NEWS DIGEST – The numbers of other Africans killed and ill-treated in South Africa keeps rising and Nigeria naturally being the most populous African nation, bears the brunt relatively more than others. Our status as one of the most powerful countries on the continent behoves on us to speak up the loudest for our citizens in the Diaspora and for other victimised African countries with lower voices or clout than ours. As reported by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted invitation from South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to discuss ways to further strengthen our relationships and improve trades. No doubt strengthened relationship solely borders on how Nigerians and other Africans are treated in S.A.
I must commend Mr. President for finding this situation sensitive enough to tackle it in person in addition to the proxy and intermediary efforts he has been making to bring the end of such an international relations disaster. This meeting as stated, will be in October and the South African government appear more serious than ever in bringing this menace to a permanent halt.
The gravity of the situation might not have been felt if not for the loud, unquenchable voices of Nigerian youths who have thus far been diplomatically vocal in their condemnation of xenophobia. I must commend the NANS President Comr. Danielson Bamidele Akpan, who has been dogged and kin in the protection of Nigeria’s integrity and esteem of Nigerian students.
It has however come to notice that there is a move to shut down South Africa owned businesses here in Nigeria. Though the intention is commendable, I personally feel the diplomacy remains the best way to go. Incapacitating these organisations automatically kicks thousands of Nigerians out of jobs both in Nigeria and South Africa since it automatically means Nigerians there would have to return home and/or find another country/job. I would suggest that these youth and students, table their requests, terms and conditions to Mr. President since he will be there to represent all of us. I would implore, that just as Muhammadu Buhari brought Cameroun, Chad, and Niger Republic on board to fight the Boko Haram insurgency, his presence and his voice will change the pace the South African government has been taking in quenching xenophobia.
Nigeria from independence has never fought an international war with any nation be it cold war or full fetched because of our stellar international relations. I believe we can rise above this. Let us as custodians of this nation’s future, always trade in the path of peaceful resolution because God willing, we would live long enoughto see the repercussions.