Essay On Slave Trade In Nigeria

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Nigeria which was once a British colony is blessed with many trade routes associated with waterways and rivers. "Slaves left south-eastern Nigeria in the eighteenth century by three main routes: down the Niger to the Delta states, overland to the eastern Delta states, and down the Cross River to Calabar" (Northrup 1972, p.232). The most important towns associated with the areas mentioned above are the Bonny Kingdom and Calabar towns, both were serious slave markets for centuries (Northrup 1972).
Northrup (1972) and Ume (1980) stated that the Lander brothers from Britain visited markets in Bonny and Old Calabar Rivers; where they acknowledged as 'principal slave mart'. According to Ume (1980) in 1830 Richard and John Lander reported of the
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It has been argued that "the British abolition movement, which was legalized by the British Parliament, was not entirely humanely motivated as it is often put. It was for the British economic interest to shift from slave to legitimate trade" (Ume 1980, p.216). On the other hand, Batten (1954) listed among other things the abolishment of slave trade as the reason for the establishment of colonialism. "On the other hand, the insinuation that European colonialism accomplished its alleged humanitarian mission in Africa by decisively tackling slavery is too unfounded to warrant any attention here" (Nwokeji, G.U., 1998, 320). "They argue that the British governor, Frederick Lugard, favoured the reform of slavery over abolishing it". (Nwokeji 1998, p.321). According to Nwokeji (1998) the British colonial governor in Nigeria was Lord Frederick Lugard till 1919. "The so-called colonial development of Africa ‘for trade and civilization’ involved not only military aggression but also a considerable amount of coercive African labor" (Ekechi 1983, p.28). Some may argue that though slavery was abolished, nonetheless forced labour became a colonial policy in Nigeria, and maybe that was the sort of reformation of slavery that Lugard
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