By Odumodu Gbulagu
The word Xenophobia came from “Xenos” meaning STRANGE or FOREIGN; and “Phobos” meaning FEAR.
Xenophobia can be then defined as deep rooted fears and hatred towards foreigners.
South Africa is now the world’s headquarters of Xenophobia.
The way and manner they became prejudiced against the people that liberated them from apartheid is still very surprising.
They kill, maim and discriminate against fellow African immigrants with such joy that even women and children are involved in the killings, and they oftentimes sing and watch while their likes are being stoned to death.
The pictures and videos are often gory sights.
Xenophobia has been institutionalized in South Africa, and it’s now a yearly occurrence, that even their law enforcement agencies stand idly and watch the killings.
The government even keeps mum, and tacitly encourage it.
Hundreds of lives have been wasted, that most African countries repatriate their citizens so the killings can stop.
Many Nigerians think that Xenophobia only happens in foreign lands like South Africa, little do they know that it can actually be internal.
They condemn the xenophobic killings in South Africa, while encouraging the killings of their fellow Nigerians in their own country just because they want to vote for the candidate of their choice in an election.
It is hypocritical to condemn xenophobic attacks in a far away land, when you harass, maim, kill, and even threaten your fellow Nigerians who are strangers to their lands to relocate to their home states, as was obtained in Lagos during the just concluded elections, and during other minor crises in Northern part of Nigeria.
I often wonder if most Nigerians do not know the meaning of xenophobia, or they chose to condemn it when others carry it out, but justify it when they do.
When an Igbo man/woman from the Southeast migrates to Lagos or Kano, the local automatically becomes a stranger or a foreigner in the land, and any show of fear and hatred against him/her is xenophobia.
From the definition of the term above, Nigerians are as guilty as South Africans as far as xenophobia is concerned, and it’s highly hypocritical to condemn it in far away South Africa, while justifying it in Nigeria.
Odumodu Gbulagu can be reached on : [email protected]