This week, the South African Government confirmed, in no uncertain terms, what this Column said last week – that the so-called xenophobia is actually the poor South African’s last resort of taking the law into his own hands as their security system has failed to protect him. In black and white, South Africans are actually lashing out at drug cartels and crime syndicates, which are mostly Nigerian.
South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Naledi Pandor this week called on the Nigerian government to keep citizens who are into drug peddling, human trafficking and other vices from coming into her country. Pandor said this in an interview with South African TV station, eNCA <https://www.enca.com/news/nigeria-should-help-us-pandor> (see video here <https://punchng.com/video-keep-drug-dealers-human-traffickers-out-of-our-country-south-african-minister-tells-nigeria/>).
She said that South Africa needed the help of Nigeria to curb crimes in her country, as she said that South Africans believe that Nigerians were into drug peddling, human trafficking and other vices that hurt their nation, adding: “Help us address the belief and the reality that our people have that there are many persons from Nigeria, who are dealing in drugs in our country, who are harming our young people by making drugs easily available to them…”
But Nigeria refuses to respond directly to this South African plea. Replying South Africa on this their very important request on drug traffickers and other criminal elements, in the opinion of this Column, lies at the root of any future solution to this problem.
To wit, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama only said “Nigeria would take definitive measures in the aftermath of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa”, calling the attackers, “mindless criminals” and said South African police intervention was “ineffective”. He added: “Enough is enough. We will take definitive measures.”
Hello Minister! With drug money, any police could be compromised – Nigerian police and South African police no exception.
ABDULLAH MUSA ABDULLAH (email@example.com ): Look at these Nigerians! They are expelling Nigerians from their own regions, yet they expect South Africans to allow them to live and thrive within theirs. Europeans used to kill one another in wars. Later they came to realise that it was better for them to unite and kill others and share the others’ resources: Arabs, Blacks and so on. Black people dare not wage war against white men, so they turn upon themselves, doing the job for the white man. Since governors of the South East cherish ethnicity, let them tell all Igbos globally to return to their enclave. It is the height of hypocrisy to refuse to accommodate others within your midst and yet expect others like Ghanaians and South Africans to accommodate you. Irrationality is usually the outcome of group-think.
ALIYU JAMA’ARE (firstname.lastname@example.org): From what I read in your Saturday Column regarding the above topic, it can be said that the failure of the South African security agencies to do their work as is happening in Nigeria is also the cause of this crisis and sometimes innocent victims become collateral damage. I still believe the Nigerian Government should mount pressure on the South African government to do their job, as the collateral damage as regards innocent victims should not be acceptable.
MUHAMMAD SANI (email@example.com) Though I still admire your Saturday Column, I am somehow in controversy with my heart over the last week’s piece. I know you were trying to ‘balance the equation’ because the relatives of the victims of South African xenophobia have been abusing and using our brethren (Fulani) as scapegoats for any act of terror that happens in their region. But South Africans have proven to us that they are fools because it’s absolutely idiotic to judge a whole race of people by the actions of few individuals. It is said in Zulu that you should not slaughter all the sheep because one has transgressed. Therefore, I think the best thing to do is to arrest all those drug traffickers and detain them in prison for ten to twenty years. That will serve as a deterrent to others who are willing to engage in such dirty and filthy business.
MUHAMMAD AL-HUSSAIN (firstname.lastname@example.org): Just finished reading your column. As always very interesting and informative. May Allah continue to strengthen and protect you. Thank you.
MOHAMMED M MOHAMMED PANTAMI GOMBE (email@example.com): It’s love that makes the world go round. My dear South Africans, if your founding fathers can sacrifice their golden age behind bars for the love of freedom and ultimately your happiness, we expect that to radiate in the hearts of all of you, and especially in your relation with every other national. In the heydays of the freedom fight, we have seen and heard instances of great sacrifices by your leaders and also by our leader. Under our great leader General Murtala Muhammad, Nigeria, although so far away from the theatre of struggle, did all it could to help you.
SO THERE! Now, semi-finally, this piece titled “A Time for HARD TRUTH!” now making the rounds of cyberspace:
‘Our Elders say: When kinsmen go into the room to deliberate on knotty issues and they come out of the room smiling, surely they were in the room to deceive themselves and no truth was shared! How is it that my Nigerian compatriots who are the alleged victims of South Africa’s xenophobia haven’t started to wonder why the police and the people of other foreign countries in far away Asia, Europe and Southern Africa are able to pointedly single you out from amongst the multitude of other tribes from Nigeria? Have you guys taken time to listen to the Bangkok video which was on the web recently? The Bangkok security officer pointedly and crucially stated the name of your tribe as the ones that are a problem to their country. Is that also xenophobia? That is a very bad reputation and it rubs off not only on other Nigerians but all Africans in the sight of the world! There are over two hundred tribes in this country and there is hardly any other of those tribes that doesn’t feel an almost natural resentment for your type.
And finally: Out of the estimated 800,000 Nigerians in South Africa, only 187 (87 of them children) returned to Nigeria on the free offer of the Federal Government. Where is the balance of almost 799,999? Please don’t tell me the story that the South African authorities have blocked the departure of some Nigerians – the truth is that those detained have been on the security’s Wanted List.
So we are waiting for the 799,999 innocent ones. Come home!