Xenophobia: Rethinking Nigeria’s Foreign Policy Objectives By P. I. Azubuike Esq.


The Nigerian nation is known as one whose foreign policy is essentially tailored to reflect her commitment to the well-being of all African countries. The foreign policy of a State is liable to reflect the state’s personality, but foreign policy cannot be developed in a completely arbitrary manner.

Nigerians no doubt are a special breed of people amongst the human race, our resilience to success against all odds has been a threat to most of our host nations. The sacrifices made by Nigeria in the Continent of Africa particularly South Africa in ending the apartheid regime have been enormous. What do have in return?
We have seen the decency of a loving and giving people who have made the grief of strangers their own pushed to the walls. Events of the past two days unveiled the sad reality of the black man and more regrettably, the unfortunate leadership qualities that we have imposed upon ourselves since 1960 till date. A leadership that is retrogressive, visionless, inept and has consistently shown lack of interest in protecting its own interests amongst committee of nations. What a tragedy.

Truth be told, xenophobia is highly entrenched in the moral fabric of the Republic of South Africa. In 2017, Bongai Mkongi, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Police, excused the killings of foreign nationals in his country. In his words:

“You will not find South Africans in other countries dominating a city up to 80 per cent. We cannot surrender South Africa to foreign nationals.

In 2018, during his campaign, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa re-echoed the xenophobic tendencies of his administration when he opined that “foreign nationals will be hounded and their businesses shut down, no matter where they come from.”

It is a fact that the killing of Nigerians in South Africa is sanctioned by the state, that is why the law enforcement agents, in almost all cases give the perpetrators tacit support and cover-ups. To the average South Africans, Nigerians are taking their jobs, annexing their lands and winning their women over. These were similar sentiments shared by the Nazi’s in the 1930’s that led to the unfortunate holocaust.

The response from the Nigerian government goes to show that the Nigerian is an orphan and an object of ridicule in the international community. South Africans maim and violate Nigerians, Ghanaians attack and humiliate Nigerians despite Nigeria’s expansiveness towards their country; Cameroonians ridicule Nigerians and the list goes on and on.
No country will respect another country whose citizens are maimed, killed and stripped of their dignity and material possession in its territory, and there is no definitive response from the assaulted nation.

In all these, trying to be politically correct shouldn’t be the order of the day. It is high time we reciprocate the xenophobic gestures of South Africa by cutting off Diplomatic ties with South Africa and boycotting all South African brands in Nigeria with a resolve to nationalizing all South African investments.
Then, and only then will these rampaging South African demagogues will stop their rampage.

Prince Azubuike Esq.
Distinguished Member, NBA Degema Branch. The author writes from Port Harcourt and divides his research interests in International Law with a bias for afro centric views.

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