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Nigeria, S/Africa, xenophobia and the UN

The recent events in South Africa has suddenly thrown up a very important subject for a thorough debate by the African Union. Nigeria should lead the way at this stage.

There have been agitations since 1995, during the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Organization for the need to expand the membership of the powerful Security Council (UNSC) from the current five permanent members (USA, UK, CHINA, RUSSIA and FRANCE) to include representatives from Africa, and new powers in other continents  including Germany, Japan, Brazil, India, Australia and at least one Arab country.

The proponents of this argument are advocating for a balanced  United Nations that truly includes all of humanity. Being the most powerful organ of the UN system, the present Security Council arrangement excludes, the Black race, the Arabs, the Indians, the Southern pacific countries with the most populous continent of the World represented only by one country, China. This, according to the arguments, is not a fair and equitable representation of humanity in such an important global club.

With respect to Africa, the countries that should struggle to  represent the continent is clearly between Nigeria and South Africa. The latter should not ordinarily compete for such a prestigious position with the former for some obvious historical reasons and the obvious facts that it is the most populous Black country in the World and the largest economy in Africa. In addition, Nigeria has excellent relations with almost all countries on the Continent and has supplied free of charge technical manpower to all needy countries on the continent for decades through the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa and the famous Technical Aids Corp programme. As a consequence of their hard-work and expertise, Nigerian Professionals are in very high demand everywhere.

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Compare those qualities with South Africa’s hatred for other Africans, called Afrophobia. This unique name was coined in South Africa and judging from some official comments from government personnel including ministers and the President of the republic, it even seem to suggest official approval from national government of the former apartheid enclave. This is pathetic.

The African Union must be united in its support for Nigeria. South Africa should be rebuked by the Continental body as it has clearly failed to protect Africans even with its borders and therefore has renounced any entitlement to compete for that seat. This is not Nelson Mandela’s South Africa.

Bashir Maidugu,  Abuja  bashirmaidugu@gmail.com

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