By Suleiman Umaru
This is not the best of times for Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa and Chairman, African Union, AU, as, he appears to have played into the hand of other African leaders because of his inability to control the Xenophobic attacks against foreign Nationals including Nigerians in his country.
The anger in in the face of President Muhammadu Buhari and his counterparts in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, over the attack on the small business and Companies, owned by citizens of these countries may have forces these African countries President to have a rethink about South Africa.
.Political analysts consider the Xenophobic attack on Nigerians in South Africa as very worrisome because of the role played by Late General Murtala Muhammed, a former Head of State, who was said to have championed the cause for the country’s Independence. Subsequent Nigerian leaders, including Ibrahim Babangida, another Nigerian former Head of State, had sustained the tempo to ensure that the country gain its Independence. The Nigeria government alone, was said to have spent over 60 billion which could have been used to provide roads, portable water and other infrastructural facilities in the countries to support South African Independence struggle .
Amnesty International, a Human Rights Organisation believes that the ruling African National Congress, ANC, were fueling the Xenophobic attacks in an attempt to win the heart of the people to cling on to power. This may have emboldened the African leaders to believe that the South African government are not doing anything to stop the crisis for fear of being voted out by the people in the country’s next general elections.
Appealing to the South African Authorities to build a country rooted on respect for Human rights and the rule of Law, the International Human Rights body that it is the only way that the country could bounce back to reckoning in the Comity of nations as its Image was currently at its lowest ebb because of the Xenophobic attack on other foreign nationals.
It is not surprising why Nigerians are united in their support for the Katsina born Nigerian President to take a decisive action in dealing with the situation. Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo state and National Chairman, All Progressive Congress, APC, has called on the government to nationalise South African Companies operating in Nigeria.
An angry Oshiomhole said this is the only language the South African government would understand to sit up.. The APC National Chairman, wants the government to take steps to take over the remaining shares of MTN that are owned by South Africans to become a wholly owned Nigerian Company including other businesses.
He had also called on the Buhari, led APC, government, to revoke the licenses granted to Banks owned by the South Africans in the country, noting that ‘’ we could no longer sacrifice our own national interest just because because we want to be a big brother of a people that does not recognise the role , the enormous and the huge sacrifices that our country made over the years to protect and defend the interest of the African Continent’’.
The APC National Chairman, could not understand why while South African citizens should be jealous of the mall business which Nigerians are running in in their country compared to the multi-million dollar Companies owned by South Africans in Nigeria, which are making millions of dollar annually as profit which are repatriated to their country to further boost their economy.
The President is determined to deal with the South African Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians once and for all that people would dread attack Nigerians again in their country. This is evident going by the dispatch of Ambassador Ahmed Abubakar, Director General, National Intelligence Agency, as a Special Envoy to South Africa, to give a Diplomatic message to Ramaphosa , the South African President and also interact with him over the Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa. The Envoy was said to have arrived Johannesburg, the Country’s Commercial nerve center and was said to have moved to Pretoria, the Capital accompanied by the Bala Kabir, the High Commissioner ,to meet with the South African President to give him the message from Buhari. The Special Envoy ,was said to have attended a crucial meeting with some top level officials of the South African government .
The briefing , according to Presidency sources would determine the government next line of action. Contrary reports making the rounds that Nigeria lost five of its citizens to the Xenophobic attacks, the High Commissioners dismissed it as untrue , noting that ‘’no Nigerian was killed in this recent Xenophobic attacks. This should gladden the heart of Nigerians who were worried over reports in the Social Media that Nigerians were being killed with impunity in South African in the guise of Xenophobic attacks.
Diplomatic sources told The Value News that it was no hold bar discussion on all aspects of the Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians. Given the decisions reached at the various meetings with the South African government officials, including the interaction with Ramaphosa, the South African President, Kabir, the Nigerian High Commissioner in South Africa and the NIA, Director General, are expected to give a Comprehensive on the situation in Southern African country to the President next week.
The briefing, according to Presidency sources would determine the government next line of action in dealing with the situation. Contrary to reports making the rounds that five Nigerians were killed in South Africa at the recent Xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg, Durban, and other major Cities , in South Africa, t Kabir, the High Commssioner , may have cleared the air , when he revealed that no Nigerian was killed. This should gladden the heart of the President who was waiting to get the report of the Special Envoy dispatched to South Africa to interact with the South government officials on the Xenophobic attack on Nigerians.
Security watchers believe that what is happening in South African confirms what late Pieter Willen Botha, a former President of South Africa had said about South African blacks. Botha had told the International Community in 1988, that the blacks cannot rule themselves because’’ they don’t have brain and the mental capacity to govern a society’’ . He may have been emboldened to make the statement because of his findings that the ‘’blacks hate themselves. ‘’Give them guns they would kill themselves, Give them Independence they will use it to promote tribalism, ethnicity, bigotry, hatred, killings and wars’’, he had said.
The late South African President, who promoted Apartheid ,had described Xenophobia attacks, which started in the country in 1994, and snowballed into attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals, in subsequent years and other foreign nationals as a reflection of ‘’how weak the black brain function’’. They kill each other with reckless abandon, he further said. Making a Comparism with other nationals in South Africa, the late South Africa President had noted that Indians were not killing themselves, no matter where they came from, Chinese don’t kill each other.
Until his death in 2006, he stressed, that the thinking of South African whites, Indians, Asians and the Chinese Community was that ‘’black people are animals who cannot live together in peace and harmony but to kill themselves’’.
Ramaphosa, the South African President and who incidentally was one of those who fought alongside with former President Oliver Thambo Mbeki, and late President Nelson Mandela and other prominent black South Africans in ANC, for the Liberation of South Africa
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