The British Invasion Revisited Part2
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The response of the Kingdom of Benin against British Interference in the affairs of a sovereign and independent nation was a legitimate self-defense in accordance with the peremptory norms of customary international law otherwise known as “ju cogens”. If Britain could go to war just because of Jenkin愀 ear, why should not the ancient kingdom of Benin protect her national interest against uninvited guests whose greed and grab in other parts of sub-sahara was already well known? We must pass judgement in the light of prevailing circumstances at that time. We must therefore unhesitatingly reject the British interpretation as massacre the events of 1896 which led to the British aggression of 1897.

The reputation of major Edward Lugard preceded him in Africa, because of what Major Lugard did in India and Uganda, and what he and George Goldie did in ilorin, Bida, Borgu and what other British soldiers perpetrated in Yorubaland which were then matters of public knowledge. The King of Benin was right in his suspicion of British intentions which were definitely to lure the noble Kingdom of Benin into the so-called British protectorate and therefore loss of the sovereign rights which Benin had enjoyed for about 2,000years.

At that time as it is now, the kernel of European policy in Africa was devious and self-seeking. Independent African nations should be nothing but vassal states of Europe.

The various European Navies were then the instruments of colonial policy. Hence the navigation Acts of 1649 and 1660,the staple Acts 1663 and the plantation Act 1673.

They now advocate for us ,using the world Bank , the IMF, the devaluation of our currencies, the exact opposite of the economic and monetary policies that ensured and helped their own growth and good quality of life for their own people. The colonial policy in French speaking African countries is even more worrying. It is escapulated in French; “plus ca change ,plus ciest la meme chose”-“THE MORE THINGS CHANGE THE MORE THEY REMAIN THE SAME” In short what makes the French decolonization special was that it was never decolonised !CAVEAT

I end this monograph with a quotation from Sir Alan Burns, a former Governor General of Nigeria, in his book -History of Nigeria(4th Ed at 277 ) “No European nation has the right to assume sovereignty over the inhabitants of any part of Africa and claims put forward by the various governments at the Berlin Conference in 1885 took little account of the rights of the people who lived in the Territory claimed.

culled from 100 years after the invasion of Benin by Richard Akinjide, a former attorney General and Federal minister of justice. He is senior advocate of Nigeria .

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