By Owei Lakemfa

OUR Father, we your children in Africa come to you this day, the eve of the May 25, Africa Liberation Day.

We have been enslaved and colonised. We have survived the genocide of our traducers who in Congo alone massacred 16 million of us and wiped out two thirds of our population in Namibia.

We also survived Apartheid and the pestilence of coups and criminal leadership. Thank you for giving us the ability to survive all these, including the continued exploitation and destabilisation of our continent. At this point, we drag before you the institutions of exploitation and dehumanisation in the continent; the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and the World Bank and, their handmaid, the World Trade Organisation, WTO.

Like doctors prescribing the same drugs for all ailments, all they have done for over four decades is force on the continent, subsidy removal, currency flotation, exploitative market forces, higher fuel prices, jobless growth, reduction in education funding and hyper-inflation.

Father, it is not for nothing you made us the source of humanity, the centre of the universe and the depository of natural resources.

We do not take for granted the fact that over 4,000 years ago, we had the knowledge and ability to build pyramids with arithmetical accuracy and precision which still baffles the rest of humanity. We know that the founders of Western philosophy and builders of their civilization, including Plato and Herodotus, were pupils of Africa education having graduated from our universities in Ancient Egypt.

We know that the rise of Africans as one of the most educated groups in the United States is not by accident. May we develop the consciousness and ability to utilise such huge assets, to develop our continent.

The God of Nkrumah, Harriet Tubman, Winnie Mandela, Felix Moumie, Dedan Kimathi, Fanon and Malcolm X, lead us to victory over all persons, groups and nations perpetuating iniquities against the African people.

Give us victory over them as Toussaint Louverture and other liberation fighters militarily defeated France, the super power which strived to continue the enslavement of Haitians.

Even now, the gangsters, forces of darkness and their minders continue to torment Haiti. May they fail. May African leaders and progressive forces across the universe, have the presence of mind and consciousness to intervene positively in Haiti and the rest of our continent.

Father, when Africans had few people to fight for them during slavery in the United States, you raised John Brown and his sons. When the forces of Apartheid were trying to overrun African countries just as Israel is striving to obliterate the Palestinians, you raised Fidel Castro and the Cubans. May Africa never be short of true allies.

Father, as we mark the 2024 Africa Day, the continent is engulfed in series of armed conflicts. Some, like that in Sudan, are due to prodigal children fed steroids by foreign powers.

Some fires as those in Somalia and half a dozen countries in West Africa are set by religious elements dancing on the verge of lunacy. There are also the deliberate wars like that in Libya, engineered and stoked by the West which destroyed the African promise called Libya.

There are over 100 million illegal small arms and light weapons circulating in the continent, almost all manufactured outside Africa. Assist us to silence the guns.

Let those who live by the gun, die by the gun. Let those who profiteer from war, know no peace; let them choke on the vomit of their profits. Generally, aid us to overcome the various conflicts and, set Africa firmly on the path of development.

Let there be peace in Africa as it is in Washington, London and Beijing. You said, blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called your children. We pray for all peace makers whether in Tel Aviv or Gaza.

We have not stolen other peoples’ lands, coveted their property or seized their children. We have not sought to own the sun or the moon.

All we have tried to do in Africa, is to live on the beautiful land it has pleased you to give us. Our desires are to share salt and pepper amongst ourselves, have schools for our children, roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and medication to take of ourselves when we fall sick.

Father, you are the God that answereth by fire. You said it shall be the fire next time. Consume all those misruling Africa and their principals in the metropolis.

Let all powers and principalities that plan to recolonise your beautiful continent be destroyed like the Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. Those who trouble Africa, trouble them. Those who cause us pains, cause them pains.

Father, a major challenge Africa has today are the attempts to expand military bases in Africa where foreign powers will expand their spheres of influence at our cost. We do not want our continent to be turned into theatres of international wars or test sites for new weapons. We recall the case of Cuba whose 116-square metre Guantanamo Base, the United States leased in 1903 for $2,000. Despite repeated demands in the last six decades, the tenant has refused to leave.

While we pray in solidarity with Cuba to regain its territory, we pray that African countries will not fall victims of possessive spirits that roam the universe.

Finally father, we pray that the dreams of our ancestors as retold by Nkrumah on May 24, 1963 that our continent must unite, should come to pass. His words that day, continue to echo across our hills and valleys, especially when he said: “Unite we must. Without necessarily sacrificing our sovereignties, big or small, we can, here and now, forge a political union based on Defence, Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy, and a common Citizenship, an African currency, an African Monetary Zone and an African Central Bank.

We must unite in order to achieve the full liberation of our continent. We need a common Defence system with an African High Command to ensure the stability and security of Africa. We have been charged with this sacred task by our own people, and we cannot betray their trust by failing them.” We pray Africans give heed to his words and take ‘Positive Action’ to bring them to fruition.

We pray that you bless Africa and all her well-wishers as we mark Africa Liberation Day, 2024. Ameen.