph of women over men; neither is it an expression of opposing relationship of binaries between the sexes. Thus we recognise matriarchy, or matricentricity, not as an opposite of patriarchy, but a harmonious whole recognising the dual consciousness of humanity, so that woman and man do not stand in contrast to each other but rather functions as one in unity of purpose.
In this regards, We are opposed to any attempt, implied or express and or under any guise, that seeks to undermine, demean, berate, suggest and or insinuate the inferiority of women. We frown at designs or machinations which seek to implicitly or expressly exclude women from effective participation or realisation of the full potential of her personality. We are therefore committed to the rejuvenation of African glorious traditions which hold as harmonious dualism the complimentary forces of nature, the feminine and masculine principles, as quintessential to the realisation of human true potential.
We are against the dispossession of the memory of Africans. We are committed to the reclamation of Africa’s glorious past, with a view to interrogate present challenges and chart a new future. We understand there is massive loss of memory and dearth of understanding of Africa’s past beyond what is dished out by Eurocentric accounts: lack of knowledge of dignity in struggle; relegation of the writings and praxis of great thinkers and revolutionaries; overall dearth of information on the legacies and role of Africa’s knowledge system in the emergence of Greco-Roman and Arab civilisations; and, the conspicuous absence and marginalisation of grandeur role of women (the feminine principle) in the rise and flourishing of human civilisation, and her constitutive role in the quest for Africa’s rejuvenation and regeneration of an egalitarian society devoid of Europe’s patriarchal structures and its neoliberal destabilisations.
We are concerned with the reclamation of our memory and knowledge generation systems promoting inclusiveness and consensus-building as against exclusivity and imposition of the Eurocentric tradition. In this regard, we hold mental emancipation as sacrosanct, from which “none but ourselves can free our minds” and the fulcrum upon which the reclamation of human dignity rest. Accordingly, we are committed to the recollection of memory through arts, indigenous African agricultural systems and food production, as well as traditional modes of knowledge generation.
We are against cultural dispossession and displacement of Africans owing to arbitrary borders imposed by colonialists. We are committed to the pursuit of Pan Africanism to its logical end – the actualisation of a United African State devoid of artificial boundaries. We read with disapproval the arbitrary and inhumane partitioning of Africa in the nineteenth century and its subsisting and continuing effect as an underlying basis of perennial and internecine wars, political conflicts, boundary dispute, communal clashes and internally displaced persons (IDPs) on the continent. We equally read with dismay neocolonial pressure on former colonies for the latter to see and deal with themselves as being more colonial (i.e. English, French, German or Portuguese) than African (i.e. Ibo, Izon, Tiv, Yoruba, Hausa, Mandingo, Wolof, etc.), and the subservience of the postcolonial state and people of the postcolonies in that regard.
To this end, we affirm our unflinching support for and recognition of the inalienable rights of indigenous people to their culture, land, environment and heritage. We do not fetishise over political sovereignty without economic sovereignty, or economic sovereignty without mental and cultural sovereignty. Accordingly, We are resolute in the attainment of these sovereignties, not in parts but as a whole, as necessary condition for Africa’s liberation and rejuvenation.