Every day, Nigerians are burnt to death, knifed to death, shot to death! The life of a Nigerian is now worth next to nothing. In the midst of it all, many of our elected leaders are preoccupied with corrupt personal ambition and all sorts of political malpractices. In fact, it can be inferred that this is what you get when the loss of the lives of Nigerians on their own soil means little to the Nigerian government, elected to protect the citizens. Or how then do you expect foreign governments to attach importance to security of the lives of your citizens who are but foreigners in their land? Shame! Big shame on the government of Nigeria!!!
The loss of the lives of Americans in a situation like this would most probably have been met with deployment of American SEALS or something. The loss of British lives on this scale would most probably have resulted in commandos and war vessels moving in, ready to rescue their citizens, AT ALL COSTS, not minding whose horse is gored!
Like birds with clipped wings dropping from the sky with no chance of survival, scores of Nigerians are dropping from heights to their deaths, yet what is the response of the Nigerian government? All talk, no action!
In this climate of a Nigerian government that continues to be worse than incapable, one wonders if there is anything that other relevant groups and bodies, within and outside Nigeria, can offer in response to a situation like this?
I do support any system purging itself of dangerous individuals. Should some Nigerians be constituting dangerous elements in South Africa, justice should be done the proper way, whatever that means, even if it means sentencing according to the law of the land. However, claims of some Nigerians violating the law in South Africa does not in any way justify mass and indiscriminate killing of Nigerians in this manner. If the South African authorities feel so irritated, let them apply rules to curtail entry of Nigerians to South Africa, a move to which I am sure Nigeria is capable of levelling an appropriate and proportionate response.
Can we say because there are dangerous criminals in Nigeria who are South Africans, then the Nigerian citizens should unleash terror on all South Africans in Nigeria?
My first-hand experience is that many Nigerians who live in South Africa legally and have been invited to fill important skill gaps, even many legally in business contributing to the economy of South Africa have been subjected to the horrible ordeal.
A family member of mine abandoned his contract with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology after witnessing series of xenophobic attacks.
Late last year, during one of those heated moments, he narrated to me on phone how he hid in a lecturer's office in the University building to avoid the rampage in town, just months into the contract, it was simply ended and he moved to Australia where his knowledge and expertise is more appreciated and sought after. If this individual had been caught and killed in the senseless attack by some misguided South Africans, would we refer to that as Justice? Anyone who justifies the killings as community justice on Nigerians clearly lack understanding!
Can we imagine how many Nigerian families are mourning their sons and daughters, innocent, law abiding and prosperous Nigerians killed in the hands of South Africans!
The failure of South African government in this case is clear, colossal and inexcusable! There are living witnesses here.
It is time the Nigerian government man up to the responsibility of protecting Nigerian citizens.
Enough is enough!
Adekunle is a UK based Nigerian political commentator