The recent attacks on Africans by their fellow Africans has shown the level of mental hypocrisy and backwardness we are still exhibiting in Africa.

The mere thought, that your black skinned brother will pose a threat to your employment opportunity or economic birthright, because he doesn’t chant the same national anthem as you is completely absurd and utterly disgusting. Resulting to violence as a means of correcting this ‘error’, is just unthinkable barbarism at its peak.

This is what Xenophobia has done to thousands of Nigerians living in South Africa. They have been forced to leave behind years of hard toiling and gathered wealth and return home depleted financially.

One month on, and the fate of returnees are still in the balance. After being forced to leave their hard earned millions, Xenophobia returnees are still yet to get their feet on the ground. This is because the same broken system that forced them to seek greener pastures elsewhere, in this case South Africa, is the same broken system which they return home to meet. The system which could not provide job opportunities for them firstly, is now being relied on to provide a settlement for returnees. What a shameful facade!

There have been many disheartening and unacceptable methods of compensation proposed shamefully, by both the Federal and State government of Nigeria. The Lagos State government reportedly gave $55 to each returnee, with a pledge that they would be transferred to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, to be equipped with ‘different skills’. It is quite appalling that they think a business man, who had his shop worth millions of Naira looted, should now settle for $55 as a start-up kit. Another comical compensation package is the disbursement of #40,000 worth of airtime, 9GB of data valid for 2 months and a ‘soft loan’ from the Bank of Industry by the Federal government.

What are they to do with these? Post about their financial and emotional loses on social media and gain sympathy? Is it now a pity contest?

Both the Federal and State government should create an avenue, whereby victims should be fully compensated for their loses. To all who lost a million Naira, a million Naira should be their compensation package. To those who lost a bread winner, a comfortable-salary job should be provided for their next of kin.

A loan or skill acquisition centre is not a long run solution and should not be encouraged.
Prevention is always preferred to cure. Instead of having such situations re-occure in the future (which is very probable), we should find means of avoiding it all together.

A healthy and thriving economy is the only remedy to ‘seeking greener pastures’. If our government want the name ‘Nigeria’ and all its citizens respected and not humiliated abroad, then an avenue for business to prosper should be created in Nigeria. Job opportunities will eliminate emigration, thus eliminating Xenophobia. Say no to Xenophobia!

Joachin Sunday
Masscommunication student Buk


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