South Africa is a country, whose people would still have been struggling to eke out a meager existence in the backwaters of their own country, had Nigeria and other African countries not embolden herself and flex her muscles to rescue brother and sister Africans, who were deluged with oppression and humiliation in the southernmost tip of the motherland continent. How weird and bizarre and what a horrendous shame that citizens of other countries living in South Africa would now be repaid with ghastly murder, looting, intimidation, brigandage and untold humiliation of her citizens in a territory, that should solemnly be regarded as a brother African homeland for Africans.

How time flies. Who would have imagined, that the land of Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki and other great freedom fighters, who gave their all, for freedom, would suddenly be reduced to an anti African gulag for vampire terrorism, lethal purges, forced and fatal deportations, man-made hell on earth, extrajudicial executions, show arson, and quasi-genocide.

South Africans, who has bewitched you with demon polluted ’umqombothi’? I just do not want to believe, that the struggle by all good men and women the world over, for the freedom of South Africans was in vain. Could it be true, that the White man knew better? Are South Africans really appreciative of their freedom? Did the freedom come too early? Should South Africans be forcibly subjected to a compulsory duration of the study, to acquaint them, with the history of their freedom? Should these people, who would not think twice before killing fellow African brothers not be locked up in zoo cages, until their unrefined wild beast essence is exorcized from their psyches and mentalities. I can vividly imagine the great Chaka the Zulu turning in his grave. These rascally murderers and ignorant ingrates have betrayed the great African warrior and hero.

From the right are Joseph N. GARBA (Nigeria), Chairman of the Anti-Apartheid Committee; Secretary-General Javier PEREZ de CUELLAR; and Senator Edward KENNEDY. 18/Jun/1984. UN Photo/Saw Lwin….

South African Mobs have been hunting, maiming and burning to death African immigrants in South Africa. These mobsters have been raping, robbing and murdering fellow African brothers and sisters. Foreigners shops get looted every time the opportunity presents itself. Many African brothers and sisters resident in South Africa, have been rendered homeless, by arson and left destitute. Many have been hospitalized with stab wounds and bullet holes in their anatomies. How could man be so inhuman to man? Oh civilization, why hath thou fled from these brutish beasts

Since the attainment of independence, Nigeria has been in the front line for the realization of freedom and total fundamental liberties in every African country, especially in the Southern Africa sub-region. The Murtala Muhammed – Olusegun Obasanjo regime, in a successful attempt to send warning signals, to the whole world, that it would not tolerate, nor flirt with any country doing business with the white minority regime in South Africa, nationalized the local operations of Barclays Bank in Nigeria, after that bank ignored the strong protests by Nigeria, advising it, not to buy the South African government bond, which would be in violation of the economic/trade embargo on the racist South African regime.

Nigeria’s Murtala Muhammed – Olusegun Obasanjo regime, nationalized the British Petroleum (BP) for supplying oil to South Africa. This was at a time when South Africa needed action and not just rhetorics to give momentum to the struggle for freedom from the white masters. These were no mean and easy decisions. These were decisions that carried very enormous political implications. These decisions were capable of attracting serious political, economic and social reprisals. However, for love for our brothers and sisters in South Africa, Nigeria risked all, to help South Africa gain freedom.

Also, to help South Africa gain independence, Nigeria led a boycott of the 1978 Games in protest of New Zealand’s sporting contacts with apartheid South Africa, and 32 of 59 nations from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean joined a Nigeria led boycott of the 1986 Commonwealth Games due to the Thatcher government’s attitude towards South African . Nigeria, a member of the commonwealth mobilized it’s diplomatic influence, and led majority of the commonwealth countries to boycott these commonwealth games as a show of solidarity to South Africa and to send a message to the white country members in the commonwealth and in the world generally, that Nigeria will fight with it’s all, to set our brothers and sisters in South Africa free. This was a herculean task. The mobilization for this boycott, deeply tested Nigeria’s claim to leadership in Africa and beyond. Alas, the mobilization was very successful. And the common wealth games, that year, was a sorry story. From that moment onward, the whole world took notice and the struggle for the liberation of South Africa was immediately hyper-accelerated. And the rest is now history.

Nigeria is also reputed to have provided secret military training at the Kaduna first mechanized army division and provided other material, financial and diplomatic support to African National Congress guerrilla forces. Who can quantify the millions of dollars, that Nigeria and other African countries spent on the A. N. C. during the struggle to liberate South Africa?

The National Committee against Apartheid (NACAP) was founded by the Nigerian government sometimes in the 1960s with branches all over Nigeria. Its principal aim, among others, was to disseminate the evils of the apartheid regime to all Nigerians beginning from primary schools, market women etc. Through NACAP, hundreds of South Africans resident in Nigeria went to school free of charge and workers contributed financially to the liberation of South Africa. NACAP was also responsible for advising the government on major policy decisions concerning the then apartheid regime. NACAP had alliances with the labour movement, student groups, progressive elements within the country and other grassroots organizations.

The role played by individual nations, including my country Nigeria, in the struggle for the emergence of a new South Africa that is non-racial, independent and democratic is cannot be underestimated.

Suffice it to say that throughout the long-drawn, anti-apartheid struggle, although we were not geographically contiguous, Nigeria was, nevertheless, considered a Frontline State, by the sheer fact of our commitment to the just struggle for freedom in Southern Africa.

It is important to recall, that this was a cause every Nigerian was committed to, not just those in government, but the people themselves. It was for this reason the Southern African Relief Fund (SARF) was created.

This was funded with deductions from the salary of every Nigerian worker, irrespective of rank, both in the public and private sectors as well as donations from ordinary Nigerians in all walks of life, including students. This fund was placed at the disposal of the liberation struggle.

Nigeria provided scholarships for students from South Africa. Our musicians waxed albums in support of the anti-apartheid struggle, a memorable one in this respect being Sonny Okosun’s timeless piece, “Fire in Soweto”. Our poets wrote protest literature denouncing man’s inhumanity to man; whenever South Africans protested against injustice, Nigerian students also took to the streets in support and solidarity.

In conclusion, it will be in the best interest of all South Africans if they can see foreigners as friends rather than enemies. A tree can never make a forest and no nation will survive without other nations.

– Prince E A

This article was originally published on News24

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Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 1742 posts

We are about democracy, human rights, public opinion, political behavior, civil rights and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries.

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