Editorial

Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians:  Enough is enough

The Holy Bible in Exodus 22 verse 21 says: “Do not ill-treat or oppress a foreigner, remember that you were foreigners in Egypt one time or another.” The verse succinctly describes the random morbid killings of Nigerians by South Africans in their country.

About three years ago, South Africans just decided they would exterminate foreigners, nay Nigerians from their country. That mad action was replicated last week. Newspapers were awash with stories of mass murder of Nigerians in that country while the Federal Government and its relevant agencies watch helplessly while the holocaust persisted. Many Nigerians lost their lives and properties they had laboured for all their lives.

Their matter became more worrisome when those supposed to take action keep mute; most especially the country’s ambassador to South Africa, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Special Adviser to the President on Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa who always treated the issue on the pages of newspapers while the pogrom persisted unabated and that was taking place in a country that produced the legendary Nelson Mandela of the blessed memory.

Nigeria played a very prominent role to free South Africa from the tentacles of gruesome apartheid by the whites. One wonders whether this calculated extermination of Nigerians is what South Africa wants to repay us. Too bad.

South Africa should also remember that MTN owned by it played into our hands sometimes ago when it ran foul of our telecommunication law which incurred over one trillion Naira on itself. The Federal Government soft-pedalled by reducing the huge amount to a considerable size. This action to the South African government means nothing to them. Mass killings of our citizens is what South Africans want to repay us. Human memory is too short.

We hereby passionately appeal to our Federal Government to put on its thinking cap and confront this hydra-headed monster frontally and holistically by taming South Africa over this unfortunate issue of xenophobia which keeps recurring. Nigerians worldwide had been known to be peace-loving, accommodating and long-suffering: nothing should be done to spur them to violence against foreigners nay South Africans.

South Africa should always remember that it has humongous investments in Nigeria which in the vent of reprisals, the country would be worse off. Nigerian citizens are not killers of human beings. South Africa should not prod us to take that course no matter what, but South Africa should do well in their own interest to call their berserk citizens to order to avoid worsening the already exacerbated xenophobia.

It is not a case of you smite me on the right cheek, I turn the left for you to strike. Nigerians’ studied silence is by no means a sign of cowardice or helplessness. It is just being our brother’s keeper and there is a limit to that.

We hereby call on the world leaders, especially the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) to call South Africa to order on its road to Golgotha their citizens are mindlessly and dangerously treading.

Any further act of brigandage, destruction of lives and properties of Nigerians living in South Africa will be met with stiff resistance and other actions deemed fit to stem the mass killings, destruction of lives and properties.

If South Africa doesn’t want Nigerians in their country there is always a tidier way to do that rather than resort to savagery and carnage reminiscent of the Stone Age.

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