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Thursday, 8 March 2012


South Africa must be warned
By Raheem Oluwafunminiyi
When two Elephants fight, it is widely believed the grass suffers. This aptly describes the ongoing diplomatic war between two African Elephants, Nigeria and South-Africa. 

This of course would not be the first time the two countries would follow the cold war path. Many would not forget not quite long ago when xenophobia and xenophobic attacks engulfed many parts of South-Africa with Nigerians most especially living peacefully, being systematically attacked.

The Nigerian government under the late Yar'adua paid lip service to these unwarranted attacks and several attacks on its citizens abroad. It was not until when things had deteriorated to this level over Yellow Fever cards that as usual, the powers that be began a war of words, spitting venom, threatening fire and brimstone and retaliation over what should not have happened in the first instance.

This writer has argued in many places that Nigeria's foreign policy and relations with not only its neighbours but fellow African brothers depicts us as too friendly and brotherly and for that reason have placed us on a path where we are faced with insults, dehumanization and disrespect or how else could we explain comments from the late former Libyan leader, Muammar Gadaffi, who had argued for a balkanization of Nigeria between religious lines coupled with the brutal manhunt and needless deportation of Nigerians living there and the harsh treatments metted on Nigerians in nearby Ghana, where Nigerians are forced to pay huge taxes before business is being done?

It is quite unfortunate that our foreign policy has slept over issues like this and only portrays us as creeping giant of Africa. For all the salt we are worth, we must begin a process of cleansing our foreign policy, foreign missions and relations with others so as to make every Nigerian abroad seen and treated with full respect.

Having said this, it is unbelievable that a country like South-Africa whose freedom from and fight against apartheid was fiercely tackled by more than five Nigerian leaders could pay us back with back stabbings and all forms of witch-hunting for flimsy excuses. Nigeria more than any country of the world ensured that black and majority rule became a victory for the people of that country, donating money, logistics and ensuring sanctions on the international stage upon the apartheid minority rule. Even when Britain remained disinclined to punish the apartheid regime, Nigeria was quite vocal at the Commonwealth, leading to the boycott of the Commonwealth games.

It is quite saddening that South-Africa had suddenly forgotten where it was coming from and those who gave it a safe landing when she needed it the most. It is for this reason that despite the deepening crisis in the nation's economic and sociopolitical enclave which forces Nigerians to move abroad, our citizens must be protected and therefore as a Nigerian, this writer supports whatever attitude and act the Nigerian government metes out to her fellow South-African brother.

South-Africa with its actions gives many the impression that some elements within its immigration and police establishments have an axe to grind with Nigerians over past issues, else the accusation that those deported had on them fake Yellow Fever cards and improper documents smacks of nothing but sheer disrespect for the rule of law and international conventions.

If truly these Nigerians possessed fake docu
ments or cards, other proper channels ought to have been exhausted rather than single handedly resorting to deportation. South-Africa fails to understand that many of its business interests which is embedded in its foreign economic diplomacy and foreign policy and abounds in all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria could be threatened by their sordid actions. She has failed to understand that many of its nationals and business interests commit several business malpractices and because nobody cares how you do business in Nigeria, such action by South-Africa could further expose them to governmental scrutiny.

Nigerians are fed up with the dehumanizing body checks at airports and harsh scrutiny abroad. We are tired of the fact that because we are Nigerians, other countries must treat us shabbily and without respect. We must begin to appear bold enough to confront nations who take Nigerians for a ride. We must paint a picture to nation's of the world that we are a no nonsense people when it comes to protecting our nationals abroad. Our foreign missions must always be at alert and take full responsibility of shielding and protecting Nigerians faced with harsh treatments abroad.

The action of the South-African government is uncalled for and for that reason must apologise for it. However, the Nigerian government must be on its feet to ensure its citizen at home feel the pulse of government. If social justice and welfare of the people had been championed for years, Nigerians would not take needless risks travelling abroad and humiliated in return. The government must see to it that the gap between the have and have not is reduced to the barest minimum. South-Africa owes us a lot and must not jeopardise the long standing friendship we have shared for decades. If they refuse to play by the rules, we must teach them that we as a nation can play dirty. It is not hard to see.

RAHEEM OLUWAFUNMINIYI is a social commentator and political analyst who resides in Ibadan

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Editor's Mail

Love the article on Gaddafi
We must rise above tribalism & divide & rule of the colonialist who stole & looted our treasure & planted their puppets to lord it over us..they alone can decide on whosoever is performing & the one that is corrupt..but the most corrupt nations are the western countries that plunder the resources of other nations & make them poorer & aid the rulers to steal & keep such ill gotten wealth in their country..yemen,syria etc have killed more than gadhafi but its not A̷̷̴ good investment for the west(this is laughable)because oil is not in these countries..when obasanjo annihilated the odi people in rivers state, they looked away because its in their favour & day! Samosa Iyoha

Hello from
I was amazed to find a website for Africans in Hungary.
Looks like you have quite a community there. Here in SA we have some three million Zimbabweans living in exile and not much sign of going home ... but in Hungary??? Hope to meet you on one of my trips to Europe; was in Steirmark Austria near the Hungarian border earlier this month. Every good wish for 2011. Geoff in Jo'burg

I'm impressed by
ANH work but...
Interesting interview...
I think from what have been said, the Nigerian embassy here seem to be more concern about its nationals than we are for ourselves. Our complete disregard for the laws of Hungary isn't going to help Nigeria's image or going to promote what the Embassy is trying to showcase. So if the journalists could zoom-in more focus on Nigerians living, working and studying here in Hungary than scrutinizing the embassy and its every move, i think it would be of tremendous help to the embassy serving its nationals better and create more awareness about where we live . Taking the issues of illicit drugs and forged documents as typical examples.. there are so many cases of Nigerians been involved. But i am yet to read of it in So i think if only you and your journalists could write more about it and follow up on the stories i think it will make our nationals more aware of what to expect. I wouldn't say i am not impressed with your work but you need to be more of a two way street rather than a one way street . Keep up the good work... Sylvia

My comment to the interview with his excellency Mr. Adedotun Adenrele Adepoju CDA a.i--

He is an intelligent man. He spoke well on the issues! Thanks to Mr Hakeem Babalola for the interview it contains some expedient information.. B.Ayo Adams click to read editor's mail
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