Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Nigeria’s former envoy to Trinidad and Tobago, Ambassador Lawrence Tunde Bade-Afuye, has revealed what he considered as the reason xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa would continue. He said the big brother role played by Nigeria in demolishing apartheid hat reigned ingloriously from 1948 to 1994, was the root cause of the various xenophobic attacks Nigerians are subjected to in South Africa.
He made the disclosure during a reception in his honour by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Ekiti State chapter, at the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, recently. Reading from his book, “Rise and Fall of Apartheid, the Nigeria Example,” he stated:
“The problem of xenophobia against the blacks from outside South Africa is the fact that the political transition in South Africa that brought in Nelson Mandela as the President was mainly made possible by Nigeria. The whites who, knew they were leaving the stage had taken judicious notice of this development. They assumed that they have to pay Nigerians back and this leads to xenophobic attacks on Africans of other countries outside South Africa and particularly, Nigerians.
“Another reason is that Nigerians thrive in any country of the world they find themselves and they excel in their businesses. South Africans are lazy and depend on government to provide and when they see blacks from anywhere thriving they are livid and results to xenophobic attacks.
“As for promiscuity that leads to widespread of HIV government didn’t on time accede to the campaign against HIV/Aids, it was too late before they campaign for the use condoms.”
He traced the political and racist development that eventually resulted into the apartheid regime in South Africa which had the country’s former and later President, Nelson Mandela, locked up in prison for 27 years because of his vehement protest against apartheid and daring posture which made him instigated the black South Africans against the racist ruling of apartheid:
“Human civilisation started in Africa in East Africa. From Africa, the rest of humanity dispersed to other parts of the world. One hundred thousands years is what it took for a black man to translate to white and vice versa: while other continents were developing themselves, Africa was only interested in juju using fetish rituals to solve problems that human can easily solve with practical steps and intellect.
“Has apartheid really ended? Apartheid hasn’t really ended. The social economic aspects of apartheid are still in place in South Africa and it is a tragedy. Everywhere, we Nigerians have failed to reap in African continent. Abacha and IBB governments failed to make Nigeria gain from our heavy investment in the freedom of South Africa.
“The history of South Africa is replete with a story of ethnic nationalism. During apartheid regime, the English community, which controls two third of the land in South Africa, constituted a paltry 30 percent of the population, while the black constitutes who constitute 70 per cent are left to struggle with the 30 per cent of the country’s land.
“I have peeped into Nigeria’s internal political system, and concluded ours is just a bit better than apartheid. Equality between black and white was frowned at while their ideology was that suppressing blacks would lead to social and economic development.
“By 1953, apartheid government created a political unit called Bantu, but each of those units failed. Any country that depends on another country to move to another level is a failed one. Apartheid government defies the law of territorial integrity.”