As a result, its always difficult to talk about Africa to a predominantly U.S. audience. Not because I don’t want to talk about Africa. I am overwhelmingly proud of Africa and being African. What is undesirable is the context white supremacy provides us. Since capitalism, the dominant economic system on earth, was built and is maintained on exploiting Africa and African people, the misinformation that passes as education and media today forces any analysis of Africa and African people that challenges the usual racist rhetoric to be routinely dismissed as insane. This is the role of white supremacy as the safeguard of capitalism and imperialism. These are the reasons many people will see a title for an article about Africa and immediately move past it. Its also the reason most people will openly question what’s happening in Africa and/or with African people, anywhere, but those same people won’t take five minutes to look at what qualified African people have already said about the very issue they are questioning. By qualified we mean those Africans engaged in the work to liberate the African masses. Unlike the bourgeoisie politicians, academics, and system validated leaders, these ground warriors for African liberation are engaged daily with the experiences and ups and downs of the African existence. Yet, for the most part, these figures are written out of history.
All of the above is also the reason something like what has been happening in Nigeria can happen and most people have no idea why beyond the imperialist media narrative (for those few who even explore that far into it) that the problem is simply defined as African corruption and indiscipline from the African masses. For those reading this far, we hope this analysis can provide some foundation based in a Pan-Africanist perspective for what has been taking place in Nigeria.
The country of Nigeria, named in the late 1800s by a colonizer from Britain, derives its name from the fact the Niger river runs through the country. Located on the Gulf of Guinea portion of the Atlantic Ocean (the underhanging section of Africa on the westside of the continent), Nigeria borders Niger in the North, Chad in the Northeast, Cameroon in the East, and Benin in the West. Africa’s most populous country, and the seventh largest country in the world, Nigeria’s population totals appropriately 206 million inhabitants. Lagos is Nigeria’s largest city with a population of around 10 million people. Like most larger African urban centers, Lagos has experienced overwhelming growth over the last 50 years increasing from a population just over one million to its current numbers. This is a reflection of the westernization/urbanization of Africa and the push for people in the rural areas to move to the cities for economic opportunities that are increasingly more difficult to find in rural areas.
This demographic reality in current day Africa is evident in large part because of the forces that control Africa today. Those forces are the multi-national corporate dominance of Africa’s human (labor) and material (natural minerals) resources for the purpose of further enriching capitalist corporations. Royal Dutch Shell, better known as Shell Oil in the West, is a primary corporation in Nigeria. Relying on its substandard operations throughout the Niger Delta region of Nigeria for up to one third of its annual international profits, Shell has been challenged over the last few decades by local Ogoni activists in Niger Delta because of its business practices. Like all these capitalist entities operating in Africa, Shell’s priority is generating profits with as little investment as possible. Consequently, safe and humane working conditions on Shell facilities in the Niger Delta has always been a fantasy. Subsequently, the protests have caused operational interruptions and delays in production. Mass protests continue and because of this threat to Shell’s interest, imperialism has been active in finding ways to ensure those corporate economic operations are protected at all costs. The political leadership in Nigeria and everywhere else in Africa, is beholden to doing everything to uphold the dominance of imperialism. Muhammadu Buhari is the current president of Nigeria and his role is to do everything necessary to protect British and U.S. capitalist interests in Nigeria. In return, like all of Africa’s neo-colonial leadership, he gets to line his pockets with a small portion of the profits stolen from the people’s resources and labor.
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was founded in 1983 with a stated mission of doing something to challenge Nigeria’s street crime rates. Whatever SARS did during those years, even the original framers for this unit had come to denounce its operations in recent years. From 2017 through 2020, SARS agents have carried out hundreds of brutal violent assaults against Nigeria’s people. In most of these incidents, no actual evidence of criminal activity was present. This is the reason thousands of Nigerians have hit the streets in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and other major urban areas. The protests have been militant and uncompromising to the point where Buhari and the corrupt Nigerian government was forced to accede to the people’s demands by disbanding SARS as of October 11, 2020.
The key points to take away from this clear victory is that we have been telling you that despite the fact the imperialist BBC, CNN, FOX, CBS, CIA, etc., are not going to tell you much of anything about what’s happening in Africa, Africa remains on fire. And, the fact you may not know or understand that doesn’t diminish that reality one inch. The people of Africa are sick and tired of Africa’s riches being pirated out by capitalist interests while the masses of Africans suffer in horrible poverty. They are tired of being repressed just for pointing out this obvious contradiction. And, they are tired of people in the U.S. not recognizing how much this government contributes to their instability.
Police terrorism against the African masses in Nigeria and the same happening in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Brazil, etc., should be seen through the same lenses. This repression takes place because imperialism knows its in a dogfight to continue to control its resource rich backyard – Africa. To do this, they know they have to brutally repress the African masses in Africa as well as the Africa masses outside of Africa. Despite the fact so many Africans in the U.S., etc., have no clue about our actual clear political, economic, and cultural connection to Africa, our enemies understand that our confusion today can become our clarity tomorrow. That’s why they have proliferated the African Command program of expanding imperialist U.S. military bases throughout Africa as well as bolstering their police repression of the African masses throughout the diaspora. The point of these military installations is to train African police and military in counter insurgency measures to confront the mass uprisings against the repression. Zionist Israeli forces, equally dependent upon imperialism to continue to ensure the theft of diamonds from Africa, which Israel relies on to uphold its national economy, trains these African police in Krav Maga (hand to hand fighting techniques).
SARS, operational or not, should be seen as a result of this repressive strategy in Africa. People in the West, particularly the U.S., play a crucial role in developing consciousness around this tragedy because much of this repression is contributed to by U.S. tax dollars.
Of course, the problems in Nigeria are simply part of parcel of Africa’s problem as a whole. We lack organization to stop the oppression and theft of our land and resources. That organization is revolutionary Pan-Africanism i.e. one unified socialist Africa. The people of Nigeria are making it plain that they desire something new, something better. Our work is simply that of helping people understand what that better (Pan-Africanism) looks like. We applaud the efforts of our comrades on the ground in Nigeria – the Amilcar Cabral Ideological School – Pan-Africanists fighting in Nigeria for one unified socialist Africa – in their efforts to propagate and organize around this Pan-African ideal. We will continue this work until we are free or until there is not one single one of us left.