S/Africa: Inflating our Big Brother Posture

Geoffrey Onyeama


By Eddy Odivwri

Did you hear that the South African authorities are frustrating the evacuation effort of the Nigerian government of its citizens from that country, by denying the Nigerian plane landing rights?
Let’s use the right words. The report says the landing right is being delayed, not denied.

I know you are always defending ugly and indefensible things. Ok. What is the reason for the delay? They say they don’t want our people; we say, Ok, our people should come back home, whatever we find to do, we do, because it is better to be alive and be poor than die in the pursuit of wealth. And then they refuse to grant landing rights. What is the meaning of that? They don’t want our people to stay and they wont allow them go? Are they Egyptians?
Calm down. It is official bureaucracy. The ethos of Diplomacy will sort it all out. It will be resolved.

What stupid bureaucracy! I don’t blame them. I blame the Nigerian government that seems to be posing like an executive big brother. Otherwise, if we had visited them tit-for-tat, they will understand the real meaning of Xenophobia.
Don’t forget that two wrongs don’t make a right. If South Africans are irrational, ingrates, violent, lousy and bitter, Nigerians should rise above such pettiness and prove that they are indeed bigger brothers. And you would have noticed that Nigeria is playing greater maturity in the whole saga.
Nigeria has refused to report the attacks at the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly). They have not even officially reported it to AU (African Union). Nigeria has been protecting all the business entities of South Africans in Nigeria.

I don’t understand this kind of mumu diplomacy Nigeria is playing.
Do you know how many Nigerians have been killed? The South Africans are testing the depth of the river with both legs at the same time and they should not escape the consequences, diplomacy or no diplomacy. No human life is recoverable. The Kwazulu fighters cannot even stand the Ukere warriors of Orogun, let alone the Ogbunigwe war machine of the Igbos. They should not dare us.
Remember that the South African president, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, had officially sent a delegation to President Muhammadu Buhari to formally apologise for all the attacks and declared that 50 persons had been arrested in connection with the attacks. And that the attacks do not represent the values and culture of typical South Africans, adding that…

(cuts in) adding that what? And you believed the delegation? Did you see the arrested 50 persons? Do you know if they have long released the so-called people so arrested? Did you not see the South African youths/mob still protesting on the streets of Johannesburg with sticks and cudgels insisting that all foreigners should leave their country? No remorse, no penitence.
Look, until the criminals are arrested, prosecuted and jailed or possibly killed for the many innocent bloods they had shed, we will not be assuaged.
Don’t forget they are our brothers. We cannot be seen to be knowingly doing harm to our brothers. Do you know how much Nigeria spent to aid their independence? How can we now be seen to be destroying the very same house we laboured to build? It is a pity that a few lousy miscreants failed to understand the depth of relationship between us and South Africa and so began the silly and needless xenophobic attacks. Any retaliatory violence by us will be doing harm to the memory of late Nelson Mandela and all he propounded for the African nation. No, we cannot ignore the teachings and philosophy of that global icon.

That was the same way Nigeria supported Zimbabwe to get independence and till he died few days ago, former President Robert Mugabe never liked Nigeria. Hence he refused to name any street after Nigeria in Harare, the nation’s capital, even as he named many major streets after other smaller African countries. We cannot continue to play the fool in the African sub-region, in the name of being African Big Brother. Some countries should be evicted from our household.
You can be sure that given the mature way Nigeria has handled everything, the major demands of compensation , trial and prosecution of offenders etc will be fulfilled. And at the end, Nigeria’s image would have shone brighter and grown bigger in the eyes of the Diplomatic world.