Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Despite leaving Nigeria early for
the funeral of late South African
leader, Nelson Mandela, President
Goodluck Jonathan has been
snubbed by the South African
authorities at the State Memorial
Service of the anti-apartheid
An official release of programmes
during the memorial service shows
that the Nigerian president was
missing on the list of world leaders
billed to give tributes. The world
leaders who will be giving tributes
are, United State President, Barack
Obama; President Dilma Rousseff of
Brazil; Vice-President Li Yuanchao
of China; President Hifikepunye
Pohamba of Namibia; President
Pranab Mukherjee of India; and
President Raúl Castro Ruz of Cuba.
Other leaders billed to give
tributes are the United Nations
Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon;
and the African Union Commission
Chair, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
Though Mr. Jonathan is not the
only head of state that would not
give tribute- there are about 90
heads of state attending the
funeral, the apparent snub handed
Mr. Jonathan also appears to
rubbish the enormous effort played
by Nigeria to bring an end to
apartheid in South Africa at a time
when Western governments were
pussyfooting to pressure the
apartheid government to renounce
its policy of segregation and its
brutal abuses against the black
majority. Some Western
governments including the U.S.
had even designated the ruling
Africa National Congress (ANC) as a
terrorist organisation, and Mandela
a terrorist.
This point was also highlighted by
the Lagos State Governor,
Babatunde Fashola, on Monday in a
chat with journalists.
There are more questions to
answer. When you look at the part
of the world where ovation is now
the loudest, it was the part of the
world the pain was the most
vicious. In a very cruel irony,
history is being revised.
“The people, who collaborated with
the government that enthroned
apartheid at that time, are the
people that are paying the biggest
tributes now. But I ask myself: is
this not the time for deep
reflection? I doubt if any African
country expended as much time, as
much money and as much
commitment as the Nigerian
“I was a teenager then in 1976
when anti-apartheid campaign
really gained resurgence in every
home in this country. Nigeria paid
a huge price for what South Africa
has become today. I remember the
anti-apartheid campaign was at the
core of Nigerian foreign policy.
“Apart from scholarship given to
South Africans, I remember
President Yar’Adua met Thabo
Mbeki in South Africa and he was
telling me about their relationship,
which he said was dated to when
Mbeki used to come to Zaria for
student exchange programme. I
remember we did not go for
Commonwealth Games because of
South Africa. I remember we took
drastic measures against the
foreign collaborators of apartheid
regime and nationalised assets.”
However, Lagos-based lawyer, Jiti
Ogunye, says Nigerian politicians
are to be blame for the pedestrian
level the country presently
occupies in the international
community. He says the complete
atrophy of the respect the country
was accorded in global affairs was
as a result of years of misrule and
corruption by the country’s
Nigeria has lost its social, political
and economic glory domestically
and that glory that is lost cannot
be recovered at Mandela’s funeral,”
he said.
While Nigeria officialdom maybe in
a state of discomfiture by the non-
recognition of Nigeria in the
protocol of the funeral, the point
is that it is not what Nigeria did
for South Africa or for Angola or for
any of the frontline states like
Namibia that Nigeria will be
remembered. It not the support
Nigeria gave to the ANC… that
Nigeria will be recognised by, it is
what Nigeria has done for itself
and what Nigeria has not done for
itself. And we’ve done a lot against
ourselves. Look at our country; our
country is broken in many respects
and no you’re talking about
xenophobia, what led to it?
Nigerian young people go overseas
and become criminals the way we
are criminals in our own country.
People leave the shore of Nigeria
to be criminals outside our shores.
Right from the time they leave
Nigeria they’re going overseas to
be criminals. We are exporting
blue-collar crimes and Yahoo Yahoo
to all sorts of countries, to Malaysia
and are we blaming those
countries for our own woes?
“How you will be regarded abroad
is determined by how you’re
regarded at home. Now how is the
Nigeria state regarded by
Nigerians? The Nigerian state is
regarded by Nigerian as an
uncaring state, as a heartless
state, as a state that has no love
for its people, as a state that has
abandoned its people. So how has
the Nigerian state treated its own
people before we start taking
offence at how the Nigerian state
is treated by another country?
“Those who may be belly-aching
about not being giving recognition
by the organisers of the funeral of
Mandela should know that while
they may not be regarded, the
South African people regard
Nigeria. Go and read all the
accounts, the role that is played by
Nigerians is recognised in all those
imperishable works and this cannot
be obliterated by this treatment
that is accorded to Nigerian
officials that we at home have
contempt for.
If we are disgraced outside, that
disgrace didn’t come from outside
that disgrace come from within
because we have disgraced and
debased ourselves. Do you expect
anybody to take you seriously when
what your rulers are known for is
taking your money and cashing
them away? In fact it s better they
are humiliated outside so that they
can come back home and be
serious. If bad people are
accorded all the respect and
dignity that good people should be
accorded how do you think they
will change.”
Source - Premiumtimesng

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