OPINION | Racism and Xenophobia: Echoes from South Africa in a Troubled Continent

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By Erasmus Ikhide 
Those who are still hoping that African continent might someday reinvent itself for the better are at best hallucinating, at worst living in the world that’s out of it. Africa has remained a basket case and no amount of outward buck-passing on “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” can change the self-afflicted tragedy the continent has visited upon itself, long after
Even at that, the two countries in Africa – Ethiopia and Liberia – that
were never colonized are devoid of provable positive indicators to suggest that the African continent shouldn’t have been colonized, in the first place.
It defeats the narrow argument of those who insist African problems
originate from the eruption of modern civilisation and disruption of original African political system.
The colonialists never tempered with Africans’ DNA or uprooted the seed of uprightness from the African man. Neither did they plant intrinsic seed of fraud, tyranny, hatred or ethnocentrism among the black race. Even if they
did, what stops African leaders from shaking off the shackles of animalism and embrace rectitude and free spirit?
That the continent has failed itself woefully couldn’t put a lie to former South African Apartheid Prime Minister, Pieter Willem Botha’s (1988) summation that “Black people can’t rule themselves because they don’t have brains and mental capacity to govern a society. Give them guns, they would kill themselves. Give them power, they would steal all the government money. Give them independence and democracy, they will use it to promote
tribalism, ethnicity, bigotry, hatred, killing and wars”.
Pieter Botha’s incendiary is at the heart of blighted leadership and
citizens’ blindness that have cumulatively resulted to uncanny human carnage, wanton destruction, savagery and barbarity across the swathe of
the continent. A continent that fails to educate her people about its own ancestral history, the shared values and vision, collective contribution to human solidarity in time of trials and stardom can’t lay claim to civilisation or humanity. The continent and her people merely replaced and
supplanted animal and elevates barbarity at the submit.
The tragedy of the crisis is the burying of the heads tactic adopted by African political leaders and governments by either outrightly claiming that the crisis of xenophobia is a criminal attacks or coincidence of reprisal attacks against foreign nationals for drugs peddling. Nosiviwe
Mapisa-Nqakula, South Africa’s Defence Minister, two weeks ago said the attacks against foreigners including Nigerians in South Africa were planned by criminals and that government can’t prevent it after describing South Africa as an angry nation. She insisted that the government can’t prevent
the ongoing violence.
“The reality is that we have an angry nation. What’s happening can never be prevented by any government. People are saying some Heads of States decided
not to attend the World Economic Forum; we should be talking about why this whole thing is coinciding with that. People are saying it is xenophobic attacks but it is not the first time, we have had them in the past.
“We have criminals that have read the situation and are aware that we have challenges right now. We have talked on the issues of high rate of unemployment, of some foreign nationals who are not conducting themselves
in an appropriate manner as we would expect, those breaking the bylaws of the country, and you now have criminal elements who have decided that we are going to use all of those things to find reasons to attack people”, Nosiviwe said.
South Africa Minister of Defence truthfully stated the fact that South
Africa successive governments, including the present government under which she’s serving have failed to curtail the phenomenon of xenophobic attacks against other African that dates back to 1994, which eventually resurfaced
in 2008, 2015 and from then on to the current climatic tipping point of dehumanizing proportion.
What that suggests is that all the African countries and the legions of
organisations like the African Union (AU) have decidedly and/or
collectively failed, abysmally. The worse of the pack is the Nigerian state under the very fragile, deleterious, bigotry President Muhammadu Buhari.
The president has long put premium on cattle over human. His obsession for cattle and his militia Fulani terrorists prompted him to release several billion of naira to build thousands of two/three bedroom flats for the Fulani aggressors across the country while the victims of their attack in
Benue, Taraba and Plateau States and the rest of Nigerians are depraved of access to basic food in all the IDP camps!
How can anyone explain Mr. Buhari’s disclosure that Nigerians who are victims of xenophobia attacks in South Africa must return home and accept ten thousand naira (N10,000) on arrival via tradermoni without air-lifting
them in the first place while his terrorists ethnic militia brothers are benefiting from oil and tax money which they never contributed to?
To start with, from the available records, Hausa Fulani are not among those Nigerians slaughtered in those attacks. The killing is in order for President Buhari and his minders since cattle and Fulani Herdsmen are not
Beside, Mr. Buhari is not qualified to now answer the name president having abdicated in his constitutional obligation to protect life and property as spelt out by the Nigerian Constitution. Boko Haram terrorists, Fulani militias and armed bandits have been furnishing terror to the country,
including his home state of Katsina where half of the local government
areas have been taken over by bandits and kidnappers, killing Nigerians per seconds.
South Africa, her notorious government and people would have by now resolved the evil of xenophobia if Nigeria is a country with a solid governance structures in place and an organic president at the saddle to pilot the institutions to assert her vicissitudes as the Giant of Africa.
African Continent will remain a basket case until the mass of Nigerian populace and the rest of the oppressed downtrodden across the continent
stand up and resist wayward leadership, mindless dictatorship and tyrannical bigots and brain-dead presidents.


Follow me on Twitter@ikhide_erasmus1

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