The Oasis Reporters
September 8, 2019
Xenophobia and cruelty emanating from it have unfortunately taken a global centre stage. It has become a topical issue, so much so that any writer that has not written extensively on it could be dismissed as not being a contemporary writer.
On my own, I have had cause to write three different essays on Xenophobia. On the 24th of April, 2015, I wrote a piece I titled Xenophobia In Its True Perspective. Attacks on Nigerians in South Africa compelled me to write another piece which I presented as Xenophobic Attacks On Nigerians In South Africa on 3rd March, 2017. A horrifying video on alleged brutal murder of Nigerians in Uganda that had gone viral made me to write yet another commentary which I entitled, Outrageous Bloody Xenophobia In Angola, on 9th May, 2019.
The above pieces could easily be googled using Don Ubani on Xenophobia. I had, before now, explained my understanding of Xenophobia. To me and simply too, it is unjustifiable hatred for any person or group of people based merely on race, colour or tribe.
Xenophobia is in the same anti-social behavioural categorization as Racism, Irredentism, Segregation and Discrimination.
It would be recalled that between 1860 and 1870, there was an American White Supremacist hate group known as Ku Klux Klan; KKK, that exhibited venomous hatred against African Americans. The Klan was racist in nature and orientation.
From 1939 to 1945, the Germans subjected the Jews in Poland to horrendous and inhuman treatment. It was reported that at least three million Jews were exterminated through gas vans and mass shootings in Death Camps. The above atrocities were carried out in pursuit of Nazism. Germans, under Adolf Hitler and his Third Reich’s Propaganda Supremo; Joseph Goebbels, had deep-rooted odium against the Jews.
Down here in West African Sub-region, Ghana, in 2018, repatriated more than four hundred Nigerian immigrants from their country.
The point being made here is that Xenophobia did not start today. It has an age long history.
With specific reference to the current Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa, in which it is reported that about seven Nigerians have died, it would be reasonable to dissect them from many angles that make up the issue.
Though Nigeria played leading roles in the liberation of majority indigenous Black South Africans from minority Apartheid White South Africans, the attacks on Nigerians create the impression that either the South Africans are ungrateful or there are certain things Nigerians do that irritate them.
As it is today, Nigeria and South Africa are economic giants on the African Continent. A face-off between the two brotherly continental powers will not be in the overall interest of Africa.
The two countries should sit down on a conference table to conduct a dispassionate inquiry into factors that could have led to resort to frequent xenophobic attacks by youths of South Africa against Nigerians in their land.
While diplomatic steps are expected by the Nigerian government to guarantee the safety of her citizens in South Africa and, of course, any other country, it is expected that the Nigerian government of President Buhari should redefine its attitude towards the sanctity of life of Nigerian citizens.
As I put this piece together, the Buhari APC government lacks any moral justification questioning the South African ANC government of President Cyril Ramaphosa over killings of Nigerians and looting and burning of their businesses over there.
This is so because President Buhari’s kinsmen; Fulani Terrorist Herdsmen, have killed over Ten Thousand of harmless innocent defenceless Christian Farmers in Middle-Belt, South-East, South-South and South-West of Nigeria, without any single arrest by the federal government.
President Buhari has never even condemned the wanton killings by his kinsmen. He has even never accepted that the killings and massive destructions are a result of unprovoked premeditated Islamist invasion of indigenous Christian Communities, just with the ambition of sacking their people and taking over their lands. President Buhari rather tags these genocidal attacks as ‘Farmers/Herders’ conflict.
Any African country that decides to attack Nigerian Citizens in her country can justifiably do that, knowing that worse fate befalls Nigerians in their home country where they are brutally slaughtered with reckless abandon.
As the governments are being awaited to come up with a diplomatic resolution of this imbroglio, it is contingent on the Nigerian government to positively change from its current mundane and frustrating disregard for the sanctity of life and property of her citizens at home, Nigerian Youths should be conscious of the fact that for any havoc wrecked on any South African business interests in Nigeria; MTN, Shoprite or their Banks, they would have ended up compounding the unemployment crisis in the country.
To think of it from a very critical perspective, the South African businesses in Nigeria are not even owned by black South Africans. They are, rather, owned by South African Whites who are also not in the good books of the black South Africans.
This problem can not be solved through physical display of brutal raw force. It calls for an intellectual engagement. It was a situation like this that made the Nigerian Military Government of General Murtala Mohammed/Olusegun Obasanjo to adopt Indigenization Policy of the 70s. It could be applied in this case of South African confrontation.
Most importantly, our leaders should learn to be patriotic. Many Nigerians are out of the country because of frustration arising from inept and corrupt leadership.
If the humongous resources at the disposal of the Nigerian governments are transparently, judiciously and effectively put to use in the overall interest of Nigerians, most of the Youths outside Nigeria, would be here gladly contributing to the Gross Domestic Product of the country.
Annoyingly and devastatingly, unprecedented reckless mass looting of wealth meant for the development of the Nigerian people by many Nigerian Governors has painfully assumed the order of the day.
This horrible situation has gotten to the extent of some governors being alleged that while travelling overseas they spend a whopping Four Million Dollars just to hire and export thugs to protect them against envisaged attacks by Nigerians in the diaspora over allegations of non-performance at home.
One can imagine what four million Dollars can do in addressing Youth Unemployment in Nigeria. If the sum of only One Million Dollars is transparently channeled to a State University Teaching Hospital that currently can only produce less than half-baked Medical Doctors that can, at best, send our people to their early graves, it would impact very positively on Nigerians. There is, therefore, need for our leaders to change their attitude to governance.
After all, all the wealth they are busy amassing would also end in vanity. It would even be a debilitating curse on their children. Once a leader embezzles what is meant for the masses, especially the poor and diverts it to his family, that is the day he destroys the destiny and future of his children. They would never be useful in their life, no matter the quality of education they would have acquired.
Let our leaders have a change of attitude so that they would have a place of honour in the history of their people.
Written by Sir Don Ubani; KSC, JP, Okwubunka of Asa.
Sir Don Ubani is a former Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Abia State.