Monday, June 02, 2008

Editorial From Nigerian ThisDay on Attacks in South Africa

That Attack on Africans in South Africa

Courtesy of ThisDay in Nigeria

The recent spate of xenophobic display, atrocious and hideous attack on the African Brothers in South Africa looking for survival is disappointing, discouraging and very barbaric. In a civilized world, in this time and age, it would be very difficult for anyone to believe that South Africa for all the experience of apartheid and their eventual freedom could condescend to engage in such prejudice and this absurd show of intolerance.

Considering the collective African heritage so shared that is reflective in our life style, culture, tradition and others, this barbaric disparagement however, has made all of this of no consequential effect. That on African soil, an African can no longer have a sense of belonging is difficult to believe. If that is difficult here, then is it in Europe, the Americas or Asia will they then be accepted? That African Brothers could be set ablaze alive is very unbelievable.

I wonder what Nigeria would have turned out to be today if the citizens have embarked on launching an onslaught against the African Brothers like the Ghanaians, the Liberians, the Sierra Leoneans, the guys from Niger and so many other black brothers who came to seek succour in Nigeria and have turned Nigeria to their second home and some have out rightly become Nigerians, doing so well and are very successful here. In spite of the noise by the rest of the world on the height of crime rate in Nigeria; our people will never kill visitors.

It is so discouraging that having gone through the "dark days" by the South Africans, one would have thought that the lessons learnt in those days could have affected their lives in such a way that they would have human feelings and love their fellow brothers just like themselves. But it is so very alarming, disappointing and very discouraging to realize that upon all the support the South Africans received from their African brothers within and in Diaspora in the days of apartheid that they could stoop so low and carry out such barbaric and horrendous act upon fellow African brothers. I conjecture that Botha probably assumed then, that if these people had their way, they would have done worse things to other people if they had been in Botha's shoes.

Pieter Bhota may not be absolutely as bad as imagined, considering the measure doled out in those days to the South Africans. My summation as it were is based on the fact that this attitude is not African at all. It is popularly said that we in Africa are more homely and very friendly in our disposition to other people, but this devilish and uncivil act make light of this thought pattern.

What in God's name is the noise made about South Africa in terms of the development experienced politically and economically and in physical terms when their minds are in darkness? Development if it starts in the mind has a potent force in affecting the rest of the body. The development that makes a man vicious and cruel is nothing but barbarous as it were.

This action only reminds me of what Jesus Christ said of the Pharisees ( a distinguished, developed and elitist class) in the Holy Book that are like the beautiful white washed sepulchers (tombs) but have within ugly dead men’s bones. By this act, there is of course no difference in this description of the Pharisees and the South Africans so vividly depicted in the burning of fellow African brothers. I still believe there is no country like Nigeria on the surface of the earth because we won’t treat fellow Africans like that.

MTN is from South Africa, Multichoice and the wines in South Africa have great market in Nigeria as one of my brothers observed. If then these people can survive in their country alone, why are they on other African soil doing business and living? Should I then advise that we also embark on sending the South Africans packing from this land?

See this: “We come from a place where football is not simply a game but an enduring passion: we come from a place where our hearts beat in unison as we celebrate a shared destiny and love for the beautiful game with the human family. Africa is ready. Africa’s time has come. Africa is calling: come home to Africa in 2010”- South African President Thambo Mbeki is the one speaking here.

There is no doubt that Africa is ready to host the world cup but is this attitude South Africans will mete out to the rest of the world in their country in 2010? I have great doubt about the safety the South Africans can promise the rest of the world in line with the "World Cup" they will be hosting. However, I will advise every foreigner out there to begin to work towards relocating to other places where safety can be guaranteed.

This mayhem should be lampooned, lambasted and be repudiated by the rest of the world. This kind of illicit behaviour is not be fitting for a country so praised for the likes of the Nobel Laureate Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and a host of other statesmen in that place. I am just very miffed and disappointed at this disgraceful act. These are the kinds of people that make "them" equate some Africans still with the "apes". Good night my African Brothers, who are on the other side, sleep well, till we meet to part no more.

•Segun Imohiosen,

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