Charles J. Mambula I (Ph.D.) responds to Mandela Institute 6:
This is my response to Dr. Pius Adesanmi:
Thanks for your enquiry on my piece, to which I wish to make a few further explanations.
What I meant by "no man's land" could be interpreted in several ways, including that of Zeleza's, the British, the US Navy, Akinyemi's etc.,. In my own interpretation however, the "No Man's Land" I was suggesting is a Neutral place where all Africans can come together as a symbol of unity to share ideas on different issues including that of education, culture, colonial history, economics, politics and other issues and other matters that combines for the progressive development of Africa. My reasoning for suggesting the axis or mid-point on the continent of Africa is in consderation of the very heterogenous nature of the continent, in terms of its tribal, ethnic, political, religious and other differences. Although the Belgium example as for the EU is an option, I still opted for the neutral location because at the axis or the hub if you like, is again a place where no one country or group has claim to it. Washington DC, Brasillia, and now Abuja are country exampples of independant capital territories that are not claimed by any state.
With reference to Nigeria, there were people living in Abuja on landed areas belonging to Niger, Plateau, Kaduna and Benue states before they were carved to form the capital and the indigenes were resettled in other areas. Most Nigerians eventually took well with the arrangement, except for some few arguments about why the capital was moved the capital from Lagos (South) to the North (Abuja). But Abuja is neither in the Northern or southern region of Nigeria. Abuja is located in a central position comprising land from a number of states.
If the decision to locate the ADB or other foreign businesses that have been crippled in the now crisis torn Abidjan had been known in advance, perhaps the decision would have been swayed.
In as much as I agree to the option of rotation of venues for events like FESTAC, All Africa Games, Nations Cup etc., I also believe that a more permanent location for such important activities and others can be possible on long term basis for such purposes. One of the beauties of the kaleidescope is that you can see all the different colors doing wonders by observing it from one point.