Nigeria and the South Africa issue

Many Nigerians may have heaved a sigh of relief at the current developments over the vexatious issue of the so-called xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other fellow Africans by South Africans.
The cheering news of the evacuation of hundreds of our compatriots willing to come back home made the government in Pretoria to sit up and begin to behave like a responsible administration.
It began with belated efforts at mending fences by sending envoys to Abuja to explain its albeit tardy response to killings of fellow Africans that had become regular and almost predictable over a long period.
Even that exertion was a reaction to Nigeria’s equally late diplomatic engagement following the massive attacks on business premises and other property of Nigerians with what looked like a tacit approbation of the South African authorities. A Saul holding the tunics of the zealots stoning Stephen!
The short-lived attack on just a few South African conglomerates in Lagos and Abuja also jolted the Pretoria regime that, in spite of their violent predilection, they did not possess a monopoly of wanton destruction of other people’s properties.
We must commend the proprietor of the Air Peace Airline, Mr. Allen Onyema, who showed the way by deploying his jet liners to pick up Nigerians in South Africa who were willing to come back home free of all charges, both to the traumatized returnees and the Nigerian government!
Indeed two successful trips had been made by the middle of last week despite reported provocative acts of the South African Immigration which suddenly remembered that visitors’ or resident permits should be provided by people fleeing their hostile hosts.
Even the airline on the mercy missions was denied landing rights for a while. We thank God that the hitherto ritualistic xenophobic madness has abated for now. Let it be sustained.
Finally we commend members of the Federal House of Representatives who invited Air Peace proprietor Onyema to applaud him and indeed recommend him for national honours. That is patriotism writ large.

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