I have thought deeply about the recurring decimal of police brutality by  the South Africa Police Service “SAPS” members which results in the deaths of Nigerians.

For too long it happens and there is no prosecution of these officers whose primary purpose is to extinguish young lives under the pretext that these victims are engaged in peddling drugs.

Firstly, I do recall last year on the Nigerian Union of South Africa “NUSA” platform my anger when the Early Warning Unit was proferred as a mechanism which would stop xenophobia towards Nigerians. Sadly, within days of the return of Ministers Onyeama and Dambazzau to Abuja, a mechanic of Yoruba extraction was brutally murdered.

I knew at the time that the EWU would not work as it was hastily constituted and when I asked the then Minister of Trade at the HC, he said the South Africans were dragging their feet.

The reality in South Africa is that many of our people are involved in the trading of narcotics across almost each province and around the country, from province to province and municipality to municipality and that is the fact.

I remember Tony Blair saying’ we must be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.

The Nigerian Community seems to believe that a handful of NUSA officials with little financial backing can prevent every death or resolve every legal issue which arises from each death e.g the prosecution of rogue officers who kill Nigerians or ensuring compensation for the victims.

Last year we set up the Association of Concerned Nigerians which was funded monthly to the tune of R 20 000 per month by a special Nigerian.

Till date, I have not received a single report from the Law firm Ogbebor, Malisekha and Sekoro. I managed to interview Ogbebor for NDTV and I was very tough on him and he did not like it because he was not very prepared to answer tough questions.

It seems that our community while it shows outrage at the killings does not show same outrage that our people sell drugs and even when it does, can’t be bothered to act.

So where are we?

The government chooses not to act because it’s proposed EWU won’t work.

The missions can’t do much because they have no budget and are simply out of their depth in matters such as these.

The Nigerian Union has little money and are overwhelmed by the regularity of these killings.

The general community is divided and lacks compact to even agree on the colour of the Nigerian flag even though it is green and white.

My advice is simple.

The Nigerian Union must urgently in concert with the missions call what I proposed years ago. The All Nigerian Conference to address issues such as economics, immigration and integration and more so, crime.

Secondly, it is time to establish a database of all Nigerians in South Africa which seems to be the most challenging for our missions to do.

Thirdly, it would probably wise to set up a Nigerian Welfare Fund in order to deal with issues such as funeral expenses of the dead victims and assist those who have fallen through the cracks.

I hope this will reach the eyes and hears of the active citizens and power centres.

Abike-Dabiri over to you Madam.

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Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 8107 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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