Part 1

A South African Saga featuring the following Nigerians:

1. Ncha South (his nickname, from Enugu State Nigeria),

2. Simunye (his nickname, from Edo State Nigeria),

3. Albert (first name, from Edo State Nigeria),

4. Aro (first name, from Edo State),

5. Alaiwo (his nickname, from Anambra state Nigeria),

6. Ochi-War (his nickname from Imo State Nigeria),

7. Eke Simon (his nickname, a policeman from South Africa).

5th April 2018

It was in early 1997, a vibrant Nigerian popularly known as Ncha South, was brutally murdered in the process of a botched kidnap attempt on him, right in front his liquor store that he owned in the middle of the city of Johannesburg, the city of gold.

This was few months after the late Engineer Lawrence Ifoh was shot point blank, allegedly by a police officer popularly known as Eke Simon at the Statesman apartment in Berea, Johannesburg. South Africa.

This was one of the early strikes by an in-house enemy who knew so much about the late Lawrence Ifoh’ s business deals.

It then became a trend for some unscrupulous Nigerians to either kidnap Nigerians for ransom or send their police friends to rob fellow Nigerians of their goods and money.

Thank God we came out gun blazing in defense of our people.

The South African law enforcement agencies joined forces with us and the rest, as they say, is history.

At some point, we had 4 dead Nigerians in the state mortuary waiting to be sent back home to their bereaved families, so that they may find closure.

This story was covered by The Sunday Magazine “TSM” a periodical owned by Senator Chris Anyanwu. The editor and reporters of TSM got hold of my contact details and called for updates from time to time.

I have lost count of the number of the dead Nigerians we have sent home in like manner. Taking a guess, I will say over 100 dead Nigerians who died as a result of police brutality, violent crimes, and criminality. May their souls rest in peace. Amen.

Most people couldn’t open a banking account because of the nature of the asylum permit issued to them by the South African authorities.

As a result, people either kept their money inside their flats or hid them in the so-called storerooms. These became easy targets for anyone to go rob with ease.

The Nigerian community literally became an ATM where the police came to draw money anytime they liked and as much as they liked.

The kidnappers got the hint that Ncha South was about to purchase the Parklane Hotel; a lovely hotel and apartment building in the heart of Johannesburg, housing one of the well-known nightclubs in the city at the time called “the pub with no name”

The Nigerian community in South Africa did not receive the news of his death well.

A young budding businessman whose life was truncated prematurely all because of greed.

As painful as it was, we had to send him to Nigeria for his bereaved family to bury him.

His wealth was pillaged and dissipated by the boys under his employ and by his supposedly close friends and business associates.

They practically robbed a dead man of his acquired assets. What a shame.

An irate crowd of Nigerians ran to me livid with anger, baying for the blood of those responsible for these atrocities. Chairman, chairman, do something, they are killing our people, they said to me.

The Nigerian community had had enough of the terror and the siege by fellow Nigerians acting in concert with their partners in crime.

The situation at the time called for leadership. Demonstration of true leadership demands a lot from the head that wears the crown; no matter how uneasy it might seem. You must be calm and be even-tempered at all times.

The leadership at the time rejected the method of “an eye for an eye “, “measure for measure” and “a tooth for a tooth ”

I came to understand the position of a President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces when he has to order the death of its citizens or make a declaration of war. Not a palatable position to be I must confess, no matter how justifiable.

We applied our minds, sought counsel from the South African law enforcement agencies, we literally dragged the reluctant Nigerian Consulate into the fray.

Typical of our government to ignore its own people whose primary business it is to protect the interests of its citizens, no matter where they reside, and for no reason whatsoever should they hesitate to stand by them.

It was advisable at the time to drag in the Nigerian Consulate General, albeit the fact that I had become the De Facto Ambassador of Nigeria in South Africa at the time.

The late General Sani Abacha military regime was under various sanctions, consequently, the Nigerian missions all over the globe couldn’t function as they normally would for reasons of illegitimacy resulting from the various sanctions.

International law allows a host government and other international organizations to recognize the leader of a community as a De Facto Ambassador in a situation such as the Nigerian missions found themselves at the time.

