By Wale Adedayo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The South African Government has been deathly silent about the renewed spate of xenophobic attacks in that former apartheid enclave. Unlike the previous ones in which many black Africans were brutally murdered by their South African guests, and Nigerians spared, this time many of our compatriots along with their businesses have fallen victims.
It is commendable that the Federal Government has not only summoned the South African High Commissioner in Abuja to express its displeasure about this ugly turn of events, the country has also urged the African Union to intervene, a clear indication that President Jacob Zuma is unprepared or unwilling to act against his murderous compatriots.
A number of Nigerians have been calling for tit-for-tat violence against South African nationals resident in Nigeria. That would be wrong. Son of man is against tit-for-tat violence, which is very easy – locate top South Africans in Lagos and Abuja, including diplomats, and give them the Law of Moses in action. That will make us descend to their barbaric level. We are certainly more than that. It is because of inferiority they are acting the way they do. And we need not go that way as it is being suggested by some.
We also do not need to shut down South African businesses in Nigeria. But we can do more than that, sending a very clear and definite message that despite our current challenges in Nigeria, we remain who we are – the Big Brothers who assisted them with everything at our disposal when the Boers were killing them like houseflies. Currently, white persons, who made life hell for them during apartheid, are not being attacked. These animals in South Africa are unleashing unspeakable violence against people of their race. And they need to be taught a lesson.
At the height of apartheid misrule in South Africa, Nigeria nationalised key British companies in the country to send a message that ‘Black Lives Matter’. South African businesses are many in Nigeria. In fact, they make more money in Nigeria than anywhere else, including their home country, South Africa. Of course, they employ many Nigerians. But that does not mean drastic action should not be taken by the Nigerian Government should the current spate of senseless killings continue unabated.
For me, it may not be a bad idea to urgently suspend diplomatic relations with South Africa. Nigeria has nothing to lose if we adopt this policy, as the National Assembly will give the necessary backing. Till date, South Africa’s participation in peacekeeping across Africa remains minimal. It is Nigeria that has continued to carry the can of conflicts across the continent despite our meagre resources. Zuma behaves like an unexposed African, who delights in the old ways that brought shame and ridicule, thus slavery, and later colonisation to the continent. He remains a waste in every word and deed since he got into office.
The severance of diplomatic relations should be followed up with the nationalisation of ALL South African businesses in Nigeria. The shares of these companies should be reserved, primarily for Nigerians who’ll be displaced from South Africa as a result of these policies, while the remainder should go to other interested persons. Waiting for a toothless African Union to act against a rustic Zuma, who thinks and acts like a Stone Age person is like waiting for Godot. The time to act is now!