The leader of Yoruba Nation Self-Determination Struggle, Prof. Banji Akintoye, has offered what he described as an overdue, unreserved and heartfelt apology to the victims of the transatlantic slave trade in Yoruba Land, noting that revelations indicated that some of them are the future generations of the breed, about the unholy cooperation between the then Yoruba leaders and the Portuguese and Dutch businessmen who came to Africa in the 18th century for such matters.
Akintoye’s apology, which he made on behalf of the “present generation of the Yoruba,” was contained in an open letter, which he personally signed, and a copy of which was made available to newsmen through his communications agency, stating that the Holy Spirit told him that the ghosts of Yoruba ancestors sold for peanuts to the Portuguese and Dutch as slaves were behind the lack of growth, development, progress, peace and unity in the country and among the Yoruba people.
As documented by multiple reports, over a million Africans, including the Yoruba people, were exported to Europe and America as slaves by Europeans, who brought salt to Africa through Porto Novo and Whydan Kingdom in the present-day Benin Republic in the 18th century through the cooperation of some local warriors.
This was exactly as Akintoye, a renowned historian, sadly noted that before colonialism and slavery on the African continent, the Yoruba race was embroiled in internal conflicts resulting in looting, intra-tribal and internal warfare, with no such civil unrest resulting. in commercialization of human captives and slave trade on African soil, adding, “Yet we must agree that foreigners would not have done this without the cooperation of a section of the indigenous population, the Yoruba.”
The Yoruba Nation Self-Determination Struggle leader, speaking what was revealed by the Holy Spirit, showed that some victims of the dastardly act who were Yoruba sons and daughters were casting a curse on the land and the people who humanities by selling them into slavery, further said that the same Holy Spirit revealed that some among the Yoruba prisoners unfortunately committed suicide by jumping from the captured ships and dying deep in the Atlantic, while others simply placed the curse and the endured shame by continuing the prisoner’s journey.
“For this, the need for reconciliation and unreserved apologies is real and overdue.
“Against this backdrop of the atrocities of historic proportions against the peoples of Black Africa, which escalated into complete slavery, the current generation of the Yoruba seeks to offer an unreserved, heartfelt apology on behalf of our previous generations of ancestors, monarchs and leaders who participated to slavery, those who folded their hands in helplessness and hopelessness, those who looked the other way when they could have spoken or opposed the perpetrators of this heinous crime against humanity, and those who cooperated and/or benefited from the selling their siblings, children, parents, friends and neighbors.
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“Words alone cannot reconcile the immeasurable amount of suffering our brothers and sisters endured during the powerful passages to the New World as they entered the narrow passage that ushered them into the journey of no return.
“Yet words must be offered to express remorse, regret, and above all, forgiveness that can come only from the heart and straight from the throne of grace,” pleaded the elder statesman.
“In all reality, a crime half a millennium old can seem forgotten and forgettable, maybe it can even be misconstrued as negligible and considered a crime that has outlived the statute of limitations; yet, as the Yoruba often say in the context of their native rhetoric, “Whoever threw feces to mess up the path may forget, but whoever had to clean up the mess will never forget.” Even when the smell is gone, the thought of the blemish and inner transgression may linger.
“Having said all that, we say it from the bottom of our hearts that we sincerely understand if you are still harboring the pain and feeling the pain; after all, years can heal the wound, but the scar can always remain. We can only appeal to you to forgive our ancestors on whose behalf we make these apologies; and to forgive us as offspring of our erring ancestors,’ he pleaded further.
Akintoye, therefore, prayed to God to bless generations of victims of the sad slave trade, lighten their burdens and make time for them and generations after them, just as he also begged the Almighty to forgive the Yoruba race and move it to a new dispensation in its march forward toward the attainment of redemption and enjoyment of its potential.
“May God bless you, lighten your burdens, make time for you and generations to come and heal our land. Above all, may the Lord of the Universe forgive the Yoruba race and bring it to a new dispensation in its forward march towards the attainment of redemption and enjoyment of its potential, Amen!” he prayed.