Opinion

Nigerian’s worth and the xenophobic attacks! By Emmanuel Udeh

Nigerian’s worth and the xenophobic attacks! By Emmanuel Udeh

Xenophobic Attack is gradually becoming synonymous to South Africa.  Brutal attacks on foreign nationals, particularly Nigerians, in South Africa have been a great concern to Nigerians and the rest of the world.

But in this article entitled “Nigerian’s worth and the xenophobic attacks” Emmanuel Udeh looks at the everyday injustices Nigerians experience from fellow Nigerian heavyweights, military men and para-military men.

What’s a Nigerian worth? We’re Nigerians, we dress windows; value others than ourselves, live to please others even if it costs other Nigerians’ lives.

Yesterday, I was returning to Enugu from Abuja on board Airpeace, then I noticed Distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma Egba seated a row away; it was improper to engage him in a conversation at the expense of the gentleman seated between us, so I waited for us to arrive Enugu. As soon as we were alighting from the aircraft, I engaged him; this was our second encounter.

We came all the way towards the terminal before four men- possibly security men, political aides or thugs, who obviously had come to receive him met us.

After they exchanged pleasantries, we resumed our walk and since I was the person talking, I wanted to conclude before we part ways. Suddenly, I felt a pull from my back that brought me to an abrupt halt. One of those men had held my laptop bag and pulled me back.

Of course, the Senator promptly stopped, saw what happened and he firmly rebuked the perpetrator, asking them to leave me. I simply thanked him for being civil, ended our discussion as a protest and told him we’d meet again.

Leaving the airport, different thoughts competed for attention in my mind: why do we do what we do to our country men?

If you’re familiar with domestic flights, you must have observed that the difference in class is limited to what’s served, the people who sit there and the seats; the first twelve seats are more comfortable.

We all rush in when it’s time to board, and we rush to get off; truth is, those Economists at the rear always beat the rush with speed. So, these rush provide anyone with opportunities to deliver nerve wrenching gas or just harm a target.

The selfish, class consciousness of our elite also exposes them unnecessarily.

The bosses are safe to fly with anyone but unsafe once they’re on ground.

Once I traveled with my State governor’s wife and I vividly remembered her police orderly flew economy while ma’am sat there with no one “protecting” her.

The point is, the harassments of Nigerians by Nigerian leaders have little to do with Security concerns but everything to do with a show of privilege.

We violate our constitution for money; Lebanese, Chinese and anyone with a white skin are now matters of National security requiring Army protection but a community of Nigerians could not get army protection when Cameroon, terrorists or herdsmen invaded.

Our President is the only civilian entitled to Army protection, not even the vice but we grant undue privileges to foreigners against our own people.

We assign Soldiers to white artisans; these Nigerian soldiers harass and violate fellow Nigerians at the delight of their white oga (boss), yet we expect respect from foreigners.

If Nigerians cope, live and operate under the security provided by our Police, any foreigner not ready to take the risks as we do should not come to Nigeria.

We kill at will (Apo 6); we arrest and detain without trials (67%of prison inmates); we insult, extort and assault (lecturers, Road Safety, Police and civil servant); we lie and defend injustices on the grounds of economic interest, ethnicity, religion and sectional fraternities (MTN versus NCC, House of Representatives probe of Fuel subsidies, anti corruption campaigns, etc)

Until we genuinely respect, place real worth and values on one Nigerian’s life, we should not expect it from foreigners.

Chukwunonyerem Emmanuel Udeh

This post first appeared on Emmanuel Udeh Facebook Timeline on February 27, 2017

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