I was in Victoria Falls, acity in Zimbabwe, for a UNECA conference. During my
cab ride into town
from the airport, the driver
(I don’t quite remember his
name now) at my prompting started a conversation
around the economy of Zimbabwe under President Emmerson Mnanagawa, better
known as “ Crocodile.”
He was eager to discuss the politics and economies of Zimbabwe and Nigeria drawing comaprisons. According to him, unlike what happens in Nigeria, the average Zimbabwean is not allowed to discuss politics or economy of the country but he could, talking with
me because I was Nigerian.
Then he made a not quite surprising comment about “Nigerians,” he said “we’re courageous and smart.”He talked
about our prowess in football,
music , the arts , our stories on
corruption and how the entire
black race looks up to Nigeria
for leadership. He also said,
from what he gathered watching Nollywood movies, Nigerians would go to any length
to make money and had a scant
regard for life . His comments
got me worried and thinking.
Nigeria is home to the largest concentration of black people in the world.
We are the largest black immigrant group in the US, United Kingdom and Canada. Our country has natural resources, a lot of which
We have a thriving film industry and a burgeoning creative economy. We were in the the forefront of the fight against apartheid and the struggle for the
liberation of most african coun- tries. One of us, the late Chief
Moshood Abiola even cham- pioned the campaign for pay- ment of repatriation for all the
years of slavery .
It would be naturalfor Nigeria and Nigerians to expect respect and love from its neighbours because of
how much it has invested in the
support of the cause of African
nations. Unfortunately recent
happeneings and hostilities by our neighbours and other countries may mean that we do some introspection and evaluate our diplomacy.
This aggression on different fronts – some economic and others political is troubling. The recent demolition of part of Nigerian embassy in Accra Ghana for instance. Some have saidthe demolition may havepolitical undertones.
A few persons alleged that
the dominance of Ghanian
economic space by Nige- rians is a contributory fac- tor. What however appears to be the key undertone is theimputation that Nigerian politicians are suspected to play a role in Ghana’s internal politics coupled with the boarder closure which nearly wrecked the
The demolition, by a government
agency controlled by the ruling party in Ghana ap- peared as a troubling extension of the politics of resistance and rising na- tionalism which is sweeping across the globe. No thanks to President Don ald Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, champions of this brand of primitive nationalism .
The Xenophobic attack of foreigners especially Nigerians in South Africa, on the other hand is thee dimension of the primitive nationalism .
South Africans do not care
about our contributions to
the anti apartheid strug- gle which is well known.
The average South African sees the relative afflu- ence of Nigerians living in their country as economic
invasion which should not
be allowed to thrive. Nigerians own the major car dealership by blacks in SA, Insurance companies, up- scale restaurants , fash- ion houses and even employ black South Africans.
The result of this is that the
South Africans feel threatened by the success of “strangers” in their coun- try and so attack them.
Many miles across the world from South Africa a different kind of hostility was brewing. At the onset of Covid 19 epidemics Nigerians amongst oth- er Africans who reside and do business in Guang- zhou, the main commer- cial city of Guangdong Province,faced discrimi- nation and Stigmatization.
They were targeted for harassment, humiliation and
eviction from their homes.
This is despite the fact that
China and Nigeria share strong economic ties and
a growing trade relation- ship. Unfortunately many
Chinese believe that for- eigners including Nigerians have been giving a lot of latitude in China
and may constitute threat
to economic prosperity of
the citizens of the country.
China’s diplomacywhich is a fall out of domestic politics, is strongly
hinged on economic statecraft and citizens welfare , beyond seeking regional influence and global respect.
There have been numerous other reports of discrimination, racism , and ill treatment of Nigerians
in India, Ukraine, Russia, Malaysia, all of which point to a fast disappearing international clout.
Most recently ,though embarrassing,Nigerians
resident in Indonesia went
to the Nigerian House in Ja- karta to protest over alleged
discrimination and viola- tion of their human rights by Indonesian immigration officials.
between countries is often
times a balance of terror.
Countries weigh the political ,economic and military consequences before
they act. Governments often consider the likely re- percussion of their actions or of their citizens against those of other countries and
this determines their for- eign policy and reaction in a crisis. This is the reason why few countries can afford to play with United
States interest and that of
her citizens. Once upon a
time no country, including
those of the affluent West
could afford a face off with
These days, how- ever, many nations includ- ing third world countries appear not to care. Our
country has lost political
prestige, regional leader- ship and economic poten- cy. This loss of influence reflects on how our citizens are treated by others around the world.
One of the reasons these countries may illtreat our citizens may be because we ourselves do not seem
to value the lives of our people. At least this is the signal other countries get from the security and economic developments in
Nigeria. unfortunately but
true , no country can do
more to protect the people
abroad than they do for the
people at home.
We must work harder to protect the
rights of every Nigerian,
especially the most vulnerable amongst us. Our country must live up to its billing by providing an envrionment that gurantees
quality of life and living.
Very often Foreign Pol- icy is linked to domestic governance, especially the economic development of
the country. Our expectation is that Nigeria’s in- ternational engagement should be driven primarily by domestic concerns such as raising standard of liv- ing of the citizenry , eradicating poverty, reducing
inequality, spurring economic growth and general security of citizens.
This should guide the overarching direction of our Dip- lomatic engagements. Recent developments point to the fact that our diplomatic relations is becom- ing less and less assertive to the point that other countries do not know were we stand on international secu- rity or global governance issues.
Nigeria must reasses its foreign policy and redefine its role as big broth- er and leader of the global black community. Our foreign policy handlers must
consciously uphold Nigeria’s historical role as leader of the black race . Abdi- cation of that role is both a betrayal of trust and failure of leadership.
Our country must be ready to assert our
political and diplomatic leadership regionally and globally . We must be willing to force those conversations as the need arises and compel respect for our people by first treating our citizens right. It is only then that the rest of the worldwill respect us and treat
our people with the dignity they deserve, and that is the path to regaining our regional and global influence.
Police Confirm Arrest Of Ritualist, Other Suspects Linked To Killings In Oyo State
BMO Lauds President Buhari’s Decision To Suspend Magu
VSF COVID-19 Task Force Donates Medical Supplies, PPEs To FCTA
COVID-19: Domestic Flights Resume At Lagos Airport
Police Arrest Bandit, Wife With 2 AK 47 Rifles In Kebbi
Insecurity: Yusuf Donates Patrol Vehicles To Kogi Police
Troops Kill 17 Terrorists, Loses 2 Soldiers In Damboa Ambush – DHQ
NEWS20 hours ago
Head Of Service Urges Reversal Of NASS Salary Structure
COVER STORIES9 hours ago
Top Police Officers Lobby To Take Over From Magu
NEWS19 hours ago
774,000 Jobs: Again, Kayamo Disagree With Senate Over Execution Of Programme
NEWS21 hours ago
National Commission For Persons With Disability In Process – Farouq
LAW23 hours ago
PMB Seeks Senate Confirmation Of 11 Judges, Others
EDUCATION23 hours ago
WAEC Says PPE Required For Supervisors, Inadequate Preparation Not Excuse To Cheat
NEWS6 hours ago
Squabble: Housewife Apologizes To IGP, Ex-husband
NEWS8 hours ago
Troops Repel Attack In Katsina, Kill 46