Xenophobic Attacks: Exposing Conspiracies Of Governments Of Nigeria & South Africa, The Perpetrator & Victim Populations
Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria: 6thSept 2019: The renewed and escalated attacks on migrant populations particularly Nigerians (predominantly Igbo citizens) by black supremacists in the Republic of South Africa have become spirally unchecked and untamed chiefly on account of the conspiratorial roles of the present Governments of Nigeria and South Africa, the perpetrator and victim populations. The xenophobic attacks are also an indigenized form of apartheid or inter black violent colonialism.
On public security, safety and policing aspects, the Nigeria Police Force, the South African Police Service and the International Police Organization have all failed woefully in their duties. On diplomatic and international sanction and justice aspects, the trio of the UN, its Security Council and other relevant UN agencies, the African Union and the International Criminal Court have also condemnably failed. Had these regional and international civil, criminal and diplomatic agencies risen timely to their responsibilities, these genocidal attacks would have been effectively checkmated and totally brought to end.
The above was the position of Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, Intersociety, as contained in a statement issued today, 6th Sept 2019 and signed by Lawyers Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Head of Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, Evangeline Chidinma Udegbunam, Head of Campaign & Publicity Dept, Ndidiamaka Bernard, Head of Int’l Justice & Human Rights and Emeka Umeagbalasi, a Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies and Board Chair of Intersociety. Intersociety is led by professionals and grassroots activists including criminologists, security studies experts, lawyers, journalists and peace and conflict resolution experts, etc.
Conspiratorial Role Of Government Of South Africa: As correctly noted by Shenila Mohammed, Executive Director of Amnesty Int’l, South Africa, “the ongoing and escalating attacks against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, and looting of foreign owned shops in South Africa, is a direct consequence of years of impunity and failures in the criminal justice system that have left this vulnerable group exposed and unprotected” and that “South African authorities cannot say that they didn’t see this rampant violence coming. For many years refugees, asylum seekers and migrants have been targeted for who they are and what they look like”.
“They have also served as convenient scapegoats for unscrupulous politicians who have pushed the insidious narrative that foreign nationals have stolen jobs and are to blame for everything that is going wrong in the country,. The first major outbreak of xenophobic violence witnessed more than 11 years ago (2008) which resulted in the killing of more than 60 people, should have been a wake-up call for the authorities to root out hatred against refugees and migrants and hold those responsible to account. Their lack of action has resulted in the subsequent and recurring attacks we’ve seen”. Amnesty International, South Africa added.
South Africa has been experiencing systematic looting and burning of businesses belonging to foreign nationals, largely in Pretoria and Johannesburg, for weeks. Businesses belonging to Nigerians and other foreign nationals have been targeted in the two cities, with stock and possessions worth millions burnt to ashes. The violence dramatically escalated last week following confrontations between locals and foreigners, marked by horrific attacks and killings. AI also confirmed the death of not less than five foreigners in the latest attacks.
Also in an insightful statement made available to the media yesterday, a Nigerian rights activist, Comrade Paul Ikechukwu Njoku went down memory lane to accuse leading political actors in South Africa of sowing the embers of discord by inciting the majority black South African population against migrant Nigerians and other black African nationals; leading to increase and escalation in the xenophobic attacks. He specifically recalled that President Cyril Ramaphosa had in 2018 during his campaign for the country’s presidency, endorsed a clampdown on African foreigners in his country and promised that, if elected, “how would withdraw the goods and goodwill acquired by the foreigners”.
Nigeria’s Comrade Paul Ikechukwu Njoku also recalled a similar inciting public statement made recently by South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Mkongi who ‘xenophobically threatened in a national television that “South Africans cannot surrender their country to foreigners” and that “80% of Hillbrow is presently occupied by foreigners”. The Deputy Police Affairs Minister was further quoted as saying that “if we don’t debate that, that necessarily means the whole of South Africa could be 80% dominated by the foreigners and the future President of South Africa could be a foreign national, adding that “foreign nationals are hijacking all buildings while locals don’t have anywhere to go…”.
It Is Fula-Janjaweed In Nigeria, Xeno-Janjaweed In South Africa & Arabo-Janjaweed In Sudan: The present Governments of Nigeria and South Africa as well as the recently ousted Government of Sudan share the above in common. Their commonality lies in illicit arming and aiding non state actor violent entities to attack and depopulate the target tribally, socially and religiously hated populations as well as targeting and destroying their properties. In Sudan under ousted Gen Omar Hassan el-Bashir, a war crimes fugitive, it was the case of arming and funding the Sudanese Janjaweed to massacre, rape, annihilate and depopulate the Darfurists and other ‘state enemies’; with the Government sponsored violence dating back to the 80s. The Sudanese pattern is tribo-political
In Nigeria, it was and still is the case of the present Government of Buhari and Osinbajo aiding through policy and conduct the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen, who are of both indigenized and foreign elements to visit unprovoked and unspeakable violence against non Muslim Nigerians. The violence includes rape, abduction-for-ransom and abduction-for-rape, looting, armed robbery, massacre, murder, target killing of priests, depopulation and seizure and confiscation of properties including lands, dwelling houses and sacred places of worship. Both the Government and the violent actors perpetrate these atrocities hiding under the cloak of “open livestock grazing”. The Nigeria’s pattern of ‘Fula-Jajaweed’ is econo-ethno-religious.
