By Yusufu Shehu Usman
Recent events involving Nigerians living in South Africa calls for serious attention by the Nigerian Government which has the Constitutional responsibility to protect the sanctity of the lives and properties of every Nigerian at home or abroad
In retrospect, I think that we need not repay South Africa’s violence and brutality on our citizens in a like manner. We are older and more civilised as a nation, and as the popular saying goes, two wrongs don’t add up to make a right
But ” reciprocation”or more correctly put, reciprocity, is allowed under customary international law. We can take some hard diplomatic measures against South Africa that can hurt them and adversely affect their transitional economy
We know their vital business interests in Nigeria which have huge impact on their economy and which if distorted, can serve a big blow on the south African economy
We don’t have to vandalise or loot their businesses here, neither do we need to attack their citizens living among us.
We are a more sensible nation. We must still see all Africans living in Nigeria as our fraternal brothers and sisters
The subtle response may be in the form of boycotting businesses and services which constitute direct investments of the South Africans across Nigeria.
If we refuse to patronise them and help grow their economy they may be brought to their senses and be compelled to treat Nigerians living in their country with respect and according to the minimum standards of foreigners imposed on host Nations by the rules of international law
And if the xenophobia against other Africans in South Africa ( mainly and especially Nigerians)) festers despite our mild and reasonable retaliation, We may scale down our diplomatic relationship with the South African Government and continue to apply the rules of international law as the situation may dictate until such a time the damaged relationship is repaired or we can completely cut off diplomatic relationship with the offending nation.
It is a disrespect to the Sovereignty of our nation for the South Africans to loot the businesses of our country men living there without justifiable reasons.
It is even worst that they continue to murder our citizens without due process of the law
Nigeria should not behave like a lame duck nation in the face of crass illegality and wanton violations of the lawful rights of our citizens in a foreign land