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Still on xenophobic attacks

Monday, 13 March 2017

President Jacob Zuma, South Africa
By Toye Faleye

One is miffed seen Nigerians going through horrific treatment in South Africa. I saw a Nigerian weeping like a toddler after seeing all he had struggled and worked in life destroyed by the South African hooligans, just within the twinkle of an eye. This was because the South Africans saw Nigerians as a threat, a people somewhere that have come to be successful whereas they (South Africans) have chosen to be a failure in a country where potentiality can thrive.

Simply because of idleness, they see themselves as a failure, a bunch of underachievers and minnows. They thought they could not match the intelligence, tact, ruggedness, shrewd, intellect and resilience of Nigerians who could turn situation around for themselves when faced by horrendous circumstances. What a people! So attacking Nigerians and other foreign nationals becomes the adjustment mechanism to save their face.

But the South Africans have forgotten history. They are quite oblivious of the past. They could no longer remember the tremendous efforts mustered by Nigeria and Nigerians in a bid to ensuring that South Africa was free from the bondage of oppression pummelling it then. Their youths, who are the ones carrying out attacks on Nigerians, were not told that Nigeria and Nigerians fought vigorously to secure the release of the then jailed Nelson Mandela.

They have forgotten so quickly those revolutionary songs by the late Sunny Okosuns, Majek Fashek and the like to secure the release of Mandela and condemn apartheid. They have forgotten so soon that Nigeria spent a mouth-watering sum of money so that they could gain freedom from the jackboot of the John Bull. They have forgotten so soon that one of the country’s that Mandela visited when he was released to say thank you was Nigeria. They have also forgotten that Thabo Mbeki and Mandela once lived in Nigeria as asylum seekers. Such is life.

The South Africans, especially their youths, are troubled by envy, hatred, inferiority complex and malice. It is certainly not that Nigerians are a nuisance as the overzealously power- hungry South African Opposition party and the Zulu King have claimed, it is simply that the South African youths are indolent and not creative enough as to remain poor and jobless in a country where the white have helped them build over time.

The Jews, like Nigerians, faced similar situation in Nazi Germany, headed by Adolf Hitler just before the World War 11 commenced. Hitler, having seized power and become maximum ruler in Germany, clamped down on the Jews who were dictating the tune of things that embraced socio-political and economic endeavours.

The Jews were achiever who thrived in anything they touched in Germany. Anything the Jews touched then turned to gold. In the socio-political and economic lives of Germany in that period, the Jews occupied vantage position, so much so that German ladies were beginning to marry them. Hitler, seeing this, grew enormously envious and began to arrest the Jews, flinging millions of them into concentration camps. They were maltreated, starved and gassed.

Hitler forced tens of thousands of Jews in Poland into small sections of the cities, known as ghettos. The Holocaust, as it was then called, claimed about one-third of the world’s 18 million Jews, being one of the history’s greatest tragedies, just because of hatred arising from envy.

 What did the Jews do then? They simply demanded a home state for themselves which they achieved. What should Nigeria do now that Abike Dabiri-Erewa has painted a very panicking picture when she disclosed that Nigerians are dying in drove in South Africa?  She added that Nigerians had lost a whooping sum of money on account of the rash attacks.

What should Nigeria as a nation do even though it has summoned the South African High Commission, called on the African Union (AU) to intervene, and that both the House of Representatives and Senate members are contemplating sending different delegations?

Without looking back, let Nigerians in South Africa begin to think of coming back to their country and start afresh, even though it is not easy to just leave a country where one has invested a lot. But it is good to know that home is home. You home is your home. At home, you are freer that ever. The wise thing to do is to come back to your root because xenophobic attacks will never seize. The South Africans cannot repent. It could be seen in their voices, body language and pronouncements. They show a very deep hatred for Nigerians.

Because of the xenophobic attacks, it is about time that the leadership of the Nigerian state begin to create the right atmosphere for the citizens. Why should Nigerians think of going to South Africa in the first instance if our leaders are not politically and economically inept? If the country were good and pleasant to live in, no Nigeria will ever think of going to South Africa to seek greener pasture. So the leadership of the country should think out of the box and make Nigeria attractive enough.  The high rate of unemployment should be battled. Jobs are not available and an army of unemployed Nigerians walks the street, jacking up the level of criminal activities to an alarming rate.
Let the leaders know that efforts should be made to revive the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (MSMEs). Let them have access to loans at low interest rate. Small businesses add to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country and solve unemployment problem.

Let there be adequate supply of power to boost businesses and make them thrive in order to earn good returns on investment. Besides, Efforts should be geared towards tapping other sources of renewable energy like solar, coal, bio fuel and the like to shore up electricity supply which currently fluctuates between 3000 and 4000 megawatts.

If these are achieved, nobody will be angling to travel to a country like South Africa by all means possible. Nigeria leaders need to be altruistic and nationalistic enough to know that at this dismal time of the country, their must be radical move for the re-engineering of all the sectors of the economy.

Poverty, squalor and frustration ravaged the country, the reason so many Nigerians will want to do everything possible to seek an alternative elsewhere, whether god or bad, in-as-much-as they will be able to earn money.

Like former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who could not be totally absolved from the woes bedevilling Nigeria, said while commenting on Xenophobia attacks, “African leaders should also set up measures at developing their countries and improve the standard of living of their citizens. This will discourage our youths who because of under development and poor standard of living seek greener pastures outside their countries.”
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