In South Africa, the current majority black Government is aiding its violent black population to launch attacks on black African nationals comprising refugees, asylum seekers and migrants; looting their properties, killing them and threatening others. These are perpetrated using ‘Xeno-janjaweed’. As was the case in Sudan and still in Nigeria, the Government of South Africa has also forced its state coercive and justice instruments into inaction, aiding and abetting the atrocities and making same unabated and a recurring decimal. In all these, particularly as it concerns the South Africa’s anti Nigerian violence, the Nigerian Government has refused to act, except its recent fire brigade approach.
The Perpetrator Population: The perpetrator population or those responsible for attacks against the migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are wrongly and despicably venting their angers and frustrations on the victim population instead of venting same on the Government of the day in South Africa. On the other hand, their Government is found to have taken systematic recourse to brainwashing the perpetrator and general population through ‘psychology of politics’ and politics of shifting blames. Having been denied good education and decent job opportunities, their Government had turned around to incite them against the victim population to escape being held accountable for their regime failures. This is a similar case in Nigeria where the country’s political leaders deliberately whip up religious and tribal sentiments to escape being held accountable for their monumental failures in public governance.
Negative Social Realities Forcing Mass Migration To South Africa: Granted that the South African currency-the Rand, remains one of the strongest in Africa, in addition to fair social lifestyles and standard of living particularly ‘in the first class’ part of the country; yet these are far from being the real factors necessitating mass migration to South Africa especially by the citizens of old Eastern Nigeria. The failure in criminal justice system in the country has made same the Africa’s hub for motley of transnational crimes and criminalities. These include drug trafficking, high profile robberies (i.e. bank and super market robberies) and back and forth kidnap for ransom (i.e. done trans-nationally both in Nigeria and South Africa) as well as hired killings. Others are trafficking in persons (both for ritual, prostitution and slavery purposes) and illicit arms trade, etc.
It is also a social reality that migration to a foreign country for good job opportunities requires acquiring good education and associated skills. Other than these leaves an intended migrant with menial job opportunities. But in the case of Nigerians (i.e. chunk of old Eastern Nigerian citizens) trouping to South Africa, the greater number of them is found to be with limited education (First School Leaving Certificates or Attempted Secondary School/Dropouts and in few cases SSCE holders and a minutest fraction of tertiary education graduates).
This is more so when South Africa still parades millions of unemployed graduates and secondary school finishers with no good jobs at hand for them. It is also a common narrative in Nigeria particularly in Igbo Land part of old Eastern Nigeria that ‘South Africa is not a destination for decent job and living but for survival of the fittest through litany of transnational criminalities’. And success in same by a nouveau riche calls for church thanksgiving and elevation to high communal and social status. Churches built by South African ‘big guys’ in Igbo Land are expressly dedicated by Catholic, Anglican and Pentecostal Bishops, Priests and Pastors. The Ozubulu massacre of 2017 is a typical case in point.
Intersociety has rejected and still rejects the defense of social hardship back home as a justification for engaging in such transnational criminalities. All forms of crimes and criminalities and immoralities and other social vices and deviances must remain abhorred and condemned at all times. Part of the reasons propelling the xenophobic attacks in South Africa may have been founded on the above, yet the justice approach (jungle justice) is totally wrong and condemned. That is to say that the criminal Nigerians in South Africa dominated by Igbo citizens are likely to be genuinely resented for ‘importing, socializing and escalating criminalities and social vices and deviances among the native South African population, yet they are not enough reasons to resort to jungle justice.
These are also where the trio of the Nigerian Government and its Police Force, the South African Government and its Police Service and the International Police Organization failed woefully. A comprehensive surveillance and clampdown on the troublesome criminal nationals and their criminal enterprises by the trio would have not only paid off but also checkmated to the barest minimum the vices and criminalities under complaint.
African nationals including Igbo citizens of old Eastern Nigeria traveling to or residing in foreign lands including South Africa must be good ambassadors of their tribe and country by engaging in decent means of livelihood and respecting the laws and cultures of their host countries. Anything short of the above makes such deviant citizens to be on their own. Not even resort to tribal or religious or social hardship sentiments can justify such deviation or resort to transnational criminalities.
However, whether mala inse or mala prohibita, no form of jungle justice must be allowed as deterrent measure against suspected or alleged offenders. Nationals found to have engaged in transnational crimes and criminalities must be processed decently and diligently or subjected to due processes. That is to say that there shall be no prosecutorial vindictiveness or long detention without trial; psycho-physical torture, demonization, racial profiling, stigmatization, trial by ordeal and criminalization of conducts unless they constitute criminal offenses as at the time of their taking place and contained in written laws with prescribed penalties or sanctions.
As a matter of fact, no national or citizen of the host country can be labeled ‘a criminal’ or ‘a transnational criminal’ in foreign land unless he or she is fully processed through: arrest, investigation, prosecution, fair trial, conviction and sentencing by a criminal court of competent jurisdiction. No citizen or foreign national living in a foreign land or country must also be made a victim of extra jus (beyond the law), extra-legal (beyond what the written criminal law provides) and extrajudicial (beyond court or judicial pronouncement or verdict).
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