Human rights lawyer challenges African Diaspora to also advocate for justice in US

Posted by News Express | 25 August 2020 | 353 times

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•International Human Rights Lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe

 

As part of activities to mark the International Day for Religious Freedom, International Human Rights Lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe urged Africans in the US to seek justice both in Africa and in the US.

Addressing a group in Washington on August 23rd on the topic “International Day of Religious Freedom 2020, Advocacy Message for our time”, Ogebe stated that with the coup in Mali last week, Africa is regressing but there are also concerns for black lives in America.

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 organisers 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”, Ogebe 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 his release from the imprisonment of late despot, Gen Sani Abacha.

Quoting from the Bible, Ogebe enjoined his fellow Africans from several countries:

“SIMPLE SELF CHECK: IS THE SCRIPTURE BEING FULFILLED?

and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners

and recovery of sight for the blind,

to set the oppressed free, 19    

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.

He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 4:17-21

Ogebe noted that there are five things Christ read out which he said he fulfilled:

  1. Proclaim good news to the poor (are you proclaiming good news to only the rich or not at all?)
  2. Proclaim freedom for prisoners (are you proclaiming only to the freed or not at all?)
  3. Proclaim recovery of sight to the blind (are you proclaiming to the sighted or not at all?)
  4. Setting the oppressed free (are you supporting the oppressor or doing the oppression?)
  5. Proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favour

“Christ calls you to be an activist, an encourager, a relief to the poor, a freedom fighter, a releaser, an oppression defeater and a favor dispenser. If you’re not engaged in the above, is the scripture not being unfulfilled in your life?” the human rights lawyer asked.

He encouraged his listeners to participate in the upcoming March on Washington on August 28 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.”

He 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.

Videos of victims of terrorism  in Nigeria and Camerounian refugees were also shown at the event.


Source: News Express

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