The frequent and ongoing xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other African immigrants in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and other South African cities, to say the least is very sad and unbecoming, not only for the Nigeria- South Africa relationship but what this symbolizes and portends for the present and future of the progress and prosperity of the African continent, especially the black man.
What these miscreant and misguided South African mobs don’t seem to realize is that Nigerians can decide on reciprocal and retaliatory consequences on the various South African business interests in Nigeria. There is no monopoly of violence and vandalism, as there are vast South African business interests in the entire continent of Africa, in which South Africa has more to lose. This will, indeed be very sad for our two brotherly countries, who stand to gain immensely from a smooth bilateral relations, which foundation was laid by leaders of both countries like, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Thambo, Thabo Mbeki, Cyril Ramaphosa, Shehu Shagari, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Ike Nwachukwu and Emeka Anyaoku, just to mention a few.
It is very pathetic and sad that some of these youths and indeed some South Africans, are either not educated enough or are suffering from severe amnesia of the vital and critical role that Nigeria played during the adverse years of apartheid and the struggle for independence. Maybe their governments and elders have not taught them the history of those years.
These senseless attacks have been going on for too long and have become too frequent that it must be addressed and put to an end immediately. This is now the time for the governments of the two countries to rise to their responsibilities to stem this ill wind before it spirals to unprecedented levels of aggression and acrimonious relationships between these two leading African economies.
There is serious high crime rate and anti social behaviors in South Africa, due largely to unemployment and poverty among the young South Africans. And those Nigerian youthful business people and traders, who are seen as “stealing” their opportunities, should also comport themselves, curb certain excesses, be law abiding and should stick to legitimate and lawful transactions and businesses in a foreign land.
Whereas other continents are breaking down boundaries of movement, common currencies and seamless business, we in Africa still require entry visas to African countries and are resentful of each other in form of xenophobic violence and attacks.
Africa cannot afford to carry on like this, lest we remain a laughing stock to our past colonial oppressors and detractors who believe wrongly and/or falsely, that nothing good can come out of Africa and the black race.
Common sense must now prevail Enough of this madness please.