Nigerians in South Africa and Gun Violence [analysis]

Nigeria is called the giant of Africa. But is Nigeria truly the giant of Africa? Perhaps, Nigeria is the potential giant of Africa with clay feet and spindly legs. We have the potentialities to make Nigeria the greatest and biggest economy in Africa but clueless, visionless, inept, and corrupt leadership has continued to hinder our national growth. Is Nigeria not with equable weather conditions, human and material resources, fertile land mass, and many waters? With purposeful and patriotic political leadership, Nigeria can be transformed to an earthly paradise.

Nigeria is far from being an earthly paradise. Millions of Nigerians, who are under-employed, survive on less than one dollar a day. And millions of unemployed university graduates pound our streets daily searching for the non-existent and elusive blue collar jobs. The worn-out soles of their shoes and discolored collars of their shirts are proofs of their penury and privation. Yet, members of the ruling political elite, the church founders, and some moneybags live ostentatious and expensive lifestyles while the poor burrow in the dirt and scavenge in refuse dumps for food. The disparity between the poor and the rich is widening, daily. And, the impoverished malcontents in the country mull such alternatives as migrating to foreign countries, or taking to a life of crime.

Today, millions of Nigerians are living in Europe, America, and other African countries. They left the shores of Nigeria for economic reason. In order to amass wealth in their host countries, those Nigerians living in the Diaspora engage in such crimes as drug -smuggling and armed robbery. Now, the number of Nigerians serving time in prisons in foreign countries is increasing, exponentially. Thousands of our compatriots are on death-row in Asian countries, too. And, the Nigerian government is seeking reprieve for them.

Today, South Africa has become the Mecca and the place of refuge for Nigerian economic migrants. And, Nigerians of the Igbo stock are fast populating the country. But, daily, we are regaled with tales of how some Nigerians were killed in gun fight in South-Africa, the rain-bow nation. Only a few towns in Anambra state do not have causalities of the gun-violence in South-Africa. Those killed were alleged to be involved in illicit and illegal drug trafficking.

Like America, South Africa has a gun culture that permits people to own guns. So, some people in these countries do use their juggernauts of death to dispatch their friends and relatives to the great beyond when they’re emotionally troubled. And, armed robbers, terrorists, and kidnappers carry out their operations with guns, too.

Lucky Dube was a great musician. He specialized in the genre of music called reggae. And, he was a topnotch reggae musician, whose songs resonated with the persecuted people in the world. Reggae as a genre of music is used to fight oppressive governments. And reggae musicians are seen as protest musicians. Bob Marley, Sunny Okosun, and Lucky Dube- all deceased now -belong to the class of protest musicians.

Lucky Dube, the great cultural ambassador of South Africa, was shot dead in Rosettenville, Johannesburg, South Africa, as he dropped off his daughter and son. Lucky Dube lived between August 3, 1964 and October 18, 2007. His eventful and illustrious life and career were brutally abridged by Sifiso Mhlange, Lodwe Gxowa, and Mbuti Mabe.

Again, Senzo Meyiwa, the South African football captain, was killed while staying in his girlfriend’s house. The killing of Meyiwa sparked off outrage in South Africa. Zanokhule Mbatha, who was suspected of killing him, was arrested after a nation-wide manhunt.

The government of South Africa should enact laws that will curtail the possession of guns by its citizens. And, those that violate the country’s gun laws should be punished by the existing gun laws in the country.

Nigerians who are living in that country should abide by the laws governing South-Africa. They should desist from engaging in criminal activities, which can attract unpalatable repercussions to them.

Chiedu Uche Okoye,Uruowulu-Obosi, Anambra state.

Source : Daily Independent