As part of activities to mark the International Day for Religious Freedom, International Human Rights Lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe urged Africans in the United States (US) to seek justice both in Africa and in the US.
Addressing a group in Washington on Sunday August 23rd on the topic “International Day of Religious Freedom 2020, Advocacy Message for our time”, Ogebe stated that with the recent coup in Mali last week, Africa is regressing but there are also concerns for black lives in America too.
He stated that recent statistics showed that Blacks were still being killed by police despite the protests following Floyd’s death including one just killed on Friday from 11 shots.
Ogebe cited data which showed that there is no statistical difference between the killings of poor or affluent blacks so nobody should think they are exempt.
He commended the event organizers for the prudent handling of a homeless man who had wandered into the program and stated that it could have ended in his death if the intrusion had been unnecessarily escalated.
While calling Rep John Lewis possibly the greatest American of our generation, he urged guests to heed the civil rights legend’s words “Every generation leaves behind a legacy. What that legacy will be is determined by the people of that generation. What legacy do you want to leave behind?”
He said Lewis had paved the way for Africans to live desegregated in America today.
Ogebe also thanked God that he was marking his birthday 24 years after he is release from the imprisonment of Gen Abacha.
Quoting from the scripture, Ogebe enjoined his fellow Africans from several countries to participate in the upcoming March on Washington on August 28th to commemorate the 57th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King and John Lewis’ speeches.
Ogebe concluded that the same way properties and businesses of Christians were destroyed in Northern Nigeria by Muslim extremists, so also so-called Christians destroyed businesses of blacks and massacred over 300 in Oklahoma’s black Wall Street many years ago.
He added that he was similarly shocked to recently learn that as in Kano where Christians didn’t have a cemetery to bury their dead, blacks in Atlanta also had to go outside the city to bury their loved ones.
Ogebe urged believers to take up their cross and to set aside a day each month to set the captives free by addressing an injustice they observe.
In addition, the activist reminded his audience that video has emerged of another police shooting of a black father in front of his three sons on Sunday August 23rd, 2020.
In another statement, he said that “Monday August 24th marks the one year anniversary of the police killing of 23 year old Elijah McClain as he walked home from the grocery store. One day, we may well learn that this never just happens, that this is systematic, and this is intentional.
“Over a few weeks, we’ve heard cops recorded saying, “we only shoot black people” (to a nervous white woman pulled over) and “we’ll have a civil war and I can’t wait to kill N-word” (three cops recorded in their cop car). “We don’t kill as many blacks as we ought” (Police chief during a press conference).
“This is a thinning of the herd. We urge US authorities to investigate whether there is a concerted campaign of extra-judicial extermination and take necessary steps to stem it.”