I also led a protest match to the United Nation’s office in Johannesburg to deliver a memorandum of grievance for the incessant murder of Nigerians in South Africa.

I personally visited the Red Cross office in Johannesburg with the same complaints. Demanding for their intervention and assistance.

Funny enough, the Red Cross, noticing how energetic I was, and my willingness to serve humanity, instead of pampering me, ladened me with the responsibilities of taking care of other English speaking West African countries such as Liberia and Ghana.

I took it with pleasure, went out to the streets of Johannesburg, gathered as many as I could, Liberian and Ghanaian citizens and duly discharged my humanitarian duties with pleasure free of charge.

Outside of the Red Cross duties, we co-opted some of the willing Liberian and Ghanaian citizens into the Nigerian community meetings as one and the same people.

I enjoyed the accent of our Liberian guys when they have to speak in pigeon English o.

I also used my office as the De Facto Ambassador of Nigeria to South Africa to advance the interests of Nigeria and Nigerians in the areas of trade and investment between Nigeria and South Africa.

I did host the Nigerian Independence day celebration for four years.

In one of the celebrations, I approached the late Winnie Mandela to be our Special Guess of Honour, to which she gladly accepted. May her soul rest in peace.

I did invite the Nigerian diplomats and other diplomats from other foreign embassies to all the independence day celebrations. We indeed had fun.

I didn’t mind that the late General Sani Abacha military regime had earlier and unsuccessfully made an attempt on my life, I didn’t mind that he might further send mercenaries to attack me again, I was very confident that the Lamb of God who spilt His Blood for my sake, still is covering me with His precious Blood.

After all, what is the essence of life without freedom?

Back to our story. I dutifully extended the Diplomatic Immunity i enjoyed to the leaders of the various branches of the Nigerian community, those that had joined forces with us the National Body, in the battle against the nefarious activities that were taken place within our community.

We subsequently declared “boys oye”. We tagged it “environmental sanitation” The South African law enforcement agencies came to the party.

The city of Johannesburg came to a standstill for a whole week; Nigerians went on a rampage against fellow Nigerians and their partners in crime.

The media was abuzz and inundated with news of our clean-up exercise in the Johannesburg CBD.

That was when Hillbrow, and Berea in Johannesburg were renamed “little Lagos”

Simunye, Aro, Albert, Alaiwo, and Ochi War became scapegoats because they offered resistance to our clean-up exercise.

With the exception of Alaiwo, the others were later apprehended, sent to sun city without bail or trial.

They came out after about 18 months of awaiting trial. It was all part of the grand scheme to sanitize the Nigerian community. Thanks to the South African law enforcement agencies.

Alaiwo escaped a kidnap attempt. Felix Baba, Alloy one naija, Ike Kwa kwa and the late Alex from Oba town in Anambra state (may his soul rest in peace) “our wounded soldiers” were all arrested and eventually sent to the notorious sun city prison for 7 days.

On the day of their court appearance at the Johannesburg Magistrates court, the leadership of the Nigerian community attended, alongside their friends.

In order to ensure the release of our wounded soldiers, I had to sign an undertaking that no harm shall befall Alaiwo within the next 6 months.

Alaiwo fell before the 6 months window period. I subsequently was summoned by the police to explain what has happened to Alaiwo.

I presented myself, turned the table against the police, and challenged them to go do their investigations.

It was their job to go out there, investigate and afterward tell us what has happened to our fellow Nigerian, not the other way round.

Ask me how I managed to do all these daring things, I will tell you to go ask my alter ego, not me.

My alter ego is “The Lion of Judah”

Albert was the first to go the way of all flesh just a few months after they were released.

Alaiwo went.

Simunye followed suit.

Aro was just a few days ago.

May their souls rest in peace. Amen

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Austin Okeke
Austin Okeke 33 posts

Barrister Austin Okeke Writes From South Africa

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  1. view it now
    June 28, 20:40 Reply
    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I've really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!
    • Austin Okeke
      July 02, 07:55 Reply
      Dear Sir Thank you very much. I am very humbled by your kind comments.

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