We raided and sold our neighbours as slaves.

Recently, in June 2018, the Oluwo of Iwo made a public apology.

Who’s the Oluwo of Iwo?

He’s the king of the Iwo Kingdom in Nigeria. Iwo is a city in the Osun State in Nigeria, and the Iwo Kingdom is based on this city. The Iwo Kingdom is also a traditional state.

Now what’s interesting about this apology is that it’s specifically about his monarchy. It’s an apology, which admits that his ancestors had condoned and earned wealth from the African slavers who had raided and sold their peers from rival tribes to the Europeans.

It’s very telling to read this honest admittance from a monarch in Nigeria:

“I regret the involvement of traditional institutions in slavery. Monarchs are one of the stakeholders that promoted slavery. We sold our children for a wall clock, tobacco, alcohol, guns, glass cup, wine, necklace, food plate, sweet and other unmerited peanuts such that, today, many Africans are permanently loss to suffer the stigmatization and unfair treatment till date.

I take the bull by the horns to apologize for the role kingship played in slave trade because of material life. Many black Americans are yet to recover from the wound of slavery. I`m apologizing to the accidental blacks in Cuba, Brazil, Caribbeans, America and other parts of the world. I want the victims to acknowledge our regret for the past and we move forward.

White men never forced us to sell our children as slave. Our fathers voluntarily released their children on excitement for 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. We owe past and current an apology. I’m leading in tendering that.”

The Transatlantic Slave Trade was only possible because it took willing sellers and willing buyers to make this trade happen. So then, there were Africans who raided and sold their peers from rival tribes to the Europeans. Unfortunately, they were willing sellers.

It seems to me that it’s both greed and complicity that these African slavers felt. The Europeans were also cravenly interested in purchasing slaves as guaranteed labour to build and harvest the cash crops for their colonies.