Friday, June 10, 2011


          BC 1897 MOVEMENT
L8m(A movement campaigning for the return of ALL the artifacts that the British looted from Benin Kingdom in 1897 ) 

Dear African Sisters and brothers and sympathizers of all races,

When Sotheby’s, a reputable auction house in London, announced a set date for the sale of THE QUEEN IDIA MASK stolen from Benin during the atrocious British annihilation of the Kingdom in 1897, many Nigerians and Africans from all walks of life did not only express their utter disgust and disapproval of the sale via social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, they also bombarded and jammed up Sotheby’s phone and fax lines in a massive protest organized by KAYODE OGUNDAMISI of the NIGERIA LIBERTY FORUM (NLF) based in London. In just a couple of days, One thousand, one hundred and seventy-three people signed the online petition set up by NLF against the sale.   

Dr. KWAME OPOKU, a Ghanaian archeologist and blogger, who is highly acclaimed worldwide as perhaps the most vocal and relentless crusader for the return of looted African arts, also wrote a lambasting article asking Sotheby’s to stop the sale.

Needless to say that they eventually caved in, the mask was withdrawn from the auction, petitioners who participated jubilated, and the restless souls of our ancestors probably “chillaxed” momentarily at the welcomed news.

As a forefront musical and blogosphere warrior for this and several other humane causes of paramount importance to the elevation of Nigeria and the rest of Africa, let me cease this opportunity to thank everyone who campaigned vigorously against the sale of Nigeria’s prized symbol of arts and culture, THE QUEEN IDIA MASK. The victorious outcome of our collective efforts on this issue is a factual exemplification and a clear reminder of the great things we can accomplish together if we put our minds to it. However, it is not advisable or wise to excessively bask in the glory of this baby victory because as we all know, it was just a little battle in a much bigger WAR for the return of ALL our looted artifacts. But rather, let us ask ourselves these questions: Are we valiant and resilient warriors who fights until the ultimate victory is attained or are we a bunch of complacent, flash in a pan warriors who gets immersed in the mediocrity of pittance victories and confuses it for nirvana?  Are we sincere, credible and highly motivated activists with indissoluble conviction or are we tabloid-like activists who streams along wherever the river flows?

 If we consider ourselves to be in the category of the former in each of the two questions above, then we must only allow ourselves a subdued  celebration of this minor victory.  We must immediately put on our bootstraps, tighten up, and carry forth the momentum of this baby victory to the next level while it’s still fresh and warm in our hearts. And to this aim, I have set up an online cause on FACEBOOK called BC 1897 MOVEMENT to petition the British Government (like we did in the Sotheby’s case) and strongly demand the return of ALL the artifacts they looted from Benin in 1897. Under the umbrella of  BC 1897 MOVEMENT, we will carefully plan and execute a major rally to be held in London sometime in the summer of 2011 to back up our demand. Such a rally will be organized and executed quarterly thereafter until our demands are met. An additional vital step that will run concurrently with the one-two punch above is to have a volunteer human rights and restitution lawyer sue the British government on behalf of the movement.

Sisters and brothers; none of us are oblivious of the fact that there’s nothing our mind can conceive that we cannot achieve if we unite and work hard for it. So let us make this year a year of action, a year of collective achievements, not only in the fight for the return of our looted artifacts, but also in all other causes that requires our united efforts. We can do this. We can do it all. We are Africans from a top-level new school of pragmatic and logical sense of reasoning. We are fearless and indefatigable warriors. And as a young brilliant brother recently reminded me with the thought provoking wordings of his email address, we are “Lion Killers.” So let us wake up, rise up, get armed to the teeth with all the required intellectual ammunitions, and go forth and kill this 1897 Lion, as well as all other vicious and ruthless Lions befalling our country, our continent, and our people. 

God bless you all.

Monday Midnite.

Please click on the link  below to JOIN BC 1897 MOVEMENT:

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