Msgr Livinus Ukah
That expression is a common language of the 21st generation; filled with hostility and divisiveness. When you do not like others there is tag placed on them. When you don’t speak English like them you are tagged. When you do not speak their language, you are not like them. When you are in a foreign land and the economy is bad, people begin to attack you and see you as someone taking the job from them. This has happened in South Africa. The people boldly said that Nigerians were taking their jobs. The name tags cannot be taken away even when the foreigners are working hard andalso to improve the economy of that country.
Economic progress is not only personal it also extends to the countries one is living and the individuals. The man that is progressing creates jobs around and he is a partner in development of a country. When I work I transform myself and transform the economy of the host country and its citizens. That is quid proquo! Those who love their country should not harm their country by indulging in selfish acts that can bringa divide.
The lower class coupled with the political class can create political chaos where the peripheries think they will win. When you feel you are winning you are losing because winning in politics is not permanent. This statement of “GO BACK TO WHERE YOU COME FROM”is all over the world.
We saw a brand of it manifest in Nigeria far back then like “GHANA MUST GO” This was a wrong political construct that was used to filter Nigerians from foreigners and to those Nigerians who will be vote for. The attitude of GHANA MUST GO must have been residing in Ghanaians brain waves hence many Nigerians who go to Ghana to do business are not comfortable. It is because the past speakssecretly to the mind and the mind reacts. Even in Nigeria, the Arewa Consultative Forum gave the Igbos in Nigeria a quit notice to go back to where they come from. The statement looked funny but loaded with political metaphor.
The present American administration of Trump is fond of tracing people’s roots. The two American congress women who were not in Trump’s good books were stripped of their personal inventories because they are not on the same political wave length with trump. During their visits to Israel, they were politically humiliated by Israelis government and of course you know the relationship between Israeli’s government and Trump. Trump scored a political point because of Netanyahu’s bad treatment to the two American congress women.
Nigerians packing out of South Africa is pathetic and causeddiplomatic rows. No country isolates itself from others in this global world because we have a lot to learn from each other but xenophobia and hatred towards other people bar us from learning from the global world. Being Xenophobic or racist because of their skin colours or where they come from goes against the plan of God. God wants us to be united but bad politics becomes the greatest obstacle to unity.
The International organizations have been developing strategies, building technologies, creating ideologies and building bridges that could bring the world together e.g United Nations, World Bank etc, all these are created to help the world solve its problems and work together.
However, if you put technology first before instead of man all efforts would be in vain. Not only that too there is racism in sports. It is not easy to have many black referees because they judge them by the colour of their skins.
Fighting racism in football is an uphill battle because few blacks are in the decision making bodies. Even the fans at football matches contribute to racism through discriminatory chants on the field. To stop racism in football, there should be diversity at the top.
Looking at the hurdles between South Africa and Nigeria leading to Nigerians coming home (thanks to the patriotic gesture of the Chairman of AIR PEACE), Nigeriashould rethink seriously whether she is really the giant of Africa and still has the power to be the giant because a giant is feared and revered and giants are held high and people obey giants with cringing civility.
A giant is a hero that takes bold steps and responsibilities. If Nigeria is truly the giant, she should think big and act big to show good examples without ridiculing herself on the global scale with the fleeting things of this world.
Ukah is a Parish Priest: St Alphonsus
Catholic Church, Aboru Iyana Ipaja Lagos