XENOPHOBIC ATTACK: SOUTH AFRICA SITTING ON A KEG OF GUN POWDER

by - September 04, 2019

The Xenophobic attacks carried out by South Africans against Nigerians living in their country is pretty unfortunate to say the least. This only goes to show that, in spite of how civilised we Africans claim to be, the animosity between us is still very concrete. It is very disheartening to know that in this present dispensation, and of all the problems most African countries are facing, South Africans have decided to add Xenophobia to this never ending list of problems. How exactly can Africa grow when some Africans actually carry out these horrendous actions towards people of their own race?
You might want to ask the meaning of this term "Xenophobia" It simply means the hatred and fear people of a nationality have towards foreigners inhabiting their country. Suffice it to say that, they have this constant fear and hatred because they believe these foreigners in their country are solely there to claim their lands and take over their businesses. In the case of the South Africans, this can actually be linked to the psychological trauma they suffered during the apartheid period in their country when the colonial masters refused to leave. A brief history of Apartheid in South Africa might actually give you an insight about this deep seated hatred South Africans have towards foreigners in their country.
The colonial masters settled in South Africa as far back as the 17th century when the Dutch East India company established the Cape colony outpost. For over three centuries, the white minority (Colonial Masters) controlled the Black majority by claiming their lands and looting their natural resources, leaving  them with only crumbs. The whites actually occupied over 80 percent of the nation's land. In 1948, Apartheid became official in South Africa, and this made the racial discrimination which was already in place become more prevalent. Blacks were ordered to carry "passbooks" at all times. They were restricted from going to the places whites visited, interracial marriage was prohibited and so many people died while protesting against Apartheid. Nelson Mandela who fought tooth and nail agaist this was imprisoned for 27 years, and finally in 1994, he became South Africa's first black president after he was shortly released. 
During this period of Apartheid in South Africa, Nigeria was the first country to render financial assistance to South Africa. Over 61 billion dollars was given to them. The Nigerian government issued more than 300 passports to the citizens. Over 80 South African students were educated for free. In fact, Sonny Okosun, a Nigerian music legend released the popular song "Fire in Soweto" in 1977 just to show solidarity to the 1976 Soweto Uprising fighting against Apartheid in South Africa.
Isn't it baffling that these same citizens the Nigerian government helped in their time of need are the same people endangering the lives and properties of Nigerians living there because they are scared of losing their lands and businesses?  Has history been distorted?  Have they forgotten so soon how we did everything in our power just to make them independent? Isn't this misplaced aggression on the part of the South Africans indulging in these Xenophobic attacks because they want Nigerians out of their lands? Most of the big and flourishing companies there in South Africa are owned by the "Whites". Investors can actually pull out funds from their economy which will make most of them go jobless due to this despicable act. Tourists will eventually stop visiting their tourism centres because of the fear of the unknown. Don't they know the consequences of their actions? 
The "Whites" actually control a large percentage of South Africa's economy presently, yet they are killing Nigerians running little grocery stores just to survive because they feel threatened!!! Isn't this preposterous just to say the least? Several whites own over 80 percent of the lands in South Africa, so do Nigerians and other blacks inhabiting their country really want to take their lands from them, when over 80 percent of the lands have been bought by the "whites" right there in their country!!! This only goes to show that these South Africans indulging in this terrible act of Xenophonia are actually scared of confronting the truth right in front of them and instead are transferring their aggressions to the Blacks they feel they can overpower. They are still mentally imprisoned and the adverse effect of the brutality of apartheid period is yet to wear off completely. This does not however justify what is currently happening. How can they not know that it is sacrilegious to kill their fellow blacks all in a bid to salvage their lands which they have already lost?
In view of this, it is pertinent to note the fact that the president of our dear country Nigeria is yet to address us officially. President Buhari is the Commander In Chief of The Armed Forces, and I'm really surprised that he is yet to deploy special forces to South Africa to protect Nigerians over there and bring them back safely to their country. Some South African police Officers actually stood by and watched the Nigerians die in the hands of these murderers without even trying to help them in the video circulating. I'm pained! Why is the federal government taking this issue with levity? Don't they know others will treat us shabbily as a result of this lackadaisical attitude they are showing? Should we now start wishing for a military regime, because no head of state would have tolerated this act of grave injustice? This is actually not the first time Nigerians would be gruesomely murdered in South Africa, shouldn't there be a lasting solution to this heinous act?
 
Late Elizabeth

Elizabeth Ndubisi who was the Deputy Director-General of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria was murdered in her hotel room at Emperor's Palace Casino in South Africa on the 13th of June 2019. She was there to attend the conference of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) when she met her death. Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing has been done fish out the culprit (s) who carried out this heinous act. The hotel where she lodged, refused to provide their cctv footage which could have helped the police better in their course of investigation. This issue has been swept under the carpet, and it is frightening to ask if the same thing is not playing out now that the Nigerian government has refused to take drastic measures to protect her citizens. How insensitive can our government be?

Following the news outbreak yesterday, several youths invaded the streets of Lagos and started destroying the South African stores in Nigeria. From MTN (a reputable network provider in Nigeria owned by South Africans) to Shoprite, to PEP and others stores owned by South Africa companies were vandalised yesterday. But, it is however interesting to note that, most of these stores that were destroyed in retaliation of the Nigerians killed in South Africa are actually franchises owned by Nigerians; meaning that these people who think they are retaliating are in actual fact incurring debts for their fellow citizens. Cars were vandalised yesterday, stores were looted, phones were stolen, innocent people got injured, even a man got killed at Jakande in Lagos yesterday all in the name of retaliation. This only goes to show that violence is never the way out. Isn't it high time our government got proactive? How many more people do we have to lose before protective measures are taken? I urge the federal government to swing into action immediately before this becomes a full blown epidemic. The African Union should also sanction South Africa, and other powerful countries in the world should keep banning their citizens' visas until they retrace their steps. 

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