To say what’s happening to fellow Nigerian citizens in South Africa is sad, unfortunate, regrettable, extremely provocative and totally unacceptable is to put it mildly. Especially from a historic perspective of Apartheid and Nigeria’s unparraled solidarity and support for black South African while it endured.
It calls for the strongest response yet by the Nigerian Government. Swift diplomatic and appropriate response/action at the highest and strongest level of our Government is the least we expect at this time.
I’m very glad our President is “sending a Special Envoy to President Ramaphosa to share our deep concern about the security of Nigerian lives and property in South Africa, and to ensure that the South African Government is doing everything within its power in this regard.” That’s a commendable start. We need more.
I’m also glad that the South African Ambassador to Nigeria has been summoned to make explanations. Good also.
But I also hear and read of retaliations or reactions in Nigeria through either plans to attack or actual attacks on South African business interests in Nigeria and this really got me very worried.
So I ask what exactly is retaliation in this context? Because there’s barely a handful of South Africans working in such South African interests like MTN, Shoprite, DSTV Nigeria etc, if any.
It is largely Nigeria workers and employees there. So the likelihood is that it is fellow Nigerians that would be hurt in the event of such occurrence. Futhermore if any of those businesses are burnt or destroyed, Insurance pays for the damages.
Meanwhile if I’m not mistaken the Nigerian version of these companies are more or less Franchises which heavy investments by Nigerians investors or partners.
So what’s retaliation really in this context and who really gets hurt?
I would therefore humbly appeal that even in the face of such monumental provocation, we maitain a cool head in our righteous anger while trusting and urging our government to take concrete and lasting steps to ensure that such barbarism as being meted to Nigerian citizens in South African ceases henceforth with consequences for the perpetrators and justice for the victims.