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South Africa: The flurry of outrage and Nigerian government’s diplomacy

By Yahaya Balogun
12 September 2019   |   3:55 am
History is more or less bunk. It’s a tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s dam is the history we make today.”

Buhari and Ramaphosa. PHOTO: BBC

History is more or less bunk. It’s a tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s dam is the history we make today.”  – Henry Ford. Xenophobic South Africa has become the axis of evil in subregional Africa. With all the assistance rendered to liberate South Africa from apartheid, the reciprocity for Nigeria’s leadership role in dismantling apartheid in South Africa is a reprisal, maiming, and killing of our people for their ugly history. I vividly do recollect how civil servants in Nigeria were made to contribute meager from their monthly salaries to the resources that were being put together than to fight evil apartheid in South Africa. Do you remember the late music maestro and African emancipation singer, Chief Sony Okosun for his African liberation song late with special emphasis on Southern Africa? You remember Baba Iyabo, Mr. Tortoise and how he championed and mobilized other African leaders to force Pretoria to dismantle apartheid and release the late Nelson Mandela?

History is bunk! South African youth is now in the aberration of history. South Africa is becoming the den of vampires and human exterminators. The wanton killings of Nigerians in South Africa are sickening and unacceptable and must stop before our citizens begin to effect reprisal or retaliation against South African e-commerce and other economic interests in Nigeria. South Africa doesn’t have a monopoly of violence and carnage! Our citizens in Nigeria must exercise patience and caution to allow our government to deal with the situation with pungent and serious diplomacy it deserves. The ungrateful attitude of the citizens of South African citizens is discouraging and uncivilized to regional integration and development. Why must Africans be killing fellow Africans? What is the motivation? This inhuman action is cruel and dangerous to continental peace and security. This heinous trend has continued and unabated because of the enabling posture of the government of South Africa. It seems South African government is an enabler while its Nigerian counterpart is complacent to deal with South Africa with rue diplomacy. The destruction of lives and property in South Africa is evil and it must stop. The floundering of the South African government and its security agencies in the face of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa is grossly unacceptable! The recent trending video on social media of Nigerians being lynched in South Africa is utterly disturbing and sickening! What is going on in the world? The vultures in human beings in South Africa are transforming into egregious evils, brutish souls, savage beings, beast of no mercy, troglodytes, ghouls, vulgarians, and barbarians. The imaginable and unimaginable of African evils of those days (yesterday) are now in reality of the today. Are we etching into the biblical end time, if at all, we are not already there?

Why are Nigerian residents so despised by their African brothers and sisters in Southern Africa? In spite of the historic assistance, solidarity, and historic antecedents of Nigeria against apartheid in South Africa, Nigeria’s payback is xenophobic treatment and killings by South African ‘brethren’? It’s sickening and unimaginable. Mandela must be furiously and restlessly turning in his grave with annoyance! The most disturbing part of Nigeria’s problems is Nigerians’ self-loathing! Where do we go from here? While Nigerians swim in self-hate at home, and in the diaspora, their contemporary African counterparts in Southern Africa are also maiming and killing Nigerians. Our government must not be so complacent, halfhearted, lukewarm and timid to take decisive action against South Africa. God bless America! No nation dares treats American citizens like South Africa is treating Nigerians in their enclaves. This xenophobic behavior must stop! South African youths are equally suffering from the same burden of history as Nigerian youths? The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa must be summoned through his Ambassador in Nigeria to explain these heinous and xenophobic crimes against the Nigerian people in South Africa. Is Africa really a cursed continent as espoused by Sir Ayodele Oyewole Adebale in his various expositions? What’s wrong with the minds of the black race? Nigerians should begin a peaceful protest by boycotting South African interests and business ventures in Nigeria. Africa MUST Think! Nigerian government MUST act immediately and decisively too to stem the tide of the barbarism against the Nigerians in South Africa. It is very reassuring to see the Federal government of Nigeria moving swiftly to warn the government of South Africa as its government continues to flounder around to see our citizens get killed in Southern Africa by some of her evil citizens. The summoning of SA diplomats in Nigeria to explain why her government is deaf silent to curb the incessant carnage on our brethren in its country is a step in the right direction. Sometimes, we allow our emotions to unnecessarily overwhelm us. While we are in the inevitability of anger, we must not allow our anger to control us; or our emotional feelings to rule our cognition, rather we should always control our emotions, anger or feelings. We must always exercise self-control and restraint in order not to further complicate delicate and serious issues. While we cry, we must attempt not to close our eyes, otherwise, we will complicate things the more! In the process of initiating anger, we usually shoot ourselves in the foot only to revert to “had I know”…..”I would have done things differently.” In law enforcement parlance, when you go to a range to practice how to accurately shoot a target, you do not anticipate and rashly or impetuously shoot your target: you plan, aim and execute with precision as your eyes aim at the target, not on your trigger or gun. That is how you shoot accurately without missing the target for profound regrets. If you are in government or in a law enforcement profession, you will be in a better position to understand my point of view in this exposition. Two heads cannot make an awry decision in a time of crises. The action of the Federal government so far in the diplomatic parlance is a welcome move and development. Those of us who have a beef to cut with the government of Buhari is quick to blame the government. In other words, we have every right to express our disappointment or dissatisfaction with the government if we feel it has not met our expectations. In other not to further add to the sufferings of our people in South Africa, any act of retaliation or reprisal must be carefully avoided.

To my fellow Nigerians, destruction of property is not the answer to dealing with the act of evils in South Africa. In international diplomacy, the potent weapon is statecraft not war or destruction of property. The best diplomatic weapons readily available to the Nigerian government’s hands are economic sanctions through embargo, boycott, political ostracization and withdrawal of Nigeria’s aids and assistance to South Africa. These are the potent weapons to start a serious conversation with the floundered South African government. While I do not hold brief for the Nigerian government for its actions or inactions (depending on your opinions) for addressing crisis anytime it occurs, we must commend the government of Nigeria for taking reasonable diplomatic steps toward the heinous action of South Africans towards her citizens in their country. We also commend the Nigerian government for her swift and verbal action to summon the South African embassy, our government must not use sweet diplomatic sound in her verbiage to the South African government. The serious and ugly development in South Africa goes beyond tepid argy-bargy and passive diplomatic romanticism. We must send a stern diplomatic warning to the South African government to curb the wanton destruction of our citizens’ lives and property in the bloodletting vampire nation – South Africa. I feel mused to read most of the writings and comments on social media concerning our rage, rave, and outrage as regards the circus of the evil raging in South Africa. It makes me believe more in the unity of Nigeria. We may only lack unity of purpose but the love of a country we hold dear to our heart is sacrosanct. The xenophobic attacks on our citizens in South Africa is criminal and will not be tolerated. The ungrateful South African citizens have lost their sense of not too long history. Fundamentally, the sense of SA’s international esteem is altered and bruised. To our brothers and sisters in South Africa. Our hearts and prayers are with you! Be safe!

Balogun wrote from Arizona, United States of America.