Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –By Sunday Ikuesan:
Rhetorically we say the world is a global village. Everyone thinks he can take advantage of this and find home away from home in any part of the world, especially Africans in Africa. The advantage includes the inter-exchange of goods and service across the globe. But demographically, everyone has a place to call his home even if world leaders tell us through constitutional framework that one can live and work in the countries of his or her choice, xenophobic witch-hunt travails everywhere but very few are heard or known.
Among the respected countries of the world xenophobia has been order of all time. In 1982, Francois Mitterrand addressed the French parliament and made allusion to strangers living in his country that a stone can live a hundred years under water but will never become a fish. Strangers in foreign land must know this once and for all. Of all the forecasts and Opinion polls in favour of Hillary Clinton in recent presidential election in America Donald Trump came victorious because his campaign was established on xenophobic philosophy. It beat the imaginations of many in this 21st century.
In Africa, Many African presidents who saw Francois Mitterrand as their role model adopted his ideology that a stone under water can never become a fish and they make life unbearable for foreigners in their countries. Even if you are well established and respect the country’s immigration protocols you can always be embarrassed at will either through legislative framework or social chaos which put foreigners always at the loser end. As a Nigerian living in Diaspora I can authentically say that this barbaric act of xenophobic attacks is not limited to South Africa. Though, South Africa may have gone too far but the reality is that it happens across Africa. In many African countries that I know foreigners especially Nigerians are always the targets in the countries social mischiefs. Citizens blame their failure on the spirit of entrepreneurships of Nigerians. Nigerians shops and houses are being looted during political fracas and nothing happen. We have seen policemen assist their countrymen to loot Nigerians in African countries and with the slogans, go back to your countries……., go…….
The painful issue here is why xenophobic attacks on Nigerian in South Africa? South Africa of all Nation(. This could have been unbelievable story if I have not witnessed Nigeria’s effort to South Africa during the apartheid. This brings the credibility of African Union into questions. Should I say a fail of leadership or a fail of the Union. This obnoxious attitude happened at very period when a South African citizen Dr Nkosazana Dlamini ZUMA was leading Africa Union as its Chairperson. It gives me a lot of food for thought of what Union for the African people. With all the contents in African Union Charter which promote people’s rights and allow Africans to live and work in any country of his or her choice provided he or she abide by the internal regulations of the host country, you need to travel and see.
I think African leaders must engage in rigorous dialogues to stop this madness and avoid embarrassments to the continent.
Copyright © Blank NEWS Online. *Sunday Ikuesan writes from Libreville, Gabon
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